Yesterday, I presented my transcription of Gefferie Denchfield’s will, proved on 8 September 1603, in North Marston, Bucks. This next article in the Denchfield Series discusses my interpretation of the will, and the conclusions I’ve drawn from it.
Gefferie’s will suggests his family was prominent and relatively affluent given the times as he first makes a gift of ‘too dozen of white bread‘ to be divided equally among the poor of North Marston on the day of his burial. This is noteworthy because at that point in British history white bread was considered the preferred bread of the rich while the poor had to make do with dark bread.
It is from the next part of the will, dealing with specific monetary bequests to his sons, that we learn much about Gefferie’s immediate family. Son John was to receive 40 shillings within six month of his father’s death. Interestingly, (…more)
My English Denchfields were a fixture in North Marston, Buckinghamshire in the 17th & 18th centuries. They were landowners, overseers of the poor, and occasionally members of the clergy. They also (sigh) had a penchant for naming their sons John and Richard. Although the Denchfield name appears in every generation of the extant St Mary’s registers, enormous chunks have been ripped out of the books creating large gaps, some as long of twenty years. Because the damage occurred before there was time to copy the entries into the Bishop’s transcripts, we can’t rely on the church records to prove certain events. Needless to say, tracking the North Marston Denchfields through the years can give a family historian a big headache. But fortunately for my family history, the wills made by several of the early Denchfields have provided the documentary evidence needed to map out the familial relationships in (…more)