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…Mary Denchfield of the Weald Grounds in the parrish of Wing in the County of Bucks Dary Woman Being of Sound mind and perfect memory praised be God for it… made a will on 7 January 1733/34. In it, she made arrangements for her nephew Richard Denchfield and her kinswoman Elizabeth Penn to receive 50 shillings apiece following her death, with the bulk of her estate going to her nephew Mathew Denchfield. The record of her burial at Wing’s All Saints Church on 7 March 1734, described her as a “widow from Cotsloe,” a hamlet just west of the village, which is today known as Cottesloe Farm on Cublington Road.
But who was she?
Richard Denchfield, labourer of Whitchurch, wrote a will in 1749, probably from his death bed a day or two before he died in early October. His estate, probated on the 28th of that same month, consisted of no inventory (Note 1). He was survived by his widow, Mary Cheshire, and their only son, 11 year old Thomas. It’s not clear what happened to the widow Mary, although there is a record of a Mary Denchfield marrying Thomas Rickart in Whitchurch in 1752 (Note 2). Richard’s son Thomas grew up to marry Mary Henley on 15 July 1762 and fathered 10 children. Who was this Richard, labourer of Whitchurch? I suspect he was the son of Richard Denchfield and his first wife Elizabeth, baptized in North Marston on 12 June 1709. That Richard was a farmer in North Marston, likely the son of ironmonger John and Parnell Denchfield. The elder Richard had inherited his father John’s house (…more)
amanuensis noun \ə-,man-yə-’wen(t)-səs\ one employed to write from dictation or to copy manuscript
from the Latin (servus) a manu slave with secretarial duties first known use 1619
Mathew Denchfill [Denchfield] (1601-1660)
Mathew was the son of Richard Denchfield of North Marston, and grandson of Gefferie Deanchfield whose will is transcribed here.
We know from the St. Mary’s register that Mathew was baptized on 7 March 1601. (His name in the register is spelled “Matthie.”) His first wife, Joan Stream of Oving, Bucks, died in October 1632, less than two years after they were married in Oving on 30 June 1631.
Matthew’s second marriage, to Mary Spencer, took place in North Marston on 25 January 1633, and it was this marriage that produced four children:
Prudence DENCHFIELD (10 Nov 1633 – 17 Jun 1680)
Richard DENCHFIELD (13 Feb 1637 – after (…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)
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