I wish I knew.
For some time, I’ve been attempting to sort out the kinships and identities of the various Hugh Filbees of Lewknor, Oxfordshire. If you were a Hugh Filbee living at the foot of the Chiltern Hills in the 1600s and 1700s, you most likely had a son, perhaps a brother or, even more likely, a cousin, named Hugh, and there’s a good chance you married a woman named Alice or Ann.
If you examine the parish registers of St Margaret’s at Lewknor, and St Mary’s at Adwell, you’ll find mention of myriad men named Hugh Filbee dating back to the earliest entries. I wrote about the Lewknor register in this post. In 1585, Hugh Filbee and his wife Alice (of course) baptized son William at Adwell. Jump ahead in that register a hundred or so years to March, 1708/9, and you’ll discover the baptism, and (…more)
Hugh Filbee of Lewknor, Oxfordshire, Letters of Administration 30 May 1772 Oxfordshire Records Office: ref Arch b.32 f.66
May 30th 1772
“Appeared personally Hugh PhFilbee and alledged that Hugh PhFilbee late of the parish of Lewknor in the County of Oxford deceased died in the Month of April last a Widower intestate without making a will and that he the Appearer is his natural and lawful son Wherefore he prayed Letters of Administration of all and singular the Goods Chattels and Credits of the said deceased to be granted to him on giving the usual Security—
Let Administration pass as prayed the said Hugh PhFilbee having been sworn duly to administrator as usual Before me D Burton, Chancellor Present Andw Not. Pub.”
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Earlier in the week, I transcribed the 1756 will of Hugh Filbee, yeoman of Lewknor, Oxfordshire. What does Hugh’s will tell us?
Although nothing in the probate mentions the exact date of Hugh’s death, we do know the date it was proved: 16 January 1767. This coincides with the burial of Hugh Filbee in Lewknor on 14 January 1767. (See chart)
“I Hugh Filbee of the parish of Lewknor in the County of Oxford Yoem[an]“
Hugh was a gentleman farmer.
We also know he owned land, which he’d purchased during his lifetime vs having inherited it.
He left sons Hugh and Henry equal share in “All that my Freehold Estate which I lately purchased of Mr. William Rolles commonly called Steven’s Farm,” were “situate within the precincts of Lewknor aforesaid or in a Meadow called Shillingford Mead.” Additionally, he left son (…more)
Yeoman Hugh Filbee was buried in St Margaret’s churchyard in Lewknor, Oxfordshire, on 14 January 1767. Here is a transcription of his will. While it sheds light on the names of his children, and suggests his wife had predeceased him, it provides few if any clues which help distinguish him from the various Hugh Filbees who had been baptized at St. Margaret’s and were living in Lewknor in the mid 18th century. Still, it’s a start
Will of Hugh Filbee of Lewknor, Oxfordshire Made 24 May 1756; proved 26 January 1767 Oxfordshire Records Center: ref 24/3/3 [To facilitate online viewing, the following transcription does not reflect the line breaks of the original document.]
“In the Name of God Amen. The Twenty Fourth day of May [word scratched out] in the Twenty Ninth Year of the Reign of our Sovereign Lord George the Second by the Grace of God (…more)
Sarah Collcutt of Oxford (1750-1838), the daughter of grazier John and Sarah Collcutt, was quite wealthy, although the means by which she came by that wealth remains a mystery. Having no children of her own, she left her money and personal estate to her many nieces and nephews. Her will, made in 1835, is a virtual treasure trove of genealogical information. (Sarah Collcutt Will, 1835, The National Archives Public Records Office – Catalogue Reference:Prob 11/1895)
In the name of God Amen I Sarah Collcutt of the parish of Saint Aldate in the City of Oxford Spinster considering the uncertainty of this life and the certainty of death and being at this time of sound and disposing mind and memory do make this my last Will and Testament in manner following that is to say I nominate and appoint my Niece Mary Godfrey Talmage Executrix of this my will and (…more)
Recently I wrote about using land records to help sort out a confusing family here, and this week I’ve been applying that approach to try to sort out, once and for all, the kinships between the various Richard and John Denchfields of 17th and 18th century North Marston, Bucks.
Here’s what I did:
Created a combined timeline of all the players in an Excel spreadsheet.
Extracted all the references to land found in the Denchfield wills.
Created a Word chart showing all the Denchfield landowners and dates of any land related activity
Here’s a printscreen snapshot of that chart: I love color-coding!
Laying the land transactions out chronologically made everything much more cohesive and confirmed a lot of what I believed to be true based on parish records and wills.
The biggest problem I have with the Denchfield kinships has to do with John Denchfield, iremonger, and his wife Parnell, whose union produced two (…more)
The Church of England began requiring the recording of baptisms, marriages, and burials in 1538 although most parishes did not begin adhering to the rules until around 1600. Still, for a family like the Denchfields of North Marston, who stayed put for the next couple hundred years or so and were important members of their community, those early parish registers are a treasure trove of genealogical gold.
The registers for St. Mary’s, the established church in North Marston, date back to the late 1580s, but they are in bad shape. Before the FHL had a chance to film them, the books sustained water damage, molding the paper and smearing the ink. If that weren’t bad enough, for reasons known only to the culprit, enormous chunks were torn from each of the books, leaving one to wonder what on earth someone was trying to hide. What remained was filmed and (…more)
When John Denchfield, dairyman of North Marston, died in 1799, he left property in North Marston to his sons John and Richard. John inherited the enclosure land which had been allotted to the senior John’s father, John Denchfield, some years before. The fields were situated between the property of Mr. Lewis and Mr. Eaton. Richard, upon reaching full age, was to inherit the John’s messuage near the church, currently occupied by William Buckingham, and the messuage and close John had recently purchased from James Burnham of Winslow. The bulk of John’s estate including, presumably, the house he and his wife Mary lived in, was left jointly to Mary and son John.
Sometime during the next 10 years, this Denchfield family rather inexplicitly relocated to Aston Abbotts. John’s widow Mary, in her 1809 will transcribed here, left small financial bequests to each of her children and grandchildren, with the bulk of her (…more)
In the Name of God, Amen I Mary Dench=
field of the Parish of Aston–Abbots in the County of Bucks
(and Widow of the late John Denchfield of North–Marston~
in the same County Dairyman) being weak in Body but
of sound and perfect memory and Understanding do
make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament,
as follows:— I give and bequeath unto my Son ~~
Richard the Sum of Fourscore Pounds:—I give
unto my Daughter Elizabeth Fifty Pounds:—I give to
my Daughter Sarah, the Wife of John Parrott of East~
Claydon, the Sum of Twenty Pounds:— I give unto my
Daughter Ann, the Wife of William Baker of North–~
Marston aforesaid, Forty Pounds:—I give to Susanna
the Wife of William Curtis (my Daughter) of Denham,
Forty Pounds:—I give unto my Servant and Grand–
son John Chantrel, Twenty pounds, all which before=
mentioned Legacies I desire my (…more)
The very kind Mike Dewey of the Buckinghamshire Family History Society, BFHS, made a visit (several actually) to the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, CBS, on my behalf and sent me images of several Denchfield wills today, including this one made by Henry Denchfield of Quainton in 1662. Thank you Mike Dewey!!!! Although the Internet is a wonderful thing, making available all sorts of records from around the world, there is so much more to be had. Over the next several months, Mike will be scanning manorial records, court rolls, court books, terriers, and village surveys dating back to the 1600s, in search of references to my Denchfields and any clues which may help sort out the jumble of Johns, Richards, Marys and Elizabeths which have haunted me for years. I have nearly exhausted sources available online for my Denchfields, including census records, parish register transcripts, some probate records and land conveyances, (…more)