I’d like to introduce…

Edward George "Ted" Turner

Edward George Turner, known affectionately to his family and friends as Ted, was a kind hearted, gregarious, right jolly English gent, loved by all who knew him. He was born on the 27th of June 1911 at Blake Cottage, Horn Street in Winslow, Buckinghamshire, where his father was employed as head groom to Mr Gosling of Blake House.

And His Lovely Wife…


Miss Phyllis Mary Collins, daughter of William Collins, publican of the George Inn in Winslow, which is where Ted met her one fateful day in the 1930s

Mystery Monday aka The Brick Wall Known as John Denchfield (another in a series)

The Denchfields were an old Buckinghamshire family who entered my paternal British line with the marriage of Ann Denchfield to William Baker on the 1st of May, 1784. The couple married in St. Mary’s Church in North Marston, where Denchfields had been baptized, married, and buried for hundreds of years; certainly before official parish record keeping began in 1600, but unfortunately nothing earlier has survived. The Denchfields’ lives are fairly well documented in North Marston, however their propensity for naming sons John and Richard, leads to an early 18th century brick wall.

Ann Denchfield was 21 when she married William Baker. She had lived all her life in North Marston and was the sixth child produced from the union of John Denchfield and Mary Gurney.

Here is the Denchfield portion of Ann’s Ahnentafal, which runs into its brick wall three generations back [unless otherwise noted, all events took place in North Martson]:

1. Anne DENCHFIELD was baptized 1 May 1773; she died 16 February 1829

2. John DENCHFIELD: was baptized 9 March 1737; he married Mary GURNEY on 8 October 1771; and died 3 November 1799

3. Mary GURNEY, daughter of Robert and Ann GURNEY, was baptized 27 June 1742; she died 9 Sepember 1817 and was buried in Burston, Bucks.

Children of John DENCHFIELD and Mary GURNEY:

Elizabeth DENCHFIELD (b. 21 Jun 1762; died 21 May 1815, in Abbot’s Aston, Burston, Bucks)

Mary DENCHFIELD ( b. 19 August 1764; married James CHANTRAL of Swanburne, Bucks on 25 December 1786 in Swanbourne; died bef 1799)

John DENCHFIELD (b. 2 October 1766; married Ann FLOWERS 19 April 1786; died after 1812)

Ann DENCHFIELD (26 May 1769– 14 July 1770)

Jane DENCHFIELD (13 May 1771; married Joseph BRAZELL on 12 September 1793; death unknown)

(1)  Ann DENCHFIELD (1773–1829)

Sarah DENCHFIELD ( 2 August 1776; death unknown)

Susannah DENCHFIELD (7 September 1778; married William CURTIS on 8 December 1808; death unknown)

Hannah DENCHFIELD (18 September 1780–16 June 1795)

Richard DENCHFIELD, of Boycott (17 January 1783; married Alice BLICK 12 October 1809 in Dunton, Bucks; death before 1871)

4. John DENCHFIELD was born ca 1714-1716*; he married Elizabeth BREWER on 6 January 1736; then married Mary THORNE on 13 April 1773; and died 26 August 1788.

5. Elizabeth BREWER, daughter of Roger BREWER and Sarah THORNE, was baptized in Aylesbury Bucks on 11 March 1716; she died 14 May 1759.

Children of John DENCHFIELD and Elizabeth BREWER:

(2) John DENCHFIELD (1737-1799)

Anne DENCHFIELD (24 September 1739,  married Thomas Stevens on 10 September 1764; death unknown)

Richard DENCHFIED (b. 16 February 1740;  death  unknown)

Mary DENCHFIELD (16 March 1749; married David WARR on 9 September 1771; death 20 August 1772)

Elizabeth DENCHFIELD–Mary’s twin (16 March 1749–buried 18 March 1749)

Elizabeth DENCHFIELD (26 December 1751; married William BULL on 1 January 1774 in Whitchurch; death unknown)

Sarah DENCHFIELD (6 January 1755; married Edward CURTIS on 23 November 1772; death unknown)

* There were two John DENCHFIELDS born about the same time in North Marston: John, son of  John DENCHFIELD and Elizabeth PURCHAS, baptized 19 September 1716; and John, son of Richard DENCHFIELD and his second wife Anne, baptized 5 September 1714. The two babies were first cousins with common grandparents: John DENCHFIELD (yes…ANOTHER John!!!!) and Parnell (possibly née INGRAM). Their fathers, John and Richard, were brothers.

There are three wills made by John Denchfields of North Marston, one probated in 1736, another in 1780, and another in 1799, which may prove helpful in identifying which John Denchfield married Mary Gurney. More on that later….

(Mystery Monday is a blog series hosted by Geneabloggers)



Ecclesiastical events which took place in North Marston:

North Marston St Mary: Parish Register Transcripts [4 parts]. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England. Buckinghamshire Family History Society (BFHS), 2005.

Ecclesiastical events in Buckinghamshire County:

Buckinghamshire Family History Society (BFHS). (Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, U.K.). PDF reporting filtered searches of transcribed parish register databases. 2010. Author’s files.

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21 comments to Mystery Monday aka That Brick Wall Known as John Denchfield (another in a series)

  • Hi Claire, it’s so nice to find another blogger with Buckinghamshire roots! I’ve nominated you as a Lovely Blog.

    • Claire

      Thank you so much Alex :-) How kind of you! Buckinghamshire certainly is a wonderful place – many fond memories of my visits there…wish I could get back more often :-)

  • Anthony Denchfield

    Hi Claire,

    Thanks very much for the brilliant research into the Denchfield family. Edward William Denchfield (b. 1891 in Aston Abbotts) was my grandfather. Over the years I have dabbled ‘off and on’ in our family history but your research and insight puts me to great shame.

    Keep up the good work.

    • Claire

      Thanks for taking a look at my blog Anthony! I have some info on the Aston Abbots if you would like it. I’m not entirely sure how they tie in to North Marston Denchfields but no doubt there’s a link somewhere :-) Here are a few Aston Abbot baptisms from St James the Great Church:

      17 Aug 1818 Henrietta Julia daughter of John & Mary DENCHFIELD of Aston Abbots, Farmer
      21 Mar 1821 Louisa Sophia daughter of John & Mary DENCHFIELD of Burston, Farmer
      14 Jul 1826 Sarah Elizabeth born 22 Feb 1826 daughter of John & Mary DENCHFIELD of Burston, Farmer
      29 Oct 1828 Frederick Richard son of John & Mary DENCHFIELD of Burston in Aston Abbots parish

    • Lynn

      Hi. My grandfather was Vernon Henry Seth Denchfield (born 1899), lived in Wing, married Emma Winifred (known as Wynne) Pantling. Vernon’s father was Albert Edward, his mother was Hester Ann (sorry I dont know her maiden name). Any ideas?

      • Claire

        Hi Lynn

        She was probably Hester Ann FOSTER, who married Albert Edward Denchfield in Leighton Buzzard in the early part of 1896. If you don’t have a subscription to Ancestry I can give you the reference info so you can order their marriage certificate from the GRO.

        Albert appears to have been the son of Seth Denchfield, a wheelwright in Wing, and his wife Ann. Seth was the son of George Denchfield (also a wheelwright) and Sarah Kates, who were married in Wing 27 December 1813, and had 10 children over a span of 22 years (1814-1836). Seth was the ninth child. Other children in the same family were Mathew Badrick (1814), Robert (1816), Thomas (1819), George and Mary Ann (1824), Levi and Lot (1828, Jesse (1830),and Eli (1836).

        Hope this helps!!!!

        My sources for this info were Buckinghamshire Family History Society, paid search of all Denchfield B,M,Ds up to 1837, Ancestry.com for England Marriage Index, National Probate Calendar, and U.K. census records for Wing – 1841-1901.

        Vernon, by the way, received to WWI medals – the Victory and the British – his regiment numbers were 47467, 42105.

        • Lynn

          Hi Claire
          Many thanks for the information. I have Vernon’s medals but not his regimental numbers. Is it usual to have two numbers? In a previous search I discovered two Denchfields who had been in Alyesbury Prison (for minor offences I add!). My brother is the only proper ‘Denchfield’ left as Vernon’s son, Dennis (our father) died in 1997.

          • Claire

            Hi Lynn, Sorry for being so delinquent in my reply, somehow I completely missed your comment this time…. I don’t know about the two numbers, I confess military is not my specialty. Might it have been because he re-enlisted at some point? I did make an interesting discover of Denchfields that lived in Oxfordshire, and I suspect there is a connection to some of our family! I’ll let you know how it goes :-)

  • Anthony Denchfield

    Thanks again for the baptism information, Claire.

    I think that the move to Aston Abbots may have been started by William Denchfield (1791-1863), but I’m not really sure. I believe that at some stage there was a falling out between two Denchfield sons, one getting Upper Burston Farm and the other getting Lower Burston Farm, in Aston Abbots.

    By the way, my wife doesn’t agree about the Denchfield men being a thoughtful bunch. Can’t think why!

    • Claire

      Hey Anthony,

      William was the son of John Denchfield and Ann Flowers. He died testate in 1842, and I’m awaiting the arrival of a copy of his will. Maybe that will hint at what was going on with the Aston Abbot Denchfields…. I find it curious that most of the Denchfield land was gone by the mid 19th century…some of them even ended up as paupers. What happened that members of a family of well-to-do freeholders ended up residents of 19th century almshouses? Never a dull moment with those early Denchfields!

  • [...] an important clue to solving the John Denchfield/Mary Gurney mystery I wrote about previously here. The will was proved on 6 December [...]

  • vanessa webber

    hi just wanted to say a big thank you for all the denchfield information . i have been researching the denchfield famly for ages now as the denchfield family married into the brazell family who are my 3x grandparents jane denchfield 13 may 1771 married joseph brazell 12 sept 1793 joseph brazell born 1 feb 1769 jane denchfield died 1804 in quainton in case that helps you janes mum and dad are john denchfield 9 mar 1737 and mary gurney 27 june 1742 so thanks again

  • Claire

    Hi Vanessa! Jane’s sister Ann was my 4th great grandmother. Always nice to meet a cousin :-) Thanks for the info on her death – I had 1804 down as a possibility was wasn’t sure it was her. Just love those Denchfields!!!!

  • vanessa webber

    hi claire its lovely to here from you ,oh my the denchfields are so confusing as there are so many johns i have just followed all of them so i try not to miss anything .there are denchfields all over north marston so its such hard work to get the right line .
    if you need any help just let me know i have the north marston parish registers at home i can try and look up births marridges or deaths of the denchfields

    • Claire

      I’ve had to take the same approach Vanessa. Tracking the entire clan is the only way to make any sense of it. I’ve got the North Marston transcripts as well. I’d love to compare notes and I’d love to hear your take on the two John Denchfields born in the early 1700s – John and Elizabeth Purchas’s son, baptized 19 Dec 1716, and Richard and Ann’s son, baptized 5 Sep 1714. The question of the day is…..Which one married Elizabeth Brewer?? I’ve come to the conclusion that he was John’s son, for a whole host of reasons. Not sure my argument stands up to the standard of proof however, so I’m always eager to hear how other historians have interpreted the available records. The companion question to that is, what became of the other John? I can’t find a burial record anywhere in Bucks, and there only appears to have been one young adult John Denchfield roaming around North Marston in mid 1700s.

      The other question that is haunting me these days is this – Did the John Denchfield who married Mary Gurney marry a second time later in life? I seem to be in the minority who believes he did not. A great many published genealogies show he took a second wife, Mary Thorne (or the strangely non-existent, but still popular Mary Lanbourne)and that this second Mary bore five of his ten children. From my analysis of the registers and probate records, it seems highly unlikely In fact, I believe it was John’s father (widower of Elizabeth Brewer) who married Mary Thorne toward the end of his life. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!!

  • vanessa webber

    hi claire ,hope you are well just spent most of yesterday going over the denchfields blimey what a headache ,i think the john who married elizabeth brewer was john and elizabeth purchas son also ,when i go to aylesbury record office when kids go back to school i will go and see if the marridge says who the parents were i dont think it will but i will have a look,also i dont think john married twice i have mary gurneys death at 1816 aged 75 so she was born 1741 which i think is correct ,there is also a mary who died in 1784 and says wife of john snr, so i really dont know , i have 4 deaths of johns 1673 son of john, john 1736 (malster) ,john 1788(yeoman) and john 1799(yeoman), i will have to go over to aylesbury and go over all this again

    • Claire

      Hi Vanessa,
      I have the wills for all four of those Johns. John sr’s wife Mary was Mary Thorne. I’ve seen the North Marston registers on microfilm and unfortunately I didn’t see any helpful details, although some of the relevent entries were quite faded. As I mentioned before, I do have a couple of reports on the Denchfields which I’m hoping might interest the BFHS. They’re still a bit rough but I’d be happy to send them to you via email.

  • A hyperlink to this web site was at search engine result AD veteran Themelis Cuiper’s list of recommended storys – you are doing a brilliant job as he is pointing towards you? :

  • [...] Monday: 1814 Will of John Denchfield of Burston House 21 November 2011, at 8:41 am When John Denchfield, dairyman of North Marston, died in 1799, he left property in North Marston to his sons John and [...]

  • My researched Denchfield line is in the US with the emigration of Joseph Denchfield (b1842). His parents were Richard Denchfield (b1808) and Sarah Ann Durley of Whitechurch, Buckinghamshire married about 1835. Any assistance tracing their families before that time would be appreciated.

    • Claire

      Hi Jamie, Always nice to here from another Denchfield cousin!! My research shows Richard Denchfield married Sarah Ann Durley at Whitchurch, Bucks, on 18 November 1833. They were both of Whitchurch and were married by Banns. Witnesses were Thomas and Mary Ann Denchfield.

      For source, see Ecclesiastical events in Buckinghamshire County:

      Buckinghamshire Family History Society (BFHS). (Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, U.K.). PDF reporting filtered search of Denchfield (and variants) marriages for 1550-1840 of the society’s parish register databases. 2010. Author’s files.

      I’m happy to share whatever I have on this family. Feel free to send an email via the contact tab at the top of the screen :-)

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