British Army Records 1914-1920

Some Tingewick men who appear in the British Army records 1914-1920

[last update: 1st Sept 2014]

Albert John Aris, ‘Canteen Steward’, born 1880, son of John and Maria (Greaves): Royal Garrison Artillery: signed up 13 Oct 1914: discharged (having been promoted several times, finally to rank of Sgt) 26 June 1919.  He must have been an impressive sight – relatively tall at 5 ft 10½ and weighing 182 lbs when he enlisted, he had a 42 in chest and a number of tattoos – “flags on inside of left arm, & figure of General Butler on forearm & faith home & charity, also figures on right arm, Lord Kitchener &c”.  He appears to have joined the army for 6 years in 1898, which he extended for a further 6 years in August 1905 while serving as a gunner in Gibraltar.  He also served in Sierra Leone, South Africa and Malta, finally discharged from the regular army in 1913, after nearly 16 years’ service, during which he had been promoted to Bombardier but had reverted to Gunner at his own request!

Thomas George Barnes, labourer, born 1880, son of  Joseph and Mary Ann: enlisted 10 Nov 1914 but two weeks later: “Discharged – not being likely to become an efficient soldier under para 392(111)(c) Kings Regulations” – signed by the colonel commanding the 8th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.  He appeared before a medical board but there is no record of any physical disability.

William Ambrose Cross Neale, shoemaker, born 1879, son of Elizabeth Neale enlisted 30th June 1915 in the Army Services Corps. His army record shows his ‘physical development’ was ‘poor’ and he wore glasses.  He sailed to France aboard SS ‘Lydia‘ in July 1915 and joined 16 Labour Coy at Rouen: he was absent from roll call in November and lost 3 days’ pay!  He was invalided to England (T.S. ‘Panama‘) on 12 March 1916 and admitted to Manchester Western Hospital suffering from ‘Debility‘ caused by diarrhoea and vomiting, and with sleep problems.  Six weeks later he was discharged from hospital with his weight regained and sleep improved but on 21st June 1916 he received a “Discharge being no longer physically fit for work” and was awarded a pension of 4/8d per week.  His medical notes ale show that he had a slight heart murmur.

George Alfred Richardson, clerk, born 1890, son of James and Louisa was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.  His citation reads:

“265046 CSM G.A. Richardson MM 1/1st Bn. TF (Tingewick) (ITALY)
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion
to duty during the attack north of
Asiago on 1st November 1918, when in
face of heavy machine-gun, rifle and
shell fire he did magnificent work in
reorganising the men on the various
objectives and leading them forward.
By his cheerfulness and coolness he set
a very fine example to all about him.
(25.2.20)”

Reginald George Benjamin Steeden, farmer, born 1884, son of James and Jane (nee Paxton) enlisted at Bletchley Recruiting Office on 14 December 1915 and was appointed to the 96th Territorial Reserve Battalion – perhaps because of his occupation.  However, he appears to have seen at least one spell in the British Expeditionary Force at the end of September 1917.

James Arthur Stuchfield, railway porter born 1891, son of George and Elizabeth (Lucas) joined the Grenadier Guards 31st August 1908 and was discharged into the Reserves after three years service.  He was mobilised as part of the Expeditionary Forces on 5th August 1914 – the day after war was declared.  He was wounded in the leg in September 1916 and returned to the UK where he remained until he was again transferred to the reserves in June 1918.

Abel Townsend, platelayer with the L & N W railway, was a relative newcomer to the village.  He was born in Mixbury but his family had moved to Finmere before the 1891 census, and he had presumably set up home in Tingewick when he married.  His daughter Beatrice had been baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in October 1906.  He was attested in December 1915 but was medically classified “B1″ and kept ‘on reserve’ until March 1917, when he was finally posted to Egypt with the Railway Company, Royal Engineers, as a platelayer / sapper.  He was transferred out in April 1919 with “Lumbago & Sciatica, following Dysentery (attributed)” – 40% disablement and awarded a pension – initially – of 11/- per week.  He appears to have contracted Amoebic Dysentery in Palestine in October 1918, when he was admitted to hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting.

The items in his possession on admission to hospital in Cairo were inventoried as: 1 pair drawers, 1 pair gaiters, 1 pair putties, 2 flannel shire, 3 pairs socks, 1 towel, 1 pair trousers, a fork, a holdall, a clasp knife and a table knife and a spoon, a haversack, boots with laces, braces, shaving and tooth brush, cap with badge, hair comb, tropical helmet, and razor in a case.  His medical notes are also quite comprehensive – perhaps a little too graphic, considering his ailment, but fascinating as a window into that aspect of life in the Great War.  They even include his temperature chart!

================

ALSO:

William Ball, born 1881, enlisted in the Northamptonshire Regiment in 1903 and served in South Africa.  In 1906 he married Martha Jane Stuchbury at Hillesden: she lived in Tingewick, and her daughters (Celia May and Ethel) were born there in 1903 and 1908.  William served in France in 1914 and 1915: he was severely wounded / gassed on 25th September 1915 and was discharged 30 March 1916.

Deaths of Henry William Judd 1891-1926 and Mrs N. B. Judd d. 1936

[spotted by Sue Dudley]

OBITUARY. (1924, March 24). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 6.
Retrieved August 17, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23724633

screen-capture-9OBITUARY.
MR. H. W. JUDD
It is with very great regret that we
announce the death, which occurred with
unexpected suddenness last evening, of
Mr. Henry William Judd, an esteemed
member of “The Mercury” literary staff.
He was a highly capable journalist, and,
by reason of his genial disposition, had
endeared himself to a wide circle of
friends in every part of the State.
Coming to Tasmania from England ,
thirty odd years ago, deceased began his
career in Hobart as a reporter on the
“Tasmanian News,” on which paper his
ability and never-failing courtesy earned
for him marked popularity with all with
whom he came in contact. Later he
transferred to the Hobart staff of “The
Mercury,” where, during his whole
period of sevice, he was held in the
highest esteem by both the management
and his fellow colleagues. After being
located in the head office tor some years
he was appointed manager of the Zee-
han branch of “The Mercury” office, and
later still manager of the branch at
Launceston., At both centres he took a
keen interest in mining, and was recog-
nised as an authority on the subject. A
little over two years ago Mr. Judd re-
turned to Habart, and made his home at
Douglas-street, New Town, where his
demise took place in such tragic circum- |
stances last evening. Speaking to a mem-
bers of the staff yesterday afternoon
concerning his trip to Beaconsfield,
from which place he hud returned only
the previous evening, after representing
“The Mercury” at the annual show, de-
ceased appeared to be in the best of
health. When at home later in the even-
ing, however, it would appear that he
was seized with a fit of coughing, dur-
ing which he expired.
Deceased, who was fifty-nine years of
age, leaves a widow and two daughters,
one of whom is married, and one son,
Mr. J. Judd.

Deceased, in addition to being a most
capable journalist, showed ability as a
photographer, his Illustrated .’Guide to
the West Coast,” which he first publish-
ed several years ago, being a production
of outstanding merit. In his youth he
played cricket with the old Wellington
Club, and met with a good deal of sic-
sess, particularly as a bowler. His main
hobby was gardening.

 

Funeral of Hr H.W. Judd

THE LATE MR. H. W. JUDD.
THE FUNERAL.
The funeral of the late Mr H W. Judd,
of “The Mercury” Literary Staff, took
place yesterday afternoon, the remains
being interred at Cornelian Bay ceme-
tery There was a large and represen-
tative gathering, old comrades of the
deceased from all parts of the State at-
tending to pay their last tribute.
Amongst those gathered at the grave-
side were Messrs E A Counsel,, ISO
(representing the Minister for Lands),
\V A Pretyman (Secretary for Mines,
representing the Minister for Mines),
J K Reid (Clerk of the House of As-
sembly, who represented the Speaker,
Hon. J. W. Evans, C M G ), C D Chep-
mell (Clerk of the Legislativo Council),
G Crosby Gilmore (Police Magistrate),
D O’Keefe M.H.R., Selby Wilson, Luke
Williams, J Earle, Hon E Mulcahy, and
Colonel R Eccles Snowden, M. H. A. All
departments of “The Mercury” were
represented, those present including
Messrs C. R. Davies (chairman of direc-
tors) C. B. Davies (a director), W.H.
Cummins (General Manager), W H Sim-
monds (Editor), and L Broinowski (As-
sociate Editor). The “World” staff, of
which Mr J. Judd, deceased’s son, is a
member, was also strongly represented,
the editor (Mr. J. M. Mackay) being in-
cluded in their number. Mr G. Hogarth
( Daily Telegraph,” Launceston), and Mr
S. Blackburn (‘ Examiner,” Launceston),
also represented the Launceston
sub-branch of the Australian Journalists’
Association The Tasmanian district of
[photo] THE LATE MR. H. W. JUDD.
the A.J.A. of which the late Mr Judd
had recently been president and on
the executive of which he represented
Ihe Launceston sub-branch at the time
of his death, was represented
by the president (Mr J Chap-
man), secretary (Mr A. O’Brien),
and members of the committee. The
pall bearers were Messrs C. R. Davies,
W HI Cummins, J M Mackay, and M
O’Brien The chief mourners comprised
Messrs J Judd (son), E Judd (brother),
and T R Lee (son in law) Numerous
beautiful floral tributes were placed on
the grave, including tokens fiom the
following. -Proprietors of ‘The Mer-
cury ‘ and ‘ Illustrated Tasmanian Mail,”
General Manager of “The Mercury” and
“Illustrated Tasmanian Mail” (Mr W
H Cummins), and Mrs Cummins, “The
Mercury” Literary Staff, Premier and
State Ministers, Hobart Regatta Associa-
tion, Tasmanian District AJA, “Exami
ner” Literary Staff, editor of ‘The Mer-
cury,” editor of the “Illustrated Tas-
manian Mail,” ind Launceston sub-dis
tact AJA. The services at the house
and graveside were conducted by the
Rev J H Wills (Anglican), who at the
graveside paid a tribute to the deceased’s
many fine qualities. Mr Judd had, he
said, led a life that was upright and hon-
ourable and his work had been heartily
and thoroughly performed He had done
his duty in a manner which all should
try to emulate He had been honoured
and esteemed The funeral arrange-
ments were carried out by Messrs Clark
Bros


 

LATE MR. H. W. JUDD. (1924, March 25). The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 6.

Retrieved August 23, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article23724908

The Premier's Tribute

LATE MR. H. W. JUDD.
THE PREMIER’S TRIBUTE.
The Premier (Hon J A Lyons) stated
yesterday that it was his desire on be-
half of the Government and himself
to give expression to their sympathy
with the relatives of the late Mr H.
W. Judd of “The Mercury” staff whose
painfully sudden death occurred on Sun-
day night He said that, with other
Ministers he had had ample oppor-
tunity of seeing the late Mr Judd’s
work from time to time and of coming
into close touch with bim official!y
They had always received the greatest
courtesy from him. His duties had
always been carried out in a gentlemanly
and capable manner He wanted
particularly to say that neither Minis-
ters nor members had had cause to com-
plain that any of Mr Judd’s reports of
speeches in the House of elsewhere had
ever been inaccurate 0r unfair. General-
ly, they regretted his loss very much
Mr D D Griffin writes -As ne
who had the privilege and pleasure -
and it was a pleasure-of intimate ac-
quaintance with the genial Mr. Judd, I
was grieved to hear of his sudden de-
mise, so entirely unexpected by his
numerous friends in the North-West and
on the West Coast as well as elsewhere
Apart from his marked ability as a
journalist, he had a most affable, always
the same disposition. Few men took
more interest in mining or were better
versed in its prospects than Mr Judd.
Only recently I had a chat with him
anent prospects of a genuine mining re-
vival and the prospect there was of
opening up what we both hoped may
prove i great mining field in this State.
And now, alas, he has suddenly gone
out into the unknown across the Great
Divide. ____________

 

OBITUARY MRS. N. B. JUDD. (1936, June 8). The Mercury(Hobart, Tas. : 1860 – 1954), p. 6.
Retrieved August 17, 2014, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article25207766

 

OBITUARYscreen-capture-8

MRS. N. B. JUDD 

Journalistic Associations

Funeral at Cornelian Bay
Mrs. Nona Belairs Judd, wife to the
late Mr: Henry William Judd, and
mother of the late Mr. Jack Judd, died
at her home, Tingewick, Douglas Street,
New Town, on Friday. Mr. H. W. Judd
and Mr. J. Judd, were well-known Tas
manian journalists, and each, at the
time of his death, was a member of the
literary staff of “The Mercury.” Mr. H.
W. Judd was at one time manager of
the Northern office of “The Mercury.”
The late Mrs. Judd is survived by two
daughters, Mrs..T. R. Lee, of Ivanhoe,
Victoria, and Mrs. H. C. Tanner, of
Ranelaghlagh, Tasmania.
The funeral took place yesterday at
Cornelian Bay cemetery, and the chief
mourners were Messrs. J. Tibballs
(brother), T. Lee and H. C. Tanner
(sons-in-law), C A. Bennetto, A. Ben-
netto and H. Bennetto (nephews).
Among those at the graveside, where
a service was conducted by Canon C.
W. Wilson, were the Lord Mayor (Mr.
J. J . Wignall), Aldermen W. J. Rennie
and W. W. Osborne, the managing
editor of “The Mercury” (Mr. F..Usher),
the chief of staff of “The Mercury”
Mr. C. G. Patman) and the deputy
chief of staff’ (Mr. A. G. Bradley), the
president of’ the Australian Journal-
ists’ Association, Tasmania district (Mr.
R. W. Brooks), Col. R. A. Rafferty,
Messrs. W. L. Grace and J. Lonergan,
Clark Bros. were the funeral direc-
tors.

Tingewick Male Fashion in 1754

Spotted by Sue in Australia in the Oxford Journal in February 1754

“Whereas Edward Jakeman and Thomas Day, both of
the Parish of Tingewick in the County of Bucks,
on the fifteenth Day of December last past, made their
Escape from the Constable and others, as they were con-
ducting them to Aylesbury Gaol for a Burglary.  Who-
ever shall apprehend the said Jakeman and Day, and send
Notice thereof to Mr. John Peake of Tingewick aforesaid,
shall receive Ten Guineas and reasonable Charges or five
Guineas for either of them by me

JOHN PEAKE.

Jakeman is a lusty Man, dark brown curled Hair, has a
large hooked Nose, fresh Colour, about forty Years of
Age; had on when he escaped, a coarse Sacking Frock,
a white Flannel Waistcoat, and Sacking Breeches.  Day is
a sprightly Man, of a fair Complexion, about five Feet
eight Inches high, light-coloured Hair, has but the Sight
of one Eye, the other having a large Speck over it, about
thirty Years of Age; had on when he escaped, a brown
Drab-coloured Coat, and Boots, but has been since seen
near Buckingham in a Light Grey Frock, Scarlet Waist-
coat, and Boots.”

Alas, I can’t add much more to the tale: Edward Jakeman would have been born around 1715.  Was he the brother of Hemmins Jakeman, son of John (born 1721 in Stratton Audley) who came to Tingewick in March 1740 as an apprentice cordwainer (a type of shoemaker), marrying local girl Elizabeth Reeves nearly three years later  and baptising two sons in Tingewick?  According to a family tree on Ancestry, Hemmings John Jakeman did have a brother Edward, born 1715, who married Bridget Hearn in Stratton Audley in 1745 and died in Preston Bissett in 1782 … so it seems he wasn’t one of the unfortunates who was transported to the colonies for his crimes.

There was also a Mary Day of Tingewick who married Mordecai Burnham at Stowe in 1751: a sister perhaps of the absconding felon?

John Peake, on the other hand, was a man of property and substance: at his marriage to Anne Perkins in 1745 at Finmere, he is given the honorary title of “Mister” and she of “Mistress”: and he was allocated several portions of land in the Tingewick Inclosure of 1774.  Presumably it was his house which had been burgled by Jakeman and Day?

Tingewick World War I project

To commemorate the centenary of the start of WW1 members of Tingewick Historical Society  are researching Tingewick’s WW1 soldiers who are named on our village war memorials.   We would love to hear from people descended from those families who have photographs or stories to share with us.  Over one hundred Tingewick men fought in World War One and, while we are currently researching those that died, we would also be pleased to hear from descendants of any of the men who survived.  If you have any information please contact Ruth Roy ruthroy@hotmail.com  or Lorraine Carter   lorraine.carter@btinternet.com (and, perhaps, add details here as a comment)

Crime and punishment – 1803-1830

From the Buckinghamshire Quarter Sessions, extracted from the National Archives website:

Michaelmas, 1803

R. v (Prisoner’s name not given), Tingewick, No details of offence Witness: Nicholas Franklin, overseer of Tingewick

Michaelmas, 1805

R. v Nicholas Franklin (tailor), Tingewick, Misdemeanour Witness: John Price, keeper of Tingewick, Workhouse

Easter session 1819:

R. v William Matthews Tingewick, Stealing 3 yards British Lace, value 10s.6d., and also a Lace Box, value 1s. property of Mary Moss. Witnesses: James Cross, Tingewick, Mary Moss, Tingewick, lace-worker. Richard Perkins, Buckingham, lace dealer at Winslow. Hennah Skelton, sister-in-law of prisoner. Thomas Dickens, constable of Tingewick. – Bradford, Guilty – 12 months’ imprisonment, hard labour, and to be publicly whipped 200 yards, once in Tingewick and once in Buckingham, on a market day.

Michaelmas 16th October 1821

R. v Susan Swift Buckingham, Sending threatening letters to Mainwaring Davies, Esq., with the purpose of extorting money from him, charging him with the crime of sodomy Witnesses: Mainwaring Davies, Esq. (Mr. Adolphus), of Addington House, nr. Buckingham (78 years old), Capt. Dayrell, William Gunn, Tingewick, Thomas Dickens, Not guilty.
R. v Susan Swift and Richard Sabine Buckingham, Conspiracy Witnesses: Richard Dayrell, Esq., Rev. Mr. Reed, “the other magistrate” – King, clerk of the magistrates Mr. Davis, Not guilty.

Appeals  …  Tingewick v Little Horwood, Pauper not named, lived with Mr. Scott of Tingewick, Order quashed.

Michaelmas Session, 1821 (a different copy / extract for the same session)

R. v Susan, otherwise Susannah, Swift, [Addington], Sending letters to Mainwaring Davies, Esq., threatening to accuse him with crime punishable by law with death, with intent to extort money. Witnesses: Mainwaring Davies, of Addington House, Richard Dayrell, Esq., magistrate. William Gunn, of Tingewick. Thomas Dickins. Not Guilty
R. v Richard Savin Susan, otherwise Susannah Swift. [Addington], Conspiring to extort from Mainwaring Davies, Esq. £600 by threatening to accuse him with the crime of sodomy. Witnesses: Evidence of Mr. Davies in last prosecution admitted. Richard Dayrell, Rev. J.T.A. Reed, magistrate [Incomplete, as page torn from book]

Tingewick v Little Horwood Witnesses: John Walton, who lived with Mr. Scott at Tingewick, pauper. Wm. Scott. Order quashed.

Easter Session, 1822

R. v Wm. Ellard, Tingewick, Assaulting Wm. Everett, Constable, in execution of his office Witnesses: Wm. Everett, constable of Tingewick, John Wells, publican of “The Crown” Guilty – to be imprisoned 2 months in Common Gaol and to enter into sureties to keep peace for 2 years especially towards Wm. Everett.

Epiphany 1823

R. v William Harris, John Grantham, Tingewick [near Paper Hill Spinney, adjoining Bennett's Close, near mill], For being armed with bludgeons and entering a wood and close with the intent of killing game at night. Witnesses: William Bateman, constable, James Verney, Joshua Lawrence, Thomas Ayres, William Spencer, keeps the Cross Keys at Buckingham, Thomas Lewis, lives at Gawcott (with the accused when the crime was committed), Mr. Stow, the surgeon of Buckingham, Mr. H – ? Both guilty – 7 years’ transportation

Misdemeanours  [no ref. or date] – 1828?

R. v Edward Hervey, Tingewick, Assault on William Kew, on 10th April. Witnesses: William Kew, keeps the Royal Oak at Tingewick, George Nelson, Butcher at Buckingham. Guilty: 6 weeks’ imprisonment.

Easter Session, 20 April 1830

R. v Harten Tompkins [aged 38], Tingewick, Stealing 2 bushels of wheat, 17/6, property of his master, Wm Treadwell [no date given] Pleaded guilty: 9 months’ hard labour.

Buckingham Advertiser, Saturday January 15, 1898

1898-01-12-clipping—- 0 —

TINGEWICK

WEDDING. — The marriage of Mr. John Tompkins, of Spring Cottage, Buckingham, with Mrs. F. Steeden, of Church View, Tingewick, was solemnised at the the Parish Church, on Wednesday, January 12th, the Rev. W.J.B. Hancock (curate) officiating.  The bride, who was attired in navy blue, with bonnet to match, was given away by Mr. Atkins, of London.  Her bridesmaids were Miss Steeden (daughter), and Miss Thompson (niece), and they wore dresses of light grey trimmed with red silk, with hats to match.  Mr. Thomas Bonner, of Buckingham, accompanied the bridegroom as best man.  The guests included Miss Richardson, Mrs. Atkins, Mrs. Bonner, and Miss Alcock.  Merry peals were rung on the bells during the day, and also at Buckingham, where the bridegroom was a ringer for over half a century.

SOIREE. — An invitation soiree was again arranged this year, on the same lines as that held last year.  Invitations were sent out by the Committee to a large number of persons in the village and neighbourhood, and about 90 responded to the invite, and put in an appearance at the Board Schools, on Friday evening, January 7th, the charge being 1/6 gents, and 1/- ladies.  The Schools had been cosily arranged by the following Committee:– Mrs Richmond, Mrs. Hadland, Mrs. Barrett, Mrs. Lever, Miss Gomme, Miss Miller, Miss Thompson, Mr. Richmond (Chairman), Mr. Barnes, Mr. Woodman, Mr. Dudley, Mr. F. Hadland, and Mr. Goss, Mr. Stanley acting as Secretary, and they were very assiduous in their efforts to make the evening an enjoyable one.  A long and varied programme had been arranged, including games, singing and dancing, and all were entered into with much spirit.  During the evening, light refreshments were handed round at intervals.  The Committee had secured the services of Mrs. Lever at the piano, which was kindly lent by Mr. Richmond, Mr. Judd with piccolo, and Mr. G. Neale with the violin.  Several of the company had volunteered to sing, among these being Mr. J. Baker, Mr. G. Neale, Miss F. Barnes, Mr. E. Pollard, and Mr. G. Pollard, and altogether an enjoyable evening was spent.  A meeting of the Committee was held on Wednesday evening last, when the accounts were presented, and showed a deficit of 1/7, which was paid out of the balance on last year’s account.  The balance now in the Treasurer’s hands being 18/4.

Tingewick – in sound and vision

Jane Munro (grand-daughter of Reginald Steeden) has just sent me links to two wonderful recordings.  The first is of Frank Ayres, talking in 1957 about badger-hunting in Tingewick Woods, and of his dog being attacked by pigs there (they probably belonged to my late father-in-law!).  Frank was apparently born in 1874: I don’t have a record of him in my database, but there is a Frank Ayres who is a probable match who was born and lived in nearby Chackmore.

Jane also sent me a  newspaper cutting (see below) from 1949 which her mother had kept: to her astonishment and delight, she tracked down the film here:

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/banking-and-the-farmer

BANKING AND THE FARMER

- a wonderful period piece with, after about 9 minutes, a brief view of Buckingham NFU, meeting in the Town Hall there, with her grandfather Reg Steeden standing up to pose a question.

Many, many thanks to Jane, and if anyone comes across any similar gems, would love to hear about them!

Bankers and the Farmer

William Gough 1723-1793: a cautionary tale

Many years ago – December 2000, if not before – I appear to have imported a Gedcom file relating to the Gough family into my database.  The relevant emails have long since vanished but ten years later another Gough descendant wrote an excellent article for ‘Origins‘, the Buckinghamshire Family History Society magazine, which still makes me blush.  In it he said:

“A relatively short time ago I discovered a Gough family tree posted on a certain popular family history website … I was disheartened to find this same attribution had become an online commonplace, apparently accepted without question.”

Yes, that “popular family history website” was mine, and once again guilt drives me to repeat what Graham proves beyond all reasonable doubt – that the William Gough who married Alice Bland nee Hatton  was baptised in Heyford Warren (now Upper Heyford) in Oxfordshire, not Upton-cum-Chalvey in Buckinghamshire.

Anglicans, Baptists and Mormons – the Johnson family

On 26th February 1837, two-month-old Sarah Fountain Johnson from Northall (Bedfordshire) was baptised at Tingewick parish church along with her parents.  Adult baptisms – although unusual – are not unheard-of: my late father-in-law’s father was born in Padbury in 1871, shortly before the family moved to Tingewick.  He was, as far as I can discover, never baptised until a week before his 60th birthday, when he travelled to the family’s original parish (Lacey Green near Princes Risborough) for the ceremony.

Sarah’s parents were Benjamin and Charlotte (nee Budd); her grandfather, William  Johnson, was baptised at Tingewick in 1775, as had been his sister Ann in 1771.  Ann had married in the parish church in 1795, (witnessed, perhaps, by another sister, Catharine) but neither William nor their father John is recorded in Tingewick in the Posse Commitatus of 1798.

An email two years ago directed me to a history of the Johnson family on the FamilySearch website.  The link at the time failed to load … or it may be that, as now, the file viewer takes so long to display that I had given up.

That history quotes “The Baptists of Northall 1802-1969” by R.F. Broadfoot:

“In one of these churches [founded by John Wesley], at Eaton Bray, in Bedfordshire, a young lay preacher, William Johnson by name, was actively engaged in his itinerant ministry among the surrounding villages.  For some time his superintendent minister and the circuit officers had been critical of the young man’s independence of outlook, and sought to confine his preaching activities to those places to which he had been allocated by the Methodist ‘plan’.  To this he could not agree and accordingly, late in the year 1802, he left the Methodists and, together with some twenty others, formed an ‘independent church’ at Northall, just over the borders of Buckinghamshire.”

In 1805 he was pastor of the new church, and in 1807, when the group adopted Believers’ Baptism, William was in the first group to be baptised.

Why, then, did his son and daughter-in-law take their new baby  30-miles back to Tingewick in late winter – and be themselves christened at the same time?

One family story says that the child was named after a maternal aunt, who promised a legacy; another suggests (wrongly) that only children who appear in Church of England registers can inherit property from their fathers.  The second reason is wrong – it is the legitimacy of the parents marriage which matters, and  even if Benjamin and Charlotte believed it to be the case, they would surely have gone to the local church where they were living.

The obvious explanation is that they had become unhappy with William’s Baptist church, but – to avoid embarrassing William by a public split – had gone to a church where his parishioners would be unlikely to learn of it.

Matters did not end there, though.

In April 1846, Benjamin was baptised into the Mormon church Whipsnade by an American missionary; three weeks later, Charlotte joined him in their new faith.  By the end of the year, Benjamin had been ordained and under his leadership the Edlesborough branch became the largest in nineteenth century Buckinghamshire.

Benjamin died in 1853, just weeks after his father.  Charlotte sold everything, intending to to move to Utah to join the church community there.  Alas, all the money was stolen by a missionary entrusted to take it to Liverpool to pay the families sea passage.  It would be another eleven years before they finally embarked and, eventually reached Salt Lake City.

The Steeden family in Tingewick

richard_steedenI have just heard from a Steeden descendant, fifth cousin (I think) to my daughter.   She was enormously excited to be able to trace the family name back to 17th century Northamptonshire, using information from the Tingewick family group sheets.

Ah, but can she?

Certainly, I am confident that ALL the Steeden folk from Tingewick are descended from one couple – James Steeden and Sara Markham who married on Christmas Day 1770.

Sara was Tingewick born and bred – baptised in October 1741, her parents were Thomas Markham (1716-1769) and Catherine Poulton (bur. 1752 at Tingewick).  The Markham line is reasonably clear, linking back four more generations to the start of parish registers and beyond in Tingewick.

James Steeden, though, was an incomer.  According to the marriage register, he was from Charleton … but the next question is, which one?  There are three obvious candidates – two in Oxfordshire and one in Northamptonshire – but my money is on the one in Northamptonshire.  It’s now combined with Newbottle (which used to be the dominant hamlet) two miles east of Kings Sutton.  When I visited the graveyard some years ago I found – not Steeden graves – but Markham ones in quantity.  My main reason for linking the family to Chartlton/Newbottle, though, was finding (pre-internet search) what appeared to be plausible entries for the family on the old fiche-based IGI.

steeden_bros_1Now of course I knew that the IGI was seriously flawed: but (for my sins) I built the hypothetical tree  in my database which in due course grew into the Tingewick website.

Do I still think the family came from Newbottle?  I’m not sure.  The old IGI entries I found have not been carried through to the modern, cleaned-up online FamilySearch IGI.  But that DOES have a plausible baptism in 1745 in Bloxham – less than ten miles to the west of Charlton/Newbottle – and still with William as the father’s name.  And I have found references in the London Gazette to the bankruptcy of a Daniel Steeden in 1845.  He was a cattle dealer … the same trade followed by the Steeden families in Tingewick.

Conclusive?   No, but a straw in the wind.