Alan March’s Family History
This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines, and some go back many generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Alan’s as (1)(1)
WILLIAM MARCH and JOAN RASON (10)
WILLIAM MARCH. We have traced the Marches back to the baptism of Willlam March in 1676 in the village of Wisborough Green in West Sussex. He was the son of William March and Joan Rason.
The date of their marriage in 1672 would lead us to expect a baptism for the older William around 1647. The nearest to that we have found is in the village of Dunsfold, Surrey.
1640 Dec 16 William the son of William March
Twelve days previously, there is a baptism for Thomas son of William March. There do not appear to be two William Marches raising children at the same time. Thomas may have been a twin, baptised at birth because he was thought unlikely to live.
Dunsfold is 7 miles north of Wisborough Green in West Sussex, where William raised his own children, and in a different county. But Wisborough Green is an unusually long thin parish, extending a long way north to the Surrey border. William could have moved into the parish from Dunsfold and still have been nearer to Dunsfold village than to the village of Wisborough Green.
This baptism should, however, be treated with caution. It would make William 32 when he married, rather older than usual, though not excessively so. He might have been baptised in a parish whose registers do not go back that far. A number of parishes had interruptions to their parish registers in the Commonwealth period of the 1650s.
On the positive side, there is no evidence of this William March raising a family in Dunsfold.
If this is the right baptism, then William’s mother was most likely Cecily Collin, of nearby Hambledon.
He was the youngest of six children, at least one of whom had already died.
His mother died when he was twelve.
There were a number of Marches in Dunsfold, and some at least were wealthy landowners.
“In the 16th century the manor of Burningfold [in Dunsfold parish] was in the possession of William March and John his son, and in 1569 of John’s son Richard March. In 1604 William March sold the manor, and all manorial rights, and the ironworks there to George Duncombe for £886.”
“There were iron forges, or furnaces, in the 16th century in the parish. Thomas Gratwyck and Richard March owned three in Dunsfold.” 
Our William March’s son was a husbandman, farming on a small scale. It was not uncommon for younger sons of landed families to slip down the social scale as their older brothers inherited the family estates.
The Dunsfold registers only go back to 1628, so we are unable to find the older William March’s parentage.
There is a court case concerning the personal estate of William March of Dunsfold dated 1664. This was probably soon after his death.
It is still only a possibility that William March of Wisborough Green came from Dunsfold, but it is consistent with the evidence.
Even if this is not the right baptism, the proximity of the parishes makes it likely that the Dunsfold and Wisborough Green families were related at some point in the past.
William’s son, William junior, was a husbandman, so it is likely that William senior was too. He would have had a small farm.
JOAN RASON. No baptism has been found for her.
They were married in Stopham, 5 miles south of Wisborough Green, where they later brought up their children.
1672 Dec 17 William March and Joan Rason
We have found three baptisms at Wisborough Green, a village just west of Billingshurst. There is a long gap between William and John, so there may have been others.
Baptisms. Wisborough Green.
1674 May 17 Mary
1675/6 Jan 11 William
1682/3 Jan 17 John
Wisborough Green is a village near the floodplain of the River Arun. The houses are set around a large village green and pond.
The church of St Peter ad Vincula stands on high ground. There are features of the building that have led to suggestions that it may have begun as a Saxon castle. The door is high enough for a mounted horseman to ride through.
When they attended church, the Marches would have seen the 12th-century wall paintings.
St Peter ad Vincula, Wisborough Green
We have not found burials for either Joan or William.
NEXT GENERATION: 9. MARCH-REEVES