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)

Monk Tree



HENRY MONK was the fourth in a series of Henry Monks who had been farming in the adjacent parishes of Stone and Waddesdon for generations.

He was baptised at St Michael and all Angels in Waddesdon on 27 Jun 1816, the son of Henry Monk, farmer, and his wife Mary née Eustace, of Sheepcott Hill..

Waddesdon is a village in Buckinghamshire 6 m NW of Aylesbury. Sheepcott Hill stands SE of the village, halfway between Waddesdon and the next village of Stone, where Henry’s father came from.

Henry was the oldest of four children, and the only son.

In the 1841 census, we find him on his parents’ farm. The hamlet of Eythrope included Sheepcote Hill.

1841 Census. Eythrope, Waddesdon, Aylesbury.
Henry Monk       50        Farmer        Y
Mary Monk         50                           Y
Henry Monk       20                           Y
James Southam    15        M S             Y
Mary Dearing       20        F S              Y

MS  and FS are male and female servants.

Ages have been rounded down to the nearest 5.


In the next census, ages are given more accurately.
Henry junior is still unmarried.

1851 Census. Shapcott Hill, Waddesdon.
Henry Monk       Head    Mar      65      Farmer of 250 acres           Stone
Employing 9 Labourers
Mary Monk         Wife    Mar      65                                                Ellesborough
Henry Monk       Son      U         33                                                Waddesdon
Mary Norwood    Serv     U         10      General Sern                      Halcot
Jos Bowden         Serv     U         21      General Sern F S                Waddesdon


Henry Monk senior of Sheepcott Hill was buried in his birthplace of Stone, on 30 June 1856. As the only son, Henry junior inherited the farm on Sheepcott Hill.

Four years later, in April 1860, the farm suffered a serious fire.

Buckingham  Advertiser and Free Press. 14 April 1860.

 ALARMING FIRE.- The inhabitants around Waddesdon were alarmed on Wednesday evening, the 3rd April, by the breaking out of a large fire at Sheepcott Hill, the farm residence of Mr Henry Monk. In a short time a great amount of damage was done, a rick of wheat, a rick of barley, a stump of hay, some straw, and other agricultural produce was very soon consumed. The principal injury, however, appears to have been done to the farm buildings, which being thatched, very soon gave way to the devouring element. A large portion of the buildings are destroyed, but fortunately by the great exertions used a large barn filled with thrashed wheat was saved, as also was the dwelling-house and its contents. Mr Monk is insured in the Sun Fire Office, but it is not yet known whether the buildings are insured or not. There is great reason to fear it was the work of some diabolical incendiary. From the elevated spot on which the property was situate, the fire was seen for many miles around.

 A week later, Henry was in court.

Buckingham Advertiser and Aylesbury News. 21st April 1860.

 BREACH OF THE PEACE:- At the Magistrates’ Chamber, Aylesbury, on Saturday (before J T Senior, Esq, Dr Conuel, and Rev C E Gray) Joseph Sirett and James Capell applied for a peace warrant against Mr Henry Monk , of Sheepcott-hill farm. The complainant Sirett was tried at the last sessions for stealing corn, and for some cause it appeared that Mr Monk entertained suspicions that he had been the originator of one or both of the fires which have lately taken place on his premises. Sirett said – I live at Eythrope. Last Wednesday evening I received information that Mr Henry Monk was waiting on his grounds, where the fire was, with two guns, threatening to shoot me. I made enquiries and have witnesses here. I consider that my life is in danger. Philip Young said – As soon as I reached there, a woman named Ann Monk, of Eythrope, told me something. I saw Mr Monk, and someone told him I said the Siretts were at Winchendon. He said – “I take no notice what he says. I’ll blow Sirett’s brains out the first time I see him, if it’s not for a month.” Mr W H Rose said he was with Mr Monk on that evening, he was very much excited and said he would shoot Sirett. He was told there was no ground of suspicion against Sirett, and they would not let him go out. Mr Monk said he had threatened to shoot Sirett, but not Capell. He was bound over, himself in £50 and Mr John Monk in £50, to keep the peace for six months.

 John Monk of Stone was Henry’s cousin.

The next census finds Henry living at Sheepcott Hill with his sister. Both of them are unmarried.

1861 Census. Sheepcott Hill, Waddesdon, Aylesbury.
Henry Monk       Head    Unm    44      Farmer 350 acres 6 laborers    Waddesdon
Elizth Monk         Sister    Unm    40      Farmer’s sister                         Waddesdon
Caroline Coker     Servt    Unm    15      House Servt                            Stone
Alfred Cripps       Servt    Unm    21      Carter                                      Waddesdon
Obadiah Creed     Servt    Unm    15      Groom                                    Waddesdon

Shortly before the census, Henry had sired a child on the unmarried Emily Evans of Waddesdon Hill. Emily was a 20-year-old seamstress.

We wonder if there were other children Henry fathered in Waddesdon, and whether 15-year-old Caroline Coker was at risk.

The Lion, Waddesdon [i]


EMILY EVANS was the second child of the agricultural labourer Robert Evans and his wife Elizabeth Tooley. We do not have her baptism, but her birth was registered in the Aylesbury district of Buckinghamshire in the fourth quarter of 1841.
She was the second daughter.

1851 Census. Waddesdon.
Robert Evans      Head    Mar      40      Labourer         Waddesdon
Elizabeth Evans  Wife    Mar      39      Lace Maker     Waddesdon
Sarah Evans         Dau                 12      Lace Maker     Waddesdon
Emily Evans        Dau                 9       Scholar            Waddesdon
Jonah Evans         Son                  3       Scholar            Waddesdon

Waddesdon was famed for its pillow lace-making. This was an occupation that women could do at home.

In the 1861 census, she is living with her family at Waddesdon Hill. This stands SE of the village. Sheepcott Hill is the next hill in that direction.
Elizabeth was now a laundress, though she may have made lace as well.

1861 Census. 1 Waddesdon Hill Cottage,Waddesdon.
Robert Evans        Head      Mar      50      Ag F  Labr               Waddesdon
Elizabeth Evans     Wife       Mar      48      Wife  Laundress      Waddesdon
Sarah Evans            Daur       Un       23      Daur  Lacemaker     Waddesdon
Emily Evans          Daur       Un       20      Daur  Sewer            Waddesdon
Jonah Evans           Son        Un       14      Son  Lab                  Waddesdon
Lizzy Evans            Daur                  4                                     Waddesdon Hill

By the time of this census, Emily was pregnant by Henry Monk, though she may not yet have realised it. She gave birth at The Hill, Waddesdon, on 22 Dec 1861. She gave her son the names Henry Monk, with her own surname Evans, and named his father as Henry Monk, farmer. The boy was generally known as Harry.

Emily did not register the birth until 28 May 1862, five months later. After 1870, there was a hefty fine for not registering a birth within six weeks, but before that, registration was not compulsory.

Her name and address have been filled in with the  registrar’s handwriting as the mother and the person registering the birth. We do not have Emily’s signature and she may not have been able to sign her name.

The Overseers of the Poor would have ensured that Henry contributed to the boy’s upkeep, so that he did not become a burden on the parish rates.

Emily, and perhaps her sister, left home and moved to the Greater London area.

There Emily Evans married the labourer Frederick James Neal in the second quarter of 1866 in the Kensington district. Despite the location, he was from her home village of Waddesdon. She may have gone to Kensington to join him.

He was four years younger than her.

A daughter Ada Florence was born to them in Waddesdon. Her birth was registered in the fourth quarter of 1867. Emily seems to have gone back to her parents’ home for the birth.

She was living there with two children in Feb 1868, when the Evans family were witnesses in another court case concerning the firing of ricks.

The accused, Philip Evans, seems at home in Robert Evans’ house, and is probably Emily’s cousin.

Bucks Chronicle and Buck Gazette. 22 February 1868.

THE WADDESDON INCENDIARY. – Philip Evans, labourer, was charged with setting fire to the rickyard of Messrs W H and G Rose, of Cranwell, – Mr Packwood prosecuted; Mr Jones was for the defence.

[Wm Frederick Taylor, surveyor, produced a plan showing that the fire would not have been visible from Philip Evans’ house..– Mr W H Rose testified that he arrived at the fire to find the prisoner in the rickyard. He seemed to be doing little to help. He said he had seen the fire from his outdoor closet. Mr Rose had three wheat ricks and one of peas. 100 qrs of wheat were destroyed and 30 or 40 of peas. The property was insured. Mr Rose said that Evans had frequently annoyed and insulted hmi.]

There were only seven men, three lads, and some women at the fire when he got there. He afterwards went to Waddesdon for assistance. – Wm Cannon, labourer, whose cottage was 12 yards from the rickyard, said he saw a light shine in his bedroom, and he thought it was the lantern of someone passing. The glare increased; and on looking out of his window, he saw the wheat rick next to the barn was on fire. His clock, which was an hour and a half fast, just then struck three. He called Robert Evans, who lived close by, and went to the barn and moved the grain. Philip Evans came half an hour afterwards, and appeared excited. – Emily Neale, wife of James Neale, residing with her father, Robert Evans, said she heard the alarm of fire. Her father went to the yard as fast as he could. Whilst she was dressing, Philip Evans came into the house and asked for a drink of water, which she gave him. She said, “Oh dear, Phil. what a job this is, what shall we do?” He said, “ Oh, * it, girl, it won’t hurt you.” He went away. She finished dressing and had just dressed the two children when the clock struck two. She went to the fire. She saw the prisoner there; he was not helping to put out the fire. When she returned home about four o’clock, he was sitting in her father’s house, and said, “There’s not much beer come yet.” She said, “You have not done much that I have seen.” He said, “No, and I’ll take * good care I don’t, my legs ache now, and my heart beat so, I don’t know what to do. Me and my brother Jim were talking last week that Jack Treadwell and Harry Rose would get it next, and this * has got it first.” Witness’s mother said, “How came you to see the fire so soon?”  He replied, “I was sitting in my outhouse, and saw it, and I got up and went indoors, and said to my wife, “Girl, there’s a fire, and I am going,” and I came as hard as I could across Butcher’s piece, and when I got there I saw it was up here. “ When she observed, “Then, Phil, you must have flown,” he made no reply…. Robert Evans said that when he got into the rickyard the prisoner was there, and on his observing, “Hallo, Phil, have you come alone?” he replied as before, whereas it would take any young fellow 20 or 25 minutes to come from Waddesdon to the scene of the fire, and the fire could not be seen except at a considerable distance from Waddesdon. The prisoner was afterwards unlatching the barn door and pushing it back against the burning rick.

[P.C. Storey testified that he and P.C. Clark had attended the fire and found the prisoner handing wood out of the barn and saying, “Let’s open the doors.” The constable prevented this. The prisoner then told Cooper], who was shovelling water on the straw to prevent the fire from spreading, “Go and stand with your shovel against your master and you’ll get just as much as if you worked, for I’m * if I’ll work at a fire any more for 2s and 6d, which was all I once got for all night.” [Further evidence was given about the impossibility of Evans having seen the fire from his outhouse. Sarah Hocking of the Cock Inn, Aylesbury, testified that the prisoner had said to her a year ago, “There’s that friend of yours, Harry Rose; I’ll do something for him.”]

Mr Jones argued that the evidence was purely circumstantial, and that the facts as stated were as consistent with the prisoner’s innocence as with his guilt. – The Bench thought there was a case for a jury, and committed the prisoner for trial at the Bucks March Assizes.

 At the Assizes in March, Emily Neal and Robert Evans repeated their evidence.

His Lordship directed that there was no case against the prisoner, and the jury accordingly returned a verdict of not guilty; and Evans was accordingly acquitted.

 Philip Evans was twice on trial for assaulting his wife, and on another occasion attacked a man while drunk and disorderly.

Henry Rose, whose farm this was, is the man who was with Henry Monk when he was threatening to shoot Joseph Sirett eight years earlier.

 This account provides the valuable evidence that Emily had married James Neal. His name is given in most censuses as Frederick J Neal, but in the 1861 census for Waddesdon he is 17-year-old James Neale, living with his parents, and an agricultural labourer.

She speaks of dressing two children. These are presumably 6-year-old Harry and the infant Ada, unless there was another child who died before the next census.


Henry Monk, farmer of Waddesdon, died in Feb 1869, aged 52. Like his father and his forebears, he was buried in the churchyard of St John the Baptist in Stone, on 8 Feb.

There is an agreement dated 22 Jun 1871 from the Comte d’Harcourt to Mr Henry Monk on letting Sheepcot Hill Farm at Eythrope in the Parish of Waddesdon and County of Bucks, from year to year from Lady day 1871. Rent £560. This is a different Henry Monk. In the 1881 census, a younger Henry Monk, born in Winslow, is farming at Sheepcott Hill.


In the second quarter of 1869 Emily’s sister Sarah married George Jarrott in the Aylesbury distract. They too moved to Kensington.

Three years after the fire, we find the Neals in Kensington, with their daughter Ada.

1871 Census. 8 Bolton Road, Kensington.
Frederick J Neal   Head      Mar      26      Bricklayer’s labourer     Buckinghamshire, Waddesdon
Emily Neal          Wife       Mar      30      Dress Maker                  Buckinghamshire, Waddesdon
Ada F Neal           Daur                  3                                            Buckinghamshire, Waddesdon

There are four households living at 8 Bolton Road. One of them is that of Emily’s sister Sarah. She is still engaged in the typical Waddesdon occupation of lacemaking, while Emily does more conventional needlework as a dressmaker.

George Jarrett       Head      Mar      26      Labourer                        Oxfordshire
Sarah Jarrett         Wife       Mar      34      Lace Maker                   Buckinghamshire, Waddesdon
Sarah A Jarrett     Daur                  1                                            Buckinghamshire, Cuddington

In this census, Emily’s 9-year-old son Harry is not living with her. We find him with his grandparents Robert and Elizabeth Evans still at Waddesdon Hill. He is named as Harry Monk Evans. With them is 13-year-old Elizabeth Evans, granddaughter and lacemaker. We have to wonder whether the Lizzy of the 1861 census and Elizabeth junior of 1871 are the same girl, and whether Lizzy was not Robert and Elizabeth’s child, as stated in 1861, but the daughter of either Sarah or Emily.

Another daughter, Frances Miriam, was born to the Neals in the first quarter of 1872. The family were then living in Paddington, Middlesex.

In the 1881 census we find that 19-year-old Harry has joined them. The enumerator has evidently assumed that he was Frederick’s son, and not just Emily’s, and has entered his surname as Neal.

1881 Census. 10 Collingwood Terrace, Egham, Surrey.
Frederick J Neal          Head        Mar          34      General labourer     Bucks, Waddesdon
Emily Neal                  Wife         Mar          40                                    Bucks, Waddesdon
Harry Neal                 Son           Unmar      19      Bricklayer               Bucks, Waddesdon
Ada Florence Neal      Daur         Unmar      13      Scholar                   Bucks, Waddesdon
Frances Miriam Neal   Daur         Unmar      9       Scholar                   Middx, Paddington
Thomas E Hibberd      Boarder    Unmar      17      General labourer     Surrey, Egham

The family moved from one rented property to another. The next census finds them in Croydon.

1891 Census. 50 Northbrook Road, Croydon.
Frederick J Neal          Head           M           43      Carman                   Waddesdon, Bucks
Emily Neal                  Wife           M           49                                    Waddesdon, Bucks
Florence Peacock        Daur           M           22                                    Waddesdon, Bucks
Miriam Neal                Daur           S            19                                    Bayswater, London
Arthur E Peacock        Son in law  M           22      Domestic Groom    Edenbridge, Kent

Both the girls here are known by their middle names.

By now, Harry had married, and was living in Union Road, Croydon. But from 1894-96 we find him and his growing family also at 50 Northbrook Road.

Emily died in the first quarter of 1900, aged 57. Her death was registered in the Aylesbury district, so she had evidently returned to her birthplace for her final days

.In the 1901 census we find the widower Frederick James living as a lodger with the Chapman family at 33 Luard St, Islington. He is a wharf clerk. The enumerator has mistaken his middle name for his surname.

On 29 May that year he returned to Brill in Buckinghamshire and married the widow Sarah Ann Rhodes, née Pickering. His occupation is again given as wharf clerk, and his residence as St Thomas, Islington.

[i] https://thelionwaddesdon.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/historic-old-picture-of-the-lion-in-waddesdon.jpg




Monk Tree