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)

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CRISS DUFFIELD. Criss was baptised in the small village of Kelling, a mile from the north Norfolk coast and ten miles west of Cromer.
1787 Criss, son of John Duffield and Eliz his wife, late Hunt, spinster. Born Jan 5, privately bapt Jan 8.

Normally, children were privately baptised only if there was a danger that they might not survive to be brought to church. Unusually, at this period in Kelling, private baptism seems to be the norm. Perhaps there was no clergyman available to perform this.

Unlike some of his siblings, Criss’s baptism lacks the date when he was brought to church for the baptism to be ratified and the child welcomed into the church.

Criss was the sixth of eight children.

His father was a warrener. Rabbits were kept in warrens, usually in sandy ground, and trapped and killed in huge numbers for their meat and fur. Kelling Warren was on the edge of Salthouse Heath, just west of the village. During the autumn months around 500 rabbits a week might be sent to market.

View from Kelling Heath.

The Duffield family probably lived in the warrener’s lodge, close to the warren. This was necessary to store the equipment for trapping the rabbits and storing those carcases waiting to go to market. The warrener also needed to be on hand to deter poachers.

It might have been a lonely life for the children, but they had a large family of siblings to compensate.


SUSAN BARNES. Susan originally married as Susan Osborne, but it was found that her real name was Susan Barnes. Her age at her death means that her baptism very likely the following:

Baptism. Blickling.
1790 Feb 22  Susanna illegitimate daughr of Mary Barnes.

Blickling is 10 m SE of Kelling.

The following year there is a baptism in Colby, 3 m away, for Elizabeth, daughter of Mary Barnes, spinster. If this is the same Mary Barnes, then it is possible that Susan’s mother was a prostitute.

Since Susan was calling herself Susan Osborne, it is likely that she knew that her father was surnamed Osborne and used his name. We have not been able to identify him.

Another possibility is that Susan’s mother married a man called Osborne after Susan’s birth, but we have not found a record of such a marriage.


Criss and Susan married in 1812.

Marriage. Kelling.
1812 Dec 16  Criss Duffield, Single Man, and Susan Osborne, Single Woman.
Both sign their names with a X.
The witnesses are James Jarvis, who makes his mark, and Sarah Hardingham.

Below this, the Rector has written an unusual footnote:

This Woman’s Name was Barnes & not Osborne, in consequence of which the Parties Names republished & They were married as appears by the new Register. W. Grindlestone Rector.”

The banns are called again and a second marriage takes place on 2 Mar 1813, this time between Criss Duffield and Susan Barnes. Again, they sign with a X.The witnesses now are Mary Pells, who makes her mark, and Jame Plattin.

Nine children were baptised in Kelling. Sometimes the father’s name is given as Christopher, and then crossed out and replaced with Criss. In other cases, the forename is simply Criss. Evidently some clergy assumed that Criss was short for Christopher, then realised that it was his given name.

Baptisms. Kelling.
1813 born Mar 15, bapt Mar 18   Robert. His father is a labourer.
1815 born Feb 25, bapt Feb 27  John.  Labourer
1817 born Feb 16, bapt Feb 16, received into the church 1820 Sep 24.  William. Labourer.
William was obviously not expected to survive his birth and was baptised at home by a lay person.
1820 born Aug 31 bapt Sep 2, receive into the church 1820 Sep 24. Charles. Husbandman.
This was another private baptism. When it was ratified in church, they realised that they needed to do the same for William too.
Husbandman once meant a small-scale farmer. By now it was synonymous with an agricultural labourer.
1822 Oct 28  Francis.  Labourer.
1825   James.  Labourer.
1829 Jun 7  Hannah.  Labourer.
1832 Oct 28  Susannah. Labourer.
1835 Aug 16  Richard.  Labourer.

Susan died four years later, two years after Queen Victoria came to the throne.

Burial. Kellling.
1839 May 26  Susan Duffield of Kelling .  Age 47.

Criss married again.

1841 Jan 5  Criss Dufield, widower and warrener, and Rebecca Mapingham, widow,  both of Kellling.
No fathers’ names are given.
Criss again signs with a X. Rebecca make her own, somewhat laboured, signature.
The witnesses are William Duffield and Mary Park.

Rebecca was from Field Dalling, 6 miles from Kelling. She had borne her previous husband two daughters.

No children are recorded from this second marriage.

Throughout the baptism of his children, Criss is said to be a labourer. But it appears that he eventually rose to his father’s status as warrener. The latter had been a warrener in his twenties. Criss did not achieve this status until he was around 50. He may have taken over Kelling Warren from his father, after the latter died in 1834.

Shortly after their wedding, we have the 1841 census.

1841 Census. Kelling, Erpingham, Norfolk.
Christopher Duffield   Warrener          50        Y
Rebecca Duffield                                 45        Y
Charles Duffield                                  20        Y
James Duffield                                    15        Y
Sarah Ann Duffield                              15        Y
Hannah Duffield                                  12        Y
Susan Duffield                                     10        Y

Ten years later, Criss’s children were now adults and had left home.

1851 Census. Kelling Cottage, Kelling, Erpingham.
Christopher Duffield   Head         Mar      64      Warrener        Kelling
Rebecca Duffield          Wife         Mar      62                           Matlask
John Duffield               Visitor      U         6                            Kelling
Six-year-old John was Criss’s nephew, the son of his brother John.

Criss Duffield died before the next census. He was buried in Kelling on 14 Apr 1860, aged 73.

The following year we have the 1861 census.

1861 Census. Street, Kelling, Erpingham.
Rebecca Duffield          Head                W        66          Labrs widow (Pauper)   Matlask

The fact that Rebecca is said to be a labourer’s widow, means that Criss was no longer a warrener when he died. As often happened with elderly widows, she was reduced to poverty.

Her fortunes took a change when, later that year, Rebecca married the widower William Jarvis, labourer, of Langham, 9 m SW of Kelling.

In the 1871 census we find 70-year-old Rebecca living with her 72-year-old husband in East Street, Langham, Walsingham. William Jarvis is an agricultural labourer.

William died in 1880. In the following census, the widowed Rebecca is living alone in The Street, Langham.

She lived to be 89 and was buried in Langham in Jan 1887.





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