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)

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DANIEL JEFFCOAT. Quakers do not baptise people, but they keep a register of children born to members. Daniel’s birth was recorded by the Upperside Monthly Meeting in Bucks.

“On the First Day of the Third Month, called March One Thousand Seven Hundred Eighty nine was born at Upper Winchington in the County of Bucks to Joseph Jeffcoat husbandman and Mary his Wife, a son who was named Daniel,
“We, who were present at the said Birth, have subscribed our Names as Witnesses thereof. Wm Hayward, Mary Siratt.”

This is the record of Daniel’s birth in the minute book of the Monthly Meeting of the Society of Friends for the Upperside of Buckinghamshire. This Meeting covered 12 Particular (weekly) Meetings, including Aylesbury.

A similar copy was registered at the Quarterly Meeting.

“Winchington” where the Jeffcoats lived is Winchendon, a village just south of Waddesdon.

Daniel’s mother’s maiden name was Mary Eaton.

He was the ninth of eleven children.

His father is said in the minutes to be a husbandman. In other records he is a farmer.

Daniel grew up in a Quaker family. They attended weekly Quaker meetings at the Friends Meeting House in Rickfields Hill, Aylesbury. This is still in use today.

Meetings for worship were held mostly in silence. From time to time, someone would stand to speak what they felt the Holy Spirit was saying to them, or to read from the bible.

Six of the Jeffcoat children were sent to Ackworth, a co-educational Quaker boarding school founded in 1779 in High Ackworth, Pontefract, West Yorkshire. This was the first co-educational boarding school in the country. It was founded for Quaker families who “were not in affluence”.[1]

The Jeffcoat children were sent in pairs, and stayed for two to five years. They were Joseph and William, Mary and Hannah, Rebecca and Daniel. Evidently, the Jeffcoats valued the education of their daughters as much as their sons.

Daniel and Rebecca went in 1798, when Daniel was nine and Rebecca eleven.[2]

In the days before railways or turnpike roads, this was a considerable journey. The coach travelled over rough unmade roads, with the danger of highwaymen. A group of families travelling from London might hire a private coach. Smaller numbers from elsewhere, like Buckinghamshire, had to use public coaches. They were met at Wentbridge on the North Road and completed the journey to Ackworth by cart, traditionally drawn by the school bull.

The food at Ackworth was simple. Breakfast consisted of milk porridge poured on bread.
Dinners were alternately meat and vegetables, or some form of pudding on the days between.

A solemn silence was observed before and after meals, in the manner of Quaker worship. On the First Day (Sunday), a longer service of mostly silent worship was preceded by a bible reading.

The curriculum was fairly basic. Daniel would have been taught reading, writing, arithmetic and English grammar.

Although Ackworth catered for both girls and boys, they were taught separately. The girls’ curriculum included sewing, knitting and spinning.

Ackworth became renowned for the needlework of its female pupils, especially their cross-stitch samplers. Rebecca Jeffcoat’s sampler is one of the most famous, and is still copied by embroiderers today.

Rebecca Jeffcoat’s Sampler[3]

 Rebecca left in 1800 and Daniel in 1802, when he was thirteen.

In 1806, four years after his return, his father died. Joseph Jeffcoat, farmer of Upper Winchendon, left a 7-page will, including codicils. 17-year-old Daniel features several times in it.

Joseph’s original will provided for a messuage with two cottages and about twenty acres of land etc in Waddesdon to be left in trust for his wife Mary. After her decease the property was to be sold and the proceeds divided equally between his children when they reached the age of 21.

Daniel was also to receive £150, this too to be paid when he was 21.

A codicil provided that, after Mary’s death, or earlier if she wished to relinquish it, John and Daniel could occupy the farm at Upper Winchendon for their own use and benefit.

After the corn, grain, hay, brewing, dairy and farming equipment and the rest of his goods had been sold off, the proceeds were to be used to pay Joseph’s debts and funeral expenses and the remainder to be divided between his children, either immediately in instalments, or when they reached the age of 21. The money in trust should be used to bring up his younger children.

This will enabled Daniel to become a yeoman farmer like his father, working the family farm in Upper Winchendon. As was usual in those days, the farm was rented, in this case from the Duke of Marlborough.

His mother Mary moved to Aylesbury sometime before her death in 1829.


SUSANNA TOOLEY was the daughter of Samuel Hillsdon and the unmarried Elizabeth Tooley, baptised in Waddesdon on 1 Aug 1791.

It was a repeating pattern. In 1814, when she was 24, Susanna herself gave birth to a child out of wedlock, whose father was Daniel Jeffcoat.

Susanna’s mother may be the Elisabeth Tooley who married William Howe in the village of Dinton on 3 Oct 1791. Both were of Dinton at the time. This is a village 4 miles SE of Waddesdon.

This was only two months after Susanna’s birth.

The Overseers of the Poor would sometimes pay a man to marry an unmarried mother, so that she would be provided for, and not have to rely on the Poor Rate.

We have been unable to find what happened to her mother after that, whether she was the one who married William Howe or not.


Susanna probably went out to work quite young. She became a farm servant in Westcott over Winchendon, where Daniel became a farmer. It is highly likely that she worked on the Jeffcoat farm.

In 1814, Susanna gave birth to a daughter.

Baptism. Waddesdon.
1814 Mar 13  Elizabeth Frances  daughter of Susan Tooley, Farm Servant of Westcott over Winchendon, and Daniel Jeffcoat, Yeoman.

Daniel was two years older than Susanna.

The fact that he is named in the parish register as Elizabeth’s father means that the Overseers of the Poor would have required him to pay maintenance for her upkeep, to prevent her from becoming a burden on the Poor Rate.

There was, apparently, no question of Daniel marrying Susanna. The expectation would be that he would take a wife of his own social status.

The following year he married Anne Parrott of Aylesbury.

It appears that Daniel had abandoned his Quaker upbringing. The couple were married in an Anglican church and their children baptised in the Church of England.

Quakers do not observe the sacraments, either baptism, of infants or believers, or communion. So Daniel had not been baptised. In order for him to be married in an Anglican church, he was christened on his wedding day.

Baptism. Aylesbury.
1815 May 18  Daniel Jeffcoat son of Joseph and Mary Jeffcoat, farmer. Residence: Aylesbury.

There is no mention in the record that Daniel was an adult, or that his father was deceased.

This was followed the same day by his marriage.

Marriage. Aylesbury.
1815 May 18. Daniel Jeffcoat, bachelor of Upper Winchendon, and Anne Parrott, spinster of Aylesbury, by licence.

Witnesses: Anne Deverell, Joseph Rose, John Parrott.

Susanna, too, found a husband, two years after Elizabeth’s birth.

Marriage. Upper Winchendon.
1816 May 12  Joseph Venimore bachelor of Upper Winchendon and Susannah Tuly spinster of Upper Winchendon.

The marriage was by banns and the witnesses were John Mander, Mary Ricket and John Andrews.

Another transcription has the groom’s name as Jack, the place as Over Winchendon, an alternative name for Upper Winchendon.

Meanwhile, Daniel and his wife Anne had seven children baptised in the Anglican church at Upper Winchendon.

Baptisms. Upper Winchendon.
Born 1816 Jul 21. Bapt 1817 Jan 10  John Daniel, son of Daniel and Ann Jeffcoat. Yeoman.
1818  born Mar 4, bapt Sep 15  William.  Farmer.
1820 Apr 30  Jane.  Farmer of Over Winchendon.

In 1822 Daniel’s older brother William died. Daniel appears to have been one of his executors. He published a notice in the Oxford Journal of 23 Feb 1822, requesting William’s debtors and creditors to contact him at Upper Winchendon to settle their accounts.

In Jan 1822, under the will of William Jeffcoat of Cuddington, maltster, dated 2 Jul 1821, William’s messuage or tenement, with malthouse etc, at Kettle Green in Cuddington, Bucks, was conveyed in trust to George Cooling of Lower Winchendon, Bucks, yeoman. In consideration of this £300 was paid by George Cooling to William’s brother-in-law Joseph Naylor (probably another executor).

The parties to this conveyance were William’s surviving siblings: Ann, and her husband Samuel Purser of Frogmore, Longborough, Gloucs, yeoman; John Jeffcoat, late of Aylesbury, Bucks, yeoman, now residing in the USA; Mary, and her husband Joseph Naylor of James St., Manchester Sq., St Mary le Bone, Middx, oil & colourman; Hannah, and her husband William Freeman of Willow St., Vauxhall Road, Middx, gent.; and Daniel Jeffcoat of Upper Winchendon, Bucks, yeoman. [4]

Rebecca had already died.

Daniel would have received a share of the £300.

The baptisms of his children continued in Upper Winchendon.

Baptisms. Upper Winchendon.
1823 born Jun 26, bapt Jun 26.  Ann.  Farmer of Waddesdon.
A baptism on the same day suggests that Ann was not expected to live.
1823 Sep 10  Alfred.  Farmer. Waddesdon.
Alfred’s birth date is not given. The difference in their baptism dates suggests that one of the birth years for Ann and Alfred has been wrongly transcribed.
1825 Jan 19  Eliza  Farmer  Over Winchendon
1826 Jul 19  Harriet  Farmer  Over Winchendon.
Harriet died on 13 Sep the following year.

We have information about only one child from the marriage of Susannah Tooley and Joseph Venimore.

Baptism. Upper Winchendon.
1826 Jun 25  Eliza. Her father is a labourer.

Our information comes from transcribed indices of baptisms, marriages and burials, which are sometimes incomplete. We shall probably find more information about this family when the parish registers for this part of Buckinghamshire become available online.

We know from the 1861 census that she also had a daughter Ann.

Daniel and his family moved to Greenford Magna in Middlesex, near Ealing.

Joseph was born there on 1 June 1828. He was baptised at Holy Cross, Greenford, on 10 Jun 1828.

Daniel’s widowed mother Mary had not remained on the farm in Upper Winchendon. She was living in Walton St, Aylesbury, when she died in 1828. Following the sale of her real estate and other possessions, Daniel inherited an eighth share of the proceeds, as did his siblings or their heirs.

1830 saw the Swing Riots, where agricultural workers smashed machinery that was taking away their jobs. There were many convictions in the Waddesdon area. 18-year-old James Venemore was found guilty of machine breaking in Waddesdon, but was found not to have taken part in the accompanying riots and only sentenced to keep the peace for the rest of his life. James was probably related to Joseph, but we not know how closely.

We have the following agreement for lease:[5]

30 July 1832.
Agreement for letting Scadbury Park Farm in the parishes of Chislehurst, Paul’s Cray and Foots Cray, Kent, between the Right Honourable John Roberts, Viscount Sydney, and Daniel Jeffcoat of Hanwell, Middlesex, yeoman, and John Hyde of Northolt near Southall, Middlesex. Sydney agrees to let the property to Jeffcoat and Hyde for 1 year at the annual rent of £207 8s and an additional £50 for every acre of meadow or pasture that is ploughed up.

Hanwell is just 2 miles from Greenford.

From 1834 to 1840 Daniel Jeffcoat appears in the poll books for Chislehurst, near Bromley.

By 1841 Daniel and his family had moved to Brunswick Place in Islington. Only three of their children are still with them.

1841 Census.  Brunswick Place, Islington.
Daniel Jeffcoat     52          Farmer     No
Ann Jeffcoat          53                           No
Eliza Jeffcoat         15                           No
Joseph Jeffcoat      12                           Y
Jane Jeffcoat          20          Milliner   N
“No” means that only Joseph was born in Middlesex.

Their son William died on 20 Jan 1841 in Camden Town, aged 21.

In Waddesdon, Susannah’s husband Joseph appears to have died. Susannah is living with two children, one of whom we know to be their daughter, and the other we assume is their son.

1841 Census. Waddesdon, Bucks.
Susannah Vinimore  45
Elizabeth Vinimore    14
George Vinimore        5

In the 1841 census, ages of adults were rounded down to the nearest 5. Susannah was nearly 50.

In the same census, her 10-year-old daughter Ann is living the large household of the agricultural labourer John Houndslow and his wife. No doubt she was doing domestic work.

Next door are Elizabeth Evans, Susannah’s child by Daniel Jeffcoat, her husband Robert Evans and their 2-year-old daughter Sarah. Also with them is 20-year-old agricultural labourer Philip Venemore, who may be another of Susannah and Joseph’s children.

Although he describes himself as a farmer in 1841, Daniel was probably already combining this with supplying the needs of other farmers, by selling cattle and hay. The business was not a success. Daniel was committed to a debtors’ prison.

The London Gazette 29th December 1843.
Wednesday the 27th Day of December 1843.
Orders have been made, vesting in the Provision Assignee the Estates and Effects of the following Persons:
On their own Petitions.
Daniel Jeffcoat, late of No. 5, Brunswick Place, Pentonville, Middlesex, Cattle and Hay Salesman, – In the Debtors’ Prison for London and Middlesex.

“On their own Petitions” means that Daniel himself, and not his creditors, had applied to be made bankrupt.

His assets would be sold to raise money to pay his creditors as much as was possible.

Meanwhile, he remained in prison. He was back in court some six weeks later.

In 1844 Bells New Weekly Messenger reported:
“The following Prisoners, having filed their Schedules, are ordered to be brought up before the Court, at the Court House, Portugal Street, Lincolns Inn Fields.
On Monday the 5th day of February 1844
Daniel Jeffcoat, Brunswick place, Barnsbury Road, Islington, hay salesman and commission agent.”

Once he was declared bankrupt, and some payments made to his creditors, Daniel was released from prison.

Despite this, he still considered himself to have sufficient social status to announce the wedding of his daughter Ann in the Evening Sun in 1846.

“On the 29th ult, at St Mary’s, Islington, Mr W. M. Rickatson of St Clement Danes, to Anne, second daughter of Mr Daniel Jeffcoat, of Brunswick-place, Islington.”

He resumed trading, though now he was acting as agent for a guano merchant. Guano is the excrement of seabirds and bats, and was highly prized as a fertilizer in the Victorian era. It was imported from South America.

1851 Census. 5 Brunswick Place, Islington, Middlesex.
Daniel Jeffcoat     Head      Mar     63     Agent Guano Merchant  Bucks, Winchendon
Anne Jeffcoat        Wife      Mar     63                                              Oxon, Thame
Joseph Jeffcoat      Son        U         22     Brush maker                   Middx, Greenford

Only their youngest child is still living with them.

In the same census, we find Susannah living in Waddesdon with one of her daughters and a grandson.

1851 Census. Waddesdon, Bucks.
Nathaniel Copcutt Head                  Mar   27               Agr  Labr
Eliza Copcutt         Wife                  Mar   24               Dressmaker
Peninnah Copcutt  Daughter                    U                3 msbr
Susanna Venemore            Lodger          W               70
George Venemore Grand son         U       2

Nathaniel has given Susanna’s age as 70, but she was not yet 60. It is more nearly accurate in the 1861 census.

She is entered as a lodger, but she is actually Eliza’s mother.

George is the son of her unmarried daughter Ann. In the same census, Ann is a 22-year-old lacemaker, living in Waddesdon with a female lodger next door to the Houndslows of 1841.

Waddesdon women were known for their lacemaking.

The Copcutts went on to have ten children, all of whose names begin with P: Philip, Penninnah, Priscilla, Peter, Phineas, Pamela, Pashur, Phillis, Phoebe.

In 1854 there was a severe outbreak of cholera in London. The Jeffcoats were then living in Brompton. A previous outbreak had caused the government to purchase land for Brompton Cemetery in 1850 to accommodate the very large number of dead.

Both Daniel and Anne died in 1854. The cause of Daniel’s death is not given as cholera. He may have survived the initial fever, only to succumb to the weakened condition it left him in.

Daniel died on 18 Oct 1854 at 9 Middle Buildings, Brompton, aged 65. His occupation is given as farmer. The cause of death was anaemia. The informant was his son Alfred Jeffcoat who was present at the death.

Burial. Holy Trinity, Brompton.
1854 Oct 22  Daniel Jeffcoat. 

Five years later, we find Susannah at the end of her life.

1861 Census. 7 High St, Waddesdon, Bucks.
Susanna Venimore Head               Widow  73      Pauper Formr Labrs Wife                                 Waddesdon
Ann Venimore         Daur                Un         33      Daur                                                                  Waddesdon
George Venimore    Grandson                      13      Illegitimate Son of Ann                                 Waddesdon
Philip Venimore      Grandson                      7       Illegitimate Son of Ann                                   Waddesdon
Emily Venimore      G Daur                          3       Illegitimate Daughter of Ann                                 Waddesdon

The most common reason for a number of illegitimate births is that the mother was a prostitute.

There is a registration for the death of Susannah Venemore in the 3rd quarter of 1861 in the Aylesbury District.


[1] Henry Thompson, A history of Ackworth School during its first hundred years”. The Centenary Committee, Ackworth School. 1879. https://archive.org/stream/cu31924030617512/cu31924030617512_djvu.txt
[2] List of the boys and girls admitted to Ackworth School during the 100 years from 18th of 10th month 1779. The Centenary Committee, Ackworth School. 1879.
[3] Needleprint – Rebecca Jeffcoat’s Ackworth Sampler – chart: Criss Cross Row,
[4] National Archives. GB 160 E332/10/D/1-2
[5] Repository London Borough of Bromley Archives. 1080/1/1/3/1/1/43





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