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)

March Tree




JOHN DENNIS was born in Runton, two miles east of Beeston Regis where he raised his family. The twin villages of East and West Runton are a mile apart. They lie just west of Cromer, on the north Norfolk coast.

Baptism. Runton.
1749 Nov 19  John son of James Dennis and Barbara his wife.

His mother was Barbara Framingham.

John was the fourth of five children.

Though many in Runton were fishermen, John became a shepherd, as did his son Doyley. We do not know whether this was his father’s occupation too. Nor do we know whether, like his sons John and Doyley, he went on to farm a few acres

John was only five when his father died, and 15 when his mother died.

John became a shepherd.

By the time of his marriage, he had moved a mile west to the village of Beeston Regis, also on the coast.

Outside the village is Beeston Common. Above the sandy shore stands Beeston Bump, a curious molehill shaped protuberance.

Beeston Hills, an etching c. 1785


FRANCES SCOTT. Their marriage licence puts Frances’s birth at 1748-9 or earlier. No baptism has been found for her. But she is almost certainly the child of Doyley and Elizabeth Scott, who were having children baptised in nearby Sheringham in the 1740s. The name Doyley Scott, which John and Frances gave their son, is too unusual to be a coincidence.

The last Sheringham baptism that we have is that of Thomas in 1747. The Scotts may have moved on to a parish whose 18th-century register has not survived and Frances may have been born there.

We know of four, possibly five, older siblings, though an earlier Thomas died soon after birth.

Frances was living in Beeston Regis at the time of her marriage, and her parents were buried there, so the whole family may have moved.


On 30 Jan, John Dennis of Beeston Regis, Shepherd, and Richard Bayfield of the said parish, Cordwainer, entered into a bond for £200 for a licence for John Dennis, Batchelor, aged twenty-eight years and upwards, to marry Frances Scott of Beeston Regis, Spinster, aged twenty-nine and upwards.

The wedding took place in March.

Marriage. Beeston Regis.
1778 Mar 16  John Dennis batchelor of this parish and Frances Scott of the same.

John makes his mark I; Frances signs her name.

Witnesses: Richard Bayfield, John Bayfield.

 Baptisms. Beeston Regis.
1778 born Aug 11, bapt Aug 30  Elizabeth
1780 born Feb 16, bapt Feb 20  Rose
1781 born Sep 7, bapt Sep 16  Robert
1783 born Feb 14, bapt Feb 16  Mary
1785 born Mar 26, bapt Apr 3  John
1786 born Aug 20, bapt Aug 27  Frances

Around 1788, another son was born, Doyley Scott Dennis. No baptism has been found for him, but the date, place and the name of Frances’s father make it almost certain that this is a child of the same family.

This was a time of national anxiety, with America breaking away from Britain in the War of Independence, and a republican revolution in France. The latter resulted in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Their youngest children had not yet reached adulthood when John died.

Burial. Beeston Regis.
1806 Nov 26  John Dennis married man aged 59.

This was the year after the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Nelson.

Frances outlived him by 10 years.

1816 Apr 6  Frances Dennis aged 72.

The previous year, the war with France had come to an end, with the British victory at Waterloo.





March Tree