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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JAMES DENNIS. There is an online family tree for Justin Michael Lee which includes Doyley Scott Dennis and his paternal ancestors. This has the father of John Dennis and grandfather of Doyley Scott Dennis as James Dennis (1692-1755), the husband of Barbara Framingham.

This couple brought up their family in the village of Runton on the north Norfolk coast, but were married in the cathedral city of Norwich, 21 miles south.

The Justin Lee tree gives James’s father as Robert Dennis and his mother as Elizabeth Holland. It gives names and dates, but not places, making it difficult to follow up entries. James’s birth date is given as 1692. We have not found this baptism.

What we have found is a baptism in Norwich with the same date.

Baptism. St Margaret, Norwich.
1692 Jan 13  James ye son of Jonathan Dennis and Helen his wife.

We have found no other marriage for this James Dennis.

However, it was typical for a couple to marry in the bride’s parish, but bring up their children in the groom’s parish. We should expect James to have come from the Runton area.

We have to rely on the Archdeacon’s transcripts for most of these villages, without access to the original parish registers. It is possible that the transcripts do not cover James’s baptism.


BARBARA FRAMINGHAM. Justin Lee gives her dates as 1715-1765. We have found no baptism for her, with this or any other plausible date.

Framingham is an unusual surname. Almost all the 18th-century occurrences are in places like Wells-next -the-Sea, or in nearby villages along the Norfolk coast, midway between Cromer and The Wash. There are a few in Norwich, where Barbara was married.

We learn of their marriage only from the Bishops Transcripts. The original parish register must be lost.

Marriage. Norwich.
1734 Oct 3  James Dennis and Barbery Framingham.

Whether they were from Norwich or not, they made their home in Runton on the North Sea coast.

Baptisms. Holy Trinity, Runton.
1737 Mar 23  Thomas
1744 Nov 11  William
1747 born Jun 5, bapt Jul 19  Amy
1749 Nov 19  John
1750 Dec 25  Robert

Their youngest child was only four when James died, and 14 when he lost his mother.

Burials. Holy Trinity, Runton.
1755 Mar 1  James Dennis
1765 Sep 9  Barbara Dennis

There is a conveyance dated 1765 from Thomas Woodrow, gent, trustee of James Dennis, deceased, to Francis Pank, of three pieces of land in East Runton. [1]

It contained 1a. 3 1/2r. in East Runton in Marlepitt furlong, near Rowhill, little house and shop lately a butcher’s in East Runton, part of messuage late Simon Morse’s and moiety of well, and land measuring 16 8 yards abutting on the common pasture.

The amount of land is small, but it is still significant that James owned land. Typically, farmers rented their land.

We can only conjecture that James was the butcher who had this shop in East Runton, but it seems a distinct possibility.

East Runton[2]

 No doubt the money from the sale went to Barbara, if the transaction was completed before she died.

The fact that Thomas Woodrow, gentleman and merchant, was a trustee of James’s will may tell us something of the latter’s social status. He was clearly more than an agricultural labourer.



[1] MC 2007/2, 899X4
[2] East Runton, Norfolk – The Stamp Book




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