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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 GEORGE DUFFIELD. We have been unable to find George’s baptism, so this is as far back as we can take the Duffield line.

He was married and brought up his family in the West Suffolk village of Tuddenham, 8 miles NW of Bury St Edmonds. This should not be confused with another Tuddenham near Ipswich in East Suffolk.

The date of his marriage leads us to believe that George was born around 1707.

We do not yet have full access to the parish registers, only to indices of baptism, marriages and burials, which may be incomplete.

The earliest record we have for Duffields in Tuddenham is the marriage in 1705 of Isaac Duffield and Ann Steward, followed in 1708 by the marriage of John Duffield and Susan How. We do not have records of the children of either marriage, in Tuddenham or the surrounding area. Either Isaac or John could be George’s father. The name Isaac does not occur in his descendants, so John is the more likely. But it is possible that George’s parents married outside Tuddenham.

The first Duffield baptism we have in Tuddenham is that of George’s own son in 1732.

One of George’s sons became a yeoman farmer and another a warrener. We do not have evidence of George’s occupation, but it is likely that he worked on the land in some capacity.

Tuddenham was a village on the little river Tudd. This was then navigable and transported flint and grain by barge. The Roman Icknield Way passes through it.

The towering building of St Mary’s Church stands some way from the village. Much of the present interior is Victorian. The medieval stained glass was found in a builder’s yard by a 19th-century rector, but the painted panels on the rood screen are thought to be original. They show St Agnes, St Gregory, St Dorothy, St Jeron, St Catherine, St Sebastian, St Etheldreda and St Roche. This is what the Duffields would have seen in front of them when they came to worship every Sunday.






StMary’s,Tuddenham [1]

FRANCES HAYWARD.  We are on surer ground with Frances. She was baptised in Tuddenham in 1709.

Baptism. St Mary, Tuddenham.
1709 Nov 20  Francis daughter of Richard and Grace Hayward.

Her mother was Grace Dillamore and her parents married in the village of Fordham, just over the county border in Cambridgeshire and 7 miles from Tuddenham.

We know of one younger sister.

Her father died in 1716, when Frances was only six.

We have found no burial or remarriage for Frances’s mother in Tuddenham. She may have returned to Fordham with the two girls. There is a burial there in 1724 for Grace Howard, widow. Frances would have been 15.

Frances married in Tuddenham, and weddings usually take place in the bride’s parish. It would seem that Frances returned to her birthplace, either to live with relatives on her father’s side or possibly to work as a live-in servant. Her return there heightens the likelihood that the Duffields have their roots further back in Tuddenham.

 Marriage. Tuddenham.
1732 May 18  George Duffield and Frances Hayward.

The couple stayed in Tuddenham for the births of their first five children.

Baptisms. St Mary, Tuddenham.
1732/3 Jan 3  George
1734/5 Mar 2  Thomas
1739 Oct 9  Frances. She was buried the same day.
1740 Sep 28  Hannah
1743 Jan 11  Francis

They then moved two miles SE to Cavenham, where their last child was born.

Baptism. Cavenham.
1745 Jan 5  John


We do not have a burial which names Frances, but hers is almost certainly the following:

Burial. St Andrew, Cavenham
1760 Dec 2  … , wife of … Duffield.
It would appear that this entry is partly illegible.
She would have been only 51.

George’s burial is 27 years later.

Burial. St Andrew, Cavenham.
1787 Oct 9  George Duffield.

He was probably around 80.


[1] St Mary’s church in North Tuddenham -… © Evelyn Simak :: Geograph Britain and Ireland




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