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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JOHN JEFFCOAT was born into a Quaker family at the start of the 18th century.

Quakers do not baptise either children or adults, but they keep a register of births within their community. The Jeffcoats lived in the hamlet of Hempton, in the parish of Deddington in Oxfordshire. Their nearest Quaker meeting was in South Newington, 3 miles west of Hempton, but births were recorded at the monthly meeting at Banbury, which covered a number of meetings in the locality.

Birth. Monthly Meeting, Society of Friends, Banbury.
1700 Jun 14  John the son of John Jeffcutt & Hannah his wife of Hempton was borne’

His mother was Hannah Gilkes, from one of the earliest Quaker families in Oxfordshire.

John was their second son.

His father was a husbandman, with a small farm. There was rich grazing by the River Swere, but the parish also had fields for growing wheat, barley peas and beans.

The local rhyme ‘Aynho on the Hill / Clifton in the Clay / Dirty, drunken, Deddington / And Hempton high way‘ describes Hempton’s position high on the ridge.

There is a house in Hempton called Jeffcoates, dating from the 17th century.[1] The layout is consistent with the inventory made after John’s father died. This shows his house to have a hall (living room), buttery and dairy downstairs, and bedchambers over the hall and the buttery.

Jeffcoates is one of a pair of cottages in The Lane. The left-hand one, Folly Cottage, was built in the early 17th century. Jeffcoates was added later that century.

Both are made of stone rubble, with tiled roofs and brick chimney stacks on the gable ends. Jeffcoates has two downstairs room with a central passage. There is a cellar, which is not mentioned in John Jeffcoat’s inventory. There is a winding stair to the upper floor.

Jeffcoates on the right

We cannot be certain that this is where the Jeffcoates were living in 1700, but it is a possibility.

John was not yet two when his father died. The inventory taken after his death showed his goods to be worth £150. 15s. This would be over £40,000 today. The contents of the house were modest. More valuable were the crops in the barn, and the horses, cows and pigs. By far the largest single item was the crops in the ground, valued at £80.

The Jeffcoats were clearly a prosperous farming family.

About two weeks after his father’s burial, John’s younger brother Daniel was born. His mother Hannah appears not to have had his birth recorded at the Banbury Quaker Meeting, but entered it in the parish register of nearby Deddington, along with her two older sons, Thomas and John.

John grew up in Hempton to become a yeoman farmer. This means he had a more substantial farm than his father, who had still been a husbandman at the time of his death.

John appears to have married his first wife in the late 1720s or 1730. Researchers have failed to find their marriage. Nor do we have records of their children giving the mother’s name.  We sometimes learn a wife’s name only at her burial, but in this case we do not even have that.

He witnessed his brother Daniel’s marriage in 1729.

We know the names of five children. In the absence of birth records, their dates of birth have been calculated from the ages given at their burials.

Mary c.1731
Joseph 1734-5
John c.1735. Another site says 1736 Jun 6.
Sarah 1736-7
Daniel 1740-1

The children grew up in the Quaker tradition, but in 1755, John junior was in trouble with the Society. He had moved to Gloucestershire and there met Hannah Tapling. The Broad Campden Quaker meeting reports: [2]

“John Jephcutt and Hannah Tapling, servants to Joshua Ashby and members of our meeting, not having the fear of the lord before their eyes, have had carnal knowledge of each other whereby there is an illegal child born, and this meeting having taken the affair into consideration do appoint Samuel Beavington Sen. and Joseph Ashby to visit the John Jephcutt, and Elizabeth Haydon and Margaret Cork to visit the said Hannah Tapling to
endeavour to bring them to a sense of their crime and acquaint them that unless they give evidence of sincere repentance and acknowledge and condemn their fault in writing as a publick manner to the meeting so that the acknowledgment may be as publick as the scandal they have brought upon the society, they will be publicly disowned.”

John and Hannah expressed sincere regret for their sins, and no further action was taken against them. They married soon afterwards and moved to Warwickshire with a certificate of introduction to another meeting. They were married by a priest but the meeting seems to have chosen to overlook this.

It was in Warwickshire that John senior married his second wife Rachel Adkins.

John Jeffcotte of Hampton in the County of Oxon Yeoman, son of John Jeffcotte late of Hampton aforesd and Hannah his wife deceased, and  Rachell Adkins daughter of Edw Adkins, late of Adderbury in the County of Oxford deceased, and Rachell his wife him now surviving Having Declared their Intentions of Taking each other in marriage before several meetings of the people Called Quakers in the County of Warwick and then proceeding, of the said John Jeffcotte and Rachell Adkins after due Enquiry and Deliberate Consideration Thereof, weare allowed by the said meetings they appearing Clear of all others and having Consent of Relations and partys concerned
  Now these are to Certify all whom it may concern that for the accomplishing of their said marriage this fifteenth Day of the seventh month Called July in the year one thousand seven hundred and fifty five they the said John Jeffcotte and Rachell Adkins appearing in a publick assembly of the aforesaid people and others in their meeting house in the Borough of Warwick he the said John Jeffcotte taking the said Rachell Adkins by the hand did openly and solemnly Declare as followeth, Friends in the fear of the Lord and in the presence of this assembly I take this my friend Rachell Adkins to be my wife promising through Divine Assistance to be unto her a Loving and faithfull Husband until it shall please the Lord by Death to separate us, and then the woman in like manner, Friends in the fear of the Lord and before this assembly I take this my friend John Jeffcotte to be my Husband promising through Divine assistance to be to him a Loving and faithfull wife untill it shall pleaes the Lord by Death to separate us. And the said John Jeffcotte and Rachell Adkins as a further Confirmation thereof and in Testimony thereunto Did then and there to these presents set their hands

John Jeffcotte
Rachell Adkins
We whose names are hereunto subscribed
being present among others at the
solemnising of the abovesaid marriage
and subscription in manner aforesaid
as witnesses have also to these
presents subscribed our Names the
Day and year above written,

 ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­There follow 60 signatures, 27 men and 33 women. Among them are John, Elizabeth, Richd, Ann, Jane and Hannah Adkins. There are no Jeffcoats among the witnesses.

The Warwick Quaker Register tells us that Rachel Adkins was of Hartshill, Warks, but she came from Adderbury, 4 m NW of Hempton in Oxfordshire, so it is very likely that John knew her there through the Quaker community.

Rachel was born on 1 Oct 1710, so she was ten years younger than John.

No children have been found from this marriage.

John lived to be 77. His burial is recorded in the Banbury Quaker Register.

To Joseph Strank      Grave-Maker
                                    The / Day of the 9 Month 1777
Make a grave on or before next Second Day, in Friends Burying Ground, at or near South Newington and therein lay the Body of John Jeffcoat of Hempton in the County of Oxford aged about Seventyseven Years who died the Thirtieth Day of the Eighth Month called August One Thousand Seven Hundred and seventyseven.
                                                James Marshals
The Body above mentioned was buried the Second Day of The Ninth Month, called August 1777.
Witness Joseph Strank – Grave Maker

 Rachel outlived him by three years.

To Joseph Strank      Grave-Maker
                                    The 11th Day of the 6th Month 1780
Make a grave on or before next Second Day, in Friends Burying Ground, at or near South Newington and therein lay the Body of Rachel Jefcoat Widow of Hempton in the County of Oxford aged about Seventy Years who died the Tenth Day of the Sixth Month called June One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty.
                                                James Marshals

The Body above mentioned was buried the Twelfth Day of the Sixth Month, called June 1780.
Witness Joseph Strank – Grave Maker

 Their son John appears to have moved back from Warwickshire to Longborough in Glos. He was buried there in 1795.

Sarah was sent 25 miles away to be a servant or lady’s companion to a Quaker family in Charingworth. There she married the husbandman Samuel Purser.

Samuel was one of a minority who was literate and numerate, but he was an Anglican. It was a rule of the Quakers that Friends should marry within the Society or be disowned. A respected Friend, Ann Beavington, was sent to explain the situation to Sarah. She brought back a ‘satisfactory account’. However, John Green, who had married a close friend of Sarah from Hempton, joined Samuel Purser in pledging a marriage bond of £100 apiece. The wedding went ahead in Deddington parish church. Sarah was ejected from the Society of Friends.

Daniel married Hannah Potter, but not until after the birth of their first daughter. The Banbury Monthly Meeting has: “The following births are Children of Parents not in Unity, but desiring to have them registered in our Book, but not coming in time to be done [illegible]”. There are nine children listed under: “The sons and daughters of Daniel Jeffcoat belonging to Southnewington meeting”. Daniel and his family lived 4 miles south of Hempton in the hamlet of Ledwell.

Joseph became a farmer in Upper Winchendon in Bucks and married Mary Eaton. He remained a loyal member of the Society of Friends and sent his children to a Quaker boarding school.

[1] British Listed Buildings. Deddington. SP43SW Hempton. 1716-0/2/10001 Folly Cottage and Jeffcoates. GV II
[2] https://www.morby.us › jeffnotes




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