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Movement In and Out of the Parish


For many of the people who moved out of Elsfield in the 1850s, the reason was the death of a member of the household. Martin Tagg, the long-since widowed farmer at Hill Farm, died in 1855 and his three servants, deprived of a settled establishment, had to look for other work.

Ann Butler, a widow living with her daughter Sarah and employing one servant, Caroline Justice, died in 1858 at the age of 83, resulting in her daughter and servant moving away.

Thomas Croton and his wife both died in 1853, he aged 62 and she ten years older. William and Mary Narroway also died, he aged 81 in 1852 and she in 1856 aged 82. They were both paupers. Susannah Harris died in 1853, aged 90, leaving her unmarried son Daniel living alone. John Tolley’s young children George and Samuel aged two and one in 1851, lost their grandmother Ann in 1852, aged 67. She was a pauper but earned what she could working in the fields from time to time.

William Herbert and his household, consisting of his wife, niece and three servants, left the Manor. Similarly, Joseph Gibbs left Church Farm taking his wife, son, daughter and servant, Matilda Weaver, with him.

The Reverend Gordon stayed, but two of his three servants, Sarah Richards aged 27 in 1851, and sixteen year old John Bowerman did not. The third, Martha Stanton, married into the Gurdon family.

Perhaps the most important group of people moving into the village in this decade were the Parsons family at the Manor. Herbert Parsons, aged 39 in 1861, established himself at the Manor along with his wife and two children, Herbert Junior, aged three, and Mary Jane, aged six. They had a visitor at the time of the census, Elizabeth Thompson, who hailed from Essex. There were seven servants: Eliza Watts, a lady’s maid, Elizabeth Wicklow, the cook, Mary James, a nurse, a butler, James Chambers and William Elston, a groom from Whitchurch. They also employed sixteen year old local girl Harriet Gammon as a nursemaid.

The Gibbs family at Church Farm had been replaced by William Treadwell and his wife. They had a visitor, Emily Berwick aged seventeen, who is listed as a governess, though presumably not to nine year old John, otherwise she would not be described as a visitor. They had four young servants: two housemaids, a gardener and a groom. John Greaves at Home Farm had remarried a woman ten years his junior, Mary, and while still retaining two servants, they were not the same as ten years previously. The sister of his first wife, too, was no longer in residence. Perhaps ten years earlier she had been in Elsfield to nurse her dying sister. At Hill Farm Martin Tagg had been replaced by the widowed William Parsons. The running of his household was under the charge of his housekeeper Catalina Law, from Malta. His four children were aged six, five, three and one in 1861, and he employed a nurse, a groom and a house servant to help the housekeeper.

The numerous Munt family moved into the village in this decade. William Munt and his wife Ann had two sons: William and George and five daughters, four of whom are not named. They range in age from fifteen year old William to one year old Elizabeth. William was a gardener and his older children were born at Shotover while the younger ones were born in Wheatley.

The farm bailiff William Weston had recently moved in to Elsfield along with his wife Elizabeth, an Oxford woman, as had Robert Culley, another agricultural bailiff living at Suscot (Sescut).

The Reverend Gordon acquired a cook from Noke, Ann Huggard aged 45, a groom from Islip, Thomas Dumbleton aged 19 and a house servant Sarah Pinson aged eighteen from Beckley.

A new shepherd moved in to the village - Robert Stevens, aged 30, from Horspath.

In the decade, there were five marriages within Elsfield and four women married men from outside the village. Of the marriages within Elsfield one was between John Wyatt and Eliza Woodley, both servants and illiterate. The Gurdon family saw two marriages, that of Amelia to James Cooper, a baker, born in Elsfield, and her brother William who married Martha Stanton. The other two marriages were between William Lockton and Sarah Rickards, and Richard Wharton and Emma Maule.

The young women marrying out of the village were Jane North, who married a policeman, James Mitchell from St Clements, Sophia Gammon who married Charles Vallis, a sawyer from Headington, Ellen Locke who married a labourer from St Clements, William Sanders, and on Christmas Day 1860 Emma Locke married Thomas Stilgoe from North Aston.

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Page 5 of 12