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Movement In and Out of the Parish

1881-1891

There was an influx of new people in the 1880s. Some of them, predictably, were servants, others were farm labourers and three of the farms were under new management. At Hill Farm a new family had moved in: James Fenemore, aged 47, his wife Alice, aged 50 and their nine children, all of them born in Oakley. The oldest three boys, John, aged 23,William, aged 21 and Thomas aged 17, were helping to run the farm. No doubt the two older girls, Alice aged 21 and Lucy aged 18 were also making themselves useful with dairy work and poultry, traditional pursuits for women. Lizzie, aged 15 may well have been helping her older sisters. Meanwhile the three youngest, George, Frances and Grace, aged fourteen, ten and nine respectively are listed as scholars. They had no servants.

At Church Farm John Brown had moved in from Piddington with his wife Alice who gave birth to their daughter Mildred just four months before the census. They had a visitor and one servant, Louisa Reynolds aged 17.

At Home Farm James H. Parsons took over the farm from John Greaves, who died in 1882. He was born in Elsfield, so this must be, not the son of Herbert Parsons at the Manor, but the second son of William Parsons who was farm bailiff living at Hill Farm.

Sescut Farm was housing Robert and Mary Ann Culley, aged 60 and 71.

At the Vicarage the Rev Langhorne was still living there with his wife Jane and his niece, 17 year old Agnes Firmstone. They had two servants, Sarah Carter the seventeen year old cook, and Ann Cordery, a domestic servant.

William North, listed as formerly a cowman, and grandfather to Thomas Basson died at the age of 86 in 1881. This left Thomas, aged 39, sharing his home only with his wife Emma and his four children, the oldest eight year old Harriet and the youngest Gertrude Mary, aged six months.

The Maltby family moved in at this time, Charles, the head of the family, being 32 and a farm labourer, and his wife Elizabeth along with two daughters aged eleven and seven. The youngest child, a son, Joseph, was born in Elsfield 10 months before the census was taken.

George Dennis had also moved in with his wife Charlotte and his five children, the youngest, Thomas born in Elsfield, who died aged seven.

James Stone was the new gamekeeper and James Payne, a widowed 46 year old, had replaced Thomas Sandall and moved here along with his nineteen year old daughter Rosina and his 77 year old father Charles.

There were many changes at the Manor. Elizabeth Clarke, a housemaid now in her 50s was still there, as was the butler, James Barrett, and the lady’s maid, Alice Ridgard, or Redgard. Apart from those three, all the other servants had moved out and been replaced by others, among them George Fryer, a young footman from Liverpool and Ann Allam, from Stanton St John. Two of Ann’s relations were later to move to Elsfield and Jack Allam in particular was to play an important part in the lives of the young Buchan children at the Manor.

Sarah Lockton, a laundress and long term resident of Elsfield, died aged 66 in 1889. She had two lodgers: eighteen year old Ernest Caterer, a gardener, and Charles Shepherd aged 21, an agricultural labourer.

Joseph Lock, born in Elsfield in 1808, died in 1883 aged 73 and his wife Mary in 1887, aged 75. Henry Ford, also an Elsfield man, died in 1887 aged 63, but his wife was much younger, and she was left with a grown up son, Henry, and a little girl of six.

Thomas Faulkner, a groom, also died in 1887 aged 54 leaving his wife to take responsibility for their two boys aged 17 and 14 and a ten year old daughter Mary.

Thomas Gardner was the only member of his family listed in the 1881 census to survive the 1880s. His ten year old daughter died in 1881, his fourteen year old son George in 1883 and his wife, 49 year old Emma in 1887.

To offset the sadness of all those deaths there were sixteen weddings to celebrate in the decade. Thirza Watts, a servant at the manor, married mason Frederick Seccull, a widower at 28. He is not mentioned in either the 1881or the 1891 census though the register says he was living in Elsfield.

Joe Shepherd and Eliza Lockton, both of Elsfield, were married the following year and three other marriages of people living in Elsfield took place in 1885 and 86: John Messenger to Louisa Stilgoe, John Saunders aged 32 to an older woman, Mary Ann Wakelin, who was 42, and Edmund Stilgoe to Elizabeth Louch.

In 1887, John Narroway, aged 41 married Sarah Sophia East, a widow. She brought with her her two daughters from her previous marriage: Ethel, aged 10 in 1891 and Minnie, two years younger. They kept their father’s name and are registered as stepchildren of John Narroway, who was a servant. Sarah Sophia was to marry again after the death of John in 1895 to another Elsfield man, Harry Taylor in 1903. Meanwhile the 1901 census records that at this time Sarah was living on her own means while Ethel, who had been born in Adderbury, was an assistant school mistress, Minnie, born in Liverpool, was a school teacher and the youngest member of the family was Dorothy Narroway, daughter of Sarah and John Narroway, aged six.

Alfred Clements the gamekeeper married Eliza Long, a cook in 1888 while in 1889 two Elsfield couples were married: William Randall, a groom, married Edith Basson while Ernest Caterer married Elizabeth Adamson.

There were thus nine marriages within the village. There were seven people who married outside the village: Ann Ford married a mason from Towcester, Jane Maria East married a blacksmith from Stony Stratford, Edwin Downey, Kate Elston married William Russell Taylor, a carpenter from Headington, while Mary Ann Markham married a butcher from Oxford, William Lammas.

Eliza Taylor married a man from the Midlands. William Wagstaff came from Nottingham and is described as a pensioner. Presumably a man of independent means, since there was no such thing as an old age pensioner. He was 41. Mary Taylor, aged 38, married a shepherd from Chilton, William Varney, a widower.


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