Banburyshire Family History

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Steve Milton

John Ashbee (-1734)

John Ashbee, "Yeoman of Brailes", is the first certain ancestor of Joseph Ashby of Tysoe (although we can speculate that John is the son of William Ashby of Willington (1647-)).

In 1730 John Ashby, paid 6s Window Tax for "the lower house at Chelmscote" and also £1 Window Tax for Winderton (Chelmscote and Winderton being hamlets of Brailes in Warwickshire). John was married to Jane (Unknown). In Jane's will she is described as being "of Seasoncut". Seasoncut (now Sezincote, part of the parish of Longborough) lies in Gloucestershire, about ten miles South West of Brailes. The connection is maintained: a number of John's children are later resident at Sezincote and Longborough. We can surmise that perhaps Jane was from a land-owning family of Sezincote.

John's will of 1733 includes assets of a half yardland at Hook Norton (purchased off Richard Gunn) and a quarter yardland at Epwell (a yardland being and individual farmer's holding in open fields of the pre-enclosure farming system, typically consisting of about twenty acres). In Jane's will of 1743, the land at Epwell is bequeathed to her daughter Hannah Hemmings. The land at Hook Norton is bequeathed to her daughters Mary Gunn and Margaret Ashby.

John's children all appear to have been Quakers, so it's very likely that John and Jane were also. Details of some of his children and their spouses follow:

Robert Ashby (1709-1786) and Mary Gilkes (1700-1780)

Being direct ancestors of Joseph Ashby of Tysoe, Robert has a later section to himself.

Joseph Ashby (-1788) and Rebeckah Enock

Joseph and Rebeckah's intention to marry appears in the minutes of the south Warwickshire monthly meeting in 1737 (Quaker couples were obliged to declare their intentions of marriage at two successive sessions of the monthly meeting(s) to which they belonged).

Joseph's daughter Jane (1741-1801), was resident a Maidenhill Farm, Longborough at the time of her death. Her will leaves to "her sisters Margaret Hall and Ann Rowsham equally my share of all the [illegible] and profits of an estate at Winderton in the parish of Brailes". In 1794, William Rowsham (husband of Ann) was the tenant of Maidenhill Farm. The Ashby name remains in the Rowsham family until at least 1894 in the shape of Ann's grandson Joseph Ashby Rowsham (1811-1894).

In 1736, one Joseph Ashby was an overseer of the poor at Tysoe. The same man is said to have had a yardland (presumably in the Tysoe open fields) - perhaps the land that the later Ashbys of Tysoe owned. We can perhaps identify this as the same Joseph Ashby before his marriage in 1737 and relocation to Sezincote.

Joseph died in 1778. In the South Warwickshire monthly meeting minutes in 1791, the following appears: "The conduct of the descendents of the late Joseph Ashby now residing at Upper Seasoncut, not being satisfactory [not attending religious meetings etc]... appoint Jeffrey Beavington of Campden to visit them". All seemed to have been put in order by a subsequent meeting.

Joshua Ashby (-1761) and Ann Burberow (1731-1768)

Joshua was another Sezincote resident. He married Ann Burberow of Aynho Northants in 1756. They had two daughters, Hannah (1759-1770), and Ann (1760-1826). Joshua died in 1761, while his daughter Ann was possibly still unborn. In his will of 1761 he states "I give unto my wife the interest off the sum of two hundred pounds during her widowhood provided that if she should marry again and keep my Daughter Hannah and also the child that she is now pregnant with be it son or daughter in a decent manner pleasing to my trustees... [otherwise] I appoint and authorise my trustees that they shall take the sum of two hundred pounds and the interest thereof for the use of my said children and my wife nor her second husband shall have anything to do therewith".

By 1770, Hannah had died and Ann was an orphan. Ann's life is related in a "Quaker Testimony to the grace of God": "Ann Ashby, born Sezincote 1760 was an orphan and bought up be relations in Banbury.... she became a recorded minister at the age of 34. In 1825 she left home and went to live with a family where there was a serious illness... her health broke down with the fever she had been nursing. As she was dying of the fever she kept her family away because of the danger. She died at the age of 66".

Alice Ashby and William Mealing

They were married in 1742. We can probably identify William Mealing as another Longborough resident; in 1758 one William Mealing of Maidenhill farm appeared in the Tythe account book of Lord Leigh.

Stephen Ashby (1708-after 1761) and Mary Gilkes (1702-1759)

They were married in 1731 and were residents of Canons Ashby in Northants.

Elizabeth Ashby (-before 1749) and Simon Gilkes (1710-1777)

They were married in 1736, and were residents in Great Barford Grounds, Oxon.

Hannah Ashby and John Hemmings(1685-1756)

They were married around 1720 and were residents of Epwell. They inherited John Ashby's Epwell quarter yardland. The land remained in the Hemmings family until 1791, when it reverted back to Ashby ownership: "Draft release by John Hemmings, Epwell, Oxon., blacksmith, and William Hemmings, Epwell, baker (as trustee to bar dower) to Joseph Ashby, Sezincote, Gloucs., grazier of 6 acres land in Epwell allotted to said John Hemmings at Enclosure in lieu of ¼ yard land, and ½ meadow ground known as Peaches Close, which said lands were mortgaged 10 September 1778 by Hemmings to Ashby to secure repayment of £190 and interest and of which sum Hemming has defaulted and therefore releases freehold to Ashby."

Jane Ashby (-1776) and Isaac Dean

Jane married the thrice-before married Isaac Dean sometime after 1746. They were residents of Shutford, Oxon.

Mary Ashby (-1764) and John Gunn (-1754)

They were married sometime after 1746, and were residents of Hook Norton. John is probably related to the Richard Gunn who sold John Ashby his Hook Norton yardland.

Margaret Ashby (-1761) and John Cork

The Cork family were resident at Charingworth, Glos in the parish of Ebrington; this places them amongst the Sezincote/Longborough Quakers.

From Margaret's will: "Recites power under will of late mother Jane Ashby, deceased, to dispose of lands either in life or by will. ¼ yard land in common fields of Hook Norton, Oxon., in occupation of Mary Gunn to brother Stephen Ashby in trust to sell and, after deduction of expenses, to pay remainder of money to brother Robert Ashby, in trust to pay £10 to sister Jane Dean".

Contributed by Steve Milton
Email: stevemilton23(@)hotmail.com
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