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Eric Trudgill    -    2 February 2018

The first thing to appreciate about eighteenth century Buckland families is that they started pretty much as Buckleys. Early on they objected to being called Bucklands: when Will Buckley married Amy Hearn (both gypsies) in Thame, Oxf in 1738, he and John Buckley, who had signed the £100 marriage bond, had their surname altered from Buckland. Later on, however, most Buckleys became Bucklands: Old Emmanuel married Aquila Draper in 1769 as a Buckley, and christened their first five children as Buckleys, but he then christened three as Bucklands and one as a Bucklow. The one family to buck the trend (and still does) was Old Joe Buckleyís.

The second thing to appreciate is that Buckley/Bucklands, like all Romanies, adhered to distinctive travel patterns. Thomas and Judith, Timothy and Elizabeth, Old Emmanuel and Aquila, and their children travelled in a 100 mile corridor from Wiltshire, through Oxfordshire and neighbouring parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Gloucestershire, to Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire. In contrast Edward and Teana and Doctor and Mary Buckland were very short travellers. Edward confined himself to a small patch around Thame, and Doctor to an even smaller patch around Gt Missenden, Bkm that was adjacent to Edwardís. Old Joe Buckley seems to have restricted himself to Essex, where four of his children were born or baptised, and its neighbouring county, Suffolk, where his other child was baptised (his predecessors and relatives, Shadrach Buckley and Cinderella Buckley, wife of Shadrach Boswell, christened 1761-92 at least ten children between them in Essex and one in Suffolk).

Old Joeís Buckley family was distinct enough in surname, territory and unusual forenames to suggest there was no current connection between it and the nine Buckland families to the west, those of Ted, Henry, Ravishing Billy, Coliberry, Mary, Barrington, Emmanuel, Edward and Doctor (youíll notice all ten were southerners). This isnít to say that the Essex Buckleys hadnít been closely connected in the past to all nine Buckland families, or indeed that some of these southerners hadnít once been northerners, although both propositions would be extremely difficult to document.

One way of clarifying the nine Buckland families further is to observe three likely brothers in the opening decades of the eighteenth century, John, Will and Emmanuel. The John Buckley who signed a £100 marriage bond for Will Buckley, in Thame in 1738, also signed a £100 marriage bond for a William Buckley (probably his son) at his wedding in Shabbington, Bkm in 1766 to a Susanna Buckley baptised in Gt Milton, Oxf in 1735 daughter of Emmanuel and Esther, travellers. The fact that John and Margaret Buckley baptised a Pleasant in 1732, whose name was given by Old Emmanuel Buckland to a daughter in 1774, suggests John or Emmanuel could have been father of Thomas Buckland (husband of Judith), or of Timothy (husband of Elizabeth), or of Old Emmanuel (husband of Aquila).

Similarly, the fact that Will Buckley, who married Amy Hearn in Thame, baptised a Peter in 1738 who baptised a Plato in 1772, suggests one of Willís sons could have fathered the Edward Buckland who married Teana Hearn, baptised a son in Thame (which was at the heart of his territory) and also baptised a Plato (a name from this point found only in the Bucklands in Edwardís branch). And the fact that Will baptised two children in Lt Missenden, one in Monks Risborough and one in Princes Risborough, suggests one of Willís sons could have fathered the Doctor Buckland who baptised five children in Gt Missenden, one in Princes Risborough, and five next door in Gt Hampden. Weíll learn more as more data becomes available.

BUCKLAND BOOK PAGE 49 Edward & Diana Bucklandís Children: Explanations

Edward was probably baptised in Ambrosden, Oxf in 1759 son of parents not given forenames (Ambrosden isnít far from his small territory as an adult). His wife Diana/Teana was surely a Hearn (their son Plato was baptised in 1789 as a Buckland and as a Hearn, and at least three of their children married Hearns). Edward and his wife had eleven children baptised, married or buried close to Thame on the Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire border: in Long Crendon, Chearsley, Haddenham and Nether Winchendon slightly to the north, in Monks Risborough, Ellesborough and Princes Risborough slightly to the east, in Towersey, Emmington, Tetsworth and Aston Rowant slightly to the south, and in Garsington, Noke and Merton slightly to the west.

To the eleven children, for whom weíve found baptisms, we can clearly add Mabel and George: Mabel Buckland with her brother Plato witnessed the wedding of Edward and Dianaís first child Teana to George Fletcher, and christened her first child Edward; George christened a Teana and a Plato. [Curiously Teana and the next two of her three sisters, Mabel and Anna Maria, all seem to have started their families late after marrying a noticeably younger man].

Proving the identity of Mabel and George, even without baptisms, doesnít present much of a problem.

Nor does proving the identity of several of Edward and Dianaís grandchildren. Iíve found no baptism for the Thomas Fletcher who married Risavoy Smith, but the fact that he baptised daughters as Tienee and Damaris shows he was a son of the Teana Buckland who married George Fletcher and christened a Damaris. Iíve found no wedding for Edward and Dianaís John, baptised in 1792, but he must have married a Maria, since the Leander they baptised in 1832 shared her unusual name with daughters of Johnís siblings Roger and Mabel. I have found a wedding for Edward and Dianaís Elizabeth, baptised in 1802, to William Bennett, and am confident about it despite the commonness of her forename and his gorjer status (rare in the family at this time), because the happy couple in 1823 used the church used the previous year by Elizabethís sister Teana and George Fletcher.

There is, however, one section of Edward and Dianaís family that remains stubbornly problematic: the children of the fore-mentioned George. George married Sarah Smith in 1830 and had at least five children before his premature death in the 1840s: Terence, Misella, Teana and Plato baptised in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Bedfordshire 1831-39, and Thomas born about 1841 (he claimed to be 22 and son of George, deceased brazier, when he married in 1862). Terence was clearly the famous Tennant Buckland who married Keziah Jeffs (he had a nephew named Terrence in the census and Tenet at his birth) and who moved well away from family territory down to the South West (territory of his widowed motherís second husband, Thomas Jeffs) and then to the USA. Misella clearly married a Richard Stanley and had a daughter who married in Devon Tennantís son Thomas.

Plato, you might think, must have been the famous Plato Buckland who married Elizabeth Small, had a Misella, born about 1860 in the USA, and travelled with Tennant. And Thomas clearly was the Thomas Buckland who married first Comfort Smith in 1862, having baptised a Misella by her in 1860, who married second Rhoda Small (see the 1871 census), surely Elizabethís sister since Thomas and Plato were prosecuted in 1868 with Cinderella Small (Rhodaís aunt), and who married third Sarah Hoadley, having by her a Plato born in 1873 in Warwickshire (where he was probably travelling with Plato and Elizabeth), and a Tenet born in 1879 in Devon (where he was probably travelling with Plato and Elizabeth and Tennant and Keziah).

Thereís a problem here, however: Plato, son of George baptised in Appleton, Brk in 1839, is found twice in the census born in Appleton about 1839, first as the brother of Misella, but second as the husband of Ann Willams. Two Plato Bucklands being born in Appleton in 1839 seems improbable, and I can only conclude the travel companion of Georgeís Tennant and Thomas was their cousin Plato Buckland son of Thomas and Damaris. Presumably Tennant, when his mother re-married and re-located, maintained relations with his cousins, the children of Thomas and Damaris, and in time found the Plato in that family a more congenial fellow-traveller than the Plato in his own.

Copyright © 2018 Eric Trudgill