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Doctor Buckland

Eric Trudgill    -    3 July 2012

A Gypsy brazier, calling himself Doctor Buckland, married a Mary Newell in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire in 1796 (all subsequent locations will be in Buckinghamshire unless otherwise specified). The pioneer gypsiologists thought Doctor had married a Mary Hearn, sister of Solomon, but this seems unlikely, since Solomon was christened in 1799 son of a Norris Hearn, christened in 1774. Doctor and Mary were short travellers, all of their known children and many of their grandchildren being churched close to Princes Risborough. Doctor died in Prestwood in 1848 allegedly aged 79, Mary in Amersham Workhouse six years later allegedly aged 78.

Mary’s husband was recorded as Doctor at the baptism of seven of their children, in the 1841 census, and on his death certificate. But he was Joseph at the baptism of three of their other children, and on the death certificate of his widow; he was Timothy at the baptism of another of their children and in the notes of the gypsiologists; and he was Henry at the wedding of two of his sons. He didn’t christen a son Doctor, which perhaps indicates it wasn’t his baptismal name, but he christened his first three known sons Henry, Joseph and Timothy, which suggests any of those could have been.

Doctor and Marychristened their first five known children in Great Missenden: Henry in 1799 son of Doctor, Leno in 1801 daughter of Joseph, Peneley in 1803 daughter of Timothy, Joseph in 1804 son of Joseph, and Timothy Turnit in 1806 son of Doctor. They then christened five children in Great Hampden: Alicia in 1809 daughter of Joseph, and Solomon in 1811, William and Mary jointly in 1817, and Jabesh in 1824, all children of Doctor. In 1820 they’d gone back to Princes Risborough to christen Thomas son of Doctor.

Clearly there are some gaps here, and though Mary may have mis-carried a first child between her wedding and Henry’s arrival, and mis-carried a late child between the baptisms of 1820 and 1824, the gap between the baptisms of 1811 and 1817 may have been filled by the Ann, wife of Thomas Reading, andthe Sarah, wife of Joseph Lewis, who in the 1871 census were staying with the William Buckland Doctor had christened in 1817.

Of Doctor’s children I haven’t been able to track Alicia, Solomon, Mary or Thomas. Joseph was buried in Great Missenden in 1836, and Leno seemingly was the Leah Buckland who marrieda sawyer, Levi Ward,and had a John, Eliza, Isabella, Mary, Ann and Henry on Doctor’s patch between about 1824 and 1839(Leno’s brother, Jabesh, you’ll note had a Leah, and the baptismal Leno may have been an abbreviatedLeonora, which sometimes had Leah as an alternate). Doctor’s other children, Henry, Peneley, Timothy Turnit, William and Jabesh, are reasonably straightforward.

Doctor’s son, Henry, married a gorjer, Mary Tibbles, in Princes Risborough in 1823, had a Jabez, born in Buckinghamshire about that time, and subsequently settled in Beckley, Oxfordshire, christening six children there 1828-41 (Eliza, Ellen, twins Catherine and Mary, Joseph and Henry), and being buried there alongside his wife in 1880.

Doctor’s daughter, Peneley, married Joseph Fenner, and maintained a Gypsy life-style. Their children, according to the gypsiologists’ data as modified by the records, included Hector, allegedly transported about 1845; Joseph, born about either 1833 or 1837, who allegedly married an Alice Ayres; Benjamin, baptised as aFenner in Beaconsfield in 1835, his father a travelling tinker of West Wycombe; Cornelius, born in Shiplake, Oxon in 1840 and registered as a Fenner, who married (perhaps not his first wife) a Lucy Bowers, and subsequently Caroline Sheen in 1885; Penelope, born about 1841, who married Eli Law in 1867; Mary, born about 1843 or later, who married John Shipton Buckland, baptised in 1848; and Talitha/Matilda, born about 1847 or earlier, who married Thomas Beldam.Peneley died in 1864, two years after her husband.

Doctor’s son, Timothy Turnit (or Turniper – was he born in Turnip End, near Princes Risborough?), married first Penelope Roberts, christened in 1810 daughter of Richard and Alice, and then in 1870, a year after being widowed, Emma Bowers, christened in 1848 daughter of Gabriel and Patience. By Penelope Timothy Turnit had Jabez, christened in Sutton Courtenay, Berks in 1833, who married Rebecca Pike in 1854, and two widows, in 1894 and 1901; Mary and Freedom, christened jointly in Didcot, Berks in 1838 (the first married Methuselah Hearn, the second Jeremiah Lacey); Liberty, christened in St Leonards in 1842, who married Julia White in 1864; Tryphena, christened in Saunderton in 1844, who married James Ing in1865; Sarah and Richard, christened in Shepperton, Mdx in 1847 and 1849 respectively (the first married Frederick Free in 1867, the second Rebecca Kempster also in 1867); Henry, born in Basildon, Berks about 1851, who married Emily Newell in 1871; and Zena, born in Woolhampton, Berks about1854, who married AlbertLeach in 1872. By Emma Timothy Turnit had Elsie, Timothy and Zena, christened in Prestwood 1872-76, who married James Collins, Mary Ann Waterman and John Hall in 1891, 1892 and 1897 respectively, and Fanny Elizabeth, born in Wycombe about 1878, who married Harry Bunce in 1898. Timothy Turnit died in 1891.

Doctor’s son, William, married in 1847 (son of Henry) Eliza Chapman, christened in 1820 daughter of William and Mary. They had George, William Henry, Penelope and Julia, christened in Great Missenden 1848-58, and Herbert and Albert, christened in Prestwood 1863-5. William senior died in1888.

And Doctor’s son, Jabesh, married in 1843 (son of Henry) Charlotte Parsons (daughter of Joseph), and in 1863 (widowed son of Henry) Mary Green (daughter of John Lee). By Charlotte he had Mary, Jacob, Leah, Mary, Ann, Jane, Thomas and Joseph, christened in Prestwood 1844-55. By Mary he had Frederick and Agnes, born in Great Missenden about 1859 to 1861; plus Alice, Thomas, Ann, Clara, Jacob, Ernest, Frederick and Amy Elizabeth, christened in Prestwood 1864-77.

Most of Doctor’s children, married to, and living as, gorjers, are of more interest to descendants than to Gypsy genealogists, but Peneley and Timothy Turnit are an exception, and I plan to write detailed articles on both, in the next year or so, for Romany Routes or this web-site.

Copyright © 2012 Eric Trudgill