Archive for June, 2017

Among my many family roots in Fayette County, IL, the Washburns were early settlers of the area later known as Otego Township. My 3-great-grandparents, David and Esther Washburn, came to that area in about 1830 and are buried in the Pilcher Cemetery near Brownstown, IL. In this 2014 post, https://paulstroble.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/my-family-the-washburns-back-to-the-pilgrims/ , I summarized another genealogist’s research to trace the Washburns back to my 9-great-grandparents, John (1566-1624) and Martha (Stevens) Washbourne (c. 1573-1626), of St. Peter’s Parish, Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England. Their son John (1597-1671) and Margery (Moore) Washbourne (b. c. 1586) sailed to New England in 1631 or 1632 and settled in Duxbury in Plymouth Colony; John and Margery’s son John married the granddaughter of a Mayflower passenger, Francis Cooke.

img_4938.jpgThis past winter, I found some wonderful books that trace generations of the Washbournes prior to this John:

James Davenport, The Washbourne Family of Little Washbourne and Wichenford in the County of Worcester (London: Methuen & Co, 1907).

R. E. M. Peach (ed.), The Washbourne Family: Notes and Records, Historica nd Social of the Ancient Family of Washbourne of Washbourne, Wichenford and Pytchley from the 12th Century to the Present Time (Privately printed by John Bellows, Glouchester, 1896).

E. A. B. Barnard, Some Notes on the Evesham Branch of the Washbourne Family (Evesham: W. &. H. Smith Lit., 1914). [Evesham is adjacent to Bengeworth; Little Washbourne and Wichenford are villages in Glochestershire, and Stanford and Pytchley are towns in neighboring Northamptonshire.


This portrait, purportedly of Sir Roger Washbourne, was published in Davenport, but he argues (pp. 192-193) that it may be one of the later Wichenford John Washbournes, who died in 1633.

Fortunately all these books are scanned and readable online: do an internet search and you’ll easily find links to the complete texts. I encourage anyone interested in the early Washbournes to do so!

The following are just a few notes from those books, to summarize my own probable ancestry. (There were a lot of John Washbournes! I had to differentiate a few by adding their dates of death.)

* Sir Roger of Little Washbourne and Stanford, married Joan. He was living in 1299. If John Washbourne (d. 1546) below was the son of John Washbourne (d. 1517), then Sir Roger and Joan are my 18-great-grandparents, living during the reign of the Plantagenet kings Edward I and Edward II. Davenport called Sir Roger “the first authentic Washbourne” (p. 17).

Peach writes, “The Washbournes, of Washbourne, were generation after generation of Knightly degree, previous to the reign of Edward II., and ranked in point of descent with the most ancient families in the kingdom… Sir Roger Washbourne…married two wives: by the first, Joan, daughter and heir of Sir John Mustard, Knt., he had an only daughter Isolde, who became the wife of John Salwey, of Kanke, and by the second, Margaret, daughter and Heir of John Poher, or Power, a son, Norman Washburn, who retired to his mother’s estate in Wichenford, where his descendants continued to reside for several generations, enjoying the highest respectability, and intermarrying with the houses of Kynaston, Mytton, Stapylse, Tracy, Lygon, &c” (pp. 3-4).

(Here is the Find-a-Grave page for Sir Roger, with links to his descendants: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=83958149

The next generations:

* Sir John, son of Sir Roger and Joan, and knight of the shire, died in 1319. Married Isabella Cassy. (Peach, p. 12, Davenport, pp. 3-6)

* Sir Roger, married Margaret, not later than 1316. Roger was still living in 1358. (Davenport, 7, 17; Peach, 33)

* Peter, married in 1355 to Isolde Hanley (Peach, 34).

* John, the last of Stanford and first of Wichenford; knight of shire and vicecombs (sheriff). Married Margaret Poher of Wichenford (Peach, 33, Davenport, 8-17).

* Norman, vicecomes. Married Elizabeth Kynaston. Peach gives her name as Kynaston, a daughter of the High Sheriff of County Worcester (p. 34). Davenport (p. 24) quotes a course indicating that the name is also written Knifton, Knivton, Knyveton, and Kniveton.  Here is Elizabeth’s Find-a-Grave page, with links to her family: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=101434504

* John, born as early as 1454, died May 1517, first marriage to Joan Mitton of Weston, County Stanford (Davenport, 30-34; Peach 36ff). John is buried in Wichenford Church, although Davenport writes that the monument is gone (p. 34-35).

* John, who according to Davenport, is the ancestor of Bengeworth branch (and therefore the ancestor of the American descendants), died 1546. Married Emme, d. 1547. They are my 11-great-grandparents. 

Davenport writes, “At the time when registers became compulsory (1538) he [John] appears on the scene with his wife Emme, residing at Bengeworth, which adjoins the town of Evesham and is a few miles distant from Little Washbourne. They were then quite middle-aged persons, having four grown-up children and several grandchildren. John was buried there in 1546 and Emme in 1547. It is not difficult to imagine the reasons why and the circumstances under which John struck out from Wichenford and migrated to the neighborhood of Evesham to seek his fortune in the town, as younger sons had, and still have, to do away from the paternal roof, though the exact date of his departure can only be guessed. Perhaps he left in his father’s lifetime when his prospects cannot have seemed very rosy, inasmuch as, in addition to two younger brothers, he had an elder brother with a son destined to become the head of the family, and saw the introduction into the family home by his father of a second wife, and in due course of two more brothers, Anthony and Richard. More probably he left in 1517, when his father died. He found himself overlooked in the will, and saw his young nephew of seventeen become owner of Wichenford and Knight’s Washbourne, with the management of affairs left in the hands of a son younger than himself, viz. Walter, and the stepmother, Elizabeth Monington. At any rate, he went forth and became progenitor of the branch which flourished at Bengeworth for a long period, and from which came the famous John who went to America, sending for his wife Margery and their two sons to follow him in 1635 (pp. 35-36).

E. A. B. Barnard, however, questions that John (d. 1546) was the same John who was the son of John (d. 1517). He writes on pages 42-43: “In his excellent History of the Washbourne Family (first published in 1907) the Rev. J. H. Davenport states that the second son of John (8) of Wichenford, was identical with John Washbourne of Bengeworth, Evesham, husband of Emme, from whom he shows, by singularly complete evidence, that the American branches of he Family are descended. it must be admitted, however, that although this identification seems a reasonable probability it is by no means a certainly. Mr. Davenport give strong hypothetical reason for his statement and, with his wide knowledge of the subject any other theory may be plainly untenable, but it has still to be borne in mind that there is no direct evidence for it in the Visitation pedigrees of the Wichenford branch of the famly [sic]. Moreover, we have seen that Washbournes had lived in the neighbourhood of Evesham for at least two hundred years before John of Benegeworth had lands there, and further there is the evidence of a Fifteenth Century Washbourne tile in Evesham Abbey, to say nothing of the possibility of a somewhat later Washbourne coat-of-arms in a window in Old St. Peter’s Church, Bengeworth.” And he goes on from there.

But I found this site—-http://www.genealogy.com/forum/surnames/topics/washburn/4390/ —-that disagrees with Barnard and connects these Johns with the Wichenford line. The people who wrote the family pages on Find-a-Grave for Sir Roger and his descendants also connect the Wichenford line to the Bengeworth line.

So… from John and Emme, we have:

*John and Emme’s son, John of Bengeworth, died 1593. He married Jone Whitfield. Among their children was the son:

* John Washbourne, born August 1, 1566 in Bengeworth, Worcestershire, England, died August 3, 1624. Married Martha (Timbrell) Stevens in St. Peter’s Parish, Bengeworth. She was born there about 1573 and died May 9, 1626.

The rest of this information, which traces the family to my 3-great-grandfather in my native Fayette County, IL, can already be found at the other blog site:

* John Washbourne, baptized July 2, 1597 in St. Peter’s Parish, Bengeworth, died March 17, 1671. He married Margery Moore on Nov. 23, 1618 in St. Peter’s Parish Bengeworth. She was born about 1586. John sailed to New England in about 1631 or 1632, and settled in the town of Duxbury in Plymouth Colony, where he was a tailor. He and Margery were the immigrant ancestors, my 8-great-grandparents, although Margery apparently died not long after they arrived in Plymouth.

* John Washburn, born about Nov. 20, 1620 in Bengeworth, died Nov. 12, 1686 in Bridgewater, Pymouth Co., MA. He married Elizabeth Mitchell in Plymouth on Dec. 6, 1645. She was born about 1629 in Plymouth and died before Dec. 5, 1684 in Bridgewater, MA.

Elizabeth was the granddaughter of a Mayflower passenger. Her parents were Experience Mitchell and Jane Cooke, and Jane Cooke was the daughter of Francis Cooke, who sailed on the Mayflower and signed the Mayflower Compact. Francis Cooke and his wife Hester (who came to the colony a little later) are my 9-great-grandparents. There is much online concerning Cooke and other Mayflower passengers. 

*James Washburn (5/15/1672-6/11/1749), married Mary Bowden (about 1670-12/18/1745). They were from Bridgewater. They married Dec. 20, 1693

*Moses Washburn (9/9/1702-10/31/1765), married Hannah Cushman (12/25/1705-after 7/29/1750). They married May 23, 1727 in Kingston, MA. She was the daughter of Robert Cushman and Perusus Lewis.

* Bezaliel Washburn (about 1740-10/5/1813), married Patience Sollard, his third wife, on July 10, 1795 in Darmouth, Bristol County, MA. (What cool names! “Bezaliel and Patience, table for two…” The biblical Bezalel was one of the artisans on the Tabernacle in Exodus 31.)

*David Washburn (8/12/1785-3/13/1852), married Esther Griffith. David was born in Dartmouth. Esther was born in 1789 in New York. They both settled in Fayette County, IL in the 1830s, and died there. They are buried in the Pilcher Cemetery near Brownstown, IL.

David and Esther’s granddaughter, via their son George, was Abagail [sic] Washburn Pilcher, the mother of maternal grandma, who in turn first got me interested in genealogy.

Last fall, when we were in London, I considered taking the train to Evesham and investigate Bengesworth. I wimped out and instead visited Charles Darwin’s grave in Westminster Abbey and shared in the noon Eucharist. But I do plan to visit these towns and hopefully Wichenford, as well. When I do, I’ll blog about it!


Here is the genealogical chart included in Davenport:


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