A summary of Tim Silver's links with Buckinghamshire

Four surnames (and many extended family names) that feature in my genealogy hail from Buckinghamshire.  The most significant being Andrews, Baldwin, Knight and especially (for me) Meads.  In particular, three consecutive generations of Meads (George [1813], his son, William [1842] and his son Walter [1873] - my gt. grandfather) being born and living in, Medmenham.

However, I'm going to nominate my 2x gt. grandfather, Richard Stannett Andrews, who was born in Wooburn Green on 24 October 1839 to represent my connection to Buckinghamshire - the 1st (known) bastard in my direct lineage.  Through researching him, I re-discovered the 'gem of all gems' - but more of that later.

Main areas of interest:

Beaconsfield | Hambleden | Medmenham | Taplow | Wooburn Green | Wraysbury

Extended family locations:
Amersham;  Aylesbury;  Beamond End;  Berkhampstead;  Bovingdon Green;  Burnham;  Chalfont St. Giles;  Chipping Wycombe;  Colnbrook;  Danesfield;  Dinton;  Dorney;  Eton;  Farnham Royal;  Great Kingshill;  Great Marlow;  Great Missenden;  Haddenham;  Hambleden;  High Wycombe;  Marlow;  Milton Keynes;  Prestwood;  Wooburn Common;  Wycombe

Buckinghamshire (abbreviated Bucks) is a ceremonial and non-metropolitan home county in South East England.  The county town is Aylesbury, the largest town in the ceremonial county is Milton Keynes and largest town in the non-metropolitan county is High Wycombe.

The area under the control of Buckinghamshire County Council, is divided into four districts - Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe.  The Borough of Milton Keynes is a unitary authority and forms part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but does not come under county council control.  The ceremonial county, the area including Milton Keynes borough, borders Greater London (to the south east), Berkshire (to the south), Oxfordshire (to the west), Northamptonshire (to the north), Bedfordshire (to the north east) and Hertfordshire (to the east).

The name Buckinghamshire is Anglo-Saxon in origin and means The district (scire) of Bucca's home.  Bucca's home refers to Buckingham in the north of the county, and is named after an Anglo-Saxon landowner.  The county has been so named since about the 12th century; however, the county itself has existed since it was a subdivision of the kingdom of Mercia (585 to 919).

The history of the area, though, predates the Anglo-Saxon period and the county has a rich history starting from the Celtic and Roman periods, though the Anglo-Saxons perhaps had the greatest impact on Buckinghamshire: the geography of the rural county is largely as it was in the Anglo-Saxon period.  Later, Buckinghamshire became an important political arena, with King Henry VIII intervening in local politics in the 16th century and just a century later the English Civil War was reputedly started by John Hampden in mid-Bucks.

Historically, the biggest change to the county came in the 19th century, when a combination of cholera and famine hit the rural county, forcing many to migrate to larger towns to find work.  Not only did this alter the local economical picture, it meant a lot of land was going cheap at a time when the rich were more mobile and the leafy Bucks became a popular rural idyll: an image it still has today.

The county can be split into two sections geographically.  The south leads from the River Thames up the gentle slopes of the Chiltern Hills to the more abrupt slopes on the northern side leading to the Vale of Aylesbury, a large flat expanse of land, which includes the path of the River Great Ouse.

The county includes two of the four longest rivers in England.  The River Thames forms the southern boundary with Berkshire, which has crept over the border at Eton and Slough so that the river is no longer the sole boundary between the two counties.  The River Great Ouse rises just outside the county in Northamptonshire and flows east through Buckingham, Milton Keynes and Olney.

The main branch of the Grand Union Canal passes through the county as do its arms to Slough, Aylesbury, Wendover (disused) and Buckingham (disused).  The canal has been incorporated into the landscaping of Milton Keynes.

The southern part of the county is dominated by the Chiltern Hills.  The two highest points in Buckinghamshire are Haddington Hill in Wendover Woods (a stone marks its summit) at 267 metres (876 ft) above sea level, and Coombe Hill near Wendover at 260 metres (850 ft).  ©Wikipedia

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Beaconsfield, 51°61'N 0°38.7'W, is a market town and civil parish operating as a town council within the South Bucks district in Buckinghamshire, England.  It lies 23.6 miles (38 km) northwest of Charing Cross in Central London, and 17 miles (27 km) south-east of the county town of Aylesbury.  Other nearby towns include Amersham to the north northeast and High Wycombe to the west. ©Wikipedia

My link with Beaconsfield is very tenous - Richard Andrews (my 2x gt. grandfather) lived with his mother in Beaconsfield in 1851; and in the '61 census he was no longer with his mother but still in Beaconsfield.  However, just a few miles to the north west is Forty Green.  There can be found the ‘gem of all gems’; the oldest free-house in the land - 900 years old!  The Royal Standard of England.   I just can't believe he never went there.  Go yourself and soak up the atmosphere!

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Hambleden, 51°34'N 0°52'W, is a small village and civil parish within Wycombe district in the south of Buckinghamshire.  It is about four miles west of Marlow, and about three miles north east of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire.

The village name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and means 'crooked or undulating valley'. It was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Hanbledene, though previously in 1015 it was known as Hamelan dene.

St Thomas Cantilupe, the Lord Chancellor and Bishop of Hereford, was born in Hambleden in 1218.

In 1315 a Royal charter was granted to hold a market in the village, and a fair on St Bartholomew's Day (August 24) every year.  The charter was reconfirmed in 1321, though appears to have not lasted much longer than this.  ©Wikipedia

My 4x gt. grandfather, George Meads, was born in Hambleden c.1785 - at least, he was baptised there 05 Jun 1785.

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Medmenham, 51°33'N 0°50.4'W, is a village and civil parish in the Wycombe district of Buckinghamshire, England.  Located on the River Thames about three and a half miles southwest of Marlow and three miles east of Henley-on-Thames.

The village includes some old timber framed brick and flint cottages and some estate workers cottages built at the beginning of the 20th century from local chalk rock.  The Church of England parish church of Saint Peter was heavily restored in 1839.  The Dog and Badger Inn (a pub worth visiting) on the A4155 road dates from late in the 16th century, the name having been transferred from the inn at Hambleden which was renamed the Stag and Huntsman.

The village lane ends at the Old Ferry crossing which ceased to be used after the Second World War.  It was where the Thames towpath crossed from the Buckinghamshire to Berkshire bank of the river.  On the towpath beside the former ferry crossing stands the large Medmenham Ferry Memorial that commemorates Lord Devonport's successful 1899 defence of the public right-of-way over the ferry.

Next to the village, but separated from it by the A4155, is the first of two Iron Age hill forts, Medmenham Camp.  Danesfield Camp also known as Danes Ditches is located slightly further along the road to the east near to the village of Hurley.  Also attached to the village are the hamlets of Lower Woodend and Rockwell End. ©Wikipedia

Three consecutive generations of my Meads ancestors were born in Medmenham - George [1813], his son, William [1842] and his son Walter [1873] - my gt. grandfather.

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Taplow, 51°32'N 0°41.3'W, is a village and civil parish within South Bucks district in Buckinghamshire.  It sits on the east bank of the River Thames facing Maidenhead on the opposite bank.

The village name is Anglo Saxon in origin, and means 'Tæppa's barrow'; the Anglo-Saxon burial mound of Tæppa can still be visited. Taplow was recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Thapeslau.

In the 1851 census my 3x maternal grandmother, Rebecca Andrews, stated she was born in Taplow c.1811 - so far, I've found no corroborative evidence of that.

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Wooburn Green, 51°35'N 0°41'W, is a village in the parish of Wooburn and Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, England.  Situated four miles south east of the town of High Wycombe.  It neighbours Beaconsfield, Loudwater, Flackwell Heath, and Bourne End.  The village was once served by the High Wycombe to Bourne End railway line, however the line and station closed in 1970.

The large village green (a conservation area) is fringed with Lime trees and is surrounded by older cottages, small Victorian and Edwardian houses, modern shops and local businesses.  A Village Fête and funfairs are held there regularly throughout the year. ©Wikipedia

So this is where Richard Stannett Andrews, the illegitimate son of Rebecca Andrews and Richard Stannett, was born.

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Wraysbury, 51°27'N 0°33'W, traditionally spelt Wyrardisbury, is a village and civil parish in Berkshire, England.  It is located in the very east of the county, in the part that was in Buckinghamshire until 1974.  It sits on the northern bank of the River Thames in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead and is situated 22 miles (35 km) west of London.

Investigation by Windsor and Wraysbury Archaeological Society of a field in the centre of Wraysbury to the east of St Andrew's church revealed evidence of human activity in Neolithic times.  Many hundreds of flint artefacts were found and are now in the care of the Windsor Museum collection.

The village name is Anglo Saxon in origin and means 'Wïgræd's fort'.  Its name is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Wirecesberie and Wiredesbur in 1195.  There is a pub across the river in Old Windsor, called the Bells of Ouseley and it has been suggested that this is another archaic spelling of Wraysbury.  However a more likely explanation is that it is named after the bells of Osney Abbey which were brought downstream at the dissolution and disappeared into the mud at this point.

The village was a portion of hunting grounds when the Saxons resided at Old Windsor.  New Windsor was built in 1110 by King Henry I and he moved in, in 1163.  The lands around Wraysbury were held by a number of noblemen. ©Wikipedia

My interest in Wraybury comes via my 2x gt. grandfather, John Knight.

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