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Information pertaining to a section of the TRAFFORD family in Oxfordshire


My interest in the TRAFFORD family started when I discovered the marriage, in 1808, of my great great great grandfather Thomas Harper and Ann TRAFFORD in St. Mary the Virgin, Kirtlington Oxfordshire.

Ann was the daughter of John TRAFFORD and Mary CURTIS who married in 1766 and had six children between 1768 and 1784.  Last of these were Sarah and Ann, christened together in 1784 and probably twin sisters.

John was born about 1741, one of many years missing from the Kirtlington Parish Registers.  His approximate date of birth can be deduced from his age (78) at death and burial in Kirtlington in 1819. At this time another John TRAFFORD and his wife Mary SIMONS were christening a number of children, of which one was John junior.  This event cannot be confirmed by the Parish Register but is confirmed in John senior's will of 1768.

John senior farmed a large holding in Kirtlington; a survey of the parish by St John's College in 1750 shows him to be tenant of two farms totaling 498 acres  - easily the largest holding in the village outside that of his landlords. The Dashwood family were well into their procurement of virtually all the village.  This link with the Dashwoods means that several deeds etc. involving John have been preserved in the Dashwood papers held by the Oxford Record Office.

That will also gives a clue as to John senior's antecedents, he names his brother Henry TRAFFORD of Wendlebury as executor.  As there are no TRAFFORD entries in the Kirtlington registers prior to John and Mary's marriage in 1735 and the baptism of their first child (Thomas) in 1737, it seems that John had moved in from elsewhere.  Wendlebury is close by and his brother Henry lived there so it was the logical place to look next.

As it happens Henry and Ann TRAFFORD had three children christened in St. Giles, Wendlebury; Henry, 1702, Mary, 1704 and John, 1706.  These were an excellent match, the eldest son inheriting the property in Wendlebury, the younger branching out on his own. The only possible alternative John was born in 1679, surely too early to marry in 1735 and live to 1768, not impossible, but his brother Henry would have been 95 in 1768 - surely too old to be named executor of a will!  Hence I have settled upon John son of Henry and Ann, c 1706 as being John senior in Kirtlington.

Which gave me another problem - how to decide which Henry was which?  Two Henrys were christened in Wendlebury; Henry son of William and Catherine, 1677; and Henry son of Henry and Mary, in 1673; either would be of a suitable age to be raising a family in the early 1700s. Coming to a conclusion about this link was more difficult and ultimately less convincing.

The Henry TRAFFORD of Wendlebury who married Ann and had the three children detailed above is the only one of the two Henrys to raise a family in Wendlebury, he appears to be a man of some substance; he acts as churchwarden several times (a far more important post then than it is today), his sons Henry and John both appear to follow in his footsteps as minor landowners, farmers and (possibly) tradesmen.  The will  (transcribed) of Henry TRAFFORD (died 1680) leaves significant estate to his eldest son Henry (then only 6 years old) as well as making provision for his wife an other four children.  The inventory of his goods and chattels  shows a value of £377 12s 4d - over £40,000 in today's money, in addition to which he left several properties. As young Henry was left property in Wendlebury I feel it highly likely that he would remain in the village, and hence be the father of Kirtlington John sen. who became a significant landholder in his own right.

I have not yet traced the other Henry, though his brother Jacob is believed to be the root of the TRAFFORD presence in Headington and Horspath.

The aforesaid Henry and William TRAFFORD who were raising families in Wendlebury in the 1670s are the first to appear in the parish registers, as these registers go back considerably earlier I am once again looking elsewhere for their births. Henry married Mary GRANTHAM in Fringford in 1670, and named her brother Thomas as an executor to his will.

Researchers are divided over the source of these two - one school of thought places them as the children of Robert TRAFFORD and Margaret RICHARDS who married in 1638 in Banbury.  The timing is nice, but I have yet to see any evidence to support this theory which suggests that Henry and William were born in Wendlebury (though not no baptisms are registered there) and that a further mystery birth, that of Joan TRAFFORD, also took place in Wendlebury without baptism.  Joan appears in the Wendlebury registers for the first time when marrying Edw. WHEELER in 1678.

My own theory (which I prefer - naturally) is that Henry, William and Joan were all born in Adderbury, where christenings took place in 1619 (William), 1622 (Henry), 1647 (William) and 1649 (Joan). One William remains in Adderbury and is buried in 1671. The first two baptisms are the children of Richard TRAFFORD and Alice. The second being the children of William (presumably c 1619). My theory has Henry migrating to Wendlebury, where he has settled by 1665 (Hearth Tax returns have him paying tax on 7 hearths, the largest contribution in the village).  As a successful farmer, and possibly innkeeper (he certainly left a brewery to his heirs) he was able to offer employment to his nephew William, and perhaps to Joan also. If this William and Joan are the children of William who was buried in Adderbury in 1671 then that death is an added reason to move to Uncle Henry's.  Hence William comes to settle in Wendlebury and Joan, whether living in the village or just visiting, meets her future husband.

And that is as far as I go - I feel that it must be possible to demonstrate a link back to the Banbury TRAFFORDs of the mid-16th century, but cannot show one yet.

The TRAFFORDs  merit passing mention in the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire.

For Parish Register Transcripts and other TRAFFORD data click here