The village name comes from the English word 'marsh', describing the typical state of land in the area due to the high water table of the Aylesbury Vale. The affix 'Gibbon' derives from the family name 'Gibwen', the lords of the manor here in the twelfth century. In manorial rolls of 1292 the village was recorded as Mersh Gibwyne, though earlier (in 1086) it was known simply as Merse.
One of the two entries in the Domesday Book for the village is unique in having the only comment of any kind, namely "Graviter et miserabiliter". In translation the complete entry reads:
The second manor was the property of the abbey of Grestein in Normandy, France. However in 1365 this was seized by the Crown because it belonged to a foreign church. In 1437 it was granted to an almshouse trust founded at Ewelme in Oxfordshire. In 1617 James I granted the Mastership of the Ewelme Trust to the Regius Professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford in whose hands it remains today. Its manor house is Elizabethan and situated just south of the thirteenth century church and about 200 metres from Westbury Manor to the West.
During the English Civil War in 1645, the parliamentarian troops were garrisoned in Marsh Gibbon, following a skirmish at Hillesden. From there they marched on to Boarstal on the way to Oxford, the King's headquarters during the later part of the war. The groundworks of their encampment were visible in the field to northwest of the Ewelme manor house but were flattened in the late 1950s.
To the east of the village is the hamlet of Little Marsh and to the south east is the hamlet of Summerstown.
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The Victoria County History article on Marsh Gibbon confirms that there was a Westbury Manor both in Westbury Parish and at Marsh Gibbon.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References