Place:Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, England

Watchers
NameStokenchurch
TypeVillage, Civil parish
Coordinates51.667°N 0.917°W
Located inBuckinghamshire, England     (1895 - )
Also located inOxfordshire, England     ( - 1895)
See alsoWycombe Rural, Buckinghamshire, Englandrural district in which the village was located 1895-1974
Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Englandadministrative district formed 1974 including Stokenchurch
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Stokenchurch is a village and civil parish within Wycombe district in Buckinghamshire, England. It is in the Chiltern Hills, about south of Chinnor in Oxfordshire and west of High Wycombe. The village is a popular place to live, due to its rural location and ease of access to London and Birmingham. Stokenchurch has its own junction of the M40 (junction 5).

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The village name is Old English in origin, although there is a difference of opinion among scholars as to its original meaning. Patrick Hanks points out that 13th-century manorial records describe the village as Stockenechurch, which would logically come from OE stoccen + cirice, literally "logs church". This therefore means, he argues, that the village's name originated from a description of a church made from logs. However Starey and Viccars, in their study of the village point to the geography of the local area and the fact that in 1086 Stokenchurch was a woodland in the chapelry of Aston Rowant in Oxfordshire. They present the Hanks opinion as a credible origin however argue that due to the geography the name is more likely to come from the alternative meaning for the Anglo Saxon word stocc, which is an outlying farm or secondary settlement.[1]

The guide to the Parish Church, on sale in the church in the late 1970s (but no publishing information); mentions a battle fought between the locals and Danes on nearby Beacon Hill in the year 914AD. It is said that where juniper grows blood has been spilt - there is certainly lots of juniper on Beacon Hill.

The site of the village, (being on the main London to Oxford Road) proved a good resting and changing place for horses. For this reason in the English Civil War it was commonly used as a resting place for both Royalist and Parliamentarian troops. Being between Royalist Oxford and Parliamentarian London the village is mentioned no less than twelve times in the journal of Scoutmaster General Sir Samuel Luke between 1643 and 1644,[2] and on two occasions (on 5 December 1642 and 17 June 1643) skirmishes broke out when both sides arrived at the village together.

The original road is now a bridleway, called Colliers Lane (in original local dialect Coiyers Lane); the current road having been constructed in 1824. It was the use of the village as a stopping point that led to many of the pubs and inns being established.

By the early 13th century Stokenchurch was a chapelry in the parish of Aston Rowant. It was made a separate parish in 1844 and was transferred to Buckinghamshire from Oxfordshire in 1896. It was once a centre for chair making with much of the wood used being felled locally. By the 1930s there were seven or eight firms making chairs for sale to major furniture makers. Despite this, the village was not overly rich, being largely based on a farming community.

Research Tips

Maps

  • An outline map of the current civil parishes of Buckinghamshire (post 1974 and omitting Milton Keynes unitary authority) is provided by the Boundaries Commission.
  • Another map which gives no source, appears to have been drawn to show the county in the late 19th century and labels the parishes directly. However, the map does not show towns and villages (unless they are parishes using the same name) and some parishes have been found to be missing from this map.
  • A map provided by the Open University (a British university based in Milton Keynes) gives the locations of the old civil parishes and the new communities that make up Milton Keynes. It can be expanded to read the labels.

Registration Offices

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

  • Church of England and Nonconformist churches including registers of baptism, marriage and burial.
  • Around 35,000 wills proved by the Archdeaconry of Buckingham.
  • County and District Councils (lists of councillors, minutes of meetings, etc).
  • Quarter and Petty Session courts.
  • Landed estates of families including the Aubrey-Fletchers, Hampdens, Carringtons and Fremantles.
  • Historic maps including OS, tithe and inclosure maps
  • A wide range of local history books, some for loan.
  • Pamphlets and articles of local history interest.
  • Local newspapers
  • Computers for access to family history resources like Ancestry and FreeBMD.
  • Published material is listed in the Library Catalogue.
  • Catalogues to some of our manuscript material is available through Access to Archives, part of The National Archives (TNA). Their database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.

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

  • GENUKI for Buckinghamshire provides a lot of material on the county history from a variety of aspects. The maps of the hundreds are reproduced from 19th century publications and show the topology as well as the locations of the various parishes. There is also a schematic map covering the whole county. GENUKI does not contain much information about the 20th century and beyond.
  • Local History Online provides a list of local historical organizations. Each of these societies and organizations has its own website.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Buckinghamshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. The data does not cover the post-1974 period.