Ancestors Site map History

The Hedges Family

of Whitchurch and Aylesbury

New page December 2009, following on from Barnes family research. Those members of the Hedges family linking to the Barnes family have been researched more extensively than the rest as further details are not needed at present. There is a little more information available than recorded here, but for specific persons please, not 'blanket' requests. Corrections and/or additional information is always welcome.

St John's, Whitchurch There seem to have been two or three families named Hedges in Whitchurch at the turn of the 18th to 19th century but which two sisters, Mary born approx.1811 and Elizabeth (1813) belong to is at present unsure. Their own family had probably already moved to Aylesbury before Mary met George Barnes who she married on Christmas Day 1834 (probably his only free day!) and they may well have been related to other Hedges families there too. Perhaps the girls' parents were Thomas and Catherine, but the parish records only seem to be available in Aylesbury and are not on the IGI or, as far as is known, available elsewhere online. Interior of the church
memorial stone - Hedges These memorial stones are in the floor just in front of the pulpit in Whitchurch. As can be seen the inscription is badly damaged but the surname, Hedges, can be made out on both as well as the wife's name, Elizabeth which is really clear. Her husband's name appears to be a first name and an initial but is otherwise illegible. As he died in 1792, (on the first day of one of the longer months) it is just possible that they could be Mary and Elizabeth's grandparents. No other Hedges were found in the graveyard.
The village of Whitchurch is still small, lying mainly along the road to Aylesbury, and is full of very old houses cheek by jowl with the new. The further picture on the right illustrates a variety of ages and styles The pub was here a couple of centuries before Mary Hedges was born and a short lane beyond leads to the church so it would have been a familiar 'landmark' to her parents.

Family of Thomas and Catherine Hedges

  1. Thomas Hedges chr. 30 Jan 1799 Quainton [IGI Batch #C148531]
  2. Jane Hedges chr. 13 Jan 1805 Whitchurch; not found in 1841 or 1851
  3. Mary Hedges chr. 24 Mar 1811 Whitchurch, m. George Barnes 25 Dec 1834 in St Mary's, Aylesbury, Bucks; d. 1882
  4. Elizabeth Hedges chr. 31 Oct 1813 Whitchurch; single; d. Jun Q 1865 in Aylesbury

The IGI gives these four as children of Thomas and Catherine Hedges, but the only supporting evidence is that for Thomas who was born in the neighbouring village of Quainton. Whether his parent were the same Thomas and Catherine later in Whitchurch is unknown.
Jane could have died but could also have been long married by the 1841 census and easily 'disappeared' - not to be found again except perhaps by the original informant!
Mary married George Barnes in 1834 and Elizabeth lived with them in 1841 and was visiting them in 1851. Mary was said to be aged 73 at her death so could have been born in 1809 but it seems more likely that 73 was a mistake and that the exact christening date is from the original record, rather than that she was two when christened. The history of Mary and Elizabeth is continued on the Barnes family page.


Ancestors of Elizabeth Hedges, wife of James Barnes

This line was traced back very easily from Elizabeth who was born in Aylesbury in 1875, her parents being
___James William Hedges b. 1851 and Elizabeth Clark b.1849.
___James William was the son of James Hedges b.1808 and Ann Harris b.1815.
___The IGI gives the parentage of James senr. as Thomas Hedges and Peggy, but with no source information. (Peggy is usually a diminutive for Margaret but could have been used as a name in its own right)'

Because of the uncertainty surrounding the parentage of Mary and Elizabeth above no positive link can be found between them and the following families, although a relationship is of course possible as they all came from the same small village of Whitchurch. It also seems quite likely that the two family 'groups' knew each other and could have kept in touch.. The couples below definitely were ancestors of this Elizabeth Hedges who married James Barnes in 1899.

Thomas Hedges & Peggy

Nothing is known about this couple who were presumably contemporaries of Thomas and Catherine above and only
appear to have had the one child and nothing more is known about them.
  1. James Hedges chr. 29 Jun 1808 Whitchurch; d. 12 Oct 1883 (11 children from 2 marriages)

Family of James Hedges & (1)Eliza Hurst

James and Eliza married on 16 Sep 1832 in St Mary's, Aylesbury and on the 1841 census they are shown living on Oxford Rd where James continued to live for the next 30 years. By then they had had six children but only three were surviving. They were all born in Aylesbury:

  1. Sarah b. 1833, d. bef 1839
  2. Mary chr. 5 Nov 1834
  3. Jane chr. 10 Jan 1837
  4. Elizabeth chr. 6 Jul 1839 d. bef 1841
  5. Sarah chr. 6 Jul 1839 d. bef 1841
  6. John chr. 23 Apr 1841
    A death of an Eliza Hedges recorded in 1843 could be James's wife. He remarried in the Dec Q 1847 to Ann Harris (or as spelt in the record - Anne Harriss) [Aylesbury Vol 6 p.575] and is recorded with her in 1851 still living in the same house on Oxford Rd. The only one of the above children with them was John, the youngest, who has not been found in any further censuses. Jane at 14 was working as a domestic servant with a family called Lines on Temple St and Mary, now 18, was working as a general servant with a family called Cook on Castle St in Luton, Bedfordshire. They have not yet been traced any further.

Family of James Hedges & (2)Ann Harris

In 1847 James is recorded marrying Ann Harris, b. Aylesbury abt. 1815, in the Dec Q 1847. In 1841 Ann was living in Walton, Aylesbury, with Susanna, a pauper aged 65, presumably her mother, and with a son Henry aged one. In 1851 Henry J. Harris now 11 is listed as a son of James, adoption in those days being an informal affair. The children of James and Ann, all born in Wotton, Aylesbury, were:

  1. Eliza Hedges b.1848/9
  2. James William Hedges (senr) b. Dec Q 1850
  3. Amelia Hedges b. Jun Q 1852 m. Edward Driscoll, 4 children
  4. Catherine Hedges b.abt.1854
  5. Thomas Hedges b. Dec Q 1856

James was recorded as an agricultural labourer in every census until 1871 when he and son James were listed as 'higglers'. Before 1881 he had moved with all his family from Oxford Rd to (Wotton?) to Castle St. His wife Ann probably died about 1872 and by 1881 he was keeping poultry as a dealer - Aylesbury was famous for its duck breeding - and his daughter Eliza was keeping house for him, but not for long as he died on 12 Oct 1883 aged 75.


Family of James William Hedges
& Elizabeth Clark

James and Elizabeth married in the Sep Q 1873 in Aylesbury. (Elizabeth was born in Weston Turville in 1849)

  1. Elizabeth Hedges b.10 Jun 1875, m.
  2. James Barnes Sep Q 1899 , dau. Constance b.1900 Aylesbury
  3. James Henry Hedges b.19 Oct 1877
  4. Henry Hedges b.16 Jan 1880 m. Eliza Holcroft, 1 son James William
  5. James William Hedges (junr) b.1880
  6. Thomas Hedges b.16 Nov 1883 m. Ethel Wood
  7. George Richard Hedges b.19 Aug 1887
  8. Albert Charles Hedges b.10 Sep 1889
  9. Edmund Hedges b. 16 Feb 1892, d. Dec Q 1892

    James William senr had already taken up duck breeding by 1881 when he had two children, and then he moved back into Castle St (no.40) until 1901 when he was living in George Cottage, Dinton, a couple of miles SW of Aylesbury, still in the poultry business. His wife Elizabeth nee Clark died in the Sep Q 1897 and he married an Elizabeth Allison on 18 Dec 1898. She was given as aged 28 in the 1901 census, only just 3 years older than his daughter Elizabeth. This 2nd wife Elizabeth was born in Nine Elms in London.

In 1901 James (#4) and Thomas (#5) were both lodging with their older sister Elizabeth and her husband James Barnes in Aylesbury. James was a bootmaker's assistant and Thomas was following his father as a 'poultryman'. In 1911 James junr was serving as a storekeeper at Stone, Bucks; Thomas was still a poultryman and must have been living in Wells for a while - his wife Ethel was born there and they married there in the Jun Q 1909. In 1911 they were living at 7 Dovecot Grange Rd, Street, Somerset. (Street is the name of the village!) their only child, Constance then being one year old.

The Barnes Family of Aylesbury