Genealogy Notes for the Town of Witney, Oxfordshire
A miscellany of pictures and data arising out of research into the KIRBY's family trees (but not all linked to them). This is a work in progress so please treat the data with appropriate caution. For related information see, Ancestor List, Place Index and Wills Index

Location and general description

View to St Mary's, Witney

A market town, located to the west of Oxford, on the river Windrush and downstream of Burford. Nearby villages are Minster Lovell, Oxon, Eynsham, Oxon and Stanton Harcourt, Oxon.


The Town Hall and Butter Cross

Town Hall and Butter Cross, Witney

Batt House (No 16 Market Square, Witney)

Doorway to Batt House, WitneyBatt House, WitneyThe JORDAN family owned a substantial property in Witney. The VCH (pg 36) suggests that this was Batt House and that it was built by one of their family in the 1720s or 1730s. From about 1800 it was occupied by the BATT family until 1926. There are BATT family memorials in St Mary's Church.


St Mary's Church

St Mary's, WitneySt Mary's, Witney Almshouses?, St Mary's, Witney

Several of the JORDAN family held posts within the church. The WENMAN family have strong connections with the church which contains a number of memorials to them


The JORDAN family (aka JORDEN) 

The JORDANs were wealthy clothiers, related to the JORDANS of Burford, Oxon. They became Lords of the Manor of Eynsham, Oxon. They appear to be mentioned on a number of occasions in the diarys of Henry HYDE, Earl of Clarendon, sometimes specifically as 'of Witney', but sometimes identifiable by their association with one Mr  TRUMBULL, who was likely to be Ralph TRUMBULL, rector of Witney and son of William TRUMBULL (1602-1677/78) of Easthampstead Park, Berks. HYDE owned Swallowfield Park in Swallowfield, Berks, he was also Lord Cornbury, the family seat at Cornbury Park being just outside Charlbury, Oxon., to the north west of the Witney. Easthampstead Park was about 2 miles S of Binfield, Berks. and 6 miles ENE of Swallowfield Park. So the TRUMBULLs and the HYDEs were fairly close neighbours in Berkshire. 

In 1653 Thomas JORDAN, a wealthy clothier from Witney, began to aquire property in Eynsham. Thereafter the Lordship of the Manor of Eynsham resided for a time with his descendants. The pattern of Baptisms in Witney appears to reflect this, with discrete eras associated with individual JORDANs, the boundaries between some of which coincide with the passing on of  Eynsham. Between 1661 and 1666 the baptisms of John JORDAN's children gave way to those of Richard JORDEN as Thomas JORDAN died in 1665 and left Eynsham to his son John JORDAN. Similarly, after 1689 a string of baptisms for the children of a later Mr Thomas JORDEN ceased abruptly. John JORDAN of Witney died in 1692 after which his son Thomas JORDAN inherited Eynsham.

Thomas JORDAN (-1666), in his Will dated 8 Aug 1666 bequeathed substantial properties in Burford, Oxon., which he had purchased from Robert VEYSEY, to his youngest son Richard JORDAN. This Richard JORDAN also recieved Thomas' dwelling house in Witney, Oxon., and appears to have taken up residence, for the children of one Richard  JORDAN are baptised in Witney between 1666, when he baptised a son called Thomas, and 1672 when he baptised his last child. By 16 Mar 1674 a Mr Thomas JORDAN had taken his position as the JORDAN requiring entries in the baptismal registers. When Richard died in 1721, his son John JORDAN stood to inherit the Witney dwelling house under the terms of a Will dated 4 Apr 1719. John died in 1735. A posting on RootsWeb from 2001, mentions an indenture being offered to the Oxford Records Office without details. This is dated in 1721 and was made between James
SHAYLOR of Witney and John JORDAN of Burford concerning a property in High Street, Witney [which may prove to be Batt House above] and also mentioning the names POPE, TYDY, COLLYER.

Related links

A selection of links to other sites with information about this place


Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2008 unless stated otherwise.