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Early West Family Records
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Like many early family records, those of my West family are conjectural. The only written reference to them is by Charlotte Saunders West, daughter of Charles Augustus West. She wrote ‘ Captain James West (her grandfather) was the youngest son of John West of Thame , Oxfordshire and grandson of John West, who married twice, first a sister of his cousin Lord De La Warr , second a daughter of Sir James Lambert Bt. who had issue. Captain James West had 2 brothers John and Obadiah. Both died in business, the latter farming his own lands” .
Charlotte was 6 years old when her grandfather died in India in 1802 and she is unlikely to have ever met him. Therefore the information about her ancestors would almost certainly have come from her father but, unfortunately, it has proved difficult to verify. There does not seem to be any trace of the marriages mentioned or records of a Sir James Lambert. Research is also hampered by the fact that there are many West families associated with Thame and nearby villages such as Long Crendon and Brill, making it difficult to be certain of identifying the correct individuals. Moreover, the relevant parish records for that period, particularly for Brill, are in poor condition and the Bishop's Transcripts are incomplete.
A family tree was drawn up and circulated in the early 1900's. From the hand-writing, it looks like it was written out by Jane Frances West but it was most probably based on information from her father and further research carried out by Annie West.
My own research confirms that the parish registers of St Mary's Church in Thame record a John West being the father of the following 5 children (no mother is mentioned) but note the slight difference in names and dates with Jane West's version:
Later, the parish registers of both Thame and Long Crendon show Dorothy West of Crendon marrying Edward Burnham (1734) and the registers of All Saints Church, Brill show 5 children being born to John West and his wife Sarah. The tree therefore becomes:
Again, there is a slight variation in names and dates but the names of James, John and Obadiah correlate with Charlotte's statement and so it seems most likely that the above James West is the person who married Ann De Morgan and is the father of Charles Augustus West.
Brill registers later show the marriage of Obadiah West to Joanna Walker (1770). They are both buried in Piddington – another village close to Brill.
All the villages mentioned lie close to the county boundary - Thame and Piddington are in Oxfordshire and Brill and Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire, as shown in this 19th century map.