Buckinghamshire Descent

Brightwell Court
Brightwell Court

After the death of Sir Ralph Woodford in 1498,the focus of the family moved from Leicestershire.  Many of the former Leicestershire Woodford manors were inherited by the Morton, Roper and Smith-Carington families through the marriages of Margaret Woodford.

Of Ralph's sons, William Woodford's descent can be followed in the village of Muston in the north-east of the county of Leicestershire.

Robert Woodford, who was born on 9 October 1460, married Alice (At)Gate, daughter and heiress of Thomas Gate of Burnham, Bucks, and moved to that manor which she had inherited. They married in 1489.  They had four sons, Thomas, Edward, Eustace and Christopher, and three daughters, Mary, Margery and Elizabeth.

Their eldest son, Thomas Woodford, who was born ca.1484 or 1493 or 1497, married Elizabeth Blount of Mapledurham, Oxon, the daughter of Richard Blount of Iver, Bucks.   Elizabeth had been born about 1497, and they married in 1517.  They had four sons,  James, Gamaliel, Thomas and Robert, and eight daughters:

Their family became well-established in the area of Brightwell, near Burnham. It was clearly a time of prosperity for the family, who were landowners and significant figures in the community.

James Woodford inherited his father's land and propery.

Robert Woodford, the fourth son of Thomas and Elizabeth Robert married Johanna Preston 'of Radnorshire, an heiress'.  They had four sons: Robert, Edward, John and Henry, and five daughters.

The son of Edward and Marjorie, (another Robert Woodford), married Jane Dexter.   The Somerset (Ansford) family, which includes the diarist Revd James Woodforde, descended from their son, Robert Woodforde and his wife Hannah Haunch, and who was the Steward of Northampton and later under-sheriff.   The Baronets of Carleby also descended from this Robert through his younger son John Woodforde.

A diary of this latter Robert Woodforde has survived and is in the archives of New College Oxford.  According to available documents, he was the first member of the family to have the final 'e' in his surname. This may have been a mistake on the part of the priest who recorded his baptism at Old in 1606.