Monday, 6 June 2016

Elizabeth Gardner Of Balscott.

  The Proffitt-White family has been in the national news recently with the funeral in Berlin of William Proffitt-White which was attended by several members of that particular branch of the Whites of Shotteswell clan. In the Blog of 18 September 2012, "The Whites - Early To Mid-nineteenth Century", I mentioned that Thomas White, born 1810, son of Richard White and Kezia Curtis of Farnborough in Warwickshire, married a woman called Elizabeth who had been born in Balscott in Oxfordshire and presumed because of the family's later use of the name that her surname must have been "Proffitt" even though I wrote at the time that I could not identify a family called Proffitt in that village in the 1841 census.
  In the Blog of 3 October 2012, "From White To Proffitt-White", I mentioned that in the 1841 census, Thomas and Elizabeth had a young woman of "independent" means living with them called Sarah Gardner and I postulated that she might have been Elizabeth's sister and that Elizabeth's surname had not been "Proffitt" but "Gardner".
  The question is now answered without doubt. I have just found "The Index Of Oxford Marriage Banns And Affidavits 1661 - 1850" by Donnette Stringham Smith which records that Thomas White, age 28 of Shotteswell, Warwickshire, married Elizabeth Gardner of Balscott, daughter of John Gardner, on 16 October 1837 at Balscott. The given age for the groom is 28 which is consistent with him being born in 1810, a fact known to us.
  Hence the name Proffitt which Thomas and Elizabeth gave as a middle name to several of their younger children does not originate with Elizabeth's family name and we now know for sure that Elizabeth was a member of the Gardner family. 
  So just why did Thomas and Elizabeth begin to use the name Proffitt as a middle name for their younger children? In "From White To Proffitt-White" I have indulged in some speculation but unless someone reading this piece knows the answer then more detective work is necessary. 

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