The family from North West Kent.

The surname Wansbury is not common, and seems to be particularly associated with the north west Kent and east Surrey.  Our earliest ancestors appear to be William Wansbury and Mary Cansfield.  They were married on the 26th December 1768 in Shoreham, Kent.  Shoreham is a place where many family ancestors come from or have resided.  In the early 1800's the family are recorded as agricultural labourers but, as with the Staceys this can be misleading as some were known to be shepherds and ploughmen, or good with horses and so carters.

Interestingly the surname Cansfield seems to be associated with Durham and North Yorkshire, but we know no more of Mary and her origins.  They had at least 9 children, all baptized in Shoreham.  Some of the family deacendant lines have been worked out due to DNA links and can be traced on the descendant chart HERE.

These are John Wansbury & Elizabeth Wansbury.  The latter is particularly interesting as she married Thomas Cheeseman, a family name very common in the area and with Cheeseman descendants claiming links to the Wansbury family for which there was no proof before because of the large number of Cheeseman families with cmmon names and dates.

However the branch of interest to us is from Richard Wansbury, 1789-1858.  There is some confusion in the records as to whether he was Richard or Robert, but he was christened Richard.  He was married twice, to Martha Plummer and, after Martha's death in 1828 to Martha Utfield.  However on that marriage he is recorded as Robert! 

Richard's eldest son was William Wansbury, 1818-1853.  He married Emma Dinah Lane; who is one of two descendants from the Streatfield lines that the Staceys and Wansburys have in their ancestry.  William was a boot and shoemaker in the village of Farningham, also a village (together with the upstream village of Eynsford on the River Darent) that features often in the ancestral lines of the time. an occupation that occurs in many rural families.  He and Emma had 6 children before his relatively early death on the 19th July 1853.

After his death Emma married John King, who was a widower with 4 children, one of whom, Emily King,  later married one of Emma's sons, George Charles Wansbury. She left a diary which records trips round the area and lots of happenings such as deaths, crimes and accidents, mostly to persons not now known. They managed 'The Chequers' a pub in Farningham which burnt down around 1865 and later one at West Yoke where she died in 1891.

Now I need to deal with the 6 children of William and Emma, as the family ties between these children are so significant to the family history and also led to play a significant part in my father, Frank William Jefferies', life.


Revised 20 Jun 2021