The Wood and Bourne families

Photo:Bourne headstone inside the south door

Bourne headstone inside the south door

badly worn and barely readable

Photo:Frances Bourne headstone at Hothfield

Frances Bourne headstone at Hothfield

Daughter of Daniel and Bethulia

Photo:Thomas Bourne headstone

Thomas Bourne headstone

St.Margaret's Church, Hothfield

Photo:Headstone of Dorcas and Daniel Bourne 1742 and 1774

Headstone of Dorcas and Daniel Bourne 1742 and 1774

Headstones photographed by Chris Rogers

Photo:Headstone for Daniel Wood

Headstone for Daniel Wood

St.Margaret's churchyard, Hothfield

Photo:Catherine wife of Thomas Bourne

Catherine wife of Thomas Bourne

Almost hidden in the grass

Two prominent families but no longer in the parish

By Chris Rogers

Hothfield History Society is often contacted to see if we can help with family history research.  Our late Committee member, Bob Rivers, and his wife Barbara painstakingly transcribed the entire church registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials and so we can sometimes add a little detail.

The most requested families that we're asked to search for are the Wood and the Bourne families, who inter-married.  There are also some interesting and readable headstones in the churchyard for these two families (amongst others), plus two laying on the church floor inside the south door.  Their inscriptions are barely readable:

Characters in italics are not clearly readable on the headstone

Bourne headstone:

“Sacred to the memory of Felix Bourne late of Ashford who departed this life June the 18th 1813 Aged 32 years.  He left here surviving by Charlotte his Wife, one Daughter (viz) Elizabeth-Ann  Also of Charles brother of the above named who died at Bapchild September the 26th 1824 Aged 55 years also here interred [unreadable]

Wood headstone  (right hand side of headstone is badly worn and illegible):

Characters in italics are uncertain


Who departed 1801

They left issue one son and

Two daughters (viz) John, Dorcas and Elizabeth


Our lives a burden was worn out with ….

We die to day and you … to …

With Christ our Lord we hope to also …..

Free from all sickness sorrow death and …..


We have a growing number of email contacts who have traced the families back to the 1600s and who know so much more than our own records could ever reveal.  If you are researching the Wood or Bourne families then please email us at and we will pass your details to our contacts to share information with you.

One of the Bourne relatives is Jane Cox who kindly summarised some of the key family records:

Visitation of 1573 Somerset shows many generations - I will show them but note that they have not been proven (and probably never will be proven due to lack of records, etc.).
I.  John Bourne    (not proven)
II. William Bourne  (not proven)
III. John Bourne   (not proven)
IV. John Bourne and ________Gilbert (Somerset)    (proven by "Inquisition Post Mortem of
        William Bourne, Bridgewater, 10 Nov 1552").  John B. held a manor in Long Sutton
        (Sutton St. Cleer) in Somerset.
V. William Bourne - married in April 1528 to Maria Curzon (Walter Curzon & Isobel Saunders).
        Maria Curzon had 1st marriage to John Poure (Power).  Wm. B.'s will probated in 1552 -
        will states that he was living in Edgcott in Buckingham - to be buried there.
        5 children.  (Curzon or Curson)
VI. Matthew Bourne b. c 1538 - burial 27 April 1600, Hinxhill. Married 21 Feb 1565 in Wye to Agnes (Ann) Sharpe (Thomas Sharpe & Margaret Foster).  Matthew B. was a demy at Magdalen College, Oxford with B.A. in Nov 1558, rector of Brook 1574, Hinxhill 1578 & Brenzett 1579. 9 children. One source states that he is 'buried in the church' (Hinxhill) but there are no current church records (I am told) to prove this - one way or the other.
      Note: it was a 'Visitation of London, 1633.1634.1635' under name of 'Borne' that gave us the connection back to Somerset.  It states that this family was of the lineage of Secretary Borne (Sir John Bourne, sec of state to Queen Mary) but our research cannot prove this fact.
VII. Francis Bourne bapt. 07 Jan 1576, Wye. Burial: 09 Dec 1638, Hothfield.  Married c. 1604 to Judith _______ (1 child). 2nd marriage on 12 Oct 12 1607 to Faith Wilmot, Hothfield.
    5 children.
VIII. Richard Bourne bapt. 22 Feb 1617/1618 Hothfield. Burial: 7 November 1674, Hothfield. Married 01 June 1645 to Elizabeth Mathews (7 children).
IX. Richard Bourne bapt. 21 Oct 1655 Hothfield.  Burial 26 Sept 1727, Hothfield. 1st marriage
    circa 1678 to Margaret Savage (John Savage & Margaret ______). 8 children.  2nd marriage
    on 06 Oct 1702 to Elizabeth Shorter.  3 children.
X. Daniel Bourne bapt 08 April 1688 Hothfield. Burial 10 April 1774, Hothfield. Marriage on   
    17 Nov 1720 to Dorcas Attaway, Bethersden (Thomas Attaway & Susannah Skeere).
    4 children.
XI. Thomas Bourne bapt 28 Jan 1728 Hothfield.  Burial 04 Sept 1789 Hothfield.  Married on
    07 Feb 1765, Hothfield, to Catherine Tong (John Tong & Elizabeth Ramsden). 14 children.
XII. Attaway Bourne bapt 07 Nov 1773, Hothfield.  Burial 08 April 1849, Hothfield.  Married on
    24 May 1800 to Frances Mills (she had 1st marriage to Daniel Wood).  5 children.
XIII. James Bourne bapt 18 Dec 1808, Hothfield, died 25 July 1890 in Tazewell, Virginia USA.
     Married on 07 May 1831 to Martha Gillett, Hothfield (William Gillette & Lydia Swaine,
     Brenzett).  12 children - last 4 born in Virginia.   (see note below)
XIV.  Felix Bourne & Elizabeth Sprinkle Young   (Virginia)
XV. Laura Ann Bourne & Frank Haller Cox  (Virginia)
XVI. Hugh Earnest Cox & Margaret Louvicie Hager  (Virginia)
XVII.  Mary Jane Cox  (Virginia)
Note to James Bourne - we know that James B. was a 'parish constable' in St. Margaret's Church in 1845.  Sometime in 1846, as the family story relates, James was caught 'poaching'
and was sentenced to life in Australia. He (James) someway left England around Sept/Oct of 1846 and made his way to America (not Australia) and on to Virginia (have found a parish record - 1847 -of St. Margaret's Church in Hothfield that shows the parish giving money to Mrs. Bourne and family - also a J. Wood - for their voyage to Australia).  While I have not found a ship record for James B. and his arrival in America - I do have a record of the ship 'Mediation' with arrival on 19 Jan 1848 in New York for Martha Bourne, her children and a John Wood (he lived with the Bourne family in VA until his death - have yet to determine any family relationship).   

Extracts of births, marriages and burials of the Wood and Bourne families can be accessed below.

This page was added by Chris Rogers on 24/10/2013.
Comments about this page

I was so excited to find your article on the Wood and Bourne families. James Bourne is my great great grandfather on my mother's side of the family. We're hoping to visit England and come to Hothfield to see where my ancestors lived. 


Jerry Jones

By Jerry Jones
On 23/02/2017

I am a direct descendant of James and Martha Bourne (great-great-great grandparents). The family settled in Tazewell, Virginia following their voyage to the US. Probably 30 years ago my wife and I had the pleasure of traveling to England and we passed through Hothfield and visited the church and the cemetery. It was a strange feeling to find the tombstones of relatives who attended that church hundreds of years ago. 

By Gerald Blanchard, Marietta, GA (Atlanta)
On 21/03/2018

Hi this is very interesting my step-father was born in Hothfield in the Nissen huts! in the '50s his name is Terry Bourne his mothers name was Ivy Bourne.

He would love imformation regarding his line so if anyone can share information that would be great.

He had fond memories of his childhood.

By zoe
On 12/01/2021

I am April Ashton nee Wood, a direct descendant of Daniel Bourne, the weaver of Hothfield, whose daughter Dorcas, in 1747, married William Wood Yeoman of Hothfield. I should be so very pleased to hear from any other descendants in order that we can pool our knowledge and put together an article for this Society but also The Kent Family History Society.

(April is also joining in with DNA research to find other Wood and Bourne relatives - Chris, Hothfield History Society)

By april wood ashton
On 26/05/2021

I have long been researching the ancestry of The Woods of Hothfield where  proven records show that William Wood a Yeoman farmer of substance  (b c.1724 - died 1804) is my direct  ancestor; his father was Robert Wood who died in 1741 in Hothfield.  I had  previously been informed, from a reliable source,  that I was a direct descendant of a Henry & Thomas Wood of Great Chart, a neighbouring parish. However I have been unable to establish the connection through tried and testing record keeping, but with the advent of DNA I am able to see that I do have matches with descendants of William Wood, farmer of Smarden and also descendants of Henry Wood of Great Chart. Sadly our  family bible disappeared c.1947, but maybe there are other descendants out there who have been able to establish the connection and could advise me. Thank you

By April Ashton
On 13/09/2021

This is really interesting. My father is Terry Bourne, so my nan is Ivy Bourne. I was born in March 1977. There is 2 older than me i believe and 2 boys younger than me. I had no real contact with my father but I do know that I am originally 1 of 5. The Bourne family just keeps growing.

By Sara Turner
On 10/01/2022

I am a direct descendent to Attaway and Felix Bourne.  Attaway Bourne is my 4xGrandfather.  My Grandmother is Dorothy Bourne.  My family tree is on Ancestry,  you are welcome to look there. 



By Gwyneth Andrews
On 29/03/2022

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