John & Frances Partridge b. 1578

John and Frances Partridge 11th great grandparents on RootsMagic tree.

John Partridge was born in 1578 in Olney, Buckinghamshire, England. Olney is in central England, 30 miles north of London, on the River Great Ouse. John Newton, who wrote the hymn Amazing Grace, was from Olney too. The town is also famous on Pancake Day, which falls on Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, the day before Lent. On this day since 1445, in Olney there’s a pancake race. “The Olney pancake race is now world famous. Competitors have to be local housewives and they must wear an apron and a hat or scarf.”

Olney Pancake Race and Photo Author: Robin Myerscough

The Partridge family lived there in Olney. John and Frances had 2 children: William and Jane. Not much is known of their lives until 1647 the year John wrote his will. “John Partridge of Olney, laborer, now deceased, did give grant and dispose of all and singular his goods, cattle, chattels and debts unto William Geynes, Richard Kent, and Roger Tayre of Olney upon this trust that they maintain Frances Partridge, widow, the then wife of the aforesaid John, so long as she should live after his decease, and also pay the debts of the said John.”

When Frances died the remainder of their possessions was left to son William and son in law Henry Gaines husband of Jane Partridge. “The residue was to be divided between the children of William Partridge and of Henry Geynes who now or late were in New England.” This Gaines family through descendants would travel from Olney, England all the way to Iowa where Mary Gaines married James Miller in 1878 and their first grandbaby Faber Miller was born in 1905.

John died in 1647 or 48, Frances probably soon after. Both are buried at St Peter and St Paul Churchyard. Their headstones don’t survive. Newton, of Amazing Grace is in this same cemetery. The St Peter and St Paul church at the cemetery is known for its spire 185 feet high.

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