Chapter 6
Earliest and other Titcheners in Bishopstone

The earliest mention of a Titchener in the Bishopstone parish register is of the baptism of a Daniel Tichiner on September 26, 1731. He was born on September 24, son to William and Jane Tichiner. From there on the family story is a sad one. Jane died within a week of Daniel’s birth. Daniel survived only six months. He was buried on March 23, 1732. William took a second wife - though we do not know when or where, for there is no record of the marriage in the parish register - and we find a son John born to William Tichiner and Sarah on March 24, 1736. John was a sickly baby. He was baptized on the day of his birth, and buried four days later. Sarah had a second son, Charles, born on April 23, 1737. He too was sickly. He was baptized the next day, lived only two weeks, and was buried on May 8. What happened to Sarah we do not know; she does not reappear in the register. William seemingly lived on in the village; the burial of a William Titchener is recorded on June 18, 1777. He would have been in his late sixties.

So that family died out. No other Titcheners appear in the register over that period.

Not until 1786 is there another mention of a Titchener in the parish records. This is of the marriage of a Mary Titchener to a William Norris. I have been unable to connect Mary with “our” Titcheners.

The next entry is of the marriage of John Titchener to Martha Martin. These, as we have already seen, are the parents of Charles and the grandparents of Elijah.

In our first visit to Bishopstone, in 1973, Margaret and I were directed by the vicar to the house of an old lady who, he said, was the only Titchener in the village. This old lady directed us to another, a Mrs Edith Ponting [P.1], “the only real Titchener still living here,” said the first old lady. Mrs Ponting told us her father was a Charles Titchener and named brothers Harry and Bill. At that time I was unable to discover what connexion, if any, lay between Mrs Ponting’s father and Eli’s father, Charles. Since then, as shown in Tree P.1, impelled by the reason given in the notes accompanying it, I have found that they are not related.

The names of Mrs Ponting’s father and brother Henry are commemorated in the village church, Charles as one of a group of bell-ringers who rang a Stedman Triple on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s 60th Jubilee, and Henry as one of the villagers who was killed in World War I.