The Gurney family
The Gurney family are widespread in Bucks. The branches in North Bucks were investigated intensively by F G Gurney and his researches are deposited at the Bucks Archeological Society. The branch in Chalfont St Giles and St Peter were not covered. The family were major figures in the Chalfonts in the second half of the 19th century and became important land developers across many of the nearby parishes in the early 20th century.
The ancestors of the local family came south from the Buckingham area to Chalfont St Peter in the mid 1700s. There they prospered and spread out to a wider area. Two brothers, James and Henry Gurney took on the lease of Hill and Town Farms in Chalfont St Giles in about 1834. James snr was married to Mary Healy of Mumfords, Chalfont St Peter and had two sons James jnr and William, and a daughter Elizabeth.
A description of some of the activities of these sons is given in the history of Stratton Chase.
Much more detail of their developments in Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield is given in Hunt, J. and Thorpe, D. 2006. and Hunt, J. and Thorpe, D. 2009. Their cousin Henrietta Healy was also frequently involved.
James jnr bought a large estate in Cumbria, Ireby Grange, in 1906 to which he retired and where he died in 1933. One of his eight children was Norman William who became a land agent based in Beaconsfield and held positions in local government at local and county level.
William also was active in local politics and became Chairman of the Board of Guardians for Amersham and District. He was also a councilor and chairman of the planning committee at Amersham RDC. He died in 1921.
A detailed genealogy of the family has been prepared by a professional local genealogist on behalf of one of the living descendants but has not been published.
REFERENCES. Unless otherwise specified, all references given above refer to catalogue references at the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies at Aylesbury. (County Record Office)
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John Dodd ©2012 www.chalfonthistory.co.uk