Ogbournes of Royal Wootton Bassett

Ogbournes, Ogbornes, Ogborns and Ogburns  of Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire
The earliest ancestor found in the parish records of Wootton Bassett was Peter Ogborne who had two sons in 1603 and 1606 but died soon after. Wotton Bassett church registers begin around 1585.
Some 132 baptisms of Ogbo*rn*s were recorded in the parish Register for Wootton Bassett up to 1903 and many more since, with variations in the spelling of the name (with or without a ‘u’ or ‘e’ – at the whim of the person recording in the register).
Too much taxation !
William Ogbourne, born in Wootton Bassett in 1664, had to bear a most unfortunate burden due to a tax introduced by King William III. The Act was for granting to His Majesty certain Rates and Duties upon Marriages, Births and Burials, and upon Bachelors and Widowers, for the term of years, for carrying on the War against France, with vigour.
Our unfortunate William had the misfortune to be taxed:

    • One shilling as a bachelor in 1697
    • Two shillings sand sixpence in 1701 when he married
    • Two shillings in 1702 when his son John was born

Looking on the bright side his wife survived the birth, and so he avoided finding himself taxed as widower before the tax expired.

The Wootton Bassett Ogbournes seem to have been working people who registered few distinctions, with the exception of Elizabeth Ogbourne, who was sentenced to death at The Wiltshire assizes at Salisbury in 1824 for the theft of a 5 shilling note. As this was a 2nd offence Elizabeth was condemned to death which was then commuted to transportation for life to Australia. Sadly Elizabeth died on en-route on the HMS Grenada on 16th September 1826.
John Ogbourne was a cordwainer in the town and in 1761 married Sarah Ogbourne – they shared the same great grandfather. John lived on to 1828 so the misdemeanours and the demise of his grand-daughter Elizabeth will not have brightened his later years.
In the centuries prior to the 17th the name crops up in official records in the Kingsbridge hundred, a small area of Wiltshire of which Wootton Bassett was a principal town in the former spelling of the name. Other examples include:
• 28 Nov 1277 William de Ockeburn was a juror in the case of John the Miller, accused of stealing corn
• 27 March 1280 Nicholas de Okeburn was aquitted with others under suspicion of larceny after being held in Marleburg [Marlborough]gaol
• In 1306 Henry de Okeburn is included in names of jurors of the hundred of Kyngbrugg, Wyltes

In July of 1803 the Mayor, Mr Hollister displayed a poster making an impassioned plea for volunteers to join a militia to resist a feared attack by Napoleon Bonaparte. “If it succeeded all true Britons would be sacrificed to French Ambition, such as plunder, massacre, debauchery and other diabolical mischief” it read. Thomas Ogbourne answered the call and demonstrated his willingness to distinguish himself by volunteering. A plaque is displayed in the Town Hall to attest to this.

In my youth in Wootton Bassett, (now Royal Wootton Bassett ) Wiltshire there were a number of families with variations of the name of Ogbourne in the town though as far as was known unrelated.
Having become interested in learning more several visits to the County Record Office, then in Trowbridge enabled rapid progress to be made with the family tree due to not having to look further than Wootton Bassett to trace my ancestors back to the very early 17th century. Clearly they were not too adventurous

Wootton Basset High Street

For family tree buffs there are full transcripts of marriages between 1535 and 1837 in Wootton Bassett on

Marriages 1535-1699
Marriages 1700-1799  
Marriages 1800 – 1837

Searches can also be made for baptisms, marriages and Burials at the UK Genealogy website

Over the years additional information has come in of the name in other places, especially Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire and Middlesex, details of which can be found within this website.

John Ogbourne john@ogbourne.co.uk 07796273885 Stafford UK

Focusing on the history of the name of Ogbourne, Ogborn, Ogburn and other variants, including the early form of Ocheburne & Okebourne