Winifred Barber

Winifred Barber (later Winifred Gawthorne or Winifred Courtrey), was the eighth of the nine known children of carpenter Thomas Barber and the oldest of the two children he had with his third wife Mary Lyntull of Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England.

Winifred married Paul Gawthorne (often appears as 'Courtrey', and may be a derivative of my own Goltrip family). The couple went on to have seven children before Winifred's premature death in 1711.

Winifred's older half-brother Wenham Barber, inherited 5 acres of land upon their father's death in 1706. The land, which sits amongst fertile fenland, was called 'The Dams Heads' (see map location below) and sits northwest of Witcham. However, whilst their father left the land to Wenham, he also stipulated that Winifred should be able to 'peacefully and quietly to have hold and enjoy all such fenn grounds'.

He goes on to say that should Wenham '..disturb or molest her or her heirs, then I give the aforesaid 5 acres hearby before given to my said son Wenham Barber unto Winifred Gawthorne my said daughter and her heirs forever'.

At first glance this might seem like a careful plot to solve half-sibling rivalry, but also it was a way for Thomas to provide an inheritance for his daughter because at this time, women were unable to hold land. By giving it to Wenham with the instruction that Winifred should do with/on it what she wishes, he's able to provide for her without risk of losing the land to Winifred's husband.

Winifred only lived for five more years after inheriting this right, buried just 7 days after her half-brother in 1711. Her oldest child - a daughter - (and therefore not an heir of land) was just 17 and her oldest son was just 7yrs old. A later Will, of Winifred's nephew (also Wenham Barber) in 1727 shows that the land passed back over to Wenham in the end.

Life Events


  • circa 1675 at Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • 26th September 1675 at St. Martin's Church, Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • Paul Gawthorne (16??-1726) on 21st September 1696 at St. Martin's Church, Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England.


  • Mary Gautrey (1696-?)
  • Elizabeth Gautrey (1697-?)
  • Martha Gautrey (1699-?)
  • Thomas Gautrey (1701-170?)
  • Thomas Gautrey (1703-?) married Ann Cockerton (17??-?)
  • Sarah Gautrey (1707-?)
  • Anne Gautrey (1710-1711)


  • During September 1711 at Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England, aged 36 years.


  • 18th September 1711 at St. Martin's Church, Witcham, Cambridgeshire, England.



  • Not yet known.
  • Not yet known.

Return to top

Search for your ancestors

© 1998, Andrew Martin. Terms of Use