Alexander Wynch

The links between the Coghill family and Alexander Wynch, Governor of Madras from February 2nd 1773 until Dec 11th 1775, are summarised on my Front Page.

The purpose of this page and post to it is to clarify, where possible, the origins of Alexander Wynch and of his second wife, Florentia, and, where possible, to tidy up the various descendancies, including Margery McVeagh (née Wynch) the wife of Major Joseph McVeagh.

The Society of Genealogists’ Magazine Volume 6 Number 8 December 1933 dealt with the families of Wynch and Sale-Hill but took the origins no further back than Alexander Wynch.

The internet has many references to the Wynch family and there are several wills in the National Archives and elsewhere, some of which can be accessed on line.  Many of these references will be referred to directly or incorporated into posts on this page.

I have not yet been able to conclude Alexander Wynch’s origins beyond all doubt – this remains work in progress.  I have, however, analysed the major hypotheses I discovered during my research and arrived at my own theory, based on primary data that I have, myself, examined.  I am satisfied that my deduced ancestry is accurate but continue to search for that ‘killer’ piece of evidence.

The genealogy website of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (IGI) cites a contribution from a third party suggesting Alexander was the son of James Wynch and Henrietta in the first quarter of the eighteenth century.  I have not found any other reference to James and Henrietta and, am unable to corroborate this theory (indeed, the evidence I have gathered points firmly to other origins), neither can I establish who this James Wynch was.  I believe, therefore, this hypothesis can be disregarded at this stage.  It seems likely, on the other hand, that Alexander’s opaque origins may have more to do with a complicated family tree and a father who died whilst Alexander was still an infant.

I have investigated the most popular web-based theory and, although I do believe it to be a credible likelihood that Alexander descended from a Wynch family of Bray, Berkshire, this was probably not in the way suggested by various on-line family history researchers.  Again, my original research has led me to reconstruct a complicated family set-up and here again the parents both died when Alexander’s ancestor was but a child.

Another suggestion that has been made (by Penny in his book of the early Twentieth Century) is that Alexander’s grandfather was George Wynch[1] of the Bengal Service of the East India Company. Penny also noted that Alexander Wynch was the nephew of Rev. Robert Wynch, a Chaplain of Fort St. George in Madras.

If Penny’s latter assertion is correct (and I believe it can be shown to be true), the evidence I have gathered, (taken from the will of Hester Wynch), Alexander’s  father was John Wynch – one of three brothers, John, Robert and William.  Hester was the sister of this latter John, and in her will, written in 1744, a bequest is made “to my brother Rev. Robert Wynch” and “to my nephew Alexander Wynch son of my late brother John Wynch”).  Alexander himself, in his will, left money to Mary Wynch, the relict of William Wynch, probably his aunt and, whilst there is no reference in Hester’s will to either Alexander Wynch or rev. Robert Wynch living in Madras, this does seem to be the likeliest lineage.

A further will, that of William Rous, Apothecary, indicates that his grandchildren were John, Robert, William and Hester Wynch and that they were the children of John Wynch who had died prior to William Rous’s will.

I have also found links between the will of Robert Wynch of London, Haberdasher, and William Rous (a marginal note on Robert’s will indicates that William Rous married Robert’s widow, Susanna – and the records of the Vicar-General of Canterbury supports this).  Robert was the son of John, also a Haberdasher of London.

The records of the Court of Orphans for the City of London[2] refer to Susanna, widow of Robert Winch, Citizen and Haberdasher, and John, the orphan child of Robert Winch.

I contend, therefore, that this orphan John was the father of John Wynch, Alexander’s father, and Reverend Robert Wynch, both referred to above.

The Haberdasher Robert’s will points towards various cousins and uncles who, whilst not making it absolutely clear that the Bray Winches were ancestors, creates sufficient links to several relevant names to make further investigation worthwhile.  Indeed, from those investigations I have been able to deduce a lineage going back to James Wynch of Bray who died in 1589/1590.

I hope that many other researchers will find this and other posts and pages of my website of help and interest to them and I thank various correspondents for their insight and occasional direction, by which I have been able to overcome some of the bottlenecks in the research.

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Comments or questions are welcome.

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[1] It is possible that George Wynch was somehow related to Alexander but it is unlikely Penny is correct in his supposition.

[2] CLA/002/02/01/1322 (1678-1693)

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