Needham Family Site
This site provides basic genealogy data, information and family trees on the Needham's starting with those in Derbyshire and Yorkshire and subsequently rolling out to other regions in the country. The data will become progressively available over the next few years.
Having started on my family tree where my dad, George Needham, left off I came to a shuddering halt when I realised that during the 18th century my ancestors had moved from the land to the industrial city of Sheffield. This started me looking further afield and accumulating data on the Needham's in the hope that I could trace back my ancestors. It is this data that forms the basis for this site
How many Needham's? - The size of the Study
Originally, I thought the Needham surname was infrequent but in 2002 there were 10886 Needham's and the surname is the 698 most frequent. When a surname hits 10000 it is considered to be frequent. So, I was wrong.
George Needham 1920-2010
So how big would the study be and where to start? Ancestry has one of the largest data bases and of England & Wales records. There are 324646 (Oct 2017) records of Needham's with 82819 births, 52104 marriages and 48237 deaths. Even allowing for duplication the size of the study is large, so where to start? I chose to start in Derbyshire, the place the Needham's originated (my view – see Origins), and work out from there ie Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire etc following the distribution of Needham's – see Distribution.
With the Study heading for a lifetimes work I also wanted to understand how the Needham population grew with time. To get some idea I took the census data, which provides accurate data for both the overall population and for the Needham's. You find that starting with the latest data ( I took 1911) and prorated the Needham data back using the overall population trend I could predict how many Needham's there would be accurately for each census back to 1841 and forward to 2011
So, as you might expect, the Needham's grew in line with the general population even though they are focused in a limited number of counties. Using this data you can estimate how many Needham's you would expect going back in time. The parish records started in the mid 16 th century. By the start of the 17 th century reasonable records were being kept. To date I've found records for 424 Needham births/baptisms between 1600 to 1630 ie a generation, whereas the predictions would say there should be ~980. Additionally, the predictions for the 12th (~750)and 13th (~1150) centuries must be seen as over estimates. But these figures give you some idea of the scale of the task ahead
Blog & Twitter
You can follow the daily workflow if you are sad enough on the Needham ONS Blog or on Twitter @NeedhamONS
One Name Study
This work is registered with the Guild of One Name Studies. A one-name (or surname) study is a project researching all occurrences of a surname, as opposed to a particular pedigree (ancestors of one person) or descendancy (descendants of one person or couple). Its aim is to research the genealogy and family history of all persons with a given surname and its linked variants. I've started by concentrating my studies on Needham's from Derbyshire and South Yorkshire with the aim of rolling it out into other regions. It is a big task. If anyone is prepared to help with aspects of the study please contact me.
There are many people I must thank in particular my wife who puts up with my obsession. Helen Nedham I am very grateful for providing most of the data used in the base family tree, Alastair Lack for providing the impetus and Robert Sterry for advice on establishing and building a website. In addition Sue McNulty has helped enormously with the Needham's of Cheshire, John Stead with Needham's in Braithwell, Harthill and a number of South Yorkshire Parishes, Liz Newbery with Needham's in Brampton, Dawn Scotting for Staffordshire Needham's and Keith Inscho with pictures and information. I've tried to acknowledge those people or organisations whose work I have used on the relevant site page; if I have been insufficiently accurate my apologises and please contact me.