Needham Family

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Origins

Needham's of Castleton

.

Early Records (pre 1600)

The earliest documentation of a Needham living in Castleton is Robert de Nedham whose wife was Joan (JN) Barth and daughter Cecily . Cecily is described as a spinster. He had land dealings in Castleton in 1369. 12 years later a Robert de Nedham of Castleton paid 40d in Poll Tax whilst his son, also called Robert, paid 4d. No mention is made of Robert's wife or daughter. So, who is Robert de Nedham and where did he come from and who were his parents?

Document

Person

Abode

What

Date

Relationshiop

D158/1/48

Robert de Nedham

Castleton

 Land in Castleton

1369

w Jn Barth d Cecily Spin

 

 

 

 

 

 

D76/MT/1

Robert de Nedham

 

Land Magna Haifel ( Hayfield) called le Daddeschahebotham & Le Todeholle

1362

 

D76/MT/2

Thomas de Nedham jnr

 

Witness: feoffment of land Magna hayfield in Beardhough

1339

 

D76/MT/4

Robert de Nedham

 

Feoffment land & buildings in Whittle ( New Mills) & Magna Hayfield

1362

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D76/MT/5

Robert de Nedham

 

land at Hayfield

1362

 

D76/MT/5

Robert de Nedham

 

Feoffment land & buildings Whittle & Magna Hayfield

1362

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OD/910

Robert Nedham

 

Witness; Messuage Castleton

24 Apr 1372

 

 

\

 

 

 

 

D158/1/48

Cecily Nedham

 

Land Castleton

1369

dau Jn Barth/Robert of Nedham

 

 

A clue can be gained from earlier land dealings. In 1339 Thomas de Nedham jnr was witness to land dealings at Magna Hayfield. Thomas jnr is believed to be the son of Thomas Nedeham from whom the Earls of Kilmorey are descended. He married Maud Mellor and hence inherited Thornsett through his wife Maud. Thornsett was then in the parish of Glossop and close by is the village of Hayfield. Thomas and Maud had at least two sons Roger de Nedeham and Robert de Nedham.

In 1362 Robert de Nedham who would have been living at Thornsett purchased land in New Mills, Hayfield and Magna Hayfield and in 1369 land in Castleton. Robert had at least two sons John de Nedham and Thomas Nedham and the archives indicate that he had a third son Robert and a daughter Cecily. The Poll Tax returns of 1381 has a Robertus de Nedham paying 40d while his son, also Robertus, pays 6d (4).

Thomas married Agnes and in 1405 had land dealings in Castleton. Thomas died around 1414 and subsequently his widow, Agnes, issued a grant to Roger Jodrell ‘of the wardship and marriage of Christopher Nedeham (her son) on completion of his marriage with the daughter of the said Rodger (Isobel Jodrell)'(1). Christopher like a number of good Needham's (or should I say Nedham's) bought and sold land wisely in Castleton between 1427 and 1462.

Reference

Person

Abode

Issue

Year

OD/911

Thomas Nedham

Castleton

Messuage Castleton

5 Aug 1405

OD/912

Christopher Nedeham

Castleton

land in Castleton

26 Nov 1427

OD/914

Christopher Nedeham

Castleton

land in Castleton

29 Sept 1442

Derbyshire Charters - Jeaye

Christopher Nedham

 

Witness: Sale of goods and shackes

1444

Bag C/1374 SCA

Christofre Nedam

 

Witness; Lands in Bukstones & Chapell Parish

24 Aug 1458

 

Christopher also appears in the Court Rolls in Glossop and Bowden in 1463 and Castleton in 1471(2). He had a son Otwell, but little is known about him except he died in the first half of the 16 th century and that he had a son William. William appears in The National Archives in relation to the title of lands of Robert Needham in Castleton, Rydyings, Foxhill and Salford yard between 1536 and 1547; things took a long time then.

Reference

Person

Abode

Issue

Year

Relatives

 

C1/861/15-17

William Nedham s Otvel

 

Exemplification of plea; respect title to lands of Robert Needham in Castketon, Rydyngs,Foxhill & Salford yard

1536

william s of Otwell

C1/861/15-17

Robert Needham

Castleton

 Exemplification of plea; respect title to lands of Robert Needham in Castketon, Rydyngs,Foxhill & Salford yard

 1536

 

Derbyshire Charters - Jeaye

William son heir Ottiwell Nedham

 

v Elizeus Staley title deeds lad in possession of Robert Nedham in Castleton Rydyings Foxhill Salford yard

28 June 1547

son heir Ottiwell Nedham

Derbyshire Charters - Jeaye

Robert Nedham

 

v Elizeus Staley title deeds lad in possession of Robert Nedham in Castleton Rydyings Foxhill Salford yard

28 June 1547

 

 

 

William had a son Nicholas, of which little is known, although he did have two sons Robert and Nicholas; the family name remained Nedham but from the next generation it became the more common, Needham. Robert is thought to have been born in 1510 in Castleton and died sometime after 1547; he had a son Richard born in 1545. A Richard Nedham is mentioned in the Muster Rolls of 1581 and a George Needham in 1587.

The family line described is that due to Lack and Trevor Ashby Needham and is summarised in the tree Needham Castleton 10 family tree which is a subset of the Needham Derbyshire Base tree ; the associated summary time line can be found at Castleton time-line. I have added information to try and substantiate the line but although I am sure all the individuals mentioned lived the relationship between them is not 100% nailed on. However, things become less clear as we move forward because we have evidence from wills and parish records

Lack & TAN believed that Richard Needham from Castleton married Dorothy and they had a son John. Richard it would appear died around 1617. In his will of 1617 Richard is described as a shoemaker with six other Needham's owing him money relating to a lead mine at Needham Grove. John Needham married Mary and in the first decades of the 17 th century they had a son James. John was a yeoman, and in1614 purchased land for £4424 6s 8d from Rowland Hall and built a house with 3 bays known as ‘Slippery Stones'(3). John was enterprising and in 1615 had one spinning wheel which is believed to be in his probate return (3). But, in 1628 John sold ‘Slippery Stones'; this house is thought to be Castleton Hall in Market Square (3).

In Nov 1635 John's son, James married Katherina Lane and they had at least two children in Castleton: Dorothie born in 1649 and Ellis born sometime before 1661. In 1670 James was one of five Needham's who paid the Hearth tax in Castleton(5). He was buried in Castleton on the 28th Mar 1685 at St Edmunds Church in Castleton.

Abode

Person: Hearth Tax 1670

Castleton

Needham, James, Castleton

Castleton

Needham, Robert, Castleton

Castleton

Needham, Robert, Castleton

Castleton

Needham,Rowland,Castleton

Castleton

Needham, Wid., Castleton

 

Wills

A simple story to date but with limited evidence to confirm it. The work is based on that of Lack and Trevor Ashby Needham (TAN). However, things become complicated rather than easier as more information becomes available, this time in the form of wills and parish records. The wills associated with Castleton residents has been extracted from the central wills register and are summarised in a separate document. The problem comes with the early wills. All the later wills ie from 1700 onwards, are quite easily attributed to the appropriated individual

The earliest will of a Needham in Castleton is that of Johanne Needham (will proven Aug 1610). A further four wills are proven between 1610 and 1619 ie

  •   Joan Nedham ( proven Jan 1611)
  •   John/Johannies Needham (will proven Apr 1616)
  •   Richard Needham ( will proven may 1618)
  •   Hugh Needam (will proven Jan 1619)

The most informative is that of Hugh who died single and without issue. His will was made in 1610 and probate granted in 1619. It tells us he has four brothers ie Thomas, James, Ellis and Richard Needam and a sister Agnes Needam. So what do we know about this group? From the will of Hugh we know that:

  •   Thomas had three daughters Barbara, Elizabeth and Margaret Needam and
  •   Ellis had a wife Joan. This is probably Joan (will proven 1611), if so the Ellis dies before 1610 and Ellis and Joan have a son John
  •   John (will admin. Apr 1616) had a wife Ellen
  •   While Richard ( will proven May 1618) mentions Elizabeth and Dorothy Needham without saying how they are related

This family line is detailed in Needham Castleton 8 family tree . The problem is linking them with other Needham's living in Castleton and identifying the parents.

As previously mentioned Lack & TAN believe Richard Needham from Castleton married Dorothy and they had a son John. Richard it is assumed died around 1617. In his will of 1618 Richard is described as a shoemaker with six other Needham's owing him money relating to a lead mine at Needham Grove. John Needham married Mary and in the first decades of the 17 th century they had a son James. John was a yeoman, and in1614 purchased land for £4424 6s 8d from Rowland Hall and built a house with 3 bays known as ‘Slippery Stones'(3). John was enterprising and in 1615 had one spinning wheel which is believed to be in his probate return (3. But, in 1628 John sold ‘Slippery Stones'; this house is thought to be Castleton Hall in Market Square (3). However, to date I haven't found a will for John, which surprises me as he would appear to be a wealthy person and lrakein his book on the history of Castleton refers to his probate return.. The Lack/TAN family line is shown in Needham Castleton 10 Family Tree.

However, this has to be questioned as a Richard Nedham's will was granted probate in Mar 1630. From his will it's clear he has a wife Margaret and a son James; but who is James and who were Richards parents?

So we have two Richards. The first Richard is married to Dorothy according to Lack/TAN and dies in 1618. There is no mention of a son in his will. The second is married to Margaret and dies in 1630. He has a son James. If I hadn't seen the Lack/TAN work I would have presumed that James who married Katherine Lane was the son of Richard d1630, not the son of Richard d 1618.

Then there is the will of Thomas Needum (will proven June 1658). Thomas was a yeoman from Castleton but his will was proven in London; does this mean he died in London? He had brothers Nicholas and James and sisters Alice, Margaret and another un-named daughter . His wife was Ellinor but there is no mention of children. Finally his brother James has a son John. So who were Thomas and his siblings parents?

Now the plot thickens. In 1687 an Ellen Needham's will is proven and she is described as the widow of Thomas. Assuming this is the Thomas whose will was proven in 1658 then Thomas and Ellen had at least two sons Robert and Edmund. But if this is the case why weren't they mentioned in Thomas's will? Could it be that Robert and Edmund were born around the time Thomas made his will in 1657. To back this up there are Parish records of the baptism of a Robert Needham ( Nov 1679) and Elizabeth Needham ( Apr 1685) with a father Edmund and mother Margaret Needham. Assuming Edmund was of full age it would mean he was born around or before 1658. This family line descending from Thomas is detailed in Needham Castleton 9 family tree

 

Finally we have the will of Rowland Needham. Rowland was a husbandman whose will was proven in June 1682. But who were his parents? His will shows he had three sons Richard, Robert and Edward and two daughters, Dorothy and Ellen and his wife as per his will is Mary. But the parish records have a wife of Rowland being buried in 1650 so it would appear that Mary might be his second wife and probably not the mother of his children. The Ancestral line associated with Rowland and his descendants is detailed in Needham Castleton 4 Family Tree

Parish Records

Although the Castleton parish records were started in the 16 th century the only ones available today start around 1662 although a few older records have been found. But this does not make matters much easier. Events and dates become more certain eventually. However, Ellis and Robert are common Needham christian names in Castleton, making things more challenging. As an example there are three Ellis Needham's born between 1679 and 1687 and four Roberts, all married to different wives who had children between 1662 and 1697.

There is a family of Ellis and Dinah Needham who have 8 children between 1679 and 1691 and there is a family of Ellis and Maria/Mary Needham who had 5 children between 1683 and 1692. The records I have found to date has the baptism of one Ellis Needham 1 Oct 1662 f Robert m Joan Needham. However, Lack and TAN have identified an Ellis born to James and Katherine Lane and they have identified this Ellis as the one that marries Maria/ Mary and has children between 1683 and 1692. I can find no record of such a baptism ie Ellis f James m Katherine but I have records for the marriage of James and Katherine and their deaths. If Lack and TAN are correct then this would mean that Ellis bap 1662 f Robert m Joan married Dinah and had children between 1679 and 1692. Ellis would have been 17 when his first child was born, which is young but not unheard of. If I didn't know of the Lack/TAN work I would have thought that Ellis bap 1662 had married Mary/ Maria and had had children between 1683 and 1692 which would have made him 21 when their first child was born.

The offspring and descendants of Ellis and Dinah are detailed in Needham Castleton Family Tree assuming that the parents of Ellis are Robert and Joan, while the ancestors and descendants of Ellis and Maria/ Mary are detailed in Needham Base family tree and Needham Castleton 10 family tree. BUT more evidence is needed before a definitive tree can be drawn

What is certain is that Ellis married Mary Hulme in Castleton on 29 June 1682. They had six children all baptised in Castleton between 1683 and 1693, including James who was born in July 1688. Ellis died in Dec. 1722 and was buried at St Edmunds on 2 Jan 1723. James was a merchant who for number of years lived in Ireland. He married Catherine on 28 Mar 1695 in Castleton and they had 8 children all born in Droghedra, County Louth, Ireland. In 1731 the Council Book for the Corporation of Droghedra describes James as a merchant. James's fifth child and second oldest male was Ellis. Although born in Ireland he marries Martha Marshall in Aug 1753 at Peak Forest and has four children. He moved to Blackley in Lancashire where he died and was buried on 7 th Oct 1798. See Needham's of Blackley.

Needham's Cotton Mill

In 1790 a cotton mill locally known as Needham's Cotton Mill was run from Spittle Bridge together with a second near Peak cavern. The mills were insured by Sun Alliance. Clarke in his book says these enterprises were run by Ellis Needham of Litton Mill fame, but TNA records show that the enterprises were run by Ellis's nephews Jasper and William using money put up by and on land owned by their uncle Samuel. They are described as; ‘William and Jasper Needham, fustian manufacturers, brothers and co-partners of Castleton'. In 1818 W&J Needham, who lived at Rushop Hall, put the business for sale. Like Litton Mill it failed because it was too far from the market

Poll Books

A number of Needham's can be found in the Poll Books during the 18th & 19th centuries:

Name

Poll Year

Residence Details

Parish or Rectory

County

Residence

Property

Type

Ellis Needham

1734

High Peak

Swathwicke

Derbyshire

castleton

edale

 

Ellis Needham

1832

Chapel-En-Le-Frith

Castleton

 

Cross Street

 

freehold

S Needham

1832

Chapel-En-Le-Frith

Castleton

 

Goosehill

 

freehold

Samuel Needham

1868

Castleton

Castleton

Derbyshire

 

 

 

 

Trade Directory

In Whites Directory of 1857 there are three entries:

Who

Where

What

Ellis Needham

Castleton

Spar Manufacturer

Sarah Needham

Castleton

Beer Retailer

Septimus Needham

Castleton

Schoolmaster

 

Ellis Needham ran the local museum and as a means of additional income was a manufacturer of spa goods. The spa mineral known as Blue John was mined from the vast cavern at the nearby Peak Hole. Septimus and his wife on the other hand ran a fee paying school for 35 pupils from 1835 to 1851 from a barn in building at Goosehill on the outskirts of Castleton, towards Winnats Pass.

Population trends

We have to look at Parish records to look at early trends in population movement. After 1837 births, deaths amd marriages were registered centrally but the registration district for Castleton was Bakewell and you cannot strip out the Castleton births, so after 1837 population trends are followed using the census records.

Looking at the church parish records the birth rate of Needham's builds in the period 1650 to 1850, but the number of families drops. Little can be read into the burial data.

Period

Baptism

Burial

Families

1650/1700

40

20

14

1700/1750

41

17

10

1750/1800

45

17

10

1800/1850

58

 

 

The earliest baptism recorded of a Needham in Castleton is Ellis Needham bap in 1662. His father was Robert and mother Joan. I haven't found a birth record for Robert but it is likely that Joan died and Robert married Alice. There are a total of 16 Needham families identifiable in the parish records whose eldest child was born in the 17th century. Of these fourteen families only one father's baptism record has been identified ie Ellis Needham bap 1662. To date I have not found a birth/baptism record for the other thirteen who are:

Name

Birth

Rowland
bef 1597

Robert

bef 1641

Thomas

bef 1641

Robert

bef 1644

Robert

bef 1648

Edward

bef 1650

Robert

bef 1654

Edmund    

bef 1658

Ellis

bef 1659

Ellis
bef 1662

Nicholas

bef 1664

Robert

bef 1665

Nicholas

bef 1677

Robert

bef1658

Richard

bef1673

Note the birth date has been estimated from the eldest childs baptism date less 21

However by the 18th century things have changed. Again there are 14 families, only this time only three have a parent who cannot be identified as being born in Castleton:

who

birth

John

bef 1689

Robert

bef 1712

Ellis/Elias

bef 1733

While the remaining 11 families have the head being baptised in the village

who

Birth

Thomas

01 Dec 1749

John

1 jan 1711/12

George

10 Feb 1717

Samuel

12 jan 1689

Adam

15 aug 1708

Thomas

24 Dec 1723

Ellis

25 Mar 1683

john/jack

26 Aug 1754

Thomas

28 sept 1679

Rowland

31 mar 1671

Joshua

31 0ct 1703

What does this tell us? Well we probably haven't got sufficiently early records for the 17th century ‘rogues' but by the 18th century that should not be the case and the three 'rogues' were almost certainly born outside Castleton

More detail of the place Needham's originated from becomes available in the 19th century through the census which started in 1841. The census data reveals the birth place and year of birth:The census records show that the Needham's living in Castleton declined during the second half of the 19 th century from a high of 34 residents in 1851. By 1911 only 3 families were still living in the town. This reflects a trend throughout history with people moving from the land to the rapidly expanding industrial cities. The Needham's moved both to Lancashire – Oldham in particular – and Sheffield

 

Year

Residents

Birth Not Castleton

1841

30

2*

1851

34

5

1861

23

3

1871

12

2

1881

13

1

1891

12

4

1901

9

2

1911

8

2

* not Derbyshire

 

 

 

Reference

  1. Thomas Ashby Needham papers John Rylands Library Manchester
  2. Y P Yeatman ‘Historic Records of the Ancient County of Derby'
  3. Liam Clarke ‘Castleton a History'
  4. Fenwick ‘The Poll Taxes 1377, 1379 & 1281 pt 1 Bedfordhsire to Leicestershire'
  5. Edwards, D.G., ed. (1982) Derbyshire hearth tax assessments 1662-70, Derbyshire Record Society, 7

 

 

 

 

 

 

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