Needham Family

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Origins

Needham's of Leicestershire

This document is work in progress. Rather than wait until everything is completed I've decided to put things on this site as packets of work appear to come to some conclusion. Part of me hopes that someone out there may have already done the work; if this is the case please get in touch. If you're willing I would welcome others to contribute as this would allow me to move onto another area/county/city. I can but hope

When did the Needham's arrive in Leicestershire? Good question. There is nothing earlier than documents dated 1558 in the National Archives but there are three Needham pedigrees drawn up after the visitations in the early part of the 17 th century which are backed up by early Parish Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 1 Nedham's of Allexton. See Tree Leicester 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 2 Nedham's Of Coleorton. See Tree Needham Base

 

 

 

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Fig 3 Nedham's of Gaddesby . See Leicester 4 Tree

 

 

The first and third pedigrees, Figs 1 & 3, are descendants of Thomas Nedham of Allexton and he and his descendents can be found the Needham Family Leicester 4 tree. However, Fig 2 is the pedigree of the descendants of George Nedham who was born in Hertfordshire. His family are detailed in Needham Base tree whose origins start with Christopher Needham and are detailed in the Needhams' of Hertfordshire

The Beginning

The story begins with Thomas Nedham of Allexton who appears to have married twice, the second time to Margaret Parker. He had eight sons: Thomas (his heir), Edward, Francis, John, Ambrose, Richard, Robert & Anthony. He died in 1558 at Allexton and leaves a will which is very difficult to read (or I find it so). Shortly after Thomas' death Edward Andrews raises a claim in Nov 1558 concerning the Manor and Manor House of Allexton with defendant Ambrose Nedham

 

Document

Case

Start Date

End Date

Record

C 2/Eliz/A1/56

Short title: Androwes v Needham. Plaintiffs: Edward Andrews. Defendants: Ambrose Nedham. Subject: Possession of the manor of Allexton, Leicestershire, and manor house etc. Document type: [pleadings].

17/11/1558

24/03/1603

Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Pleadings, Series I,

 

 

Elizabeth I to Charles I. Elizabeth I. A plaintiffs: originally 9 bundles.

C 2/JasI/N7/38

Short title: Nedham v Cheast. Plaintiffs: Anne Nedham widow and John Nedham, Bridget Nedham, Katherine Nedham and Mary Nedham infants (by the said Anne Nedham their guardian). Defendants: Philip Cheast, John Browne, Francis Nedham and Clement Nedham. Subj

01/01/1603

31/12/1625

Court of Chancery: Six Clerks Office: Pleadings, Series I, Elizabeth I to

Charles I. James I. N plaintiffs: originally 7 bundles.

This case dragged on until 1603. In 1566 eight years after Thomas died, Margaret Needham , his wife, dies and leaves her estate to her surviving sons: Thomas, Francis John, Ambrose, Richard and Robert. Probate is granted in May 1566.

 

A new court case was started in Jan 1603. The plaintiff was Anne Nedham a widow and who was representing her children John, Bridget, Katherine and Mary Nedham who were infants; she was their guardian. The defendants were Philip Cheast, John Browne, Francis Nedham and Clement Nedham. The case finished in 1625. Ann was the wife of Edward Nedham who died in 1617, Clement was the grandson of Thomas and Francis was the third eldest son of Thomas. This raises the question of why did Ann raise the case and not her husband or have I missed something?

 

So where is Allexton`? Well it's just south of east of the city of Leicester, on the Leicestershire/Rutland border on the southern bank of Eye Brook close to Belton in Rutland. The earliest mention of it and the Needham's is in the 15 th century; Thomas Blount, knt owned the manor called Needham Halle in Allexton. But other than this I can find no mention of the Needham's in Allexton or Leicestershire until Thomas and his family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  1. Descendants Of Thomas of Allexton

 

Thomas's eight sons all survived until the age of 21 and at least six of them married, Richard the sixth eldest didn't marry and I'm unsure about Edward. None of them stayed in Allexton so they spread their wings in Leicestershire

    1.Thomas.

    Thomas's eldest son who was also called Thomas, was baptised across the border in Belton, Rutland. Thomas married a Wilcocks and they had two sons William and Clement. William, the eldest son was born in Belton. He married Anna Lambe from Northamptonshire and they had three sons, Francis, William & Anthony all born in Belton. Francis, however, did not stay in Belton and in 1653 he is living in Paske Hall in Gaddesby. He died there in 1656. George Francis' eldest surviving son inherited from his father and he died at Gaddesby in 1738. By 1744 the Hall which had been surrounded by a moat had been pulled down and a modern house built; it was owned by John Ayre.

    However, it would appear that Francis wasn't the first Nedham to live in Gaddesby. Thomas' youngest son Clement married Phillipa King in Gaddesby in 1599 and later that year their first child, a daughter Anne, who was baptised at Gaddesby. Clement died in 1626 and was buried at Gaddesby. His son and heir was Nathaniel Nedham who was baptised in Gaddesby but in 1630 was a freeholder in Saxelby which is where he died in1637. Nathaniel married Katherina Noble in 1628 and they had two boys, Clement and Francis, and three girls, Susanna, a second Susanna who was born the first Susanna had died and Katherine

    2. Edward

    Not sure about Edward. He is not mentioned in the court case brought after Thomas' death but there is a marriage of an Edward Needham to Anne Drake in Allexton in 1604. COuld this be Thomas' son. If it is then why wasn't Edward involved in the court case. If it isn't then who is this Edward?

    3. Francis

    Francis was the second eldest son of Thomas of Allexton eight sons. He married Anne Gamble of Burton Overy and they had two sons, Edward and John. In 1588 Francis bought the manor of Illston on the Hill from John or St. John Borough. The manor then passed from father to son, Francis being succeeded in 1615 by his son Edward (d1617), his grandson John (1604-1669), and his great-grandson Edward (1633-1691) .  This last Edward was succeeded by his youngest son Edward (1670-1728), his four elder sons having predeceased him. The younger Edward, who secured a private Act enabling him to sell part of his estate in order to pay his debts, died in 1728 and was succeeded, apparently, by his unmarried daughter Elizabeth who  died in 1758 in possession of the manor. As a consequence, the manor went to the Dimock family because of Mary  Needham , sister of the younger Edward (1670-1728), had married Charles Dimock in 1689 . Francis had two sons. We have talked about his eldest son and heir, Edward, but not his youngest son John. John married Isabel Cave and they had eight children but only two sons of whom one, John, died in infancy so his eldest son and heir was Francis. In 1618 John purchased the manor of Burton Overy from Francis Hodges. This included the manor house which was known as Pulteney's Manor and was named after Sir Thomas Pulteney who owned the manor in the 16 th century . The Needham family were still in possession in 1673but by 1724 they had sold the manor to Sir Geoffrey Palmer

    4.John

    John married Anne Howett the heir of Everard Howett of Gaddesby and died without issue

    5. Ambrose

    Like John, Ambrose married to Margery Ashby the daughter of Robert Ashby of Quenby and it would appear he too died without issue

    6. Richard

    He died single and without children

    7. Robert

    Robert married Constance and they had three children: Francis, Ismaeli and Caleb

    8.Anthony

    Anthony died in Thurcaston in 1588 and had a daughter, Dorothy

    How The Needhams populate the County

From these first births the Needham's soon spread out into the county. Fig 4 maps the parishes where a Needham baptism occurred and shows for each parish when the earliest date of that baptism.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 20 parishes with the earliest baptism are detailed below;

parish
year
Thurcaston
1561
Enderby
1564
Saint Martin,Leicester
1566
Hinckley
1568
Saint Mary,Hinckley
1568
Cosby
1581
Ashby De La Zouch
1584
All Saints,Leicester
1591
Gaddesby
1599
Belton
1605
Syston
1605
Humberstone
1606
scalford
1609
Anstey
1620
melton Mowbray
1623
Tilton
1626
Queniborough
1627
Coleorton
1628
Saxelby
1629
Table 1 Earliest date of a baptism by Parish

Within 7 years families were based in 5 parishes but it took nearly 40 more years before another 5 parishes were occupied by Needham families, Table 1. What else can we learn? Well looking at the numbers of baptisms and burials a familiar pattern immerges.

Time Period
Baptism
Burials
1550 - 1599
56
25
1600 - 1649
89
54
1650 - 1699
172
140
1700 - 1749
278
215
1750 - 1799
379
291
1800 - 1849
519 *
319
Total
1493
1044

* Baptism up to 1837 then births from the General Register

Table 2 Growth in the number of Baptisms and burials

As you would expect in Leicestershire like the majority of counties there is a lag between the births and deaths, Table 2. Bearing in mind 50% of children died before they reached 21 then it would appear that a small number of Needham's moved into the county in the middle of the 16th century, had children. These children largely stayed in the county but over a period of time moved away from the parish in which they were baptised. They too had children and so the number of births increase. Between 1550 and 1849 Needham's a total of 1493 children were baptised and 1044 were buried.

Time Period

New Parish

1550 - 1599
9
1600 - 1649
15
1650 - 1699
16
1700 - 1749
14
1750 - 1799
6
1800 - 1849
2
Total
62

Table 3 Time period when a Needham was first baptised by parish

In this same you can see how the Needham's spread there wings by monitoring when a Needham was first baptised in a parish in Leicestershire. The biggest increase in parishes where families had children was between 1600 and 1750. But this is not to say families stayed in the parish because in most cases this was not the case

If we include marriages into the equation then as the birth rate increases so does the marriage rate, Table 4. In fact if allowance is made for half the children born dying before the age of twenty then practically all surviving children got married

Time Period
Baptism
Burial
Marriage
1550-1599
56
25
17
1600-1649
89
54
53
1650-1699
172
140
41
1700-1749
278
215
142
1750-1799
379
291
151
1800-1849
519
319
216

Table 4 Increase in marriages with time

Once the census starts then we can track the population growth. Table 5 shows that there were just over 300 Needham's in Leicestershire in 1841. These numbers remained static until 1871 when the population increased by a third to 400. Over the next 20 years the population increased by another third to just over 500. From 1901 the population has remained at between 530 and 550

Year
number
% increase
1841
305
1851
308
1%
1861
315
3%
1871
401
31%
1881
456
50%
1891
509
67%
1901
551
81%
1911
545
79%
1939
530
74%

Table 5 Growth in population of Needham's

This must be seem as work in progress and as more information becomes available I'll publish the findings

 

Web 13 Feb 2020

 

 

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