Needham Family

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Origins

Needham's of Staffordshire

Staffordshire is an interesting County being rural in many respects but the southern end of the county it borders Birmingham and towns such as Wolverhampton developed rapidly during the Industrial Revolution. The first area that was looked at was largely in t he North East of the county, bordering the Hartington parish in Derbyshire; this is the parish that the Needham's came from. The Needham's seem to have moved to an area and stayed there. So the initial look see at the Needham's in Staffordshire centred on the North East of the county centred on Alstonefield/Longnor/Sheen, which has now been followed by Needhams in Mid-Staffordshire and specifically those in Uttoxeter, Rocester and Leek/Kingsley. But as more regions of Staffordshire are studied so a better understanding (believe that if you will) of the Needham's in Staffordshire has developed. It is also apparent, as you will see that as time progresses the Needham's move away from rural areas to regions in the West and Southern ends of the county. These last two areas are both significantly affected by the Industrial Revolution. In the west, around Stoke, it was pottery and ceramics and in the South it was metal forming. So this page takes a look at all the areas/regions of Staffordshire that have been identified or if time is pressing you can look at a specific area. If you are confused by what you read, complain to the administrator.

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1 Staffordshire showing some of the major areas the Needham's populated

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Ordinance Survey

 

Data Sources

Let's start with what we know. There are three major sources that have been used to date in looking at early Needham's i.e. before 1840:

•  The National Archives (TNA) and County Archives

•  Wills

•  Parish Records

These are later backed up by civil registration records, census records and newspapers. Among other records to be looked at are Manorial Records

1. First Signs

Prior to 1532 there would appear to have been no Needham's living in Staffordshire. This I find surprising because of the proximity to High Needham, the place where the Needham's originally came from, fig 1  

The first Needham record found to date is the birth of a daughter Elizabeth to a father Humfrey in Alstonefield in 1538. By 1542 a second family was living in Alstonefield. Between 1542 & 1547 Edward/Edmund had five children. It would appear that Edward's first wife died after the birth of their last child because in 1549 an Edward Needham married Agnes Johnson in Alstonefield  

The first recorded burial was in 1543 when Margaret Needham was buried in Alstonefield. A second Margaret died in 1552, this is thought to be the second child of Edward. Between 1561 & 1571 Thomas, Izabell & William were buried in Alstonefield and a Henry Needham married an Elizabeth Johnson in 1559. So, it would appear that the first Needham's came to Alstonefield and that by the end of the 16th century a handful of families were established in the county.  

But other moves were taking place. In 1552 the Crown granted what were described as the manors of Leek and Frith with the site of Dieulacres and most of the former abbey's Staffordshire property to Sir Ralph Bagnall at a rent of £105 11 s . 7½ d. Although the Bagnells sold land in 1560 the rectory was granted to Sir Ralph Bagnall at a fee-farm rent of £51 3 s ., given as the value of the rectory. By 1572 the rent for the manors was in arrears by over £446 and subsequently it was granted to Sir Francis Needham & Sir Christopher Hatton in 1610. They sold small parts of it to John Rothwell of Leek in 1610 and Henry Wardle of Leekfrith in 1612.   Hatton's son Christopher, Baron Hatton, made a further sale to William Jolliffe of Leek in 1642–3.   In addition, in 1610 the Crown granted the fee-farm rent to Sir Christopher Hatton and Sir Francis   Needham , to whom the fee-farm rent for Leek manor had already been granted

Parish records show that the Needham's had spread into Staffordshire as by the end of the 16th century there had been burials in Lichfield (five the first being an Agnes in 1568), Stafford (one in 1577), Rocester (eight starting with Margarie Neidham in 1577) and Mucklestone ( Randolph Needham died in 1586). In addition to Edward marrying Agnes in Alstonefield, a Henry Needham married a second Johnson girl in Alstonefield in 1559, Thomas and William Needham married in 1588 and 1589 respectively in Lichfield and Jone Needham married in Weeford in 1597.  

So, after a slow start the Needham's had begun to spread their wings. This can be seen in a little more detail if the data in the Parish records, General Register and Census are examined.

1.1 Parish Records

Parish records started in the mid 16th century and as we have seen the earliest records that have survived are in Alstonefield. So let us first look at the overall picture before delving into the detail.

For the whole of Staffordshire the number of Needham baptism's rises to a peak between 1801/50; but remember after 1837 baptism records do not reflect the number of births because from this date all births, deaths and marriages had to be registered,so you would expect the number of baptisms. Predictably the number of marriages and burials also rise although, as you would expect, there is a time lag compared to the baptism number/time profile. Predictably the number of marriages and burials rise although, as you would expect, there is a time lag; Table 1

Baptism

Deaths

Married

1501/50

1

1

1551/00

18

14

5

1601/50

31

24

2

1651/00

79

72

21

1701/50

91

70

41

1751/00

87

72

56

1801/50

114

87

30

1851/00

105

96

34

Total

525

436

190

Table 1 Baptism, Marriage and Burial statistics from Parish Records

But this doesn't tell the whole story. If we look at births regionally then a different picture emerges. The Needham's first move into Mid-Staff and the number of births increases until the second half of the 17th century when the number of baptism's reached a maximum. Subsequently, from the second half of the 17 th century the number of baptisms in Mid-Staffordshire declines. Conversely, the numbers of births in NE Staffs increases from the second half of the 17 th century to a maximum before decreasing. A similar effect is seen in the remainder of the Needham in Staffordshire but for this group the maximum is in the second half of the 19 th century. Why we can ask? Well, the remainder of the Needham's live in an area in the west of the county dominated by Stoke and an area of the county south of Burton centred to the north of Birmingham. The towns in these areas grew rapidly with the Industrial Revolution and sucked in people from rural areas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2 Variation with time of Baptisms by region

 

 

1.2 Census & General Register

The census allows us to look at the demography of the Needham's in Staffordshire with time. Table 2. The western area around Stoke has consistently the lowest density of Needham's between 1851 and 1911. Over this period the proportion of the total population of Needham's is around 20% in Mid- Staffordshire. But in Uttoxeter only one Needham appears in the census between 1841 and 1881 inclusive. This is an Anne Needham who was a servant at Uttoxeter Hall and was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire and there were no births registered at all in the 19th century in Uttoxeter! A dead century for Needham's; a first.

However, there is a major change in the other two areas with a major drop in Needham's living in North East Staffordshire while by 1911 the proportion of Needham's living in South Staffordshire in an area south of Burton and including the industrial towns of Wolverhampton and West Bromwich was well over 50%. The growth of these towns reflects the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the move away from the land to the new factories created by the growth of industry

 

Table 2 The distribution of the total population of Needham's with time in Staffordshire

mid staffs

north east

south

west

1851

21%

45%

30%

3%

1871

20%

22%

43%

15%

1911

21%

4%

57%

18%

This move away from rural areas to the industrial towns and cities is backed up by birth registrations. In the second half of the 19th century (1850/00) 31% of births were registered in Mid or NE Staffs, 17% in West Staffs and 54% in South Staffs; a major shift from the distribution found in the 17th & 18th centuries, fig 2

 

 

2. Mid Staffordshire

This is an area bounded by Leek in the North, Uttoxeter in the SOuth and Rocester in its centre , Fig 1. It has some of the earliest parish records and during the 16th/19 centuries has the second highest number of Needham's (NE staffs has the highest). Lets look at each town separately:

2.1 Needham's of Rocester (Alton3 Tree)

This covers the Needham's centred around Rocester. Why Rocester? Well some of the earliest parish records of Needham's in Staffordshire are from the area centred on Rocester. Rocester is less than 10 miles from Ashbourne which is in

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fig 3 Mid-Staffs area centred on Rocester

 

 

 

 

Copyright Ordinance Survey

 

Derbyshire, the home of the Needham name and family. As we found in NE Staffordshire the Needham's move around, Fig 1, and Fig 2 shows the area and principal places in the area centred on Rocester

The first real record we start with is that of Richard Nedam who died in Alton in Mar/Apr 1556/7. He left a will naming two people: Alice his wife and John his son and heir; he left £18. There were other children but they were not named. His son John Nedam was also lived in Alton and he died in Mar 1587/8 leaving his wife Katherine and five children all under 21 and an inventory valued at £96. Three of his children were sons: Godfrey the eldest, Leonard and Roger and two were daughters. Joan who married Robert Snape but I'm unsure what happened to Elizabeth or for that matter to Leonard. However, it's a different matter with Godfrey & possibly Roger.

A Roger Nedam married Joone Hoods in 1541 at Waterfall (what a beautiful name) and it is believed had a family. That would mean he would be born bef 1520. I believe he died and was buried in Rocester in 1600. His will is not easy to read but he mentions a Sarah Nedeham, a John Nedeham (his son) and Joan who was married (to a Mayney?). But I'm not convinced this is Roger son of Richard d 1556/7 as we shall see. But and there is always a but in these studies. There is a Roger who dies and is buried in Sheen in 1644, and three years earlier Elizabeth wife of Roger dies in 1641. Could this be our man?

So, we come to Godfrey. There is a Godfrey who dies in1633 and was a yeoman living in Alton. His will says he has a brother, Roger and a sister Joan, who is married to Robert Snape. This would suggest that both Roger and Joan were alive in 1633 which means Roger d 1600, isn't Godfrey's brother, which questions who are their parents. Let's assume that one of them is the son of John d 1587/8 with Godfrey being the one. Godfrey in his will leaves money to two sons Richard and John, his heir, plus he bequeaths money to three daughters, Ursula, Elizabeth and Katherine, the wife of William Wilson. Finally, he mentions his daughter in law, Elizabeth, who I presume is his heir, John's wife. He does not mention his own wife, who, we must presume is dead. But who is she?

Now for the tricky bit. There are two wills that if read together unlock who is who i.e. the wills of Robert (d1666) and John (d1667). Taking Robert first. He's an ironmonger in Uttoxeter and dies without issue but has brothers Isaac (wife Elizabeth), and Richard, sisters Ann (Beckett) and Susanna plus an uncle Richard. He also goes on to mention Godfrey Needham, his wife Alice and their children Robert, Richard, John and Anne. His parents are alive. Godfrey, I believe is Robert's brother.

His parents, I believe are John Needham (d 1667) who is a yeoman living in Alton, with a wife Elizabeth. According to his will, John has a sister, Ursula and brother Richard who lives in Uttoxeter. Ursula and Richard, I believe are children of Godfrey d 1633. He also has a son Godfrey of Denstone a daughter Susanne plus other unnamed children. These fit with the siblings detailed by Robert d 1666 and the fact his parents are alive when Robert dies. If I'm correct then we have two families;

  •   Family of John and Elizabeth Needham of Alton
    • Father - John Needham d 1667
    • Mother – Elizabeth
    • Son: John, Isaac (Wife Elizabeth), Richard, Robert d 1666, Godfrey (wife Alice)
    • Dau. Ann (h? Beckett), Susanna (h William Wilson)

 

  • Family of Godfrey and Alice Needham of Alton
    • Father – Godfrey Needham 9d 1633) of Denstone
    • Mother – Alice s
    • sons: Robert, Richard & John
    • Dau: Anne

The worry is I can't find baptism records for these families, so all of this is from wills. This possibly means they are from outside Staffordshire.

 

There is reference to the Needham's in Denstone and Alton in documents in the Staffordshire County Archives:

Table 3 County Archive Documents - Denston(e)

Title

Place

Description

 

Start Date

year

Source

Bargain and sale of five arable lands on Blackstock Shut in Hilbroke Field, parish of Denston...

Denstone

Needham/Sackfield

1652

1652

D925/9/1

Will of John Needham, Yeoman of Denstone, Staffordshire

Denstone

Will of John Needham, Yeoman of Denstone, Staffordshire.

04/07/1655

1655

PROB 11/244/111

Release of trusts under the will of Thos. Needham, late of Denston. Thos. Hollingshead, the younger/John Orme ...

Denstone

Release of trusts under the will of Thos. Needham, late of Denston. Thos. Hollingshead, the younger/John Orme

01/01/1686

1686

D1529/64

The will of John Needham (1655) mentions his brother Thomas of Denstone. Thomas, whose will is dated 1666, has John Orme as an executor and Thomas Hollingshead the elder is the husband of Thomas's sister; presumable Thomas Hollingshead Junior is their son

 

 

Table 4 County Archive Documents - Alton

Title

Place

Description

 

Start Date

year

Source


Deed relating to land in Alton:Alton, Crowsich, 2a. lying in the Quarters, Gorstie Oak Croft, Paradise Croft and the Little...

Alton

Alton, Crowsich, 2a. lying in the Quarters, Gorstie Oak Croft, Paradise Croft and the Little Field Croft, (Halle/Needham).

01/01/1637

1637

D562/3/2

Marriage settlement involving a burgage in Carters Street, Uttoxeter

Alton

Marriage settlement of John Hewitt and Elizabeth Needham; trustees John Needham of Alton and Richard Morley of Brailsford, Derbys.

21 Dec 1642

1642

M433

Authorisation by Thomas Needham and Robert Willimot to John Huckle to receive rents in Alston...

Alton

Authorisation by Thomas Needham and Robert Willimot to John Huckle to receive rents in Alston and Steeple, late of Sir Francis Needham kt. (Alton and Steeple Grange)

01/01/1647

1647

D3155/WH 1863

Alton, closes etc. (mortgage) (Needham/Becket)

Alton

Alton, closes etc. (mortgage) (Needham/Becket)

01/01/1687

1687

D562/3/5

 

In Robert Needham's will of 1666 he mentions his sister Ann Becket which is presumed is the link with the reference in the last document

 

Let's go back, we believe we know that John Nedam d 1587/8 in Alton and that his eldest son Godfrey continued to live there until his death in 1633. Godfrey is described as a yeoman. Of the other sons Leonard, we know nothing about but his third son Roger could have moved to Uttoxeter where a Roger Needham died in 1644. There are other Needham's in Uttoxeter. Richard, Godfrey's son is said to live in Uttoxeter as does Godfrey's brother, Robert (d 1666). So, I believe Richard marries Ann and has six children in Uttoxeter including three sons: Godfrey, Nathaniel and Thomas. Richard dies in 1685 and Ann in 1688. It would appear that Robert dies unmarried and without issue; a lonely ironmonger!

There are two other families that can be identified. As we have seen John d 1667 has five sons including John and Isaac. Robert d1666 identified John's wife as Joan and Isaac's as Elizabeth. John and Joan live in Leek and have eight children. John dies in 1691 and in his will is described as a gentleman identifies Isaac his brother, a son Thomas and two daughters Elizabeth and Mary. Thomas his son lived in Leek and dies in 1702 without issue leaving everything to his sisters Elizabeth and Mary. Finally, we have Isaac who lives in Alton and with his first wife, Elizabeth, had a daughter Susanna. Elizabeth dies and Isaac remarries Susanna Bristow with whom he has a daughter Maria. So, the line finishes

The two earliest Needhams I've found to date are Richard Neidham b bef 1556 and John Neidham b bef 1567. Richard marries Elizabeth and they have two sons William b 1578 & Anthony b 1582 and two daughters. It would appear that Anthony leaves Rocester for Waterfall where in 1625 he marries Anne. They have four children including Thomas b 1627, their only son; I can't be sure what happens to Thomas. What about Richard and Elizabeth's eldest son? Well William b 1578 is probably the husband of Elizabeth and between them they have six children, three boys: William, Richard and John and three girls: Mary, Catherine and Johanna between 1600 and 1609. I say ‘could be' because there is a burial of a William Neidham in Rocester in 1582, four years after William was born. So, it's possible that William husband of Elizabeth is not Richard's son, however, for now I'm taking it that William who marries Elizabeth is the son of Richard. So, let's look at William's sons. His second son, Richard, dies 10 months after his birth which leaves William b 1602 & John b 1609 to carry on the family name. It would appear that John marries Ann Clewlowe in 1635 and they have three children, including two boys. William the youngest is buried two years after his birth but Thomas b 1640 lives until 1674.

To understand some relationships, you sometimes need to look at wills. This is the case next. There are three Needham's: two John's and Thomas. All are yeoman and all live in Denstone. Denstone is just outside Rocester and there is no church there; thus, people from Denstone often are baptised, married and buried in Rocester. A John Needham of Denstone dies in 1655. His will of the same year names two sons: Thomas under 21 and John Needham alias Chadwicke of Denstone whose wife is Mary, plus his brother Thomas of Denstone. A Thomas Needham dies in 1666 and leaves a will. Thomas is from Denstone and has a wife Francis and a son Thomas, his heir. He has two unnamed sisters married to John and Thomas Hollinshed. Thomas, I believe is the brother of John d 1655. The question is who are the parents of John and Thomas. I had thought William b 1579 was John's father but there is no baptism record for a Thomas. So, who were their parents?

 

John (d 1655) was married to Ann Clewlowe in 1636 and they had three children baptised in Rocester between 1640 and 1649; Thomas being the last born. The problem with this is there is no baptism record for the birth of John Needham als Chadwick who must have been born around 1631 (see next paragraph). I presume he was illegitimate with John d 1655 being the father; but there is no record. But I could be wrong.

Finally, we come to the third will. In the summer of 1658 John Needham alias Chadwicke dies. Mentioned in his will are a John Needham and a wife (but didn't name the latter). John d 1655 states his son John Needham als Chadwicke is married to a Mary and the parish records show that they have two children John (surprise surprise) and Mary. I haven't to date found out what happens to the son John

But there is one piece of information that might throw some light on all this. On 3 rd May 1698 John Needham son of John Needham a mercer from Rocester was apprenticed to Benjamin Dalkins from the Vinter's company in London. Normally sons were apprenticed for severn years from the age of 12. This would mean John would be born around 1687. Needless to say nobody fits the bill. This probably means John wasn't born in Staffordshire.

 

2.2 Needham's of Uttoxeter (Uttoxeter Tree)

The story of the Needham's in Uttoxeter starts with what I believed could have been three brothers Richard (born before 1615), Peeter (born before 1617) and Phillip (born before 1622). I can't prove they are brothers but they are born within 7 years of each other. I suppose the real question is if they are brothers, who are their parents, where were they born and if they were not born in Uttoxeter why did they move there.

Well we can answer part of this riddle. As we have seen Richard is the son of Godfrey from Denstone and his wife Alice, but I haven't to date found baptism records for Godfrey and Alice's children so I can't say whether Peter and Phillip are their son's

 

Well this might be answered by a will of Robert Needham written on 20 Aug 1666 and who was buried on the 12 Sept 1666 in Uttoxeter. If I've read the will correctly his mother and father are still alive. Robert is an ironmonger, single with no children and his estate is worth over £120. He apparently has three brothers Isaac, Richard, John and possibly a fourth Godfrey. Godfrey is married to Alice and has a son John. His brother John's wife is Joan and Isaac's wife is Elizabeth. In addition to the brothers he has at least two sisters Ann and Susanne. Only one person, Godfrey is said to be living outside Uttoxeter in Denstone so here we have a family which at the moment doesn't appear to link in with the three ‘brothers'.

But we now know that Robert d 1666 is the brother of Isaac, Richard, John and Godfrey whose parents are John d 1667 a yeoman from Alton and Elizabeth.

However, we do find reference to Phillip in 1651 when he and four others are paid 7s 6d to sign up for the militia. The town of Uttoxeter providing the five men, horses, saddles and bridles

There is one other incident of note in this period. Four times between 1671 and 1674 Sebastian Needham junior and Grace Needham a spinster, both living in Uttoxeter were indicted for none attendance at church. Between 200 and 500 people were charged although in Jan 1674 a list was drawn up but no charge was brought. But they weren't born in Uttoxeter but nearby in Checkley. Sebastian and Grace were siblings and the Children of Sebastian and Mary Needham

 

Table 5 The National Archive records for Uttoxeter

Title
Place Description Start Date Year Source
TIXALL, UTTOXETER, HIXON, LITTLE ONN, ADMASTON, WOOLASTON. Manors of TIXALL BRANCOTE, and HANYARD, and 5...
uttoxeter TIXALL, UTTOXETER, HIXON, LITTLE ONN, ADMASTON, WOOLASTON. Manors of TIXALL BRANCOTE, and HANYARD, and 5 mills, messuages, and lands in TIXALL, BRANCOTE, HANYARD, LITTLE ONN, OTTOXETER, HIXON, ADMASTON, and WOLLASTON. Recovery. (John Giffard, Robert Needham, dom., Walter Aston Knight., resp., Edward Aston, vou.) 01/01/1580 1580 D1798/H.M.ASTON/18/3
Indictment of some 200 people for non-attendance at church
uttoxeter 26. spinster, of the same; Ann Keeling, spinster, of the same; William Needham, gentleman, of the same; John Crowley, labourer, of the same; Henry Crowley47. George Jackson of Uttoxeter; Ann Flightwood, spinster, of the same; Richard Marton of Teame [Tean?] and Elizabeth48. his wife; John Amatt of the same; Ann wife of Thomas Gallimore of the same; Sebastian Needham junior of the same; Grace49. Needham, spinster, of the same; Katherine Wood of the same; Jerman Pole of Rocester; Robert Hewson of the same; Robert Oct 1671 1671 Q/SR/353/4
Indictment of over 200 people
uttoxeter 45. Uttoxeter; Sebastian Needham junior lately of the same; Grace Needham, lately of the same; Katherine Wood, widow, lately of the same; Margaret Oct 1673 1673 Q/SR/361/13
Indictment of around 500 people
uttoxeter Sebastian Needham junior of the same; Grace Needham of the same Oct 1674 1674 Q/SR/365/14
Presentment with list of names with no charge recorded but assumed to relate to failure to attend.
uttoxeter Kynver (Kinver)45. the same; Sebastian Needham junior lately of the same; Grace Needham, lately of the same Jan 1674 1674 Q/SR/362/14-16

 

 

Richarde Needham & descendants

The eldest of these three brothers is thought to be Richarde who marries Ann and they have six children, three of each (Needham Uttoxeter Tree). I say thought because his birth date was estimated from the birth date of his eldest child i.e. birth year minus 21. I can't find a record for Richarde and Ann's marriage but they most likely died in 1685 and 1688. Richarde has three boys, Godfrey, Nathaniel and Thomas. Only Nathaniel appears to marry and have a family but he only has girls so Richarde's line dies.

Peter Needham & descendants

The second eldest ‘brother' is Peter who marries Elizabeth and they have 10 children between 1638 and 1661 (Needham Uttoxeter 2 Tree). This includes 6 boys of whom Thomas & John die young, Francis I can't find a marriage for but Edward, Peeter and Charles who all go on to have families. Peter dies in 1690 and his wife Elizabeth is 16 years later intestate. At her probate hearing Edward Needham (presumably her son) is the executor and is described as a butcher.

The eldest was Edward whose wife Margery/Mary had 10 children, but only 3 boys – Edward, Thomas and Isaac. Of the seven daughters 4 die before they reach the age of 15 however, Hannah their third eldest daughter dies in 1710 aged 51. The first recorded burial of an Edward Needham is in 1729, which if it was Hannah's father would have meant he was 91 when he died. Not impossible but equally it could have been Edward b1665 and Hannah's brother or Edward b 1686 son of Charles

Of Edwards three sons, I haven't, to date, found a wife or death record for Thomas or Isaac who may have left the parish but Edward married Margaret and like his father had a large family; in this case 9 children between 1693 and1700 of which Edward and Thomas were the only males. Edward died young and I can't find a suitable marriage/death for Thomas; like his two uncles he probably left the parish

Phillip Needham & descendants

The youngest son, Phillip is the supposed father of Richard Needham (b 1643) whose mother is Magery (Mary) Green. In 1653 Uttoxeter raised £5 15s towards ‘horsing' the militia. Five men and five horses were provided; one of the men was Phillip Needham. Later Phillip marries Judith and has two more sons William (b 1645) and in 1652 Phillip (Needham Uttoxeter 3 Tree). Richard and Phillip both marry and have families.

Phillip's eldest son Richard has a son Francis born in 1668 but I haven't found out anything about him so I'm presuming he left Uttoxeter. There's a similar message for Phillip's youngest son – surprisingly called……Phillip. He and his wife Dorothy have 9 children including 4 boys John (b1697), two Peters (b 1706 & 1709) and William (b1708). The two Peters and John die as infants and to date I haven't traced William, although he must have left the parish. Not doing too well here. And it gets worse

 

Second Family

The descendants of these three ‘brothers' can explain some of family units in Uttoxeter but not all. Besides the general difficulty of matching families whose head has a common/frequent name e.g. John or Thomas, there are three other males who each have families whose parents haven't been identified viz George Needham (born before 1641), John Needham (born before 1651) and Jeremiah (born before 1662). They could be related or related to the earlier brothers. There are no relevant births in Staffordshire and none of the three Needham's i.e. George, John and Jeremiah, appears to match with the relatives identified in Robert Needham's will of 1666.

Parish records

The first record I've found to date of a Needham is the baptism of Godfrey Needham in 1636. As Richarde, Peeter and Phillip marry and have families and second-generation families plus those of George, John and Jeremiah the number of baptism's rises to a peak between 1651-1700. Predictably the number of marriages and burials rise although, as you would expect, there is a time lag

Baptism

Marriage

Burial

1601-1650

13

0

3

1651-1700

57

9

34

1701-1750

36

15

38

1751-1800

12

9

19

1801-1850

2

1

6

Total

120

34

100

Table 6 Baptism, Marriage and Burial statistics from Parish Records for Uttoxeter

From 1701/1750 onwards the number of baptism's falls, the last one being in 1825. From then until the end of the century there are no Needham's baptised or born (see next section) in Uttoxeter. Not surprisingly the number of marriage and burials also fall; the last marriage was recorded in 1823 and the burial in 1826. In a three hundred year period starting in 1600, 120 Needham's were baptised/born in Uttoxeter but there were 20 fewer burials. By the 1841 there was only one Needham's living in Uttoxeter and she wasn't born there. This reflects the demography found in NE Staffordshire and shows a move away from Uttoxeter and working on the land as people moved to the cities chasing jobs as the pace of the industrial revolution grew. This makes tracing descendants difficult until the census came along

 

Census & General Register

In Uttoxeter only one Needham appears in the census between 1841 and 1881 inclusive. This is an Anne Needham who was a servant at Uttoxeter Hall and was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire

2.3 Kingsley & Leek

The Needham's of Leek and Kingsley are linked, as we have seen and shall see as we go forward. Kingsley is a village 5 miles downstream of Leek on the river Churnet. Both are within 10 miles of the Derbyshire border

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Copyright Ordinance Survey

Fig 4 Mid Staffs area showing the principal towns/ villages in the Leek/Kingsley region

 

2.3.1 Leek (Leek Tree)

In 1552 the Crown granted what were described as the manors of Leek and Frith with the site of Dieulacres and most of the former abbey's Staffordshire property to Sir Ralph Bagnall at a rent of £105 11 s . 7½ d. Although the Bagnells sold land In 1560 the rectory was granted to Sir Ralph Bagnall at a fee-farm rent of £51 3s , given as the value of the rectory. By 1572 the rent for the manors was in arrears by over £446 and subsequently it was granted to Sir Francis Needham & Sir Christopher Hatton in 1610. They sold small parts of it to John Rothwell of Leek in 1610 and Henry Wardle of Leekfrith in 1612.   Hatton's son Christopher, Baron Hatton, made a further sale to William Jolliffe of Leek in 1642–3.   In addition, in 1610 the Crown granted the fee-farm rent to Sir Christopher Hatton and Sir Francis   Needham , to whom the fee-farm rent for Leek manor had already been granted

 

The first records I've found to date of Needham's living in Leek relate to John Needham and his wife Joan. But we have seen that John was born around 1644 in Alton with a father John and mother Elizabeth. John and Joan have eight children between 1665 and 1676. Three of these children die within a year of their birth (although I've only found the burials of two of them) so five survive. Of these three are sons: John, Joseph & Thomas and two girls: Mary and the youngest child Mary

 

Between 1652 and 1676 there are a number of references in The National Archives to John, and sometimes his wife Joan mainly, involving property in Leek

 

Table 7 Archive references for Needhams in Leek

Title

Place

Description

Who

Start Date

Start Date (year)

Source

Short title: Needham v Bayliffe. Plaintiffs: John Needham alias John Chadwicke. Defendants: Thomas Bayliffe and...

leek

Short title: Needham v Bayliffe. Plaintiffs: John Needham alias John Chadwicke. Defendants: Thomas Bayliffe and William Smith. Subject: personal estate of John Clulowe, Leek, Staffordshire. Document type: bill and answer.

John Needham

01/01/1652

1652

C 8/117/117

Bond to appear at next Quarter Sessions

leek

Robert Darwyn of Kingsley, clerk, to appear. Bondsmen: Richard Foarde of Kingsley, gent, and John Needham of Leek. Note: Appeared and continued.

John Needham of Leek

Apr 1654

1654

Q/SR/286/41

Short title: Cooke v Needham. Plaintiffs: William Cooke. Defendants: John Needham and Joane Needham his ...

leek

Short title: Cooke v Needham. Plaintiffs: William Cooke. Defendants: John Needham and Joane Needham his wife. Place or subject: property in Leek, Staffordshire. Document type: answer only.

John Needham & wife Joan

01/01/1664

1664

C 7/582/15

Short title: Cooke v Stubbs. Plaintiffs: William Cooke. Defendants: Matthew Stubbs, Joan Stubbs his wife...

leek

Short title: Cooke v Stubbs. Plaintiffs: William Cooke. Defendants: Matthew Stubbs, Joan Stubbs his wife and John Needham and Joan Needham his wife. Subject: property in Leek, Staffordshire. Document type: two bills and three answers.

John Needham & wife Joan

01/01/1664

1664

C 8/183/32

Feoffment re close called Beggarsway, 10 acres in Leek

leek

Cooke/ Needham

? Needham

19 Jan 1667

1667

D3359/52/8/37

Release [lease not present] of a messuage, barn, garden and backside on Stockwall alias Stockoe...

leek

Release [lease not present] of a messuage, barn, garden and backside on Stockwall alias Stockoe Street in Leek (Staffordshire), one part of which now used as a smithy, Thomas Bayley of Bradnopp to John Needham of Leek, 20 Nov 28 Charles II

John Needham of Leek

01/01/1676

1676

D5430/59/1/8

I believe Joan dies and John remarries a Jane because some of the baptism entries refer to John's wife as Jane and there is a burial record for a Joan Needham in 1673. But in 1691 John (described as a gentleman) dies and leaves the bulk of his wealth (£376) to his son Thomas with smaller amounts to his daughters Elizabeth and Mary. This would on the face of it appear harsh on his other two sons Joseph and John but they must be presumed dead although there is no record confirming this. In his will John mentions a brother Isaac and a nephew Joseph. But where do John and Isaac come from and who are their parents? Well we've already answered this question as John & Isaac are the children of John (1615-1667) who died in Alton and Elizabeth (see Needham's of Rocester)

.

The surviving son, Thomas dies in 1702 and leaves his inheritance to his two sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, who by now are married. So, this line fizzles out. But before we leave this line of Needham's Thomas gave evidence just before he died to a hearing which reflects the morals and goings on of the times. It involves an Ellen Harrison and her illegitimate child. I quote the National Archive summary of the case in full so you can judge for yourself the attitudes and prejudices of the times

The information of Sarah Armett who said he was present when Ellen Harrison of Leek, gave birth and said that Samuel Ball of the parish of St. Peters in Derby was the true father. 3rd Dec. 1701. The information of William Brereton who said he was asked by Ellen Harrison to write letters to Joseph Gretrix of Derby, baker, William Adams of Derby, glazier, Joseph Sadler, sergeant to the Mayor of Derby and to another person who the examinant did not know but believed his name to be Gratton, shoemaker in Derby. The letters said that she, Ellen Harrison, was then delivered of a bastard female child and if they would not send money she would send them a child. She also said that Mr Walmesley of Lichfield had given her £3 to be an evidence for him against Mr Baker of Lichfield and she took £3 to a Mr Wakefield of Lichfield and further said she was to have £5 to swear on Mr Baker's account and swore that she and 4 others would ruin Mr Walmesley. The examination of Sarah Clowes who said she had heard Ellen Harrison declare she was to have £3 or £5 to give evidence but in what case she did not remember. The examination of Humphry Ridgway who said in 1698 he was the overseer of the poor in Leek and that in the same year Ellen Harrison was delivered of a male bastard child and she received maintenance of £1.4s.6d. The examination of Isaac Morrissee of Leek, overseer of the poor, who said he had been at some of the charges and expenses of Ellen Harrison and her bastard child, and had agreed to pay the remaining period of the charge but what the amount was he did not know. The examination of Thomas Needham of Leek, gent who said that two persons named Hoolme and Sherratt who lodged at his house had offered him half a guinea to assist in conveying Ellen Harrison out of the town of Leek with her bastard child.'

 

Although farming was by far the most common occupation some had other roles. A Joseph  Needham  was trading as a bookseller in Leek in 1778 and was recorded as a printer also in 1784 and 1785; his premises were on the corner of Derby Street and Market Place.  There was a story that Michael Johnson, father of Samuel, served his apprenticeship there to a Joseph  Needham  over a century before but has been discounted, since Michael was apprenticed to a London stationer.  From the dates Joseph was probably the son of George and Mary (b 1754 in Leek). The other none farmer was John ( d 1747) who was a button maker

2.3.2 Kingsley (Kingsley Tree)

The plot thickens about the Needham's and where they came from, how they spread their wings and who is related to who. In looking at the Needham's of Kingsley I realised (I should say others pointed out and I've come to agree – see later) that they were linked to those Needham's in Leek. But before we get there, there is another twist.

The first entry of a Needham in the Kingsley parish records is in 1663 when a Richard Needham and his wife Ann have their first child John Needham baptised. They subsequently go onto have two more children, Robert (b1665) and Sarah (b1689). Bearing in mind people had to be 21 to get married then the latest Richard would be born would be 1642. But where does Richard come from. There is a problem because parish records around this time are notoriously dodgy either because they are damaged or lost. However, not far away in Thorpe by Ashbourne a Robert and Grace have a son, Richard baptised in 1641. I can't find any other Richard to fit so I believe Richard's parents are Robert and Grace. We've heard of a Robert Needham and his wife Grace before.

 

A Robert and Grace Needham (ne Redfearne) lived at Hanson Grange in Dovedale.Robert had a sister, Margaret who was buried in Alstonefield in 1643, and he and Grace had at least four children: George d1652, Grace d1653, Mary bap 1625 and Hugh b bef 1639 ( see Sheen 7 ). Now Thorpe is close to Dovedale and near Hanson Grange which leads me to conclude that Richard is the second son of Robert and Grace from Hanson Grange. If I'm correct this links the Needham's of Kingsley, Alstonefield, Wormhill and Salford.

Children of Richard & Ann

Why do I make this statement? Well in Wormhill there are records of land purchases of a Robert Needham and son Hugh. Robert Needham is a yeoman living at Hanson Grange with his wife Grace and son and heir Hugh Needham. Hanson Grange is at the top of Dovedale. This Robert purchases a messuage and land in Wormhill in 1652. By 1659 Hugh is living in Salford but he and his father are still purchasing land in 1669. By 1676 it would appear that Robert is dead and in 1682 Hugh, gent from Salford, and his son Cornelius are now dealing in property. What happened to Hugh and Cornelius has now become clearer as more records have become available. Hugh must have been well off and respected. He was a Salford juror (1668) and witnessed a number of transactions. He married Martha Wharton in Camden in1665. It might appear I'm having a brainstorm to think Hugh married in London. But Cornelius, his heir, named his first son Wharton Needham. Hugh died in 1692 and was buried in Manchester. So, it would appear that Robert and Grace of Hanson Grange have at least five children and Hugh carried on the dynasty. One interesting point is why two of Robert and Grace's children are buried in Alstonefield and one baptised there yet they live some distance away, in Wormhill. I can only think that Robert came from Alstonefield.

Hugh Needham, it would appear as brought up at Hanson Grange. After his marriage to Martha they had four children: Cornelius b bef 1658, Grace b 1660. Charles b 1663 and John who died in 1667. I'm unsure where Cornelius was born but Grace and Charles were baptised at Tideswell, Derbyshire with Hugh and Martha living nearby in Wormhill in 1660. However, by 1666 the family had moved to Salford where first Martha died (1689) and then Hugh (1692). Cornelius, his heir, married Elizabeth in Chester and they had three sons and a daughter, all bar William were baptised in Manchester. The exception, William, was born and died in London. After this Cornelius' trail dies although a Cornelius Needham died in New Windsor in 1710. The sons all died young so this Needham line dies with it. Hugh had two other sons, Charles and John but I haven't found anything out about them yet.

The eldest son was George Needham who died in 1652, Grace their eldest daughter died in 1653 and I haven't to date found what happened to Mary b 1625

But what of Richard? We've already seen that he and his wife Ann had two boys, John and Robert, and a daughter Sarah baptised in 1689. Two years later in 1691, Ann their mother dies. Richard lives a further 36 years, dying in 1727. Both Richard and Ann were buried in Kingsley. But there could be a twist as a John Needham marries Rebecca Brindley in 1692. So, what happened to the two boys? Can we find out any more about John? Well yes we can ( well I should say Dawn did).

In the Bramshall registers she found a marriage licence between John Needham & Martha Wheeldon (probably Wheldon). It stated that John was a widower and came from Kingsley. He married Martha who came from Chedley and they had three sons and three daughters. He died intestate in 1738 and probate was granted to his widow Martha William Wheldon and John Burton. William is almost certainly related to Martha. Of the three sons I can't find out anything about Joseph b 1691 but both John and Samuel married and had children.

Children of John & Sarah

John married Sarah Godwin from Leek in 1718/19 and appears to have settled in Leek after their marriage. They raised a family of five boys and two girls. Of the five boys, Joseph b 1724 and William b1729 definitely married and had children. Of the other three Samuel b 1720 and Richard b 1735 appear to have died childless and I can't be sure what happened to John b 1722 John and Sarah's second eldest son but I believe he didn't have children.

So, what of the two sons who did have children. Joseph, John and Sarah's third eldest son married Mary and they had four children three girls and a son, Joseph b 1754. Joseph's son Joseph married Ann but they appear not to have had any children. So, what of William. Well he married Ellen and had two boys William b 1751 and James b 1753. James died shortly after his birth & I can't be sure what happened to William.

John died in 1747 and his will describes him as a button maker. He must have been successful as he had a broad property portfolio. Following his death his executors had a number of actions as John had asked them to sell all his assets including a number of properties and establish a trust which would support his children, who were all under 21, and his wife. The only family person he mentions is his eldest son Samuel

 

Table 8 Archive references for John Needham of Leek

Title

Place

Description

Who

Start Date

Year

Copy will of John Needham of Leek

leek

John Needham of Leek

[1743]

1743

Will of John Needham, Button Merchant of Leek, Staffordshire

leek

Will of John Needham, Button Merchant of Leek, Staffordshire.

John Needham, Button Merchant of Leek

16/11/1748

1748

Conveyance of a messuage in Spout Street or Sheep Market, p. Leek

leek

Wheildon, Corden and Townsend (executors of John Needham, deceased, to Gibbons

John Needham of Leek

1749

1749

Quitclaim of executors of all actions arising under the will of John Needham of Leek, button maker

leek

John Needham, Button Merchant of Leek

27 Jun 1757

1757

 

 

 

However, despite having five sons this Needham line appears to fizzle out

 

Children of Samuel & Dorothy

Samuel, John and Martha's youngest son married Dorothy and they had three boys (I believe) and a daughter Dorothy. I can find baptisms for Joseph b 1741 and Samuel b 1746 both in Kingsley but then there is John. On Ancestry there is mention of a family bible which details births, deaths and marriages of a Needham family line. Having been in contact with the ‘owner' the information comes from Margaret Needham b 1817 who copied the detail down from the said bible. For the moment I'm assuming it is correct and John Needham was born in 1739 in Kingsley and is Samuel and Dorothy's youngest son. The descendants of Samuel and Dorothy can be traced back to the present and all the bible information I'm told checks out with parish records. Unfortunately, the Kingsley records are difficult to read in places including the date around which John is baptised

John, Samuel and Dorothy's youngest son, has three children through two marriages. With wife Hannah he has two girls Elizabeth and Hannah and although Hannah has a son Samuel the father is not given so the Needham line stops. John's first wife Hannah dies in 1772 and John marries Elizabeth Hillard and they have a son Samuel. Sadly, Samuel dies when he was six so the Needham line stops

But all is not lost because there is still Samuel and Dorothy's son Joseph. Although he was baptised in Kingsley in 1741 it would appear that he marries Anna Moore in Leek. How do we know this? Well, a licence was issued in 1773 for the marriage of Joseph age 30 plus from Kingsley to Anna Moore from Leek. This would mean Joseph would be born around 1743 minus, in Kingsley. Joseph son of Samuel and Dorothy is the only fit we have, he was born in 1741 in Kingsley.

Joseph and Anna lived in Leek and had three boys, Samuel b 1775, Edward b1776 and William b 1778. William married and had girls and I can't find anything out about Samuel so that leaves Edward who marries Sarah Goodbehere in 1814 and they have seven children

Children of Edward and Sarah

Edward is an interesting character. Although born in Leek he marries Sarah in Yardley Worcestershire. The 1841 census has them still living in Yardley but his occupation is a plater of spoons. He dies in Aston Warwickshire where I believe he has a factory. This needs more work on it but it is similar to my own family line where Needham's moved from the land to become cutlers etc in industrial Sheffield.

Edward and Sarah had seven children all of whom were born in Macclesfield. But of these only two were boys, Edward b 1820 and Samuel b 1819. I haven't found anything out about Samuel but Edward carries on with the Needham line and it would appear has an interesting cv which reflects the major changes the country was going through as a consequence of the industrial revolution. Edward was born in 1820. The first time I found him after that was in the 1851 census when he was living in Aston and working on the railways. You have to remember that the first passenger service didn't start until the mid 1830's so Edward appears to have been involved in the newly developing rail system from early on. Working on the rail system he moves to Knaresborough and onto Boulton outside Derby. By 1871 he is Superintendent of Line for Midland Railway and in 1874 Superintendent of Passengers. He died in 1890 and left £8500k in his will. So, he was born before the railways were born and grew up as the rail system developed rapidly to become one of its senior managers in one of the largest rail companies

Edward married first Harriet Leay with whom he had a girl, Bertha, and a boy Edward. Sadly, Edward died aged 30 and had no children. Harriet died in 1863 and in 1869 he married Mary Allport with whom he had three children, one girl Sybil and two boys James and Ronald. Although James married he and his wife Dorothy didn't have children but Ronald did.

Ronald was born in 1870 in Boulton Derbyshire. He went to Rugby School and after a period at sea joined Harland and Wolf then in 1895 he moved to Vickers in Barrow. He was a Mechanical Engineer and must have been a good engineer because he eventually purchased a boat yard in Bangor building yachts. He died in 1919. So, in a period when Britannia ruled the waves we have an engineer working in two of the most famous shipyards in the world building ships. First the father is into trains and the son ships.

Ronald married Edith they had one son Edward who was born in 1917. He went to University and trained as a doctor. In 1942 at the age of 25 he was posted missing at sea off the coast of Shetland. He left a wife and two young sons.

So here we have an example of a family whose origins were on the land who encompassed the industrial revolution, expanded with it and gained from it to an extent that one of their sons was able enough and the parents wealthy enough to be able to afford their son to be educated at University.

3. Needham's of North East Staffordshire

Prior to 1532 there would appear to have been no Needham's living in Staffordshire. This I find surprising because of the proximity to High Needham, the place where the Needham's originally came from.

The first Needham record found to date is the birth of a daughter Elizabeth to a father Humfrey in Alstonefield in 1538. By 1542 a second family was living in Alstonefield. Between 1542 & 1547 Edward/Edmund had five children. It would appear that Edward's first wife died after the birth of their last child because in 1549 an Edward Needham married Agnes Johnson in Alstonefield

The first recorded burial was in 1543 when Margaret Needham was buried in Alstonefield. A second Margaret died in 1552, this is thought to be the second child of Edward. Between 1561 & 1571 Thomas, Izabell & William were buried in Alstonefield and a Henry Needham married an Elizabeth Johnson in 1559. So, it would appear that the first Needham's came to Alstonefield and that by the end of the 16 th century a handful of families were established in the county.

Parish records show that they had spread into Staffordshire as by the end of the 16th century there had been burials in Lichfield (five the first being an Agnes in 1568), Stafford (one in 1577), Rocester (eight starting with Margarie Neidham in 1577) and Mucklestone ( Randolph Needham died in 1586). In addition to Edward marrying Agnes in Alstonefield a Henry Needham married a second Johnson girl in Alstonefield in 1559, Thomas and William Needham married in 1588 and 1589 respectively in Lichfield and Jone Needham married in Weeford in 1597.

So, after a slow start the Needham's had begun to spread their wings. But let's go back and look at the Needham's around north east Staffordshire as these are the closest to High Needham. We'll look further into Staffordshire later

3.1Records

First, we will look at the trends in stats from both Parish records and the Census. What do we learn?

Initially the work on Staffordshire Needham's has concentrated on the three parishes in the North East of the county – Alstonefield, Longnor and Sheen. It is clear that the Needham's move around these three parishes so when looking at trends the three parishes have been looked as a single area and called NE Staffs (Staffordshire). The trends for these three parishes and compared with all the other parishes (Rest Staffs).

3.1.1 Parish Records

To look at population trends this work has firstly examined baptism records and compared those available for three parishes in the North East of the county – Alstonefield, Longnor and Sheen - with those for the total county

 

 

 

 

Table 9 Baptisms in NE Staffs Parishes of Alstonefield, Longnor & Sheen compared to the rest of Staffordshire

 

 

 

Parish records start in 1537 and low and behold Needham's first appear in Alstonefield in the first half of the 16th century. There were five baptisms within two families, Table 9. For the next 100 years there were no baptisms recorded. Then in the first half of the 17th century there was a significant increase in baptisms outside the NE area, principally in Uttoxeter and Leek – see Figure 5.

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 5 Baptism trend of parishes in NE Staffs compared to the rest of Staffordshire

 

 

However, from the start of 18th century and for the next two centuries the highest proportion of Needham's were born in the NE of the county. A similar pattern holds for burials. In the NE parishes the highest number of baptisms is in Longnor, Table 9. When the general register is introduced in 1837 the number of baptisms drops off rapidly, presumably they wouldn't pay the fee and were not church goers; that will become obvious on the subsequent sections. So we turn to the census to see what they reveal.

 

3.1.2 Census

 

Table 10 Residents by Parish

 

 

 

The first useful census for these purposes started in 1841 are available for every 10 years up to 1911. From these records we can now monitor the number of Needham's resident by place, Table 10. At the same time all births, deaths and marriages had to be registered but these were done by district and not at Parish level. The NE parishes are all in the Leek registration district and cannot easily be separated from the total.

 

 

 

Figure 6 Trends in Needham's resident in NE Staffs compared to those in the rest of the county

 

 

 

 

The first thing to say is that in 1841 about half the Needham's in Staffordshire are in the NE of the county. Over the period to 1911 the number of Needham's living in the NE falls away until in 1911 there are only 15 Needham's in the NE, less then 10% of the total. The drop in the number of residents is quite dramatic and reflects the movement of people off the land, the number of male Needham's that did not marry/have children.

 

 

Figure 7 Drop off in Residents in NE Staffs

 

 

 

3.2 Needham's of Alstonefield, Longnor and Sheen

First, I must thank Dawn Scotting for her time, patience and assistance. She started me looking at the Needham's of Staffordshire and has patiently led me through the wilderness to the promised land. Without her most of the analysis on this group of Needham's wouldn't have occurred

Alstonefield, Longnor and Sheen are three parishes that border north west Derbyshire. The border runs along the nascent river Dove and all three of these Staffordshire parishes border the large Derbyshire parish of Hartington.

We have already seen that Edward/Edmund had a family of 5 children but they were all girls so this line stopped. The second family is that of Robert and Grace Needham (ne Redfearne)of Hanson Grange, Figure 4. Robert had a sister, Margaret who was buried in Alstonefield in 1643, and he and Grace had at least four children: George d1652, Grace d1653, Mary bap 1625 and Hugh b bef 1639 ( see Sheen 7). In Wormhill there are records of land purchases of a Robert Needham and son Hugh. Robert Needham is a yeoman living at Hanson Grange with his wife Grace and son and heir Hugh Needham. Hanson Grange is at the top of Dovedale. This Robert purchases a messuage and land in Wormhill in 1652. By 1659 Hugh is living in Salford but he and his father are still purchasing land in 1669. By 1676 it would appear that Robert is dead and in 1682 Hugh, gent from Salford, and his son Cornelius are now dealing in property. What happened to Hugh and Cornelius has now become clearer as more records have become available. Hugh must have been well off and respected. He was a Salford juror (1668) and witnessed a number of transactions. He married Martha Wharton in Camden in1665. It might appear I'm having a brainstorm to think Hugh married in London. But Cornelius, his heir, named his first son Wharton Needham. Hugh died in 1692 and was buried in Manchester. So, it would appear that Robert and Grace of Hanson Grange have at least four children and Hugh carried on the dynasty. One interesting point is why two of Robert and Grace's children are buried in Alstonefield and one baptised there yet they live some distance away, in Wormhill. I can only think that Robert came from Alstonefield.

Hugh Needham, it would appear as brought up at Hanson Grange. After his marriage to Martha they had four children: Cornelius b bef 1658, Grace b 1660. Charles b 1663 and John who died in 1667. I'm unsure where Cornelius was born but Grace and Charles were baptised at Tideswell, Derbyshire with Hugh and Martha living nearby in Wormhill in 1660. However, by 1666 the family had moved to Salford where first Martha died (1689) and then Hugh (1692). Cornelius, his heir, married Elizabeth in Chester and they had three sons and a daughter, all bar William were baptised in Manchester. The exception, William, was born and died in London. After this Cornelius' trail dies although a Cornelius Needham died in New Windsor in 1710. The sons all died young so this Needham line dies with it. Hugh had two other sons, Charles and John but I haven't found anything out about them yet

 

 

Figure 4 Hanson Grange

 

The real story starts with George and Maria Needham of Pool near Sheen. Or does it? It is a story that is not easy to pull together. There are clearly missing records, mainly baptism records but in Longnor there are no recorded burials between 1701 and 1798. Like many families there are a lot of common Christian names viz John, George, William, Elizabeth, Mary etc which when you are working with parish records makes life difficult. The Needham's have a tendency to move around a lot. But the most startling thing about this group of Needham's is their sexual practices. There is a larger than average rate of illegitimacy, two Needham's declare heirs in their will to be children whose mother is not their wife. One house-hold at Hall Hill has three different single female Needham's having children; it makes you wonder who fathered the children.

 

On 6th March 1639 a son is baptised at St Luke's Sheen with a father George Needham. Eighteen days later Elizabeth Needham, wife of George, is buried. I believe this is George's wife who died after her son George was born. George soon remarries. In Nov 1640 a George Needham marries Maria Moore in Chelmorton whether this is our George seems unlikely to me as Mariae would have over 50 when the eldest known child to be baptised, Sarae, was born. However, what is known is that from 1654 George and Maria had eight children including three boys, John, Thomas & William. When George died in 1701 his will states John was living at Pool with his mum, Thomas was living at Hose Grange(?) at Low side and William at Ridge End. George's will also says that he purchased Ridge end from John Millward. The Needham's were still living there nearly 200 years later when Alfred Needham died in 1892. A similar picture emerges at Pool. 170 years after George's death Rebecca Needham dies at Pool in 1872. However, at Low, where Thomas was living when his father died, the last recorded Needham living there was John Needham who died in 1743.

It's useful to see where all these places are on a map. It's clear the farms are isolated but all within an hour or two's walk. They are in a very pretty part of the country largely laying in the upper reaches of the Dove and Manifold valleys. They are all close to High Needham.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2.1Pool

Pool is the farm where a dynasty of Needham's originated. It started with George Needham who died in 1701. How and when George acquired Pool (presumably sometime in the 17th century) is not known and neither are his parents or birth place.

This was the farm where both George & Maria died in 1700 and 1733 respectively. In his will written in 1689 George left Maria half the property at Pool and the other half to his son John. Three Johns either died at Pool or their wills were written at Pool just before they died. For a summary of which John Needham, I believe each is, go to the following page – Three John Needham. George's son John died before his father. John, whose wife was Elizabeth, had four children including Johan born in 1683, Thomas in 1687, Elizabeth and Sarae. John died in 1696 five years before his father George.

John's son Johan/John married Elizabeth Bateman and they had four sons John b 1712, Thomas b 1720, William b 1722 and Joseph b 1725. The youngest three sons were born at Ludburn which is across the Manifold river from Pool (see map). Elizabeth, John's wife, died in 1747 and John marries Margaret Bodman in Sheen in 1752 (Margaret is named in John's will). John died at Pool in 1761 and his heir John b 1712 also died at Pool nine years later in Dec 1769. This John (b1712) left Pool to his wife Elizabeth, daughter of William Bossley of Hartington. In his will John (b1712) declares, Joseph Bossley (later known as Joseph Needham after his father married his mother) who was born illegitimate to Elizabeth Bossley was declared as one of John's heirs. Funny goings on but wait for what else happens in this generation

Elizabeth lives at Pool until she dies in 1802. William Needham inherits Pool. He is married to Elizabeth Wardle but when William dies in 1828 the couple are childless and Elizabeth inherits Pool. In the 1841 census she is living in Pool but dies in 1846 at Pool. Samuel Needham, the son of Joseph Bossley/Needham inherits Pool and when he dies in 1858 his wife Rebecca becomes the owner and farms the 30 acres at Pool with her son John until her death in 1872. Pool was sold by auction in Oct 1872 on instructions from Samuel's will. His son John moves to Hucknall Torkard in Nottinghamshire, marries and continues to farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2.2 Ridge End

Ridge End is a farm close to Pool and was purchased by George Needham sometime before his death in 1701. When he died his son William b bef 1685 was living there with his wife Sarah and family. When he died I would elow you End. He was married to Sarah Faulkner and before his death in 1769 Sarah and he had 11 children, including five boys. Between George d 1701 and William d 1769 the bedrock of the Needham dynasty in this area founded.

If I paint a clear picture then I could be fooling myself. As an example, William d 1769 and Sarah are known to have had 11 children but there are only baptism records for six of the children. We know he had five other children because they are mentioned in his will. And in fact, we don't even have a baptism for William himself. But the Needham's rakishness appears as a Jane Dale b 1727, thought to be the illegitimate daughter of Ellen Needham dies at Ridge End in 1762.

When William died in 1769 he left Ridge End to his wife Sarah and on her death his son William who was living at Hall Hill would inherit Ridge End. Following her husband William's death, Sarah lived at Ridge End with her youngest son Joseph b 1755 whose first 3 children were all born at Ridge End between 1783 & 1788. Joseph appears to have left Ridge End for Spink because in his brother George's will written in 1797 he describes Joseph as living at SPink and we know his daughter Thomas in is born there in 1802; Joseph dies at Spink in 1819. But you can't keep the Needham's down because in 1772 a Martha Needham had an illegitimate son William. Who was Martha? Well Martha was almost certainly William and Sarah's third eldest daughter born in 1746 and the father was James Bradbury. William & Sarah's second eldest son George who was living at Crowdicote when his father died, himself died at Ridge End in 1804. A year later in 1805 Sarah died and her eldest son William, the executor of her will, inherited Ridge End as per his fathers will. But William appears to have lived at Hall Hill until his death in 1826.

William's eldest son William b 1769 inherited his fathers estate. He was married to Martha Booth and from 1788 when their eldest child Alexander was born they lived at School Clough, Fawfieldhead. Alexander inherited from his father when he died in 1840. In the 1841 census Alexander Needham, his wife Mary and their family were page1image3921600living at Ridge End but he died in 1844

In 1846 land at Ridge End was sold when occupied by Mrs Mary Needham; presumably this was Alexander's wife. Alfred,her son lived with her until her death and then he continued to farm Ridge End until his death in 1892 at Ridge End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alfred doesn't appear to have been a very pleasant person. Newspaper articles. In nov 1864 he was arrested for shooting his friend Matthew Johnson, a farmer from Hartington, in the leg which resulted in a serious injury and amputation was feared. The incident arose when Johnson persisted in wanting to leave and in a drunken state Alfred shot him. He was sentenced to 6 months hard labour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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20 years later in 1884 he was summoned and fined 1s at Leek Petty Sessions for being in charge of two horses and a cart laden with coal but riding without reins.

 

 

 

And in 1893, again at Leek Petty sessions, he was fined 5s for assaulting Sarah Ann Grindey. Alfred would appear to have been the last Needham to have lived at Ridge End.

 

 

 

3.2.3 Hall Hill

The first time I came across Hall Hill was in the will of William Needham of Ridge End farm written in 1769, who bequeaths Ridge End to his son William Needham of Hall Hill. William of Ridge End and his wife Sarah had 11 children, the eldest son being William b 1738 who died at Hall Hill in 1826. Thus, the question is when and how did William, or an earlier Needham come to farm at Hall Hill?

But the earliest reference I have come across to date of a Needham living at Hall Hill is the baptism in 1759 of Ellen m Sarah (I'm presuming the child is illegitimate), shortly followed by the birth of William Needham in 1763, the (illegitimate) son of Mary Needham. But who are Sarah and Mary? Sarah is almost certainly the eldest daughter of William d 1770 and Sarah, which probably means that William b 1738, is Sarah's brother and he was probably living at Hall Hill by 1759. If Sarah is Williams brother then Mary is probably the sister of William. Mary birth/baptism date is unknown. However, there is another alternative as Mary could be the daughter of John and Lidy bap at Longnor in 1736. However, there is a symmetry about Sarah and Mary being sisters. If this is correct then life didn't treat them badly as Sarah married Richard Charlesworth in 1762 and Mary married Joseph Wood in 1767 and subsequently Frederick Hammersley. On the other hand I could be wrong. So two illegitimate children were born at Hall Hill in 4 years. In fact there is a third illegitimate child born at Hall Hill when Samuel Needham is born some 40 years later in 1804 to Martha Needham.

William b 1738 the son of William & Sarah does not appear to have lived at Ridge End. In 1762 he married Mary Lomas and William and George, their two sons born in 1769 and 1771 respectively were both born at Hall Hill and William died there himself in 1826.

Up to the millennium 5 more children were baptised all living at Hall Hill . In 1769 a child with no name but almost certainly William f William was baptised. This was followed in 1786 by the birth of James whose mother was Mary, then in 1795 George had Mary, the first of his eight children and subsequently Joseph b 1798. A second Joseph b 1796 was born at Hall Hill f William. So who were George the father of Mary and WIlliam the father of Joseph.

George was the second son of William b 1738 and Mary. It would appear that George and his family lived at Hall Hill all his married live. George married Ann Gillman in 1790 and all his children were born at Hall Hill between 1791 and 1810. In 1841 he, Ann, three of his sons William, James & Peter and daughter Mary were living at Hall Hill. George died in 1844 and his wife Ann in 1849 both at Hall Hill. William & James continued to farm the 74 acres at Hall Hill after their parents died. James died in 1854 but William and his niece Charlotte continued at the farm and were still their in 1861. William died in 1867 and two years later in 1869 died both at Hall Hill. They were survived by Thomas of Paddock House who died in 1876 but what happened to Hall Hill?

 

3.2.4 School Clough

School Clough is the place where William and Martha brought up their family of 13 children. William was b 1769 at Hall Hill being the eldest son of William and Mary and married Martha Booth in 1787. Of his children 6 were baptised with a stated abode of School Clough. William died at School Clough in 1840 having written his will in 1833. In the 1841 census Martha, William's widow, is head and farming School Clough with sons William and George. George died at School Clough in 1869.

However, George had not lived at School Clough much as in the 1851/1861 census he was living at the Fold.

 

 

Newspaper reports in Nov 1869 show that Mrs Sarah Needham ran the farm which like many in the area were affected by foot and mouth disease. In the 1871 and 1881 census Joseph Needham the grandson of William and Martha and son of Robert & Lydia was farming 170 acres of land.

 

 

However, in Nov. 1881 the farm stock were put up for sale. James appears to be the last Needham to farm School Clough farm as he died in 1890.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.2.5 Moss Carr

This has various spellings but I'm going to use the spelling on the current OS map. The story of the Needham's of Moss Carr starts with George Needham b 1741, the illegitimate son of Ellen Needham. George married Ann Charlesworth and they lived at Crowdicote in Derbyshire. They had two children George b 1763 and Martha, they then moved to Moss Car where Ann died in 1807 at Moss Carr. But George was having an affair and had two children with Hannah Boam, James b 1797and Hannah b 1803, whom he declared as his children in his will written in 1829. In 1812 George married Hannah Boam and they had a daughter Mary b 1816 at Moss Carr. George's son George b 1763 married Mary and they lived at Moss Carr between1793 and 1805 as this was the abode given in the baptism records of 3 of their 7 children.

Both George's and their wife's Ann, Hannah and Mary died at Moss Carr with the son dying before his father (son 1811, father 1829). Of George and Mary's seven children only Sarah married and moved away from Moss Carr. The rest stayed, farmed the land and died there. Rhoda died in 1857, George in ‘62 and William in '65. The remaining three: Martha, Mary and Daniel died in the ‘70's with the youngest Daniel the last to die in 1879. It would appear the Needham dynasty at Moss Carr died with him

3.2.6 Other places

1. Low -

occupied by Thomas & Elizabeth Ryley and family - ? to 1709

Thomas & Elizabeth Smith/Elizabeth Gilman - 1701 to 1753

2.Paddock

Thomas & Hannah Elliott & family – 1839 - 1876

3. Underhill

Peter Needham - 1851

4. Brund

George & Ann Gould & family – bef 1768 – 1785

Joseph & Elizabeth Bembrick & family – 1785 - 1788

5. Bank House -

Joseph & Ann ? & family – 1837 - 1853

6. The Fold/Fold Farm

George & Sarah Ryder & family – 1851- 1861

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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