Needham Family

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Origins

Needham's of Uttoxeter (Uttoxeter Trees)

The story of the Needham's in Uttoxeter starts with what I believe are 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 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. He appears to be 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 on person, Godfrey is said to be living outside Uttoxeter so here we have a family which at the moment doesn't appear to link in with the three ‘brothers'

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. So who are Sebastian and Grace. You'll soon find out

Table 1 The National Archive records for Leek

Title
Place
Description Who 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.) Robert Needham 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 William Needham, gent;Sebastian Needham junior & Grace Needham, spinster 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 Sebastian Needham junior & Grace Needham Oct 1673
1673
Q/SR/361/13
Indictment of around 500 people
uttoxeter
Sebastian Needham junior of the same; Grace Needham of the same Sebastian Needham junior & Grace Needham 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 Sebastian Needham junior & Grace Needham 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 ie 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, Nathaniell and Thomas. Only Nathaniell 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 Generation Families

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 eg 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 ie 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 1 Baptism, Marriage and Burial statistics from Parish Records

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

 

Summary

There are no records I've found, to date, of Needham's living in Uttoxeter until 1636. Through the second half of the 17th and the whole of the 18th centuries Needham's had children but too many had girls and too many left the town, so by the 19th century no Needham's remained. Why? Perhaps one day we'll find out

 

 

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