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Guest lanerellis

A Mystery: Ellis Family / Mosborough Hill House Research

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Guest lanerellis

Hi there Sheffield History folks,

My name is Lane R. Ellis and I live in Duluth,Minnesota in the U.S. I've been researching my family history for 19 years. I've been an Internet user for 29 years, since the pre-Web days of 1984, when I first began running my own online bulletin board system. I've read Sheffield History since it first went online, but have only now become a member.

My Ellis ancestors were from Mosborough, Eckington parish, before they came to the U.S. in the summer of 1850. I've been to Sheffield twice, once in 2001 and again in 2003, to explore my family history. I present to you a mystery: where in Mosborough did my Ellis ancestors live?

GENERAL:

The earliest location I can place my Ellis ancestors is in Mosborough, Eckington parish, Derbyshire, at a location noted only by the following description in George Foster's 1886 "Reminiscences of Mosborough" book:

"Fist pediod, 1800 to 1825: John Ellis’ residence at the top of Mosbro’ Moor."

Where could this residence would be?

John Ellis junior was my 4th great-grandfather, baptised on April 17, 1775 at Eckington, married at neaby Clowne parish on November 6, 1802 to Olive STANIFORTH, and died at age 37 on February 11, 1812, being buried two days later in the Eckington churchyard, where his tombstone still rests. The will he left notes that he was "of Mosbro Moor." He was a sickle maker according to a U.S. Wisconsin, Green County 1882 history book with an entry for his son Mark Ellis, as was his father John Ellis senior.

His father, John Ellis senior, outlived him by 10 years. John Ellis senior was baptised on November 20, 1742 at Eckington, married at Sheffield on June 29, 1772 to Elizabeth KEETON, and died on May 23, 1822. The Eckington parish register burial entry lists John Ellis senior as being "of Mosbro," and his tombstone is also still just barely legible in the Eckington church cemetery. He is listed as being "of High Lane" in a 1777 Hallamshire apprentice record, and each year from 1785 until 1798 he is listed as being "of Mosbro" in land tax assessment records I've transcribed. In John Robsinson's 1797 Sheffield area trade directory he is listed as being of Mosbro Moor, a sickle smith involved in tool making, and his mark is listed as two fanciful sideways fleurs-de-lis. In 1816 and 1817 he is listed as a sickle maker of Mosbro in the Warlde and Pratt trade directory.

These records combine to indicate that my Ellis ancestors were until at least 1822 -- when John Ellis senior died -- likely be living at the "residence at the top of Mosbro’ Moor" noted in George Foster's book.

I've researched using the maps and records I have been able to access over the years, without yet finding specific information about exactly where "John Ellis' residence at the top of Mosbro’ Moor" was.

According to Google Earths' elevation feature, the highest spots on Mosbro Moor have an elevation of around 600 feet. My research so far has led me to suspect the most likely Mosborough Moor location for the former Ellis' residence as southwest of the junction of High Lane/Quarry Hill (B6388) and Moor Valley (A6135).

The most likely buildings are either the building now operating as the Ridgeway Arms Pub, or the L-shaped unnamed residence slightly to the northwest of the Ridgeway Arms.

NEARBY PLACES:

Some of the places I've identified in this area include:

  • The site of the old Mosborough Hill House
  • Old quarry from 1899 map
  • Mosborough Kennels noted in 2009
  • The buildings along the south of High Lane to the northwest of Ridgeway Arms, with several residences including at 11 Quarry Hill
  • A nursery from about 1973-1977 south of here, abutting the bridle stile (many details here in 36-page PDF format survey: http://bit.ly/ZfviWK )


Although not conclusive, my research has pointed me to consider that the building(s) currently operating as The Ridgeway Arms pub or the L-shaped building beside it are the most likely places my Ellis ancestors lived.

I'll share the maps and photos that I've used, and hope some of you can help me with your insight and other possible locations for the former Ellis residence.

Below is a work-in-progress timeline for the Ridgeway Arms, which appears to have been previously been called The Crofts public house and before that Mosborough Hill House.

The primary source tying the Ridgeway Arms to being Mosborough Hill House is the late Mosborough area researcher David English. Before he passed away in 2008 at age 88, he contributed greatly to the Mosborough Web website. He wrote, "The old Mosborough Hill House was converted into The Croft in 1987 and then renamed 'The Ridgeway Arms'." (Source: History of Mosborough - David English http://www.abdecor.co.uk/mosborough/history/dehist/dehist31.htm )

One source of possible confusion is that there appear to have been two separate Mosborough Hill Houses: the one David English notes as having been turned into the Ridgeway Arms, and another northeast, across High Lane and on the northeast of Moor Valley road, nearer to Moor Hole. This other Mosborough Hill House is located in a spot over 100 feet lower in elevation than the Ridgeway Arms buildings. Henry Staniforth, Esq. and John Fell Swallow, Esq. (a collier owner and justice of the peace, among other things, who is the subject of another fascinating message thread here: http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic/12062-colliery-near-mosborough/ ) each appear to have resided at this other Mosborough Hill House.

RIDGEWAY ARMS TIMELINE:

1707 - Alleged year farmhouse was built on site where The Crofts Public House was in the late 1980s (now called Ridgeway Arms, previously Mosborough Hill House). See late 1980s timeline entry for source.

1841 - About the year 1841, Richard Swallow, Esq., came to reside at Mosbro’ Hill house, which he bought some years afterwards and considerably enlarged. In 1839, Richard Swallow, Esq., of New Hall, Attercliffe, began sinking Silkstone Main Colliery. It was situated on the top of the hill, towards Hanging Lea Wood. Richard Ashton was the steward. Source: Reminiscences of Mosborough, book published in 1886 by George Foster. Note by Lane: If Silkstone Colliery, which sits at about 420 feet elevation, was listed by George Foster as being "on the top of the hill," even though it is some 180 feet lower than where the Ridgeway Arms sits, could Foster have been referring to everything on the ridge-line as being at the top of the hill? If so, it's possible the Ellis residence could have stood anywhere along the top of the ridge in Mosborough Moor.

1850-1886 period - By the munificence of John F. Swallow, Esq., J.P., Mosbro’ Hill House, a grand public reading room is being erected at the bottom of the Common, which no doubt will prove a very great blessing to the place. Source: Reminiscences of Mosborough, book published in 1886 by George Foster.

1871 - Staniforth, Henry (Esq, ). Residing at Mosbrough Hill, in 1871. Source: Recorded in: Whites Sheffield & District Directory - 1871.
http://sheffieldindexers.com/TradeDirectories.php?year=&forename=&surname=&occupation=&address=Mosbrough+hill&current_page=1

1881 - Swallow John Fell esq. Mosbro' Hill house, Chesterfield. Source: Title, Kelly's Directory of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. Contributor, Kelly, Eric Robert. Published, 1881 http://books.google.com/books?id=5kUTAQAAIAAJ&vq=swallow&pg=PR13#v=snippet&q=swallow&f=false

1891 - Swallow John Fell esq, Mosborough Hill house, Eckington, Chesterfield. Source: Kelly's Directory of the Counties of Derby, Notts, Leicester and Rutland pub. London (May, 1891) - pp.277-280

1911 - John Fell Swallow late of Mosbrough Hill (died Nov 19 1911) - Mary Ellen Swallow of Mosbrough Hill. London Gazette, December 19, 1911. Source: http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/28563/pages/9597/page.pdf

1987 - The old Mosborough Hill House was converted into The Croft in 1987 and then renamed "The Ridgeway Arms". Source: History of Mosborough by David English http://www.abdecor.co.uk/mosborough/history/dehist/dehist31.htm

1980s, late - "The Crofts public house, in Mosborough, opened in the late 1980’s. The Crofts was constructed on the site of a farmhouse which dated back to 1707. Further research showed that the pond, which was situated in the corner of a neighbouring field, acted as a watering hole for local farm horses." Source: http://www.ghosts.org.uk/ghost/2957/haunted/inn/the-crofts/mosborough.html Note: Not the most reliable sounding source, being a website dedicated to ghosts. Note by Lane: Could the name change to "The Croft" be a reference to or an attempt to return the property to an earlier name: "the residence of Captain Eyre, at the top of what is now called Captain’s Croft" mentioned as one of the principal houses of West Mosborough in the 1800-1825 period in Reminiscences of Mosborough, book published in 1886 by George Foster? On the other hand, croft was a general term used quite often in times gone by.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

John Ellis junior's son was Mark Ellis, my 3rd great-grandfather. He was born on June 28, 1803, and baptized on August 28, 1803 at Eckington parish. When he was just two his mother Olive died, and when he was eight his father died. Later he lived at Newlands and Haven Farm, immediately to the west of the Ridgeway Arms site, including in 1841 when he was the census enumerator for the area. Details about Mark are here: http://www.ridgewayhistory.org.uk/mark-ellis.htm

The known residence at Newlands and Haven add to the mystery. Could either of them be the spot George Forster noted as "John Ellis’ residence at the top of Mosbro’ Moor," even though they are generally referred to as being in Ridgeway and not Mosborough?

John Ellis senior's father William Ellis and grandfather George Ellis have not yielded any location information other than "Eckington Parish" to date. William appears to have been a baker, and George a mason.

STANIFORTH / SWALLOW NOTES:

Mosborough Hill House was the residence of the SWALLOW family. I'm trying to determine if Henry STANIFORTH esq., who was listed in a trade directory in 1871 as being at Mosbrough Hill, resided at the same Mosborough Hill House as the SWALLOW family, or a different place on the hill. Since the Ellis family has a known connection to the Staniforth family, it may be likely that wherever Henry Staniforth lived on Mosbrough Hill could be where my Ellis ancestors also lived. There is evidence that the Staniforth's had a connection to the northeastern Mosborough Hill House, I believe, but that is over 100 feet lower in elevation and on the north side up from High Lane. Henry Staniforth of Mosbrough Hill, Eckington, Gentleman, married Jane Jubb (had children John and Annie).

Nearby farms on the north side of High Lane include familiar names I've encountered in my research over the years:

  • Rose Cottage
  • Camm House
  • Mosborough Hill House northeast


Here is the full George Foster book quote, which may eliminate some buildings from the list of where my Ellis' lived:

"The part of Mosbro’ which has undergone the least change is West Mosbro.’ The principal houses at that the were Mosbro’ hall, the residence of Samuel Staniforth, Esq. ; the residence of Captain Eyre, at the top of what is now called Captain’s Croft; John Ellis’ residence at the top of Mosbro’ Moor; the big house recently turned into two cottages at the French Nook, belonging to John French; the residence of Madame Neville, in West Mosbro’ ; and Plumbley Hall, where Mr. Pedley lived."

NOT JOHN ELLIS RESIDENCE:

  • Mosbro Hall where Samuel Staniforth Esq. lived can be eliminated
  • Captain Eyre's house at the top of Captain's Croft can be eliminated
  • John French's French Nook house and cottages can be eliminated
  • Madame Neville's West Mosborough residence can be eliminated
  • Plumbley Hall where Mr. Pedley lived can be eliminated


MISCELLANEOUS NOTES:

A photo, labelled: "The Crofts Public House, junction of Quarry Hill and Mosborough Moor, Mosborough. Formerly a private house named Mosbrough Hill, later renamed The Ridgeway Arms." Source: Picture Sheffield. http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s22086&pos=2&action=zoom

"The Ridgeway Arms is a lovely big pub surrounded by 4½ acres of land, set in trees with outdoor seating to enjoy the sunny weather." Source: http://www.pub-explorer.com/syorks/pub/ridgewayarmsmosborough.htm

Apprenticeship records in "History of the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, in the County of York, Volume 2" offer likely additional references to my Ellis ancestors:

John Ellis listed as being of High Lane in 1778:

Page 183: John Cumberidge, son of John, Ridgeway, si., dec. ; to Ellis, John, High lane, si. ; 7 (years), 1778, F. (freedom) 1791

John Ellis listed as being of High Lane in 1777:

Page 270: William Keeton, son of John, Mosbro' mr., si. ; to (I) Staniforth Saml., Mosbro mr., s., 5 1/2, 1773 ; (2) Ellis John, High la. [1777. F. 1779.)

John Ellis listed as being of Mosbro' Moor in 1796:

Page 269: Keeton Absolom, son of William, joiner ; to Ellis John, Mosbro', mr., si. ; 7, 1796

John Ellis listed as being of Mosbro' Moor in 1799

Page 252: Hodkin James, son of John, Apperknowle, lab. ; to Ellis John, Mosbro' mr., si. ; 7, 1799

John Ellis listed as being of High Lane in 1781:

Page 338: Schorah John, son of John, Bramley mr., h. ; to Ellis John, High lane, si. ; 7, 1781

John Ellis listed as being of Mosbro' Moor in 1791:

Page 338: Scorah Joseph, son of Joseph ; to Ellis John, Mosbro' mr., si.; F. 1791

Henry Staniforth's line:

William Stannyforthe 1607 Jordonthorpe, Norton – 1671 Hackenthorpe, Norton Elizabeth Hodgeson 1619 – 1641
son William Staniforth 1640 – 1696
m. Lydia Staniforth 1644 – 1703
son Samuel Staniforth 1674 – 1756
m. Mary Maria Tompson 1680 – 1754
son Thomas Staniforth 1721 – 1776
m. Sarah Holmes
son Thomas Staniforth 1756 – 1808 (had brother Luke b. 1754)
m. Sarah Hunt 1763 – 1843
son Thomas Staniforth (b 20 jan 1785 Beighton - d 12 oct 1847 Beighton)
m. Anne Hibbard 1785-1844
children
Ann Staniforth 1809 – 1877
Thomas Staniforth 1810 –
Mary Staniforth 1813 – 1879
Alfred Staniforth 1815 – 1849
Rowland Staniforth 1818 – 1853
Mark Staniforth 1820 –
Henry Staniforth 1821 – 1895 b. Nov. 26 1821 Beighton to (d. Apr 1895)
Sarah Staniforth 1823 –
John Staniforth 1825 – 1904
Hugh Staniforth 1826 – 1852

Henry Staniforth of Mosbrough Hill, Eckington, Gentleman, married Jane Jubb (had children John and Annie)

PLEA FOR HELP:

I welcome any thoughts, advice, tips, leads, or encouragement in my quest to locate where my Ellis ancestors lived.

ATTACHED PHOTOS AND MAPS:

Photo 1: A Google Earth screen capture showing what I have labelled in the area.

Photo 2: 1988 photo of "The Crofts Public House, junction of Quarry Hill and Mosborough Moor, Mosborough. Formerly a private house named Mosbrough Hill, later renamed The Ridgeway Arms" Source: http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s22086&pos=2&action=zoom Note the distinctive checkerboard patterns at the corners of the building.

Photo 3: 2006 photo of The Ridgeway Arms. Note the same distinctive checkerboard patterns at the corners of the building.

Photo 4: 1979 photo of "Mosborough Hill House". Note the same distinctive checkerboard patterns at the corners of the building. Source: http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;w01572&pos=2&action=zoom

Photo 5: 1988 photo of "Former farm buildings of (Mosbrough Hill House became The Crofts P.H.), Quarry Hill, Mosbrough" Source: http://www.picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?keywords=Ref_No_increment;EQUALS;s25963&pos=6&action=zoom&id=28393

Note: Using Google Earth it appears to me that these former farm buildings are now the L-shaped unnamed residence to the immediate northwest of the Ridgeway Arms. If the Ellis family lived in the building that is now the Ridgeway Arms, these could have been their farm buildings.

Photo 6: 2010 photo of the other Mosborough Hill House, the one northeast up towards Mosborough Moor Hole. I have nine additional photos, from when this house went on the market.

Photo 7: Old undated postcard labelled "Mosborough Quarry House."

Map 1: Circa 1775 Burdett Derbyshire map. Note: Although not shown on this map, Newlands and The Haven could be in the small section of Mosbrough Moor shown to the south of High Lane, as could the Ridgeway Arms location.

Map 2: 1791 Burdett Derbyshire survey.

Map 3: 1898 map. Mosbrough-hill House northeast shown below Moorhole, while Mosbrough Hill shows Ridgeway Arms building and L-shaped building.

Map 4: 1900 map. Similar to 1898 map.

Map 5: Undated Haven and Newlands map. Doesn't show Ridgeway Arms area, unfortunately. I'd like to find the portion of this map that does.

Map 6: Undated early map showing Ridgeway Arms area as "Mosborough Moor Top," the area to the northwest as Mosborough Moor Side, and the area farther north as Mosborough Moor Hill. Building appear to be indicated in the Moor Top portion. This may be an 18th century map.

Map 7: Early map. Of note is Haven being identified as Cuckold's Haven, the only time I've seen this.

Map 8: 1796 enclosure map. Although not labelled, the buildings of the Ridgeway Arms area are shown. The L-shaped building appears in more details, and five additional buildings are shown.

Map 9: Diagram photo I made showing my theory about possible Ellis family residence location.


Thank you kindly for your time and assistance.

Cheers,
Lane R. Ellis
Duluth, Minnesota

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lysander

As a resident of Mosborough I find your research fascinating. Some years ago I wrote, a short history of the Parish following the 80th anniversary of its creation out of parts of Eckington Parish ( once said to be one of the largest parishes in the country). This and a similar, but earlier, development in nearby Ridgeway followed the growth of population from the mid 1800s. In Mosborough's case there was also a need for the Anglican Church to "evangalise" and re connect with its parishioners.... after a period of neglect from Eckington.The Methodist Church was, however, active!

Have you contacted the Derbyshire Records Office in Matlock? Despite Mosborough now being a part of Sheffield in South Yorkshire...Mosborough was ( and still is to many of us) a part of Derbyshire and all the older records were deposited there.

www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/recordoffice

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Bayleaf

Welcome Lane. That deserves some kind of award for the most comprehensive first post ever! I hope we can add to it for you.

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Edmund

Ellis's living at Mosbro Hall Lodge in 1911 - a coincidence or worth

further investigation?

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RichardB

Welcome. Cracking first post.

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Unitedite Returns

As I write this post, I look out of my window and across the valley and from here, I can see Mosbro' Moor and many of those places mentioned, not one mile distant and so, I have found your excellent and comprehensive first post to be most interesting.

Please accept my congratulations on a commendable piece of research.

I have found John Ellis, of Mofbro' Moor listed as a maker of Sickles, in the 1798, Sheffield Directory and I can see the two fleur de lee motifs laid together, upon their sides, his trade mark.

From my own genealogical researches, into, again, a family of scythe and sickle makers, I think that you might find it very difficult to establish his exact place of residence.

Public office records from that time do very much reflect, a stratified, class conscious society and I think that had John Ellis lived in one of the “bigger”, named houses, that the records would have very clearly made reference to as much.

I therefore suspect that the broader reference to John Ellis, as living within a district, rather than at a specific named property, probably means that he lived in a smaller, cottage type property and that as a consequence, it might prove impossible to trace precisely, assuming that is, that it still exists.

You may have more success tracking down his place of work, and whilst I am aware of the existence of a number of scythe manufactories that were established along the water courses in the adjoining valleys, most notably, the Moss and the Shirebrook, I can only ever remember seeing one such manufactory situate at Mosborough Moor. An hours’ searching has not yet yielded the map upon which I first saw it described, but I will post it, when I find it, [unless that is, someone beats me to it].

I know little as to its' history, but it has always struck me as being a little strange that such a factory with usually, a high dependency on water power should be located so well away from the lower water courses.

It seems likely from what you relate, that John Ellis was a self-employed metal worker, renting workshop facilities in a shared manufactory, owned by one of the local land-owners.

In the meantime, best of luck with your ongoing research.

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lysander

Water power was needed to power the grinding wheels and there were several grinding shops situated along the course of the Moss. Some of the scythe manufacturers "hire-worked" their wares, so the lack of water power wouldn't be a problem as they would send the unfinished article by pack-horse ( mule) down to the valley for finishing .

I understand, from talking with an 80 + year old who has spent all her life in Mosborough that many poor quality cottages were demolished on Mosborough Moor many years ago. The lack of a name to "ordinary" property, as "uniteditereturns" suggests, indicates that your ancestor may well have not been a man of substantial means and this could be confirmed by his emigrating to the USA .

It ocurrs to me that as he had his own "mark" this may be recorded by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire...Mosborough being a part of their area at some point.

www.cutlers-hallamshire.org.uk

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Edmund

Here are a couple of advertisements for property sales - 1832 and 1844. I don't think they assist directly, but added them because Mark Ellis is involved, also Staniforths mentioned as occupiers:

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Edmund

Details of the Haven Farm, from a sale advert of 1895 (lot 8):

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Guest lanerellis

As a resident of Mosborough I find your research fascinating. Some years ago I wrote, a short history of the Parish following the 80th anniversary of its creation out of parts of Eckington Parish ( once said to be one of the largest parishes in the country). This and a similar, but earlier, development in nearby Ridgeway followed the growth of population from the mid 1800s. In Mosborough's case there was also a need for the Anglican Church to "evangalise" and re connect with its parishioners.... after a period of neglect from Eckington.The Methodist Church was, however, active!

Have you contacted the Derbyshire Records Office in Matlock? Despite Mosborough now being a part of Sheffield in South Yorkshire...Mosborough was ( and still is to many of us) a part of Derbyshire and all the older records were deposited there.

www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/recordoffice

Hi lysander, and thank you kindly for your helpful reply.

It's interesting that you wrote a history of Mosborough Parish on its 80th anniversary. I may have come across it during my research if it was deposited with the Eckington Public Library or the Chesterfield Library when I was there in 2001 and 2003. I'd enjoy reading your history if it's available. I've mainly researched Mosborough's earlier times before it became a separate parish.

It's also interesting that Eckington Parish has been called one of the largest in the country. Another of my ancestors was from Ault Hucknall (Hault Hucknall sometimes in earlier records) in Derbyshire, which has often been called the smallest parish in the country.

Yes, with such a large parish as Eckington, I can see how some of the areas in the further reaches could have felt a bit neglected and can see how the eventual opening of churches at Mosborough and Ridgeway must have been important events to celebrate for many of the locals, who no longer had to travel all the way to the Eckington church.

Ridgeway's Haven, where my third-great-grandfather Mark Ellis resided for over twenty years, was noted to have been the location of early worship before Ridgeway had a church, with women seated on one floor of the house and the men on another, and the preacher giving his sermon from the stairs, if I recall the story correctly.

I have ordered a number of records from the DRO over the years, and plan to spend as much time there as I can during my next visit to England, whenever that may be.

Thanks again for your helpful reply, lysander.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Welcome Lane. That deserves some kind of award for the most comprehensive first post ever! I hope we can add to it for you.

Hi Bayleaf,

Thanks for the welcome and kind words. I've already been amazed by the excellent and informative replies Sheffield History folks have shared with me. What a treasure of an online community.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Hi Lane

Welcome to Sheffield History this might not help much but one of the names in your Post has been touched on before ie Swallow Mosbro Hill House.

http://www.sheffieldhistory.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic/12062-colliery-near-mosborough/?hl=swallow#entry98238

Hi syrup,

Thanks for your kind welcome and reply. Yes, that was the message thread that led me to decide to make my own post here, and I mentioned that post in my big first message:

"This other Mosborough Hill House is located in a spot over 100 feet lower in elevation than the Ridgeway Arms buildings. Henry Staniforth, Esq. and John Fell Swallow, Esq. (a collier owner and justice of the peace, among other things, who is the subject of another fascinating message thread here: http://www.sheffield...ear-mosborough/ ) each appear to have resided at this other Mosborough Hill House."

I'll be sure to keep an eye on that thread as well. Thanks again for your reply, syrup.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Ellis's living at Mosbro Hall Lodge in 1911 - a coincidence or worth

further investigation?

Hi Edmund,

Thanks for your kind reply, and for the fascinating 1911 census record of Mosbro Hall Lodge.

As exciting as it would be to find Ellis cousins living there in 1911, some 61 years after my third-great-grandfather Mark Ellis and his family left Haven or Newlands in Ridgeway for America, alas, these folks in the 1911 census appear to be from Lincolnshire, with the children born in Grimesthorpe, Sheffield. I have yet to find any Ellis relatives who stayed behind in England when Mark Ellis and his family came to Wisconsin in June of 1850.

It reminds me of the first time I visited Eckington church, in 2001. The church was closed up when my wife and I arrived, but soon a workman arrived and asked if we'd like to look inside, an offer to were eager to take up. He also told us that a woman would soon be visiting the church who was a local history buff. We looked around the church and eventually met a wonderful woman (June May) from Eckington who shared lots of colorful information about the church. Later during our stay we visited June at her home, and she put us in touch with a local Ellis woman, who turned out to be of no relation. Anyhow, as we were about to leave the church I went to thank the workman for letting us in, and I briefly mentioned my Ellis research. It turns out that he was an Ellis too. Not related, but I was moved and amazed that 161 years after my Ellis ancestors left the parish for America, it was an Ellis who should let me into the church.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Welcome. Cracking first post.

Hi RichardB,

Thanks for the welcome and kind words.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

As I write this post, I look out of my window and across the valley and from here, I can see Mosbro' Moor and many of those places mentioned, not one mile distant and so, I have found your excellent and comprehensive first post to be most interesting.

Hi Unitedite Returns,

Many thanks for your kind words and informative reply. I envy you being able to see Mosbro' Moor and surrounding places every day. Looking from the Newlands and Haven area in Ridgeway down the hill and across the countryside was, I thought, one of the most beautiful sights I took in in all of England, but I'm sure part of that was because it's the view my ancestors had.

I have found John Ellis, of Mofbro' Moor listed as a maker of Sickles, in the 1798, Sheffield Directory and I can see the two fleur de lee motifs laid together, upon their sides, his trade mark.

From my own genealogical researches, into, again, a family of scythe and sickle makers, I think that you might find it very difficult to establish his exact place of residence.

I've written to the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire administrative staff requesting information about John Ellis' mark, and will post here with an update when I hopefully hear back from them.

Yes, I know it's a long shot and perhaps an impossible task to pinpoint the exact location where my ancestors lived, but I thought that with the clues I've uncovered it just might be worth a shot to try, and even if I'm not able to find the precise spot, I'll certainly learn more about the area in my quest.

Public office records from that time do very much reflect, a stratified, class conscious society and I think that had John Ellis lived in one of the “bigger”, named houses, that the records would have very clearly made reference to as much.

I therefore suspect that the broader reference to John Ellis, as living within a district, rather than at a specific named property, probably means that he lived in a smaller, cottage type property and that as a consequence, it might prove impossible to trace precisely, assuming that is, that it still exists.

That may indeed be the case, but it's also possible that his residence still stands. John's son Mark was listed in trade directories under the "Gentry and Clergy" category, living at Newlands in Ridgeway in the 1841 census, for which he was the census enumerator. The fact that the history of Mosborough book mentions the John Ellis residence at all leads me to believe that it could have been a building that, although unnamed in the history work, may still stand, and as I detailed in my initial post I suspect it might be the building that now houses the Ridgeway Arms, or the L-Shaped building next to it.

You may have more success tracking down his place of work, and whilst I am aware of the existence of a number of scythe manufactories that were established along the water courses in the adjoining valleys, most notably, the Moss and the Shirebrook, I can only ever remember seeing one such manufactory situate at Mosborough Moor. An hours’ searching has not yet yielded the map upon which I first saw it described, but I will post it, when I find it, [unless that is, someone beats me to it].

Did some of the smaller sickle makers have workshops adjoining their homes? I've read accounts of mules carrying blades from various manufactories to the area's wheels to be ground -- it must have been quite the scene in the Mosborough and Ridgeway areas for so many years as top sickle and scythe producing centers.

If you come across that map, I'd love to hear what you find. Thank you for taking the time you already have to look.

It seems likely from what you relate, that John Ellis was a self-employed metal worker, renting workshop facilities in a shared manufactory, owned by one of the local land-owners.

In the meantime, best of luck with your ongoing research.

I'll let you know what I hear back from the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire. John Ellis is mentioned in a number of apprenticeship records as having taken on apprentices over the years, wherever his home and workshop were located.

Thanks again for your most helpful reply. If you should come across anything more, please do share.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Water power was needed to power the grinding wheels and there were several grinding shops situated along the course of the Moss. Some of the scythe manufacturers "hire-worked" their wares, so the lack of water power wouldn't be a problem as they would send the unfinished article by pack-horse ( mule) down to the valley for finishing .

I understand, from talking with an 80 + year old who has spent all her life in Mosborough that many poor quality cottages were demolished on Mosborough Moor many years ago. The lack of a name to "ordinary" property, as "uniteditereturns" suggests, indicates that your ancestor may well have not been a man of substantial means and this could be confirmed by his emigrating to the USA .

It ocurrs to me that as he had his own "mark" this may be recorded by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire...Mosborough being a part of their area at some point.

www.cutlers-hallamshire.org.uk

Hi again lysander,

I've written to the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire for information about John Ellis' mark and perhaps some of the apprentices he took on over the years, and will let you know what I find out from them.

My third-great-grandfather Mark Ellis, the son of John, was listed in the "Gentry or Clergy" section of one trade directory of Ridgeway, and his father John seems to definitely have been a land owner, as his will (a transcription of which I'll post below) mentions his lands, and John's residence was listed as one of the primary houses of Mosborough in George Foster's history book, all of which led me to at least look into the possibility that the family once had a specific piece of land and perhaps a nice house.

My guess as to why Mark Ellis left for America is that when his parents died when he was very young, his father's will allowed Mark's two appointed guardians to sell the land to help pay for his upbringing, and without the family land and a large family to support he finally decided to come to America. It was noted in America in 1884 that:

"Mark Ellis learned the trade his father had acquired - sickle making - and worked at it until his marriage in 1828 with Mary Watts. He then became a farmer, and lived as a renter on one farm twenty-two years."

So by then his father John Ellis' land had been sold.

Here is his father John's will:

Film 0096400 Lichfield Original Wills, Box D-K year covered 1812

Filmed at the District Probate Court, Cavendish House, Waterloo Street, Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, October, 1956 :

Chest 15 Oct.

1812

T John Ellis Jun.

Of/at Eckington

2 Ext Inf 2 of?

This is the last Will and Testament of me John Ellis the younger of Mosbro Moor, in the parish of Eckington in the County of Derby Sickle maker. I give devise and bequeath unto William Keeton of Plumbley in the parish of Eckington aforesaid Sickle maker and John Goody of Clowne (school master written in between lines) in the said County of Derby, all my real Estate in Reversion Remainder and possession contingent and absolute and all my Goods Chattels and personal Estate and Effects To hold and take the same to them and their Heirs Executors and Administrators awarding (?) to the Nature of my said Estate, respectively upon trust nevertheless for an to the Use and Behoof of my Son Mark Ellis his Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns subject to the following proviso (?) that is to say Provided, that in case my said Son should happen to die under the Age of twenty one years and without leaving lawful Issue him surviving or in case of his so dying and such Issue should die under that Age and without leaving lawful Issue, then the Devise and Bequest to my said Trustees hereinbefore contained shall be in Trust for and to the Use and Behoof of all my Brothers and Sisters who may be then living and the Issue of such of them as may be then dead as Tenants in Common Share and Share alike and their Heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns as Tenants in Common and not as joint Tenants - the Issue of any deceased Brother or Sister taking only among them if more than one, the Share and proportion their parent would have been entitled to if living. And it is my Will and Mind, that during the Infancy of my Son, my said Trustees shall have power to apply any part of the Rents and profits of my said Estate and Effects or any part of the principal thereof in maintaining and educating my said Son or in putting him out Apprentice or otherwise for his Benefit as they may think proper and that they shall have power to let or lease any part of my Estates in such manner as they may think proper and to recover the Rents and regain possession thereof as fully and effectually as if they were seized of the Fee - Simple and Inheritance thereof to their own Use. And I direct my said Trustees to pay all my just Debts and funeral Expenses and to reimburse themselves all Sums of Money they may defray in executing the Trust of this my Will, (written in between lines : of which I appoint them joint Executors). In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and Seal this third day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and twelve.

(signed) John Ellis Jun.

Signed sealed and delivered by the said John Ellis the younger as and for his last Will and Testament, in the Presence of us, who at his request, in his presence and in the presence of one another have subscribed our name as witnesses.

(signed) Francis Ryley

(signed) George Keeton

(signed) B.J. Wake (or B.F. or B.E.)

Thanks again for your helpful insight and tips, lysander.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Here are a couple of advertisements for property sales - 1832 and 1844. I don't think they assist directly, but added them because Mark Ellis is involved, also Staniforths mentioned as occupiers:

Hi Edmund,

Thanks for the property sale advertisements from 1832 and 1844. I've only seen snippets of these from the British Newspaper Archive, as I haven't yet made the commitment to purchase a year of unlimited access, something I've been waiting to do until I have more time for proper research.

These two advertisements will help me label my Google Maps map of the various fields in Mosborough Moor and Ridgeway, and should help tie-in with the Eckington Court Rolls books I have which list so many field name descriptions.

The Ellis and Booth families were connected, as John Ellis' sister Ester Ellis (1791-1863) married George Booth (1790-1843), and they had 11 children in Mosborough, including Samuel Booth (1827-1908) who married Ann Staniforth (1830-1896), daughter of Aaron and Ruth Staniforth of the Troway Staniforths.

It's interesting to note that "Mark Ellis, of High Lane, near Mosbro' Moor" was the one showing all of the properties listed in the advertisements you found. Thanks again.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Details of the Haven Farm, from a sale advert of 1895 (lot 8):

Hi again Edmund,

Thanks for this fascinating 1895 advertisement, which is especially helpful because it contains the enclosure field numbers. These will definitely help in my research of the Haven farms. The document is also helpful because if lists Joseph Staniforth as the deceased owner, who also had land at Hackenthorpe. I'll have to check my Staniforth records -- another line I've been researching extensively -- and see if Joseph is connected to the main line of Hackenthorpe Staniforth's, who had the big Staniforth Works there.

The Marsh family is also noted in this advertisement, and I know that at least one of the Marsh family lived at Haven up until perhaps the late 1990s or even the year 2000, from discussions I had when I visited Haven in 2001 and met a nice man named David who lived there at the time.

Many thanks.

Cheers,

Lane

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Bayleaf

"Did some of the smaller sickle makers have workshops adjoining their homes? I've read accounts of mules carrying blades from various manufactories to the area's wheels to be ground -- it must have been quite the scene in the Mosborough and Ridgeway areas for so many years as top sickle and scythe producing centers."

Workshops attached to homes were certainly common around Sheffield. Cutlers would forge blades in their own workshop and take them to the wheels to be ground (often doing it themselves, paying rent for a 'trough').

There are still a few examples around, though all have long been absorbed into the cottage. This is an example in Stannington village. The small 'offshot' is the remains of a cutler's smithy.

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History dude

Hi lanrellis

I found photos of two Ellis family gravestones at Gleadless Christ Church in my collection of them. Possibly connected to you?

One was round so there's two pictures of it to see the inscription.

Also on the memorial

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Guest GFS

Fantastic article and I found it really informative. Thanks.

We purchased Mosborough Hill House just less than two years ago and with it loads of old papers. I have checked and no one with the names you mentioned ever lived here either as an owner of staff.

I do know that some people get confused between our house ( Mosborough Hill House) 26 Moor valley (once known as Swallow hill) and the property on the corner of Mosborough Moor road and quarry Hill road once known as The Hill. It’s now a pub and also once had Sheffield City Councils nursery next to it.

I also have a few old maps and of this area and it clearly shows that 26 Moor valley was always Mosborough Hill house. The adjoining field runs down the hill to Moorhole lane.

I will start double checking all my old material to see if anything helps your search..

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Guest GFS

Looking at the old maps I see that there was a property just past where Moorhole farm was that potentially housed a number of families involved in sickle making.

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Guest lanerellis

"Did some of the smaller sickle makers have workshops adjoining their homes? I've read accounts of mules carrying blades from various manufactories to the area's wheels to be ground -- it must have been quite the scene in the Mosborough and Ridgeway areas for so many years as top sickle and scythe producing centers."

Workshops attached to homes were certainly common around Sheffield. Cutlers would forge blades in their own workshop and take them to the wheels to be ground (often doing it themselves, paying rent for a 'trough').

There are still a few examples around, though all have long been absorbed into the cottage. This is an example in Stannington village. The small 'offshot' is the remains of a cutler's smithy.

Thanks for the interesting information about cutlers and their workshops, and for the fine example photo from Stannington village, Bayleaf.

Cheers,

Lane

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Guest lanerellis

Hi lanrellis

I found photos of two Ellis family gravestones at Gleadless Christ Church in my collection of them. Possibly connected to you?

One was round so there's two pictures of it to see the inscription.

Hi History dude, and many thanks for five excellent Ellis family gravestone (and World War I memorial) photos from Gleadless Christ Church you kindly shared. Although I don't know of a connection to these Gleadless Ellis', I'll have to explore further, as Gleadless is just down the road from Ridgeway and Mosborough. Many thanks for your contribution and for opening up a new avenue of research for me.

Cheers,

Lane

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