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Richard Axe

A Ludlam Family Bible

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Richard Axe

Entries in a family bible now in America reveal some valuable information about the Ludlam family of Cherry Tree Hill, Ecclesall, in the 1600s and 1700s. Hopefully, some descendants of the family have survived and perhaps still live in Sheffield.

Two leaves record various family events, including some births, baptisms and deaths of a Thomas Ludlam, his children and others. One leaf records Thomas’ own baptism and death – Thomas son of George Ludlam baptized the 2nd day of April 1655. As appears by the Register Book examined by William Ellis clerk. And departed this life 4th day of August 1736 – and this, with complementary evidence, allows for the identification with the family connected to Cherry Tree Hill. A discrepancy of one year in the year of death written in the bible should not detract from any identification. The burial entry for Thomas Ludlam, cutler, is recorded at St Peter’s, Sheffield on 10th August 1735, and a will for the same man was proved on 9th February 1735-6[1]. An abstract of the key people recorded in Thomas’ will can be seen below.

Thomas, cutler of Cherry Tree Hill, Ecclesall: will dated 9/2/1732-3; proved 9/2/1735-6

Wife Mary all effects during her life

Daughter Jane Newton £10

Son Thomas Ludlam 5s

Son Roger Ludlam £10

Son Joseph Ludlam £20 already given by bond

Daughter Hannah Ludlam £20

Daughter Ann £20

The other family details recorded in the bible are as follows. () = a shortened name or a lacuna of some sort; [] = an assumed name based upon other evidence:

  1. ·         John Ludlam son of Tho(mas) Ludlam was born 23rd January 1687/8

  2. ·         George Ludlam son of Tho(mas) Ludlam was born 21st November 1688

  3. ·         Tho(mas) Ludlam son of Tho(mas) Ludlam was born 11th February 1691/2

  4. ·         [Ste]ph(en) Ludlam son of Tho(mas) Ludlam was born 25th May 1693, baptised 28th and died 30th May[2]

  5. ·         Dorathoay daughter of Tho(mas) Ludlam [was born] 2nd April 1695

  6. ·         [Hannah] Ludlam daughter of Tho(mas) Ludlam [bo]rn 1st January 1697/8[3]

  7. ·         Roger Ludlam son of Tho(mas) Ludlam born 20th or 21st April 1700

  8. ·         [Anna] Ludlam daughter of [Thomas] Ludlam[4]

  9. ·         Joseph Ludlam son of Thomas Ludlam was born 4th July 1704

  10. ·         Benjamin Ludlam the son of Thomas Ludlam was born (unfinished)[5]

  11. ·         John Ludlam [… …?]1 January 17[..]

  12. ·         Sarah Ludlam daughter of Joseph Ludlam born 19th April 1795

  13. ·         Hannah Ludlam daughter of […]

Some of the missing or partial forenames can be restored from details from parish registers. Some details preserved in the bible do not appear in the surviving church registers and births, rather than baptisms, are recorded in the majority of cases.

Jane Newton, mentioned in Thomas’ will, appears not to be recorded in the bible. She was baptised on 29th March 1685, at St Peter’s, Sheffield, and married Joseph Newton, at Handsworth, on 27th May 1708.

Thomas’ wife, known from his will to be Mary, can be found in Mary Tompson; they married in St Peter’s, Sheffield, on 26th October 1682. Complementary evidence of the match is to be found in the will of Mary’s brother, Jeremiah, who left 40s to Mary and Thomas Ludlam (and some of the children), of Cherry Tree Hill, Sheffield, in 1719[6]. That marriage date also offers another daughter of Thomas and Mary. Maria was baptised on 14th October 1683 at St Peter’s, Sheffield.

Finally, the later entries. The best hope for success seems to be Sarah, the daughter of Joseph. Her father might be the son of Thomas Ludlam, scissorsmith, who was baptised on 11th September 1761 at St Peter’s, Sheffield. Joseph looks to have been the youngest son of Thomas; the latter married Hannah Marsden in Sheffield in 1744 and was himself a son of the Thomas whose birth is recorded in the bible – February 1691-2.


[1] Thomas Ludlam, cutler of Cherry Tree Hill, Ecclesall: will dated 9/2/1732-3 & proved 9/2/1735-6 at York - vol.84, f.209 (Borthwick Institute)

[2] Assumed from the burial of a Stephen on 30th May at St Peter’s, Sheffield

[3] Hannah is next in the sequence of baptisms: 23/1/1697-8 at St Peter’s, Sheffield

[4] Anna is next in the sequence of baptisms: 21/10/1702 at St Peter’s, Sheffield

[5] Baptised 20/11/1706, St Peter’s, Sheffield

[6] Will dated 23/12/1718 & proved 2/10/1719 at York - vol.74, f.164 (Borthwick Institute)

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