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A Sanderson Genealogy deduced from a Bradfield (Sheffield) deed of 1670


Richard Axe
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The Wheat Collection, part of Sheffield Archives’ collection, has a Deed of trust between Anne Sanderson, widow of Midhope, and William Roger, yeoman of Wales, William Sanderson, yeoman of Penistone, and John Sanderson, yeoman of Midhope; it is dated 26/5/1670[1]. The Midhope reference for Anne is important as it minimises the number of family options likely to be relevant. One might reasonably infer that there are family connections between these various later Sandersons. Associated documents suggest that this one item appears to provide evidence for Sandersons in Midhope, Penistone, Sheffield, Shelley and London, over perhaps five generations. The places mentioned also convey a sense of how business transcended parish boundaries – even at a local level.

Anne was seeking to look after her two children, Anne and John, by selling her part of property and land at Tagstones[2] to the other three in return for living rights for her daughter, then son, then the children of William Sanderson of Penistone (John and Nicholas). The agreement suggests that there was a kinship connection between Anne’s dead husband and William of Penistone[3]; furthermore, mention of John Sanderson, of Midhope, as the third party to the agreement, and one Ralph Sanderson as a witness, also brings other likely members of the family into play. That is not all. There is a possibility that William Roger was also kin. An Eleanor Sanderson married William Roger at Handsworth on 9th December 1668; Handsworth neighbours Wales. Her antecedents are not obvious but a link seems perfectly feasible – not that one might have a clue without this document.

Fortunately, the will of Ann of Midhope has survived. Ann was clearly keen to make provision for Anne and John, perhaps her youngest children. Again, her will makes it clear that John was married already to a woman named Anne. Proved in 1673, it provides a significant number of names to conjure with, and offers a possibility that she was the widow of George Saunderson of Midhope (buried 8/1/1649-50), the son of Raphe of Midhope (buried 29/4/1607). Ann was a grandmother at the time of the will’s writing (1671) so it is reasonable to suppose that her children must have been born between 1630 and 1650. The names of some of the sons (Ralph, John, Christopher and William) remind the reader of the known children of George. Furthermore, Ralph’s wife was named as Elizabeth, which also accords with evidence elsewhere. On the downside, acceptance of Anne as widow of George would involve the introduction of more children than are known from the parish records – Nicholas, another daughter and perhaps a second John.

It is possible to construct a pedigree that plausibly shows the various family connections, but some significant conjectures have to be made.

1.     No mention of Anne’s son John in the baptismal records. There seems no reason to suppose that the John, son of George, who was baptised in 1639 was not the person buried in 1641-2 so another son of that name would be required. There is appropriate space in the chronology of baptismal dates.

2.     Anne’s daughter Ann’s baptism can be identified in 1646, making her probably the youngest child – a second John could fit in easily between 1640 and 1646.

3.     William of Penistone would appear to be William of Hunshelf, and a son of George and Ann.

4.     Ralph would appear to another son (and associated with Midhope).

5.     John of Midhope could easily be the eldest son of Robert of Nether Midhope, and consequently a presumed nephew of Anne.

In summary, the trust document would appear to highlight an agreement involving Anne, two sons, a likely son-in-law and a nephew, on behalf of her two youngest children, John and Ann.

 

[1] Item 173 on pages 195-6 of Descriptive Catalogue of Charters, Copy Court Rolls and Deeds forming part of The Wheat Collection: T Walter Hall, Sheffield, 1910

[2] Perhaps this place is actually The Hagstones spoken in the local dialect

[3] An observation made by T Walter Hall in his commentary on the document. He suggested they were possibly brothers.

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