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A Sanderson family from Mexborough with links to Sheffield (1650-1720)

Richard Axe

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John Sanderson of Mexborough’s will from 1656 mentions a wife, daughter and one son, Samuel. He was a man of some wealth .

His son Samuel obtained a licence to marry Alice Revell at Thribergh in 1665[1]. His age was given as thirty, ten years older than his wife-to-be. Alice’s parish was Nether Whiston, which is important in the context of what happened next. The parish records from Mexborough are incomplete during the latter half of the seventeenth century but one might suspect that Samuel and Alice died elsewhere; no more Sandersons are recorded there until well into the eighteenth century.

Parish records from Whiston offers some assistance. A daughter named Margret was baptised there on 10th January 1666-7 with a son named John following on 21st December 1668. Complications might have ensued subsequent to the latter: the boy’s mother was buried there on 29th January 1668-9 and the son followed two days later. Also relevant here is Samuel’s designation as ‘Mr’.

Samuel next appears in Ecclesfield in 1672. He married Mabel Greene there on 31st January 1671-2. He may well be the Samuel who was taxed for four hearths at Firbeck in 1672; the relevance of that entry to our man would not be obvious were it not for the survival of an inventory of his goods made after his death in 1695. That item does not mention Firbeck specifically, but it does mention Denaby, Laughton and Sheffield Park as locations in which possessions were counted.

Samuel’s will counts five children, four of whom (at least) were under twenty-one. The first mentioned, a daughter, Mary, might be the child baptised at Firbeck on 28th October 1674. Evidence for the others (John, Charles, Nicholas and Samuel) is by no means clear, and another child, William, might be represented in a baptism from Laughton (1/7/1687) – if so, he was presumably dead before 1695. The Sheffield connection might suggest that the Nicholas, son of the yeoman Samuel, who was apprenticed to a cutler named Roger Ward for eight years in 1696, was one of these sons. Nicholas was the one son marked out to be taken care of by Samuel’s friend William Kellam.

Samuel died in 1695 so he must be the generosus (gentleman) who was buried at Sheffield on 8th October of that year. His widow Mabel was named in the administration documentation; she died a widow many years later and was buried at Sheffield in turn on 25th March 1712.

As mentioned above, the son of a Samuel, yeoman, was named Nicholas. Cutlery apprenticeship records show him to have been apprenticed to Roger Ward, cutler, for eight years in 1696; he duly gained his freedom in 1704. Those dates should provide an estimated birth around 1682-3 but a baptism evades detection. Nicholas married Elizabeth Oates at Sheffield on 2nd June 1713 before dying relatively young in 1725. He was buried at Sheffield on 5th June.

Nicholas and Elizabeth produced four children before Elizabeth died in 1719, around one month after the baptism of their last child. She was buried at Sheffield on 4th June 1719. Their children were as follows, all baptised at Sheffield.

·         Sarah, baptised 18/8/1714 and buried there 2/11/1715

·         Thomas, baptised 11/7/1716 and buried there 16/9/1716

·         Elizabeth, baptised 26/2/1718-9 and buried there 25/10/1718

·         Mary, baptised 6/5/1719 and buried there 28/4/1723

What happened to other members of the family is unclear.


[1] Known from Pavers Marriage Licences

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