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The family of John Sanderson, sythgrinder of Wadsley (d 1715) - includes Ashford/Ashforth, Crawshaw, Kent & Creswick surnames

Richard Axe

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The will of John Sanderson, sythgrinder of Wadsley, was written 30th August 1715 and proved at York on 13th October of that year. Parish records show his burial occurred at Ecclesfield on 5th September: it lists him as a householder. A wife and four children are mentioned in the will: Anne (wife); Mary Ashforth, eldest daughter; Anne Saunderson; Sarah Sanderson, youngest daughter and John (children). Two grandchildren of Mary, Martha and John Ashforth are also mentioned. Marriage records show the marriage of Mary Sanderson and Henry Ashford at Ecclesfield on 20th May 1708.

John was a grandfather and his eldest daughter had married in 1708. That might suggest his own marriage had occurred by 1690 at the latest and that his own birth might have been around the 1650/1670 period. One notice from the Beauchief Muniments, held at Sheffield Archives, supports that timeline and also offers an intriguing possibility[1]. The Counterpart of a Lease between William Kent of Kimberworth and Anne Creswick of Wadsley on the one hand, and John Sanderson, scythegrinder of Wadsley on the other, is dated February 1694-5. It concerns a messuage in Wadsley near the Townfield Style, with closes called the croft, the Rayles, the Crooked Acre, the Townfield, the Wellacer, for twenty-one years at a yearly rent of £10.

John was obviously old enough to do business on his own account. Most intriguing, however, is the reference to William Kent of Kimberworth whose family had intermarried with the Sandersons sixty-odd years earlier. It may be coincidental, but perhaps not. The Creswick name might also be relevant: two Sanderson-Creswick marriages occurred in the seventeenth century; Betrise to Henry Sanderson in 1629-30 and Mary to Joseph Sanderson in 1675-6. Both were Bradfield marriages.

Another item, a curation record from 23/8/1736, probably sheds a little more light on the family. Martha, the fifteen year old daughter of John Sanderson, deceased and late of Wadsley, was given into the care of James Crawshaw. A cutler of that name married Anne Sanderson at Sheffield on 1st November 1726; one might surmise that they were aunt and uncle to the girl, therefore. Frustratingly, few of the names can be identified further from parish records, and there is no baptism record around 1721 for the girl; secondly, there is nothing obvious to demonstrate what happened to Martha.

John’s homonymous son was dead by August 1736 (the date of the curation) but a daughter was aged fifteen at that point. It is unlikely that the cutler of Sheffield who was married to Alice and died in 1733 was the person as they seem to have left no children. He might be the man who married Martha Hardy at Ecclesfield on 5/2/1718-19. The name of his wife is an attraction in making the suggestion, bearing in mind that his known daughter had that name, but that is all.



[1] BM/384



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