A Century by Century Summary Guide
The late 1500s and the 1600s: Founding Families
A note of disclosure: I am a direct descendant of the Cocker, Furness, Hallam, Mason, Moseley, Pidcock, Sellers, Siddall, and Swift lines from Stoney Middleton, and a descendant of a number of other local families from the Derwent and Hope Valleys. Not surprisingly, in this summary, therefore, you may find more discussion of the families whose histories I personally know best.
A few stray references in wills of the mid to late 1500s, and in parish registers at Baslow and Hathersage in the late 1500s and in the early 1600s, tell us that some of the area’s families, such as the Hallams, date in the village of Stoney Middleton from at least Elizabethan times (and the Masons at least from the reign of James I, if not earlier). It is in the mid-1660s that the bishops’ transcripts of the parish registers of the chapel, now church, of St. Martin, Stoney Middleton, begin, and from this point that we can speak with more certainty about which families were living at Stoney in which centuries.
The Baddaleys (not to be confused with the later Baggaleys–the names are distinct) started in Stoney in the 1600s; they would only last til the mid-1700s when one of the last daughters of the house, Mary (1733-1759) married incomer William Richardson (who would father, by his second marriage to Elizabeth Howard, a line of the Richardson family, whose men were miners and labourers, that lasted until the mid-1800s at Stoney). Mary (Baddaley) Richardson died young after leaving only one daughter. But the Baddaleys will live on forever thanks to the tragic fate of Mary’s youngest sister, the lovelorn Hannah Baddaley, who in the mid-1700s jumped off the cliff now called Lover’s Leap in Middleton Dale, suicidal, the legends report, after having had her heart broken by one William Barnsley, a young man also from the village. Hannah survived when her skirts billowed out around her and served as a sort of parachute; she miraculously had no life-threatening injuries. Whether from shame, mental illness, lingering disability from injuries sustained in her fall, or a combination of some or all of these reasons, Hannah apparently was something of a recluse thereafter, and she died only a few years later, still unmarried. The Baddeley wives included women from the Froggatt and Townsend families (the latter originating in Bretton).
The Barnsleys, ancestors and family of the jilting William, were originally from Eyam, but soon settled at Stoney. Favouring the male names William and John, they lasted into the early 1800s, when father and son John Barnsleys, the last of the name in the town, died within weeks of each other. The Barnsleys took brides from the Siddall family, and also from the Hallams, from an obscure family of Halls, as well as from the last of the Boardman family, a small family that ended in Stoney in the very early 1700s.
The Barbers, descendants of the Hallams and Mathers, were in Stoney from at least the latter half of the seventeenth century. Favouring the male names George, Edward, Joseph, and John, and the women’s names Hannah, Martha, and Rebecca, the Barbers continued in direct line through the later 1800s before leaving the village behind for Manchester and other larger towns. They intermarried with the Hallams and Swifts of Stoney Middleton and with the Outrams of the Grindleford area and also with a Sellers family at Great Longstone.
The Bradburys (the name was also spelt Bridbury, among other renderings) were at Stoney Middleton at least since the early 1600s. Marrying women from the Barber, Birtles, Daniel, and Swift families, the Bradburys died out in male line in 1724 with death of Randle Bradbury, whose five sons John, Joseph, Henry, Benjamin, and Randell appear to have left the area. Bradbury daughters married several times into the Bamford and Stevenson families at Stoney Middleton.
The Brands included schoolmaster Henry Brand (also a singer in the St. Martin’s male choir in 1717) and their roots at Stoney Middleton go back to the later 1600s at least. The male line of the Brands, who favoured the men’s names Benjamin and Henry, and whose women were characterized by the distinctive given name of Philadelphia, terminated in the male line at Stoney Middleton by the mid-1700s, but lived on at Stoney in their descendants, the Chapmans.
The Daniel family was concentrated in Eyam, where 250 years later they would produce Eyam Plague historian (and inspiration for the Eyam Museum) Clarence Daniel. However, in the 1600s, the Daniel family also had a branch at Stoney Middleton, the Stoney branch favouring the male names John, Thomas, and Cornelius, and woman’s name Elizabeth. The Stoney Middleton Daniel family died out in male line after sending several sons to apprentice as cutlers in Sheffield. Similarly, the Brough, Birtles, and Brittlebank families disappear by the early 1700s at Stoney, but in the case of the Brittlebanks founded a long-standing family who baptised and buried at Eyam well into the 1800s. The Broughs were maternal ancestors of a small family of Halls at Eyam, and Birtles daughters married into the Bradbury family of Stoney Middleton, the Needhams of Great Longstone, and one branch of the Slinn family at Goatscliffe.
Other families at Stoney in the 1600s included the wealthy Capps and Ashton families (Robert Ashton was seventeenth century sheriff of Derbyshire). The Capps men died out after producing a famous boxer called William (which was also the preferred name for Capps men, as Elizabeth was favoured for the women). The Ashtons, partial to the names Robert and Benjamin, left Stoney Middleton for other properties by the start of the 1700s. The Fynneys were a wealthy Great Longstone family who branched into Stoney Middleton and were the ancestors of the Lords Denman at Stoney Middleton Hall (the Denmans in the male line originated in the market town of Bakewell–the most famous of the Denmans defended Caroline of Brunswick, estranged wife of George IV, when she was fighting for her royal rights in 1821 at the time of her husband’s accession to the British throne). The Denmans are probably the only Stoney Middleton-based family to be in Burke’s Peerage well into the 20th century.
The Deplidge and Echus families died out by the early 1700s in the male line, but contributed to the ancestry of the Mason family, and in the case of the Echus family, to the ancestry of one branch of the Thornhills. Alice Deplidge, the only one of a set of sisters to have a definite marriage and children, married in 1745 Thomas Shepard, a scion of the Hallams of Stoney Middleton. In the 1700s, the Shepards would go on to marry into one family of Fletchers, as well as back into the Hallams, and into the unrelated Hallams of Calver and into the Gregory family of Calver and the Thornhills of Stoney Middleton.
The Fletchers, who also had a branch at Toadpool, near Froggatt, survived in male line through the later 1700s. John Fletcher and Mary Hallam, both of Stoney Middleton, married in the late 1600s when both were teenagers, and proceeded to have a large family. Daughters Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary, and Sarah married into the Wilson family of Eyam; the Baggaley and Mason families of Stoney Middleton; the Thornhill family of Stoney Middleton; and the Hudson family of Tideswell. Son Henry married Lydia Bamford of Stoney, and their two sons Henry Fletcher junior (married Catherine Cheney of Ashford) and John Fletcher (married Mary Olliver of Foolow, then widowed Ellen (Hill) Pidcock of Stoney Middleton) continued the Fletcher line; however, these two last Fletcher brothers’ greatest contribution to Stoney genealogy was through their respective daughters, Elizabeth and Mary Fletcher, who by their marriages to brothers John and to Cornelius Chapman of Stoney Middleton, gave rise to two branches of the Chapman family at Stoney. The Chapmans were originally found at Eyam and had documented ancestors, the Stainrods and Skargells, from Sheffield). The Chapmans, who favoured the given names John, Cornelius, Daniel, and Thomas, endured through the 1800s. The Fletchers, through the Chapmans, also became ancestors to numerous other local families. The man’s name “Daniel” running through the Chapman family reflects a documented descent from the Daniel family at Eyam. The woman’s name Philadelphia among the Chapmans comes from a probable descent from the Brand family of Stoney Middleton. The first John Fletcher’s sister, Dorothy, married into the Baxter family at Great Longstone, and the Fletchers also married into the wealthy Sharp family of Edensor and Stoney Middleton.
The Frosts were present at Stoney from the 1600s and lasted in the male line through the mid-1700s. They favoured the male names George and occasionally Jonathan and William. Their daughters were distinguished by names like Emmott, Dorothy, Sarah, and Elizabeth. Other Frost families were at Wardlow, Grindlow, and Calver–it is unclear how all these families were related if at all (though the later Frosts at Calver appear to descend from those at Great Longstone and Wardlow). The Frosts at Stoney Middleton married into the Hallams of Stoney Middleton, among other lines.
Among the earliest families at Stoney who have continued in the male line to the present day in the village were the Hallams and the Masons. The Hallams were initially lead miners, then came above ground to become grocers, farmer, and ultimately keepers of the Stag’s Head public house at Stoney. The office of chapel warden, or sexton, of St. Martin’s also seems to have been almost hereditary in the family: at least five generations of Hallam men served in the role at St. Martin’s from the early 1700s through the mid-1800s. Illustrious descendants include Joseph Hallam, the mayor of Sheffield in the 1870s. Interestingly, the Hallams were also a very devout and musical family–the 1717 extant choir list of Stoney Middleton is made up mostly of Hallam men, singing all four vocal parts: bass, tenor, countertenor, and boy treble. The Hallams favoured the male names Benjamin, Cornelius, Francis, Gervas, John, Jonathan, Joseph, and Thomas. The female name Esther can be traced through various female lines descended from the first Esther Hallam, and the Hallams were also partial to the women’s names Ann, Mary, Martha, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Sarah. The Hallams were ancestors of many of the other families at Stoney Middleton. Hallam men married into many area families including: the Shepards and the Skidmores of Eyam; the Mortens of Brosterfield; the Broomheads, Buxtons Gregorys, Hewards, and Taylors of Calver; the Halls of Tideswell; and the Cockers and Sellers of Stoney Middleton. Hallam daughters married into many area families including: the Whites of Stoke and Calver; the Furness of Eyam and Great Longstone; the Lomas’s of Ashford; the Wardles of Hartington; the Shepherds of Norton; the Baggaleys, Cockers, Fletchers, Hancocks, Heginbothams, and Sellers of Stoney Middleton; the Marples and Marsdens of Baslow; the Bettneys and Leylands of Calver; the Moseleys of Stoke; the Bartons of Rowland; and the Thornhills of Wardlow and Stoney Middleton. This writer has done extensive research on the Hallams. The surname Hallam means “dweller at the nooks” or “dwellers at the rocks or slopes”.
The Haslams, a distinct family from the Hallams, favoured the male names Nicholas, Dennis, George, and Richard. The Haslam male line ended by the mid-1700s, but Martha Haslam married into the Sellers family and her half-sister Elizabeth Haslam into the Handley family, and the pair were ancestors to many Stoney families. The surname Haslam means “dweller at the hazel trees.”
The Hinches were “there and back again”, starting off in Stoney, then going to Winster and Ockbrook, before returning to Stoney in the mid-1700s, and in the 1800s branching out to Fairfield. They were distinguished by their use of the names Ralph and Philip in addition to the more common George, William, and Thomas. They married into the Baggaley, Mason and Hancock families, among others, in the 1800s. There were Hinches in the Stoney Middleton area into the twentieth century.
The Howsons (also spelt Hughson, Hewson, and Hoosen) were a somewhat shadowy line whose branches can only be connected with much detective work and some helpful seventeenth century wills. The family continued at Stoney through the 1700s, and favoured the men’s names Thomas and Robert. The Bamfords similarly are bit hard to connect, but existed in various branches into the 1700s and contributed daughters as brides to a number of local Stoney Middleton male lines, including the Cockers and Fletchers. Bamford men were often called William and Bamford women were often called Mary (confusingly so, as Bamford generations can be a bit difficult to distinguish).
The Mather family were descended from the marriage of Robert Mather senior and Frances Hallam of Stoney Middleton in the mid-1600s. They had only one childless son, Robert junior, but a large number of daughters from whom descended the Barbers and Walkers of Stoney Middleton, and also the King and Marsden families of Baslow.
Unlike the Hallams, who had many sons, the Masons inched along with a single surviving son in several generations through the 1600s, then sired multiple male lines from the mid-1700s on. The Masons have worked in a number of trades and have contributed a mid-1800s Lancashire Member of Parliament (Hugh Mason) in addition to many local figures of note. The Masons favoured the male names George and Thomas (in alternating generations throughout the 1600s), and later added the names Robert and Amos as well as Henry and John (the latter two possibly legacies from a posited marriage with the Fletcher family). Mason men married women from the Beeley, Echus, Fletcher, and Moseley families of Stoney Middleton, the Naden family of Eyam, the Outrams of Grindleford, the Crooks of Great Longstone, and the Crowshaws of Bakewell. Mason daughters have married into Eaton family at Eyam, and into the Hancocks and Moseleys of Stoney Middleton. Ms. Janet M. Kirk, nee Hancock, and the late Mr. Antony “Tony” Mason are probably the premier chroniclers of the Masons to date.
Soon gone in the male line, the Ragg family, who favoured the male name Dennis, was prominent in Stoney Middleton in the 1600s. They were involved in mining, and were related to the wealthy White family. Dennis Ragg’s daughter Gertrude was the first, childless, wife of Matthew Furness of Stoney Middleton.
Favouring the men’s names Richard and Nicholas, and the women’s names Rebecca, Ruth, and Sarah, the Rogers family was only extant in Stoney Middleton in the 1600s. They intermarried and continued on in the Gregory family at Calver, among other lines.
The Sharp family were fairly wealthy and prominent in the late 1600s in Stoney Middleton. Favouring the male names Alexander, Francis, Benjamin, John, and Thomas, they married into the Thornhill family, among others, and disappear in male line at Stoney by the 1770s.
The Somerset family split into branches at Grindleford and at Stoney Middleton, and wins the award for the most spelling variations–Somerset, Sumerset, Sommerscales, Somers, Summersaw, among a number of others. The family also spread out beyond Stoney and Grindleford, with branches in more distant parishes like Hope. The Somerset family is responsible for the presence of the man’s name Gervas (or Jarvis) at Stoney Middleton, and may have also contributed the name Gervas to the Hallams. The Somersets also favoured the male names John and Nathaniel, and the woman’s names Jane, Hannah, and Rebecca. Ms. Rosemary R. Lockie, nee Goddard, has done some of the most extensive work to date on the Somersets.
The Stevensons present in the male line at Stoney Middleton from the late 1600s through the early 1700s. They married women from the Bradbury family, and from the obscure Olding family, and Stevenson daughters married into the Haslam, Jeffrey, and Milner families, among others. The Stevenson men tended to use the given names Henry and Richard, and the women were often called Elizabeth and Ruth.
The Swifts, whose men were frequently called George, Thomas, John, Robert, or Abraham, were present in Stoney from at least the early 1600s. They later were also fond of the given male name Philemon, a legacy of a marriage with a Mainwaring from Cheshire. Swift women favoured the names Margaret, Sarah, Jane, and Deborah. Later Swift women were also called Fanny, Hannah, and Ann. George Swift’s sons founded male lines that continued at Stoney through early Victorian times before the Swift men departed for Sheffield and Manchester. Swift daughters married into the Siddall family of Grindleford Bridge and Goatscliffe and into the Oliver family of Froggatt. Swifts have intermarried with the Hinch, Hallam, Marshall, and Moseley families of Stoney Middleton, among others. Ms. Rosemary R. Lockie, nee Goddard, and Ms. Jill Sanders, nee Swift, have done extensive Swift research.
Siddalls continued in male line at Stoney Middleton into the late 1700s and were part of an enormous network of Siddalls in Hathersage, Stoney Middleton, Eyam, Grindleford and Goatscliffe, Curbar, and Baslow all of whom descended from three of the four marriages of long-lived and prolific Godfrey Siddall of the parish of Hathersage in the last half of the 1600s. The Siddalls were known recusant Catholics in the earlier 1600s; several were fined for not coming to Church of England services, though the family were staunch Protestants by several generations later. A branch of the Siddall family included famous Eyam Plague victim Emmott Siddall, whose death, in the many stories and legends told about the Eyam Plague, left behind her broken-hearted suitor Rowland Torr (interestingly, the Torrs have only a passing presence in seventeenth century Stoney Middleton, and the bishops’ transcripts have no record at all of a Rowland Torr). Siddalls favoured some rather colorful men’s personal names, including Boniface, Godfrey, and Abraham, as well as the more common George, James, John, Samuel, and William. Women were often called Sarah, Deborah, Hannah, and Ann. Stoney Middleton Siddalls intermarried with the Pidcock and Sellers families of Stoney Middleton, and with the Gregorys of Eyam, and with the Goodwins of Sheldon, among others. This writer has done extensive Siddall research.
Several branches of Olivers were baptised and buried at Stoney Middleton. At least one branch also used the surname Lucas and were descended from the Froggatt family of the hamlet of the same name. Many Olivers were based up the road from Stoney Middleton in Grindleford and/or Froggatt. Male Olivers favoured the given names Christopher, Daniel, John, and Samuel. Two Olivers married daughters of George Swift, the first Swift recorded at Stoney Middleton. One Oliver widow was famous early 19th century murder victim Hannah ( ) Oliver, tollhouse keeper at Wardlow Mires and killed for a pair of shoes by Anthony Lingard of Litton, the last man publicly gibbeted in Derbyshire. Ms. Jennifer (Froggatt) Nicholas is one of the premiere researchers of the Oliver/Lucas families.
Among the other seventeenth century families no longer extant at Stoney in the male line are the Thornhills. Once prolific at Stoney, the Thornhills also expanded to include several branches at Wardlow. Interestingly, the Thornhills changed surnames several times. Apparently recusant Catholics in the mid-1600s, they also used the alias Skinner, and were originally actually called “Thornley” or “Thornhilley”. They may have adapted the spelling “Thornhill” to sound more like a posh family of men called John and Bache Thornhill who resided in eighteenth century Derbyshire. The Thornhills at Stoney Middleton typically used the male names John, George, Joseph, Joshua, and Robert. The female name Dorothy carries through the family, as does the name Rebecca. The Thornhill male line died out in the late 1700s (the family remains represented in the descendants of numerous daughters). Thornhills married with women from the Ellis and Ingman families at Baslow, as well as from the Redferns of Grindleford, the Barbers, Cockers, Fletchers, Frosts, Hallams, Hills, Shephards, Siddalls and Walkers of Stoney Middleton, the James’s of Grindlow and Wardlow, the Halls of Tideswell, and the Savilles of Eyam. Thornhill women married into the Parker family of Curbar; the Cockers, Goddards, Sellers, and Swifts of Stoney Middleton; the Savilles of Eyam; and the Broadhursts of Bakewell and Stoney Middleton. One branch of the Thornhills moved to London in the early 1800s and became fairly affluent. The relationship of the Thornley/Thornhills of Stoney Middleton to those found in the parishes of Eyam, Great Longstone, Hathersage, and Hope, if any such relationship existed, has not yet been established, and may predate extant sixteenth and seventeenth century records. Acknowledged Thornhill experts included Ms. Prudence Buckle, Mr. Clive Allen, and the late Mr. Len Thornhill. This writer has also done extensive Thornhill research.
The Sellers family also were apparently Catholics in hiding at one point, using the name Cowper or Cooper, before settling on Sellers (also spelt “Sellars” and “Sellors”–unusually, all three variants have survived into the 21st century). The Sellers family was numerous in Stoney Middleton in the 1700s, but their male line ended in the mid-1800s, as surviving Sellers men moved away to places like Manchester. The Sellers family utilised the male names John, Joseph, Joshua, Matthew, and, especially, Roger. The names Sampson, Isaac, and Edward (the latter two among a branch of the family that settled in Eyam) are also found amongst the Sellers. The woman’s names Hannah, Ann, Elizabeth, and Margaret are s very prominent among Sellers women. Sellers men married women of the Broadhurst, Cocker, Hallam, Haslam, Mason, Siddall, Thornhill and Walker families of Stoney Middleton; the Blackwells of Foolow; and the Epinstones and Hardys of Eyam. The Sellers of Stoney Middleton were seemingly related to the Sellers at Calver, also alias Cowper, but apparently not to those Sellers/Sellars at Wardlow and Great Longstone. Sellers descendants include one notorious scion, the unpleasant Edward Wager of Great Longstone, who was divorced by his first wife, Harriet (Machin) Wager, for cruelty, then killed his second wife Harriet (Bland) (Oliver) Wager, and was transported for life for his crime to Australia. Several Sellers descendants were also witnesses at Edward Wager’s trial. Ms. Rosemary R. Lockie, nee Goddard, and this writer have both studied the Sellers’s extensively.
The name Swindell was common in the Hope and Derwent valleys. A branch existed at Stoney Middleton at least from the late 1600s. Men in the family favoured the names George, William, Joseph, and Benjamin. Women were often called Mary, Esther, or Elizabeth. The Swindells married women from the Bowman family of Monyash and Youlgreave (who were Quakers of long standing before being rebaptised in the Church of England), other Swindells from Dronfield, Moseleys from Grindleford Bridge and Stoney Middleton, and Sellers from Stoney Middleton. The male Swindell line ended at Stoney Middleton in the early 1900s.
One branch of a wealthy White family died out in the late 1600s, though left some helpful seventeenth century wills that detail and suggest their connections to the Ragg family of Stoney Middleton and to the Froggatts of Bubnell and Stoke. Other Whites survived at Stoke for generations, and were the forebears of most area families called White over the next two centuries, including those at Goatscliffe, Grindleford, Stoney Middleton, and Tadgeness, among others. Samuel and Frederick White, were an uncle and nephew who married an aunt and niece of Stoney Middleton both called Ann Hallam. The Whites of Stoke, Stoney Middleton, and Eyam favoured the male names Samuel, Sampson, George, Robert, Joseph, and John. Women were often called Ann, Elizabeth, and Gertrude.