Gillott Ancestors

A very Sheffield family

Esme Gillott (1920) married William A Sanderson

George Gillott (1890) married Alice Darlow

Charles Gillott (1850) Married Mary Ann Hinchliffe

Joseph Gillott (1811) married Mary Heeley

George Gillott (1781) married Hannah Spooner


The Gillott surname, is associated with the area around Sheffield, and is said to be of French origins.

Grandma (Esme Gillott) was born 26th July 1920 to George Gillott and Alice (Darlow) she was the fourth of six children, and born at Haden Street, Hillsborough, before the family moved to Bowness Road. 

Grandma and her siblings were born over a period of more than twenty years from 1909 to 1931.

Doris 1909-1994 married Cyril Long,

George 1910-1987? married Louis Saynor. When we visited them, they lived in a lovely old cottage in Bakewell. They often went on holiday with my Grandparents, later venturing to France and Spain on camping holidays.

Nora 1916-1921, died from miliary tuberculosis, soon after Grandma was born. A childs rag book belonging to Norah, has been handed down in the family, and Dad now has care of it.

Esme 1920 – 2008,

Rita 1929-, Auntie Rita visited often, and was more like an older sister to Dad, her son Julian was a year younger than me, and was disabled. he had a great sense of humour, and often had me in fits of laughter, he also loved having a ride in Dad’s ‘caravette‘.

Derek 1930 – 2011 married Edith

When the youngest were born, the oldest were leaving home and having their own families.

George Gillott was born 19th October 1890 at 5 Dun St, St. Philips Sheffield, to Charles Gillott and Mary Ann Hinchcliffe. He was a Tram Driver based at the Hillsborough Depot. and it was Esme’s job to take him his dinner each day. It was believed he fought in France during the 1914-18 War, but possibly didn’t actually get posted out. We were surprised to discover, that he had served in the army before this, from 1905 -1908.

A model of Sheffield Tram (Weston Park Museum).

My parents had a colour cine film taken of their wedding and reception, this featured George Gillott, in full song. This is the image I have in my mind of my Great Grandfather. Although I expect I was introduced to him as a very young child, my first and only memory of him was in 1968, when we returned to England for a holiday, whilst we were living in Malta.

He was in hospital towards the end of his life, which I am told was the Middlewood Hospital in Sheffield. I recall standing outside next to a very tall brick wall.

Inside, in the older style ward, George was one of a number of patients, in beds lined along each side of the ward, although each patient had privacy curtains. I get the impression, that on the ward, a visit from a young family, was a happy event. Soon after this, I must have been told that George had died, ‘and gone to heaven.’ This created my first impression of heaven, which was a cross between a hospital ward and the a church. For years I was concerned about what would happen when the beds ran out. Later, my impression of heaven was updated by the TV ‘Bounty advert’ and ‘the taste of Paradise’!

Esme attended Morley Street School and left aged fourteen to work in the Bassets Liquorice Allsort factory. This was known locally as the ‘spice factory’ and Grandma followed in the footsteps of her aunts and great aunts in the manufacture of sweets. Grandma told me that she used money from her first pay packet to buy herself a pair of french knickers which were all the rage at the time, and also that the workers were allowed to eat as many liquorice allsort sweets as they liked, but as it had an unfortunate effect on the digestive system, after the first day or two, the novelty wore off!

My great grandad Gillott was married to Alice Darlow, who came from a brick making family in Long Buckby, Northants. Her mother, Ellen Darlow, nee Sneyde, was the daughter of Irish immigrants. They landed in the mid 1800’s and migrated to Newton Heath in Manchester, before moving to Sheffield. The Irish were not well treated by the locals who accused them of undercutting wages and a review of the censuses shows that they changed their surname to Rowley, and then back again. They had many children and it is assumed they kept their catholic faith.

Rita Gillott and my grandma between them remembered several of their aunts and uncles from the Sneydes and Darlows.

to be continued