Some ancestors grab our attention more than others, and Martha Ibbotson would be one of these. It may be, because she, and husband George Sanderson, were the first paternal ancestors, we really had to dig around for, to find information about them.
Looking into her life, she seems to have been a typical woman of her era, living and dying in the circumstances of the time, in a rural area, on the edge of industry.
But judging by the names of some of her children, she perhaps too, liked to express some individuality where she could.
The first reference we have to Martha in the ancestral research, was as mother, to Joel Sanderson in Bradfield Parish records.
Joel Sanderson was a fairly uncommon name combination, so when we found him baptized on 7th March 1824, we were sure we had the right person, his parents were entered as George (a cutler), and Martha Sanderson of Low Bradfield. Unfortunately there were several ‘George Sandersons’ (of a suitable age to be Joel’s father) in the area, and this was where it became necessary to search sideways, and look for clues to identify George and Martha.
The 1841 census, records the family at Low Bradfield. George aged 40, a cutler, and Martha 35 years, with seven children, aged between fifteen and two years, one of which was Joel. We had the correct family.
Due to the 5 year age discrepancy in the 1841 census, George could have been born between 1796 and 1806, and Martha between 1801 and 1811.
Searches for all possible George Sandersons at this time, bought up perhaps half a dozen. With two being married to ‘Martha’s’.
A George Sanderson had married Martha Ashton, and had a documented family in the Ecclesfield Parish records. The other was George Sanderson who married Martha Ibbotson at Bradfield Church 2nd August 1819.
We concluded that the parents of Joel Sanderson, were George Sanderson and Martha Ibbotson.
Ibbotson is an Anglo Saxon surname, meaning ‘Isabels son’, and is generally considered to be of northern origin. It is certainly a common name in the local area and throughout the Bradfield records.
George and Martha Sanderson, had the following children baptised at Bradfield church –
Martin 26th December 1819 (baptised 4 months after parents marriage).
- Although Martin is a reasonably common name, in my family, it is extremely unusual, and not a name that particularly crops up in the local records. We have often wondered why George and Martha named their first child ‘Martin’, a name with no connection to either side of the family. Perhaps he was born on St Martins day!
- In 1841, Martin was an apprentice in the home of Richard Ibbotson at New Laithes Bradfield, and whom we believe to be Martha’s brother but are working to prove this.
- His occupation was Quarryman
- Martin married Ann Peckett 1846, following her death, he remarried Ann Hobson 1848 (the Hobson family appear to have been neighbours of the Sanderson family at Netherhouse). Martin had two children, William Alfred and Arthur.
- Martin died 1853, and was buried in Bradfield Churchyard 14 August.
Hannah 27th January 1822
- Perhaps Hannah was named after Martha’s mother ‘Ann’, as these names are sometimes interchangeable, although it seems that Ann always was Ann never Hannah (see below). There were no other Hannah’s in the immediate family other than a baby sister of George who died as an infant.
- In 1841, Hannah was a house servant at Cliffe House High Bradfield, (the next property to where Martin was apprenticed to Richard Ibbotson).
- Hannah married George Hobson in 1847, almost the same time as the death of her mother. (George was brother to Ann Hobson who married Martin). They appear to have moved to Maltby, and had a large family.
Joel 7th March 1824 – my ancestor.
Alfred 24th December 1826 – 1847 .
- 1841 living with his family aged 13.
- We know little about Alfred, other than he died aged twenty and was buried on 20th April 1847, probably of Typhus Fever, like his mother.
Sarah 17th May 1829
- Presumably named after George’s mother Sarah ‘Helliwell’, and who had died fairly recently 1827.
- Perhaps Sarah had had the responsibility of caring for her sick mother, brother and sister, prior to their deaths.
- By 1851, at the age of 18, it appears she was living in the household of widowed Joseph Shaw aged 38 as ‘concubine’, she had a one year old son, William. As yet neither Joseph or Sarah have been found beyond this time, although in 1861, her son William was living in the household of John Shaw (Joseph’s son).
Malin 30th October 1831
- Perhaps Malin was named after Martha’s brother born 1812. It is an unusual local forename. The name can also be found in the local area, as Malin Bridge.
- 1841 living with family aged 9.
- In 1851, he was living with his uncle Richard Ibbotson as a farm labourer.
- 1854, married Amelia Hobson, sister to George and Ann Hobson. They had a large family.
- 1885 Malin died.
Jarvis 8th June 1834
- Jarvis is an unusual local name. (For example Jarvis Cocker, singer, from Sheffield ). It may be a corruption of the name Gervaise.
- 1841 living with his family aged 7.
- 1851 Table blade forger apprentice to Thomas Walker in Porter Street, aged 16.
- 1859 Married Ann Birch
- 1861 Spring Knife cutler living in Sheffield with wife
- 1871, Birth of son Arthur.
- 1871 Cutler at 145 Gibraltar Street (Farriers? Arms), Sheffield with wife, son and 2 lodgers.
- 1875, Birth of son Jarvis.
- 1881, Liscensed Victualler at Crown Inn, 33 Scotland Street, Sheffield. With wife and two sons, (father in law?) and lodger.
- 1891, Widowed, living with Henry Birch and family (perhaps wifes brother), as Spring Knife cutler. 16 Wheeldon Street. Also two sons.
- 1897 Died Sheffield.
Amelia 26th March 1837
- We know little of Amelia,
- 1841, living with her family, aged 5.
- In 1851, aged 15, she was servant in the home of Joseph Clarkson, a bookbinder and his family in Duke Street, Sheffield.
- She was buried in Bradfield Churchyard 23rd December 1852, aged 15 years.
Morgan 7th April 1839
This was also an unusual, but perhaps local forename. Malin Ibbotson (Morgans uncle), had a ‘step’ son named Morgan. There was also another distant relative, by the name of Morgan Sanderson.
- 1841 living with family aged 2
- 1851 both parents and 2 siblings had died. Aged 12 he was living in the house of James Godbehere and his family, as an apprentice Table knife grinder.
- 1861 Lodger (with wife, Mary Ann (Loy) and 6 month old, daughter Julia), in the household of Henry Twigg (son in law to James Godbehere).
- 1863 Married Jane Booth
- 1871 28 Duncombe Street Nether Hallam, with wife Jane, and 3 children. The oldest, John William aged 12! / Julia and Alfred.
- 1890 died in Sheffield aged 51.
Eliza 30th December 1844
- She was buried aged two and a half, shortly before her mother, on 26th March 1847, perhaps too, of Typhus Fever.
But by 1851, it seemed that both George and Martha had died, and the family split up. The Parish records, reveal that Martha was buried 10th April 1847, with son Alfred buried ten days later on 20th April, and youngest child Eliza buried 26th March. (George died 1850).
On 8th April 1847 at the age of 45, and after five weeks, Martha died of Typhus Fever. Generally a disease spread by lice and associated with cramped living conditions and poverty. At this time the country cutlery industry was ‘boom and bust’, the families were often large, and suffered deprivation when times were bad. Another branch of my ‘cutling’ family had also been afflicted by this disease, known commonly as bilious fever, causing sickness, diahorea and often death.
The death records for Martha, show that she was born around 1802, with further research narrowing her presumed birth, and baptism to 21st November 1802 at Bradfield, the daughter of Richard Ibbotson, ( Rich’d) a farmer of Thompson House. Further delving added Ann (as yet unidentified), as her mother.
Siblings also baptised at Bradfield Church, from Thompson House by Richard Ibbotson were
Mary 9th September 1804
- 1841 Living with Richard, Ann and Malin Ibbotson at Cote House, Bradfield.
- 1851 Housekeeper to Jonas Pashley in Bradfield.
- 1861 Still with Jonas Pashley as a dairymaid.
- 11th February 1876 – died at Bradfield, leaving a will. John Askham, and William Earnshaw, executors
Jonathan 25th January 1807
There are two Jonathan Ibbotsons living in Bradfield in the first part of the c19 of the same age, it is difficult to decide whether this Jonathan was married to ‘Mary’ or’ Matilda Morton’. Other researchers have used Matilda.
George 18th June 1809
There were several George Ibbotsons living in Bradfield in the first part of the c19 of the right age, it is difficult to decide which is the correct one.
Malin 31st May 1812
- 1841 Living with Richard, Ann and Mary Ibbotson at Cote House, Bradfield.
- 1851 Living with daughter Charlotte (3). Mother Ann (88), wife’s daughter Ann Horsfield (11) and wife’s son Morgan Horsfield (7). Quarryman and widow.
- 1871 Living with married daughter Charlotte Crawshaw and family. Also ‘son’ Morgan Ibbotson.
- 1881 ‘Boarder’ with John Spivey and family. Born Penistone. Also Morgan Horsfield
- 1883 Death.
Bradfield Parish today, is easily accessible and attracts many visitors, but in previous centuries, it was harsh terrain and mainly inaccessible moorland, with small villages, hamlets or farmsteads spread about. It is one of the largest parishes by area in England, and the inhabitants would often use the most local church to them, (which could in fact be mainy miles from home), for baptisms, marriages and burials.
This may be how this particular family of Ibbotsons were operating at this time.
Tracing Martha’s Ancestors.
Although Richard Ibbotson is not a particularly common name, finding a suitable marriage has not been easy. So far the only possibility discovered using filters for ‘Richard Ibbotson, married to Ann between 1790 and 1810 in Yorkshire’ has been, to an ‘Ann Turnor’ at Silkstone All Saints, 8th December 1796, (‘both of this parish’). Witnesses, John Thickett and Francis Gothard. At first, this didn’t really seem to fit, all previous references to the family had been in Bradfield and close environs.
So what was he doing at Silkstone?
The only suitable baptism for Martha’s father, Richard Ibbotson, appeared to be at Bradfield Church on 11th February 1777 to William (Wm.) Ibbotson. (Making him 19 or 20 at marriage, which is rather young).
The next definitive evidence, was the 1841 census, with Richard Ibbotson a farmer, living at Cote House, High Bradfield, aged 64, (therefore born 1777), with Ann, presumably his wife, aged 68. Also with them were (children) Mary Ibbotson unmarried aged 36 and Malin unmarried, Quarryman, aged 29. This would tie the family together, as children Mary and Malin baptised to Richard Ibbotson, were the right age in 1841, and Malin, is a particularly unusual name.
As the 1841 census, generally rounded ages to the closest ‘5’, it would appear that Richard and Ann were giving their true ages, in which case, Richard was indeed born 1777, and Ann c1773.
Subsequent research revealed that this Richard Ibbotson was buried at Bradfield Church on 1st September 1844.
Ann was still alive at the time of the1851 census, which states she was aged 88, (this is 10 years older than she ought to be according to the 1841 census, ie born c1762), she was living with her son Malin, and his family, and said she was born at Silkstone.
These details are very helpful, as, if Ann was born in Silkstone that would account for her marrying there. It also confirms that Ann is Malin’s mother.
As mentioned earlier, in 1841, Martin Sanderson was a male servant to Richard Ibbotson. (I have presumed this Richard to be, Martha’s brother (Martins uncle), and named after his father Richard c1777).
NB in the next property, Cliffe House, Hannah (Han) Sanderson was female servant to Joseph Hudson, and it may be that Joseph Hudson was brother to Richard Ibbotson’s wife, Mary (Hudson) – they married 1820 at Ecclesfield.
By 1851, Richard Ibbotson sr. had died, as had both Martha and George Sanderson.
The census reveals that Malin Sanderson, (another of Martha’s children), aged 19 was now living with Richard Ibbotson jr. and Richard gives his place of birth as Penistone. Malin is an unusual local forename, perhaps Martha named her son after her brother, also Malin (Ibbotson).
It also appears odd that Richard, was born in Penistone, considering his other siblings, and fathers family were baptised in Bradfield. Although not far away, it is a very separate place. However, it is the next village to Silkstone, so may not be as unusual as at first appears.
The next check to make, was for a baptism of Richard Ibbotson at Penistone, and sure enough, a very useful entry was discovered.
On February 4th 1800, at Penistone, St John the Baptist church, Richard was baptised to Richard Ibbotson and Ann his wife, (formerly Birkhead). Born December 29th 1799.
This must be the Richard Ibbotson aged 51 and born in Penistone, living in Bradfield in the 1851 census.
Furthermore, a year earlier another son, John ‘Ibbetson’, was baptised at Penistone St. John, in 1798 born September 29th, to Richard Ibbotson and Ann Birkhead his wife.
But their father, it appears, according to the marriage registers, as previously discovered, had married Ann Turner at Silkstone.
Further researches revealed an Ann Birkhead baptised 26 December 1762, to James Birkhead at (Wortley by Penistone). Then on 30th January 1786, an Ann Birkhead married Joseph Turner.
Although in family history, it is never safe to assume anything, these names are not particularly common, the village populations are not great, and the facts fit.
- Ann (Birkhead) was baptised 1762 (as confirmed by 1851 census).
- Ann (Birkhead) was born Silkstone as confirmed by 1851 census
- Ann Birkhead married Joseph Turner 30th January 1786, (presumably he died), and so then, Ann ‘Turner’ married Richard Ibbotson 8th December 1796 at Silkstone. It is unclear why a 19/20 year old male, would marry a widow, fourteen years his senior.
- John Ibbotson baptised to Richard Ibbotson and Ann Birkhead his wife, 1798 Penistone
- Richard Ibbotson born 1799 in Penistone, son of Richard Ibbotson and Ann Birkhead as confirmed by 1851 census, Martin Sanderson with him 1841 and Malin Sanderson in 1851.
- 1804 Mary Ibbotson baptised at Bradfield to Richard Ibbotson.
- 1812 Malin Ibbotson baptised at Bradfield to Richard Ibbotson
- 1841 census, Richard 63, farmer, with Ann 68, Mary, 36 and Malin 29, Ibbotson.
- 1851 census, ‘Ann’ mother to Malin Ibbotson.
- 1861 and 1881 census, Malin Ibbotson born Penistone.
Ann was 14 years, older than Richard, and 50 years old when her youngest child ( Malin), was born. By today’s standards, this is rather old, but not uncommon in former years.
These details appear to confirm that the parents of Martha Ibbotson were Richard Ibbotson and Ann Birkhead, that Richards father was William Ibbotson and that Ann’s father was James Birkhead. And so the trail continues.
to be continued….