Our Family Research Journey

And Family Tree

What is Geneaology/ Family History?

An obsessive hobby, in which we seek out our ancestors, often getting distracted by the personal stories we discover.

In recent years there has been a great increase in people researching their family histories, perhaps due to the fact that many of us move away from our ancestral towns, villages and families. We may also have more spare time to research.
There is plenty of information online, although sorting through it all can be a minefield. Family History is a fascinating and absorbing subject, and it is extremely easy to get side tracked by what is discovered. There are so many facets, such as personal stories, national or international history, the military, transport, industrialisation, agriculture, or geography. More recently science has enabled us to look into the DNA and genetics of our ancestry.
We may be proud to discover a famous – or perhaps infamous ancestor!
Most of our ancestors were ordinary people, they each have a life story to discover, and a bearing on who we have become. I am proud of the fact that my ancestors from all parts of England, (and one branch from Ireland), were agricultural and industrial labourers, miners, brick makers, chair makers, builders, shop keepers and cutlers amongst other things, and these and countless other ordinary folk are the people who really built Britain!

Our Research Journey
How I, and other members of the family became interested in family history, where our interests have taken us. And just how much of an absorbing, fascinating and obsessive hobby, family history can be.

Having been interested in history, and listening to stories about my relations for as long as I can remember, I suppose ‘research’ began at about the age of nine. A TV programme, ‘Why Don’t You…..’ suggested looking into our ancestors. So with the help of ‘Nana’ I drew up a basic family tree on a bit of scrap paper, of my maternal ancestors. Grandma helped with the paternal side. Twenty years later we used the information to make a start as our researching began more seriously.

Around 2000, I began creating a Family History research website, entitled ‘Sanderson Bradfield and Beyond ‘. At that time most of the research centred on my paternal ancestry, in the small Yorkshire village of Bradfield, just outside Sheffield. The website mainly consisted of research data.

As time went on, and our ancestral research widened, it became clear that this title didn’t cover my maternal ancestry which was from the south of England, so a subsite called ‘The London Generations’ was created.

As an amateur website maker, with a hectic family life, keeping it up to date became more and more difficult, so it was disbanded, for a while.

Now, twenty years later, with a little more time, and more information, it seemed a good time to recreate a more up to date site. With the help of an extremely computer-literate nephew, and input from my parents, the original information has been added to. In the intervening years, much more information has become available online in other sources, so it seemed more sensible to weave the facts we already had, into a series of histories, of people, places and events, rather than just a series of facts. Structuring the site has proved complicated, due to my ancestry being from all parts of England, and generally no common theme to work with. We hope it holds useful stories and information, and it has certainly been fun to put together.

My father, was born in Sheffield in 1940 where he lived until 1957, when he moved to London to start an engineering apprenticeship.

His father William Arthur Sanderson was born in Stannington (now part of Sheffield), living there until his death in 1996. My ancestors before him lived in Bradfield, a small village to the north west of Sheffield, and gradually moved into Sheffield meeting up with my Grandmothers family also from the Sheffield area. When Grandma moved away from Sheffield in 1999, our family’s direct link with the area was broken after more than four hundred years.

Maybe this is where it all started.

Having never actually lived in the area, we spent many a holiday in the area visiting my Grandparents, enjoying a picnic or picking bilberries on the moors. When we started our investigations we presumed that SANDERSON was not a particularly common surname, but as time and research has gone on, we have come to realise that although quite local to the area, there are and were a lot of them. Research before 1837 (introduction of civil registration) has been made more difficult by vague entries in the Parish Registers and inconsiderate parents who had a limited stock of Christian names! Whilst research is generally easier in a small area (as all the records are at hand) the large number of individuals with the same name makes sorting them out rather difficult!

Early contact with another researcher led us to believe that the SANDERSON name is either Scottish or Norwegian, and a corruption of ‘Alexanders Son.’ The Sandersons arrived in the area around late 1300/early 1400’s from the North East of England. So far, we have managed to prove our line back to 1750 and we are aware of earlier ancestors but cannot prove the link at the moment.

Around about 1987, my father bought his first computer. Grandad suddenly became interested in family history research which was surprising, as up until then, he had never mentioned his family or ancestors. He began copying Sanderson extracts from the Bradfield Parish Records at Sheffield Archive Office. My father then began to database the information. Since then we have gradually added to this with the help of census extracts, poor law records, and information from the National Birth, Marriage and Death indexes. When I bought a computer in 1998, I continued databasing the information we had collected.

Over the years more and more information has become available online for researchers, particularly ancestry.co.uk and Family Search, which is monitored by The Church of Jesus Christ of The Latter Day Saints organisation in Utah, USA, and has literally billions of records from all over the world.

Finding information about the SANDERSONS has been fairly easy as they have lived in and around Bradfield since at least the 1500’s but my mother’s family have been less straightforward as they have not come from such a compact area.

The HARVEYS can be traced back to Wiltshire in the mid-1700’s but had moved to Fulham in West Middlesex by the mid 1800’s, where they began marrying with folk from all around the country who had also moved into the London area. For example, TRANTER, AYLIFFE, FROST, LOVELL, POTTER , from Stokenchurch, Wiltshire, Suffolk, Hertfordshire, Kensington and other areas.

I am now beginning research into my husband’s family (WEATHERILL) in Norfolk and Windsor although we believe the Weatherill family originated from the North of England.

Family history is such an absorbing and obsessive hobby, each new discovery leads to more questions or general historical background to investigate. Sometimes certain individuals or families prove of interest, and we have included personal background stories on this site.

Whilst we do our best to ensure that the information collated is correct, by checking and double checking as much as possible, it is by its nature an unprovable jigsaw. In some cases assumptions have been made, where we are working on research to prove or disprove relationships. We shall continue to keep updating the information as research progresses.

The Family Tree

Generation 1 (1)

AMS 1965

Generation 2 (2)


Generation 3 (4)

William Sanderson Esme Gillott Charles Harvey Winifred Tranter

Generation 4 (8)

Vincent Sanderson Nora Thompson George Gillott Alice Darlow John Jr Harvey Sarah Ann Ayliffe Frederick Tranter Florence Frost

Generation 5 (16)

Albert Sanderson Elizabeth Dyson David Thompson Mary Barker Charles Gillott Mary Ann Hinchcliffe George Darlow Ellen Sneyde Stephen Harvey Jane Cowdrey Edwin Ayliffe Jane Paginton William Tranter Maria Jane Potter Harry Frost Caroline Lovell

Generation 6 (32)

Joel Sanderson Eliza Sanderson George Dyson Amelia Furness Ralph Thompson Elizabeth Priestley Samuel Barker Jane Parker Joseph Gillott Mary Heeley Unknown Ann Hinchcliffe Thomas Darlow Mary Lee Thomas Sneyde Margaret McCardle Daniel Harvey Elizabeth Pearce John Cowdrey Jane Page William Ayliffe Hannah Dash John Paginton Hannah Weare James Tranter Eleanor Tranter John Potter Maria Squires Thomas Henry Frost Dinah Dawson Joseph Lovell Elizabeth Shepherd

Generation 7 (64)

1 George Sanderson 2 Martha Ibbotson

3 Thomas Sanderson 4 Mary Ann Siddons

5 John Dyson 6 Sarah Wilde

7 George Furness 8 Elizabeth?

9 David Thompson 10 Mary (Henderson)

11 Peter Priestley 12 Mary Watson

13 Samuel Barker 14

15 Parker 16

17 Gillott 18

19 Heeley 20

21 Unknown 22

23 Henry Hinchcliffe 24 Rebecca Jackson

25 Darlow 26

27 Lee 28

29 George Sneyde 30 Ketty Healey

31 McCardle 32

33 Harvey 34

35 Pearce 36

37 Cowdrey 38

39 Page 40

41 Thomas Ayliffe 42 Rachel Bell

43 Dash 44

45 Paginton 46

47 Weare 48

49 Thomas Tranter 50

51 Richard Tranter 52

53 William Potter 54 Joseph Squires

55 Frost 56

57 William Dawson 58 Eleanor Briton

59 Joseph Lovell 60 Elizabeth Raine

61 Daniel Shepherd 62 Mary Orford

Generation 8 (128)

1 Joseph Sanderson 2 Sarah Helliwell

3 Richard Ibbotson 4 Ann Birkhead

5 Jonathan Sanderson 6 Elizabeth Barnes

7 Edward Siddons 8 Hannah Douglas

9 Mark Dyson 10 Ann Hemsworth

11 12 13 14 15 16

David Thompson 17 Elizabeth Hides

18 William Henderson 19 Ann Pigg

21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40

118 Dawson 119

120 Britton 121

122 Robert Lovell 123 Elizabeth Veven

124 Joseph Raine 125 Elizabeth

125 Henry Shepherd 126 Mary Brown

127 128

Generation 9 (256)

Jonathan Sanderson Mary Bramhall

Generation 10 (512)