Thomas Sanderson

1800 – 1869

Thomas Sanderson, was born around 1800, at Fairhouse Low Bradfield, and baptised at St. Nicholas Church, Bradfield on 2nd November 1800.

He was the twelfth child of thirteen, born to Jonathan Sanderson and Elizabeth Barnes. Jonathan was a cutler, and operated a family business from home.

Thomas’ siblings were Joseph 1778, Jonathan 1779, Mary 1781, Martha 1783, John 1785-1795, Hannah 1788, William 1790, George 1792, Joshua 1794, Benjamin 1796, Isaac 1798, (Thomas 1800), and Sarah 1803.

By the time Thomas was old enough to join the family business as an apprentice, either there was not enough work, for everyone, or the cutlery trade was in recession, and Thomas had to find a different trade. It appears he became a ‘Woodsman’, managing woodland, learning how to fell trees and prepare them for the production of timber. He worked on the Fitzwilliam-Wentworth Estate, the moorland in Bradfield, particularly in Bradfield Dale.

On 15th July 1822, Thomas married Mary Ann Siddons at St. Mary’s Church, Ecclesfield.

It would appear that Mary Ann was forward thinking and prudent, as she opened a bank account at the Sheffield and Hallamshire Bank 1860. The records have been transcribed by SDFHS, and as with todays security questions, include identification of Mary, which give her mothers maiden name – Dougliss (Douglas), which is very useful information in family history.

Thomas and Mary Ann had seven children, Ann (1823), Eliza (1825), Henry (1828), Harriet (1831), George (1834), Elizabeth (1836), and Sarah (1839).

Ann was baptised at Ecclesfield Church, on 20th April 1823. The further children were baptised at Bradfield St Nicholas.

9th October 1825 Eliza daughter of Thomas and Mary Sanderson of Bradfield Dale (Labourer)
1st June 1828 Henry son of Thomas and Mary Sanderson of Thompson House (Labourer)

Thompson house is now a farm on the banks of Dale Dike Reservoir, in the area of Bradfield known as Bradfield Dale. A peaceful place to walk, and part of the Peak District.

View across Dale Dike Reservoir 2019, looking towards Thompson House.

On night of 11th March 1864, Dale Dike Reservoir, breached the reservoir wall, flooding the whole valley and into Sheffield, the effects were felt as far as Doncaster. This awful disaster caused terrible destruction and loss of life. Known as the Sheffield Flood Further reading – Sheffield Flood. Thomas’ brother Joshua, was still farming at Fairhouse, Bradfield at the time, and put in a claim. Other ancestors of mine, were also affected by the flood in Sheffield. Joseph Gillott and family who lived at Dun Street, Ralph Thompson at Hill Bridge, and Samuel Barker, a bootmaker.

At the time that Thomas Sanderson and family lived at Thompson House, it seems that these types of properties were inhabited by several families. In 1802, another ancestor of mine – Martha Ibbotson had been born there to Richard Ibbotson. (Martha was the mother of Joel Sanderson who married Thomas’ daughter Eliza in 1844).

26th March 1831 Harriet, daughter of Thomas and Mary Sanderson Bradfield Dale (Labourer)
2nd February 1834 George son of Thomas and Mary Sanderson Fitzwilliam Lodge (Labourer) 12th June 1836 Elizabeth daughter of Thomas and Mary Sanderson Fitzwilliam Lodge (Labourer) 1st September 1839 Sarah daughter of Thomas and Mary Sanderson Fitzwilliam Lodge (Labourer)

It is unlikely that Thomas and Mary lived in Fitzwilliam Lodge, as it was a shooting Lodge belong to the Fitzwilliam-Wentworth Estate, but it probably described the general area.

View across Bradfield Moors, towards Sheffield (Bradfield and Bradfield Dale in the middle distance

In 1841, Thomas was living at Hollin Dale, as an Agricultural worker, with daughter Harriet. We have been unable to find Mary Ann his wife in any census record for 1841, leading us to consider she had died, but in 1851, she was back with Thomas. Perhaps she was visiting family.

1841 census entry Thomas Sanderson.

By 1851 Thomas and Mary, were living at ‘Woodsmans Cottage’ off Mortimer Road. Hollindale Cottage exists today, but is probably not the original construction.

1851 Census entry for Thomas and Mary Ann Sanderson
1861 Census Entry for Thomas and Mary Ann Sanderson

In 1861, son in law and daughter, Joel and Eliza Sanderson, were living next door to Thomas and Mary Ann, at Hollin Dale Edge.

Thomas died 19th April 1868, at Bradfield Dale aged 68, he was buried in Bradfield churchyard on 24th April. Mary died 11th April 1872 aged 69, at Sheffield. They have a joint grave in Bradfield churchyard.