Tag Archives: quaker

The STORRS family of Sutton cum Lonud and Chesterfield

After reading about the WIGHAM family (on the WALTON side of my family tree), and discovering how good the Quakers records are, that are now freely available on-line, and a seaming propensity of the Quakers in the 1800’s to publish books about their family histories, I decided to do some web searches to see what else I could turn up in other parts of my ancestry.

On the ELLIOTT side of my family are the FRYs; a Quaker family, well known for chocolate making and prison reform. The FRY family is very well recorded, and has long been the longest traced line of my ancestry that I know of, going back to my 13x Gt-Grandparents. Several other (perhaps notable) Quaker families married into the FRY line, of whom I have some details, but also an impression that there is a lot more available to find. Among these are CLARENCE, of Sampford, in Essex, and STORRS, of Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

https://ia600200.us.archive.org/BookReader/BookReaderImages.php?zip=/12/items/storrsfamilygene00stor/storrsfamilygene00stor_jp2.zip&file=storrsfamilygene00stor_jp2/storrsfamilygene00stor_0013.jp2&scale=8&rotate=0So a few weeks ago, after doing a few Google searches trying different surnames, places, and different combinations of them, I found a book about the STORRS family; THE STORRS FAMILY; Genealogical and other Memoranda, by Charles STORRS, published privately in New York, USA, in 1886. So I’ve been reading this over the last couple of weeks and trying to draw some trees from it!

In my family tree, I have details a couple of generations of the STORRS of Chesterfield. Two sisters; Mary and Martha STORRS, married two FRY brothers; John and Richard FRY, in the 1720’s. I had some details for Mary and Martha STORRS’s parents and grandparents, but no further back! This book; THE STORRS FAMILY; Genealogical and other Memoranda, pushes the details I have back another 4 generations to my 13x Gt-Grandparents, making it as long as the FRY line.

The book begins with a look at the origins of the STORRS family name, and a rather tenuous look at a STORRS family from Lancashire, with connections to Aristocracy, based on details that the author obtained from the College of Arms, in London, in 1879! There seems to be no clear evidence for a connection between this family and the STORRS who are the subject of the rest of the book!

From page 19, a proper family tree begins to emerge, interwoven with the author’s story of his journeys to  discover the information. The author identifies the STORRS family as originating from Sutton cum Lound; 3 miles north of Retford, in Nottinghamshire. Charles STORRS (the descendant of Samuel STORRS; an emigrant to America) had been in touch with various members of the STORRS and FRY families in Britain, and describes a visit that he made to Sutton cum Lound in 1867. He had subsequently obtained copies of the wills of a succession of STORRS family members, from a Dr John SYKES, M.D. of Doncaster, the earliest being one by a William STORRS of Sutton cum Lound, dated 1557.

What follows is my attempt to summarise the genealogy of the STORRS family, as described in the book, focusing on my direct ancestral line. Much of this comes straight from the book, but with some comments of my own. I try to distinguish between the “facts” derived directly from the transcribed wills, the assumptions/interpretations of the book’s author, Charles STORRS, and my own assumptions/interpretations. My own assumptions, and those of Charles STORRS, should be treated with caution!

The will of William STORRS [xiii](1), “of Lound of the parish of Sutton” was dated 3rd August 1557, and was proved at York on 6th October 1557. It names his wife, Dorothe, and 5 children; 2 sons;

  • Robert (2).
  • William.

and 3 daughters;

  • Elizabeth.
  • Dyonice.
  • Ellen.

William’s will also mentions a Thomas STIRROPP (associated with his daughter, Elizabeth); John and William STIRROPP, and Robert HAWMONDE as witnesses, and John, Thomas, and X’ofer (? Christopher?) RAYNE as “supervisors” of his will.

The will of Robert STORRS [xii](2) “of Lounde in the parish of Sutton and in the County of Nottingham, Husbandman” was dated 16th May 1588, and was proved at York on 5th February 1588-9. It appears that Robert had been married twice (this is the suggestion of the book’s author, Charles STORRS; though it is not entirely clear from the transcribed will!). The son of the first wife was Cordall STORRS [xi](3). The book’s author suggests that the name “Cordall” may have come from his mother’s maiden surname, being “an old surname in Devonshire”.

Robert’s will goes on to name his (2nd) wife as Mabbell, and her 4 children;

  • Robert (4).
  • John.
  • Dorothie.
  • Anne.

It also mentions John and Thomas HAMOND as “supervisors” of his will, and Thomas STIRROPE, Thomas PYE, and John WILKINSON as witnesses.

The will of Cordall STORRS [xi](3) “of Lound in the  county of Nottingham” was dated 23rd February 1615-16, and proved at York on 10th October 1616. Cordall names his wife Isabell(a), his mother, Mabel (presumably his step-mother!), his brothers, Robert and John, and sisters, Dorothy and Anne. He names the following children:

  • Thomas (5).
  • William (6).
  • Mary(e).

Cordall also names two uncles; John and Nicholas HAMOND, making them supervisors of his will. From this comes an assumption that his (step-)mother’s maiden name may have been HAMOND. Also mentioned are Robarte and Thomas HAMOND, and “Thomas STIRROPP of Lincoln, Gent.”

The next will is that of Robert STORRS [xi](4), (half-)brother of Cordall (3), “of Lound in the parish of Sutton upon Lound in the county of Nottingham, Yeoman”, dated 12th July 1658, and proved at York, 29 March 1662. He was buried in Sutton on 23rd Dec. 1661. He appears to have been a bachelor as he names no descendants of his own. He mentions his deceased brother Cordall STORRS (3), his nephew Thomas (5), son of Cordall, and Thomas’s children; Thomas, Cordall (7) (who Robert makes his executor), Samuel, Joseph, Elizabeth and Mary.

Also named in this list are a Robert, and Sara STORRS, who do not fit with the baptism records for the children of Thomas STORRS (5) (see below)! The book’s author suggests that Sara may be the daughter of William STORRS (6). But by my reading of this will, I wonder if these are grandchildren of Thomas (5), by his son, Thomas!

Robert also names the children of a Thomas HAMOND (deceased) as; Jervis HAMOND, Marie HAMOND, and Elizabeth SCOTT (I suspect these were his cousins, or the children of a cousin!), and the unnamed “children of William REYNES”.

No will of Thomas Storrs [x](5) has been found. He was baptised on 25th April 1605, in the parish of Sutton cum Lound, and married Mary —— . Their children were baptised in the parish church of Sutton as follows:

  • Thomas; bapt. 27th Jan. 1632-3.
  • Cordall (7); bapt. 21st Sept. 1635.
  • George; bapt. 29th April 1638; d. April 1653.
  • Samuel; bapt. 7th Dec. 1640; the emigrant to America.
  • Joseph; bapt. 20th Aug. 1643.
  • Elizabeth; bapt. 8th Feb. 1648-9.
  • Mary; bapt. 2nd Nov. 1650

William STORRS [x](6) was baptised on 24th Feb. 1610. His will, dated 29th March 1643, was proved at York on 17th October 1643.  He died aged just thirty-three. In his will, William “of Sutton upon Lound in the county of Nottingham, Yeoman” makes his wife, Mary, executrix, and names his mother as “Isabell Greene, widow”, which makes it appear that she married a second time. He names his children;

  • William (8).
  • John.
  • Sarai.

William mentions the children of his brother, Thomas (5) (unnamed, except for Cordall (7).), those of his sister, Mary, who was bapt. 20th Dec. 1607 (her children are also unnamed), and his uncle, John STORRS (brother of Robert (4).). William makes his “uncle John STORRS”, and a Robert CRUMWELL “supvisors” of his will.

The will of Cordall STORRS [ix](7), son of Thomas (5), “of Lound in the parish of Sutton in the county of Nottingham, Yeoman”, is dated 1st November 1698, and was proved at York, 10th April 1699. In it he mentions his wife, Anne, whom he makes executrix; his three sons;

  • Henry.
  • Cordall.
  • John.

and his daughters;

  • Elizabeth.
  • Dorothy (m. MARRIOTT).
  • Mary (m. PERKINS).
  • Anne.

He also mentions “two grandchildren, daughters of Dorothy MARRIOTT”.

The book’s author, Charles STORRS, suggests that Cordall STORRS (7) “was married twice”, citing a record from the Sutton parish registers of a marriage on 9th July 1655, “between Cordall STORRS, Yeoman, and Elizabeth CRUMWELL, spinster”. A “Robert CROMWELL” (or CRUMWELL) was a witness to Cordall’s will, along with a James MASON, and Thomas PYE. One other name that appears in Cordall’s will is his “Brother Henry HEADLEY, Gent”. I wonder if this is a brother of Cordall’s wife, Anne! But its not clear.cordall-storrs_stone-in-sutton-cum-lound_st-barts-church

There is a stone in the floor of the aisle of St Bartholomew’s Church, in Sutton cum Lound, to the memory of this Cordall STORRS who died in 1698, aged 63, and to his wife, Anne, who died on 4th July 1711.

William STORRS [ix](8), the eldest son of William (6) and his wife, Mary, was baptised on 30th June 1638. He joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) and settled at Chesterfield. “The family which he founded was well known, his descendants having intermarried with many distinguished families among the Society of Friends”. The book’s author, Charles STORRS, writes that he has “received genealogical charts from several of these descendants, in some of which he (William (8)) is named as “Storrs of Lound”.”.

One family tree (which I copy below), is printed in Charles STORRS’ book, showing William STORRS (8), and four generations of his descendants. My 5x Gt-grandfather, Henry FRY is in the bottom left-hand corner of this tree.

Please click on the image below to view at full resolution.

storrs-of-chesterfield-family-tree_storrsfamilygene00stor_0069William STORRS [ix](8) married Sarah SYKES (born in 1638), the daughter of William SYKES, “Lord of the Manor of Leeds in Yorkshire, Mayor of that town”, and his wife, Grace JENKINSON. George Poulson’s “History of Holderness, Part II”, page 92 is cited as a reference for more details about the SYKES family line. I’ve found several other publications that also describe the SYKES family line. See;

The children of William STORRS and Sarah SYKES were;

  • Joseph (9), b. 1670
  • John, b. 1671
  • Esther, b. 1673
  • Sarah, b. 1675
  • Caleb, b. 1680
  • Joshua, b. 1683
  • Mary, b. 1686

William and Sarah’s eldest son, Joseph STORRS [viii](9), married in 1702, to Katharine FROST, daughter of Henry FROST of Bridlington, Yorkshire. The book cites records kept by the Quakers, and by the FRY family, which tell something of the lives and ministry of Joseph and Katharine.

Two of Joseph and Katharine’s daughters, Mary and Martha, married brothers, John and Richard FRY.

John and Mary’s eldest son, Joseph FRY, became a type-founder and chocolate maker based in Bristol. For the remainder of my family line, you can see my ELLIOTT tree page.

The book, THE STORRS FAMILY Genealogy goes on to talk a little about some other branches of the STORRS family in Britain, before focusing particularly on the descendants of Samuel STORRS (a son of Thomas Storrs (5)) who emigrated to America.

I would be interested to hear from anyone who knows more about the people named above; particularly regarding the nature of some of the relationships which are unclear from the details available here. Please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.

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Memoirs of John WIGHAM, 1749 – 1839

Wow! I really enjoyed reading the “Memoirs of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Religious Experience of John Wigham”.

John Wigham, and his wife, Elizabeth (nee DONWIDDY, or DUNWODE) appear to have had amazing Christian faith. Parts of the book read like prayers, praising the Lord for all the things that He had done in and through their lives, and encouraging their children (and descendants) to walk in His path. I think that the strongest of these are in letters, from John, to his daughter-in-law, Barbara Wigham, in April 1800 (pp. 88-90.) and to his son, Amos Wigham, in January 1813 (pp. 107 – 108).

It was also interesting to see letters that John WIGHAM wrote to Elizabeth FRY (nee GURNEY, the prison reformer) who was the wife of a cousin on the opposite side of my family tree (see pp.101-106). This is the first time that I’ve seen records of people from opposite sides of my family tree (in the distant past) communicating with each other!

Page 90 gives a good summery of John Wigham’s life to date, which he ends by saying “I write these memorandums, that when I am gone, my children may be encouraged, by seeing and knowing how He [the Lord] has supported me.” .

The best summaries of their lives are given by John Wigham’s final testimony, dated September 1828 (pp. 121-126), and by the testimonies given by the Aberdeen Monthly Meeting of the Quakers, about John (pp. vii-xiv), and his wife, Elizabeth (pp. 123-126).

Having read the “Memoirs … of John Wigham”, I went on to read “Some Account of the Rise of the Society of Friends in Cornwood in Northumberland”, published in 1848, which says more about the wider WIGHAM family. (Note – that in both books, “Cornwood” appears to be a mis-spelling of “Coanwood“, near Haltwhistle, in Northumberland). It tells of how John Wigham’s grandfather, Cuthbert WIGHAM, became a Quaker in about 1734, and subsequently gave some land next to his house in Coanwood, for a Friends Meeting House, which was built in 1760.

There is a lot more information (on several websites) about the Coanwood Friends Meeting House. See;

The book goes on to tell of a number of Cuthbert WIGHAM’s children and grandchildren, and their spouses, particularly in relation to their involvements within the Society of Friends. It provides quite a good sense of the WIGHAM family tree.

I have not, myself, ever looked very closely before into the family history of the Quaker parts of my family tree! I’ve long known that the Quakers do have very good family history records, evidenced by the fact that, to date, the FRYs (and related families) are the branch of my family tree that I know to be traced furthest back – both in time, and in generations.

quakers-logo-2017
Quakers in Britain

Finding this material about the WIGHAM family, in the books mentioned above, and in a number of other sources, has opened my eyes to just how good these Quaker records are, and to how much of it is now freely available on-line – as well as where to go to find the stuff that isn’t yet on-line. There is clearly a lot more material there that I can dig into further, in the future.

A couple of generations remain whose details I have not yet fully checked out, between the WIGHAMs and the family that I know about through direct family knowledge! But from what I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure that they do all genuinely link up. Benjamin Buck (whose family history website led me to the above books) has been able to put me in touch with John Gray, who had written to my Granddad nearly 20 years ago with a tree of the HENDERSON family [see my sources to the WALTON family tree.]. The HENDERSONs are one of those additional links, and John Gray has been able to send me some additional pages of his HENDERSON family tree, with notes, which also add some more names, dates, and details that I didn’t have before.

I just want to say “thank you”, again, to John Little and Benjamin Buck , for their family history websites, which led me to all the materials noted above (and more).

Follow-up on new WALTON and HENDERSON family links

Following my last post, I’ve been looking at details about the WIGHAM family, on a website by Benjamin Beck, who John Little cites as the source for “much of the information” on his site (which I linked to last time). And despite my doubts, I have had a reply from John Little!

I found Benjamin Beck’s family history website wonderfully detailed, although a little difficult to get into at first, without a basic overview/chart of the family trees. But his site is certainly one of the best family history websites that I’ve seen in terms of citing its sources. I wish that more were like that. I aspire to be as good as that, and his site gives me some ideas for areas that I might develop on afamilyhistoryblog.

Following a link to one of Ben’s sources about the WIGHAM family, I’ve just started reading the “Memoirs of the Life, Gospel Labours, and Religious Experience of John Wigham”, published in 1842 (3 years after his death). There are two digitised copies of the book available on-line.

John WIGHAM was evidently a prominent member of the “Society of Friends” (or “Quakers”) in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, and his Memoirs express a strong Christian faith. I’m enjoying reading his memoirs, and the spirit-filled faith that he writes about.

In e-mail messages we’ve exchanged, Ben Beck has suggested that I may find the Quaker Family History Society of interest. This is certainly something that I’ll be looking at, as I also have well-known Quakers on the opposite side of my family; the FRYs. (See my ELLIOTT tree).

Based on the WIGHAM family tree, from John Little’s website, John WIGHAM appears to be my 6x Gt-grandfather, on my Granddad’s maternal line (see genealogy below). I have yet to check all the in-between links (which I will be doing). But Benjamin Buck’s site (in particular) is so good in its detail, and in citing all of the source records for his information, that I’m in little doubt about its authenticity.

My line, from John WIGHAM;

  1. John WIGHAM, b. 23 Mar 1749, Hargill House, Coanwood, Haltwhistle, NBL, d. 17 Apr 1839, m. Elizabeth DONWIDDY, b. 24 Mar 1748 Ambroseholm, m. circa 1769, d. 16 Apr 1827 – See; http://benbeck.co.uk/fh/wigham.html#P3.%20JOHN%20WIGHAM
  2. Elizabeth WIGHAM, b. 1779, Burnhouse, Coanwood, Haltwhistle, d. 04 Aug 1854, m. James GLENNY, b. 27 Mar 1777, m. 28 Nov 1798 Kinmuck, d. 31 Jul 1804
  3. Jane or Jean GLENNY, b. 28 Apr 1801 Mill of Lethenty, d. 02 Apr 1848, m. James SMEAL, b. circa 1798, m. 22 Sep 1824 Kinmuck, Aberdeenshire, d. 1847
  4. Jemima SMEAL, b. 11 Sep 1832, d. 19 Nov 1908, m. 19 Jun 1856, James HENDERSON, b. 29 Mar 1833, d. 13 Jul 1893
  5. Helen Urie HENDERSON, b. 15 Apr 1859, d. 28 Aug 1945, m.2. 04 Jun 1890, Edward Arthur WALTON, b. 15 Apr 1860, d. 18 Mar 1922
  6. Elsie Marjorie WALTON, b. 17 Oct 1898, d. 12 Dec 1976, m. 15 Nov 1918, William Oliphant HUTCHISON, b. 02 Jul 1889, d. 05 Feb 1970 (my Great-grandparents).

The WIGHAM family line is traced back another 5 generations.

There are details of the Coanwood Friends Meeting House on Wikipedia.

This is a branch of my family that I, myself, have not yet done very much research into.

What I know about Helen Urie Henderson and her descendants comes largely from family knowledge within my immediate extended family. I have some details of Jemima Smeal, James Henderson and their family (and the names of Jemima’s parents) from a family tree and letters sent to my Granddad by a John Gray, dated 1997. See my WALTON family tree.

All earlier details I have only found in the last few days via John Little’s and Benjamin Buck’s websites. So I still want to go through these details for myself to check that they all fit together.

Thank you, to John Little, and Benjamin Buck, for your websites.

New WALTON and HENDERSON family links

In the last few days I’ve been looking through some links that Dr Mark Jardine pointed me to, about the Scottish Covenanters – transcriptions of their christening and marriage records, etc. – trying to find anything that could help me to link the Covenanter, James DAVIE (shot dead cir.1673) to the Marion DAVIE who married into my JOHNSTON family, in Bathgate, cir.1720. (See my notes at the bottom of Patrick MAIR and Thomas JOHNSTON – Part 1 )

I’ve not yet found anything particularly useful in that respect! But as I looked through the Covenanter records list, I noticed one or two surnames from completely the other side of my family cropping up repeatedly. “URIE” was the surname that caught my attention. I know that there is some Quaker influence on this side of my family (see my WALTON tree), so it made me think that there could be a connection!

A book that a friend gave me for Christmas; “The Glasgow Boys, In Your Pocket”, (one of the “Glasgow Boys” – Edward Arthur WALTON, being my 2x Gt-grandfather), also influenced me when I began by doing a web search for ““Helen Urie HENDERSON”” (wife of E.A. WALTON); “URIE” was her paternal grandmother’s maiden name. At the moment when I did the search, Helen’s was the one full name that came to mind! My thought was; could I find anything that might link Helen’s URIE ancestors to those Covenanter records?

Given that Helen was the wife of a well-known artist, I was surprised to find only 4 links in the search results! Two of these were to AFamilyHistoryBlog, which means that this site is doing it’s job (I guess that this post will be added to that list in future). The other two links were to other people’s family trees; one of Helen Urie HENDERSON’s material line, and the other covering the family of Edward Arthur WALTON’s maternal grandparents.

Both of these trees give me quite a lot of new material; names, dates, etc. I can’t yet confirm what they claim. I would like to go through these trees, and their sources carefully, for myself, to check their records. I have e-mailed the authors of both sites, hoping to obtain more details. But I don’t have a lot of hope for a reply from the WIGHAM site (Helen’s maternal line), due to the page having last been updated in October 2002 (another page of this site was last updated in July 2005)!

But for my own record, and for the interests of others, I’m posting the website links below.

If you know any more about these family connections, please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch.