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Joseph Needham

circa 1762 - 1842

Joseph Needham's signature from 1833
Joseph's signature on his will in 1833 (31)

Father Thomas Needham
Mother Esther Birch
Wife Martha Wardle
Children Mary, William, Joseph, Esther, William, Esther, Thomas, Elizabeth, John, Isaac, Sarah, Martha


Joseph was born in about 1762 at Whitle in the parish of Sheen, the son of Thomas & Esther(1). He had at least three older siblings - Elizabeth(3), Sarah(4) and Mary(5). There were also at least two more brothers, Thomas and John, but their dates of birth are not known(6).

The family moved to High Needham some time around the late 1760s(6), and Joseph was presumably working on the family farm there when he married Martha Wardle in Hartington on 16th June 1785(7). They initially lived at Fernydale where their eldest daughter Mary was born(8), but they had settled in Hurdlow by the time William was born two years later(9). They had another son Joseph in 1788(10), and then a daughter Esther in 1790(11). Disaster struck the following year when two of their children, William and Esther, died on consecutive days(12)(13). Obviously determined to have children by those names they christened their next son William a few months later(14), and their next daughter Esther in 1794(15). A son Thomas followed in 1796(16), a daughter Elizabeth in 1798(17) and then two more sons, John in 1800(18) and Isaac in 1802(19).

Joseph's unmarried sister Sarah died in 1801(20) and his mother in 1804(21), and that is probably why he moved back to his father's farm at High Needham - they were certainly back there by the time of their next daughter Sarah's birth in 1804(22). Joseph's father died in 1807(24), and his youngest daughter Martha was born in 1810(25). His wife Martha died the following year(26). (Note that the Earl Sterndale parish register also lists the baptism of a Joseph, son of Joseph and Marth Needham in 1805, but I don't believe he is part of this family(27).)

He was listed as living in High Needham and being amongst the jurors for Hartington Middle Quarter in 1811 and again in 1821(30), and stated as still living there in his son Isaac's will of 1827(35), but sometime between then and 1833 - probably by 1828(28), he moved to Horton in Staffordshire, swapping farms with his son Joseph who moved back to High Needham. He was living in Horton when he wrote his will in 1833(31), and he stayed there until at least the time of the 1841 census(32), but illness or frailty presumably lead to him moving in with his daughter Esther in Bradley, near Ashbourne, where he died in 1842(33). He was buried in Earl Sterndale(34).


Brief details of his children:



Sources:

  1. Joseph was baptised in 1762(2) but the only other reference to his ages are from the 1841 census(32) (which rounds down to the nearest 5 years) and his death, with his death certificate(33) and memorial inscription(25) disagreeing with the record of his burial(34). These imply he was born in 1759 or 1760. It's feasible that wasn't baptised for a couple of years after his birth.
  2. Entry in parish register of St Luke, Sheen reads:
    [1762] May 27th Bapt: Joseph son of Thomas & Esther Needham of Whitle
  3. Entry in parish register of St Luke, Sheen reads:
    [1744] May: 6: Elizabeth d: of Thomas Needham & his wife bap:
  4. Entry in parish register of St Peter, Alstonefield reads:
    [1749, March] Bapt: Sarah D: of Thomas & Esther Needham 23
  5. No baptism has been found for Mary, but her marriage license dated 28th April 1773 gives her age as 19. See Joseph's father's page
  6. See his father's page
  7. Entry in the parish register of St Giles, Hartington reads:
    Joseph Needham of this Parish
    husbandman and Martha Wardle of the same parish
    spinster were
    Married in this church by banns
    this sixteenth Day of June in the Year One Thousand seven Hundred
    and eighty five By me J Bullock Vicar.
    This marriage was solemnized between us Joseph Needham, Martha Wardle N now Needham
    In the presence of Thos Johnson, Rowland Heathcott
  8. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1785, Novr] Do 27th Baptized Mary the daughter of Joseph and Martha Needham of Fernydale near Sterndale
  9. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1787] April 15th Baptized William the son of Joseph and Martha Needham of the Hurdlow in the Middle Quarter of Hartington
  10. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1788] Octbr 24th Baptized Joseph the son of Joseph and Martha Needham of the Hurdlow
  11. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1790] July 4th Baptized Esther the daughter of Joseph and Martha Needham of Hurdlow
  12. Memorial inscription from Earl Sterndale churchyard (as transcribed by DARG, ref B82) reads:
    William son of Joseph/Martha NEEDHAM of Hurdlow died 15 Oct 1791 age 4. Esther dau of Joseph/Martha NEEDHAM died 16 Oct 1791 age 1.
  13. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1791, April] Octr 20th Buried William and Esther the son and daughter of Joseph and Martha Needham of Hordlow
  14. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1792, April] Do 29th Baptized William the son of Joseph and Martha Needham of the Hurdlow Town
  15. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1794, April] 18th Baptized Esther daugr of Joseph Needham Hurdlow
  16. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1796, March] Do 25th Do [Baptized] Thos son of Joseph Needham Hurdlow
  17. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1798] Aug: 19th Baptized Elizabeth daur of Josh Needham Hurdlow
  18. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1800] Decr 21st Baptized John son of Joseph Needham Hurdlow
  19. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1802] July 25th Baptized Isaac son of Joseph & Martha Needham Hurdlow Town
  20. Entry in the parish register of St Giles, Hartington reads:
    [1801] Septr 11th Burd Sarah Daughter of Thomas & Esther Needham of High-needham
  21. Entry in the parish register of St Giles, Hartington reads:
    [1804, Jan] 26 Burd Esther the Wife of Thomas Needham of High Needham
  22. The baptism in the Earl Sterndale register names the parents as Thomas & Mary rather than Thomas & Martha(23), but this is almost certainly a mistake as there is no doubt that Joseph & Martha had a daughter named Sarah born somewhere between 1802 and 1806 (from other sources such as censuses, wills etc), and there are no other baptisms that could be her - in Earl Sterndale or anywhere else in the vicinity.
  23. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1804] May 20th Baptized Sarah Daughter of Joseph & Mary Needham of High Needham
  24. Entry in the parish register of St Giles, Hartington reads:
    1807
    Feby 14 Burd Thomas Needham Widower of High-Needham
  25. No baptism (or indeed a burial) has been found for Martha. However she is mentioned in a memorial inscription from Earl Sterndale churchyard (as transcribed by DARG, ref B83) which reads:
    Joseph NEEDHAM of High Needham died 9 Dec 1842 age 82.
    Martha his wife died 24 Nov 1811 age 45.
    Martha their dau died 10 Sep 1826 age 16.
    Isaac their son died 23 April 1827 age 25.

    The will of John Needham written in 1818 also mentions a neice named Martha Needham, and there are no other candidates to whom that could refer.
  26. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1811] Decr 4th Buried Martha wife of Joseph Needham, High Needham (at 44)
  27. No other mention of him has been found, and it would be bizarre to re-use a name when the first child with the same name was still alive. Plus in Thomas Needham's will of July 1805(6) (ie the following month) he states that Joseph had 9 (living) children which is correct if we discount this one, so I believe it was most likely the son of different parents. If it really was a son of Joseph & Martha's then the Christian name is probably incorrect plus he must have died fairly soon (before Thomas wrote his will) but with no burial recorded in the register.
  28. He was certainly in Horton by the time he wrote his will in 1833(31) but, if as seems most likely, this was a straight swap with them both moving in opposite directions at about the same time, then he must have moved by the time his son was back in High Needham in 1828(29).
  29. See his son Joseph's page
  30. Taken from a selection of transcriptions of Jurors Lists by Mike Spencer. Published at www.wirksworth.org.uk/JURORS.htm
  31. Will of Joseph Needham reads:
    This is the Last Will and Testament of me Joseph Needham
    of Laskedge in the parish of Horton and County of Stafford Farmer
    being of sound and disposing mind and memory, do make and declare
    this to be my last will and testament, in manner following: that is to say
    I order that all my just debts, funeral expenses and charges of proving
    this my will, be, in the first place fully paid and satisfied, and
    after payment thereof and of every part thereof Out of my Estate.
    First I give and bequeath to my Grand-son John Edge the Sum of
    ten pounds of lawful money of the United Kingdom of Great Britain
    and Ireland current in England, also I give and bequeath to my
    son John Needham the Sum of Sixty pounds Likewise I give and
    bequeath to my son Thomas Needham the Sum of Sixty pounds
    and I give and bequeath to my daughter Sarah Bonsal the sum
    of Thirty pounds and I give and bequeath to my Grand Daughter
    Martha Ann Needham the Sum of Sixty pounds Likewise I give
    and bequeath to my house keeper Ann Belfield the sum of Ten
    pounds and I also give to the said Ann Belfield my Chest and
    Light Coloured Feather Bed and Chaff Bed under it and sheets
    Blankets Coverlets Bolsters and Pillows sufficient for one good
    Bed and I give to Ann Belfield one Cow Stirk called Leek.
    And I give to Thomas Wardle the sum of one pound All these
    before named Legacies to be paid out of my real and Personal
    Estate.
    And I give all my Deastical Books to my son William Needham
    And I give to Samuel Bondsal the History of England Likewise I give
    to my Son Thomas Needham one book called Bucan and the rest
    of my Books to be divided amongst my Children.
    I likewise give to my Executors hereinafter mentioned the Power of
    Selling my Real and Personal Estate.
    That is to say that my real Estate called Shuttershawe lying at Lask-Edge
    And Crowborough Both in the parish of Horton and County of
    Stafford. To be both sold within, six months after my decease.
    And all the rest, residue and remainder of my personal Estate
    Goods, chattels and effects whatsoever and weresoever the same my be
    To be sold as soon as can be made convenient after my decease.
    And all the before mentioned Legatees to be paid first Only Martha
    Ann Needham my Grand-Daughter must receive hers when she
    come to the age of Twenty-One years but if she should die before
    she comes of age I direct that her share shall be equally Divided
    among all my children Or their heirs Share and Share alike.
    And as Mary Edge is dead I give her share to her children to have
    Share and Share alike.
    Only I wish my Son in law William Edge to have the Interest
    of the same during his natural life.
    And I Direct that my son Thomas Needham shall have all my
    Clothes.
    And all the rest Residue and Remainder of my Real and Personal
    Estate to be equally Divided among my Children Share and Share
    Alike.
    That is to say, to my Sons Joseph Needham
                               William Needham
                               Thomas Needham
                               John Needham
    And My Daughters Mary Edges Children
                     Esther Bagshaw
                     Sarah Bonsal
    And my Grand Daughter Martha Ann Needham
    And I do hereby Nominate constitute and appoint My Son John
    Needham Farmer in the parish of Buglawton and County
    of Cheshire
    And my Son William Needham Farmer in the parish of
    Baquille and County of Derby Executors of this my will
    hereby revoking and making void all former and other Wills by me
    at any time heretofore made, and declare this only to be my last
    Will and Testament. In witness whereof, I the said testator,
    have to this my last Will and Testament set my hand and seal
    this 17 Seventeenth Day of April in the year of our Lord one thousand
    eight hundred and thirty three
                                    Joseph Needham
    Signed sealed and published and declared by the said Joseph
    Needham as and for his last Will and Testament in the
    presence of us who at his request and in his presence
    have subscribed our names as witness thereto.
                William Neath Senr
                Jonathan Cottrell
                William Neath Junr
    Probate granted 20/2/1843 to John Needham of Horton in the County of Stafford Farmer and William Needham of Hourdlow House in the parish of Bakewell in the County of Derby Farmer. States testator died 9/12/1842.
  32. Census of 7th June 1841 reads:
    Place: Shittershaw, Norton called Blackwood & Crowborough
    Joseph Needham 75 farmer yes
    Anne Belfoot 55 F M S y
    Samuel Proctor 13 M S y
  33. Death Certificate from Registration District of Brailsford states:
    When and where died Name Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
    Ninth of December 1812
    Bradley
    Joseph Needham Male 83 years Labourer Old Age John Bagshaw
    Bradley
    Present at Death
    Eleventh of December 1842
  34. Entry in the parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    Name Abode When buried Age
    Joseph Needham Bradly
    Nr Ashbourne
    [1842]
    Decr 12
    83
  35. See the will of Isaac Needham.
  36. will



Notes:


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