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Thomas Needham

died 1807

Thomas Needham's signature from 1773
Thomas's signature on his daughter Mary's marriage license in 1773($AD)

Father  
Mother  
Wife Esther Birch
Children Elizabeth, Sarah, Mary, Joseph, Thomas, John


Thomas's origins are still unclear, as indeed are some of the movements during his early married life. I suspect he originated in Sheen, possibly on one of the neighbouring Pool or Ridge End farms. This is still under investigation.

He married Esther Birch in Sheen on 6th May 1743($AA), and their eldest daughter Elizabeth was born/baptised there the following year($AB). The next baptism found was in Alstonfield in 1749 for their daughter Sarah($AC). No baptism has been found for Mary, but she was born about 1754($AD). The last known baptism, for Joseph, was back in Sheen in 1762 by which time they were living at Whitle($AE). They had at least two more children for whom no date of birth is known - Thomas($AF) and John($AG). Judging by the significant gaps between their children and the distinct lack of records in the parish registers (for all of the Needham families in the area it seems!) it is almost certain that they had more - most or all of which died young.

The family finally settled at High Needham by 1771 if not before($AH).

Thomas's wife Esther died in January 1804($AJ) and around the sametime his son Joseph moved back home($AK). Perhaps Thomas could no longer manage the farm alone. Certainly his health seems to have been failing as he wrote his will the following year ($AL), although he did live for another 18 months or so, dying in February 1807. He was buried in Hartington($AM).


Brief details of his children:



Sources:

  1. Entry in parish register of St Luke, Sheen reads:
    [1743] May 24 Thomas Needham and Esther Birch married
  2. Entry in parish register of St Luke, Sheen reads:
    [1744] May: 6: Elizabeth d: of Thomas Needham & his wife bap:
  3. Entry in parish register of St Peter, Alstonefield reads:
    [1749, March] Bapt: Sarah D: of Thomas & Esther Needham 23
  4. License issued 28th April 1773 states "Joseph Grindy of the Parish of Alstonefield in the County of Stafford ... Farmer ... is of the age of 21 years and upwards, and a widower and intends to marry Mary Needham of the Parish of Hartington in the County of Derby, spinster aged nineteen years and upwards", and "Thos Needham the natural Father of Mary Needham ye aforesaid minor doth give his consent to ye said intended marriage"
  5. Entry in parish register of St Luke, Sheen reads:
    [1762] May 27th Bapt: Joseph son of Thomas & Esther Needham of Whitle
  6. Entry in the parish register of St Giles, Hartington reads:
    [1777] Decr 5th Burd Thos the son of Thos and Esther Needham of High needham
  7. John is only mentioned in Thomas's will($AL). Indeed due to the lack of many parish register entries, the few that do exist usually only mentioning Thomas and not the name of his wife, and the constant moving around that they did during the early years of their marriage, wills play the major role in establishing his children's identities - mainly by them referring to nephews, nieces and cousins and thus being able to link his children with each other rather than directly with him. See the wills of his children Sarah, John & Joseph and his grandaughter Alice
  8. In 1771 Thomas's unmarried daughter Sarah had a daughter Alice Edge Needham whilst living at High Needham($AI), however the family could have moved there any time after Joseph's birth in 1762. Thomas is never described as residing anywhere else after this date.
  9. Entry in parish register of St Michael & All Angels, Earl Sterndale reads:
    [1771, Febr] Do 24th Baptized Alice Edge the Illegitimate daughter of Sarah Needham of High Needham
  10. Entry in the parish register of St Giles, Hartington reads:
    [1804, Jan] 26 Burd Esther the Wife of Thomas Needham of High Needham
  11. See his son Joseph's page
  12. Will of Thomas Needham reads:
    This is the last Will and Testament of me
    Thomas Needham of High Needham in the parish of
    Hartington in the County of Derby Farmer. First
    I will and direct that all my just debts, funeral
    expenses, the expense of proving this my will &
    all other expenses incident thereunto shall be
    paid and discharged by my Executors hereafter
    named by and out of my Personal Estate. And
    whereas I have lately given unto my Son in
    Law Joseph Grindey a sum of money equal
    to a Legacy which I had heretofore given unto
    his wife Mary Grindey And therefore I do hereby
    give and bequeath to her the sum of one shilling.
    Also I give and bequeath unto my Nephews Thomas
    Roberts and Matthew Roberts each the sum of
    Ten Pounds to be paid to them at the end
    of twelve months next after my decease. Also
    I give and bequeath unto my Nieces
    Esther Broadhurst and Esther Lomas the sum
    of twenty pounds each to be paid at the
    end of twleve months next after my decease.
    Also I Give and bequeath unto the Nine
    children of my Son Joseph Needham the
    sum of Thirty Pounds apiece to be paid
    to them when and as they shall severaly
    attain the age of twenty one years. And
    the interest to arise or to be made from the
    Legacies so given to the children of the said
    Joseph Needham as aforesaid I do hereby
    will and direct shall be retained by
    their Father Joseph Needham to & for his
    own use Except the sum of four Pounds
    a year which I do hereby will and
    direct shall be paid and applied
    annually in the Schooleage for and
    towards the Education of the children
    of the said Joseph Needham until
    the youngest of such children shall
    have attained his or her age of
    fourteen years. Provided always
    that if it shall so happen that any
    of the children of the said Joseph
    Needham shall not happen to live
    to attain his or her age of Twenty
    one years that the legacy of him
    her or them is so happening to die
    shall be paid and equally divided
    to and amongst the surviving children
    when and as they shall severally
    attain their age of twenty one years.
    Also I give and Bequeath unto my
    Son John Needham All my household
    Goods and Furniture. And also
    I Give and Bequeath unto my said
    Son Joseph Needham the sum of
    Twenty Pounds in lieu of such
    Goods so given to his Brother
    John Needham: All and every the
    rest residue and remainder of my Personal Estate
    and Effects of what nature or kind soever
    I Give and Bequeath the same unto my
    said two Sons John Needham and Joseph
    Needham in equal shares and proportions.
    And lastly I do hereby Nominate
    constitute and Appoint my said two Sons
    John & Joseph Needham joint Executors
    of this my last Will and Testament hereby
    revoking and making void all former and
    other wills by me made. And I do hereby
    declare this to be my last Will and
    Testament In witness whereof I the said
    Testator Thomas Needham have to this
    my will set my hand & seal the
    Twenty third day of July in the year
    or our Lord One thousand eight hundred
    and five.
                              The mark + of
    Signed sealed published   Thomas Needham
    and declared by the
    Testator as & for his
    last Will and Testament
    in the presence of us
                 Wm Brittlebank
    Probate granted 25/7/1807 to Joseph Needham, reserving a power for John Needham
  13. Entry in the parish register of St Giles, Hartington reads:
    1807
    Feby 14 Burd Thomas Needham Widower of High-Needham



Notes:


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