The correct genealogy of the Barnsleys of Hazelbadge, Bradwell, Derbyshire by Tim Bancroft Wilson. Blog by JMBarnsley

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Tuesday, June 11, 2002
[Checked OK by Jonathan Barnsley on Wednesday June 12th., 2002.

Friday, March 29, 2002
Checked by Duncan Ball for Jonathan Barnsley 31/3/2002

Saturday, March 02, 2002
This material corrects the work previously published by Jonathan Barnsley as The Shorthand of History, published by AmikTech of Northern Ontario, Bob Groves. The research in that work prior to the nineteenth century was innacurate and the work produced by research by Tim Bancroft-Wilson of Innisfil, Ontario, reproduced below, corrects this. Jonathan Barnsley, Ferny Creek, Victoria, Australia 3rd. March 2002

Monday, February 04, 2002
A Genealogical Overview by Tim Bancroft-Wilson



Until 1624 the cutlery trade was under the jurisdicton of the Manorial Court. The Earls of Shrewsbury, Lords of the Manor from the start of the 15th. century to the start of the 17th. century, had sufficient enterprise and interest to further the controlled cutlery trade by the use of regulations.

To protect their craft the cutlers had started to produce their own marks. The earliest registered mark was on 2nd. October 1554, when two knife-makers paid an annual rent to the Lord of one penny, and any person who unlawfully used this mark was fined twenty shillings by the Lord and had to give compensation to the injured party. By 1568 there were sixty of these marks registered.

In the course of the next sixty years, regulations were adopted which governed the number of men engaged in the trade and set up a system of apprenticship, which ruled that a minimum of seven years apprenticeship was required to enter the trade.

The death of Gilbert, 7th. Earl of Shrewsbury, in May 1616, brought an end to the personal connection of the Lords of the Manor with the Cutlery trade, and, when the 8th. Earl died without leaving an heir in 1617, the system broke down altogether.

After quite a few problems an Act of Parliament was passed on 25th. April 1624, which established "The Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire", with rules similar to the previous Ordinances.However, now, only Masters, and not journeymen, could take on apprentices.(Hallamshire was an area covering the southern corner of the West Riding where Yorkshire and Derbyshire meet, with Sheffield as its capital.)

The Company was made up of the Master Cutler, two Wardens and six Searchers (who had the power to search property for inferior or illegally made goods) and 24 assistants. The Master Cutler held office for one year and received his badge of office from the retiring Master during the Installation Ceremony at the Cutler's Hall.

When this charter was granted there were 498 Masters, of whom 440 were knife makers, 31 shear and sickle makers and 27 were scissor makers. Fines were collected for any breaches of the regulations and under the jusisdiction of the Company trade increased. By 1646 there were 947 trademarks registered and 473 freedoms.

The first Master of the Company of Cutlers in 1624 was a prominent Sheffield citizen named Robert Sorsby. One of the other officers of the first Company was George Barnsley of Goddard Hill, and he was elected Master Cutler in 1629.

Another officer admitted in 1624 was Robert Barnsley.

George Barnsley, like many of the cutlers was also a farmer. He was a freeholder of his land and paid only a token rent of one shilling a year. Goddard (or Gothard as it appears in some old documents) Hill was situated in the township of Brightside Bierlow in the parish of Sheffield, about 2 miles north-east of that city. A list of the assessments paid by the heads of households in the Brightside Bierlow in 1606 includes the name of George Barnsley, showing that he had contributed 5 shillings and sixpence to the Sheffield Grammar School Assessment. It also includes the name of a Thomas Barnsley with a much lower assessment of just twelve pence George married Alicia Barton at Sheffield on 21st November 1596. The only son we can find recorded is George, who was baptised 16th. March 1605/6, and served his apprenticeship in the cutlery trade under his father, earning his freedom in 1633.

This George married Mary Rawson in Sheffield on 26 November 1640 and remained living at Goddard Hill until the day of his death. Mary was the daughter of William and Mary Rawson of Orepitts, Sheffield; her grandfather Hugh Rawson had travelled to London to represent the Cutler's Company in the passage of the Cutler's Act in 1624.

Mary's brother Joshua Rawson was also living at Goddard Hill when he signed his will on 24th. August 1647. He appears to have been a batchelor as he makes no reference to a wife or any children. He made various bequests to his uncle John Rawson, his uncle's son Joshua (under age at the time) and brothers-in-law John Shawe and Thomas Dale, (who had married Isabella Rawson on 8th. July 1635). He left five pounds to Mary Barnsley, "the daughter of George Barnsley the younger (my brother-in-law)". The residue of his estate was left to his "very loving sister Mary wife of George Barnsley". He appointed George and Mary Barnsley his executors. His will was witnessed by a George Barnsley, senior and a Robert Barnsley. The latter was likely the husband of Elizabeth mentioned below; George Barnsley senior may well have been the father of Mary's husband as we are not sure when he died and Joshua's reference to "the younger" suggests that he was still alive in 1647.

George Barnsley (the younger) of Goddard Hill, cutler, died in October 1667 and was buried on 15th of that month. He left a will dated 7th. October 1667, in which he refers to his wife Mary and names his eldest son George, next son Joshua, daughters, Ruth & Mary and youngest son Jonathan; all except George under 21. In his will, he bequeathed "all my messuages lands or tenements and hereiditments whatsoever" to his wife Mary. He directed that she should pay to Joshua the yearly sum of five pounds on Lady Day and Michaelemas starting in 1670 (when he would be 21 years old). Also, he directed that she should bring up the three youngest children Ruth, Mary and Jonathan "with necessary meat drink lodging and washing" until they either reached twenty-one or married. After his wife's death he directed that the farm where he lived (Goddard Hill) should go to George on condition that he should pay thirty pounds to each of his sisters Ruth and Mary. Joshua received Longley House after his mother's demise with the same condition of giving each of his sisters thirty pounds. He left Jonathan a property called Hagge House without any condition. Finally he instructed his wife to pay to Ruth and Mary the sum of "three score pounds. . . (illegible)after they each reach the age of twenty-one."

This George Barnsley was obviously a man of some substance, having title to at least three properties, which he passed down to his sons. We don't know how he came to own all these houses, but the will of Elizabeth Barnsley dated 9th. December 1663 indicates that she was living at Longley, but it is not a part of her estate. She was the widow of Robert Barnsley, whom she had married at Sheffield on 4th. July 1631. Her maiden name was Parkin. The only Barnsley remembered in her will was the son of George Barnsley of Crabtree, Thomas, to whom she bequeathed six pounds "towards the putting him to a trade".

The Cutler's Company records show a George, son of George Barnsley, cutler, of Crabtree, who took his freedom 1n 1673, and another son Robert, who was apprenticed as a scissorsmith and took his freedom in 1677, by which time their father was deceased, but there is no mention of Thomas.

It appears that George, eldest son of George Barnsley and Mary Rawson, did not follow his father into the cutler's trade, but Joshua served his apprenticeship in the trade under his father and he in turn trained his younger brother Jonathan after their father's death. Joshua took his freedom in 1670 and Jonathan in 1687.

Throughout the 17th. century, the number of cutlers continued to grow, so that by the end of the century, it was estimated that 50% of the men in Sheffield township were employed in the cutlery and allied trades.

The records of the Cutlers' Company show the names of numerous Barnsleys other than those we can fit neatly into our family tree who, no doubt, are relatives. There was a George Barnsley with a son Joseph at Crabtree Hill, a farm just accross the road from Goddard Hill in 1698; another George also with a son named Joseph at Pitsmoor, close to Crabtree Hill; yet another George with a son John is at Piper House, which we haven't located; then there is a Robert Barnsley at Stumperlowe on the other side of Sheffield with a son James, who was apprenticed to Hugh Hydes, cutler of Walkley, and took his freedom in 1636. These Barnsleys of Stumperlowe, who are covered in a separate chapter, have a traceable ancestory back to 1497.

A description of the Parish of Sheffield in 1822 has most of the Barnsley houses listed Goddard Hill, a single house in the township of Brightside Bierlow, and parish of Sheffield, 2 miles from Sheffield Longley, in the township of Brightside Bierlow, and parish of Sheffield,(the seat of Adamson Parker Esq.) 3 miles N. of Sheffield. Crabtree, a farm-house in the township of Brightside Bierlow, and parish of Sheffield 2 miles from Sheffield Pitts Moor, in the township of Brightside Bierlow, and the parish of Sheffield, which it adjoins on the north Stumper Low Hall, a single house in the township of Nether Hallam, and the parish of Sheffield, 3 miles SW. of Sheffield.

In 1665, and again in 1670, during the reign of Charles II, who needed extra finance to prosecute his wars against the Dutch, an unpopular tax was imposed known as the Hearth Tax, a tax of two shillings a year on every domestic hearth "for ever". The assessors extended this to smithies also, to the great indignation of the workers in the cutlery trade who saw this tax as an attack on their profits and living standards.

The names of the cutlers and their Smithies and their Hearths in the Township of Brightside Byerley numbering 24 in the 1670 returns are listed in the book "The Brightside Bierlow before the Industrial Revolution". Included in the 24 names are those of George Barnsley and Joshua Barnsley, presumably at Goddard Hall and Longley respectively.

In 1688, with the fall of the Stuart King, James II, this unpopular measure was repealed. It had necessitated the Excise men to enter each household, for domestic hearths were included and this was fiercely resented.

Joshua of Longley was our ancestor. He married Mary Clark at Darfield on 10th.

November 1669. They had the following children:
Joshua bapt. 14 Jul. 1670
Maria " 12 Oct. 1671
George " 28 May 1674
Anna " 25 Nov. 1675
Sam " 3 Jul. 1678 buried 23 March 1680/1

Mary, Joshua's wife died 21st. Dec 1679. It is clear that Joshua married another Mary after Mary Clark's death, although we have found no record of the marriage, because Joshua fathered three more children:
Sam bapt. 31 May 1684
John " 27 Dec.1685
Joseph " 16 May 1689

Joshua himself died in the autumn of 1696. He left a will which he signed on his sick bed on 18th. September. It was probated on 3rd. November the same year and the attached inventory indicates that he was probably actively engaged in his trade right up to his falling sick as it includes debts owing to him by no less than thirty-one individuals amounting to [pounds]199-11-03, which are almost balanced by debts owing by the testator to thirteen other people.

In his will he leaves relatively small sums of money to his children from his first marriage; to eldest son Joshua, [pounds]3; Ruth, [pounds]4; Ann, [pounds]6; then he leaves the rest of his goods and chattels to his wife Mary expressing confidence that she will take care to educate and bring up "my other children which I have had by her", clearly confirming that she was his second wife. He made no mention of Longley, but it clearly went to his eldest son, Joshua after Mary's death.

Joshua was apprenticed to his father, completing in 1691 and taking his freedom in 1692 He married Ann Biggin in 1698. They had three children, Joshua, who died in infancy, Robert, and lastly Anna, who was baptised after her father's early death in 1703. Her baptism record reads "27 Dec. 1703 fil' Joshue Barnsley, cutler, posthum' de Longley". Joshua died without making a will which probably shows that his death was sudden. There is an "Admon" (Letter of Administration) dated 7th. March 1703 (the year ended 31st. March at that time) naming "Anna Barnsley de Longley, Widow, Relict, & Doministrix of all ye Goods and Chattels of Joshua Barnsley".

We have to go back to the second marriage of Joshua and Mary for our ancestor, John, their second son. He, too, followed the cutlery trade; he was apprenticed to Samuel Stones in 1699 at age 13 and took his freedom in 1707. The Company of Cutlers was able to supply a copy of the entry in their records and a copy of the mark granted to John Barnsley on the 31st January 1707/8. It consists of a cross above the initials JB. There is a note attached "let again" probably due to his short life in the trade. The entry in the Freedom Book reads:

"31st January 1707 Johanes Barnsly filius Joshuae et Appericus Samuelis Stones de Sheffeldia Cultra admissus erat per Magistrum Guard Inquisit Et Assistant Societ Cultrar in Libert per dictum 31 die Jan 1707 et Habueerat istud sign Margine format assignet sibi ad signand Cultros suos durant vita sua."

He married Mary Middleton in Sheffield on 8th. June the following year. There is a record of only one child of their marriage, Joshua, born 5th. May 1709. John died at the early age of 26 and was buried on 16th. November 1712. His young widow Mary, with a five year old son then married Samuel Crawshaw, who was also a cutler, at Sheffield on 22 Sept. 1714. His apprenticeship record reads as follows:

Samuel s(on of) Francis Crawshaw, Darnall, cutler, deceased: to (1) Edward Hobson, cutler, 6yrs. 6mo. from 1697; (2) Thomas Rigby, cutler, 1yr. 3mo. from 1702 Free 1704.

Sadly, she was soon a widow again for Samuel died less than two years after their wedding and was buried in Sheffield on 18th. August 1716, leaving Mary a widow for a second time. Her first husband died in his mid twenties and Samuel was in his early thirties, but early death was not uncommon among the cutlers. The main hazard they faced was the dusty conditions in which they worked while grinding the knife blades and forks especially when it was done with a dry stone. It was impossible to avoid inhaling the air full of sharp-edged metal particles freed in the grinding. In his report of the working conditions, a Dr. Knight of Sheffield gave the following description of the course of the condition he called Grinders' Asthma:

"They usually begin their work in the fourteenth year, and if they have good constitutions, rarely notice any symptons before the twentieth year. Then the symptoms of their peculiar disease appear. They suffer from shortness of breath at the slightest effort in going uphill or up stairs, they habitually raise the shoulders to relieve the permanent and increasing want of breath; they bend forward, and seem, in general, to feel most comfortable in the crouching position in which they work. Their complexion becomes dirty yellow, their features express anxiety, they complain of pressure on the chest. Their voices become rough and hoarse, they cough loudly, and the sound is as if air were driven through a wooden tube. From time to time they expectorate considerable quantities of dust, either mixed with phlegm or in balls or cylindrical masses, with a thin coating of mucus. Spitting blood, inability to lie down, night sweat, colliquative diarrhoea, unusual loss of flesh, and all the usual symptons of consumption of the lungs finally carry them off, after they have lingered months or even years, unfit to support themselves or those dependendent upon them. I must add that all attempts which have hitherto been made to prevent grinder's asthma, or to cure it, have wholly failed. "

The same doctor stated that the life expectancy of the dry grinders was 28 - 32, while the razor grinders, who ground wet as well as dry, die between 40 and 45, while the table cutlery grinders, who ground wet, die between 40 and 50.

Mary married for a third time to Godfrey Hall, a butcher by trade, with whom she remained until his death on 26th. September 1755 aged 78. Mary lived for another five and a half years till she died on 11th. May 1762. They lived in Bradwell in the Parish of Hope, and it is in the churchyard at Hope where they are buried. Godfrey Hall left a simple will, in which he bequeathed the sum of [pounds]5 to each of his two heirs, Jane, the wife of John Heathrole, and Mary, the wife of Robert Heathrole as well as the sum of twenty shillings to Mary Hall, the daughter of John Hall, who was the son of his (Godfrey's) brother Robert Hall. All the remainder of his estate he left to his widow, Mary.

Mary Hall also left a will. It is featured in a book entitled "Bradwell: Ancient and Modern" A copy of the pertinent chapter was sent to me by David Derwent, who, at that time was putting together an excellent web site on the village of Bradwell. It reads as follows:

"Mary Hall's Charity "MARY HALL, by will 1762, bequeathed to poor widows and fatherless children of Bradwell 15s, yearly, to be paid on St. Thomas Day by her executor, George Barnsley, chargeable on a piece of land called "the Moor Law." By an agreement with the overseers dated 16th December, 1799, the said George Barnsley, gave to the poor of Bradwell two cottage houses on Bradwell Hills, each of them let at the rent of 18s, a year on the payment of [pounds]5 to the said, George Barnsley, and 15s, yearly on St. Thomas' Day. When the Charity Commissioners held an inquiry about 1830, the overseers of the township were in possession of the cottages, and the yearly sum of 15s, was paid out of the poor rates and distributed according to the donor's intention. It would appear that George Barnsley was grandson of the lady who left this charity -- at least such may be surmised from the inscription on an ancient but very handsome tombstone near the Bradwell entrance to Hope Churchyard as follows:

"Godfrey Hall, died September the 26th, 1755, aged 78.
Also Mary his wife died May the 11th, 1762, aged 77."

"Their lives exemplar were,
In death to heaven resigned.
May all survivors keep with care
Eternity in mind"

"George Barnsley, of Hasslebadge, died the 3rd. day of February
1825, aged 82 years."

"Also Mary, his wife, died 25th of November 1810, aged 67
years. "

We have the will of Mrs Mary Hall. It reads:

"In the Name of God. Amen"
I Mary Hall of Bradwall, in the Parish of Hope, in the County of Darby, Widow and Executrix of Godfrey Hall, late of Bradwall, aforesaid, being Sick and Weak in Body, but of Sound Mind and Memory (Blessed be God for his Mercies), do hereby make, and Ordain this my Last Will and Testament, in Manner and form following: (That is to say) first and principally I commend my Soul into the Hands of Almighty God who gave it, and my Body to the earth to be decently Interred, at the discretion of my Executor herein after Named. And as touching my worldly Estate, I give and dispose thereof as followeth Imprimis I will that all my just Depts, funeral expenses and Probat of this my last Will and Testament be Paid out of my Personal Estate, then I give devise and bequeath all my Real and Personal Estate whatsoever to my Grandson George Barnsley, he paying such legacies as shall be herein after mentioned: viz first I give and bequeath to my Granddaughter Mary the Wife of William Steeple of Aldwark and her Heirs the Sum of Seventy Pounds of Good and lawful Money of Great Britain to paid in twelve Months after my decease:
Item, I give and bequeath to my Granddaughter Catherine Barnsley and her Heirs the Sum of Seventy Pounds of Good and lawful Money, of Great Britain to [be] Paid likewise in twelve Months.
Item: I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Barnsley the Sum of Seventy Pounds of Good and lawful Money of Great Britain, to [be] paid to her when She attains to the Age of twenty one Years, or to her Heirs or Assigns:
Item, I give and bequeath to Joshua the Son of John Barnsley late of Aldwark Grange, the Sum of forty Pounds, of good and lawful Money of Great Britain to be paid to him when he becomes of age of twenty one Years if he so long live.
Item, I give and bequeath to my Godson Martin Middleton the sum of five Pound of good and lawful Money of Great Britain, to be Paid in twelve Months after my decease.
Item, I give and bequeath to the Poor Widows or Fatherless children of the Town of Bradwall the Sum of fifteen Shillings Yearly, to be paid out of the Rents and Profits of a certain Piece of land Moorlow Torr, and distributed by the overseer and Principal Inhabitants on St. Thomas Day for ever.
Item, I will that whatever Charge or Loss shall attend getting or receiving a certain Sum of Money due to me upon Bond from John Barnsley his Executors, Admrs or Assigns: the aforesaid George, Catherine and Elizabeth Barnsley shall Bear or pay out of their fore mentioned Legacies each an equal share:
Lastly I do hereby Nominate and apoint George Barnsley Sole Executor of this my Last Will and Testament, and I do hereby revoke all former Will and Wills made by me at any time heretofore:
In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my Hand and Seal this fifth Day of May, in the Year of our Lord one Thousand Seven Hundred and Sixty Two.
Mary Hall, her X mark.
Signed, Sealed, Published, and Declared by the within Named Mary as and for her Last Will and Testament, in the presence Thomas Fanshaw of us who have hereunto Subscribed our Robt Hill names as witness to the Same Margaret Middleton."

There is little doubt that Mary was motivated to create her charity for the benefit of poor widows and fatherless children by the memory of her own position many years previously when she was twice widowed with a fatherless child at the age of 25.

Before we consider the ramifications of Mary Hall's will, and it really was the key which unlocked the door to the ancestry of George Barnsley of Hazlebadge, we must return to her first marriage, to John Barnsley, in 1708. Their only child was Joshua, who was born the following year on 5th. May. He married the daughter of George Bagshaw and his wife Catherine of Hazlebadge, Helen/Ellen, who was baptised on 10th. Sept 1716. Their first child Maria was born Nov. 1735, so presumably they were married some time near the beginning of that year soon after Ellen's 18th. birthday.

This union marks the first recorded instance of any connection of the Barnsley family to Hazlebadge Hall. It proved not to be the "Ancestral Home of the Barnsleys" as had been suggested by some researchers. The Bagshaws had evidently lived there for at least the last sixty years. Roger Bagshaw, who was born about 1605 at Abney Grange, was a Juryman at the Grand Court Baron at Abney Grange in 1654 and he died at Hazlebadge on 11th. August 1679. His will, dated 1st. August 1679 (written in the name of 'Rodger Bagshall, Husbandman', although the spelling Bagshaw is also used in the will) was valued at [pounds]45:12s:0d. He left small sums to over twenty grandchildren and to his grandson "Rodger my best little coat and my best breeches" His son Francis, who was christened at Hope on 23rd. Dec 1625, was first mentioned at Hazlebadge in 1658 in the Easter role for Hope Parish, and in his Will of 1685 he refers to his wife Margaret, and gives the lease of Hazlebadge to his son George. This George, born 1662, married Mary Middleton at Hope on 19th. November 1683. It was their son George, born 1687 and his wife Catherine, who were the parents of Ellen who married Joshua Barnsley.

Ellen's father George was married twice; first to Catherine, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth Edge of Leek, Staffordshire, on 8th. April 1714, and then to Maria Wright. It is George's will, 1763/4, that we see the first reference to Hazlebadge Hall as opposed to simply Hazlebadge. Evidently there were several farms in the Liberty of Hazlebadge. The 1861 census for Little Hucklow lists Hazlebadge Hall, a farm of 180 acres, then three separate farms under the name Hazlebadge of one hundred, fifty and forty acres respectively. Also included is Netherwater, a farm of one hundred acres (occupied by George Barnsley and his wife Hannah with their son Richard and his wife Eliza and their two daughters), as well as Intake, a farm of 17 acres and a lead mine.

In his 1763/4 will George Bagshaw left his tenant rights in a farm called Great Intake to his grandson George Barnsley (our ancestor who married Mary Needham and was described as "of Hazlebadge"); this is probably the "Intake" mentioned in the 1861 census as lying in Hazlebadge. He left property in Whetston to both his daughters Mary and Ellen and property in Hathersage Booth to his son-in-law, Mary's husband. He bequeathed freehold lands in Bradwell and Little Hucklow, the farm at Upper Moor at Bradwell under lease from Henry Eyre of Rowton, and Hazlebadge Hall on lease from the Duke of Rutland together with all his household goods, livestock and implements of husbandry to his son George Bagshaw, who appears to have resided at the Hall until his death in 1791.

Ellen was the younger of George and Catherine's two children; her sister Maria was born 1715 and baptised on 29th. September, just less than a year before Ellen. Their mother, Catherine, died less than a month after the birth of her younger daughter. Three years after Catherine's death, George married Maria Wright at Hope Church on 1st. October 1719. I have neither looked for nor found any details of further offspring as they have no impact on our history.

Joshua and Ellen lived at Aldwark Grange. Joshua died in 1748 and was buried at Hope in June. His widow lived until 1799 and was buried beside her husband at Hope on 28th. March, aged 84.

The following births of their children are recorded in the
Hope registers:
Nov. 1735 Mary Married William Shipley of Aldwark 1758.
23 Nov. 1737 John
6 Jan. 1739 Catherine Married John Cheetham
11 Feb. 1741 George Married Mary Needham
26 May 1744 Elizabeth

Aldwark Grange was also the home of eldest son John and his wife as evidenced by Mary Hall's will. John died eleven years after his father and was buried on 5th. August 1759. He left a will in which he is described as "husbandman"; he mentions his wife Mary, his son Joshua (under 21), his son George also under 21, and his brother George Barnsley (this will was summarized by Joan Measham as it was not available for photocopying). Joshua was also under age in Mary Hall's will in 1762, so he would have to have been born after 1741. He married Mary Steeple at Bradbourne on 4th. October 1780.

However, our ancestor is the second son, George Barnsley, who married Mary Needham at Hope on 24th. August 1763. The were married by licence, presumably because Mary was only 18 years old and required the permission of her father, Joshua Needham, whose permission was attested to by George Barnsley. George is described as a Swailer, which was the name given to a miller or a corn merchant. George was the first Barnsley to be recorded as living at Hazlebadge; probably at Great Intake. He and Mary lived there while the first four of their children were born (according to Val Hall who is a Hall family researcher) then the next four are recorded as being born at Nether Water, a farm a mile or so south of Hazlebadge Hall, and one of "the farms I now occupy under His Grace the Duke of Rutland" as he described them in the codicil to his will.

His tombstone, however described him as "of Hasslebadge", which could still have him living at Nether Water in the Liberty of Hazlebadge. In his will dated 15th. June 1815 he describes himself as "of Hazlebadge, Parish of Hope" and in the codicil to his will dated 17th. February 1821 he has added "Farmer".

A liberty (before 1850) was a district within the limits of a county, but exempt from the jurisdiction of the sheriff, and having a separate commission of the peace. Lead mining was the major industry of this part of Derbyshire until its decline in the 1850s. The lead miners had their own laws and courts and a liberty could have been a lead mining district. Sometimes a liberty coincided with a parish; for example, the boundaries of the liberty of Castleton and the Parish of Castleton are the same. Hazlebadge was a liberty but not a parish.

Interestingly, a description of the Parish of Hope in the 1848 "Topical Dictionary of England" by Samuel Lewis ends with "and the lordships of Hazlebadge and Highlow".

Except for the first, Ann, the baptisms of the children of George Barnsley and Mary Needham are in the Hope index:

"Ann 1764 - 1831 - married Francis Bagshaw of Hazlebadge Hall when under age in 1780, by licence. He was a nephew of Ellen Bagshaw, the wife of Joshua Barnsley being the son of her brother George. They are said to have ended up in financial trouble of an unspecified nature.
Joshua 9 May 1766.
John 30 Nov 1768.
Mary 9 Oct 1770- buried at Hope 15 Oct 1771.
George 10 Nov 1772 - 1825 married Hannah Goodwin.
Elizabeth 27 May 1775 - buried at Hope 2 June 1775.
Joseph 23 Apr 1778-buried at Hope 15 Oct 1781.
Godfrey 15 Oct 1781 married, (1) Bella Dilworth, (2) Mary Devaynes.
Luke 25 Nov 1783 - 1857 married Peggy Jennings.
Richard 28 Dec 1786 - married, (1) Hannah Godfrey, (2) Alice Damber.
Mally/Molly born 2nd Jan 1788, bapt. 18 Oct 1788 married Joseph Hall, died before 1721."

When George signed his will in 1815 there was no mention of John, and he refers to Mally as Mary. Mally and John are not recorded on the old family tree we inherited, as neither are the three children who died in infancy.

We know that Mally grew up to marry Joseph Hall and (according to Val Hall) John was apprenticed to cutler John Swift in 1783, then to Joseph Hinchcliffe in 1786. This is confirmed in the Records of the Cutlers' Company: John Barnsley, son of Geo. Bradwell, husbandman; to (1) Swift John jr., Scissorsmith, 7, 1783,; (2) Hinchcliffe Joseph, scissorsmith, m., 3-9, 1786.

Eldest daughter, Ann, married Francis Bagshaw of Hazlebadge Hall when she was just sixteen years old. They are said to have ended up in financial difficulties, but the exact nature of their trouble is not recorded. She was remembered by her nephew, Godfrey, as "having a most beautiful hand; she married "Francis Bagshaw, Esq., Gentleman - I recollect distinctly that was the position he assumed; he was remarkable tall and well-formed man and the family of children were all handsome". Francis was the son of George Bagshaw of Hope.

We don't know the last name of Joshua's wife Ellen, and we only have knowledge of one child, a daughter, Ellen who married Edward Hudson, a Barrister of Stockport. They had a son, Fredrick, who became a surgeon. George married Hannah Goodwin. They had five children. George, the eldest, is described on the family tree as being "of NetherWater" which was passed to him by his father; he was followed by Joshua, John, Jane and Godfrey. Most of them are recorded as being baptised at Peak Forest.

The eldest son, George, married Betty Wragg at Hope on 1st. Jan 1822. They had at least one son, Richard, baptised at Hope on 26th. May 1822. It appears that Betty died and George remarried as he shows up on the 1861 census for Little Hucklow with Hannah as his wife. His address is "Netherwater" where he is described as a farmer of 100 acres, employing one labourer. He is 57 and Hannah is 50. Richard, age 38, is also there with his wife Eliza, age 38, described as "dairymaid". They have two children, Elizabeth Jane, age 7, and Hannah, age 1. There are three visitors present on census day - Jane Furness, age 25, daughter, farmer's wife and her two children James age 1, and George age one month. Jane was the daughter of Hannah and was baptised at Hope 10th. April 1836.

The second and third sons became farmers in the Peak Forest area, while the youngest, Godfrey, moved to Liverpool where he worked in the office of his uncle Godfrey for a time before emigrating to America where he literally made his fortune and established the American branch of the Barnsleys. Years later, in a letter to his daughter Anna, Godfrey wrote of his father: "he was gifted by nature, but wanted the advantages of education. He was, however, one of nature's noblemen, and left independent, he married a beautiful lady of good family, being more partial to hunting &c., than attention to his affairs, his property dissappeared. He had a small cotton mill run by water power. In 1815, the failure of his banker left him poor, afterward he farmed. "

In the same letter Godfrey also wrote of his mother: "You were named after her. Her father lived on his own land, and belonged to the class termed 'Yeomanry', a class becoming extinct through absorbtion by the great landowners of freeholds of small extent."

Our branch of the family descends through another Godfrey, the son of George and Mary. Born at Nether Water farm in 1781. He married Bella Dilworth c. 1806 and together they founded the Liverpool branch of the family. Younger brothers, Luke, married Peggy Jennings on 21st. July 1814 at Hope, and had at least three sons; and Richard, married twice; to Hannah Godfrey, then after her death in 1834 to Alice Damber.

Youngest child, Mally/Molly, was born 2nd. January 1788 and baptised 18th, October that year. She grew up to marry Joseph Hall. Apparently she was Joseph's second wife. This information comes from researcher Fred Hobson, who is descended from Joseph and his first wife.

George Barnsley of Hazlebadge died on 3rd. February 1825, aged 82. He left a will which he had signed in 1815. In it he bequeathed the cupola on Bradwell Hills "with all the goods and appurtances thereto belonging" to be shared equally between Ann, Joshua, George and Richard. The cupola was used to smelt lead and had been rented to the Messrs Furnip for a number of years.

He gave to Luke, two houses and a garden in the village of Bradwell, as well as a property called Nether Crofts, which premises were already in his possession.

He left fifty pounds to his grandaughter, Ellen, the wife of Mr. Hudson of Stockport, and a similar amount to Mary (Molly) the wife of Joseph Hall.

He makes no mention of Nether Water farm in his will, however he added a codicil in 1821 to revoke the bequest to Mary, wife of Joseph Hall, as she had since died, and to pay the fifty pounds to her two children, "thirty pounds to the boy and twenty pounds to the girl" when they reached the age of twenty-one. Until that time he directed that his son George should hold the money and use the interest to give the children an English education in reading and writing. He added that it was his desire that his son George should "continue to hold the Farms I now occupy under His Grace the Duke of Rutland if his Grace or his Agents will be pleased to accept him as Tenant thereof". The farms are not named, but it is safe to assume that they included at least Hazlebadge and Nether Water.

Son George was the sole executor of the will, which was probated at Lichfield on 22nd. August 1825.


Godfrey Barnsley, who was born at Hazlebadge in 1781, moved from Bradwell at some point, but whether it was before or after his marriage to Isabella Dilworth is not clear. They were married at St. John's Church, Manchester on 7th. July 1806 by Rev. T. Dallas. Their first child, Ann, was baptised at the Church of St. Ann in Manchester on 13th. April 1807. However, their second, George was born on 18th. March 1811 and baptised at St. Nicholas in Liverpool on 7th. August and by this time the family was living on Vauxhall Road.

Godfrey was working as a cotton broker engaged in importing cotton from the relatively new source - the southern states of America. A Liverpool newspaper, The Mercury, had a notice on 25th. Feb 1820 advertising the sale of "80 bags of Sea Island" cotton, which was a long fibre type of cotton grown in the south part of Georgia near Savannah.

His nephew Godfrey, the youngest son of his brother George of Hazlebadge, worked for a period in Godfrey's Liverpool office before travelling to Savannah, Georgia, where he became a cotton broker in his own right. There is no evidence found for it, but it seems fairly certain that Godfrey of Liverpool sponsored his nephew and provided him with a letter of introduction to a Savannah broker named Samuel Wright, who took the young man into his home and his business on his arrival in the spring of 1824, making him a partner two years later.

The two Godfrey Barnsleys certainly cooperated with each other in the cotton trade Godfrey from Savannah travelled to Liverpool almost yearly in connection with his business, and he brought his wife there for the birth of their first child, Anna Goodwin, in October 1829, and cousin George was godfather at her baptism in St. Peter's church. On at least one occasion George travelled to Savannah to visit the Georgia Barnsleys in the spring of 1833.

Their third child was a daughter, Jane, who was also born at the Vauxhall Road house, was baptised on 8th. September 1813 at the church of St. Peter. Sadly, she died just eighteen months later. Their fourth, named Isabella after her mother only lived for three months and the last, Mary, was born at the end of 1816 and christened also at St. Peter, but the family was now living at Mount Vernon in Edge Hill. Bella died less than three years later in 1819.

Godfrey married his second wife, Mary Devaynes, about 1823. She was 23 years old and Godfrey was 32. He had been barely 16 at the time of his first marriage. Godfrey and Mary had two sons and a daughter. John was born in 1824, Elizabeth, 1826, and Godfrey 1827. Tragically, Mary died in 1830, leaving Godfrey, once again, with a young motherless family. She was buried at Trinity Church Liverpool. George had moved with his second wife to a house on Upper Islington Street before the birth of their first son, and all three children were christened at St. Peter Church. Godfrey himself died in 1837, aged 56. He was interred at the Necropolis at Low Hill, Liverpool.

Godfrey's eldest child Ann, married Richard Shaw of Wigan with whom she bore ten children, none of whom figure further in our history. Bella's only son George, like his father, married twice; first to Frances Heap of Hartley about 1834 and then to Sarah Milne about 1858 after Frances' death on 29th. October 1855. Bella's next two daughters died in infancy and the last, Mary only lived to be 19. Mary had two sons and a daughter. John Devaynes, born 1824, died 1892 in New Zealand; Elizabeth, born 1826 died 1848, and Godfrey barely survived one year.

Again, they have no further place in our history. George joined his father in the cotton brokerage. In the early days of his marriage to Frances they lived on Newsham Street in Liverpool. It was a tragic union. Their first son, George was baptised 25th. July 1835, died age ten; Frances Heap, baptised 31st. October 1837, died age 19; Alfred, born 1838, died in infancy; Isabella, christened 24th. November 1840, died age 24; a second Alfred born in 1842, like his namesake, died when still a baby; Ralph, born 1843, died age fifteen; only the youngest child, Arthur, born in 1845, survived to marry and carry on the Frances Heap line. Frances, herself, died on 29th October 1855.

Some time before 1840 George and Frances moved to 24 Southwood Road in St. Michael's Hamlet, a fashionable suburb of Liverpool. About three years after Frances' death George, now age 37, married the nineteen year old Sarah Milne, of Royton, Lancashire. They had four children, of whom three survived to old age, with the last, named George Milne, dying on the day of his birth, 6th. December 1866.

Sarah's first born was my grandmother, Sarah Milne, christened 8th. March 1860 after her birth on 8th. January; she married George Adshead Wilson. Helen Milne was born 1861 and christened 7th. November. She married William McMinnies. Third child Milne, was born in 1864 and like his two siblings christened at St. Peter. More later on the McMinnies and Milnes.

George and Sarah remained at 24 Southwood for the rest of their lives. By the time of the 1861 census Sarah Milne, a one year old child was living there with her parents as well as Isabella (age 20), the daughter of Frances Heap. Arthur is not shown, but may have been away on the day of the census. They obviously lived in a comfortable style, having four domestic servants.

George died on 1st. July 1874, age 63, and by the time of the 1881 census, his widow was still living at No. 24 with her daughters Sarah and Helen who were 21 and 19. The domestic staff was reduced to three, still enough to ensure a comfortable life. Sarah, herself, died on 17th October 1885, just short of her 55th. birthday.

Arthur and his wife Mary were living further up Southwood road from his step-mother in one of the newer houses, No. 10. He had followed his father into the cotton brokerage business. Their children, George, Godfrey and Alan were aged 5, 4 & 3. They, too, lived in a comfortable style, with a nursemaid for the children as well as a cook and a housemaid. It is interesting to note that on the census day, staying with the family, was a two year old visitor from Exeter, Devon, named Margaret Brocklebank.

St Michael's Hamlet was founded in the early nineteenth century by John Cragg, proprietor of the Mersey Iron Foundry, who settled there and built a group of five houses and the church. These buildings are of considerable interest for their early and extensive use of cast iron for a variety of structural and decorative purposes. The Hamlet was designated a Conservation area in 1968 and retains a secluded and most peaceful character, despite being in the middle of a densely populated housing area.

St Michael's Hamlet was also home to two Wilson families, William Henry and his wife Alice at Windbourne, and his brother Thomas at The Hermitage. A John Milne and his wife, named Mary A on the census report was living with no children at No. 16 Southwood Road. I believe this to be John and Marion, the parents of George Milne.

Sarah Milne Barnsley married her young neighbour George Adshead Wilson on 24th. August 1884. My Aunt Lucy told me that they eloped to get married as their respective parents thought them too young. It would seem that she was correct, as their marriage certificate shows that they were not married in their local church of St. Michaels-in-the-Hamlet, but at the parish church of Walton on the Hill (a suburb on the opposite side of Liverpool) by licence. There doesn't appear to have been any family member present, as their witnesses were a painter's foreman and his wife, Arthur and Margaret Tuite; probably from the firm of J & W Wilson. However any disapproval must have been confined to their respective mothers as both their fathers were deceased as is noted on the marriage certificate.


Frances Heap, first wife of George Barnsley of Liverpool, was the youngest daughter of Joseph Heap and Ann Milne, who were married on 6th. January 1743 in the Parish Church at Prestwich.

It is interesting to note that Ann Milne was the daughter of Joshua Milne and Ann Cocker of Shaw. Joshua was the brother of James Milne, who married Deborah Worral. The latter pair were the grandparents of Sarah Milne who became George Barnsley's second wife.

Joseph Heape, (he later dropped the last E), was born 14th. July 1762 at Hartley, Lancashire, son of Joseph Heape and Elizabeth Dawson. Joseph, the father, in 1780 established the business of Joseph Heape & Sons, Rice Importers & Grinders, in Liverpool. This company is still listed today (2001) as a member of the Waterfront Business Association of Liverpool.

Frances was born 14th. September 1807 and married George on 18th. July 1833. She died in 1855 aged 48. Of her five childen, only Arthur born in 1845 survived to carry on the line. His elder sister Frances Heap married Richard Bashall Rodgett of Preston at St. Michael's Church in St. Michael's Hamlet on 25th. July 1858, but in yet another Barnsley tragedy, she died suddenly in a London hotel while returning from her honeymoon. She was buried in Walton-le-Dale churchyard near Preston on 25th. Aug. 1858. The first born son Geoge died age ten, and another son, Alfred, died in infancy.

Isabella, born 1840 only lived to be twenty-four; she was married to George Blythe of Prince's Park Terrace, Liverpool on 24th. April 1861, at St. Michael's Church in the Hamlet by the Rev. Agustine Blythe. She died on Saturday 23rd. April 1864 at her home at 10 Wellesley Terrace, Prince's Park. She was buried at Roby Churchyard, near Liverpool.

Arthur married Mary Elizabeth Blythe in Liverpool on 12th. June 1874. He followed his father into the cotton brokerage business of Godfrey Barnsley and Son, which was founded by his grandfather, and the 1881 census shows the family living comfortably at 10 Southwood Road in St. Michael's Hamlet with a cook, a maid and a nurse for the three children, George, Godfrey and Allan, ages 5, 4 and 3 respectively.

Arthur died aged 44 at Windemere 20th. Sept 1888 and was interred at Flaybrick Cemetary, Birkenhead. Elizabeth his wife, died 16th. June 1887 and was interred at Flaybrick The three orphaned boys went to live with their three maternal aunts, Florence, Ada, Fanny and their Uncle Henry at Cannon Hill, Birkenhead. All three were sent to Uppingham public school. George went on to Corpus Christi College Oxford, Godfrey went to Magdalene College, Oxford with the intention of taking up law, while Alan was at Wadham College, Oxford.

In her autobiography, George's wife Katherine said that life at Uppingham had been hard for him as he "went from straight from a governess and nursery teas to one of the toughest public schools". She described him as "six foot two inches with black hair and an aristocratic nose".

After leaving Oxford in 1896, George did a world tour which included a three month visit to Australia. Obviously money was not short in the family; the story goes that the boys' father, Arthur left a small fortune in trust for them. On his return to England, George seemed to lead a life of leisure.

At the time of the Boer War George enlisted in the army and was sent to South Africa. He got no further than Cape Town where he wound up in hospital with congestion of the lungs and was sent back home to be invalided out of the service.

Godfrey also tried to enlist in 1900 when the war fever was at its height, but was turned down on medical grounds. However he was accepted into the 2nd Volunteer Brigade. He died suddenly at his home at Cannon Hill, Claughton on 21st. October 1903.

Alan did serve in South Africa and served in the Imperial Yeomanry with distinction, being twice mentioned in despatches and recomended for the DSO. He joined as a private and rose through the ranks to Lieutenant.

Later he held a commission in the 4th. Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers. He was attached to the Northumberland Fusiliers and was fighting with them in France when he was killed in October 1914. He left a widow, Ethel Edna, and one child at their home in Branksome Park, Bournemouth. He is remembered on the war memorial at Le Touret, Pas de Calais.

Strangely, I can find no record of either the widow or the child other than their mention in the newspaper report of Captain Alan Barnsley's death and the notation on the memorial of his widow's name as Ethel Edna Summers (formerly Barnsley), so presumably she remarried. Between the wars Alan was a member of the old Liverpool firm of Godfrey Barnsley and Son.

After returning to England again George decided he wanted to take up farming, and with that in mind he went off to stay with friends, the Glanleys, who had a small farm in Lustleigh, Devon, where they taught him to plough, milk and to make butter the Devonshire way.

George had met his neighbour Katherine Fielding-Smith before leaving for Devon, and when he returned to Birkenhead he persuaded her to marry him, rather to the dismay of his aunts who thought she was beneath him.

George, known as Geordie in the family, married Katherine Fielding Smith, on 3rd. January 1901. After honeymooning in France, the newlyweds went down to Devon and rented a cottage near Chagford with enough land to keep a cow and chickens. Katherine was pregnant and having decided to have her baby at home had an extremely difficult birth resulting in a still-born daughter, which wasn't helped by an incompetent alcholic doctor. The cottage had a reputation of being haunted and after the death of their daughter they were both uncomfortable there and very soon moved away.

It is not clear how he made the transition so quickly, but in the following year, 1902, George was ordained a priest by Bishop Boyd-Carpenter and appointed curate at Sharow in Yorkshire, where he became known as a devoted priest, a keen sportsman and follower of the hounds. He worked for Missions under Bishop Montgomery and during the 1914-18 war he served at home and overseas as a chaplin to the forces. After the war he was appointed rector of Yarm, Yorkshire under Dr. Lang, Archbishop of York. He retired in 1931 at the age of 55 to his estate in Anglesea, North Wales, owing to ill health contracted during his war service. He went to Australia in 1952 with his wife to be near their youngest daughter Elizabeth, the wife of Capt. Wood-Ingram, Regional Nautical Surveyor for Victoria. He died there in 1956 on Wed. 20th. June.

Their children were:-
George Derek Nov 1902
Godfrey Mar 1905 married Olwen G Thomas b 7-11-1912
Alan Gabriel Married Edwina Eleanora nee Cook
Elizabeth Married Capt. Wood-Ingram

Alan Gabriel Barnsley was an author who wrote under the name of Alan Gabriel. He was a doctor who served as an M.O. in the army during W. War ll and after demob practised as a G.P. in Maidstone. He migrated with his family to Washington State in 1966 to live and work at Washington State University in Pullman. He died there, an English citizen in 1986. He had five children:
Michael b 1946 lives in Australia Is a mathematician.
Jonathan 19 April 1948 married 1)Janet Marie Garlington 2)Gillian Anne, nee Greaves. They live near Melbourne, Australia.
Simon lives in Addiscombe, Croyden, Surrey
Felicity d. 1999
Gabriel married Douglas Vorenkamp, has three children and lives at Bellingham in Washington State.

Godfrey and Olwen had three children:
David Godfrey 21-2-1936 married Margaret Roberts b. 27-4-1937
Timothy C 28-5-1939
Ruth O. 20-8-1947
Ruth lived in Northern New South Wales. She married and had children. She attained her Phd. in Education in 1998 and is now (2000) a lecturer in Brisbane. Godfrey and Olwen migrated to New Zealand many years after David and Margaret.

Olwen was still alive in 1999 age 87.

David Godfrey and Margaret had three children:
Stephen David 17-12-1961 married Frances Rapatam.16-5-1992
Michael Sion 7-3-1963 married
Christopher Jones 10-4-1966 married Nicole Airley m. Jan.1998

David and Margaret's children live around Wellington, New Zealand.
Stephen's wife, a Maori woman had children from a previous marriage.
Stephen David and she had three children:
Luke Tangahoe Godfrey 10-11-1992
Rawiri Jacob 28-8-1994
Brian Olwen 5-9-1996

[End THE BARNSLEY CUTLERS AND FARMERS written by Tim Bancroft-Wilson, of Innisfil, Ontario and transmitted in January, 2002 to Jonathan M. Barnsley as an email message. Reformatted as a text file and as a PDF by JMB for distribution generally.]


For the benefit of anyone who has come in on this text and is finding themselves getting disoriented, I will explain the significance of the Tim Bancroft-Wilson text a little.

I, Jonathan M. Barnsley, published a digital book called The Shorthand of History with an image appendix called Blacktip in 1999. These two parts were compiled as PDFs [Adobe Portable File Documents] and advertised and sold by AmikTech of Northern Ontario for a couple of years, starting in 1999.

This was an experiment in publishing for Bob Groves, who owns AmikTech, and it was also a huge experiment for me. As I had thought, the book did not sell at all well . . . I did get a small cheque at the end of the first year, but this went nowhere towards covering the huge amount of time and money I had invested into creating the work in the first place.

Not only did the book not sell at all well, but as I later discovered, its central thesis was hugely and centally flawed. In the book I attempted to demonstrate that my father's line of Barnsleys descends, before what we know of it with certainty, from family records, before the nineteenth centuy, from the Barnsley family of Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire. Those Worcestershire Barnsleys have a grant of arms, dating from the sixteenth century and therefore a highly traceable history.

Not only had I had made the assumption that what was given as fact by both my grandfather, George Barnsley and by Godfrey Barnsley [1805-1873] of Savannah, that we had armorial bearings of a cross, gules with four roses seeded, proper and the motto "Ut Rosa, Sic Vita": the same erroneous assumption was made by Robin Lucas, a Senior Librarian at the Library of the University of East Anglia, and also again, this same error was made by Michael Stalleybrass of Georgia Tech, when he asked about the Barnsley family at the College of Heralds in London early in the 1980s. Those who were not misled in one way were misled in another: either by the wrongful assumption of an amorial bearing, or by the snobbish assumption that the family should have been descended from these Barnsleys of Barnsley Hall in Bromsgrove in Worcestershire, or from following what had been asserted by another researcher, or from simple ignorance. It was upon this misinformation that I based all of my work.

I went ahead and published the book and had, at the time, at least the satisfaction of feeling that I had done a reasonable job and that in distributing what few copies were purchased from AmikTech, I was giving reliable information. As it turns out, I was giving accurate information, some of it about my family and some of it about another Barnsley family not at all related to my own. The information to be found in The Shorthand of History is accurate in the information it gives of the Barnsley family of my line only as far back as George and Mary Barnsley of Hazelbadge, Derbyshire in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth centuries.

One of the few people who bought the book as CDROM was Tim Bancroft-Wilson of Innisfil, Ontario. By a series of fortunate and rather fortuitous events, I was enabled to go to Ontario in July of 2000 and to visit both Tim Bancroft-Wilson, who is descended from the Milne Barnsleys in the nineteenth century, but from the same ancestors as my branch of the Barnsleys before a certain date in that century.

Recently I heard from Bob Groves that Amiktech has decided to drop out of digital book publishing, and so that is the end of the electronic distribution of The Shorthand of History. This did not in the least phase me, since by then I had already found out, as I had told Bob Groves, that Tim B-W had made a breakthrough, based on information that was contained in the graphical, image section of the work I published. In Blacktip, he had found an imaged piece of correpondence between my cousin David Barnsley of Blenheim in New Zealand and a genealogical researcher, Joan Measham of Derbyshire. David B. and my brother Simon B. had joined together and had paid Joan M. to research into our family history. But she had got so far and no further, and she had not been paid to go on with what had seemed, ten years before Tim B-W came onto the scene, to be a fruitless search.

Tim B-W. however, was of a different opinion. He was able to read Joan Measham's address from the letter I had imaged and put onto Blacktip. He wrote to her, and she agreed to be paid to go on with her researches that she had abandoned ten years before! She managed to produce key documents which, as Tim B-W says in his summary of the Barnsley family, giving genealogical information in the narrative he has written here "really was the key which unlocked the door to the ancestry of George Barnsley of Hazlebadge."

For previous Barnsley researchers that I knew of, this had tradionally been the sticking point. These researchers knew for certain all that concerned George and Mary Barnsley of Hazlebadge, but found it impossible to get below that generation. The reason for this turns out to be blindingly simple: they were looking in the wrong Barnsley family altogether, convinced that we had the aristocratic connection by descent from the only Barnsley family in England which had a Hall, from early times, the Barnsleys of Bromsgrove.

I never claimed to be a genealogist, but instead said that I was interested in Heraldy, thus the name of the book I wrote, The Shorthand of History. This interest had already brought me huge dividends in tracing my mother, Edwina Eleanora Cook's descent through to the famous Coke family of Tittleshall-cum-Godwick in Norfolk, since there I had a coat of arms which turned out to be accurate and to provide continuity of descent at least back to a certain point, by records, after which I relied on the Shorthand of history, heraldry, to carry me further back in the history of her antecedants.

When I tried to apply the same technique to the Barnsley family, the self-deception or carelessness of my own ancestors brought my researches undone.

But because I had included absolutely everything that might have a bearing on this matter, I found that there is an even more powerful tool than the Shorthand of History . . . this is the power of the Web to unlock whole banks of information and extraordinary linkings of people of varied talents, abilities and enthusiasms. My book TSOH brought me to Tim Bancroft-Wilson, and he brought me to the truth about my father's family's ancient descent.

I have now distributed Tim B-W's findings as thoroughly as I can . . . to do more would involve me in rewriting the book and finding another way to distribute it. At the end of it all, which this really is not, and never can be, since more information will slowly ooze out over the years as I think, I feel tired but satisfied. I think I have done very well, considering that I am not a genealogist by inclination or ability: essentially I have provoked others into discovering the truth by unwittingly asserting an untruth!

Jonathan M. Barnsley
3 Greville Road,
Ferny Creek, VICTORIA 3786,