Staniforths of Aston, Yorkshire

All Saints Church, Aston

Aston is a village in South Yorkshire, it stands to the north of Beighton and Hackenthorpe, to the west of Todwick, and to the north of Eckington and Mosborough. Due to its proximity to these villages, it should come as no surprise to find a line of Staniforths in the village.

On November 15, 1782 a Thomas Staniforth marries Elizabeth Birks at Handsworth. Elizabeth was the daughter of Peter Birks and Hannah Potter. Her brother Peter Birks married Elizabeth Potter, and their son Peter Potter Birks marries Sarah Staniforth, the daughter of John Staniforth and Mary Hurt of Hackenthorpe, creating a link between the Aston Staniforths and the Staniforths of Hackenthorpe and Eckington.

On the marriage record, Thomas Staniforth is described as being from Aston parish, this is the first time we find a Staniforth resident in Aston itself.

Prior to this marriage, another Thomas Staniforth marries Anne Stones at Aston on December 18, 1740, however he is described as being 'of Eckington'. It seems likely that this couple are the parents of the younger Thomas. The elder Thomas does not appear to have settled in Aston, as there is no burial record for Thomas or Anne, and the only possible baptism for the younger Thomas is at Eckington on September 2nd, 1753.

Thomas and Elizabeth had 10 children together:

  • Thomas Staniforth, baptised July 23, 1787, he was buried in Aston on April 9, 1815, he does not appear to have married however in 1876 a Thomas Staniforth Machray is born to Scotland native Thomas Russell Machray and his Sheffield born wife Martha Gardner, Martha was the daughter of Ann Hind of Aston and William Gardner. Ann was baptised March 5, 1809 and was an illegitimate child born to Mary Hind, just based on the 'Thomas Staniforth' name being passed down it may be possible that Ann was actually the illegitimate child of Thomas Staniforth and Mary Hind, however this is difficult to prove.
  • Samuel Staniforth, baptised October 15, 1783, he only lives a few years before being buried in Aston on April 23, 1791.
  • Mary Staniforth, baptised June 2, 1785, likely the same Mary that marries Joseph Greenwood at Aston 18 Oct 1810.
  • William Staniforth, baptised July 2, 1789, he marries Elizabeth Mary Crouch at St. Giles, London on November 7, 1818. A newspaper report reads 'On the 7th Instant, at St. Giles, Cripplegate, London. Mr. William Staniforth, late of Aston, but now of the firm of Smith, Maud, and Staniforth, Merchants, Church Street to Elizabeth Mary, eldest daughter of the late William Crouch, Esq. of Clerkenwell' They have a son named Thomas William Staniforth, baptised January 13, 1820 in Newington, Surrey, he marries Sarah Ann Godley and the two have a number of children including Claude Cecil Staniforth, Harry Charles Staniforth and Thomas William Staniforth whose grandson Stanley Howard Staniforth emigrated to New Zealand.
  • Peter Samuel Staniforth, baptised October 7, 1791 at Aston, he is buried there October 26, 1824, an obituary reads 'Peter Samuel Staniforth, son of Mr Thomas Staniforth, wine and brandy merchant of Aston, died of a rapid decline and severe illness which he bore with exemplary patience"
  • Elizabeth Staniforth, baptised at Aston January 30, 1794, she is buried there June 11, 1813.
  • Sarah Staniforth, baptised at Aston May 23, 1796, likely the same that marries Joseph Wood at Aston October 9, 1826, she appears to pass away shortly after, as a burial record exists at Aston for Sarah Wood, buried June 10, 1831.
  • Ann Staniforth, baptised at Aston, March 1st, 1799
  • John Staniforth, baptised at Aston May 1, 1801, he is buried there December 28, 1802.
  • George Staniforth, baptised August 28, 1803, he marries Ellen Slack at Sheffield on 10 Sep 1829. They have a son named Peter Samuel Staniforth in 1843, he marries Ann Oates Wallis and they have a number of children including Tom Slack Staniforth, he married Mary Ann Couple and again had a number of children including Thomas Staniforth who marries Winifred Hallows.

On the baptism record of the children, Thomas is described as both a Grocer, and a Wine Merchant. In 1792 we find an interesting report, "Thomas and Samuel Barry, alias Housley where charged with "breaking open the warehouse of Thos. Staniforth of Aston in the West-Riding". Following his death, and burial on February 11, 1826, we find a number of reports in local newspapers.

"To the Debtors and Creditors of the late Mr. Thomas Staniforth, Deceased.

All persons having any claim or demand upon the Estate and Effects of Thomas Staniforth, Late of Aston, in the county of York, Wine and Spirit Merchant, deceased, are requested to transmit an account thereof immediately, with their securities, if any, to Mr. George Staniforth, of Aston aforesaid, one of the Executors of the said Thomas Staniforth, deceased; or Mr. Potter, Solicitor, Rotherham: And all persons who stood indebted to the said Thomas Staniforth, at the time of his Death, are desired forth with to pay the amount of their respective Debts to the said George Staniforth, or at the Office of Mr. Potter.

By Order of the Exectutors, John W. Potter, Rotherham March 1 1826."

We also find a very detailed list of the properties Thomas owned in the September 16, 1826 issue of the Sheffield Independent:

"Sales by Mr. Bardwell, Aston, Yorkshire

Valuable Freehold Land & Dwellinghouses Exempt from Land Tax

To Be Sold By Auction By Mr Bardwell,

At the House of Mr. Roberts, the Bull Inn, in Aston, in the County of York, on Thursday, the 28th Day of September, Instant, at Four O'Clock in the Afternoon, in the undermentioned or such other Lots we shall be declared at the time of Sale, and subject to such conditions as will be then produced;

Divers, Closes, Pieces, or Parcels of very valuable Land, lying and being in the Parish of Aston, aforesaid; and also several Tenements or Dwellinghouses, advantageously situate at Aston, Netherthorpe, within the same Parish, all late the property of Mr. Thomas Staniforth, deceased, consisting of:

Lot 1 - The Dore Close, situate at Aston, Netherthorpe

Lot 2 - The Brick Ing Close, adjoining the Turnpike Road leading from Worksop to Sheffield, and abutting also on the Lodge Lane.

Lot 3 - The Rape or Bar Close, situate at Swallownest

Lot 4 - The Gin Close, situate on Millstone Hill, with the cottage and garden in the same field

Lot 5 - The Chulmley Close, also lying on Millstone Hill.

This close will be sold subject to a right of Road to the next Lot.

Lot 6 - The two Moor Closes, lying at the Northern end of the two last Lots, with the small thriving Plantation of Larch and Fir adjoining.

Lot 7 - Four Tenements or Dwellinghouses, with the Gardens thereunto belonging, situate at Aston, Netherthorpe, in the several occupations of Jas. Waller, James Johnson, Mary Rose and Robert Mellors, together with the Saddler's Shop adjoining.

The land is in a good state of Cultivation, and Lots 1, 4 and 6 are well supplied with Water. Valuable Beds of Coal lie under several of the Lots, which will either be sold therewith, or reserved by the venders, as may be agreed upon at the Sale.

Mr. George Staniforth of Aston, will shew the Property, and further particulars may be obtained on application to him; or at the office of Mr. Potter, Solicitor, Rotherham, - Rotherham September 5, 1826"

In the January 31, 1829 Sheffield Independent, we find a report of Elizabeth's death "On Tuesday week, as Aston, aged 64, Elizabeth, relict of the late Thomas Staniforth of Aston, and spirit merchant, after lingering illness, which she bore with Christian patience.

By 1851 George has relocated to Handsworth and is described as a School Master. He is still here in 1851, however now he is a 'Sexton and Peace Keeper'. He is buried at St. Mary's Handsworth on July 2, 1865. By this time his son Peter Samuel Staniforth is at a residence in Fargate, Sheffield with a Confectioner named John Thorpe and his wife Jane. He is described as a 'Confectioners Journeyman', by 1871 Peter is back in Handsworth working as a Confectioner, however by 1881 he is working as a House Painter. He sticks to this profession until 1901 when he is living at 19 Main Road, Handsworth as a Retired House Painter, he passes away in 1911.

Aston c1913

His son, also named Peter Samuel Staniforth marries Caroline Ward in Wolverhampton in 1902, by the time of the 1911 Census the couple are living at Coldwell Cottages, Ashwicke, Marshfield Chippenham in Gloucestershire. He is working as a Stationery Engineman (Domestic) and is living with his wife and two daughters, Caroline Emily Staniforth, born 1904 and Dorothy Staniforth born 1905. By 1939 the couple are living at Moor Green, Thingoe, Suffolk. By this time he is a Private Gardener & Electrician. Caroline is the only daughter still in the household as by this time Dorothy had married Geoffrey W Riley and had a daughter, Patricia A Riley born 1932. Peter Samuel Staniforth dies July 23, 1956 at St. Mary's Hospital, Bury St. Edmunds. His address on his probate is The Cottage, The Street, Shimpling, Bury St. Edmunds. He leaves his effects to Caroline, still a spinster. She would never marry, and eventually died in 1983 in Sudbury, Suffolk.

As stated previously, Peter Samuel Staniforth Sr. had a son named Tom Slack Staniforth, brother to the younger Peter Samuel Staniforth. He was baptised July 17, 1878 at Handsworth. On the 1881 Census, Tom Slack Staniforth is living with a 'Vickers' family in Handsworth and is described as their Adopted Son. There is another Adopted son in the household named Herbert Frost. The two are still in the house in 1891, however they are now described as Lodgers, with Tom working as a Farm Labourer.

By 1901, Tom is the is still living with James Vickers and his wife Ann at 18 Main Road, Handsworth, now working as an Underground Colliery Labourer. It is uncertain as to why he was given up for adoption to a family a few doors down from his father, however in 1901 he marries Mary Ann Coupe, a woman from Intake.

On the 1911 Census they are living at 2 Bramley Lane, Handsworth, Tom is still working as a Collier and by this time they have two daughters, Edith Staniforth born 1902, Nellie Staniforth born 1907, and two sons, George Staniforth born 1909 and Wilfred Staniforth born 1905. They are still living on Bramley Lane in 1939, with Tom working as a Road Layer. The only son living in the house at this time is Maurice Staniforth, however he would go onto marry Margaret Bennett later that year. Another son, Thomas Staniforth born July 9, 1914, had already married Winifred Hallows that same year They were living at 19 Vine Street at this time with Thomas working as a Pit Pipe Fitter. Thomas and Winifred had three children in total, Rowland "Jack" Staniforth, born July 9, 1943, he married Penelope Jill Hibbard on July 2, 1966, Lynne Staniforth born 1948 and Beryl A Staniforth born 1940. Rowland had two sons, David Thomas Staniforth, and Jon Paul Staniforth born 1973.

Maurice Staniforth

We will now backtrack to William Staniforth, another son of Thomas Staniforth and Elizabeth Birks, as mentioned prior, William marries Mary in Cripplegate, London. Their son Thomas William Staniforth is baptised January 13, 1820 in Newington, Surrey. Another son, Henry Staniforth, was baptised November 8, 1820.

Thomas William marries Sarah Ann Godley at Newington in 1841. Based on Census records, Thomas worked as a Clerk, whilst his wife worked as a Dressmaker. On the 1871 Census they are residing at 2 Anns Terrace, Camberwell, London. There are a number of children in the house including Sarah Staniforth born 1844, Thomas Staniforth born 1849, Kate Staniforth born 1856, Henry Staniforth born 1858, and Claude Staniforth born 1861. By 1871 they had relocated to Cobourg Road, Camberwell. Thomas William Staniforth dies on December 28, 1873 at 135 Coburg Road, Old Kent Road, Surrey.

Their son Claude Cecil Staniforth, born 1861 married Lucy Belle Milestone in 1885, in 1901 he is a 40 year old Fishmonger living at 273 Regent Street however by 1911 he is described as a 'Gentleman' residing with his wife at 84 Addison Road, Kensington with several servants. Based on documents from the 1910s, Claude operated a Seafood business under the name Staniforth & Milestone Ltd. The business was incorporated on 7 December 1905. Amazingly this business was not officially dissolved until 2011 By the time of his death on 6 March 1952, he is residing at 34 Wolsey Road, East Molesey, Surrey. He leaves behind £199896 to Robert Stanley Paterson, chartered accountant and Russell Ewart Spearing, Retired Bank Manager. He never had any children. A newspaper report states that he left £2000 and his residence with all contents to his companion-housekeeper, Edith A Cornell. It should be worth noting that in 1959, a RNLI Lifeboat was named Claude Cecil Staniforth at Lerwick, Shetland Islands.

A newspaper report from July 22, 1958 reads:

"The new Lerwick life-boat "Claude Cecil Staniforth" will leave her station from Cowes, Isle of Wight, where she was built, on 26th July. She will call at Ramsgate on 26th, Gorleston on 27th, Whitby on 29th, Berwick-upon-Tweed on 30th, Aberdeen on 31st July and Kirkwall on 1st August.

The new life-boat, which has been built out of a legacy from the late Mr. C. C Staniforth of East Molesey, Surrey, is one of the 52-feet Barnett type driven by two 72 h.p diesel engines. Life-boats of this class which are the largest now being built, cost £38500 each." The boat was in service until 1985, it was primarily stationed in both Lerwick as well as Arranmore, Ireland.

Milestone & Staniforth Ltd Fresh Seafood Menu Swallow Place London 1915

Thomas William Staniforth, another son married Hannah Milton in 1884. On the 1901 Census the family are residing at 35 Drayton Park, Islington. Thomas is working as a Tea Warehouseman and they have a number of children, including Milton Victor Staniforth, born 1886, he would go onto marry Margaret Hamilton Pightling before passing in 1940, they had a son Kenneth William Victor Staniforth. Godfrey Douglas Staniforth, born 1888, he died in Flanders during World War I on May 3, 1917. Stanley Cecil Staniforth, born 1891, he married Violet B Howard before passing in 1930 in Ramsgate, Kent, he had a son Stanley Howard Staniforth born 1922, he married Valerie Kathleen Francis Cruse and died in New Zealand in 2006, his wife followed in 2012. Percy Claude Staniforth, the last son born 1897 lived a short life, passing away in 1920 in Edmonton, Middlesex.

The final son of Thomas William Staniforth and Sarah Ann Godley is Harry Charles Staniforth, he married Mary Elizabeth Parks in 1884, Camberwell. On the 1901 Census they are living at 1, Portman Street in Marylebone. His mother Sarah is living with them, now a 76 year old Widow. They also have a son, Leonard Harry Staniforth. Harry is working as a Commercial Clerk. By 1911 they have moved to 75 Holmdene Avenue, Camberwell, By this time Leonard Harry Staniforth is a 23 year old Bank Clerk for Lloyds. Harry Charles Staniforth dies in 1953. His son Leonard Harry Staniforth married Alice Ridgewell in 1929, by 1939 they are residing at 20 Hollingbourne Road, Camberwell, with Leonard still working as a Bank Official. They had one child, Patricia M Staniforth born 1931. Patricia marries Edward M Daniels in 1952, Camberwell. Leonard Harry Staniforth dies ion June 30, 1970 at 11 Milton Drive, Southwick. He left £1946 in his will.

And this concludes the story of the Staniforths of Aston, originally coming into the village from Eckington, before expanding across not only England, but across the world to New Zealand.