St. James, Braithwell

Braithwell is a small village east of Rotherham, and south west of Doncaster. To the east of Braithwell are the villages of Stainton and Tickhill, and to the south is Maltby, Mickelbring is another small hamlet bordering Braithwell.

Although these villages are not widely known, based on both parish records as well as surviving deeds, we find that the Staniforth family had a presence here from at least the 16th Century.

A grant from George, Earl of Shrewsbury in 1590 addressed to Thomas Staniforth of Braithwell gives Thomas custody of John Staniforth, the son of Laurence Staniforth of Darnall, who is deceased. Laurence was the son of Thomas Staniforth and Margaret. John would go onto marry Jane Lewys. This clearly shows a link between the early Darnall Staniforth family, and the family line at Braithwell.

A second deed dated April 20th 1596 states 'Grant in trust as security' John Staniforth of Braithwell, Yorkshire, Yeoman to Robert Shawe of Osgathorpe Hills in the parish of Sheffield, cutler, and Richard Lewys of Melton, Yorkshire, one parcel of land containing 4 acres in Tinsley, in a close called Oxpasture or Hill held in accomplisment of an agreement between Staniforth and John Bate of Carbrooke, cutler, to uses expressed in deed.

Another deed, dated April 5th 1619 states:

Admittance in the Court Baron of Connesbrough [Conisbrough]. Anna Staniforth and Jane Staniforth were admitted tenants of a moiety of a messuage, cottage, toft, croft, and appurtenances in the reeveships of Braywell [Braithwell, Rotherham] and Micklebring [Micklebring, Rotherham]. The jury had presented that William Stanyforth their father had occupied these premises under colour of a surrender of John Stanyforth his father for ten years preceding without paying a fine. A claim was preferred by Thomas Tomson in the right of Anne his wife, formerly wife of the above William Stanyforth

Names of the Jurors : Robert Wasse gentleman, Christopher Fayram, Cotton Nevile, Richard Marsden, John Rackit, Robert Amerie, Robert Ode, William Pagden, Ralph Clay, Robert Brodehead.

The parish records at St. James Braithwell show that Anna Staniforth was baptised January 16th, 1599 to William, and Jane was baptised October 2nd 1602. We then find Jane Staniforth marrying John Killham on November 24th, 1624 at the same church, and Anne Staniforth marrying Thomas Hall on July 19th, 1625. There are however earlier records at St. James Braithwell, namely:

  • Jane Staniforth married John Hewitt November 10th 1587
  • Jane Staniforth married Edward Fidlinge February 1 1590
  • John Staniforth married Margaret Lewis June 12th 1592
  • Alice Staniforth married Thomas Smallbest February 19th 1594
  • John Staniforth married Elizabeth Bailiffe November 13th 1603
  • Anne Staniforth married Thomas Tomsone May 18th 1615
  • William Staniforth married Elizabeth Bayes October 16th 1705

It is also worth mentioning that an Ann Staniforth of Tinsley married William Spencer on August 4th 1583. William Spencer was described as being of 'Bramley Grange' however when her husband died in 1624, he was buried in Braithwell.

The earliest baptism records at the church begin in 1571, however there are none for the above mentioned William son of John mentioned in the 1602 Deed.

  • Jane Staniforth, daughter of John Staniforth was baptised November 1st 1571
  • Dorothy Staniforth, daughter of John Staniforth was baptised November 30th 1599
  • Anne Staniforth, daughter of William Staniforth was baptised January 16th 1599
  • Jane Staniforth, daughter of William Staniforth was baptised October 2nd 1602

There is also an early marriage in the neighbouring village of Stainton that shows a John Staniforth married Alice Langald on November 14th 1568, however baptism records show the first Staniforth wasn’t baptised there until 1790. Tickhill only shows Staniforth’s from the late 1700s onwards.

Perhaps the most interesting man to stem from this family is in Tickhill, George Staniforh was baptised on March 29th 1835 at St. Mary’s Church, and he was the son of George and Hannah. Although it is unclear how his early life played out, somehow he found himself in Utah, USA as a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. The LDS history archives shows George with a birthdate of September 15th 1835, and an LDS baptism date of 20th August 1849. George would have been 14 at this date, meaning it was likely his parents converted to the church. George was baptised by Elder Henry Kirk, and he is recorded making a number of trips back to his native England as a missionary.

One such trip is dated April 1857, and has an end date of June 1858, his ‘Age called’ is 21 and the mission type is described as ‘Proselytizing’ and he was called from Willow Creek, Wasatch, Utah Territory, United States. Another mission sees 24 year old George return to England again, this time between April 25th 1860 through to April 30th 1863. This same George Staniforth marries Jane Coates at Chesterfield on January 1st 1867, and she is named on the 1910 Census, as well as on an obituary. It seems likely George met her during one of his missionary trips. Finally George’s death date is recorded on August 20th 1917.

Although the origins of the Braithwell and Tickhill Staniforth’s are so far unknown, it is hoped that when more deeds and information are discovered, the link between Thomas Staniforth and the Darnall branches may be found.