Author Topic: Greatrex Stafford lost records?  (Read 3970 times)

Offline Zen rabbit

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #9 on: Thursday 08 March 12 15:53 GMT (UK) »
He could have still been from Stafford, most likely on current evidence from Castlechurch parish. Freemanship in Stafford was confined to those born within the parish of St Mary's (& St Chad's) adjacent parishes which are now a part of Stafford such as Castlechurch and Baswich were not included. As i have ancestors (Stanton) who moved around the villages including Hopton, Longdon and Great Haywood I wouldn't completely dismiss Longdon links but put them on the back burner. I don't know how close you are to the area but I have found Lichfield wills to be indispensable to sorting out family links and of course Stafford has a great deal of records to sift through. If you do get a chance to get there, aside from the fiches for parish records, ask to see the electoral rolls and parish apprenticeships, which often give the names of parents.
Glad to be of some help I don't envy you having a name which is both distinctive but which could so readily have different spellings.
Good luck! :)
Stanton of Stafford
Bourne of Stoke-on-Trent
Smith of Stoke-on-Trent
Philpott of Pontesbury
Pugh of Worthen & Pontesbury

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Offline Suzy W

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #10 on: Thursday 08 March 12 18:29 GMT (UK) »
Sending PM for a contact who happens to be a Greatrex still living in Stafford.
As I said it is the Shocklidge side I follow, one of Thomas's daughters (Mary Ann) married into the Greatrx family and this is my contacts family.  My GG Grandmother is Mary's sister (Ellen)

 Marriage Cert. dated 25th April 1851, at Christ Church, St Mary's parish, Stafford, between:
WILLIAM GRATTIDGE - full age; bachelor; prof: cordwainer; resident at:
Friar St.; father's name: William Grattidge; f. prof: cordwainer.
MARY ANN SHOCKLIDGE - full age; spinster; prof: (none given); resident
at: Snow Hill; father's name: Thomas Shocklidge; f. prof: cordwainer.
Witnesses were: Thomas Shocklidge and Mary Smith.
William Grattidge signed his name; Mary Ann S, Thomas S and Mary Smith
all signed with cross.

Suzy W
TEW family of Leire/Leicester and New Zealand
MERRICKS of Stafford/Birmingham
PENTECOST of Surrey and New Zealand
POTENTIER of France, England and Canada
WATKINS of London and New Zealand
WHITAKER of Guiseley Yorkshire and New Zealand
LYALL, of Dundee, Caithness and New Zealand

And far too many to add

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Offline Suzy W

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 08 March 12 18:34 GMT (UK) »
Greatrex, William (b. 1830, d. 1871)
Note: listed & written on 1861 census as Gralkrick
Source: (Birth)
Title: 1861 census Cornwainer


Christening: 31 OCT 1830 St Marys, Stafford
Occupation: Date: 1861
Place: Cordwainer
Death: 1871 Stafford, Staffordshire
Census: Date: 1861
Place: 4 Grey Friars Str, St Marys, Stafford
TEW family of Leire/Leicester and New Zealand
MERRICKS of Stafford/Birmingham
PENTECOST of Surrey and New Zealand
POTENTIER of France, England and Canada
WATKINS of London and New Zealand
WHITAKER of Guiseley Yorkshire and New Zealand
LYALL, of Dundee, Caithness and New Zealand

And far too many to add

Offline dionysus

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 08 March 12 19:06 GMT (UK) »
Thanks again, both.
One obvious connection between the Greatrex-type and the Grattidge-type is Thomas Shocklidge Greatrix son of William Grattidge and Mary Ann Shocklidge.  I guess all permurtations are fair game.

Zen Rabbit, I hope you don't mind me pestering you a bit more.

Presumably, proof of age would be needed for freedom to be granted?  The only source of such proof for a man born in about 1805 would be parish registers?  If a prerequisite was birth in St Mary & St Chad could baptism still be somewhere else (e.g. St Lawrence) or is the target clearly St Mary?  Or could it be the other way about, i.e. born elsewhere, but baptised at St Mary? If so, it could be much later than you would ordinarily expect.

Was the "freedom" effectively freedom from indenture / apprenticeship or "Freedom of the City", in other words freedom to operate as a tradesman (in this case cordwainer) in his own right or something more in the line of civic ceremony or both?

The real puzzle is the absence of William and Catherine (and their sons) in the 1851 Census, which should give more precise information about birthplace and age.
Upton, Bishops Wood, Staffordshire.  Jones, Nant-yr-Ych, Aberhafesp, Montgomeryshire.  Evans, Kinnerley, Flintshire.  Dennis, Breedon-on-the-Hill, Leicestershire.  Brown, Red Lake, Wellington, Shropshire.

Offline Zen rabbit

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #13 on: Thursday 08 March 12 20:54 GMT (UK) »


Zen Rabbit, I hope you don't mind me pestering you a bit more.

Presumably, proof of age would be needed for freedom to be granted?  The only source of such proof for a man born in about 1805 would be parish registers?  If a prerequisite was birth in St Mary & St Chad could baptism still be somewhere else (e.g. St Lawrence) or is the target clearly St Mary?  Or could it be the other way about, i.e. born elsewhere, but baptised at St Mary? If so, it could be much later than you would ordinarily expect.

Was the "freedom" effectively freedom from indenture / apprenticeship or "Freedom of the City", in other words freedom to operate as a tradesman (in this case cordwainer) in his own right or something more in the line of civic ceremony or both?

The real puzzle is the absence of William and Catherine (and their sons) in the 1851 Census, which should give more precise information about birthplace and age.

I include a quote from Jack Kemp about the Stafford Burgesses below but essentially it allowed for certain trading and grazing rights within the borough plus the right to vote in local elections. William senior would have had to be 21 or over to become a burgess but as he is not given as "a son of" it seems likely that he was born outside of the borough (say St Lawrence) but underwent his apprenticeship within the borough of St Mary's. If he was older then it might indicate that he bought his burgess but I think that the apprentice route is the most likely.

Freemen of Stafford

The rights and privileges of the freemen of Stafford borough originate in a charter granted to the borough by King John in 1206. This granted them various rights but the main ones being exemption from taxes and tolls levied on non-burgesses in the town, the right of common pasture everywhere except cornfields, meadows or enclosures and a right to vote in the local elections. This last became a highly contentious issue when the question of vote rigging was raised in the early 1800’s, as the bribing and creating of freemen by politicians in order to secure an election was both wide spread and open. This nearly lost Stafford its freeman rights but for two petitions delivered to parliament in 1836 called the “householders” petition and the “freemans” petition.

By 1647 and presumably earlier there were three ways of achieving burgess status;
By birth (being born in the borough the son of a burgess)
By servitude (serving an apprenticeship in the borough and paying a fee)
By purchase (mentioned in 1566)
Admission was even then subject to approval by the majority of the council. Every person seeking admission had to pay a fee. Most “foreigners” admitted as a burgess had to pay a fee of £10 plus the usual fees.

Burgess could also be disenfranchised and by the mid 17th century any burgess who moved away from the borough lost his privilages. A burgess could also be disenfranchised by being disrespectful to the major and the council,
Stanton of Stafford
Bourne of Stoke-on-Trent
Smith of Stoke-on-Trent
Philpott of Pontesbury
Pugh of Worthen & Pontesbury

Offline Lee Greatrex

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #14 on: Wednesday 08 March 17 23:45 GMT (UK) »
Hello my name is Lee Greatrex and I have just read all your messages on here. I live in Stone near Stafford and I a descendant of Thomas Stocklidge Greatrex. I too have been searching for William married to Catharine Smith born about 1805. I do know a little more, he passed away in 1858 I think, I am sure I have his death certificate. Catherine remarried and went to live in Cannock, look up Cathrine Greatrex on the 1851 census. She and her new husband who I have forgotten his name had several children. I have a relative who thinks William came from Longdon but there is no evidence to prove he did. I have been to the record office and looked at the parish records a few years ago and could only find one entry that could be him but he has no dad. I tried to look for his mum but not easy to read the transcribed info. Williams son William ran the wagon and horses pub and his son Walter ran the Stafford coach business. He went to live in Florida and I am in touch with his descendants on Facebook.
My email address is (*) and would really like to hear from you and if I can help I'd gladly. I think checking the apprentice records is a great idea. I am sure if we go into the record office with all the info we have the kind people in there would gladly help. It may take all day but I am sure that we could find where and when William snr was born and hopefully his parents. I have discovered Catharines parents. John Smith. I can give you access to my ancestry tree if you wish? My great granddad was Frank Thomas Greatrex who was Thomas s Greatrex grandson, but on the 1911 census sais son. His mum was Edith Greatrex and Edwin Pugh and he came from London. I have a photo of Thomas and one of William and his family in the pub. All the best and look forward to hearing from you.



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Offline Zen rabbit

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #15 on: Wednesday 10 October 18 21:55 BST (UK) »
there are several Freeman records relating to Greatrex.
1852 - William Greatrex son of William (1826 admitted) and Catherine Greatrex was dead by Dec 1884
1826 - William Greatrex admitted. William signed the "Freemen's" petition in 1836 and lived in Union buildings in 1837 he is the earliest Greatrex admitted
Stanton of Stafford
Bourne of Stoke-on-Trent
Smith of Stoke-on-Trent
Philpott of Pontesbury
Pugh of Worthen & Pontesbury

Offline ciderdrinker

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Re: Greatrex Stafford lost records?
« Reply #16 on: Thursday 11 October 18 11:42 BST (UK) »
Hi
There's a possible burial for William Greatrex age 38  12.9.1845 of Stafford at St Chad's Stafford which could well be Dad and would explain why he's not on the 1851 census.
Death may be registered under Grattidge

Ciderdrinker