INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

I have been interested in family history for as long as I can remember. I suppose my research began at about the age of nine when, with the help of my ‘Nana’ I drew up a basic family tree on a bit of scrap paper, little realising that in 20 years time it would come in useful as our researching began more seriously. My main interest is 'SANDERSON' as this was my maiden name.

My father, Michael David Sanderson, was born in Sheffield in 1940 and lived at Malin Bridge until 1957,which was when he moved to London to start college. His father William Arthur Sanderson was born in Stannington and lived at Malin Bridge from the time of his marriage in 1940 to his death in 1996. My ancestors before him lived in Bradfield, and gradually moved down the valley into Sheffield and beyond over the years. Following his death, Grandads wish was to have his ashes scattered near Bradfield cricket ground where he had spent many happy times with his family.When Grandma moved away from Sheffield in 1999 our family's direct link with the area was broken after more than four hundred years.

I myself, have never lived in the area but we have spent many a holiday in the area visiting my Grandparents, enjoying a picnic or picking bilberries on the moors. When we started our investigations we presumed that SANDERSON was not a particularly common surname, but as time and research has gone on, we have come to realise that those Sandersons get everywhere! Research before 1837 (introduction of civil registration) has been made more difficult by vague entries in the Parish Registers and inconsiderate parents who had a limited stock of Christian names! Whilst research is generally easier in a small area (as all the records are at hand) there is still a lot of intermarriage and a large number of individuals with the same name which makes sorting them out very difficult!

Early enquiries led us to believe that the SANDERSON name can be traced back to the MacDonald Clan in Scotland. Whether this is true of our line we cannot say, but we do know that there were certainly Sandersons in Bradfield by the mid-1500's and it is believed that they originally came from the North of England. Interestingly, Bradfield is on the marching line from Scotland to London so perhaps some of the Scottish soldiers may have settled in the area on one of their many incursions. So far, we have only managed to prove our line back to 1798, but believe we are aware of earlier ancestors but cannot prove or sort them at the moment.

Around about 1987, my father bought his first computer and my granddad became interested in family history and began copying Sanderson extracts from the Bradfield Parish Records at Sheffield Archive Office. My father then began to database the information. Since then we have gradually added to this with the help of census extracts, poor law records, and information from the National Birth, Marriage and Death indexes. When I bought a computer in 1998, I took to Family History in a big way and continued databasing all the information we had collected and building family groups on my ‘Generations Grand Suite’ Program. All my data sources are stated in the notes in the programme so if you use my Family Tree you can see where my information has come from.

Finding information about the SANDERSONS has been fairly easy as they have lived in and around Bradfield since at least the 1500's but my mother's family have been less straightforward as they have not come from such a compact area. The HARVEYS can be traced back to Wiltshire in the mid-1700's but had moved to Fulham in West Middlesex by the mid 1800's, where they began marrying with folk from all around the country who had also moved into the London area.

I am now beginning research into my husband's family (WEATHERILL) in Norfolk and Windsor although we believe the Weatherill family originated from the North of England.

Family history is such an absorbing hobby as each new discovery leads to more questions and general historical background to investigate. One of our families in particular has proved of great interest. George Sanderson, a cutler, married Martha lbbotson in 1819. They had eight children, among whom were; Martin (this seems a strange name for the period and the only one in the whole of my family file); Malin (an unusual name though fairly common in this area - what is its connection with Malin Bridge?) and Morgan and Jarvis (both rather uncommon names). Martha died in 1847 from Typhus Fever and she was followed by several of her children and by George himself in 1850. Did they all die from Typhus - we are still investigating.

Whilst I hope that the information I have collated is correct, I have insome cases included assumptions where I am working on research to prove or disprove relationships. I shall of course keep updating the information as research progresses.

Angela Weatherill maw@springcottage.fsnet.co.uk

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