|About Staffordshire Moorlands - Roots & branches
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Please sign my guest book if you've passed by this way, and if you have any photographs to share
or stories to tell, please let me know...
All tribes have many beginnings, ours is no exception|
My own ancestors originate almost exclusively from villages in the Staffordshire Moorlands. There
are stone masons, farmers and labourers, dressmakers and blacksmiths, iron miners and inn keepers,
coachmen, carriers, carters and the odd mole-catcher.
The roots of the RATCLIFFE family begin with William & Ann, in Cauldon from 1640. From the
same village - the names DAKIN, WOOLLISCROFT, BYOT & KENT. The WARRINGTON line
starts with Hugh & Dorothy in
Fenny Bentley in 1670 (possibly over the border in Hognaston Derbyshire before that) and farms its
way through Ellastone to Ramsor and beyond. The ORPE family, also in Ellastone from 1490.
The village of Ellastone itself dates back to Anglo-Saxon times & is listed in the Domesday book
as Edelachestone.Elachestone and Princestone (after the great Prince James who fought in the
battle of Ashbourne (1066) against the marauding Bainbridge hordes of the Northern territories).
Ellastone (and the earlier versions of the name) is thought to be named after an Anglo-Saxon named
Aethelac or Ethelac.
The MORTONs have beginnings in Colwich in the late 1700's before moving on to Cheddleton &
Cheadle. The names WETTON and BLOOR from further south in Stone - one branch of the
Bloors stretching across the Atlantic to California and a Wetton family who settled in
Pennsylvania. The WATTS family were in Biddulph and before that have their roots in
Nick's families have slaters, shoe makers, butchers, preachers,
tailors, weavers, cotton doffers, millers, plumbers and boilermakers. Lancashire surnames include
PICKUP, HOWARTH, PEEL, WHITWORTH, ATKINSON, TWEEDALE, NIGHTINGALE, MANOCK & SIDEBOTTOM -
mainly from Rochdale. The MILLS, WRIGHT, PARKER & WATTS families have their origins in
Warwickshire and Oxfordshire.
I am indebted to genealogists and family members too numerous to mention, who have contributed to
this family tree.
My feelings are that in each family there is someone who is called to find the ancestors. To put
flesh on their bones and make them live again, to tell the family story. To me, genealogy is not
just a cold gathering of facts but instead, breathing life into all who have gone before.
We are the storytellers of our tribe.
All tribes have one.
It goes beyond just documenting facts.
It's about taking pride in what our ancestors were able to accomplish - respecting their hardships
and losses, their never giving in or giving up, their resoluteness to go on and build a life for
So, as a scribe called, I tell the story of my family.
It is up to that one called in the next generation to answer the call and take their place in the
long line of family storytellers.
That is why I do my genealogy, and that is what calls those young and old to step up and put flesh
on the bones.