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John Ford of Bucknall 1683-1728

This particular John Ford was the third son of Hugh Ford of Ford Green, whose ancestry and family relationships are well known. Family historians in Victorian times stated that he had a son, also John Ford, who died without issue in 1756. However, some of the records I have uncovered do not fit with previous work, and I present here evidence in support of a suggestion that John Ford's son might be the ancestor of my line. First, a simple family relationship table:

The family of John Ford born 1683
John Ford 1683-1728 = Margery Ford c1700-1762
John 1724-????

The story of this family is perhaps the most intricate and intriguing of the family groups, so I present the factual information and discussion rather than a page appendix.

Factual information

  • There is an entry in the Astbury Parish Register recording the marriage of John Ford and Margery Ford in 1720:
    4 May 1720 Joannis Ford Parish de Wolstanton [&] Margeria Ford Parish de Astbury.
  • There are records in the Leek Quaker Minute Book for 1720 recording John Ford being spoken to on account of marrying out.
  • John and Margery Ford had a son baptised John at Newchapel in 1724. The entry in the Parish Register reads:
    ... privately John son of John and Margery Ford Oct 14 1724 Stadmorslow Ham.
  • In his will of 1728, John Ford of Bucknall, clearly the same man because he names his wife and all of his surviving brothers and sister, makes provision for his son John and any other child that might be born, by leaving them his Wolstanton property. He also gives Thomas Shufflebotham, his tennant at The Ashes, the opportunity to have said premises at any year's end.
  • On February 14 1757 Margery Ford, widow of Congleton, married Jonathan Eaton, widowman of Eaton [just north of Congleton].
  • Margery, wife of Jonathan Eaton of Buglawton [also just north of Congleton] was buried at Astbury on June 21 1762.
  • Jonathan Eaton's will of 1773 did not mention any Fords.

Note: Stadmorslow is in the Newchapel chapelry of Wolstanton Parish.

Discussion

So how does this information fit with previous work? In the 1712 will of Hugh Ford, his father, John Ford inherited the Bucknall property and a half share in the Ashes with his brother Isaac, who died unmarried in 1722. Isaac did not mention John in his will, nor The Ashes. It is not clear where the Ashes is located. Rowley suggested that it was Norton, or possibly Horton. Until now it has never been suggested that it might have been The Ashes at Harriseahead, which is shown on William Yates map of Staffordshire of 1775. It is close to the boundary between Stadmorslow and Brieryhurst hamlets.

Hugh Ford of Spragg House, Norton, in his will of 1733, acknowledged the terms of the will of his brother John Ford of Bucknall regarding the Wolatanton property. He actually says Now in case of such contingency as aforesaid [John dying without issue] I do give devise and bequeath all and singular the said [property] to John Ford of the Ivy House Hugh Ford of Ford Green Thomas Adams Josiah Ford ... upon trust ... for my younger children. I take this to mean that Hugh is simply passing on his obligation to hold the Wolstanton property in trust for his nephew John, son of John and Margery Ford, and what is to happen if John dies without issue (before reaching the age of 21?).

Rowley (1983) thought that John Ford was almost certainly John Ford of Ivy House, Stoke on the grounds that The Ivy House was in or near Bucknall. In fact John Ford of The Ivy House, Stoke upon Trent, left a will in 1752 in which he mentioned his daughters, son-in-law and daughter-in-law, the wife of his son John who is dead, and his grand-daughter Lidia. John Ford appears to have been the tennant of the Vyse family between 1716 and 1749. So John Ford of The Ivy House is not the son of John Ford of Bucknall.

John Ford of the Ashes House, Norton, died in 1748 and his will indicates that John Ford, the younger, of Ivy House had died between 1745, when the will was made, and 1746, when a codicil was added. The will does not mention any wife or child, but it does include a long list of kinsmen: William Ford of The Bank [on the Cheshire flanks of Mow Cop], John Ford of Ivy House, Matthew Ford of Handley Green (deceased), William Ford of Cook Hill, Carswall, Samuel Ford of Audley, Ralph Fornd [sic] of Sandbach, and that is just those with the Ford name.

Not one of the relatives of John Ford of The Ivy House, Stoke upon Trent, or John Ford of the Ashes House, Norton are obviously related to The Fords of Ford Green! So if the John Ford baptised in 1724 is he who died without issue in 1756 I have not yet seen the evidence for it. If he survived, he would have been the right age to be married to Hannah Oaks at Astbury in 1750.

What might have happened to Margery and her young son John after the death her husband in 1728? She might have gone back to live with her parents, thought to be James Ford of Kent Green, although he would have been over 70 at that time. Perhaps she went to live with relatives in Congleton, where she was living when she later remarried. Perhaps she went to live on the Wolstanton property, where she was living when her son John was baptised. Who knows?


Appendix: Additional Quotations

The Leek Quaker Minute Book for 1720:

167 This meeting being informed John Ford hath married one not of our society its desired John Toft Jun and Isaac Whitehead speak to him upon it. 2nd 4th mo 1720

168 John Toft jun and Isaac Whitehead not having answered their service respecting John Ford are still confirmed. 7/5/1720

169 John Toft Jun acquainted us how with is brother Sam word [sic] with John Ford to speak to him upon account of going from us who we understand signified his satisfaction therein and total unwillingness to give any reason for his so doing, from which cannot have any hopes of his sehiz nor sight of misdoing yet if any have it upon their mind to say further to him it is desired they may not omit it. 4/6/1720