Welcome to the blog and news site for the website that I am creating for family and local historians with an interest in the townships of Heaton, Rushton James and Rushton Spencer which formed the Chapelry of Rushton Spencer in the Parish of Leek in the North Staffordshire Moorlands in England. The aim is to make information such as Parish Registers, Census Returns, Memorial Inscriptions and any other information that I find in my research that I believe will be of interest, freely available.

My interest in these three townships arose through research into my family history, it soon became obvious that my maternal great grandmother`s line (the Buxton family) could be traced back to Rushton James and Heaton where they lived from at least the early 1600s until the early 1900s. One farm in Rushton James, Wolf Dale, was in the family for 200 years.

It was during my research into the Buxton family that I started to notice the same families would keep reappearing in census records and parish registers, and it was this that sparked the interest in the history and genealogy of the area, and the desire to share my research by creating a website.

If anyone has any information that they would like to share, or just make a comment please contact me through this site until I go live.



43 comments so far

  1. sarah brown on

    Dear Martin,
    I found your site by chance a few days ago and have been using it for the births/marriages/deaths records, in the hopes to leap some of my family tree back a few more generations.
    I am slowly finding bits more, but it’s become much more difficult. My family tree has the surnames Hammond, Shufflebotham, Smith from Rushton in the 1800s, and since 1930 my family have lived in Rushton, and i was born in the village.
    Anyway I wanted to say the site is very good, and really well presented.
    If you ever wanted to add more, my dad has written some short stories (recollections) from his life in Rushton set when he was an infant (1940’s), which someone in the village has typed up for him and put in old parish magazines.
    Let me know if you are thinking of adding any further facets, such as old photos, as I’d help if I could.

    All the best
    Sarah Brown.

  2. SUE COXON on

    hi martin
    my mothers grandfather was james kenneley brn buglawton 1872.
    his mother was sarah kennerley single woman . who married thomas bailey 1876 .son of charles & ellen .charles was son of thomas & margaret who lived @ wolflowe

  3. Andy Jarvis on

    Hi Martin,

    Fantastic website – found it by accident. I am related (on my mother’s side) to Goodfellows and Bowlers, and also to many others. I think there will be quite a number of people in the area who will be interested in such a site.


  4. Kath on

    Well done. A really good site.
    At last – I think I’ve found the elusive Elias Doorbar/Durber (transcribed as Dunbar) baptised at Rushton in 1786. He was the head of the Wood Lane branch of the Durber family.

  5. elizabeth on

    hi, i came across your site and blog via google. ah, the wonders of google. my mother’s maiden name is stoddard and we trace our ancestry back to rushton spencer…through some rather interesting paths. i don’t have a lot of info. i’d like to get my hands on a copy of ‘the stoddards of rushton spencer’ but we have very few and no one in my family is willing to part…

    • Judith Brierley (nee Dale) on

      Hi Elizabeth
      I have a copy of The Stoddards of Rushton Spencer by Jeanne Stoddard. Get in touch if you would like me to let you have it. Regards Judith Brierley
      PS My Grandfather George Dale was born in Moss Cottage,

      • Elizabeth on

        Hi Judith,

        Stumbled across this again and had forgotten about my post two years ago. I’d love to have a copy of that book! Feel free to e-mail me at eassenza81 at gmail dot com.

      • Janet Stoddard on

        I am looking for the book
        The Stoddard’s of Rushton Spencer
        Author Jeanne Stoddard
        What info would you like to share’
        Looking pages 14-23 I believe…
        Thanks for your time
        Janet Stoddard

      • Janet Stoddard on

        Looking for the book,,How can I get a copy ? The Stoddard of Rushton Spencer
        Janet Stoddard

    • Janet Stoddard on

      Do you know where I can get a copy of this book,,,been searching every where to buy a copy…
      The Stoddard’s of Rushton Spencer

      Thanks for your time…Janet Stoddard

  6. Gillian Beer on

    Thank you, I am very grateful indeed for all your hard work. My maiden name is Armitt. Abraham Armitt (born 1842 in Heaton village) is my great great grandfather. My father has a photo of Abraham, with a long white beard looking like an old testament prophet. Abraham left Heaton sometime in his 20s, when he is said to have walked to Derby (30 miles away) to apply for a job on the railway. He spent the rest of his life in Normanton, Yorkshire, working as a railway signalman. It must have been one huge step for Abraham to leave Heaton.

    Heaton looks as if it is the ‘cradle of the Armitts’ for my family. I am fascinated by the memorials you put on-line.

    My sister has the marriage certificate for William and Mary Armitt nee Smith (Abraham’s parents). Mary signs herself ‘X her mark’ so probably couldn’t read or write.

    I am trying to work out how all the Armitts of Heaton and Rushton are interrelated, and I am looking forward to seeing your remaining transcriptions from the Parish Records on-line.

    Best wishes,

    • Phil Cavender on

      William and Mary were my great great great grandparents. I would be extremely grateful if we could compare notes on what we have found about their history. My great great grandfather was William, brother of Abraham

  7. Judith Brierley on

    What a joy finding your website. it is such a help to come across it. I did lots of Family History in the early 1980s and have now returned to it on my retirement. My maiden name was Dale and my Grandfather was George Dale who was born at Moss Cottage. My father Thomas Edward – known as Ted (since deceased) who lived in Congleton and during my researches in the 1980s he took me to Heaton and showed me the area and also he hand copied a lot of the information you have transcribed. Would love to hear from anyone who thinks they have information to assist me in my endeavours.

  8. Tracey Ashcroft on

    I am pleased to find yor website. I am researching the DALE family and have found that Thomas dale (1754) was my Greatgrandfather x5 and was from rushton spencer area. He married a lady called Hannah and they had 14 children. Previous to this the family were from Leek in staffordshire and i have discovered Thomas Dale (c1692) and Ellen Cope (c1696) but can not find any earlier information.
    If anyone can help or has any information which may assist me I would be greatful. Thankyou

    • Judith Brierley (nee Dale) on

      Hi Tracey
      Our branch is descended from Daniel Dale born in Heaton 1680. I also have a copy of the visitation of the heralds to Wincle dated 1613, and dealings at the Staffordshire Quarter Sessions for 1601 and dealings before The Star Chamber which talk about Wincle and also Heaton and the Dale family. Regards Judith

  9. Jackie on

    Hi, on a slightly different note – I am trying to find the history of who lived in our house from when it was originally built in 1798 but am having problems as the house was tenanted until 1901 when it underwent complete refurbishment and was given its present name. I don’t really want these details to appear online but if it is possible for anyone to contact me by eamil I would be very grateful. I am wondering whether the family trees that people are building may coincide with my research. I know who owned the house but not who lived there.

  10. Patricia Coogan O'Dell on

    I should like to contact the descendants of William Dale who was a postman in Rushton Spencer and retired in 1907. Kind regards

  11. Janet Stoddard on

    Where can I get the book..
    The Stoddard’s of Rushton Spencer..?

  12. Margaret Easter on

    Many thanks for your very useful website. It has been a great help finding my many cousins through the Newns Hope Cooper link to the Buxton family.

  13. Andy Goodfellow on

    Nice little site, will certainly have got some people interested in their family & local history.

    I have visited Rushton, Leek, Meerbrook infact most of the moorlands many times as I have been researching my family history for around 10 years. In that time I have come across many of the names on here and I’m more than likely related to quite a few of them.

    So far I have traced my direct line back to c.1389 in Rudyard and other branches even further, the secret is lots of patience and lots of time in the record offices at Stafford & Litchfield.

    Thanks & Good luck to all

  14. judith bird on

    Hello, Are you Martin Chester son of my mother’s cousin Christine? I have been wanting to email you with some family questions, after my mother’s recent death.

    Judith, daughter of Barbara

  15. Gordon heald on

    Hi have just found your site do you have any info on the Armitt family who lived in Ladderedge / Leek in the early 1960s in particular Christine Armitt Any help would be appreciated

  16. Gemma Allen on

    This is a wonderful website and has been very helpful to me. I am tracing my Armett/Armitt ancestors and Michael Armitt baptised 1793 is my 4 x great grandfather. I would love to hear from anybody else researching the Armitt family!

  17. Debbie Schenk (Moshier) on

    Hello –
    I am looking for information about my mother’s family. My mother, Barbara Joan Bermngham, lived in Rushton-Spencer in a home built by her father, Cyril Henry Bermingham (silk mill) – a tiny house called Hillside. It was up the road from where she always loved to be, at WOLFDALE, her grandfather’s home -Frederick Yates (married to Dorothy Sumner Yates).

    Her maiden aunts lived across the street at Old Hill -Gladys and Joan Yates. The 4th sister was my grandmother, Alice Yates Bermingham.

    Circumstances moved my mother and her parents to Leek -to Hillswood Avenue – near to Joyce Govier. My mother attended Westwood school for girls, later worked at Midlands Bank, and during the war was a nurse in London. Mary Redfern – so many names fill my head.

    She met my father (from Massachusetts -USA) on Blackshaw Moor. They would meet at the Leek Monument for dates. Her best friend was Eileen Frances Mary Sexton (deceased but I never have been able to obtain details/an obituary). Eileen, a former English teacher, lived last at Scholar Green.

    My mother used to love to walk to see Mr. Gibson’s pig, fetch tobacco (Golden Flake?) for her grandfather – these are all the fairy-tale-like stories we all were brought up on and dreamt of. My mother’s heart always was in England and I know she regretted ever having left.

    If anyone could add to my family history, before it fades or is lost, I would be most grateful. Also, anecdotes, memories, oral histories, diaries and similar stories are very welcome and desired.
    Gratefully, Debbie Schenk

    Martin, when (where) are you going live?

    • Martin on

      Hello Debbie
      Much of the information that was originally intended for this site now resides on rushtonspencer.info. While this site has been dormant for a while now I do have plans to reinvigorate it in the near future adding more resources and hopefully social features as well.

  18. Peter Ramsden on

    As part of a larger East Cheshire project, I am reseraching the names on the war memorial at the church in Bosley. One of these men – Leonard Boon – is also named on the war memorial in St Lawrence’s church. Here is what I know about him:

    Leonard Boon
    300906 Private – Staffordshire Yeomanry
    Died, probably of influenza or malaria, 21th October 1918, aged 23

    Leonard Boon was born in 1895, in Rushton Spencer, Staffordshire. His parents were Moses and Frances Boon, farmers, of Cloudside on the border of Bosley and Rushton Spencer.

    Little is known of Leonard’s childhood; there is a village school in Bosley, which he may have attended. The 1911 census records him, then aged 16 years, employed as a farm labourer and living at Pecks House Farm, Rushton Spencer. Soldiers Died in the Great War records his family address as Cloudside.

    Leonard must have enlisted into the Army before 1915, as he was awarded the 1914-15 Star. He served with the 1st Staffordshire Yeomanry, which embarked from Southampton for Salonika in October 1915. En route, the destination was altered and by the end of November the regiment had arrived at Cairo. It remained in the Egypt/Palestine theatre of operations for the duration of the war, and in October 1918 was involved in the capture of Damascus – the last major battle with the Ottoman Empire. The medical situation deteriorated rapidly, however, with outbreaks of malaria and influenza. Significant numbers of civilians and soldiers on both sides of the conflict died of disease, including Leonard Boon

    Private Leonard Boon’s grave is in Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery. He is named on the war memorials at St Mary the Virgin, Bosley and at St Lawrence’s Church, Rushton Spencer.

    If anyone can add to this, I would be very interested to hear from them.
    Peter Ramsden

    • Bernadine Spearpoint on

      Hi Peter. I unfortunately cannot add to the greater story of Leonard Boon. But what I can tell you through my research, is that he was the slightly older brother of my Grandmother Bertha Hatton (nee Boon). She was apparently disowned from the family when she married Richard Hatton. I believe she and her baby son, John, died of TB.

      Thank you very much for this bit of history on Leonard that I can now add to my family’s.

      Kind regards
      Bernadine Spearpoint
      South Africa

  19. Jacky Davies on

    Message here to Debbie Schenk, you posted further up.

    I am sitting here with my father Roland Cartwright. His father John Sydney was son of Alice. Alice was sister to Dolly (Dorothy Sumner Yates) who was Barbara’s grandmother.

    Debbie, I am your third cousin. If you are able to contact me through this site I will put you in touch with my dad (your second cousin-once-removed) who may be able to give you more family history that you are searching for.

  20. Debbie Schenk Moshier on

    Hello, Jacky-
    Please stay in touch. I have responded to your post via email to the address provided me by Martin, above, the administrator of this site, I think.

  21. George Nixon on

    Hi Great

  22. George Nixon on

    Hi, Great Site & interesting blog. I am trying to find any information on the Nixon & Cromwell families who lived in Rushton Spencer during the 19th & 20th Centuries. The Nixons lived at Marsh House or Marshside. There are Nixon & Cromwell graves in St Lawrences Parish churchyard. Any help would be appreciated. I live in Alberta, Canada. Originally from Manchester. I visited Rushton Spencer as a child, but never remember going to the house or the church! My email is as follows:- 9631876@telus.net

  23. Debbie Schenk Moshier on

    Thank you for this site. Through it I was able to establish all-important contact with relations Jacky Davies and her father,Roland Cartwright. Mr. Cartwright, an amazingly keen-witted, sharp historian has provided me with
    a wealth of information about my English mother and her family. You are providing an extremely valuable service. Born at Wolfdale,in Rushton (mentioned in your introduction), my mother treasured her birthplace in all respects.
    Best regards, Debbie Schenk Moshier

  24. Debbie Schenk Moshier on

    In reference to the above, I continue to search and would be most grateful for any information concerning my mother, Barbara Joan Bermingham Schenk of Rushton and Leek, Staffs. Thank you for your time.

  25. tony on

    Can you tell me anything about Eileen Sexton who moved to Leek around the ninetees. She was a teacher.

  26. Lisa on

    Hi, lovely website, thank you.
    I am thinking of visiting the area in the autumn. My g,g,g grandfather was Charles Stevenson, a cordivanian in the local Staffordshire area ( leek). I have managed to find quite a few links on ancestry, but wondered were I would start at the local level. To try and enrich my knowledge and add detail. Could anyone local provide perspective please?

  27. Margaret Gilbert on


    My dale family lived in Flash in 18th and 19th century. A relative said they were in Gawsworth three hundred years ago.. I came across at a bookfair the church at Gawsworth record book with a Dale moving from Prestbury in 1600 to marry and live there. and they lived in many areas nearby including Rushton . This week told the farm Thompson lived in by the family. Other names in my family include Hine, Heath, Needham, Day. Some connected to Rushton Spencer. My Dale family in 20th century from Buxton.

  28. Richard on

    I am Buxton on maternal side. Joyce Buxton, daughter of Albert whose dad also Albert had several siblings. I have 20 or so first cousins. Leek is the family town. Family.hamilton@btinternet.com

    • iolaire1 on

      Hi Martin, I notice there is no recent activity on this site – are you still active in this area?

    • iolaire1 on

      Hi Joyce, my mother’s maiden name was Buxton. I have a Buxton family tree going back to the 1680s. Leek is my hometown. We are probably related!

  29. Susan Deslandes on

    How exciting to see my father’s name, George Nixon. I had no idea there was another one still in the family. My name is Susan nee Nixon. My father, born 3rd September 1913, spent childhood holidays at Marsh House where his own father, also George Nixon, was brought up. His grandfather, who farmed the land married Susannah Cromwell. My father told me the farm was sold because my grandmother did not want to be a farmer’s wife, which was a shame. I would be interested to know how we are related.

  30. Sharon hamilton on

    Hiya I’m sharon
    My direct line is Buxton from wolf dale high forest moss farm abbey farm then on in to Macclesfield and then my grandad in Buxton it’s self

  31. D.E. Moseley on

    I came across your website today doing research on my Yardley line. My ancestor is Winnie Yardley who m. Jesse Pursley, Westmoreland Co VA. Her father was Edward Yardley & traced back to the Family of Yardley, Co Stafford, England.

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