The Needham Family from Derbyshire

See the Needham Census Returns      Derbyshire Parish register transcripts for Needhams  

the Needham family tree    and the Needham photos


See also Neil Wagstaff’s Great NEEDHAM Site

and my webpage on the History of the Duke of York Inn, in relation to the Needhams


 Early Needhams:

Needham Grange

Needham Grange

The Needham family originates from Derbyshire.   It is presumed (says Maxwell Craven in his article, “Is Your Name Needham?”) that the name was adopted from the tiny settlement of Needham, now High Needham, in the Hatingdon Middle Quarter. There was a Thomas Needham born at Needham, Derbyshire, in about 1308, and he was living in 1337.

He had two known children:  Thomas, who was living in 1353, married Maud Melure (the daughter of Roger Melure of Thornset, Derbyshire); and William born about 1330 at Needham, Derbyshire who married Alice Cranage.

Thomas Needham was of Needham Grange, Derbyshire – the family home (on the crossroads at High Needham, overlooking the River Dove). The family can be traced back for several more generations, but with very few details to a William Needham, who was of Needham, Derbyshire, and Lord of Staunton. He was living in 1102. The Derbyshire branch of the family remained in possession of Thornsett and Needham as rich yeomen until early in the sixteenth century.   Six generations down from Thomas, Otwell Needham married Elizabeth, daughter and heiress of Nicholas Cadman of Cowley. They had ten sons and five daughters and from six of those sons, many of today’s Needhams probably descend.   One son, George, went to London and his son Francis founded Needham Market in Suffolk.



Our Needham family originate from the Chelmorton area of Derbyshire. I initially followed the line back from Maria Needham (my husband’s great grandmother) who married Henry Tyrer in 1908, to her Great grandfather George Needham, publican of  the Duke of York Inn, Pomeroy. There was still a question mark, however, over the line beyond George. Thanks to Neil Wagstaff, who has done a lot of research on the Needhams I was able to piece together a line but I knew something wasn’t right.  I had two possible sets of parents for George, but none had any connection whatsoever to the Richard Needham that was publican of the pub immediately before George – and I couldn’t believe that they would be unrelated.

So after a couple of years I began to research Richard Needham independently from George’s branch. I found that this Richard, born in 1789 at Chelmorton had a brother called George born at Chelmorton in 1793 – that I thought had married Mary Robinson in 1814. Now, “our George” was in 1792 also at Chelmorton and we know that he married Ann Nall in 1817. Due to the fact that these marriages are pre 1837 with no father’s name mentioned, how do I know definitely which one is which?  What if I have the Georges the wrong way round and the one that was born in 1793 is the one who married Ann Nall and vice versa? This would mean that the publicans of the Duke of York were indeed brothers and that would make much more sense. I am also grateful at the this point to Derek Gilchrist, a Derbyshire research specialist who has helped me make sense of these the possibilities and helped with the earlier generations back to Richard born 1688. I am never going to be able to prove this link with 100% certainty  – alas no wills have been found for these men – but unless anyone comes up with a better plan then, this is it.



The furthest I can go at present is Richard Needham, who was possibly the son of Ricardus Needham, and baptised on 12th June, 1675 at Taddingtson/Priestcliffe which is near Chelmorton. [thanks to Nigel Needham, we have ruled out him being the son of Ellis Needham baptised at Castleton, 6th June, 1688, as this Richard was buried the day after]. It is also very likely that his wife was Deborah Goodwin of Flagg, the daughter of Hugh Goodwin of Monyash.  If this is the case they were married on 17th June, 1714 at Bakewell, although a Richard born in 1675 would be 39 by now.  [Deborah is mentioned in her uncle George Goodwin‘s will of 1725, as wife of Richard Needham and daughter of his late brother Hugh].
What I do know is that Richard, who was buried at Chelmorton on 27th October, 1749 2, was the father of the following seven children

Richard Needham bp 10/16.11.1714 Chelmorton, m 3.3.1746 Chelmorton to Mary Swann, bur 26.4.1786 Chelmorton
Joan Needham bp 10.3.1716 Chelmorton
Edward Needham bp 6.9.1718 Chelmorton
Ann Needham bp 14.4.1719 Chelmorton
John Needham bp 30.7.1723 Chelmorton, bur 2.8.1723 Chelmorton
John Needham bp 28.1.1724 Chelmorton
Joseph Needham bp 24.8.1729 Chelmorton

Richard Needham was the eldest son of Richard Needham and Deborah Goodwin, baptized on 10/16th November, 1714 at Chelmorton parish church1 .  He married Mary Swann, daughter of Jonathan Swann and Sarah Hawkesworth on 3rd March, 1746 at Chelmorton parish church 1. They had eight children, all baptized at Chelmorton 1;

Mary Needham bp 3.4.1748 Chelmorton
Sarah Needham bp 7.10.1750 Chelmorton, bur 11.1.1761 Chelmorton
Hannah Needham b 1754 Chelmorton
Richard Needham bp 7.4.1754 Chelmorton, m 1.7.1779 Chelmorton to Elizabeth Dawson, bur 28.3.1818 Chelmorton
Martha Needham bp 28.1.1759 Chelmorton
Joseph Needham bp 7.2.1762 Chelmorton, m 23.2.1792 Bakewell to Mary Dawson, bur 22.2.1837 Chelmorton
George Needham bp 9.5.1765 Chelmorton, bur, 5.6.1766 Chelmorton
Betty Needham bp 13.12.1767 Chelmorton

It seems that Richard was buried on 26th April 1786 at Chelmorton 2, as his will has been found, dated 11 April, 1786 in which Richard is stated to be an ‘Innholder’ 3. A son Joseph (previously not known about) was to receive all the estate after his mother’s death.  The only other children mentioned in the will are son Richard and daughters Mary and Elizabeth.  So had the others died by this time? I have not been able to find all the burials if that is the case. I am not sure what happened to his wife Mary; she may have been buried on 29th March, 1709 2.



Richard Needham was the eldest son of Richard Needham (of Bakewell) and Mary Swann born in 1754 at Chelmorton and baptized there on 7th April 1754 1. He married Elizabeth Dawson, daughter of Robert Dawson and Jane Bott of Chelmorton, on 1st July 1779 at Chelmorton parish church 1.  They had seven children between 1781 and 1803 all baptized at Chelmorton 1 ;

Sarah Needham bp 11.2.1781 Chelmorton
Martha Needham bp8.5.1784 Chelmorton
Joseph Needham bp 23.11.1786 Chelmorton
Richard Needham(Publican Duke of York) bp 12.4.1789 Chelmorton, m 15.4.1813 Bakewell to Nancy Hulme, d 1852 Heaton Norris
George Needham (Publican Duke of York) bp 15.2.1793 Chelmorton, m 4.4.1817 Chelmorton to Ann Nall, bur 3.8.1824 Taddington
Eliza Needham bp 3.5.1796 Chelmorton
Hannah Needham bp 3.8.1803 Chelmorton

I have not been able to confirm the Richard’s occupation – it is highly likely that he too ran a pub. He was buried on 28th March, 1818 aged 64 at Chelmorton and his wife Elizabeth on 3rd March, 1833 aged 75.



Richard Needham born 1779 was the first of our branch to run the Duke of York public house at Pomeroy, near Buxton. He married Nancy Hulme on 15th April 1813 at Bakewell.  They had two children born at the Duke of York and then appear to have moved to Heaton Norris and had four further children;

Elizabeth Needham bp 3.4.1814 Chelmorton
George Needham bp 3.12.1815 Chelmorton, m 1838 Disley to Jane Wilks
Enoch Needham b 9.11.1820, bp 6.1.1821 Longton, Stafford, m 19.12.1852 Heaton Norris to Sophia Bardsley
Louisa Needham born abt 1826
Mary Needham born abt 1826 Heaton Norris
Alfred Needham born abt 1828

They had moved to Longton by 1820 and then to Heaton Norris by 1826 but it is likely that they left Chelmorton as early as 1816 when Richard’s brother George took over the running of the Duke of York. They lived at Ince Street, Heaton Norris at the time of the 1841 census, although his eldest son George who was by now married to Jane Wilks and was living at Love Lane, Heaton Norris and was a cotton weaver at this time.  However, he became a beer seller by the time of the 1851 census. Nancy died in 1850 aged 62 and Richard died  in 1852 aged 64 both at Heaton Norris.

George Needham born in 1793, succeeded his brother as publican of the Duke of York inn in 1817. George married Ann Nall, daughter of Robert Nall and Ellen Dicken (Thanks to Cath Collison for this info) on 4th April, 1817 at Chelmorton parish church. 
They had four children born at the Duke of York, baptised at Chelmorton 1:

George Needham (Farmer)  bp 15.2.1818  Chelmorton, d 1889
Matthew Needham (Farmer) bp 9.5.1819 Chelmorton, m1  18.3.1861 Tideswell to Julia Elizabeth Bowden, m2  28.9.1857 Tideswell to Mary Howell, bur 25.11.1888 Taddington aged 69
Mark Needham(Grocer) bp 1.10.1820 Chelmorton, m 21.6.1846 Buxton to Ann Brocklehurst (born 1828), d 1852?
Ellen Dicken Needham (Publican) bp 12.5.1822 Chelmorton, m 1847 to George Dicken, d 1902, bur 19.4.1902 Taddington 6

George died at the young age of 34 in 1824 and was buried on 3rd August 1824 at Taddington. His widow Ann and her children continued to run the pub; she was listed as both Farmer and Duke of York publican in the 1857 Directory of Chelmorton. Ann was publican up until 1859 when she died.   Her son George took over as publican until 1868 when his brother-in-law George Dicken took over.



Mark Needham was the third son of George Needham and Ann Nall, born in 1820 at the Duke of York Inn, Pomeroy, near Buxton, Derbyshire. He was baptised at Chelmorton parish church on 1st October 1820 1.  In 1841 he was living with his widowed mother Ann and his siblings at what was called “Shut House”, Chelmorton, ie The Duke of York. His mother ran the pub from the time of his father’s death until her own in 1859.
Mark married
Ann Brocklehurst, daughter of John Brocklehurst, farmer and Maria on 21st June 1846 at Buxton parish church. He was a Bathman at that time. They had two sons:

George Francis Needham bp 26.10.1846 Buxton, m 1.4.1872 Earle Sterndale to Ann Wardle d 1896 Buxton
John Needham (Railway/Hotel Porter) b 23.8.1848 bp 10.9.1848 Buxton, m ? to Ann Sneath, d 24.5.1910 Walton Workhouse

By 1848 Mark had become a shopkeeper. His wife Ann appears to have died before the time of the 1851 census, when he was living back at the Duke of York with his mother and eldest son George. In 1851 his young son John was found to be living with his grandmother Maria Brocklehurst and possible greet grandmother Sarah Newton, at Buxton. 
It is not yet clear what happened to Mark after 1851 but there is a Mark Needham who died in 1852 at Ecclesall Bierlow – just over the border in South Yorkshire; this could be him.



John Needham was the second son of Mark Needham and Ann Brocklehurst, born in Buxton on 23rd August 1848. He was baptised at Buxton parish church, Derbyshire on 10th September, 1848 4. John was living with his grandmother Maria Brocklehurst at the time of the 1851 census, after the death of his mother, and in 1861 with Maria now married to Francis Drake.  At the time of the 1871 census, John was a grocer’s porter in Manchester.
So far there is no sign of a marriage to his partner, Ann Sneath. All we know about her is that she was born in Cottesmore, Rutland, the daughter of William Sneath and Maria. [William was the son of James Sneath of Cottesmore Hall, Rutland].  John and Ann had three children:

John Needham b 1874 Derby (remained unmarried)
Anne Needham b 1876/7 bp 18.2.1877 Buxton, d 1896 Buxton age 19
Maria Needham b 22.11.1879 Burbage, bp 7.1.1880 Buxton, m 23.5.1908 Walton-on-the-Hill to Henry Tyrer (b 1881), d 1957

At the time of the 1881 census, John is living in Burlington Place, Burbage with his “wife” Ann (nee Sneath), children and his grandmother Maria (now Maria Drake) aged 73. 

At the  time of Maria’s birth in 1879, John was a goods Porter for the Midland Railway, but by the 1881 census he was a hotel porter and his wife Ann, a lodging house keeper at Burlington Place, Burbage.   By the time of the 1891 they had moved to Liverpool and were living at 51 Buchanan Road, Walton-on-the-Hill. John was now a Dock porter. Their son John was 16 and working at a grain store and Marie/Maria was at school. There is no mention of her sister Ann, so I had thought she had died, but I later found her back in Buxton as an under housemaid aged 14 with another Maria Needham, aged 23 – a possible 2nd/3rd cousin. However, it appears that Ann did die in 1896 aged 19 5 at Buxton.  In 1901, John, now a widower, was still living at 51 Buchanan Road with his son John and daughter Maria who was a topper at a jam factory. His wife, Ann had died on 24th April, 1900 aged 54 at their home of broncho-pneumonia. John died on 24th May, 1910 aged 61.

Tyrer Family

Maria with her Tyrer Family

Maria Needham was born on 22nd November 1879 at Burlington Place, Burbage. She was baptised on 7th January, 1880 at Buxton parish church 4.
Maria married
Henry Tyrer on 23rd May, 1908 at the parish church in Walton-On-the-Hill. She was still living at Buchanan Road at the time with her father John, who was a witness at the wedding and a labourer. Maria and Henry lived at Walton-on-the-Hill and had seven children. Maria died in 1957. See the Tyrer Family history for more.

Maria Needham is the only Needham we have a photo of!  Right; Maria with husband Henry Tyrer and their first teo children.




back to top

1 Chelmorton parish records

2 NBI (National burial Index)

3 Wills of Needhams in Derbyshire

4 Buxton parish records

5 freebmd

6 Taddington burials at


3 Responses to “Needham”

  • Nigel Needham:


    I’m a Needham trying to discover my family links and I’ve come across your website and have a few questions on the Needham’s in Chelmorton but I’ll restrict myself to one:

    You have a Richard Needham Christened: 16 Nov 1714 – Chelmorton, Derbyshire, England Died: 23 Apr 1785 – Flagg, Derbyshire, England Buried: – Chelmorton, Derbyshire, England. I have found a record which indicates that he was christened with a father Richard Needham. On your website you have stated:The furthest I can go at present is Richard Needham ( christened Nov 1714), who was possibly the son of Ricardus Needham, baptised on 12th June, 1675 at Taddingtson/Priestcliffe which is near Chelmorton.

    You link to Neil Wagstaffes work where he states that Richard’s father was another Richard who was Christened: 10 Jun 1688 – Castleton, Derbyshire, England

    I was wondering if any further work had been done on who was Richards father. What is the evidence he was born in Castleton? I ask because there is some distance between Chelmorton and Castleton while Taddington is quite close

    I really like your website and appreciate the time and effort you have put into it. I understand the difficulty in trying to understand family links. I’d welcome your comments on the above

    Nigel Needham

  • Nigel Needham:

    I’ve done some more work on the Needham’s this time looking at the issue you raised about who is George Needham bap 1792/3.

    There are two George Needham’s born in Chelmorton:
    1. George Needham baptised on 15 Feb 1793 f Richard Needham m Elizabeth (Dawson); he had at least 6 siblings including Richard Needham, landlord of the Duke of York at Flagg.
    2. George Needham baptised on 12 Aug 1792 f William Needham m Elizabeth; he had at least 3 siblings

    There are also two George Needham’s who get married in the area and have children:
    1. George Needham marries Ann Nall in 1817 in Chelmorton and has 3 children between 1818 and 1822
    2. George Needham marries Mary Robinson in 1814 in Chelmorton and has 6 children between 1815 and 1826

    There are two other facts:
    1. A George Needham dies and is buried in 1824 in Taddington
    2. A George Needham wife Mary can be found living in Chelmorton in the 1841 and 1851 census with 2 children that correspond to 2 of the 6 children born to George and Mary – see above. The age of George would indicate that he was born in 1796 in the ’41 census and in 1794 in the ’51 census. In both census George was an agricultural worker

    So where does this leave us. Which of the two George’s baptised around 1792/3 marries Ann Nall and which marries Mary Robinson?

    The census data indicates to me that the George married to Mary was baptised in 1793 with parents Richard and Elizabeth. His birth date better corresponds to a birthday in 1793; I will discount the 1841 census implied birth date as they are notoriously inaccurate in this census. As the George married to Mary is still alive in 1851 this must mean that George Needham baptised in 1792 f William Needham m Elizabeth died in 1824.

    If my logic is correct then George Needham bap in 1793 married to Mary Robinson is the brother of Richard landlord of the Duke of York. As George is an agricultural labourer in 1841 & 51 I doubt he would have been the landlord of the Duke of York. This would mean that George Needham b 1792 f William Needham m Elizabeth was married to Ann Nall and was the landlord of the Duke of York. Neil Wagstaff has the same relationships for the two George’s.

    This conclusion is counter to your conclusion ie you had George bap 1793 f Richard m Elizabeth married to Ann Nall and dying in 1824. How does my logic compare to that which you used?



  • Nigel Needham:

    I’ve been checking on my tree and came across Mary Needham. Her details I had copied from your website ie Mary Needham born abt 1826 Heaton Norris, m 15.7.1850 Didsbury to John Wild. BUT the marriage certs are now available on line for Manchester and the cert for the marriage for Mary and John Wild shows Mary’s father is a John Needham a dresser. Our Mary’s father is of course Richard! Thus Mary Needham b 1826 f Richard Needham appears not to have married John Wild. I can send you a copy of the cert if you would like a copy for your records.


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