THE SANDERSON FAMILY of Leigh, Lancashire


See the Census Transcripts

See the Parish Register Transcripts for St. Mary’s, Leigh

See the Sanderson Family Tree


The name Sanderson  originates from the Sander, a Danish medieval form of Alexander.  Sanderson is literally “son of Sander or son of Alexander”.   Alexander and Sanderson are Septs of Clan MacDonnell of Glengarry.  [More information of the MacDonnell clan history]
Our Sanderson branch have been trace back to the mid 1600s in Leigh, Lancashire. No links with Scotland have been found as yet. Most of the early part of the family tree has been pieced together from the help of Ron Harrison and  the Leigh parish records, although there are sketchy patches that still need to be confirmed.  I would also like to thank Sandie Hammer and Beryl for their help with certificates and other information on their branches.



The head of the family tree is Gyles Sanderson of Astley.  He married Ellin Sale on 4th February, 1645 at Leigh 2.
Unfortunately, the Leigh baptism registers, at his time, do not give the parents of the child being baptised, so it may have to be guesswork as there are a couple of Gyles Sandersons baptised in the early 1600s that could be the ours; the most likely is the one baptised in October 1625 1.  There are also many other Sanderson children baptised at Leigh between 1611 and 1632 that could be siblings of Gyles.   Gyles and Ellin probably had at least one son:

Gyles Sanderson bp 8.2.1646 Leigh  – but were also possibly the parents of 
Henry Sanderson bp 4.11.1648 Leigh, m Elin
Peter Sanderson bp 4.5.1651 Leigh, m Martha Sanderson 

There was a Gyles Sanderson of Bedford buried on 28th April, 1661 at Leigh 2 and we are assuming this is our Gyles senior (there is another Gyles buried 28th August, 1693 and one with Admin in 1696 which could be his son born 1646 above). We are also assuming that Henry Sanderson is the son of Gyles and Ellin here, but mindful of the fact that he may not be. Henry married an Elin (marriage unknown) and they had these children all baptised at Leigh2

Sarah Sanderson bp 21.1.1671 Leigh
Nathaniel Sanderson bp 24.8.1673 Leigh
James Sanderson bp 7.5.1676 Leigh
Susan Sanderson bp 16.2.1679 Leigh
John Sanderson of Bedford bp 6.5.1688 Leigh, m 31.1.1714 Leigh to Martha Dunster (bp 6.1.1679? Leigh)
Henry Sanderson bp 24.8.1690 Leigh, ?m 14.5.1717 Leigh to Mary Edwards??


John Sanderson of Bedford married Martha Dunster (daughter of Giles Dunster)  on 31st January 1714 at Leigh 2.  They had at least two children: 

Henry Sanderson bp 21.12.1715 Leigh
Alice Sanderson bp 30.8.1717 Leigh   and possibly
Giles Sanderson bp ? (b abt 1720) Bedford?  m1 16.4.1745 Leigh to Rachel Derbyshire (bp 2.2.1725 Astley, bur 6.6.1773 Leigh)                                          m2 2.1.1774 Dean parish church to Martha Smith

Although Giles Sanderson‘s birth and parentage is not certain, from here on, the descendants are known.  Giles Married Rachel Derbyshire, daughter of James Derbyshire on 16th April, 1745 at Leigh 2.  They had the following children baptised at Astley St. Stephen 3 : 

Martha Sanderson bp 19.5.1745 Astley, d before 1754
Ann Sanderson bp 12.7.1747 Astley, d before 1762              )  twins 
Alice Sanderson bp 12.7.1747 Astley         
Margaret Sanderson bp 22.10.1749 Astley
John Sanderson bp 5.4.1752 Astley
Ellen Sanderson bp 21.7.1754 Astley
Martha Sanderson bp 21.7.1757 Astley                                                                                                                                                                                                                   m 19.5.1777 Leigh to Robert Leatherbarrow                                                                                                                   Giles Sanderson (weaver) bp 25.12.1759 Leigh, m 8.2.1780 Leigh to Betty Wainwright, bur 17.5.1827 Leigh
Ann Sanderson bp 16.5.1762 Astley
Rachel Sanderson bp 14.4.1765 Astley

There is a Removal Order for Giles and his wife Rachel filed in 1754 which removed them from Astley to Bedford.  As removal orders usually sent people back to their parish of origin, it appears likely that Giles was born in Bedford and that could suggest that John Sanderson of Bedford may well be his father, bur we cannot be 100% sure. This entry also reveals that their first child Martha, born in 1745, had died some time prior to 1754. [ Transcript of Sanderson Removal Order, held at Lancashire Record Office ref. QSP/1693/8 – date: 1754 3 Jan].

Rachel died in 1773 and was buried on 6th Jne, 1773 at Leigh2Giles then married Martha Smith the following year on 2nd Jan 1774 at Dean parish Church [Thanks to Pamela Simmons for this information]


Giles Sanderson born in 1759 born in 1759 was a weaver. He married Betty Wainwright, on 8th February, 1780 at Leigh.  They had the following children: 

Lydia Sanderson bp 4.6.1780 Astley 3

John Sanderson (cotton weaver) bp 8.12.1783 Leigh, m 3.1.1811 Leigh to Betty Heys
James Sanderson (Farmer/Silk weaver) bp 9.4.1785 Astley Chapel, m 10.6.1813 Man Cath to Mary Clark, d 18.12.1855, bur 22.12.1855 Astley
Rachel Sanderson bp 30.4.1791 Leigh
Sarah Sanderson bp 20.9.1794 Leigh
Jane Sanderson bp 20.5.1797 Leigh

Betty was buried on 10th October, 1826 and Gyles died in 1827 and was buried at Leigh on 17th May.2

James Sanderson, born in 1785 was both a silk weaver and a farmer of Sales House Farm, Moss Side. He married Mary Clark at Manchester Cathedral on 10th June, 1813.  According to the 1841 census and the parish registers of Leigh, they had the following children: 

John Sanderson bp 19.2.1814 Leigh, d before 1824?
Betty Sanderson bp 1815 (no date) Leigh, m ? to William Rigby Hill
James Sanderson (silk weaver) b 1817 Astley, m 10.11.1839 St Marys, Eccles to Pheobe Hayes, d 1872 Birkenhead 
William Sanderson (Agr. labourer) bp 3.10.1818 Leigh, m 1850 Astley to Mary Grundy/Greendy
Martha Sanderson b ? bp 18.3.1821 at Manchester Cathedral?, m 1845 Leigh to George Adamson, d 1846 Leigh
Daniel Sanderson (farmer of Partington Lane Farm, Swinton)  bp 15.6.1822  Leigh, m 1846 to Elizabeth Parker, bur 24.2.1900 Swinton
John Sanderson bp 11.9.1824 Leigh
Thomas Sanderson bp 25.2.1827 Astley, bur 22.10.1828 Leigh
Thomas Sanderson (farmer) bp 4.10.1829 Astley

In the 1841 census of Astley Green, Leigh, James was an agricultural labourer, but was recorded as a farmer of 11 acres by 1851 4.     The farm appears to have been  Sales House Farm on  Astley Moss (now known as Moss Side) and  in 1861, after James and Mary had died,  Thomas Sanderson, their youngest son was farmer.  By then, the far, had 54 acres and Thomas employed two labourers.

James died in an accident on 18th December, 1855.  There was a story kept in the family (told to me by Ron Harrison, fellow researcher and descendant of James – thanks Ron!) that he was returning from Bedford Mill in his horse and cart, when he tumbled at Town Lane.  He died at home six days later.  This story was proved to be true when James’ death certificate was found.  The certificate clearly states ‘died from injuries sustained as a result of a fall from a horse and cart’.   The Leigh Chronical ran a short piece on the accident;

“Fatal Accident at Astley On the 12th Inst. as James Sanderson, farmer of Astley, was returning from Bedford Mill, in a state of intoxication, he fell out of his cart in Town Lane, Astley, and fractured his skull near the temples. He died of his injuries thus received on Wednesday night.”



James was buried at Astley on 22nd December, 1855 4.  He left a will dated 14th December, 1855 in which he leaves his youngest son Thomas the farming stock and management of the house and all others received a total of  £190. Mary, his widow died the following  6th February, 1856, one day after making her own will. Both James and Mary fail to mention a son John and so we can assume, unless he fell out of favour with both parents, that he had died before them.  Mary was also buried at Astley on 9th February, 1856 4.



James Sanderson, born in 1817 was also a silk weaver.  He married Pheobe Hayes, daughter of Ann Heys at St. Mary’s Church, Eccles on 10th November, 1839.    They had the following children: 

John Sanderson (labourer) b 20.7.1840,  bp 4.10.1840 Astley Green, m 12.2.1860 Garston to Catherine Dunbar (b 1841), d 9.2.1880 Tranmere 
William Sanderson b 1847 Astley, d 1877 Little Hulton aged 30
Martha Sanderson b 1849 Astley, m 1878 to Thomas Kavanagh
Joseph Sanderson b 1850 Astley, d 1869 Little Hulton aged 20
Mary Ann Sanderson b 1855 Astley, m 1876 to James Berry
James Sanderson (workshop labourer) b 1859 Astley

The family were living at Astley Green at the time of the 1861 census, but had moved to Little Hulton in Cheshire by the 1871 census 4.   James died in 1872, aged 55 at Birkenhead, and in 1881 Phoebe was widowed and living with her son James at 15  Manchester Road, Little Hulton, Cheshire 4.  
According to the freeBMD but as yet unconfirmed, Pheobe died in 1886 aged 69 at Farnworth, about 2 miles north of where she was living in 1881.

Not much is known about her other children. Sons Joseph and William both died in 1869 and 1877 respectivley at Little Hulton.  Martha appears to have married Thomas Kavanagh, a coal miner in 1878. They were living at 18 Stevenson Street, Little Hulton in 18814

Mary Ann appears to have married James Berry, a cotton sizer, in 1876 . They were living at 20 Booth Street, Farnworth in 1881.  Perhaps Phoebe had been living with them when she died? Mary and James had daughters Mary Ann born in 1877 and Martha born in 1879.

John Sanderson was born on 20th July, 1840 at Astley Green, Leigh.  He married Catherine Dunbar, daughter of George Dunbar and Mary Anne White, on 12th February, 1860 at Garston parish church.  John and Catherine had eight children:

George Sanderson (fireman/Engine Driver)  b 27.7.1861 Meddow Lane, Tranmere
                                                                                       m 1887 Tranmere to Elizabeth Melling
Alfred Sanderson (labourer) b 17.3.1864 Tranmere
                                                          m 1886 Birkenhead to Annie Reeves
Joseph Sanderson (boiler maker) b 1866 Tranmere
Mary Ann Sanderson (soap packer) b 1870 Tranmere           
                                                                 m 31.8.1891 Tranmere to John Taylor
Martha Ellen Sanderson b 1873 Tranmere
                                              m ? to George Telford?
Pheobe Sanderson b 27.5.1875 Tranmere
                                        m 6.12.1896 Liverpool to Joseph Henry Neil
John Sanderson (soap stamper) b 1877 Tranmere
Louisa Sanderson b 9.7.1879 Tranmere
                                   m 8.4.1907 to Henry Arthur Yates

In 1871 John and Catherine were living at 14 Pleasant Street, St. Paul’s, Tranmere. 4 John died on 9th February 1880 and in 1881 Catherine was in the Royal Infirmary, Brownlow Street, Liverpool (RG11/3627/45/6/1341868).  Her eldest son George was in charge of the family at 40 Beaconsfield Road, Tranmere (RG11/3585/26/46/1341858).  Louisa his youngest sister was only 1 month old. 
However, by 1891 Catherine was back at home with her family at 12 Roslyn Street (late Liverpool Buildings), Birkenhead  (RG12/2891).  At the time of the 1901 census Catherine was 60 and living at 6 Roslyn Street, Birkenhead (RG13/3398/37) with her two youngest children John and Louisa4

George Sanderson born in 1861 was a dockyard fireman at the time of the 1881 census. 4 He was also in charge of his household of brothers and sisters including his 1 month old baby sister. 

George married Elizabeth Melling in 1887 and they had at least seven children: (info gratefully received by Sandie Hammer, grandaughter of son George born 1900)

Alice Sanderson b 31.10.1887 Birkenhead
Ellen (Nellie) Sanderson  b 27.6.1890 Birkenhead
                                               m 1911 Birkenhead to John Henry Myers
Elizabeth Sanderson b 11.4.1893 Birkenhead
Louisa Sanderson b 26.2.1895 Birkenhead
                                    m 1917 Birkenhead to Herbert Atkinson
Catherine Sanderson b 26.9.1897  Birkenhead
George Sanderson b 18.1.1900 Birkehead
                                     m 25.4.1929 to Dorothy Alma Lucas  (parents of 16 children)

Joseph Sanderson b 28.7.1904 Birkenhead
                                     m 1936 Preston to Cecilia Agatha Patricia Carter

George and his family were living at 12 Brassey Street, Birkenhead  (RG13/3393/124/9) in 1901. 4 George was a stationary Engine Driver at the dockyard.

Alfred Sanderson was a dockyard labourer. He married Annie Reeves and they had at least three children;

Agnes Sanderson b 1887
Annie Sanderson b 1890
Elsie Sanderson b 11.12.1904 Birkenhead
                                m 1926 Birkenhead to Alfred Edward Nourse

Phoebe Sanderson, born in 1875 had left home by the time she was 15, working as a domestic servant at Stoke Upon Trent, Staffs  (RG12/2173/29/9) in 1891. 4 She married Joseph Henry Neil, son of John Neil and Ann Dixon on 6th December, 1896 at Liverpool. 5 They had 14 children between 1897 and about 1914.


2 Leigh parish registers 
3 Astley parish registers at Lan opc

4 census returns from                                                                                  5  birth, marriage, death certificate          



One Response to “Sanderson”


    This family originated in Lanarkshire and subsequently settled in
    Cumberland and adjoining counties, the principal branch being seated
    at Linden Hall, Morpeth, Northumberland until 1962
    (see BLG, 1952 Edn).

    ROBERT ADAMSON was father of,

    EDWARD ADAMSON, of Catterall, Lancashire, was father of,

    THOMAS ADAMSON, of Catterall, m Elizabeth Haydock,
    and d 1624, having had issue,

    The eldest son,
    JOHN ADAMSON, of Goosnargh, b 1600,
    m 1622, Margaret Parkinson, and d 1667,
    having had with other issue,

    THOMAS ADAMSON, of Goosnargh, Lancashire, b 1631,
    m. Jane –, and d 1706, having had with other issue,
    1a JOHN, of whom presently.
    2a Robert.
    3a Francis.
    4a Thomas, m Jane Yates

    The eldest son,
    JOHN ADAMSON, of Warton-in-Kirkham, Lancashire, b 1660,
    m 18 Feb 1683, Mary Moulding (d 1708), and d 1708,
    having had issue, with two daughters,
    1a Adam, b and d 1683.
    2a JOHN, of whom presently.
    3a Henry, b 1689.
    4a Jeffrey, b 1692.

    The eldest surviving son,
    JOHN ADAMSON, of Abram, Lancashire, b 1686,
    m 7 Oct 1712, Anne, dau of James Wood, of Kirkby, Lancashire,
    and had with other issue,
    1a ADAM, of whom presently.

    His son,
    ADAM ADAMSON, of Abram, b 1713,
    m 5 Oct 1735, Margaret, dau of Robert Johnson,
    of Leigh, Lancashire, and had issue, with three daus,
    1a Thomas, b 1736.
    2a JOHN, of whom presently.
    3a Roger, b 1744, m 1 Feb 1769, Martha Dean
    and had issue,
    1b Roger, who with his son Roger Adamson,
    John Gerard of Windle Hall, (see BPB, GERARD, B)
    and the Rev Francis Graythorne was drowned
    in the Irish Sea, 22 May 1822.
    4a William, b 5 Apr 1748.

    The second son,
    JOHN ADAMSON, of Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, b 1737,
    m 1 Mar 1756, Ursula (d 1808), dau of Joseph Anson, and d 1789,
    having had issue, with three surviving daus,
    1a THOMAS, of whom presently.
    2a Joseph, b 3 Jun 1759
    3a John, b 24 Dec 1764, d 30 Apr 1766.
    4a Richard, b 31 Dec 1766.
    5a John, b 16 Nov 1770.
    6a William, b 15 Oct 1773, d inf
    7a James, b 5 Sep 1775.
    8a William, b 18 Nov 1776.
    9a Henry, b 1 Apr 1778.

    The eldest son,
    THOMAS ADAMSON, of Lowton, Lancashire, cotton manfr,
    b 18 Jan 1758, m 1stly 13 Aug 1797, Ellen Lythgoe (d 1814),
    and had issue,
    1a John, b 15 May 1799.
    2a Peter, b 13 Apr 1802.
    3a Joseph, b 1811, in Holy Orders of the Church of Rome.
    He m 2ndly 13 Jul 1815, Ellen Hatton (d 20 Jan 1866),
    and by her had issue, with two daus,
    4a GEORGE, of whom presently.

    The son (by 2nd marriage),
    GEORGE ADAMSON, of Hurst Hall, Glazebury, Cheshire,
    b 10 Feb 1817, m 1stly Martha Sanderson (dsp 18 Feb 1861),
    m 2ndly 6 Feb 1862, Alice (d 16 Sep 1906), dau of
    Samuel Pimblett, of Ashton-in-Makerfield,
    and d 7 Jan 1907, having had issue,
    with one dau,
    1a Thomas, b 24 Jul 1863, and dvp 4 Dec 1871.
    2a Samuel, of Tanner’s Farm, Culcheth, Lancashire, farmer, b 2 Sep
    1865, m 18 Jun 1887, Rachel (d 14 Aug 1952), dau of George Taylor,
    of Culcheth, and d 17 Nov 1940, leaving issue, with five daus,
    1b George Samuel, of Tanner’s Farm, Culcheth, farmer,
    b 5 May 1896, m 21 Jul 1921, Ann (d 27 Feb 1976),
    dau of William Williams, of Woolston, Lancashire,
    and d 6 Apr 1978, leaving issue, with one dau,
    1c George Samuel, of Tanner’s Farm, Culcheth,
    farmer, b 21 Jun 1922, m 13 Nov 1943,
    Hilda, dau of Joseph Yates, of Leigh,
    and dsp 5 Nov 1985.
    2c Frederick, b 1 Feb 1925, m 15 May 1954, Marian, dau
    of Arthur Eckersley, of Leigh, and had issue,
    with one dau,
    1d John, b 24 Mar 1958, educ Bolton, and Manchester Univ
    (LRSC 1981), research chemist, m 19 Aug 1987, Fiona Anne, dau of
    Ian Kydd MacDonald, of Burtonwood, Cheshire, and has issue.
    3a THOMAS, of whom presently.

    The youngest son,
    THOMAS ADAMSON, of Hurst Hall, Glazebury, b 27 Apr 1873,
    m 9 Feb 1896, Dorcas Mary (d 11 Jul 1953), dau of John Hands,
    of Norton Canon, Herefordshire, and d 18 Jul 1939,
    having had issue, with five daus,
    1a (George) William, of Kinknall Hall, Culcheth, farmer, b 3 May
    1897, m 22 Feb 1933, Jane (d 19 Sep 1978), dau of William Norcott,
    of Statham, Cheshire, and d 12 May 1983,
    leaving issue, with one dau,
    1b Thomas William, b 22 Feb 1938, farmer, m 15 May 1984, Anna
    (Morris’s Farm, Croft, Lancashire), dau of Edward Leigh, of Lowton
    Hall, Lowton, Lancashire, and d 20 May 1991, leaving issue.
    2b John, b 8 Dec 1939, farmer (Low Fauld Farm, Ruckcroft,
    Cumbria), m 29 May 1980, Irene, dau of
    Capt. Arthur George Kennedy, IA.
    2a (Wilbraham) John, of Yew Tree Farm, Culcheth, farmer, b 23 Aug
    1899, m 10 Jun 1925, Ruth Anne (d 24 Oct 1974), dau of William
    Henry Pitchfork, of Rixton, Lancashire, and
    dspm 11 Oct 1980, leaving issue.
    3a Charles Thomas, of Risley Hall, Risley, Lancashire, farmer, b 29
    Jan 1901, m 30 Jul 1924, Ellen (d 10 Jun 1991), dau of
    George Smith, of Lowton St Mary’s, Lancashire, and
    d 30 Dec 1978, leaving issue.
    4a Wilfred Raymond, b 13 Apr 1904, and d inf 8 Jan 1905.
    5a Gerald Lancelot Samuel, of Dicconson Farm, Lowton, farmer, b 17
    Feb 1906, m 8 Jun 1932, (Gertrude) Olive (d 21 Nov 1985), dau of
    William Webster, JP, of Stockton-on-the-Forest, York, and
    d 7 Sep 1970, leaving issue.
    6a Donald, of The Homestead, Lymm, Cheshire, b 24 Oct 1907, m 1
    Jun 1938, Hannah Mary (d 26 May 1994), elder dau and co-heiress of
    William Booth, of Lymm (see BP, BOOTH, Bt), and d 3 Jan 1982,
    leaving issue.
    7a Alexander Duncan, of Woodend Farm, Glazebury, farmer, b 25 Sep
    1909, m 30 Jun 1937, Lilian (d 27 Aug 1995), dau of George Smith, of
    Lowton St Mary’s, and d 3 Jul 1975, leaving issue.
    8a Denys, of Great Stone Farm, Culcheth, farmer, b 27 Jan 1912, m 8
    Feb 1939, Elizabeth (who m 2ndly 29 Oct 1960, Alfred William
    Le Cornu, of Five Oaks, St Helier, Jersey, and d 24 Jun 1977),
    dau of George Clough, of Irlam, Lancashire, and
    dspm 11 May 1959, leaving issue.
    9a (Victor) Raymond, of Brookside Farm, Bickershaw, Lancashire,
    farmer, b 15 Sep 1915, m 30 Sep 1941, Mary, adopted dau of Henry
    Halsall, of Lowton, and d 14 Jul 1981, leaving issue.

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