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The story of the HALL FAMILY, -  long-time residents of Gnosall

The earliest member of the HALL family traced for certain to be related to the writer is a JOHN born about 1505, just a few years before Henry VIII became the second Tudor monarch. John married a Mary REYNOLDS, born about 1516. Their family of four children, Thomas (alias Moure) Hall born about 1535, Alice born about 1537, William born about 1545 and John born about 1550 came along during the difficult period in the Tudor dynasty when Henry VIII reformed the church proclaiming himself Defender of the Faith, and the country went from Protestant to Catholic and back to Protestant in the space of a few years. JOHN (born 1550 above) married an Anne about 1580, and they produced seven children: William        John           Anne       Margaret          Thomas          Jane          Frances  1580      about 1582     1584         1587                  1589            1591       buried 1595       The family were fortunate to live during the relatively peaceful and prestigious reign of Elizabeth I. By the time THOMAS (born 1589 above) married a Mary about 1614 (place not traced yet), a new dynasty of Stuarts from Scotland were ruling England, and persecution of Catholics was once again disrupting everyday life.  An unnamed child of Thomas and Mary was buried in 1614, Elizabeth was born in 1615 and Thomas in 1618. Sadly both these parents died in July 1637, probably of the plague which reappeared every summer during the middle years of the seventeenth century. Their son THOMAS married Dorothie COLLINS in 1644. This was a time of great unrest in England, with the divided loyalties of the Civil War. Oliver Cromwell was leading the forces opposing the Royalists, and it was only five years later that Charles I was to be executed, an outrage not likely to be forgotten in a hurry. Thomas was recorded on the Muster Roll of 1640 for the districts of Gnosall and Reule. By the time Cromwell became the Lord Protector of England, Thomas had fathered Elizabeth about 1651 and Thomas in 1654. This THOMAS married a Margaret around 1683. It has not been possible to find out what Thomas did for a living, but it is likely he was a cordwainer (shoemaker) as this trade was carried on by several of his descendants. Thomas and Margaret had six children:         Jane           Thomas        Margaret        Randulph         Mary        William                                                                     (or Randall)          1684           1690              1692              1694              1696           1697  RANDULPH OR RANDALL was born to Thomas and Margaret in 1694 at the nearby village of Haughton. A semblance of normality to the wider country had been restored in 1688, following the accession of King William III and his wife Mary Stuart to the throne, after many years of religious turbulence. It is supposed that Randulph, or his children, were reasonably well off at some stage, as there is an elaborate gravestone to his memory in the churchyard of Haughton St Giles, complete with a poem. The inscription reads: “In Memory Of Randel (sic) Hall who died January 3 1746 aged 51 Also of Ann the wife of Randel (sic) Hall died July 29 1779 aged 79 - Two aged parents here are laid, no ill of them is truly said. So children dear contented be Prepare yourselves …………” (The last part illegible) Sadly, his widow, Ann, formerly TILL, whom he married in 1725 in Haughton at St Giles church, was not so fortunate, as she was in receipt of Poor Relief during the period 1745 to 1757.  Randulph died in 1746, but Ann survived another thirty-three years before her death in 1779. Maybe the children were then able to support their mother and paid for the memorial stone.  It is not known if Ann Till was in any way related to John Till, the rector of Gnosall parish church for many years. The family of Randulph and his wife Ann were all born in Haughton and consisted of: Thomas        Mary         John         William           Ann         Daniel       Margaret  1726           1728           1731          1734             1737         1742            1745 JOHN was born in 1731 and was described as a cordwainer (shoemaker) in the baptismal register for Gnosall St Lawrence for the children following his marriage to MARY STOKES in 1754. Elizabeth John Mary Ann Daniel  1755                 1757        1759        1760          1769                           died   died                 1763         1762 In 1777, JOHN, son of John and his wife Mary, married Margaret HUGHS, born 1758, probably in Gnosall, as that is where they married and set up home. It is likely that John was a cordwainer as this profession was carried on by his father John and son Richard.  Their eight children were all baptised at the church of St Lawrence in Gnosall, but the father’s occupation is not given in the register. Richard   John      Daniel     Mary Ann William Thomas Elizabeth  1779 1781 1783 1785 1787 1788 17?? 1794 John was buried at St Lawrence churchyard on 30th May, 1824, but there is no gravestone. He was aged sixty seven and had been residing at the Willey. RICHARD, son of John and his wife Margaret, was baptised at Gnosall St Lawrence in 1779. John married Sarah MEDDINGS in 1809, and from 1813 until 1823 he was described as a shoemaker in the parish register when his children were baptised. At the time of Richard’s marriage to Sarah MEDDINGS in 1809, there was another period of unrest, this time with the threat of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte much feared. A huge number of young men were taken into the army to keep “Boney” at bay, so the village no doubt contributed its share of soldiers. It is possible that Richard was one of them before his marriage, as he was thirty by then. Eight children were baptised between 1810 and 1825. Ann Mary William William Daniel Jane Harriet Richard 1810 1813 1814 1815 1816 1819 1823 1825 In 1825 his occupation was given as labourer, and by 1841 he had established a carrying business operating once a week from Stafford to Newport. In 1829 and 1834 the pickup point in Newport was the Unicorn Inn, the site now occupied by Boots the chemists in the High Street. At Newport public library they have a series of the Shropshire Gazette from which a copy of an article about carriers was obtained. (Shrewsbury Country Carriers by Constance Evason and Paddy Marsh, (regret the date of publication not noted at the time) It is mainly concerned with the Shrewsbury area, but gives a good idea of the way the carriers operated in the nineteenth century. They were a vital link between villages and markets for goods and passengers, relying on a sturdy horse, cart, and probably a fierce dog. The unmade roads of the time must have made the twice weekly round trips quite an undertaking in bad weather. Richard died at The Willey, Gnosall on 28th July, 1848, aged seventy. WILLIAM, the fourth child of Richard and Sarah, was baptised at Gnosall St Lawrence in 1815, a momentous year in which Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, which ended many years of war with the French. Richard had already started his carrier business by the time William was fourteen, as the first directory entry for 1829 confirms, and no doubt he helped his father by running errands en route. William married Mary BRATTON in 1837, and proceeded to father twelve children: Ephraim    Emma   Eliza    Richard   Sarah   Louisa    Daniel    Zillah    Ada     Alice     Levi     Albert 1837     1838      1840      1842 1844     1846      1849        1851   1852   1855     1857   1860 He kept on his father’s carrier business after Richard passed away in 1848, and is listed as a common carrier in the 1851 census, but the address is given as Gnosall Heath, not the Willey, but it may be the enumerator’s whim. The licensee of the Unicorn was a Thomas Stokes, the same surname as his great grandmother, but the possibility of any relationship has not been investigated. There are entries in Directories for 1850, 1851, 1864, 1872 and 1880 listing William as a carrier from Gnosall to Stafford, and one for 1851 relates to Gnosall to Newport. The last entry which mentions the Unicorn at Newport is in 1868. The location of the Stafford pick-up point is not given in any of these directories. William died on 17th April, 1882, and he is buried in the churchyard in Gnosall beneath an imposing memorial. His widow Mary (also referred to as Mary Ann) followed him on 12th August, 1884. A touching epitaph reads: “This toilsome world I’ve left behind, a glorious crown I hope to find”.  As more is known about this generation, each child’s story is given as far as known. EPHRAIM was born in1837, and in 1861 he married Charlotte MADELEY, and they had eleven children. The eldest was Ernest Henry in 1861, followed by:  Alfred Harry Annie Mary Florence Ada William Richard Rosa Daniel                                 Elizabeth    Jane           May                                           Ellen 1863 1865 1866 1869 1872 1876 1878 1880 1883 1886 Ephraim’s occupations were shoemaker and assurance agent. Charlotte is listed as a shoebinder. They resided in Stafford in 1881. EMMA was born in January, 1839, and in 1867 she married Job Hall. He was the grandson of her great grandfather’s brother. They had six children and were living in Gnosall in 1881. Elizabeth       Frederick      Margaret       Mary Lucy       William        George 1868              1869              1871              1873                1875             1877 Job’s employments were as an accountant, shoemaker and clerk. In 1911 Emma was working as a house servant, as Job appears to have retired by then. In 1901 their son William and his wife were schoolteachers in Wrotham, Kent. ELIZA was born in 1840, and in 1863 she married Joseph CHATTOE, and they had nine children: Wilfred     Lizzie     Lily      Emma    Thomas     Adah    Catherine     Ebenezer     Jno.B. Lawson      Ann      Alice     May       William     Jane          R.                  J.  1865         1867      1868     1869        1871        1873         1875           1878         1880 JOSEPH is listed as a boot and shoe maker, and Eliza as a servant housemaid in 1861. This family were residing in Stafford in 1881. RICHARD was baptised in 1842, and by 1861 he was apprenticed to James Smith, a shoemaker. He married in 1874 Mary Rose, a widow with two daughters. There were four children from this marriage:  Alice 1875           Annie Elizabeth 1877           Margery 1878          William Henry 1885 At the 1881 census Richard was the licensee of the Shropshire Inn at Haughton, which he combined with farming by 1891. In 1901 he resided at Haughton Hall adjacent to the Shropshire Inn and farmed at Step Farm, but the location has not so far been found. (If anyone reading this can help, please let Bob Johnson know.) SARAH was born in 1844, and in 1864 she married John PLANT and they had five children:              Ernest           Frederick                John              James              Adeline                                     Hugh                1867             1871                    1876               1878                 1881 In 1881 the family were in Galway, Ireland, but their eldest child Ernest was living with her parents, William and Mary Hall in Gnosall. By 1891 they were living at Church Eaton, where John worked as an agricultural labourer and Sarah was a servant and innkeeper. LOUISA was born in 1846, and in 1866, she married Richard THACKER and they had thirteen children: Louisa   Jessie   Eliza  Phoebe    Arthur     Emma     Alice    Lydia    Richard   Wilfred   Frances    Ellen   Albert  Ann          M. 1868     1870     1871   1873        1874       1876      1878    1880       1881       1882      1885       1886   1890                          The Thackers were employed at Offley Grove, the imposing residence of Valentine Vickers whose equally imposing memorial is on the sunny side of the church at High Offley. The poor people were always buried in unmarked graves on the north side of churches. The “big” house was demolished sometime after 1945. There is an article in the Shropshire Gazette obtained from the Newport Public library entitled “Great Aunt Julia’s Wash Day…” by Val Wrigley,  which gives a vivid picture of life at Offley Grove in 1900. Richard was employed as a carter, agricultural labourer and farm bailiff between 1871 and 1901, whilst Louisa was working in the house. The family had moved to the nearby hamlet of Shebdon by 1911 where Richard is described as a farm labourer. ZILLAH was born in 1851, and in 1877 she married Joseph WELLS. They had three children:             Joseph 1878                 Gertrude Mary 1883              Ada 1885 From 1881 to 1901 the family were living at Castle Church, near Haughton, where Joseph worked as a porter, coal merchant and grocer/farmer whilst Zillah was a servant and shop manager. ADA was born in 1852, and in 1877 she married Howard TOOTH with whom she had seven children:           Lillie           Ada          May          Arthur         Daniel        Eliza             Alice           (Lily)                                                                              (Lizzie)           1877         1879        1883          1884           1886          1887             1889 The family lived in Stafford from the time of their marriage where Howard was a shoemaker. After his death in 1890 Ada worked as a domestic servant/charwoman. ALICE Hall was born in 1855, and in 1879 she married George STANLEY in Stafford. They had nine children, one of which had died by 1911:    Albert       Mabel    John      Robert     Beatrice      Lydia       George       Wilfred Eric     1880        1882     1885       1889        1890          1894         1896             1898 George Stanley senior was a travelling salesman, grocer and later a baker, the family residing first at Colwich and later in Walsall.     LEVI Hall was born in 1857, and in 1880 he married Harriet Elizabeth HARVEY in Cannock, and by 1881 they had moved to Hackney in London. They had four children:      Harry 1882        Albert 1883          Alice Gertrude 1885           Florence A. 1889  In 1891 the family were living in Tottenham, London, where Levi was working as a dairyman. ALBERT Hall was born in1860. He married Eliza WILLIAMS in1881, and they had four children:           Alice 1882      William Thomas 1885       Frederick 1887         George 1889 At the time of the 1881 census Albert was living at Newport Road, Gnosall, and in 1891 at Plardiwick Fields Farm, thought to have been rented to Albert by his brother Daniel. Albert’s occupation in 1881 was given as carrier, and in 1891, carrier and farmer. Eliza’s father Thomas was also a carrier. Albert’s daughter Alice married Jesse Deakin (known as Joss). They were living at Handsacre, near Rugeley, and in 1911 they had no children living. At this time it would have been easy for Alice to visit her family in Gnosall as the railway connected both places. In 1939 Alice and Jesse Deakin were living at Crossfields Farm, Coton, with her brother William Thomas Hall”. For some years this house was known as “Hall’s Farm”, but by 2009 it had reverted to “Crossfields Farm” on the road to Newport.                                    DANIEL Hall was born on 4th January, 1849. When his mother Mary died in 1884 he was obliged to get an authorised copy of his baptism entry to prove his entitlement to inherit part of his parent’s property. This certificate was produced by the Rev. John Till, the rector of St Lawrence, Gnosall, for many years. The legal entry for the G.R.O. proved more elusive, as it was made at Newport, Shropshire, probably one day when his father went there on business.  Daniel was quite a character. He was “mad on dancing” according to my Dad’s cousin, and his mother used to lock him in his bedroom at night, but he just climbed out of the window and went out anyway! At fifteen he decided to seek his fortune in London, and told his mother he would return and fill her apron with gold. She laughed and said she would be lucky if he could fill it with apples! Daniel was not daunted and found himself a job delivering milk in Hatcham Park in London. On his rounds he got to know the servants at the houses, and Mary Ann CHENERY took his eye. He worked hard and started his own dairy business, and married Mary Ann in 1872 in Peckham. The first of their eleven children was Alice, my grandmother, who arrived the following year. They had eleven children all born in London: Alice    Louisa     Daniel     Ada    Robert    Richard Frederick    Annie    Albert    Wilfrid Stanley   1873  1874        1876     1879    1880      1881           1883       1886    1888   1889   1891   marr.  marr.        marr.     marr.    marr.       died             died       marr.     marr.     marr.   marr. 1894 1897         1896     1901    1905      1904          1893     1908   1910   1912   1914 Daniel bought (or leased) a farm at Enfield sometime in the mid 1880’s for dairying, but his wife disliked living in the country, so he relinquished it, and by 1891 he had bought the big house on Liverpool Road, Islington. He continued to take an interest in Gnosall and owned several properties in the village. He had the London Villas built, as well as Pleasant View and Sunnyside. In association with his friends the postmaster and stationmaster, red Welsh bricks were used to construct Stanley Villa and Alice Villa.  Daniel visited Gnosall frequently, and attended and donated prizes at the annual sports days and wakes until shortly before his death in 1912 (circled below).   The Gnosall farm which belonged to Daniel Hall c1911 but its location has not been found. It could be at Coton as this was not far from his “local” The Navigation Inn adjacent to the Shropshire Union Canal.       
Gravestone of Randall Hall at Haughton St Giles, Haughton Nineteenth century cottages in the Willey  c1920 but now demolished Mary Bratton wife of William Hall c1882 Gravestone to William Hall died 1882 and Mary Hall died 1884 Eliza Chattoe’s house in Stafford as it looked in 2001 The Shropshire Inn at Haughton Plardiwick Fields farm in 1994 Albert & Eliza and children c1893 Crossfields Farm, Coton in 1920’s Rose Cottage, Coton Daniel Hall 1872 Mary Ann Hall (nee Chenery) 1872 Daniel Hall 1900-1905 Mary Ann Hall  1920’s Pleasant View 1920’s, (with London Villas at extreme left) Sunnyside Villas in 1920’s London Villas about 1905
Most of his Gnosall property was sold after his death, the last being in 1933 after his widow passed away. As all of his surviving children lived in London, they inherited a share of his wealth in the form of property located in Islington, none of which belongs to the family today. The legacy of this prolific family is at least 254 people by 1911 who can be directly traced back to the John Hall born in Gnosall in 1505. After another one hundred years a few more can no doubt be added, but that will require further research! Author: Marion, - the great grand daughter of Daniel Hall who died in 1912
If you recognise the farm in this photo then please email Bob Johnson at: bob@gnosallhistory.co.uk
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