UK families: Shirley, Longford and Yeavely (SLY)

This family forms a large group centred on three villages. The nickname of this family is taken from three villages rather than just one because various members moved from one area to another and perhaps back again.  The Nicknames for the Family are: Alfreton, Clay Cross, Clifton, Daniel, Gadsby, Margaret River (Aus), McAndrew Bay NZ, Wyaston.

The format of this page is different from others in that it includes a piece by a Mr Les Coe who is descended from this branch. Les Coe is descended from Thomas Titterton who married a Mary Gadsby in 1840. In the section below headed Gadsby, Les argues how he believes his family fits into the SLY family. Les has done a lot of work in this area and he will be pleased to hear from you at

The founder of the family is a Joseph Titterton and his wife Joan. Their earliest known child, George, was baptised in 1697 in Tutbury but they had moved to Shirley by 1699 where further children, Elizabeth, John, Joseph, Ann and Mary were born. Joan died there in 1728 and Joseph in 1736. Joseph could be the son of John Titterton the Joiner of Grindon but the following shows how slim this evidence is.

a. Joseph, the son of John the Joiner of Grindon, was born about 1675-1685 which only just fits with a marriage of about 1696.

b. The Christian names of Joseph’s children fit in with the family names of John the Joiner.

c. From his father’s will (John died in 1699) Joseph reaches manhood but disappears from Grindon.

Although Joseph had three sons he only had one or possibly two Titterton grandsons who had families of their own. The definate grandson is William (son of John son of Joseph), who was born in Shirley in 1753, married at Longford to Mary Smith in 1774, and was described as ‘of Yeaveley’ when he was buried at Shirley in 1838. This William and Mary had two sons who grew to adulthood and had families of their own. They are John and George discussed next. William and Mary also had a daughter Mary. Les Coe gives details of all of their children below and argues convincingly that this Mary is the mother of Thomas Titterton the head of the Gadsby branch. The Gadsby branch was based at Clifton, near Ashbourne. In following generations one branch emigrated to Margaret River, Western Australia and one to McAndrew Bay, New Zealand.

The sons of William and Mary were;

John, b. 1781, m. 1803 Ellin Udall but there are no known Titterton grandchildren of their marriage.

George, b. 1792 m. 1811 Elizabeth Bold. Their son William was born at Marston Montgomery and was a Miller. As well as having descendants living at Shirley, one family settled at Wynaston. It seems that George and Elizabeth also had a son Daniel who became a miner. (Daniel indicated that his father was a George Titterton and that he was born about 1821 in Yeavely) Daniel’s sons John, William and Joseph were all miners moving to the Alfreton area and appearing in the 1881 Census.

There is a further Titterton family from Shirley/Longford/Yeaveley. The main descendants today come from a branch that settled at Clay Cross about 1881. They descend from a Charles Titterton who married in 1792 but died eleven years later in 1803. His wife remarried in 1804 but died in 1805 leaving 4 orphaned children.

The identity of Charles’ parents is unknown but with a date of birth about 1765 he could be the half brother of William who married Mary Smith above. It seems that William’s father John remarried an Ann Smith in 1760. (One wonders if William’s wife, Mary Smith, and his step mother, Ann Smith were related)

The Gadsby connection by Les Coe

Case Studies No 1

Who was the mother of Thomas Titterton?

My Titterton family history had progressed well until, in 1979, I obtained the marriage certificate of my 3 x Gt grandfather, Thomas Titterton. Then all further progressed stopped for several years until I entered into renewed correspondence with John Titterton and rekindled my interest in this particular family. I was determined to progress this Titterton line, and with John’s help and guidance, I have produced the following, which is not a complete answer, but it may help readers with their researches.


The marriage certificate of Thomas Titterton

Parish Church, Duffield, Derbyshire.

September 21st, 1840

Marriage by banns

Thomas Titterton, of full age, bach., labour of Windly (sign) son of Joseph Potter, Jobber

Mary Gadsby, of full age, spinster of Windly (mark) daughter of David Gadsby, labourer

Witnesses : John Lenson (sign) and Ann Hopkins (mark) [sister of Mary Gadsby]

From information given in the various census, it transpires that Thomas was born between 1810 and 1813, in Manchester. However, as a christening has not been discovered, his mothers name is unrecorded. It was the lack of this name that had effectively stopped any further progress on the Titterton Line.

Windly, a small rural community between Duffield and Ashbourne (OS Landranger Series, sheet 119), is not a locality that Titterton families have previously inhabited. Therefor no clues are afforded as to which branch our Thomas originates from.

John has a large database of Titterton christenings, marriages and burials in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, as well as census information., He suggested that one Titterton woman, who had several illegitimate children baptised around the period of Thomas Titterton’s birth, and living about 8 miles distant from Windley (as the crow flies), would be worth while investigating as Thomas’s mother. Before she could be considered seriously, then a full reconstruction of all the Titterton families in Derbyshire and Staffordshire would have to be undertaken.

One further instance that might prove to be an aid in locating Thomas’s family occurred in the 1851 census there was a lodger staying with Thomas’s family named Charles Titterton. Could this Charles prove to be related, thus confirming a link with a known Titterton line?

The reconstruction

William Titterton and Mary Smith were married on the 25 April, 1774 at the parish church of St. Chad, Longford. They had children

Sarah christened 5 March, 1775 at St. Michael, Shirley

Mary christened 1 June, 1777 at St. Michael, Shirley

John christened 26 Dec 1781 at St. Michael, Shirley

William christened 10 June 1785 at St. Michael, Shirley

Thomas born abt 1789 buried 15 March 1810 at St. Michael, Shirley aged 21 years

George christened 19 Aug 1792 at St. Michael, Shirley

Catherine christened 21 Aug 1796 at St. James, Edlaston

In May 1799 Edward Titterton, illeg son of Sarah Titterton was baptised at St Chad, Longford. Sarah latter married James Matthews on 6th December 1803 at St. Michael’s Shirley, and Mary Titterton was a witness.

Next at St Chad, Longford

1802 January 27th Kate Titterton base daughter of Mary Titterton was baptised

1802 August 21st Kate Titterton buried

At the 1802 Quarter Sessions at Matlock, the following members of this family were issued with removal order from Yeaveley to Longford. [Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock]

William Titterton head

Mary Titterton wife

Mary Titterton 21 years

John Titterton 19 years

George Titterton 9 years

Catherine Titterton 6 years

Yeaveley was part of Shirley parish until 1841, when the church of Holy Trinity was built. Parish registers for Yeaveley commence from that date.

1803 October 11th John Titterton & Ellen Udall married at St Michael, Shirley with sister Mary Titterton as a witness.

Mary Titterton then had a child christened at the parish church of St Michael, Shirley

1804 1st November Maria Titterton dau of Mary Titterton, baptised (father named Beighton)

This was followed by a third child to Mary, when Samuel Titterton was born in 1808 at Yeaveley and christened at St Chad, Longford.

1808 August 28th Samuel base son of Mary Titterton of Yeaveley was baptised

Now on to Joseph Potter

There are four Joseph Potters being born in villages adjoining Yeaveley, between 1770 to 1785, according to the IGI.

Potter Joseph son of Samuel & Sarah Potter 28th Jan. 1770 Longford

Potter Joseph son of Joseph & Mary Potter 24th April 1774 Longford

Potter Joseph son of Joseph & Ann Potter 12th Aug. 1782 Edlaston

Potter Joseph son of Isaac Potter 25th April 1785 Longford

St Chad Longford

1761 April 20th Joseph Potter and Mary Cope were married.

Note: – Mary Titterton’s mother Mary Smith (born 1745) was the daughter of William Smith and Hannah Cope of Rodsley (married September 26th, 1739 at St Chad, Longford).

After three daughters, eventually a son was born, named Joseph, and baptised at St Chad, Longford.

1774 April 14th Joseph son of Joseph Potter baptised

One of these Joseph Potter juniors later married and three children were born and baptised

1800 December 12th Joseph son of Joseph Potter baptised at St Chad, Longford

1803 March 3rd George son of Joseph Potter baptised at St Chad, Longford

1804 September 16th Mary dau of Joseph Potter baptised at St Chad, Longford

Also at St Chad, Longford

1805 August 2nd Joseph Potter buried (It is unclear which Joseph this was)


There is enough evidence to suggest that Mary Titterton could be the mother of Thomas Titterton, and that the father might be one Joseph Potter of Longford or Edlaston. Further investigation into the Potter families could be beneficial.

Suggestions for further research.

1. Check 1851census returns for Joseph Potter, Jobber, although by 1851 Joseph might have died or acquired another occupation.

2. Check Longford and Edlaston parish registers for Joseph Potter, who is given the trade of Jobber.

3. Check to see if Longford parish has any further documents within the parish chest, which might hold bastardy papers.

4. Find baptism of Thomas Titterton in Manchester parish registers.

Your Next Step

Please report your Titterton research for possible inclusion in this Web page, and for the benefit of other like-minded researches.

Les Coe Dinnington. 16th Feb., 1999 e-mail :

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