Archives of the Australian Agricultural Company @ UoN

Australian Agricultural Company Ltd Land Sold Register

ABC Newcastle (Newcastle)
Day Shift -18/12/2007 – 02:10 PM
Presenter: Jenny Bates
Producer: Brooke Bannister
Interviewee: Gionni Di Gravio, Archivist, Newcastle University

Newcastle University Archivist Gionni Di Gravio discusses the Archives of the Australian Agricultural Company (A. A. Coy.) held at the University Newcastle and their usefulness in researching local community issues such as the recent community campaign to save Mayfield Pool.

Broadcast Notes:

The Australian Agricultural Company’s records show how a handful of privileged individuals were granted one million acres in northern New South Wales by the Crown.

The Company was formed in London in 1824 following negotiations with the British Government for a grant of 1,000,000 acres of land in New South Wales on the proviso that they invest in the development and improvement of the land.

The Company was incorporated by Act of the British Parliament in 1824, and shortly afterwards commenced pastoral and coal mining activity, extending from the Hunter to the Manning River.

Australian Agricultural Company Ltd 1831-1931 Poster

They commenced operations in early 1925 at Port Stephens, and in 1826 at the request of the British Government agreed to take over the coal mines. In consideration of this, the Company received a further grant of 2,000 acres of land in Newcastle. The land East of Brown Street and the Terrace (now Terrace Street) was reserved for the Government Township and it is on this portion that the principal part of the City of Newcastle now stands.

Amongst the Company’s extensive Crown grants were lands close to Newcastle that have since been developed into the present day suburbs of Bar Beach, Cooks Hill, Hamilton, Broadmeadow, and parts of the Newcastle Central Business District and the Hill.

As Newcastle’s population grew from the 1850s, demand for land, and rising land prices led to the Company’s subdividing its Newcastle lands into housing and commercial allotments, at first in the inner city area, and later (with the establishment of BHP) in Hamilton and Hamilton South. The Company’s records documenting the process of subdivision and urban development are held in the Cultural Collections (Archives) and date from 1824.

As settlement in this infant City of Newcastle spread in a westerly direction, the Company commenced in the early fifties to subdivide and sell its land (reserving, of course, the mineral rights), the standard size of the allotments being one quarter of an acre (66ft. x 165 ft.).

The principal offices of the Company, Argyle House, were situated in Wharf Street Newcastle (the site of the Fanny’s nightclub).

Unfortunately for Newcastle and the Region the substantial archives were removed from Newcastle to Canberra in 1956. The papers from the London Head Office of the Company were also sent to Canberra in 1966. They now reside in the Noel Butlin Archives Centre at the Australian National University.

The departure of these important archives was the catalyst for the creation of a local history collection at the Newcastle Region Library in 1957. A similar situation was played out in the 1920s (involving our archaeological heritage) with Aboriginal stone artefacts collected along the river by Daniel F. Cooksey and C.W. Loch. They pleaded with Newcastle Council to erect a suitable Museum building to house them. Their proposal to safegueard this region’s archaeological heritage was laughed off by the Councillors. The result was that 5000 significant Aboriginal artefacts, known as the Cooksey Collection, providing the first documented evidence of Aurugnacian culture in this country (30,000 years +) were sent to the British Museum. We did not get a suitable Museum for Newcastle until 1988. This forms a compelling argument in having suitable archival quality repositories for the region’s important archives and manuscripts for research use that local people can get to easily without incurring great cost in travel to learn about their land and its history.

This was no more evident in the recent campaign to save Mayfield Pool. The portion of the A. A. Coy.’s records held at the University were a wonderful resource in tracing the ownership of Mayfield’s last piece of recreational waterfront land, Shelly Beach. The A. A. Coy. had acquired John Laurio Platt’s land, (including the shell bank) around 1839, hoping to mine coal there. They erected the original Argyle House on the hill, which was to serve as their Manager’s residence. It was later sold to the BHP. The Shell Bank or Shelly Beach was sold to the Minister for Lands on the 3rd April 1908.

Australian Agricultural Company Ltd Land Sold Register Australian Agricultural Company Ltd 1831-1931 Poster with Shell Beach sale

In the 1940s the BHP began a campaign to acquire Shelly Beach so that they could fill in Platt’s Channel to create more industrial land. Most of the south arm of the Hunter River formed the agricultural background of Mayfield. It’s beauty gave it the distinction of being at one time the Toorak of Newcastle. BHP eventually swapped the land at Shortland, upon which the University is located, with Shelly Beach, the last piece of recreational waterfront land for the Mayfield community. Read the accounts of Ellen Lane and Helen Marshall to see what a beautiful place it once was. The first shovel of fill went in on the 21 April 1950.

With 16 or so years with no local watering hole, it is understandable why the Mayfield kids were clammering to have a swim in the pool donated by BHP in November 1966. The study of history from the original archival records help place an entirely new complexion on the issue of a gift of a swimming pool to the local community. We also see why it is so important to retain such public infrastructure for future generations.

Merry Christmas

Gionni Di Gravio
December 2007

111 thoughts on “Archives of the Australian Agricultural Company @ UoN

  1. Since a visit to Australia about 20 years ago I have been trying to find out more about the foundation of the Australian Agricultural Company in 1824. I was very surprised to learn during my visit that one of my family – William Barton – went to Australia in 1824 as Secretary of the AAC. I cannot find his name in relation to the Company and would like to know more about him, year of birth etc. Obviously it is not generally known that he was from Ireland as he left for Australia from England. One of his sons became Australia’s first Prime Minister, and negotiated the Commonwealth Act in 1901. His name was Sir Edmund Barton. I would appreciated any information you can give me from the AAC archives.
    Regards, Hilary Henry (nee Barton)

    • Hi Hilary,
      I was interested in your comment William Barton was from Ireland. Are you able to give me more information. I am a decendant of the Waterfoot Bartons of Northern Ireland (and before that of Barrton Hall, Barton UK) and am interested in doing research on my family tree.
      Regards Patricia

    • Hi,

      I have the family history of the Bartons back to the 1400,s & William Barton ( born in London England in 1805) is the father of Edmund Barton the first Prime Minister of Australia. His first wife in England is on my tree (my G G grandmother). William had 2 families at the same time, one in England & one in Australia. The letters that are in the archives of Australia from his relatives in London are also Bartons on my tree. The 8 year old son he brought from England to Australia with him left a note with his inlaws proving this fact. My father was from London England.



      • Hello Bernice
        I would love to know more of the Barton history as I am a direct descendant of William Barton (Edmund Barton’s brother), and the William Barton who is their father and your connection.
        If you can help I would be very grateful.
        Kind Regards

  2. Hi,

    I have William Barton (plus his 9 children)on my Family Tree as the father of Edmund Barton & he is from London England. Born 4 Feb 1805 in Stepney MDSX England. His parents were Robert Dodge Barton from Cheshire & Martha Farrow.
    William Barton & his sons were stockbrokers in London & his son Thomas Jackson Jackson Barton in my dads grandfather.


      • Hi,
        Robert Dodge Barton b-1777 in Cheshire, d-1828 in London England. His father was Samuel Barton from Cheshire England b-1731, d-1807 in Norbury Cheshire. I have the family back to abt. 1420.
        There is a book about “Smithills Hall” Bolton England that has the story on the Barton family when they lived in the house in the 1500 & 1600’s. It was published in 1991 by W. John Smith MA. FSA & is no longer in print. Edmond of Australia was the son of William Barton from London & John Barton was Robert Dodge’s brother.
        TJJ Barton was my Dad’s Grandfather.My Dad b in London.I was b in Canada & live in Vancouver WA USA. I have TJJ as a tobacconist in London & his son my grandfather grew vegetables on his lot in Essex & sold them to support his family of 10. I have a picture of him & my Dad in the garden in abt.1901. Maybe between us we can get this family all straightened out—HA!!


  3. Hi,

    I am Bernice Millar(Barton)from the 20 July 2008 comment and so far I have heard from no one. Is there anyone in Australia or England that is interested in the family history of Edmond Barton. I have his family back to 1420 in England. Lets hear from somebody!!


    • Bernice,
      I am Margaret Ingram and am interested in the family tree of Thomas jackson jackson Barton. He went to Australia in 1853 as a painter of
      portraits classes as a “genre artist”. I am slightly confused by your account but it sounds as if you are on to the same family. I have William Barton and TJJB his son but no mention of an Edmond. So William Barton would be my Great Great Grandfather. I would be interested to hear whether you are in Australia, England or America. I am in America Margaret Ingram.

      • Hi

        Samuel & Mary Barton were his parents, Samuel was born 1731 in Cheshire England & married in Stockport Cheshire in 1755.


    • Hi Bernice,

      I’m researching the same family, but a different branch. How did you find a connection to the Bartons of Smithills Hall?, I’d love to know. I found that my branch of the family from the Dean Water at Woodford Cheshire, also claim to be from Smithills. Jayne.

    • Dear Bernice,

      I am writing a book on the early Federation years when Edmund Barton was Prime Minister and I am including a short biography of his family background so information would help including locations in England, religion and occupations.



      • Hi Greg,

        Hope you don’t mind me replying to you. I’m from the same Bartons of Smithells Hall family, but a different branch and have researched the family extensively.

        There seems to be a thought that Sir Edmund Barton was part of my Barton family – so I did a little research myself as you’ll see below from my post dated Sunday, 5 February, 2012 at 8:23 am.

        I managed to find a little background information on Sir Edmund from a pdf. that is no longer on the net entitled “The Art of Consensus: Edmund Barton and the 1897 Federal Convention”. I also found more information in a biographical dictionary from which I saved three pages. I’m not sure if this is the same, but it could be what’s been transcribed here .

        I also managed to find his family on .

        As you can see from my post below, there seems to be some confusion since the Edmund Barton in my family, and Sir Edmund Barton both had fathers called William Barton who were stock brokers. However, as you can see, these William Bartons, Stock Brokers, were not the same people, and died at different times and in different locations.

        Hope this helps you,
        PS sorry I didn’t reply earlier as I expected a reply at the bottom of the page and I’ve only just noticed your post!

    • Hi,

      Not sure if this is still going but I just found the site.

      I am looking for the connection between. Eliza nee Barton and William Henry Brady (my third great grand parents) and Sir Edmund Barton.

      My grand mother who passed away when I was two had always told my dad that we were related. I keep coming up with a dead end and I am hoping someone has the link.

      Thank you in advance.

      Tim Sinclair-Smith

      • Hi Tim,
        It appears that your 3x great grand parents married 16 November 1869 Cathedral,Manchester,Lancashire.

        In order to make a connection, you’ll have to search backwards.

        I’ve cancelled my sub. at Ancestry just 3 weeks ago – otherwise I could look up the marriage on their parish registers and see who Eliza’s father was and so possibly find which Barton family she was from and whether there’s likely to be any connection.

        If I decide to renew – I’ll keep your ancestors in mind and try to find Eliza’s family if can.
        Best wishes,

      • Thanks Jayne, we have found out from extended family that Eiza, was actually Elizabeth and was the older sister of Sir Edmund Barton, she married William Henry Brady. The family was very careful to hide a lot of information due to the two marriages and families of William. My grandmother Wanda Brady shared some of this with my father before she past away back in 1974. The rest we were able to find through research. This has been a very enlightening journey over the last two years.

      • Hi Tim,

        Sounds fascinating. I’ve researched someone who had two families a few years ago. He was a solicitor who married an heiress and so avoided actual bigamy, but, his first wife being childless, he had two families with two other women before marrying my 3x great grandfather’s sister. I was able to find out a lot of background from newspaper reports. It certainly keeps you riveted and eager to find out more.

        In reply to your post of 30 January, 2014 (there’s no reply button unfortunately), presumably your ancestor Elizabeth is thought to be from the first marriage – or is she thought to be from the second? Also, have you seen her marriage certificate and her father’s name and occupation, and were you able to find her baptism record?


      • Hi Tim,
        Free access to Ancestry today – I’ve looked at the original image of Eliza’s marriage – no William Barton mentioned though. Here’s a transcription…
        16 Nov 1869 Cathedral Parish Church in the Parish of Manchester
        William Henry Brady 44, Widow, Office Keeper of 15 Canal Street, Ancoats, father James Brady, Sea Captain. Eliza Barton 37, Spinster of 15 Canal Street, Ancoats, father, Robert Barton, Sawyer.

        All the best,

  4. Hi Lesle,
    Bernice doesn’t seem to have seen our notes yet. I have no indication of a Robert Dodge Barton on my chart but maybe he was a child of William Jackson
    Barton, a stockbroker in London.
    I begin to think that there were many Barton families in Australia at the time.
    Margaret Ingram.

  5. Thanks Margaret for your reply. I have found some further research that was done and Robert Dodge was the son of Samuel and Mary Barton. The family I am interested in are descended from Robert’s brother John. So that explains why Edmund was in the family photos, he was a cousin. Exciting to be related to Australia’s first PM.


    • Hi Leslie,

      just got onto this site, as I am researching my Barton family too. I am descended from John Barton’s son Philip H Barton a son of his second wife Sarah Eizabeth Lowe. john Barton had 11 children in total, I would be interested to know which member you are descended from and how you came to be in Australia.

      with best wishes
      Julie Langston

      • This is all very fascinating.

        I’m researching this same Barton family over here in England. I don’t live far from Norbury or Smithills Hall where the family are said to have originated. My branch of the family lived at the Dean Water (now a hotel), at Woodford, Cheshire, said to have been purchased by William Barton (of Norbury?), in 1616 from Sir Thomas Savage. Many became wealthy cotton merchants in Manchester, some were in Liverpool and involved with the slave trade during the 18th century. One branch of the family appears in Burke’s genealogy, and claims to be from the Bartons of Smithills Hall. It’s interesting to find out more about part of the family that emigrated to Australia. Just waiting for a few Wills belonging to early ancestors in Poynton and Norbury.

        Best wishes to everyone, Jayne.

  6. Hi Bernice and Lesle,
    I realize that my TJJB is probably member of this extended family. He was born in 1827 and died in London in 1880 aged 53 years.
    He had an older brother William Jackson Barton and two sisters, Ann Holton and Jane Whitney.
    He went to Australia in 1853 and returned in 1872 (or 1).
    He was supposed to have had an exhibition of paintings at the National Gallery
    of Art.
    This does not fit too well with your TJJB as mine lived at 88 albert Road, Dalston, London.
    Thanks for the replies, I hope you can tell me more.

    • Hi Margaret,
      My TJJ Barton is the same one as yours as he lived at 88 Albert Rd., Dalston, London in 1872 to 1880 when he died 11 Apr. 1880. Have you noticed that his son William seems to have had 2 wives at the same time, one in England & one in Australia & that his son was the first Prime Minister of Australia.


  7. I’m trying to find information about John Scott who worked for A.A.Coy and died in 1866 and is buried in the Carrington Cemetery. He was born about 1804 and married Esther Gliddon in 1834 in Sydney.
    Thank you

  8. I am researching the family of my wife Faith (nee Barton). Her great great grandfather was Samuel Barton, eye surgeon of Manchester (1789-1871), son of Benjamin Barton of Over Darwen (c.1768-1821). Benjamin was the son of Samuel Barton (d. 1768) of Over Darwen who in a history of Blackburn is said to have been the fifth son of George Barton of Torkington (Stockport).

    I am trying to connect this George with the Bartons of Deanwater.

    A family story points to a connection with Sir Edmund Barton of Australia. Mt wife’s grandfather is supposed to have gone to Australia (1870s ?) to be mentored by Sir Edmund, but we have no proof.

    In reference to the name Dodge I have found that George Barton son of William of Torkington is mentioned as a benficiary in the will of Peter Dodge , gentleman of Stockport, 1727.

    We will be very grateful of any ideas/help.

    Barry Darch

    • Hi Barry

      I have a LOT of information for the Barton family (which is a large one!). I’m from the Bartons of Deanwater (now a hotel). I believe I have the will for George of Torkington (if memory serves), but the family is such a large one that I haven’t recorded everything yet.

      I have an idea that your wife’s ancestor George was cousin to my ancestor who owned Deanwater.

      Interesting to hear about Peter Dodge, Gentleman of Stockport (I must add that one to my Wills list).

      Best wishes, Jayne

      • Hi Jayne

        Thanks for your posts. I have now obtained the will of George Barton of Stockport who owned Deanwater. My wife is descended from his son Samuel who is named in the will. Are you descended from the third son George? Do you think that the elder George was the son of Francis Barton? I think that the elder George may have made his money from being a chapman.

        Best wishes


    • By the way, whilst researching my branch of the family in Manchester, I found a reference to Samuel Barton’s (1789-1821) link with my Barton family, so I started collecting information about Samuel and his family too. I have him married to a Maria Milner with 7 children (one a merchant in Mexico)

      All the best, Jayne

      • G’day

        I read the updates from this comment section regularly and just now I came across an article about Mr. Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton and his wife from Mexico. I thought I’d post it as it may be helpful to someone.

        The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld.)
        Saturday 15 February 1936
        Page 15

        MRS. M. A. BARTON’S ESTATE. (1936, February 15). The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 – 1954), p. 15. Retrieved February 15, 2012,


        Valued at £59,527

        Mrs. M. A. Barton, who died at Boulogne-sur-Mer, Prance, on February 26, 1935, left personal estate in Queensland valued at £49,527. consisting mostly of shares in companies. In the Supreme Court yesterday, on behalf of the executors, Queensland Trustees, Ltd., and Philip Elliott Brown, of Edgecliffe, Sydney, solicitor, and nephew of the testatrix, Mr. M. Hanger (instructed by Messrs. Macnish, Macrossan, and Dowling) moved for grant of probate. The late Mrs. Barton was the wife of Mr. Edward Gustavus Campbell Barton, electrical engineer, of Brisbane, but at present temporarily living at Watford, England. Mr. Hanger said that Mrs. Barton also left an estate in France worth about £10,000, including a house at Le Touwuet, which she bequeathed to her niece, Nancy Brown. The Queensland estate was left principally to brothers, nephews, nieces, and a son, Joseph George Elliott Barton. The Chief Justice (Sir James Blair), who presided, ordered that grant of probate issue to the executors. According to information placed be- fore the Court, Mrs. Barton (then Miss Sutton) was born in Brisbane, where she was married to Mr. Barton on September 13, 1893. In the certificate of death she was described as Mary Allan de Castro, born in Mexico, and the widow of Edward Barton, and daughter of Jose de Castro and Maria. An affidavit by Joseph William Sutton, of Brisbane, brother of the testatrix, stated that she sometimes used the name of Mary Allan de Castro while in France. The Deputy Registrar (Mr. J. S. Emerson) remarked that he had coniderable difficulty in determining the identity of the lady, but he was now satisfied about it. Mr. Hanger said that under the law of France the estate must be administered within 18 months of death. As 12 months had already elapsed It was a matter of urgency. The beneficiaries lived in Brisbane, Sydney, England, and France.

        PIONEER OF ELECTRICITY For many years Mr. E. G. C. Barton has been one of the leaders in Eng- land in advocating the adoption of the metric system, and years ago he wrote many articles on the system that were published in Brisbane news papers. He was a member of the Senate of the Queensland University, and one of the pioneers of electricity in Brisbane. He was Government electrician of Queensland, and vacated that position in 1888 to enter into partnership with Mr. White, founder of the business of Barton and White, which, after various changes, merged into the City Electric Light Co., of which Mr. Barton was appointed managing director. Mr. Barton contested the North Brisbane electorate in the Kidston inerest in 1908, and was returned as junior member, but at the general election of 1909 he did not offer for re-election. Mr. M. Hanger (instructed by Messrs. Macnish, Macrossan, and Dowling) made the application for probate.

    • Hi Barry,

      George Barton of Deanwater was my 7 times great grandfather. I don’t think that his Will “George Barton Gentleman of Stockport 1723” is the same as the will of “George Barton of Torkington, Yeoman 1726” BUT, I believe that he was related to my ancestor George Barton of Deanwater & Stockport.

      I don’t yet have this Will yet (1726), but will send for it soon and get back to you on that family line.

      Best wishe, Jayne

    • Hello. Please excuse a message from a complete stranger. I am an eye surgeon at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. I am currently writing a history of the hospital for our bicentenary in 2014. Samuel Barton was one of my predecessors as surgeon here (1815-1856). He is the only one of the first 5-6 surgeons for whom we can’t locate a portrait. I wondered whether you know if there was ever one in existence, and also if you have any other Barton information from him or from his generation.
      Nick Jones

      • Hello Nick

        Sorry to be so long replying. I missed your post on here. My wife is a great great grand-daugter of Samuel Barton, the surgeon. I am not aware of a portrait, but I would be surprised if there isn’t one, not least because Samuel was a great collector of art. I think that my wife’s grandfather lost contact with other members of the family. I will post what we know about Samuel.

        Best wishes


  9. I too have ancesters who worked for the AACo at Goonoo Goonoo . Jacob Chillingworth/Chillingsworth, his daughter Mary was born at GG and married Peter Burns who may also have been a wool washer for AA. Anything in the archives about any of the above?

      • Hi Bernice,

        As you can see, I’ve posted 2 replies, but I’ve had no replies to my posts. I’ve done a LOT of research on the Bartons of Deanwater who claim to be from the Bartons of Smithells, and also, a LOT of research on William Barton of Norbury and his family, and the Bartons of Smithells. The Bartons of Deanwater (my branch) are from William Barton of Norbury’s son Francis. I’ve also tried to find information on Edmund Barton (including a Will), but from what I’ve found, I couldn’t find a connection with William of Norbury. However, I still have a lot of research to record and confirm, there’s so much information, as the family was a large one! I’ve transcribed over 40 Barton Wills, and still have a few to go.

        Best wishes,

      • The difference between the two William Bartons Stock Brokers…

        Robert Dodge Barton’s son William (1805-1852) = Maria Jackson 7 Jul 1823 St Matthew, Bethnal Green. He was a Stock Broker of 1 Trafalgar Place West, Shoreditch in 1851. PROBATE : Will of William Barton, Stock Broker of No 1Trafalgar Place, West Hackney Road, Middlesex 28 Jul 1852. One of his sons was Thomas Jackson Jackson Barton born 8 Nov 1826, baptised 24 Dec 1826 St Leonard Shoreditch


        Sir Edmund Barton’s father was
        William GILES Barton (1795 – 1881), the youngest son of a London Perfumer (Edward Barton). He married Mary Louise Whydah 26 May 1827 St George Hanover Square, Westminster. William was the accountant of the Australian Agricultural Company, and later, for many years, the only, sharebroker in Sydney.

        So, it appears that, the father of TJJB died in London in 1852, but Sir Edmund Barton’s father died in Australia in 1881.

    • Hi nundleart?……just stumbled across your post whilst doing more research on the Chillingworth family history. Jacob was my G.G.Grandfather & his son, Jacob Jnr., was my G.Grandfather….one of his sons, Henry, was the father of my Dad, Ken Chillingworth. Have collected a fair bit of history back to my G.G.G./Father, John, from Putney England.
      I do know that Mary was 21 when she married Peter in 1868…she was born in 1847.& was the first of Jacob & Susannah ‘s 11/13? children. We can claim direct link to the First Fleet as Susannah came out on it & you will find her name at the first fleet park @ Wallabadah.
      Hope this brief info assists……cheers, Gary Chillingworth

      • Hi Gary
        I would be very interested in any information you have about Jacob Chillingworth he is my GGG Grandfather as well I am related to Jacob and Susannah Pentley’s daughter Emma Maria Chillingworth. Susannah is the daughter of Charlotte Bishop who in turn is the daughter of Mary Davies (Bishop) who came out on the Lady Penrhyn First Fleet.
        My email is
        Thank you

  10. This is very interesting, Jayne. It seems that Sir Edmund was not descended from the Cheshire/Smithells Bartons.

    I am trying to find proof that George Barton of Deanwater (will, Stockport, 1723) was the son of Francis Barton and grandson of William of Norbury.

    Best wishes


      • Hi Barry,

        George Barton of Deanwater was my 7 times great grandfather. I don’t think that his Will “George Barton Gentleman of Stockport 1723″ is the same as the will of “George Barton of Torkington, Yeoman 1726″ BUT, I believe that he was related to my ancestor George Barton of Deanwater & Stockport.

        I don’t yet have this Will yet (1726), but will send for it soon and get back to you on that family line.

        Best wishe, Jayne

  11. Hi Jayne

    Thanks for the replies. George Barton gent. of Deanwater and Stockport was my wife’s 5 x great grandfather: George (will 1723) married Esther (Taylor?); their son Samuel married Esther Fowler at Brindle; their son Benjamin married Margaret Cooper; their son Samuel, eye surgeon, married Maria Milner; their son Rev. James married Mary Lewis Clegg; their son Edward Henry (Frank) was father of John Llewelyn Barton, my wife (Faith)’s father.

    Last summer we discovered at Hadley parish church (now in Telford) a memorial window to Rev. James Barton, underneath which in the inscription was a coat of arms (Barton quartering Milner).

    The Bartons of Upper (Over) Darwen had connections with some pioneers of the industrial revolution. Benjamin’s daughter Amelia married James Crompton, son of Samuel Crompton who invented the spinning mule. The Cleggs were manufacturers in Prestwich and the Milners had a calico printing business for a time at Edenfield.

    I am keen to go beyond George (will 1723). I have seen the descent in Burke’s 1937 landed gentry book which takes the line back to William B. of Poynton (d. 1588). But it would be good to get some confirmation of some of the links. I have some of the Barton wills and admons but not the admon of Francis (1679?) who in Burke is given as the father of George (1723).

    Best wishes

    • Dear Barry,

      I hope that this message reaches you, as I know that this is an old thread. My ancestors were the Bartons of Smithills and they branched out to Wigan and Buenos Aires. I have been doing quite a lot of research on Barton heraldry and was fascinated to read that you saw the arms of Rev James Barton at Hadley Church. Please could you send me a copy of the photo of this, if you have one, as I’m trying to trace the Barton lineage via their heraldic arms. Apparently Rev James Barton quartered his own Barton arms with other Barton arms from Whenby, Barton Manor and ? and this can be found in a church graveyard at Hoole, although it is in a ruinous state. My guess is that his arms are azure, fesse and three bucks’ heads, or (three stags heads in gold with a gold bar on a blue background), which is the same as Smithills Hall.

      Many thanks for your help.

      Paul James-Griffiths

      • Dear Paul

        Sorry that I missed your post. Unfortunately my camera did not work when I took the picture, but I think that the arms of Barton in the inscription below the window were similar to those of Smithills (3 bucks’ heads). These arms were quartered with Milner, as Rev. James Barton was a grandson of Maria Milner.

        I am somewhat doubtful whether Rev. James Barton was entitled to either of these arms, as I cannot find proof that the Bartons of Deanwater were descended from the Smithill Bartons or that Maria was descended from the Milners of Halifax.

        Do you know about other descendants of George Barton of Deanwater who used the Smithill Barton arms? I am thinking particularly of the Stapleton Park and Saxby Bartons (described in Burke’s Commoners).

        How are you descended rom the Smithills Bartons?

        Best wishes


    • Hi Barry
      I have just discovered all this correspondence regarding the Barton family. My great grandmother’s sister (Rachel Anne Barnett) was Edward Henry Barton’s 1st wife. I know they had six children but I have only discovered 4 daughters and a son. I didn’t know they had separated but suspected something amiss as I never found them living together after the 1881 census. He had several curacies in the 1880’s but then seems to have abandoned his ministry and in the 1901 census claims to be widowed! After that I had lost track of him.


    • Hi Barry,
      You may remember you wrote to me some time ago by mail (a NZ address) regarding Edward Lewis (wife Mary) who as you outline above, who lived in Rycroft, Lancashire, and later retired to Bryn Edwin Hall, Flintshire, and the connection with your wife’s family through Elizabeth Venables – I have to say that I was confused by this .
      First, according to what i can find on, and with family bible records:
      Edward & Mary had the children: * Edward Lewis may have married again (?)- our records don’t include this section.
      ..his children, that I’m aware of:
      Thomas Lewis (1817-1878) – born Rycroft, llived at Bryn Edwin (farm & lead mines), Flintshire
      Edward Arthur Lewis (1821-1885) – lived at Preswylfa, Mold, Flintshire, he married Carolina Handforth, and 2nd born was Elizabeth Venables Lewis (maybe this name comes from *) b. 25.6.1849
      Elizabeth Venables Lewis m. Hugh Goodman-Roberts, 14.12.1886, and their only child was (Sir) Ernest Handforth Goodman-Roberts b. 1890- 1969 who was a MP for Flintshire, and later Chief Justice of Burma. He had no issue (he has his own wiki site).
      Other children of Edward Arthur Lewis are my g grandparents: Ernest Arthur Lewis, and Catherine Lewis.

      Do you have more details on the Elizabeth Venables Lewis (Clegg) you are referring to?)
      Diana Ross

      • Hi Diana

        Sorry for the delay in replying. I only found your posting today.

        The will of Edward Lewis, made in 1827, shows that he had four survining children at the time that he made it: the two sons that you know of and two daughters, Elizabeth Venables and Catherine.

        Elizabeth Venables Lewis was born 24.2. 1808 and baptised 3.3. 1808 at St James, Manchester, daughter of Edward and Mary.

        This couple had a son Edward, bp 4.7.1819 (Northop cum Flint) who died 12.10.19.

        Elizabeth Venables Lewis married Benjamin Clegg, a manufacturer. He died young. They had two children Mary Lewis Clegg and William Clegg. When Mary Lewis Clegg married Rev. James Baron in 1855 the witnesses included: Thomas Lewis, Sarah Jane Handforth and William Goodman Gatcliff. I think that Sarah Jane was the daughter of Rev. John Handforth (sometime rector of St Peter’s, Ashton-under-Lyne). Another daughter Agnes was staying with Elizabeth V. Clegg at the time of the 1851 census. Was Caroline Handforth also a daughter of Rev. John H.?

        When Mary Lewis Clegg was young, she seems to have lived for a time in a household headed by her aunt Catherine Lewis.

        I have been unable to discover the marriage of Edward and Mary Lewis. I suspect that the Venables name came from further back, as the family of a David Lewis also used Venables as a middle name.

        Do you know anything about Edward and Mary?

        Kind regards


      • Hi Diana

        I should have said ‘John’ rather than ‘David’ Lewis. At one point Edward was in partnership with a John Lewis. I’m wondering whether he was his father.

        Kind regards


  12. Hopefully, you will receive it soon, Jayne, but if there’s a delay or you’d like to know anything right away, please let me know.

    Best wishes


    PS Have you seen the will (or is an admon?) of Esther Barton, Woodford, 1742?

    • Have sent for Esther’s Will at the same time Barry! Can’t wait to see it! A Will’s usually more helpful than an admon., and I’m hoping she’s one of ‘mine’ 😉

      Speak to you soon,

    • Hi Barry,

      As you know, the Parish of Blackburn, County of Lancaster. A history of Blackburn town and parish by W A Abram…

      states that Samuel Barton’s grandfather “Samuel Barton of Over Darwen, gent.,” was the “fifth son of Mr. George Barton, of Torkington” . So, George Barton of Torkington was a contemporary of George Barton of Deanwater (possibly his cousin).

      William Barton of Norbury (1579 – 1658) had at least 5 sons…
      WILLIAM BARTON OF MILL BANK (1620 – 1662)
      HENRY BARTON OF POYNTON (1625 – 1684)

      I believe that George Barton of Deanwater was the son of Francis Barton of Woodford, and that possibly, George Barton of Torkington, was the son of George Barton of Woodford, (George Barton of Torkington had a brother, William Barton of Woodford). The problem we face is the Commonwealth Gap. During the Civil War period, the priest of Prestbury was turned out of the church and used to preach from the priest house across from the church. There were undoubtedly records kept of baptisms, marriages and burials, but they may have been destroyed once the monarchy was restored.

      I found it difficult to find the birth of John Llewellyn Barton by the way. I found 2 marriages for his father Edward Henry, and 2 for his grandfather James! Is this right?

      Best wishes, Jayne

      • Many thanks for his information, Jayne.

        I think that ‘George Barton of Torkington’ is the same as ‘George Barton of Deanwater’ as in his will (1723) George Barton of Deanwater is described as “now of Stockport”. Torkington is in Stockport. This George lists Samuel as his fifth son.

        James Barton (my wife’s great grandfather) did marry twice, first to Mary Lewis Clegg, daughter of Benjamin Clegg, manufacturer of Prestwich (brother of the Clegg of Besses o’ the Barn) and secondly to a Mary whose surname we don’t know. Edward Henry Barton (my wife’s grandfather) married his first wife while he was a student at Durham University. After being ordained he held several curacies for short periods before seeming to separate from his wife. He later met my wife’s grandmother. We have searched indices and never found a marriage between him and my wife’s grandmother, so if you have informaton about a marriage we shall be very pleased. He seems to have left the church and worked for newspapers. He was known as Frank in later life and died in Southend in 1923 on his 67th birthday, leaving several young children. He had had a son and several daughters by his (first) marriage. My wife’s father (John Llewewlyn, but always known as Peter) was born in 1913 and died in 1988.

        Thanks again


      • Hi Barry,

        Many thanks for the birth of John Llewellyn. When I said his father married twice I was using the term loosely, because like you, I couldn’t find a marriage! However, I believe the mother of John Llewellyn was Eva Violet Edgell, born Sep Q 1882 at Bedminster, Bristol, Somerset, daughter of Henry Edgell, an Oil and Coal Dealer.

        I still feel that George Barton of Deanwater and George Barton of Torkington were two different people. Torkington may be viewed by some as part of Stockport today, but I’m not sure that it was back in the early 18th century. Like Norbury, it was a hamlet of Hazel Grove, and I don’t think people would generalise and view Torkington as Stockport any more than they would view Norbury as Stockport given that they were two separate manors. I live close to Stockport and wouldn’t describe anyone living in Torkington or Hazel Grove as living in Stockport.

        I guess the jury’s out on that one ; – ), but as I do more research and transcribe more Wills I’ll let you know if I’m able to fit the pieces together with any parish registers etc.

        Best wishes, Jayne

  13. Hi Jayne

    Many thanks for the reply.

    Your details of John L. Barton’s mother are correct. We think the Llewelyn is from the Lewis family (mentioned below).

    Do you have any information on James B.’s second wife? I think that she was a native of Hadley, James’s parish. I am wondering whether her maiden name was Cooper, as a son of hers had Cooper as a middle name. He became a solicitor in Shrewsbury. But the mother of James’s father (Samuel, the eye surgeon) was Margaret Cooper, so the name may come from her.

    I understand that there is a stained glass window in St Mary’s, Chester to the memory of James’s first wife, Mary Lewis Barton, nee Clegg and her brother, Lieut. William Clegg, both of whom died young, provided by their mother, Elizabeth Venables Clegg, nee Lewis, daughter of Edward Lewis, sometime manufactuter of Ryecroft, Ashton under Lyne, who retired to Flint.

    Torkington was part of the parish of Stockport in the 18th century. I have found this in various sources, including Genuki for Torkington, which gives St Mary’s, Stockport as the parish church for Torkington.

    I think that it is very significant that Samuel is given as the fifth son of George Barton ‘heretofore of Dean Water … and now of Stockport’ in his will of 1723. This matches the reference in the History of Blackburn.

    I’m interested in the idea that George’s father was Francis. Did any of the numerous sons of George name their children Francis, I wonder.

    As Francis was the youngest of five sons, it would seem unlikely that Deanwater had been passed down from his father. George (will 1723) appointed businessmen as his executors, so I am wondering whether George made the money to buy Deanwater in business rather than inherit it.

    George left an estate of inheritance in Handforth to his second son. Perhaps there are some Barton wills or other records relating to Handforth – ?

    Best wishes


  14. Hi Jayne

    Just wondering whether you’ve received the will of Esther Barton 1742 and whether she was the widow of George of Deanwater.

    Best wishes


    • Hi Barry,

      Just been sorting through all my Barton info. (there’s tons of it!).

      Yes I did receive the Will of Esther Barton 1742, and I don’t think she’s George of Deanwater’s widow. She appears to be the widow of George Barton of Woodford, Yeoman (Will 1741).

      George mentions his wife Esther in his Will. Neither of them mention any children, just cousins and nieces, and they both appoint George Lowe of Newton as their Executor.

      After searching through all the parish registers on familysearch, I think it’s possible that Samuel Barton of Darwen was George of Deanwater’s son as, at the moment, there doesn’t appear to be another Samuel born at the right time. Also, George of Deanwater’s fifth (surviving) son was called Samuel as you know.

      Having said that, there are quite a few missing baptisms, marriages & burials, including the baptism of George of Deanwater himself.

      All for now, Jayne

  15. Many thanks for information, Jayne.

    I know that James B’s second wife had been born in Hadley.

    I’m wondering whether the wife of George B. of Deanwater was Sarah Millington (married 14.5.1695 Stockport).

    Samuel Barton (d. 1768) in my wife’s line had a daughter Sarah (She first married Rev. George Astley).

    Best wishes


    • Hi Barry,

      A Sarah was my first guess, as there were granddaughters named Sarah Barton, (including my 5x great grandmother), but then I saw that one of the executors of the Will was named Taylor and that started me thinking it may have been Esther who was George’s wife.

      However, I now think that marriage must belong to George Barton the Yeoman of Woodford who died c.1741, and I’m back to Sarah Millington!


      • Hi Jayne

        Thank for your reply.

        Did you know of the connections of the Bartons of Swinton (descendants of George, 3rd son of George of Deanwater) with the Heywoods of Manchester and the Sumners, including Mary Sumner, founder of the Mothers’ Union and her son (George) Heywood Sumner, the artist?

        Best wishes


  16. Hi Barry,

    Yes, I’ve managed to find photos of one or two Barton descendants, including a tiny photo of the Sumner family of Hope End, and a photo of the original Hope End House. I also like to collect photos of buildings connected to the family, such as Caldy Manor, Stapleton Park, Barton Arcade, Barton Buildings etc.

    Apparently the Heywoods fortune was built on the slave trade in Liverpool, and I’ve managed to find a few photos of the Heywood family too, including Oliver Heywood, whose statue is in Albert Square, Manchester.

    Did you know of the partnership with Robert Owen and the Lanark Mills? A documentary was aired recently, and it was quite frustrating that they didn’t mention the Bartons who were his partners and backed him financially.

    Richard Barton (eldest son of George of Deanwater) also had some very interesting descendants too.

    All the best, Jayne

    • Hi Jane

      Thanks for this.

      I know about Caldy Manor and Stapleton Parl but not about Barton Arcade and Barton Buildings.

      I’ve recently found out about the Robert Owen connection.

      Did you know that John Barton and Robert Owen were on the committee of the Manchester Board of Health, founded 1796 (mainly through the efforts of Dr Percival whose daughter seems to have married Nathaniel Heywood)?

      Dr Percival is listed in the 1773 Directory (of Manchester), published by Mrs Raffald. The Directory lists Richard, George and Henry Barton as fustian manufacturers, Market Street Lane.

      I have found a reference (on-line) to a Henry and James Barton in ‘The Rise of Merchant Banking’ by Stanley Chapman, 2006, p. 119. I’m wondering whether ‘James’ should be ‘John’.

      Henry and John Barton supported Samuel Crompton’s claim for government funding for his invention, 1812. I think I mentioned before that Samuel Crompton’s son James married Amelia Barton, sister of my wife’s great great grandfather Samuel B., the eye surgeon.

      I came across last week on-line the sale details of Samuel B.’s art collection, advertised in ‘The Athenaum’ of 1 July 1871. Paintings included a Rembrandt, Rubens, Gainsborough Brueghel and Reynolds! I think that Samuel had put his collection together in the 1820s.

      Best wishes


      • Hi Barry,

        I haven’t had much time to spend on the Manchester Bartons lately. I knew of Samuel’s art collection, but not the details.

        As to John Barton, it depends which John you mean, Henry’s brother or his son?

        George of Deanwater’s son Richard inherited Deanwater, but is said to have sold it to George. George of Manchester’s eldest son Richard inherited Deanwater, but had no children, so his heir at law was his brother John’s son, James, who was in partnership with his uncle Henry. So James rather than John could be the right name. James is listed in several directories 1781-1800 as a Fustian Manufacturer and Merchant, and was still living at Deanwater as late as 1804.

  17. Hi Jayne

    Thanks for this information. I also came across a bankruptcy notice of a Mary and James Barton ‘both late of Stockport … Cotton-Spinners and Manufacturers’. 1837 London Gazette p. 2869 and p. 3298. I think that the Mary named was the mother of the James.

    Best wishes

    • Hi Barry,

      Yes, I’ve researched a lot about the Bartons of Manchester, and wondered if the Barton cotton spinners of Stockport were related.


      • I have just come across a lot of correspondence between you and a number of other people on the Barton Family, I am also just started to find my wifes linage she claims to be related to Sir Edmond Barton and Andrew Barton Patterson and the family of Robert Johnston Barton ( Emily Mary Darval )who claims Edmond to be his Uncle ,how ever cannot find the link
        My Wife is Lynette Helen Barton b 1953 father is Donald Victor Barton m Mena Merle Sweeny g father frederick Barton b 1881 m Elsie Hopson 1910 , GF Samual B born 1856 marr Catherine Furner,ggf William Barton Mar Ann ??? They lived in the Maitland Dungog, NSW area Wellington etc are you able to shed some light on this matter thanks Bert Gay

    • Hi Barry,

      William Barton of Poynton who died 1588 fits in perfectly with the William Barton who was son of Andrew Barton & Agnes Stanley of Smithells Hall. William even mentions his brother Robert in his Will which he made shortly before his death and is dated 21 May 30 Eliz. (1588).

      However, Andrew Barton’s son, Robert Barton of Smithells, died 1580. Any thoughts on this???

      By the way, how are you getting on with finding the family of Sarah Millington?

      Best wishes,

      • Hello Jayne

        Very sorry for long delay in replying. I haven’t visited this site for some time and even then I missed some posts.

        I’m doubtful about William Barton being a close relative of the Smithill Bartons, who were much wealthier. William left his brother Robert a coat, if I remember correctly, which does not suggest gentry connections.

        Is there any evidence that the Bartons were at Deanwater in the early 17th century, as some sources claim? Or do you think George B. acquired it (about 1700?)?

        I have looked at some Millington records, but I can’t estalish a pedigree for Sarah M. with any confidence.

        Kind regards


  18. Hi Bert,

    I’m in the UK, so it’s probably easier for you to research your family than me, and you may have found the answer by now.

    There are many Barton families in the UK which are not related to each other and the same is probably true in Australia. As you can see from previous posts, some thought that Sir Edmond Barton was related to the Bartons of Smithills, but there doesn’t actually appear to be a link when you look into it further. I suspect the same may be true of your wife’s family and that’s why the link is difficult to find.

    According to one of the first posts, Sir Edmund is thought by some to be a descendant of a Barton family in Ireland – whether that’s true or not I can’t say. I don’t have time to research every possible family link that deeply – and I’m already satisfied that he’s unlikely to be part of my Barton family.

    I did have a look at Robert Johnston Barton – according to a parish register he was baptised Aug 1809 at St Marylebone, Westminster, London, father Charles Barton Esq.

    According to a public tree on Ancestry, Donald Victor Barton’s (1918-1984) father was Frederick Barton (1881-1961), his father was Samuel Barton (1856-1927), his father William Barton (1810-1879), his father was William Barton (born c.1810 Lincolnshire?), who was convicted at Nottinghamshire in 1836 and arrived in Australia 1844 on board the ‘John’.

    I don’t know if this is accurate or not. As you know, every link must be checked and everything should make sense and fall into place. Why not register with Ancestry (if you haven’t already) and maybe you’ll be able to search for the tree I found. You could then contact the tree owner and ask him (or her) if they would be happy to share their information and sources.

    All the best,

    • Thank you Jayne
      That information makes sence and stacks up with information received since emailing you and have gone a little further up line to a further William,a George and a Ringo Barton but no linkages at this stage to Edward Barton or AB Pattinson or Robert Johnston Barton.
      Thank you just the same

    • It seems that someone has made a mistake with the above. Donald Victor Barton’s (1918-1984) father was Frederick Barton (1881-1961), his father was Samuel Barton (1856-1927), his father William Barton (1810-1879) but this is where things differ, William came to Australia on 26 Jul 1833 on board “The Warrior” . Any further information required feel free to ask. Paul (This William Barton was my great great great grandfather)

      • Hi Paul,
        Many thanks for your input – as you can see my information was from an Ancestry public tree in reply to a request for help from Bert Gay. He asked for help over a year ago now, but left an email address on his post, so perhaps you could try to contact him. The two of you seem to be related.

        All the best,

      • hi Paul just read your email re The Bartons,my wife is the second daughter to Donald V Barton whos parents are Fred and Elsie 1881 -1961 whos parents areSamuel and Catherine 1856, whos parents William & Ann Tucker, upline to them William and Hannah ,William and Elizabeth,George and Mary ,and Ringo this is according to gen site Mundia .com.
        there is a question mark re William and Ann Tucker, there are 2 identical Williams same dob and married to Ann diferent linage wich I havnt yet followed through, it would be interesting knowing what u know ,looking to hear from you
        Bert Gay

  19. Hi Barry,

    (and everyone whose a descendant of the Barton family who claimed to be from the Bartons of Smithells.)

    William Barton of Poynton who died 1588 fits in perfectly with the William Barton who was son of Andrew Barton & Agnes Stanley of Smithells Hall. William even mentions his brother Robert in his Will which he made shortly before his death and is dated 21 May 30 Eliz. (1588).

    However, Andrew Barton’s son, Robert Barton of Smithells, died 1580. Any thoughts on this???

    By the way, how are you getting on with finding the family of Sarah Millington?

    Best wishes,

    • Hello Jayne

      I posted this above, but I’m adding it here too.

      Very sorry for long delay in replying. I haven’t visited this site for some time and even then I missed some posts.

      I’m doubtful about William Barton being a close relative of the Smithill Bartons, who were much wealthier. William left his brother Robert a coat, if I remember correctly, which does not suggest gentry connections.

      Is there any evidence that the Bartons were at Deanwater in the early 17th century, as some sources claim? Or do you think George B. acquired it (about 1700?)?

      I have looked at some Millington records, but I can’t estalish a pedigree for Sarah M. with any confidence.

      Kind regards


      • Hi Barry!

        Nice to hear from you! I understand what you’re saying about the Bartons of Deanwater.

        I do feel it’s possible that the Bartons were at Deanwater, Woodford in the early 17th century, though it may not have been called Deanwater at that time. It was stated that William Andrew Barton purchased it in 1616 – however I think this is more likely to be WILLIAM BARTON, of Norbury, bapt. 22 March, 1579, bur. 17 May 1658.

        I think that the Andrew part may come from his supposed second marriage to ‘Margaret Andrewe’, though it appears that his second wife was actually Elizabeth – certainly her Will names the children as hers with the exception of (her stepdaughter) Jane Hurst – William’s eldest daughter who was born to his first wife, Jane Wyatt.

        As for evidence that the family owned Deanwater in the early 17th century, we know that William’s father was Francis Barton of Woodford. As you know, he was buried 10 Mar 1635/6 [in Templo]. He may have been a tenant in Woodford or owned property there, and we know that his father William Barton of Poynton bequeathed “his Messuage and all the lands and appurtenances situated in Wydford (Woodford), now in the occupation of Richard Davenporte” to his son (Francis’ brother), George.

        Francis son, William Barton of Norbury, had a son Humphrey, whose Will mentions an “Indenture of asignment made over unto Frendes in trust by my late Father William Barton of Northbury to mee and other uses there in contained of his teniament in widford (Woodford) aforesaid bereing date” 25 Oct 1655. So, there is plenty of evidence that the family owned property(ies) in Woodford, but the name Deanwater may have come later.

        As for whether the family were descendants of the Smithall Bartons, the more I look into it, the more I think it’s likely. We know that the family suddenly appeared in Prestbury parish a few years after the parish registers began. They appear to be of some influence and wealth as several of them were buried “in Templo”, presumably inside St Peters church.

        We also know that in times past, the eldest son(s) inherited the ‘lion’s share’ of an estate, and often, the younger sons had to make their own way in the world – this is repeated of course with the sons of George Barton of Deanwater. I also remember reading that two younger sons of the wealthy Davenport family (if memory serves), moved to Liverpool to make their way as Merchants and that this was usual at that time.

        If, (according to Baines), William of Poynton was indeed the fourth or FIFTH surviving son of Andrew & Agnes Barton, it doesn’t surprise me that he may have been a wealthy Yeoman with property in Woodford, Torkington, Poynton, Adlington & Merton (as mentioned in his Will). As a less wealthy man, it’s not unusual to leave something (such as a best blue coat) as a token to a more wealthy relative – sometimes it was just a matter of a few pence – but the acknowledgment in the Will was there.

        I can’t be 100% sure as yet, but it’s looking more and more likely as more information comes to light. Andrew & Agnes’ fourth surviving son appears to have been Henry Barton living at Hothersall in 1549, but who died childless. I haven’t come across any information about him as yet, but like William, he too may have been a Yeoman / landowner.

        Kind regards,

  20. P.S.

    Just noticed the post about the Bartons of Buenos Aires and was I too interested in their connection with the Bartons of Smithills and which line they’d descended from. I’ve managed to find a tree at rootsweb which sadly only goes back to a Ralph Barton, a Blacksmith born at Wallgate, Wigan about 1685….

    This page shows the “Coat of Arms of the Barton family sent to Buenos Aires in 1811 to Thomas Barton by his aunt Emma Johnson”, but doesn’t mention where this came from and how or when it came to be connected to the family. Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be any transcriptions available online to verify the family line or pursue it any further. Ditto Wills so I’ve reached a dead end there 😦

    Best wishes,

    • Hello Jayne

      Good to get your reply.

      I agree that the younger sons of men styled as ‘gent’ can be found as yeomen. I can think of an example from Cornwall where the grandfather was styled as ‘gent’, a son as ‘yeoman’ and a grandson as ‘husbandman’, all in the same document.

      Is there a will of a Robert B. who could be William of Poynton’s brother?

      I have found instances of a brother-in-law being referred to as ‘brother’ in a will. Could ‘Robert’ be a brother-in-law? I can’t remember whether the will gives Robert’s surname as Barton.

      Are there any records of the descendants of William B. of Poynton using the Bartons of Smithills arms before some of them bought landed estates in the later 18th /early 19th century? I’m wondering whether any wills bear seals with arms on.

      Kind regards


  21. Hi Barry,

    Yes, I think the term yeoman can be misleading. I remember reading some time ago that, “Many yeomen were prosperous, …. Some were as wealthy as the minor county or regional landed gentry and some even leased land to gentleman landowners. Some could be classed as gentlemen but did not aspire to this status: it was cheaper to remain a yeoman”

    There is a transcription of the Will of Robert Barton of Smithills – but sadly he doesn’t mention any of his family except his wife. There is also a Will for a Robert Barton of Mottram St Andrew (Prestbury Parish), proved 1610 – this has a George Barton of Woodford as executor. At first I thought this was William’s brother, but later, looking at the dates of his family I began to think that he may have been another son.

    William’s Will mentions his brother Robert Barton by name. Unfortunately, any seals that appear on Wills are not clear enough to make out. That’s why I found it interesting that two different branches of the family claimed to be from the Bartons of Smithills – but sadly Bernice never replied to my posts. However, she may not have had the original information about her branch of the family and why the Bartons of Mill Bank made this claim. I thought there might have been another clue there 😉

    Oh well, will keep on searching and will let you know if I find anything more concrete!

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Jayne

      Have you visited Deanwater? I had assumed that it was one property (now a hotel?), but I came across a reference to a family called Upton, said to have lived in Deanwater for a long time. So was/is it a hamlet? I think that one of the executors/trustees of the will of George Barton, formerly of Deanwater and latterly of Stockport, was John Upton.

      Some of the Uptons were involved in commercial enterprises; and I’m wondering whether George Barton made some of his money in the same way.

      Bet wishes


      • Hi Barry,

        Yes, I have visited Deanwater and I’m thinking that the name possibly refers to the property. Looking at an old map, it appears to be marked using smaller letters than place names – the same size in fact as other buildings like ‘Hill Top’ (a farm) and ‘Newton Hall’.

        See what you think by following this link….

        If you click on this link for old maps, enter Woodford in the search box, on the next page select ‘Woodford, Cheshire’, then click on the map on the following page and select the first option in the list on the left (Ordinance Survey First Series), by clicking just once on the + button you should arrive at Woodford and see what I mean. Sorry to be so detailed but I just wanted you to see the same image as me.

        I’ve not seen a reference to the Uptons living at Deanwater – I think they originally lived at Dean Rowe nearby, but yes later generations like George were connected to the textile trade. I believe John Upton may have been George Barton’s son in law. There was a reference to one of his daughters marrying a John Upton. Also, The Manchester Mercury noted the death of “Mrs Upton at Deanwater, in Mar 1795 in her 89th year, late of Manchester. She was the widow of John Upton, and are both buried in St Ann’s Churchyard, Manchester” – This was taken from Cheshire notes and queries vol. 8 p177 (but the writer could not see the connection with the Bartons as we can today)

        According to the baptism registers of some of his children, George was a ‘button man’, or Button Merchant.

        Could you perhaps transcribe the reference to the Uptons at Deanwater – it would be interesting to see.

        Many thanks, Jayne

  22. P.S.

    According to The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5…
    “Dean Row, (is) a hamlet in Wilmslow parish, Cheshire”

    whereas, according to Cheshire Notes & Queries Vol.8 (1888) p166…
    “Deanwater is in the township of Woodford, in the parish of Prestbury”

    so, it would seem that Deanwater (estate & house), was located in the township of Woodford, and was perhaps the reason why Woodford rather than Deanwater was described as the abode of George Barton at the baptism of his children.

    Photos from 1927 here…

    • Many thanks for posts, Jayne. I’ll have a look at the links. The information that I found about the Uptons is from: “Upton family records : being genealogical collections for an Upton family history” (on line)

      Upton of Leeds (p. 14)

      Upton = Alice, da. of … Barton of Deanwater, Chester ;
      of the family of Barton of Swinton.

      Note (p. 22)

      The family mentioned in the text is said to have resided for nearly three centuries
      at Deanwater in Cheshire, where successive John Uptons held property for many generations prior to the marriage with Alice Barton. An Upton House appears in or near Deanwater on old maps.

      Kind regards

      • Hi Barry,

        without looking at the deeds to the estate, it’s difficult to say with any certainty who owned exactly what and where. There’s an Upton House at Macclesfield, but that’s too far away and could have been built too recently, or there’s an Upton House Farm very near to the Deanwater estate. Again I’m not sure how old this is nor whether perhaps the name has changed. I certainly haven’t found an Upton House in or near Deanwater except for Upton House Farm which is located near Lees Lane.

        Looking again at that old map on visionofbritain, there was a Boden Ho.(use), marked on the map which appears to be very near to Deanwater estate, and also the Upton House Farm (which isn’t marked on the old map). Could Boden House perhaps have been Upton House originally? – difficult to say without looking at some old tithe maps.

        Best wishes, Jayne

    • Hi again. Have loooked at links and see what you mean. Which George B. was the ‘button man’? Is it George of Deanwater who had the ten sons and one daughter Elizabeth? Thanks, Barry

      • Hi Barry,

        Yes, that would be George Barton of Deanwater who had 10 sons and 2 daughters.

        Thanks for the book – the Leeds Upton family is the family I’d been following. John Upton married Alice Barton, they had at least 4 sons and are buried at St Ann’s as mentioned above…

        BURIAL John Upton 5 Jan 1785 St Ann, Manchester (LOPC)
        BURIAL Alice Upton 10 Mar 1795, St Ann, Manchester, widow of the late John Upton. (LOPC)


  23. Thanks, Jayne. We’re fascinated bb George B. having been a button merchant. He seems to have done well out of buttons. Can you tell me, please, which book by Baines refers to William Barton of Poynton as a son of Andrew Barton of Smithills? Does Baines’ book on the cotton industry contain information about Bartons? Best wishes, Barry

  24. Hi Barry, yes, I presume button man was short for button manufacturer?

    As you know, it’s Burke’s that mentions that William was a descendant of the Bartons of Smithills.

    I recently came across a pedigree in Baines’ History of the County Palatine and Duchy of Lancaster vol.3 p157, which shows that there was a “William Barton; living 1539 and 1567” who was a son of Andrew & Agnes.

    Best wishes, Jayne

    • Thanks, Jayne

      If this WilIiam Barton was an adult in 1539, could he have been the father of William of Poynton rather than W. of P. himself?

      I think that a buttonman was more likely to be a button merchant (rather like a chapman) rather than a button manufacturer. Apparently, the last quarter of the 17th Century was someting of a golden period for English buttons, as the government imposed restrictions on the import of foreign buttons.

      I’ve come acrodss a reference on-line (Hully Family History) to an inscription at Prestbury church (I don’t know whethr inside or in the graveyard) to a Mary Hully (died 30 May 1716), daughter of George Barton. Do you think that this is George of Deanwater?

      Best wishes


      • Hi Barry,
        Judging by the approximate age of his eldest sons (estimated from the marriage of Francis), I reckon that William of Poynton must have been born by c.1535, or possibly 1530 as per Baines’ pedigree. Since his burial was in 1588, even a birth of 1530 would only make him 58 when he died. His name being mentioned in a document of 1539 could have been during his childhood rather than referring to an adult, since we don’t know at this point, what the 1539 document was that made mention of him.

        Very interesting about the golden period of English button manufacture. It fits in very well with Wilmslow and Macclesfield history. Sorry if I’ve misled you – I’ve no doubt at all that George was a merchant – what I was thinking of was that, long ago, button merchant and button manufacturer may have meant the same thing. Apparently, it was usual for button merchants to supply the button makers with the materials, and return later to collect the buttons, and in that sense they may have been thought of as manufacturers. It appears that some did describe themselves as “button makers” when they were actually button merchants.

        Interestingly, “Steven Rowe, was a ‘button man’ who supplied tailors in London with woven silk buttons”. Apparently “He would have used a chapman to marketed his buttons. Chapmen could be merchants who rode through the villages hawking their silkcloth and buttons, but many owned land and traded directly with the London.” This makes me think that perhaps George supplied the raw materials and then traded the goods directly, or may have used a chapman to market the goods for him. I’ll have to do more research on this, but it’s interesting that both manufacturers and chapmen were also described as merchants. Of course, the manufacturer may have been a dealer or merchant in his own right without the need of a middle man. The Bartons of Manchester for instance were often described as manufacturers, chapmen and tradesmen.

        I think that Mary Hully may well have belonged to the same Barton family i.e. be a descendant of William Barton of Poynton, but as there were quite a few George Bartons other than George of Deanwater so it’s difficult to say what branch of the family she belonged to without a lot of research. : – )

        Best wishes, Jayne

  25. Thanks, Jayne. All very interesting. I am wondering whether Sarah Millington was the daughter of John Millington of Cheadle Hulme who married Sarah Taylor of Kirkmanshulme 29.9.1669 at Gorton. There is a baptism for a Sarah M. at Cheadle 19.8 1676. Do you know when Sarah, widow of George died? I think Kirkmanshulme (adjoining Gorton) was a detached part of Newton.

    Best wishes


    • Hi Barry,

      Haven’t found a burial record for George yet and non for Sarah. Since George doesn’t mention her in his Will, I’m assuming she died before his Will was made. The place where they were buried is a bit of a mystery as yet!


  26. @Barry “I’m doubtful about William Barton being a close relative of the Smithill Bartons, who were much wealthier. William left his brother Robert a coat, if I remember correctly, which does not suggest gentry connections.”

    Hi Barry,
    Just came across this passage which also seems to back up the possibility that William Barton of Poynton may well have been wealthy and had ‘gentry connections’….

    “The yeoman’s title was originally military like that of esquire. It was the English rendering of the Norman-French valet, a young man or page. But in the fifteenth century it designated a free-born tenant-farmer. He was sometimes of gentle blood, and though he did not in the first instance own his own land, he might acquire land. In the reign of Elizabeth, and apparently much earlier, the yeoman might be not only very wealthy, but even the lord of a manor.” – The Pulleyns of Yorkshire by Catherine Pullein p.638

    • Hi Jayne

      I think that we need to investigate whether William had any gentry connections. Do you know anything about his brother Robert and sister Sibell? I’ve been going through William’s will again and couldn’t find Sibell. I find the handwriting very difficult!

      What do you make of the references to Adlington (?) and other places?

      I have previously come across a reference to a Barton in Poynton about 1547, but I can’t find it now. This Barton (Richard?) did not seem to be gentry. Someone called Wood was also mentioned. Is there a reference to an Ales Wood in William’s will?

      I have recently been to Holme in Nottinghamshire to see the effigy of John Barton, merchant. His son Ralph married Johanna Radcliffe of Smithells. As well as the heir John, they had sons Henry, Stephen and Christopher. There was also an illegitimate brother called John Barton. This information is from John Barton’s will.

      I am wondering whether William B. of Poynton could have been descended from one of these sons. I think that they were all alive when John made his will in 1514, referring to his brothers.

      Best wishes


  27. Hi Barry,
    Your raise some interesting points! I asked these questions myself when transcribed William’s Will back in Feb 2012, so it’s been a while since I looked at the information!

    I know nothing of William’s brother Robert, other than what is said about him in William’s Will. I did find a Robert Barton living nearby at Newton, but looking at the dates of this Robert’s 2nd marriage and the baptism of his son William, I think he may have been another of William of Poynton’s sons.

    As for Sibell, I’ve always felt that she was probably William of Poynton’s wife. The first two burials for the family in the parish registers of Prestbury are for Ann and Sibell Barton.
    Ann Barton buried 14 Nov 1571
    Sibell Barton of Poynton buried 6 Jul 1584 at St Peter, Prestbury [in Templo].
    The fact that Sibell was buried ‘in Templo’ gave me the impression that she was probably William’s wife – I think I’ve seen someone mention she was his sister, but I’ve found no reason to assume this – if you know of any reason, I’d be very interested to hear it. Actually, I’ve no idea if either was his wife, but since both Ann and Sibell died before William made his Will in 1588, this may be why there’s no mention a wife in his Will.

    I’m no expert, but it sounds like he owned some property and leased others, subletting it out to make money. He devised to his daughter his term & interest in Ridding & ? to Torkington Green. He also devised his one messuage, tenement and all the lands etc. in Woodford (late in the occupation of Richard Davenport i.e. sublet to Richard Davenport) and his ‘now dwelling house and ground’ to his eldest son Richard. He also mentioned the debt that his son Francis owed him, which I imagine was a sum of money given to Francis (who married in 1576) perhaps to purchase his own property in Woodford. This may explain why Francis is not bequeathed property, but the debt was to be divide between his children. The tenement and ground in Poynton, Adlington and Merton(?) were mentioned at the bottom of the inventory so perhaps they were let (as with the land in temporary occupation of Richard Davenport) and were worth the sum of £10.

    William appears to name two servants in his Will – Agnes Wood and Margarett Holme
    “Allsoe I give to Agnes wod one quarters wages more nor she shall serve for at my death and pyd in money to Margarett holme yf she be with me a the tyme of my death”

    I think I know the 1547 document you’re talking about. It mentions the right to ditch and enclose lands between 2 parcels of the said More (moor) lately enclosed and occupied by Richard Barton & William Woodde – (Downes family of Shrigley, records, Doc DDS 6/28 Indenture 24 Oct 1547 Cheshire Record Office)

    I don’t think we can tell from this whether this Richard Barton mentioned at Poynton had Gentry connections or not. We have to remember that “Primogeniture provided for the eldest child in the family, usually inheriting the entire estate of his father, while the remaining children were left to their own devices.” ( ) In other words, the lions share went to the eldest son, the others only became ‘gentry’ if they managed to make their own fortunes. The fact that they owned land freehold is some indication that they probably came from a gentry family.

    I have tried to find out as much as I can about the Bartons of Smithells, and will let you know what I found in a few days time. I envy you being able to see the effigy of John Barton & Isabella, I’d love to see that one day!

    Best wishes,

  28. Hi Barry,

    It’s quite some time since I researched the Bartons of Holme & Smithills so apologies for any mistakes.
    I too wondered if William had descended from other sons, even those sons who were from John Barton of Holme and not of Smithills i.e. brothers of Ralph Barton.

    John Barton, Merchant, who’s Will was dated 1490 had at least four sons and three daughters. Ralph = Joanna Radcliffe, Thomas = Elizabeth Button (Thomas had two sons Thomas & Humphrey, and four daughters mentioned in his Will of 1508), Robert who entered Shelford Priory, and Richard Barton who inherited lands in Newark Northegate and Osmundthorpe next Newark. I’ve no idea what happened to Thomas’s two sons Thomas and Humphrey. Nor any idea what happened to his brother Richard. However, in Thomas’s Will of 1508, he mentions his nephews Henry and John, – presumably two of Ralph’s sons.

    Ralph’s sons were John who = Cecilia Radcliffe, Henry =?, Stephen who had an annuity of £4 to enable him to study at Cambridge or the Inns of Court, Christopher = Joanna Molineux, and John who was illegitimate. I don’t know what happened to Henry, Stephen, Christopher and John who was illegitimate, nor whether they had any sons.

    John and Celia’s sons were Andrew who married Ann or Agnes Stanley, Alexander who was in holy orders, Leonard d. as an infant, and Francis is said to have died without issue.

    Andrew and Agnes’ sons were John who d. as an infant, Robert who married Margaret Legh and had one daughter, Ralph who married Eleanor and had a son Randle, Thomas who d. without issue, Thurstan who married Ann Parr and was living at Smithells in 1549, and Henry who was living at Hodersall in 1549 and is said to have died childless.

    I now know that Andrew and Agnes also had a son called William who was alive in 1539 and 1567, but no location was given. Before I knew of Andrew’s son William, I’d estimated that he would probably belong to the same generation as Andrew’s children.

    I found the record of a Richard Barton with land on Poynton Moor interesting & also that “Among the Duchy rents paid to Queen Elizabeth occurs ‘ Richard Barton for half of Flixton, 10s.’; – Baines, Lancs, (ed. Croston), i, 447.” This would have been between 1558 – 1603, but sadly no exact date is given. As you know, Flixton was part of the estate belonging to the Bartons of Smithells. However it was divided into at least two parts possibly more and this makes ownership of Flixton difficult to follow. So who this particular Richard Barton was remains a mystery.

    All for now,

    • Many thanks for this information, Jayne.

      I have been studying the heraldry at Holme and North Muskham. I think that John Barton of Holme’s wife may have been a member of the merchant family of Marshall and that his mother-in-law may have been a Bingham.

      There is some evidene that John’s wife was the great aunt of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, Have you come across this?

      Best wishes

      • Hi Barry,
        I’ve not come across the name Marshall in connection with the Bartons, nor Thomas Cranmer – where did you find it?

        The name Bingham rings a bell, though at the moment, I have Isabella’s surname as possibly Gernon from the following information…

        “To this period and the latter end of it, the years which immediately preceded the Reformation, belongs the greater part of the present church. Its rebuilding and embellishment at this time is owed to the Barton family of Lancashire, one of whom, John Barton, probably married a lady of the Gernon family of the neighbouring hamlet of Little Carlton, where Thoroton tells us they had held property for 400 years. At any rate, Barton assumed the Gernon shield for his arms, merely accompanying it with his initials or with his rebus of a bear and a tun.”
        Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, vol.9 p34-5

        I haven’t studied heraldry so I can’t say how accurate this is as Barton & Gernon is only one of the marriages indicated by the seven coats of arms at St Giles. Barton & Bingham seems to be another.


  29. Hi Jayne

    I don’t think that there is any evidence that John Barton’s wife was a Gernon. Someone seems to have thought that this was a possibility to explain the stags’ heads on the Barton arms. I think that a Gernon coat is given in an armoury, but it seems to have one stag’s head rather than three. I don’t think that there is a Gernon coat at Holme or North Muskham.

    I suspect that a lot of the Barton and associated heraldry at these churches dates from some time after John Barton’s death in 1491 (possibly as late as 1550).

    William Marshall and John Berton, both merchants and both of South Muskham, are named in the “History of Newark-on-Trent; being the life story of an ancient town” , p. 187 (available online).
    Some other Bertons are named in the index of this book, but I haven’t yet looked at these.
    If you put ‘Marshall, Bingham, Cranmer, Barton, Tamworth, Hatfield’ into Google, you should find a discussion of the possible connections between these families (GEN-MEDIEVAL).

    I have also looked at ‘Genealogical memoirs of the kindred families of Thomas Cranmer…’ (available online).

    I wonder who was the first descendant of William Barton of Poynton to use the three stags’ heads.

    Best wishes

    • Hi Barry,

      – thought the assumed marriage might be something to do with the stags’ heads.

      Interesting discussion on google!

      I’ve also noticed in the past another Barton family that claims descent from Smithills –
      Frederick George Barton (late of Moollong, NSW, J.P.) His family used 4 stags’ heads on their coat and appeared in the book Armorial Families: a directory of some gentlemen of coat-armour, showing which arms in use at the moment are born by legal authority – ed by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies.

      His father was John Everard Barton of Kidderminster , b. 4 Mar 1825. I’ve been able to trace the family back a couple of generations further to a John Barton – but I’m not sure yet how (or if) he fits into our Barton family.

      Best wishes,

      • Hi Jayne

        Hope you are well. I have recently been given a photograph of a Barton that I’ve beeen seeking for some time. If you email me (my first name @, I will copy it to you. Best wishes, Barry

  30. I am a Barton from Canada, b-1928, my dad was from London b- 1894, Edmund Barton (Priminister] of Australia, son of William Barton from London b-1804 are on my tree.

  31. Just to round everything off, and leave on a happy note – my research reached back as far as William the Conqueror and beyond – such a fascinating family tree and so many interesting ancestors and connections, it’s truly beyond anything I’d expected. You really never know where your family history may take you! 🙂

  32. Looking for William Barton’s birthplace & year of birth & who is parents were& how he got to Australia & when ; married Ann Tucker Taylor at Paterson in 1855 & buried Hinton Pioneer Cemetery 1879; resided on Albion Farm Woodville,NSW ; William is my great great great grandfather; Thomas great great grandfather . Would be grateful for any evidence. Many thanks.

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