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Pierce Mothershead Family Ties


Early Traces of the MOTTERSHED Name

The information below is simply a chronological listing of records found that mention any MOTTERSHED/MOTHERSHEAD (my paternal line), and some allied families. VERNONs are also included because they are my maternal line and by coincidence they also lived in Cheshire County England from at least the 11th Century on, though the VERNONs and MOTTERSHEADs do not appear to be related until much more recent times. I do not know if the persons mentioned here are related to each other or to myself; this is strictly an attempt to make documented information available. If you know of more records or spot an error, please email me!

Map of the City of Chester, ca 1645

Map of Cheshire County England, ca 1880

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By way of general information, William, Duke of Normandy, invaded England in 1066 and on Christmas Day of that year was crowned King in Westminister Abbey. In 1086 King William (also known as "William the Conqueror") ordered a Survey of his holdings in England. This was to become known as the Domesday Survey. The survey was conducted by eight teams of commissioners, led by bishops, who traveled from county to county and asked specific questions, under oath, of the people. Records that still exist today show they surveyed more than 13,000 villages and towns.
Domesday Survey and Cheshire County England reference links can be found at the bottom of this page

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Domesday Survey, 1086: "In Hamestan Hundred; Gamel holds of the earl Cedde [Cheadle]. His father held it as a free man. There [are] 2 hides that pay geld. The land is for 6 ploughs. In demesne is 1 [plough] and 2 ox-men and 4 villeins and 3 bordars with 2 ploughs. There [is] wood 1 league long and 1/2 [league] wide and a hay and a hawk's eyrie and 1 acre of meadow. It was and is worth 10s. The whole manor has 2 leagues in length and 1 in width."
"The same Gamel holds Motre [Mottram St. Andrew in Prestbury]. His father held it. There [are] 1 1/2 hides that pay geld. The land is for 4 ploughs. It is waste. There [is] wood 3 leagues long and 2 [leagues] wide and 2 hays and a hawk's eyrie." [source: (1) The Victoria History of the Counties of England, edited by C.R. Elrington, published by The University of London Institute of Historical Research. (2)Domesday Book 26 Cheshire, edited by John Morris and Philip Morgan; Phillimore Chichester, 1978]
Terms: Hide: a unit of land sufficient to support one family, generally 120 acres though it could vary. Hundred: a unit of fiscal assessment and local government outside the Danelaw, originally containing 100 hides. Demesne: the land in a manor held by its Lord and worked by his men for his benefit, or held on lease from him.

A priory of Benedictine nuns was established in Cheshire prior to the 12th century. According to historical records: "...[The] Priory [for the Benedictine Nuns] and later re-erected in Grosvenor Park. The site was excavated in 1964 before the County Police Headquarters was built and the exact dimensions of the church (58 by 43 feet) and the cloisters (55 by 62 feet) were established. Inside the church the foundations of four piers, indicating three central arches, were discovered and, on the evidence of some decorative floor tiles and other shreds, a 13th or 14th century date was assigned to the remains.
Prioresses of the priory in Cheshire
M[ary], occurs about 1200
Lucy, occurs at some time between 1199 and 1216
Alice, occurs at some time between 1202 and 1229
...
Alice de Alderslegh, elected 1312
Emma de Vernon, elected 1316, occurs 1318
Mary of Chester, occurs 1328, died 1349
Helewise de Mottershead, elected 1349, occurs until 1355-6
Mary, occurs 1373 ... Elizabeth Grosvenor, occurs from 1534, surrendered the priory in 1540 [source: The Victoria History of the Counties of England, History of Cheshire Vol III, edited by C.R. Elrington, published by The University of London Institute of Historical Research.]

16 Aug 1565 - Recorded in Prstburye Parish - Georgii (sic) Motersheade and Johan Barbor
[source: Cheshire Parish Records]

1571 - Geoffrey Mottershead (16th Century), had a daughter named Alice who in 1571 married John Ward of Monksheath (son of Henry Ward of Monksheath and Katherine, daughter of __Barnes of Alderley). [source: Cheshire Visitation Pedigrees, 1663; by Arthur Adams]

1580 - Hugh Mottershead & Elline Taylier were married on April 12, 1580, in Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire. [first source: Sixteenth Century Marriages (1538-1600), First Volume by Chas. A. Bernau, F.S.G., published 1911; second source Lancashire, Manchester Cathederal Parish Records]

1580 - Geoffrey Mottershead of Motteram and Thomas Mottershed of Motteram are listed in the 1580 Visitation of Cheshire in the "Names of All Knight, Esquires, Gentlemen & Freeholders in Com. Cestriae"

1600 - Hugh Mottershead & Isabell Fazacer were married on June 1, 1600, in Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire. [first source: Sixteenth Century Marriages (1538-1600), First Volume by Chas. A. Bernau, F.S.G., published 1911; second source: Lancashire, Manchester Cathederal Parish Records]

Both of the following marriages are recorded in Prestbury Parish, in Cheshire/Chester County:
25 Mar 1600 - at Sydington: Roger Mottershed and Margaret CLAYTON
30 Mar 1600 - at Mottram: Thomas HEYWARDE and Margaret Mottershedde
[source: Cheshire Parish Records]

27 Jun 1620 - Thomas Mottershead de Chorlton Row alehowsekeep convictus ut supra sup sacru Johis Hunt Rici Birch Radi Hudson Thome Percivall ideo prceptu est gardianib9 Ecclesie Manchr levar 20s ad usu paupu. [my note: if you can accurately translate the Latin used above, I'd appreciate an email! I do know Thomas Mottershead was an Inn Keeper "alehowsekeep" on Chorlton Row, and apparently did something in the company of the four other men mentioned, but I don't know what -jm]

05 Oct 1620 - go A precept ad instanc Margrete uxoris Thome Mottershead de Chorlton et Alicae ux. Willij Cocke versus Hugone Boardman de Ardwicke tailier p pace gnrltr et comp ad px. Session. [again, if you can accurately translate the above Latin, I would sincerely appreciate an email! I believe it's referring to Margrete as the wife (uxoris) of Thome [Thomas] Mottershead of [de] Chorlton and Alicae wife (ux.) of Willij [possibly Willis] Cocke vs Hugone Boardman of Ardwicke, possibly a tailor. -jm]

13 Aug 1625 Willm BAYLIE and - (first name not given) MOTTERSHED [source: Cheshire Parish Records]

11 Nov 1627 - Willm (sic) MOTTERSHED and Margrett KNIGHT [source: Cheshire Parish Records]

1629 - Thomas Mottershed married Sarah Lingley on May 14, 1629. [source: (1) Cousin Joan (2) Marriage Licences (sic) of the Arch Deaconry of Chester in Dicess of Chester, Vol II - Records of the Holy Trinity Church, Chester, Cheshire, England]

1631 - Chester City Council Minutes of July 1 mentions Thomas Mottershead, merchant; July 8 Thomas Mottershead was one of the men who "accompanied the Mayor" on the walk about the town (a common practice). [source: (1) Cousin Joan (2) "Lancastershire and Cheshire Records" available from the LDS Family History Centers

Christening Records from the Holy Trinity Church, Chester, Cheshire, England as provided by Cousin Joan: (the spelling is as it was printed in the records):

[Note: it was common practice if a child died young to name a later child born of that sex the same name as the deceased child. That would explain the 3 daughters named Sara and 2 sons named Nathaniel being born to Mr. Tho. Mottershed. More on naming practices. -jm]

20 Oct 1632 Charles Dubo and Dorothy Mottershed [source: Early Marriage Licenses issued by the Faculty Office; Parish Records of Cheshire]

1651 - John Mottershed and Will: Mottershed are included on a list of Ale Brewers in Macclesfeeld(sic) in Cheshire

General Probate Information:
[source: Cheshire Parish Records]
Wills Proved in the Prerogatibe Court of Canterbury, 1605-1619
1605 Mottershed, Raphe, yeoman, Merriden, co. Warwick 57 Hayes
1612 Mottershed, Thomas, inhoulder, Mereden, co. Warwick 96 Fenner
1659 Mottershead, Thomas, gent., Leckhampsted, Bucks.
1660 Mottershead, William, Butley (Prestbury)

Wills Proved in the Prerogatibe Court of Canterbury, 1653-1656
1653-4 Mottershead, Thomas, Macklesfeild, Cheshter
1654 Mottershed, Thomas, mcht., Chester
1656 Mottershed, William, Meriden, Warw.

Administrations in the Prerogatibe Court of Canterbury, 1655-1660
1657 Mottershed, William, Macclesfield, Cheshter

Wills Proved in the Prerogatibe Court of Canterbury, 1671-1675
1671 Mottershed, John, Kingsthorpe, Northants., gent.

Wills Proved in the Prerogatibe Court of Canterbury, 1686-1693
1693 Mottershed, Elizabeth, wid., Clapham, Surrey
1686 Mottershed, Thomas, cit. and grocer of London


Domesday Survey and Cheshire County England Reference Links