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Roger Woolliscroft c1650-1715 of Alton & Ellastone, Staffordshire
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Roger Woolliscroft  c1650-1715

of Alton
& Ellastone, Staffordshire

Roger & Mary Woolliscroft were living in the Alton area when their two children were christened at St Peter's Church, Alton. William in 1676 and Mary in 1678. The family had moved to the village of Ellastone four miles east of Alton by 1688 when Mary (Roger's wife) was buried on the 29 May. Roger married for a second time to Joan after his first wife's death. Roger & Joan both died in Ellastone in 1715 and are buried at the local church. Roger didn't leave a will. His daughter Mary married Thomas Orpe of Prestwood in 1700 at Ellastone. Roger & Mary’s son William who was christened in 1676 is most likely the William who went to Ireland and fought at the Battle of Boyne. More

St Peter, Ellastone (geograph 2481092)

St Peter's, Ellastone, Staffordshire
Attribution: Geoff Pick: licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

The parish of Alton (Alveton) is quite large including the villages of Alton, Farley, Denstone and Cotton. A small part of the village of Oakamoor is included in the parish. The parish church being located at Alton although Cotton had it's own church from 1795. The entries in the parish records do not always give where individuals were living. The most logical place for more information on Roger would be the Alton parish records but unfortunately the records pre 1676 have not survived. Consequently it is very difficult to say for sure who is related to whom.

There are four possible fathers of Roger, three of whom we know for sure had children. William Laughtenhouse left ‘the children of Roger Wolverscroft, John Wolverscroft, and Humfrey Wolverscroft ten pounds to be equally divided amongst them all’ in his will written in 1648.

Roger is known to have three daughters Ann, Elizabeth and Mary who are mentioned in other wills. Humphrey had a daughter Elizabeth who is also mentioned in the other wills. John is most likely the John of Farley mentioned in the will of Leonard Woolliscroft in 1642. It is possible they had other children in addition to those already mentioned. The other possible father is William of Farley but none of the other surviving documents suggest he had children. When he died he left his estate after bequests to his niece Elizabeth, the daughter of Humphrey and his sister Anne was left land he owned in Cauldon. 

To have married about 1676 when his first known son was christened Roger would have been born before 1660. In 1666 when the Hearth Tax was recorded the only household in Alton was John Woolliscroft. I think that John was most likely Roger’s father and this is reflected in the family tree on these pages. However, Roger could just as well be the son of Roger or Humphrey who are not mentioned on the Hearth Tax Returns. However, if he was their son I would have expected him to be named in other family documents.  

This is my theory and nothing is set in stone if you can shed light on this connection please get in touch.

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