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John Wooliscroft c1676-1750 Staffordshire
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John Wooliscroft c1676-1750 of Staffordshire

In 1783 Thomas Woolliscroft of London, a tailor died. In his will he named his brother John Woolliscroft who was living at Mappleton near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. In 1776 Thomas was awarded the Freedom of the City of London. This document states his father was John Woolliscroft of Staffordshire, a farmer. The same document states that Thomas first applied for the Freedom of the City in 1726. Normally an apprenticeship lasted for 7 years and it suggests that Thomas was apprenticed about 1719. It is unlikely he started his apprenticeship before the age of 10 so I think he was born about 1708.

So who was the John Woolliscroft who was the father of Thomas and John?  It is possible they were the children of John Woolliscroft baptised at Cauldon, Staffordshire in 1690. However, he would have been young to have fathered Thomas about 1708. If I am correct in my analysis of the information available his brother John was born about 1700 (first child baptised in 1723). So this would rule out John born in 1690 as the father.  

Another possible candidate for Thomas is the son of John Woolliscroft and Margaret Manifold baptised at Cauldon, Staffordshire in 1712. In my opinion he is also too young to be the Thomas in London but his brother John was baptised at Cauldon in 1701. The general consensus amongst Woolliscroft researchers is that this John married Sarah Sant in 1734 and resided in Kingsley, Staffordshire. If this is the correct connection then he must have moved to Mappleton after Sarah’s death in 1759. 

Taking this into account, I think that John was most likely the son of John and Susan Woolliscroft who’s daughter Susan was baptised at Norbury, Derbyshire in 1685. This John was most likely the son of the John who died in 1702 at Alton, Staffordshire. If he were born prior to 1676 there would not be a record of his baptism at Alton as the parish records have not survived. If you look at a map of this area of Staffordshire & Derbyshire the villages mentioned are all within walking distance.

Norbury, Derbyshire map

Map of Norbury, Derbyshire and the surrounding area showing the villages mentioned on this page. 
"This work is based on data provided through www.VisionofBritain.org.uk and uses historical material which is copyright of the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth".

However, I remain open minded as to the father of John and Thomas. Please get in touch if you have a different theory or would like to make a comment. John most likely died at Wetton in 1750 and buried at Alstonefield. My theory is reflected in the Family Tree provided. 

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