John Spurstow & Elizabeth Illidge of Manchester, England

Marriage Allegation Bond & License, 1716

John was supposedly the son of Charles Spurstow – according to the family tree and notes. I have not found a baptism for him yet, but it would be likely that his birth was in Cheshire. According to family records, he was the only child of Charles, 1662-1685, perhaps because his father Charles died young.1 The name of Charles’ wife is not known.

John was married 4 Nov 1716 to Elizabeth Illidge in Bunbury, Cheshire, England. 2

Elizabeth was the daughter of George Illidge, christened on 14 July 1687 in Nantwich, a small town in Cheshire not far from Chester, close to Crewe.3 Her father was a shoemaker according to her christening record.4 In the marriage license and allegation bond at the time of her marriage to John, she was from Stapeley, a small village near Nantwich.

John and Elizabeth Illidge Spurstow are said to have had two sons, George, christened 10 Feb 1717 in Chester, and John, christened 18 July 1720 in Chester. The family moved to Manchester eventually where John was listed as a freeman in 1747, his occupation chapman.5

John wrote his will in 1749 and Elizabeth wrote hers in 1756.6 Here is where problems arise.

John’s executors were his son John, his wife Elizabeth, and Mr. George Croxton of Manchester. George Croxton was most likely a relative of Elizabeth Illidge’s stepmother, Mary Croxton. This will appears to have been probated on 31 July 1769. At that time, only John Spurstow, his son, was still alive. Elizabeth wrote her will in 1756 and described herself as a widow, also mentioning her late husband. John must have died between 1749 and 1756, when Elizabeth wrote her will, not 1769. Is this the correct date of probate? Is it probate for a different John Spurstow? Was the probate delayed for some reason? Elizabeth’s will was probated on 9 Sept 1757, so she most likely died about that time.

No burial records have been found for John and Elizabeth yet.

Related Links
The Spurstow Family of Cheshire, England
Marriage Allegation Bond and License of John Spurstow & Elizabeth Illidge, 1716, Bunbury, Cheshire

  1. Parish registers: Bunbury, Cheshire, England, 1559-1953, St. Boniface Church, indexed data from parish registers, FHL MF 2093505; Charles Spurtow, buried 17 June 1685, Bunbury.

  2. Marriage License and Allegation Bond, October 1716 for John Spurstow and Elizabeth Illidge

    Marriage Record: John Spurstow and Elizabeth Illidge, 1716, Bunbury, Cheshire, England, 4 Nov 1716. FHL MF 1655425, Bishop's Transcripts for Bunbury, John Spurstow, merchant, of Chester, and Elizabeth Illidge of Stapeley, parish of Wibunbury, both age 21 or older, married by license.

  3. Christening: Elizabeth Illidge, 1687, Nantwich, Cheshire, Parish Register, St. Mary's Church, 14 July 1687, FHL MF 2105029, Elizabeth, Dau of George Illidge, shoemaker, Family notes give place of birth as Stapely, Nantwich, which is just SE of the town of Nantwich in Cheshire.

  4. See below for Elizabeth’s parentage.

  5. A chapman would invest in the raw materials of the cotton, woolen or silk trade, put out the work to spinners and weavers at home on piece-rates, and sell the product for profit.

  6. John’s and Elizabeth’s wills were obtained by my aunt at the Lancashire Record Office in Preston, Lancashire, in the 1980s.

    Elizabeth Illidge’s Parentage

    Elizabeth Illidge's parents are said to be, in our family tree, George Illidge and Mary Croxton. A couple by this name did marry on 15 Apr 1693 in Wybunbury, Cheshire – near Stapeley and Nantwich. This marriage date is after Elizabeth's christening in 1687.

    There is a christening of a George Illidge in Nantwich on 4 Jan 1662; the father is Richard Illidge.

    There is a diary, which can be found on the internet, written by Lieutenant Richard Illidge who was born in Weston in the parish of Wybunbury in 1637 - according to the diary. Weston is east of Nantwich and not far from Wybunbury. Richard's son George got his father in touch with his friend Matthew Henry who wrote up Richard's diary. The diary gives a few details of his life, the change in his life from a drunk and wicked life to one of morality, religion and social concern.

    Richard was apprenticed to a shoemaker in Nantwich where he married Mary Price, daughter of Richard Price. He eventually leased a farm called Cheer Brook near Stapeley. He died 12 June 1709, age 72, and was buried in Wybunbury churchyard. He mentions three granddaughters and notes that their mother died when they were very young.

    Elizabeth Illidge was from the Stapeley/Nantwich area, her father was named George in her christening record, and he was a shoemaker. It is most likely that her grandfather is Richard Illidge who kept the diary. Who her mother might be is another question. Mary Croxton might have been a second wife to George if Elizabeth's mother died when she was very young.

    There are a couple possibilities for George's first wife. A George Illidge married a Mary Child in Wybunbury on 26 Dec 1685. A George Illidge married an Ellen Seavill on 27 July 1686 in Nantwich.

    Starting about 1680 there are at least ten christenings of children of a George Illidge. This may or may not all be the same George Illidge. The first eight are in Nantwich, Cheshire, and the last two in Wybunbury, Cheshire. We know that the mother of George’s daughters died when the daughters were young, so it is possible that George took a second wife, possibly Mary Croxton.

    The following were christened, children of a George Illidge:

    1680 Samuell Illidge
    1681 William Illidge
    1682 Thomas Illidge
    1684 Robert Illidge
    1686 Henry Illidge
    1687 Elizabeth Illidge
    1688 Ralph Illidge
    1689 Mary Illidge
    1691 Martha Illidgev 1693 George Illidge
    A Ralph Illidge was buried in 1692

    Elizabeth, Mary and Martha could be the three granddaughters that Richard Illidge refers to in his Diary. He does not mention any grandsons. In 1709, when Richard died, son Ralph, born 1688, had already been buried, leaving the three daughters as the youngest children of George and his first wife. The George Illidge baptized in Nov 1693 is problematic – since the Mary Croxton/George Illidge marriage was in April 1693.

Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
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16 Jan 2015
Updated 3 Nov 2015