Have you ever wondered who lived in your house? Part 2

Researching Wheatsheaf Lane

Chris’ table first thing Saturday morning

Antrobus has some amazing old farmhouses steeped with history, and we’re very lucky to have access to the documentation. But what if your house is less than 80 years old? Is it still possible to find any records and find out who owned and lived in your house? The answer is definitely YES, as Chris from Wheatsheaf Lane has proved. And here is the story:

Early on Saturday morning Chris messaged to say he had seen a recent post about this website on the village group chat and, like his father, was interested in local history. Anyway, it got him thinking and he decided to wade through the deeds to their house to see if he could can add anything to this website.

First question he asked was what we knew about the land, lane and the original occupants. This was a great start – so we headed straight to the Tithe Map of 1846:

This shows that the land was owned by Peter Jackson of Cogshall Hall and farmed  from Frandley Farm by tenant farmer, Peter Massey. At the time, the six acre field was called Big Meadow. This was interesting, but not particularly helpful for Chris given it was nearly a hundred years too early.

However we knew from the design of the buildings that they were built in the 1930s, so Chris turned to the deeds of his house. He settled down with a cup of tea and started reading – this provided the skeleton of the narrative; dates and names, albeit couched in legal text.

Wheatsheaf Lane

It turns out that the land was sold by the Bolshaw siblings (Richard and Maria) in 1919, and later to a Mr. Ryder of Sutton Weaver for £99 in 1939. Who was he? Who sold it to the Bolshaws and why were the houses built at different times to two different design? Chris turned detective to match the words of the deeds with the owners of the land.

So what about the residents of Wheatsheaf Lane? Chris was interested to know who had lived in the houses.

We next turned to the 1939 Register which showed who was living in Wheatsheaf Lane on 29 September 1939.  As you can see from the image below many of the names are blanked out – for privacy purposes, anyone who is still alive is not included:1939 -cropped

This started to add some colour – and raised as many questions as it answered. For example, why was a captain on a tug living in Antrobus? Thankfully we were able to delve into research that has been compiled over many years into the family histories of the residents of the village. This is held on the Ancestry website so please do get in touch if you want to find out more about your family.

As you can see from the exert below, tug captain on the Manchester Ship Canal, Arthur Steel, did have connections with Antrobus through his sister Nora.

Wheatsheaf Lane family

From then on, it was a case of using the more recent electoral registers, as well as the baptism, marriage and burial records to pull together the stories about one of the cottages along Wheatsheaf Lane.  With lots of messages between us and using the information gleaned from the deeds, Chris has pulled together a lovely summary of his research.

Always mindful of privacy, the story really stops for us here in 1971 unless we know that the residents have passed away. In which case, please do share your memories for everyone can enjoy.

So, this is the story of how over the space of a few hours on a Saturday in May, it is possible to harness your inner Poirot and find out the backstory to who lived in your house.

About Clare Olver

I have been interested in researching and writing about local history for the past 30 years. Over the years I amassed a collection of documents, stories and photographs about Stretton but as there wasn't a dedicated website on which to share this research - so I thought I'd create it. One thing led to another and before I knew it, Antrobus and Whitley followed a couple of years later.
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