Forum

EDMUND LITTLER REVISITED

In  my April 2016 ‘Forum’ piece I discussed the numerous Edmund LITTLERs  appearing in the Greater London records and the oftentimes difficulty of  matching them correctly to their spouses. I also suggested in the  article that an Edmund, son of Samuel and Hannah (MOORS) LITTLER,  baptised at Witton St Helen, Cheshire on 05 Sep 1791, had possibly moved  south to Waltham Abbey and subsequently married Mary Ann ROGERS on 08  Jun 1812.
This suggestion has been thrown into doubt by information  that recently came to my attention. It now appears that Mary Ann ROGERS  married Edmund LITTLER, son of William and Elizabeth (THOMPSON) LITTLER.  Edmund was born at Waltham Abbey on 15 December 1790 and baptised there  on 24 February 1796. This information was passed on to me by a  correspondent who had inherited a copy of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, in  which three generations of his Littler family were noted. This  handwritten pedigree begins with the births and subsequent marriage of  Edmund LITTLER and Mary Ann ROGERS. Records on FindMyPast confirm the  birth and baptism dates of Edmund (although the former has been  transcribed as a baptism) and in both cases Edmund’s parents are shown  as William and Elizabeth LITTLER of Waltham Abbey.
[October 2017]

WALLERSCOTE MANOR

A  series of Ordnance Survey Maps (1877-1954) encompassing the  Northwich/Weaverham area have recently come to my attention. They prove  to be of great interest to our family as these maps highlight the  evolution of Wallerscote over the years. Between 1877 and 1938 the fields and meadows of Wallerscote farm largely remain unchanged, although the latter map does show the  old manor and most of the outbuildings have since been demolished. The  biggest change actually occurs in the sixteen years between 1938 and  1954 where we now find embankments surrounding three of the four  present-day waste lime reservoirs. These three reservoirs appear to have  been in use by 1947. The 1954 map also shows a railway line entering  from the Winnington sidings and encircling the two largest reservoirs,  transporting waste lime from the adjacent soda ash works at Wallerscote  and Winnington. Another branch line circles Wallerscote’s  southern boundary, delivering spoil to a fourth reservoir to the west  that was still under construction. This reservoir is believed to have  been in use by 1965.
Previous research indicated that Wallerscote Manor had not been demolished but lay buried under tons of lime waste; the  Ordnance Survey Maps, along with more recent data, tells of a different  story.
[February 2017]

SIR RALPH DANIEL MAKINSON LITTLER
Baptised  Daniel Makinson LITTLER, Sir Ralph was born in the Chapel House,  Matlock Bath, Derbyshire, on 02 October 1835. His father, the Rev.  Robert LITTLER, was a clergyman attached to the Independent Lady  Huntingdon Chapel in that town. It appears the given name Ralph was  added some years later, as Sir Ralph is noted as Daniel and Daniel M.  respectively in the 1841 and 1851 censuses, while still living with his  parents. Ten years later, in 1861, we now find Ralph noted as Ralph D.  M. LITTLER, an unmarried 28-year-old, practising as a Barrister at Law  in Liverpool and domiciled in the lodging house of John and Sarah REID.  It was while practising on the Northern and North Eastern Circuit that  Sir Ralph made his reputation as a Parliamentary lawyer, acting as  leading counsel for railway companies. While busily employed in this  capacity he found time to qualify himself as a civil engineer.
Sir  Ralph’s distinguished career began with obtaining his B.A. from the  University of London in 1854, before making his move north to the  Midlands. He was back in London by 1871, as the census finds him living  with his future wife in Riverbrook House, Tottenham. A year earlier  Ralph had been admitted as a barrister in Middle Temple, at the Inns of  Court, in Holborn. On 25 January 1873 Ralph LITTLER married the widowed  Mary Anne (RYAN) WOODALL at St Martin-in-the-Field, the same year he  became Queen’s Counsel. The couple appear to have had no children. Sir  Ralph took a great interest in both public and philanthropic movements,  being chairman of the Middlesex County Council from inception, chairman  of the Alexandra Park Trustees, and a high official of the Middlesex  Lodge of Freemasons. He was most generally known as Chairman of the  Middlesex Quarter Sessions where he was labeled as a severe but kind  judge—Sir Ralph did not believe in light sentences for habitual  criminals. He was made Companion of the Bath in 1890 and Knighted at  Buckingham Palace in 1902. Sir Ralph died at his home, 89 Oakwood Court,  Kensington, on 23 November 1908 and is buried at Hampstead.
Sir  Ralph’s father, the Rev. Robert LITTLER (1796-1870), was a cousin of  another family member who also distinguished himself, Sir John Hunter  LITTLER (1783-1856). Both can trace their pedigree back to my distant  ancestor, William LITTLER (1656-1730) of Tarvin. Sir Ralph’s mother  Sarah, on the other hand, is proving a little more difficult to pin  down. According to one source she was the daughter of Daniel MAKINSON,  cotton spinner and Borough Reeve of Bolton-le-Moors, Lancashire (where  Robert and Sarah married), while Burke’s Peerage tells us that Sarah was  the daughter of Robert MAKINSON, Esq. of Bolton. The only baptism I can  find that works reasonably well is “Sarah, daughter of Thomas and Ellen  (JOLLEY) MAKINSON, bap. 09 December 1804 at Ecclestone St Mary the  Virgin (near Chorley), Lancashire—some 18 miles from Bolton-le-Moors.
[October 2016]

SIR RICHARD LITTLER, 1607-1669
We  can thank George Ormerod for what little we know of Sir Richard:  “Richard Littler, gent. living 1636, aged 6 years, 1613.” Ormerod  continues with this overview of the Littler family by saying: “The  descents in the following pedigree have been brought down to the time of  the disposal of the estate, when according to a tradition, the family  retired to Kingsley. This is supported by entries in the parish register  of Frodsham; and from which it appears that some of the younger  descendants remained in that parish for many generations possessing  there a small estate.” Wallerscote was sold to Hugh Cholmondeley, 17 April 1636.
What Ormerod tells us is that Sir Richard was born in 1607, was alive when he put his hand to the deed of sale of Wallerscote (along with his father Ralph and brother William) and settled in  Kingsley after the sale of the family home. The parish registers for  Frodsham St Lawrence do show two relevant burials: “Mary Litler de  Kingsley gent[lewoman], 09 September 1668” and “Richard Litler of  Kingsley gent[leman], bur. 08 March 1668-69”. It is not known when Sir  Richard and Mary married, nor if they had any children. What we do know  is that a number of researchers, ignoring the above information, have  endeavoured to link their pedigrees back to Sir Richard.
Referring  once again to George Ormerod the following is a possible connection:  “Robert lord Cholmondeley, of Kellis, son of Hugh Cholmondeley, esq. was  possessed of this manor [Wallerscote], 1671, and it was then  held under him by Ralph Litler as lessee.” Ralph is thought to be a son  of Sir Richard by association with Wallerscote. The baptism  register for Frodsham St Lawrence also shows a possibility: “Richard  Litler fil Rich. gent. 14 Dec 1662”. The thought here is that Richard  may possibly be the son of Sir Richard and the Richard being baptised a  possible grandson.
Other’s have come up with less likely scenarios,  as in the case made by an American researcher who put forward the idea  that Sir Richard emigrated to the United States and subsequently  appeared in a Virginia Land Patent, dated 10 March 1647. While the  Richard Littler in question appears to be the first of our family to  settle in the United States, nothing has been found to show where he  came from or how he made his way over to that country.
Another  pedigree tells us that Sir Richard married Margaret Cawley, 20 Oct 1648,  at Tarvin St Andrew. The couple settled in Tarvin and the following  year the first of their six children was born. In light of what we know  from George Ormerod this is doubtful. The Richard Litler who did marry  Margaret Cawley is more likely to be the “Richard, son of Mr. Richard  Lytler of Mouldsworth” baptised at Tarvin St Andrew, 23 February  1622-23. Margaret, daughter of William Cawley of Kelsall, was also  baptised at Tarvin St Andrew, on 04 May 1625, making their ages at time  of marriage 25 and 23 respectively. Time and place make this a much more  realistic scenario.
Once again the Commonwealth Gap proves a bane to  our family, showing just how difficult it is to construct realistic  pedigrees through the mid-1600s.
[September 2016]

THE WALTHAM ABBEY QUESTION
Over  the past few years I have corresponded with family members who trace  their pedigree back to the Littlers of Waltham Abbey, back to the  “patriarch” of this family, Thomas LITTLER. The one question that always  crops up is: Where did Thomas hail from? Some say Thomas and his  brother Edmund were born in Cheshire, sons of Ralph and Elizabeth  LITTLER. As young men they moved south to settle in Hertfordshire, to  the towns of Cheshunt and Broxbourne respectively. Others say that  Thomas (but not Edmund) is the son of William and Elizabeth LITTLER of  Tarvin, Cheshire and it was he who moved south to Cheshunt. I have yet  to see evidence that either theory is correct. In the first, it appears  researchers have tried to establish a link back to Wallerscote Manor,  the seat of the Littlers close by Northwich. In the second, it appears  the date of Thomas’ baptism (25 Oct 1691) has proved convenient, nothing  more.
Although covered on my Website under Puzzles, it’s worth  repeating again that documentation in the Tarvin and Tarporley parish  registers strongly suggests that the Thomas LITTLER attributed as  “patriarch” of the Waltham Abbey Littlers, actually married Eleanor  WRENCH in Tarporley (13 Jan 1722). Thomas, a yeoman, and Eleanor his  wife lived in Tarvin, brought up their children there, and upon their  deaths both were buried at Tarvin St Andrew.
So the question remains.  Where do Thomas and Edmund hail from? Are they actually brothers? Were  they born in Hertfordshire and their baptisms are yet to be found? Or do  they hail from Northwich? Certainly, Edmund is not a common name with  our Cheshire family; I know of only one occasion of an Edmund being  baptised in the county between 1550-1850 and that was in 1791 [see  Forum, April 2016]. Interestingly, this Edmund moved from Northwich to  Waltham Abbey as a young man and become a silk printer. Does this point  to a family relationship between the Northwich Littlers and those of  Waltham Abbey? There is still much to do in finding satisfactory answers  to these questions.
I would like to reach out to anyone who has  researched, or who is in the process of researching, their connection to  the Waltham Abbey Littlers: What evidence have you found that sheds any  light on the origin of Thomas LITTLER, attorney of Cheshunt and Edmund  LITTLER, schoolteacher of Broxbourne. I would love to hear from you.
[August 2016]

WITTON-CUM-TWAMBROOKS
As  part of my effort to get the Littler One-Name Study underway I have  been delving into the Great Budworth parish records. Not only is Great  Budworth one of the largest parishes in Cheshire, it also happens to  adjoin both Weaverham parish and Wallerscote Manor—home of the early  Littlers. Because of this close proximity, the Littler name figures  large in both the Great Budworth parish records and those of the  parochial chapel of Witton-cum-Twambrooks St Helen. Located in  Northwich, and close by the River Weaver, many of our Littler families  worshipped at Witton St Helen. The records here are quite excellent.  Generally clear and easy to decipher, beginning in 1779 there appears  another listing of inhabitants to compliment the Parish Registers and  Bishop’s Transcripts. This list, detailing baptisms and burials, is of  huge benefit to the present-day researcher as the detailed information  given is quite superb. In the case of baptisms, columns spread across  the double pages show: Child’s Name, Father’s Name, Place of Abode,  Profession, his Father and Mother’s Names, their Place of Abode,  [child’s] Mother’s Name, her Father and Mother’s Names, their Place of  Abode, When Born, When Baptised. The Register of Burials includes:  Person’s Names, Place of Abode, Profession, Father and Mother’s Name and  Place of Abode, When Died, When Buried, Where Buried, What Disorder,  What Age. A wealth of information allowing us to construct accurate  family pedigrees. There are gaps where only half the image of the  original record is available, roughly 1797 to 1812, but by widening out  the search to include siblings of one’s ancestor, this is generally  overcome. The marriage registers for Witton St Helen give information  we’re all familiar with; names of the bride and groom, their status  (bachelor, spinster, etc.) date of marriage, their parish, witnesses and  oftentimes the groom’s occupation.
[June 2016]

LITTLER FAMILIES IN NEW ZEALAND
My  interest in our broader family emigrating to New Zealand during the  19th Century stems from the arrival in that country of my  great-grandfather Samuel LITTLER, in 1860. He stayed only a couple of  years before making his way to Australia where, in 1865, he married Ann  WHITE. All ten of their children were born in northern New South Wales,  although Samuel and Ann, along with their youngest living daughter, did  settle in New Zealand at a later date, about 1905. Their son William, my  grandfather, had arrived in New Zealand a little before his parents,  married there in 1912 and brought up his family in Auckland.
It  wasn’t until 1884 that the first reference appears in the civil records  of a marriage taking place between Harry LITTLER and Christina CHAMBERS,  the ceremony taking place in Dunedin. Baptised Henry in 1861, Harry was  the son of William and Elizabeth (ADDINGTON) LITTLER, a couple who were  involved in the silk printing industry at Merton (near Croydon) in  Surrey. In fact William’s parents, Edmund and Mary Ann (MAYBANK)  LITTLER, owned a sizable establishment at Merton Abbey, employing a  workforce of some 130 souls. Harry, at the age of 20, arrived in Dunedin  aboard the Aros Bay in January 1882 and a little over two  years later, married Christina CHAMBERS. The couple continued to live in  the lower South Island where their six children were born, although one  did die before Harry himself succumbed to fever at age 34. His widow  remarried and it appears the surviving children continued to live in New  Zealand.
Our next arrivals landed in Wellington in January 1886. The passenger list of the brand new steamer Aorangi shows a Mrs M. and Miss S. A. LITTLER—Mary (BARNABY) LITTLER with her  eldest child, Sarah Ann. In 1851 Mary had married William Joseph LITTLER  in Lincolnshire. After the birth of Sarah Ann the family moved across  the Humber to settle in Hornsea, Yorkshire, where a further seven  children were born. A singularly unfortunate family, of their eight  children two died at the age of 4, three died during their teenage  years, and the two sons who had earlier emigrated to New Zealand were  dead by their mid-20s. Mary’s husband, William, hailed from Lichfield,  Staffordshire and had died in 1866, only months after the birth of their  youngest child. After their arrival in New Zealand, mother and daughter  settled in Palmerston North where, at the grand old age of 85, Mary  died. She lived long enough to see her daughter married and the proud  mother of two healthy children, both of whom survived and married.
It  is difficult to know just when Arthur LITTLER arrived in New Zealand,  it was some time between the 1881 census in England and his marriage to  Asenath Louise MORRIN in 1890. Son of William and Hannah (HARRIS)  LITTLER of Blakenall, Staffordshire, Arthur had served his  apprenticeship as a bridle bitt maker, a trade many generations of his  family before him had followed. He came to New Zealand as manager for an  English firm of wholesale saddlers, a position he continued to hold  until ill health forced early retirement—he died in 1922, at age 61.  Long before this sad occasion Arthur’s brother (William Charles) and  sister (Mary Ann) visited Auckland on board the Zealandia. Both  chose to stay and settle in Auckland, although neither married. Arthur  and Louise had three sons of whom only one married and had children and  grandchildren of his own. This family has had a strong history of yacht  racing in Auckland over the years and have been staunch members of the  Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron.
The final character rounding up  this vignette is Alan Francis Henry LITTLER, who in 1900 married May  GRIFFIN in New Zealand. Alan’s pedigree can be traced back to the  Littlers of Waltham Abbey, Essex and the Littlers of Launceston,  Tasmania. Alan was the son of Augustus East and Hannah Sarah (MURRAY)  LITTLER of Launceston, while Alan’s father was the second son of Charles  and Ann (SUMMERS) LITTLER, a young couple who had emigrated to  Australia only weeks after their marriage in London. They arrived in  Adelaide, South Australia on board the Henry Porcher in 1838.  Here their eldest child was born before they removed to the northern  coast of Tasmania. Charles, baptised 12 Jan 1806 at Waltham Abbey, was  one of fifteen children born to William and Elizabeth (THOMPSON)  LITTLER, he a calico printer.
There are a few others with the Littler  name appearing in local newspapers during the 19th Century, but none  appear to have settled in New Zealand for any length of time.
[May 2016]

WALTHAM ABBEY

This article has since been updated—see Forum, October 2017.
In  putting material together for the Littler One-name Study I have been  delving into the Waltham Abbey Littlers and trying to make sense of the  various Edmunds that move in and out of this pedigree. An Edmund LITTLER  first appears in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire in 1704, and from this date  on there are successive sons by the name of Edmund being born through to  at least the mid-1800s—their baptisms taking place in the Greater  London area. In an endeavour to confirm earlier research on our Waltham  Abbey Littlers I have spent time in the resources now available online.  In doing so I have discovered that an Edmund LITTLER, baptised in  Cheshire, appears to have moved south to Waltham Abbey and become a silk  printer—a trade followed by numerous members of our family. If this is  indeed the case, then he has the potential to rewrite the known pedigree  of the Waltham Abbey Littlers.
Edmund, the gentleman in question,  was baptised at Witton St Helen, Cheshire on 05 Sep 1791, son of Samuel  and Hannah (MOORS) LITTLER. After moving south, it appears Edmund  married Mary Ann ROGERS on 08 Jun 1812 at Shoreditch St Leonard and soon  settled in Waltham Abbey where their six children were born and  baptised. The 1841 census tells us Edmund was a “silk printer” and that  both he and Mary were “not born in the county”. In the three census he  does appear in (1841-51-61) Edmond’s age ties in with his birth and  baptism date of 1791. He died on 21 Sep 1861, a resident of  Sawbridgeworth, Herts. (Please note: The Edmund LITTLER who  married Mary Ann ROGERS was actually the son of William and Elizabeth  (THOMPSON) LITTLER, see Forum, October 2017).
Edmund and  Mary Ann naturally enough had a son Edmund (1823-1885) who appears in  successive censuses as a: silk printer, pattern designer,  stationer/printer, auctioneer, and land surveyor. In 1848 son Edmund  married Mercy Anna PUGH and between them raised ten children, although  one daughter did die at a young age. By 1871 the family had moved from  Waltham Abbey to West Ham, Essex and it was here that Mercy Anna died.  In 1881 we find the widowed Edmund still in West Ham, living with a  number of his children in their home called Wallerscote. This  is of interest, as the old manor was still standing near the River  Weaver in Cheshire at this time, not two miles from Northwich, where  Edmund’s father Edmund had been born and raised.
There is more to do  on this pedigree but it does show the potential difficulty in following  family lines back in time; especially when children baptised with the  same given name and living in the same proximity appear in the records.
[April 2016]

​BLANCHE, PRINCE AND EMILE LITTLER
Recently  I had cause to delve into the history of three highly acclaimed  identities of the entertainment world—Blanche, Prince and Emile LITTLER.  During the mid-20th Century all three were involved in theatre  productions in London’s West End and throughout the Counties. The three  made a highly respected name for themselves, with Prince being honoured  as Commander of the British Empire in 1957 and his brother Emile awarded  a knighthood in 1974. Not only producing plays to a very high standard,  the three siblings also owned theatres in major cities  throughout England.
Interestingly, Blanche, Prince and Emile are the  offspring of Julius and Agnes May (PAISEY) RICHEUX, their births  registered in the Thanet Registration District during the 1890s and into  the early 1900s. Their father was the son of Jules and Julia (BURNS)  RICHEUX, he a Professor of Languages. Julius himself was involved in the  tobacco and cigar business before turning to the theatre during the  early 1900s. Julius RICHEUX died in 1911 and in 1914 his widow married  one Frank Rolison LITTLER, a theatrical producer. Upon their marriage  Frank adopted the children and all five Richeux children took the  Littler name as their own.
Frank R. LITTLER was born in Bloxwich,  Staffordshire (1879), son of William and Sarah (ROLISON) LITTLER. His  family can be traced back seven generations to Thomas and Alice LITTLER  of Lichfield, Staffordshire, who appear to have married about 1680. From  there the trail is lost as we enter the Commonwealth Era.
[March 2016]

​LITTLER ONE-NAME STUDY
Late  last year I attended a weekend seminar hosted by the New England  Historic Genealogical Society here in Boston. Paul Howes, chairman of  the Guild of One-Name Studies, was in town promoting this field of  genealogical research. Paul gave two well received lectures over the  course of the seminar, outlining the goals of the Guild, emphasizing the  collaborative aspect of a successful one-name study, and giving  excellent advice on setting up a suitable Website. It proved to be an  enjoyable weekend where I took the opportunity to join the Guild and  register the Littler name as a one-name study. I felt that over the  years of amassing so much information on the Littler clan now was the  time to share my research and possibly help others involved in  tracing  their own  Littler pedigrees.
My goal for the Littler one-name study  is to be up and running with the Website over the next few weeks. Not  all I have will be immediately available as it will take some time to  put my research into some presentable form. Because so much of my own  work has revolved around the 17th and 18th centuries this will be the  timeframe first available. Eventually the plan is to add all Littler  names up to and including the 1841 census. I welcome any input and help  by others researching the Littler surname.
[February 2016]

​RICHARD LITTLER, ANOTHER CONUMDRUM
The  men in our family named Richard LITTLER continue to tax our  genealogical skills as the following example illustrates. The 1613  Visitation of Cheshire shows that Richard, son of Robert LITTLER of  Wallerscote, married Anne, daughter of John BRESSY of Tiverton. As no  date is given, we can assume a timeframe for their marriage by looking  at the date of their eldest son’s marriage—Ralph LITTLER married Eleanor  BRUEN, 09 November 1573 at Tarvin St Andrew. If we assume Ralph was age  25 at the time of marriage, his birth date would be about 1548 with his  parents’ marriage likely in the range of 1535-45.
Our conundrum  occurs in the parish registers for Wybunbury St Chad, where we find a  marriage between Richard LITTLER and Anne BRESSY on 22 June 1561 some  twelve years after the birth of “their” son Ralph. My research indicates  that this Richard is not the son of Robert LITTLER of Wallerscote, but a  different person altogether. I have arrived at this conclusion by the  following three reasons; First, the relevant dates do not match, unless  “their” son Ralph married Eleanor BRUEN at age 10 which is highly  unlikely. Second, the 1613 Visitation states that Anne was the daughter  of John BRESSY of Tiverton, a hamlet within the parish of Tarporley. The  marriage of Richard LITTLER (of Wallerscote) to Anne BRESSY (of  Tiverton) was likely to have taken place at Tarporley St Helen. The  registers for St Helen begin in 1558, some years after the suggested  dates of Richard and Anne’s marriage. And third, the parish registers  for Wybunbury St Chad note children being baptised to both a Richard and  Randle LITTLER during the 1560s. It appears that this Richard and his  wife Anne continued to live within the parish and any connection to  Wallerscote Manor was probably long gone. Also of interest in the  registers for St Chad is that Anne LITTLER, widow, was buried on 14  October 1591—was she the relict of the Richard LITTLER in question?

[December 2015]

ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS
Earlier  this month, I communicated with a gentleman researching his Tarvin  Littler ancestors who kindly passed on new information about the family  of 49. Richard and Sarah (WALLEY) LITTLER (Beyond Wallerscote Manor,  p. 81). It concerns the marriage of their son, also Richard (b. 1796)  and should be noted that, in fact, he married the widow Ann WILLIAMS on  03 Feb 1817 at Chester St Mary-on-the-Hill; not Ann WEAVER in 1822 at  Thornton-le-Moors St. Mary, as shown in the book.
After thoroughly  investigating this new information and verifying it against earlier  research, I believe this attribution to be correct. This correction to  the marriage of Richard (b. 1796) to Ann WILLIAMS does not affect any  other information contained in the book.
As an additional note  however, there is another Richard LITTLER (b. 1801) who did indeed marry  Ann WEAVER, on 04 Feb 1822 at Thornton-le-Moors St Mary. Coincidently,  he was also the son of a Richard LITTLER who lived at Mickle Trafford.  Son Richard was baptised at Plemonstall St Peter and as an adult pursued  his trade as a tailor. After their marriage, this family resided at  Dunham-on-the-Hill before making the move over to Manley. Even after  their move they continued to have their children baptised at  Thornton-le-Moors St Mary. After their deaths both Richard and Ann were  buried in the churchyard of Ashton Hayes St John the Evangelist.
[November 2015]

THAT ELUSIVE LINK TO WALLERSCOTE
There  is little doubt that Wallerscote Manor was the family home of our  Littler forebears, for there is much in the way of solid evidence that  proves this. However, it is quite a different matter for the present  generation of researchers to prove their link back to the old manor. For  this we can blame the Commonwealth Era (1649-1660) for much of the  problem. It was during this time of political unrest that many parish  records, detailing baptisms, burials and marriages, went missing. The  registers were often deliberately destroyed by the followers of Oliver  Cromwell, put into safekeeping and never seen again, or if they were,  very little had been recorded in them. The three places of worship for  the Littler family of Wallerscote are a case in point: at Witton St  Helen (Northwich) the registers become difficult to decipher and  intermittent between 1640-1661. For Weaverham St Mary the registers are  illegible in part, with many gaps between 1618-1678. While at Davenham  St Wilfred the registers between 1625-1665 are lost. There is little  doubt that if these registers were available to us today the link back  to the last of our family living at Wallerscote would prove less of a  challenge.
Another problem making life difficult for the present day  researcher is the use of the given names, Richard and William, both  common in our family during the early seventeenth century. The fact that  parish registers rarely noted the mother’s name in the baptism register  makes it very difficult to place “your” ancestor, e.g. “William, son of  Richard Littler” to the correct Richard during these years.
[October 2015]

​LITTLERS TO THE USA
During  the mid-1920s, noted genealogist Alfred R. Justice completed his  research into the origins of the Littler name in the United States and  came to the conclusion that two brothers had emigrated from Frodsham,  Cheshire, about 1699. Sons of William and Alice LITTLER, Ralph (bap.  1660) and Samuel (bap. 1665) lived in the Philadelphia area after their  arrival in the US. Ralph married Sarah —?— and died without issue, while  Samuel married Rachel (Minshull) Taylor and they had a family of four  sons and two daughters. Unfortunately, there is no real proof of the  link back to Frodsham. Both baptisms for Ralph and Samuel are clearly  documented in the Frodsham parish records, but so is a marriage of a  Ralph LITTLER to Mary ASHBROOKE in 1695. Children born to this couple  were baptised and buried over the ensuing fifteen years before Ralph  died there in 1717. There is no further sign of Samuel in the Frodsham  records and although he may well have emigrated to the US, he may just  as easily have moved to another location within England.
Further  complicating matters is documentation relating to land grants in  Virginia, dated 10 March 1647 (Cavaliers and Pioneers, Abstracts of  Virginia Land Patents and Grants, 1623-1800, vol. 1, p. 115), in which a  Richard LITTLER is named. There is reason to suppose that Richard may  have been a married man, had issue, and from there we find the Ralph and  Samuel LITTLER in question.
What is even more tenuous is the link  back to Wallerscote Manor through William, father of Ralph and Samuel.  Alfred R. Justice makes the suggestion that William’s parents were Sir  Richard and Lady Mary LITTLER but there is no proof that this is  correct. In fact, there is no documentation of any children born or  baptised to this couple.
[September 2015]

THE STAFFORDSHIRE CONNECTION
In  my years of researching I have often wondered about the William  LITTLERs, father and son, who worked in Stoke-on-Trent. William Sr. was a  potter employed in The Potteries. His son, also William, followed in  his father’s footsteps beginning his apprenticeship as a potter in 1737.  Of the two, it was William Jr. who made a name for himself while  experimenting with the development of porcelain clays and bringing to  market a deep cobalt-blue glaze forever known as “Littler Blue”. I have  endeavoured to trace this family back to their roots in Cheshire, but  with little success. William Sr. was born about 1695; some say in  Tarvin, Cheshire, but this has proved incorrect. Of the three William  LITTLERs baptised at Tarvin St Andrew during the forty-year period  1675-1715, one died at the age of eight, the second moved to the nearby  parish of Thornton-le-Moors, where he married, worked and raised his  children and our third William continued to live in Tarvin where he  married twice, worked and brought up his children. None of these  Williams became a potter in Staffordshire.
Lately I have been  following another branch of our Staffordshire family, one located in the  area surrounding Lichfield and south-west to Walsall. Children born to a  Thomas and Alice LITTLER make their appearance in the baptism records  of Lichfield St Michael between 1682-1702 and from here the trail is  easily followed through to the 19th Century. My question is: Where did  Thomas hail from? No marriage has been found for Thomas LITTLER to  Alice, making it difficult to ascertain his place of origin.
[July 2015]

​​​​​THE NANTWICH LITTLERS
The  parish registers for Nantwich St. Mary begin in 1539 and from the first  we see two sons baptised to a Rondull and Margaret LITTLER—Raphe  (January, 1539-40) and George (January, 1542-43). It appears the  Littlers were well settled in Nantwich before this date and it begs the  question of just where did this family hail from? Did they, or an  ancestor, migrate directly from Little Over, eleven miles to the north  of Nantwich; or from Tarvin, fifteen miles to the north-west? Or is  Rondull/Randle related to a younger son of Wallerscote Manor? A strong  case can be made for any of these options. Little Over is certainly the  closest to Nantwich and it was from here our Littler name originated.  Tarvin, on the other hand, is a little further away but has always had  good road access to Nantwich. And even though Wallerscote is further  away again, there is the possibility that a younger son of the manor may  well have settled in Nantwich. If so, would he have come by way of  Tarvin, where Littlers had settled by the 16th Century? The naming  pattern of the above family, Randle, Margaret, Ralph and George,  suggests that this may be the case—all four were popular given names in  our family during this era. As yet, I have found no hard evidence of a  direct link back to Wallerscote, but there is a strong possibility that  the early Littlers of Nantwich could also tie there heritage back to the  manor.
[June 2015]

TWO RICHARD LITTLERS, COUSINS
During  the latter part of the 16th Century and into the next, a gentleman by  the name of Richard LITTLER practiced as an attorney in His Majesty’s  Court of Common Pleas located inside the great Hall of Westminster in  London. About 1570 Richard married Bridget, daughter of Richard WALL,  and they appear to have had twelve children, all but three baptised at  Silver Street St. Olave located in the Aldersgate ward of the City of  London. Although the baptisms of the two youngest children have not been  found in the St Olave registers, they are mentioned in their father’s  Will.
Richard LITTLER died in 1623 leaving a detailed Will in which,  among others, he names two cousins: “. . . delivered into the hands of  my cousins Lawrence LYTLER and Richard LYTLER the younger of Mouldsworth  . . .” and again: “And I make and appoint overseers thereof my loving  cousins Lawrence LITLER gent and Richard LITLER the younger of  Mouldsworth in the County of Chester gent . . .” (Note the spelling of  Lytler/Litler in the same document).
The wording in the Will suggests  that Richard LITTLER (attorney of London) and Richard LITTLER (the  younger of Mouldsworth) are first cousins. We know from the records  (Ormerod, vol. I, p. 222) that Richard the younger was a Clerk of the  Courts of Pentice, Crownmote, and Portmote, for the City of Chester,  1627-38 and that he was also the son of Richard LITTLER, gentleman  (Freemen of the City of Chester, 1392-1700: Ancestry.com).
So are the  two Richards related? If so, how? I believe Richard LITTLER (Sr.) is  the son of Ralph LITTLER of Wallerscote and his second wife Mary LITTLER  of London, but I have yet to find who is the father of Richard LITTLER,  attorney. Is it possible that he was born in Cheshire (about 1545) and  his father likely one of the younger sons of Wallerscote?
[May 2015]

LITTLER COAT OF ARMS (Argent a chevron Sable between three Squirrels Gules)
While researching Beyond Wallerscote Manor,  I became intrigued with the family Coat of Arms and often wondered who  among our ancestors was granted the honour of displaying them. In all  the sources I researched, no mention could be found of just when and to  whom the arms were granted. Although not all documentation related to  the Littler family mentions the arms, it is referenced in some  publications, notably George Ormerod’s History of Cheshire (2nd edition, 1882). 
In  an effort to find the answer to these questions, I contacted the  Portcullis Pursuivant at the College of Arms, London.  His research  shows that no one in the Littler family has ever been granted a coat of  arms. The name Littler (or variants) does not appear in any of the  original visitation records and there is no reference in the Dictionary of British Arms.  It appears that past members of our family who used the arms described above never established the legal right to do so.
Note:  The one exception is Sir John Hunter LITTLER who was granted arms in  the early 19th century, but they bear no resemblance to those noted  here.
[April 2015]