The Stonier family were living at Ladymoor Gate at the time of the first census in 1841 but were they tenants or did they own it? Did they build the house and/or the outbuildings? How long had they lived here and what type of farm did they run?
A Google search for "Ladymoor Gate Stonier" revealed the following from the Doicese of Lichfield, Consitory Court Calendar of Wills, which indicates that John Stonier, the occupant in 1841, inherited the farm (directly or indirectly) from his father William who had died in July 1810 when John would have been about 24 years old.
1810 William Stonier, of Lady Moor Gate, parish Norton in the Moors, farmer
Proved Lichfield 21 Nov 1810. Dated 29 Sep 1806
Daughters Jane, Mary, Sarah, Hannah, Theodocius and Anna (last five minors)
Farmhouse at Lady Moor Gate
Residue to "my eight younger children" (all minors)
Execs: Bro. In law John Boon of Norton in the Moors, farmer & Leban Leek of same.
Sgd. In pres of Jas. Dix Jn. Peake & Thos Plant
Died July 1810 Under £450
1807 Admon of William Stonier of Burslem, grocer and tea dealer, bachelor
Lichfield 23 Dec 1807
Admon. Renounced by his father William in favour of his son John (i.e.) John was son of father William)
Bondsmen: John Stonier of Horton, Staffs. Farmer, John Boon of Norton le Moors, collier and Laban Leak of Norton, stone mason
Sgd.: by all 3
William's wife, Jane, was Jane Boon and they had married in Norton in the Moors on 21st May 1778. Did William and Jane build the current Ladymoor Gate farm house?
William, son of William and Jane of Brown Edge, was christened on 26th March 1780 at St Bartholomew's, Norton le Moors.
Why did William senior renounce William in favour of John? I thought William may have been the older son, but a christening record of John Stonehewer, son of William and Jane of Brown Edge, 14th March 1779 at St. Bartholomew's, Norton le Moors, (almost certainly John, despite the different spelling) suggests that John was the older son. Also, the original 1806 will leaves the farm to John with a bequest for an amount of money only going to William.
White's 1834 Directory and Gazetteer of Staffordshire lists John Stonier as a farmer in the Crowborough hamlet of Horton, and also shows that he was a yeoman. This description of yeoman indicates that he was the land owner1 and not a tenant farmer, and this is confirmed by the poll registers. So the Stoniers owned the Ladymoor Gate Farm by 1806 (when William made his will) which from the 1841 census we can assume was at least 92 acres, but how long had they owned the land and did they build the current farm house which we have been told dates from between 1800 and 1820, or thereabouts?
No details about the size of the farm or the relationship between the occupants is given in the 1841 census, although from later information it is reasonable to assume that the farm was at least 92 acres and that the occupants were John's wife, children and grandchildren. Some of John and Hannah's children had already married. In particular their daughter Hannah, who had married Richard Shufflebotham, from Crowborough, at St John's church Burselm on 2nd February 1837. They were was living nearby, still in Crowborough with their children (including John Stonier Shufflebotham).
The poll registers show John Stonier eligible to vote as freeholder of Ladymoor Gate until 1850. This is the last poll register showing John at the farm. By the following year he had moved out and his son in law was running the farm. An advertisement in the Saffforshshire Advertiser shows (despite the mistake in the name) that he offered his farm equipment and stock for sale on his retirement. The advertisement appeared on 14th December 1850 in the Staffordshire advertiser.
Farm Sale Notice December 1850
In 1851 Richard Shufflebotham, John's son in law, is listed in the poll register as occupier of land at Ladymoor Gate, not the freeholder. Presumably John Stonier is still the freeholder. However, by 1851 Hannah had died and Richard was married to his 2nd wife Elizabeth, very probably Hannah's younger sister. Richard Shufflebotham, son of Abel, married Elizabeth Stanier (Stonier) daughter of John, in St John's church, Burslem on 13th December 1847.
In 1851 John Stonier, aged 70, and his wife Hannah, 63 were living at Stoke Lane, Hartshill, Stoke on Trent with their widowed daughter, Jane Outrim/Outram, 46, and (some of) her children. Jane had been living in Stoke Lane ten years earlier with her husband William, a potter aged 35 from outside the county, and their children. It is likely that John, who gave his occupation as "farmer not occupying" had only recently moved out (based on the poll registers he moved out between 1850 and 1851) still had something to do with the farming at Ladymoor Gate. The farm was now occupied by his son in law and daughter, the Shufflebotham family and Samuel, John's now 19 year old son was also still living there and working on the farm as an agricultural labourer. Other members of the family had also moved out.
The relationship between John Stonier and 46 year old Jane Outram revealed by the 1851 census suggests that the eight year old Jane living at Ladymoor Gate in 1841 was John and Hannah's granddaughter.
By 1851 William (John's and Hannah's son) and Matilda had moved out of Ladymoor Gate Farm and were living at Lask Edge farming 8.5 acres. This land may or may not have been part of the 1841 Ladymoor Gate holding. With them were their children, the oldest being 10 year old John, almost certainly the baby of the household in 1841. Matilda (subsequentlly shown to have been at least 18 in 1841) was John's and Hannah's daughter in law.
Richard Shufflebotham is still listed in the 1861 poll register as "occupier of land as tennant". Maybe John continued to own the farm and Richard Shufflebotham was his tenant.
John and Hannah were still living in Hartshill in 1861 he gave is age as 82 and occupation as formerly farmer from Norton in the Moors. She gave her age as 73 and from Stoke on Trent. John Stonier, aged 84 of Hartshill was buried at Holy Trinity Church, Hartshill on 16th August 1863. He died on 13th August. A notice of his death appeared in the Staffordshire Advertiser on 23rd August 1863.
By 1863 Richard had also died and Elizabeth had married Enoch Bailey in Audley.
At the time of the 1871 census Roger Shufflebotham, John Stonier's grandson was running the farm at Ladymoor Gate, so it is likely that he took over when his father died.
1 The Concise Oxford Dictionary (edited by H.W. & F.G. Fowler, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1972 reprint, p. 1516) states that a yeoman was "a person qualified by possessing free land of 40/- (shillings) annual [feudal] value, and who can serve on juries and vote for a Knight of the Shire. He is sometimes described as a small landowner, a farmer of the middle classes."