Where there’s a will there’s a Genealogy way.

Where there’s a will there’s a Genealogy way.

I’ll have break from the military for this week, I needed some transcribing practice, it’s a bonus the names are interesting to me.

Will of John Colclough alias Rowley, Potter of Burslem, Staffordshire.

Testamentary Records. England. 07 May 1657. COLCLOUGH, John. Will. Prerogative Court of Canterbury: Will Registers. PROB 11/264/200. The National Archives, Kew, England. Will of John Colclough alias Rowley, Potter of Burslem, Staffordshire | The National Archives : accessed 10 March 2021.
My surname originated probably in Staffordshire.

Elsewhere I have noted the Colclough/Wedgwood connection, here is a tangible glimpse, I have transcribed it so any errors or omissions in transcription are mine, but you can get the gist. I needed the transcribing practice. We can tease some genealogy out from it too…
An image of the original referenced from above.

So the transcript is:

In the Name of God Amen The

Seventeeth daie of November in the year of Or Lord God. One

Thousand six hundred Ffifitie Six. I John Colclough als’ Row

Ley of Burslem in the countie of Stafford Potter. being

sick and weak in bodie but of good and perfect memorie bless

& praysed be the Lord therefore do make and ordayne this my last

will and Testament in manner following. Ffirst I commend my Soul

To Almightie God my most merciful Creator, Trusting by shorlie

meritts of Jesus Christ my saviour to have the same recd into Abrahams

Bosome, And my bodie to Christian buriall in the Parish Church or Chann:

Sell of Burslem in such ceremie and decent manner as my Executor

Hereafter herein named shall think fitt. And for such Lands Tenements

howses buildings monies goods debts cattles & chattles as it hath

pleased the Lord in great mercie to bestow upon me. I give devise

bestow and bequeath in manner & forme following. Ffirst I give devise

& bequeath to Thomas Wedgwood of the church yard in Burslem afore

said, his heirs and Assignies for ever. Both these my two Cottages or Pr

emisis in Burslem aforesaid. Th’ one heretofore called Machins howse &

the other Ormes howse now in the possession or occupation of me and

my assignes or under servants withall howses edifices buildings stables

outhouses gardens backsides Lands & appy [fixure] to them and with to

them belonging together with all my right title interest claims &

domains to them and other of them. Also I give to the said Thomas

Wedgwood & his Assignes all my potting Boards, and all other necessarie

implements and materials belonging to the trade of potting (Lead and

Lead saw onlie excepted). Also I give and bequeath unto [indecipherable text] half

Brother William Colclough of Burslem aforesaid and Katherine

Colclough his wife and John Colclough their sonne the summe of [ten]

Ten pounds apiece to everie one of them. ALSO I give to the said John

Colclough six Silver spoones with everie one of them a J. C. upon them

Also I give devise and bequeath to the said John Colclough and his

Assignes. One Tenure or the remainder of a Lease which I have of in

or to one Close field or Croft called Little Elgreave situate in Burslem

aforesaid. Also I give to my reputed half sister Margaret Drakeford

alias Rowley Ffive pounds. Also I give unto Moses Wedgwood of Burslem

aforesaid Potter all such summe or summes of money as he oweth or

anie way handeth indebted unto me upon anie account whatsoever Also I give

unto William Wedgwood his brother All such monies as he oweth or

anie way handeth indebted to me. Also I give devise and bequeath

unto the aforesaid Thomas Wedgwood and his Asignes one Tenure

or remainder of a Lease which I have of, in or to that field Close or

Pastures called the Horse pastures He therefore paying to his

Brother Aaron Wedgwood and Marie and Sarah his sisters as it

is my will and mynd the summe of ffortie shillings apeece to every

one of them within the space of Six mon. this [niyt] after his Entry

upon the same. Also I give unto Margaret Wedgwood of Ashley

widow the summe of ffortie shillings over and besides the monie she

now oweth me. Also I give unto everie one of my servants Two

shillings six pence apiece. Also I give unto Clive Astburie of

Shelton one pound. Also after funerall expenses & Probate dis.

charged I give devise and bequeath All the rest residue remain-

der of all and singular my goods moveable and immoveable debts monies

Cattle & Chattles to the aforesaid Thomas Wedgwood for ever. Onlie it

It is my will and mynd That Gilbert Wedgwood his father shall have

the usage of all the goods of mine now standing in his howse at

Burslem aforesaid, Th’ aforesaid silver spoons onlie excepted. And

of this my last will and Testament I do constitute ordaine nomint.

& appoint my Loveing friend the said Thomas Wedgwood Sole

Executor, hopeing he will execute and perform the same according

to the dutie I repost in him. And I desire my Loving kinsman the

said John Colclough to see the same done accordinglie And I

doe herby utter admit and make voyd all former & other wills

whatsoever. IN WITNESS whereof my last will &

Testament. I the said John Colclough alias Rowley havg. putt my

Hand & seald. Dated the day & time above written. One Thousand &

Six Hundred Ffiftie Six (John Colclough alias Rowley) Sealed

Signed and published in the presence of Gilbert Wegwood John

Colclough John Shawe./

This will was proved at London

The seventh day of May in ye year of Our Lord One Thousand Six

Hundred Ffiftie seven. Before the Judges for Probate of wills &

Granting of administrations lawfullie authorized by th’ oath of

Thomas Wedgwood sole Executor named in the said will To whom

was committed Administration of all and singular the goods chattels

and debts of the said deceased. He being by virtue of a commission

trust Legallie serve well and truelie to Administer the same.


So to find some genealogy in the will:

William Colclough married (date not apparent from this document, however if John Colclough the son was an adult as seems likely as he appears to have witnessed the will, the marriage could be estimated as around 1630 as a starting point for further research). Katherine (Maiden name not known from this document).

William and Katherine were parents of  John Colclough (see above) can be estimated birth as around 1630 as a start for research.

Family lived Burslem Staffordshire.

William Colclough and John Colclough alias Rowley were half brothers so shared a parent it is likely that was their father but again not absolutely clear from the will.

John Colclough alias Rowley had a reputed (his words) half  sister Margaret it can be implied her maiden name was Rowley and she married a Mr. Drakeford. Margaret and John Colclough alias Rowley shared a parent, again the implication s that this was a different parent than William Colclough and John Colclough alias Rowley shared.

From this document it appears William Colclough and Margaret Drakeford were not related, but this also needs further research.

Onto the Wedgwood’s. Gilbert Wedgwood is Thomas Wedgwood’s father, Thomas is certainly an adult so born early 17th Century, Gilbert likely late 16th starting point for research, living in Burslem.

Gilbert’s other children Thomas Wedgwood’s siblings are Aaron a brother, Marie and Sarah sisters their ages are not clear but likely to be young adults.

Margaret Wedgwood a widow is mentioned, can be deduced she was the wife of  a deceased brother of Gilbert, needs to be checked, she lived Ashley in Staffs.

There are two more Wedgwood’s mentioned Moses and his brother William, to start research a useful deduction would be they are brothers of Gilbert, uncles of Thomas, Aaron, Sarah and Marie, this would have to be checked and verified as cannot be proved from the document.

Finally a Clive Astburie of Shelton is noted,  of interest Astbury a potting name of  high status, viz. John Astbury born 1688 died 1743 Shelton in Staffordshire, English Potting technology pioneer, earliest of the great Staffordshire potters a precursor of Josiah Wedgwood. John Astbury | English potter | Britannica : accessed 12 March 2021.

Along with the Genealogy there is going to be a wealth of social history of the Potteries hidden in plain sight in the will just from the mention of an Astburie.

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