Woodford Family Roots


The Woodford Family Roots

Woodford Family group photo

Woodford Family on Holiday

I have researched the Woodford family for many years and have found that the Woodford family originated from a small village called Billesdon in Leicestershire, but many of the Woodford ancestors moved to Leicester during the industrial revolution and worked in the boot factories and hosiery industry.

The Runnalls family originated  from Penzance, Cornwall, working as provisions  and stone merchants. My Great grandfather was a printers compositor and moved from Cornwall to London where he met his future wife.

The Wakefield family  originated from Barnack, Lincolnshire,  and worked on various farms.

The Nash family originated from Wonersh, Surrey, but then moved to Bethnal Green, London working as house painters and decorators.


The Woodford Family Roots

Billesdon Leicestershire.

Billesdon Village

Billesdon Village, Leicestershire

I have traced the Woodford family as far back as Richard Woodford born 1658 and the family originated from Billesdon, Leicestershire. They migrated into the town of Leicester in 1826 when John Woodford married Mary Ploughwright and settled in Leicester probably due to the improved work prospects.The village of Billesdon is situated in the high ground of East Leicestershire, surrounded by rolling hills up to 700 ft. Billesdon Coplow, a steeply wooded tree-covered hill, which can be seen from across the county.The old village school was built in 1650, noted people who attended this school were George Fox, the Quaker, and George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham.In 1899 The Billesdon Union Workhouse was situated on a rising ground on the north side of the Town, and was a well arranged building of red brick, holding 100 inmates.








Leicester Leicestershire.


London Road Leicester

Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England with a history going back nearly 2000 years. Leicester was founded in AD 50 by the Romans, as a military settlement upon the Fosse Way Roman road. The Romans named it Ratae Coritanorum, named after the Celtic tribe that dwelt in the area before they arrived.

In 1801 at the time of the first census Leicester had a population of around 17,000. The town continued to grow rapidly. Houses were built outside Belgrave Gate in the 1820s. At the same time houses were built south of the town. Northampton Street, Conduit Street and Prebend Street were built around 1830. Between 1835 and 1860 St Margarets parish became built up. Houses were also built along the roads leading to the villages of Belgrave and Humberstone.

Some of the Woodford family appeared in the censuses as being employed in the Hosiery and boot making industries.

A descendent of John Henry Woodford recalls that the Woodford and Wormleighton factory owned by John Henry Woodford started with one knitting machine in a room over a pub in Leicester to knit balaclava helmets for our troops in the Crimean War. By 1891, the Woodford and Wormleighton Fancy hosiery Company employing 710 men and women and 60 boys and girls. It floated on the stock market as Woodfords Ltd. and was later taken over by Nottingham Manufacturing.
Most of the Woodford family were connected to the framework knitting industry or boot making industry.

There are five generations of the Woodford family with musical talents and played a selection of musical instruments.


 The Wakefield Family Roots

Barnack Village Lincolnshire

barnack village

Barnack Village Lincolnshire

Barnack is a village is located four miles south-east of Stamford in Lincolnshire. The Wakefield and Slater families originated from this area working on the land. Barnack is famous for three things: its limestone industry, its church and an unusual early Bronze Age burial.

The stone, sometimes called “Barnack rag”, was a valuable building stone and was transported on sleds to the river Welland and loaded on to barges in which it travelled down the Nene and the fenland waterways. Most famously, stone from Barnack was used to build Peterborough and Ely Cathedrals. By the year AD 1500, all the useful stone had been removed, and the bare heaps of limestone rubble gradually became covered by the rich carpet of wild flowers. The church of St John the Baptist is noted in particular for its Anglo-Saxon tower. It also has a Romanesque sculpture of a seated Christ and possibly one of the earliest spires in England.


The Slater Family Roots

Polebrook Village Northamptonshire.

Polebrook, Northamptonshire

There is evidence that Polebrook  village consisted of mainly farms. The farms were mainly centered on the modern day village of Ashton as a settlement dates back to 400 BC, Polebrook is called Pochebroc in the Domesday Book, and was the centre of a large administrative area (the Polebrook hundred).There may have been a wooden church on the site of the current 12th century stone Church of All Saints. Thomas de Thelwall, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster had been parish priest of Polebrook in the 1360s. The Slater Family have a long history in Polebrook, Lamport and Isham and were land owners and some worked on the land. My Great Grandmother Mary Slater was born in Ailsworth another village in Northamptonshire.

The Isham Family Roots

Isham Village, Northamptonshire

Isham Village, Northamptonshire was a Saxon village and civil parish that dates 974 when it was listed as Ysham. By 1086 the spelling had changed to the present spelling which means homestead by the river Ise.

The Isham family were wealthy land owners in Pytchley, Lamport and Isham, John Isham, started as a small mercer and merchant-adventurer and later became a wealthy woolens merchant and master warden of the Company of Mercers. He purchased Lamport Hall in 1560 from Sir William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley and it became the family estate. Sir John Isham (1582-1651), the first baronet of Lamport. He was knighted by James I and made the first baronet of Lamport Hall by Charles I Many members of the Isham family left Britain for the New Colonies in North America to set up new lives. My connection with the Isham family is through Edith Isham who married Richard Slatier in 1551 at Pytchley. They were my 10th Great Grand Parents.


 The Runnalls Family Roots

Penzance Cornwall

Market_Jew Street_Penzance

Market Jew Street, Penzance, Cornwall

Penzance is a sea-port and town, in the parish of Madron and is 282 miles from London, 109 from Exeter, and 10 from the Lands End. It is situated on the north side of Mounts Bay; and the town, of later years, had been improved and the houses In general were handsome and convenient buildings. The streets were well paved, although It was very difficult and expensive to keep the pavement in repair, due to the heavy loads of copper ore and block tin, which were brought in wagons from the local mines and smelting-houses for shipment at this port.

The name Penzance is derived from the Cornish pen sans, meaning “holy headland”, as a chapel once stood on the point to the west of the harbour more than a hundred years ago. It is the principal town on the Penwith peninsula.

The Runnalls family originated in Penzance and owned a provisions merchants store on Market Jew Street and a stone Quarry.

In 1892 James Runnalls leased his house (Leskinnick House) to the Roman Catholic Church to be used as a convent. In 1902 the house was sold to the Daughters of the Cross by the widow of James Runnalls for £1,150 to be their permanent convent.


Nash and Butcher Roots

Wonersh Village Surrey


Wonersh Village Surrey

The Nash and Butcher Families originate from Wonersh Village which is 3½ miles south east of Guildford at the East side of the valley of Cranleigh Water. James Butcher was a farmer of 100 acres and his descendants also worked on the land.

It was one of the centers of the clothing trade in West Surrey with blue cloth as a special manufacture. This was, no doubt, dyed with woad, for a license to grow the crop was sought for the neighbourhood in the 16 th century. The industry was declining in this area by the 17th century, and Wonersh shared in the general decay.

The former garden of Wonersh Park was given to the village for public recreation in 1950 by Mrs F H Cook. The mansion was, in the 18 th century, the home of Lord Grantley who had been successively Solicitor-General, Attorney-General and Speaker of the House of Commons.
At the east end of the village is Dower House, formerly Bishop’s House, at one time the residence of the Suffragan Bishop of Guildford. The front was added in 1710 to an older building.

2 Responses to “Woodford Family Roots”

  • Simon Partridge:


    Ref: William Raven (1832-1914) + Annie Pole b. 1862 and who married William Raven in 1882 (Raven’s 2nd wife, first wife died, no issue) Annie was 30 years his junior!!! and worked in his hosiery factory, she donated Rose Window at rear of St James the Greater to William’s memory. They lived at Portland House.There should be FIVE children – missing is Maud Raven b 1885, d 1950 is listed as 16 in the 1901 census. Maud went on to marry Hebert John Partridge.


    • admin:

      Hi Simon, Thank you for your input. I had Maud listed as Annie Maud, so that has been Corrected. Many Thanks, Janet

Leave a Reply for Simon Partridge