(since I wrote this 4 years ago, I have answered some of the questions posed below - rather than rewrite it, I have added answers to those questions in red underneath the appropriate paragraph. TNS 2/2008)



STERNDALE is a Derbyshire name, but seems to have strayed over the border to Ashton Under Lyne, South East of Manchester, where the parish registers show many occurrences of the name. However, in the 1780’s two Thomas STERNDALEs married and then lived in the area north of central Manchester. One was a grocer, and had two daughters, whilst the other was a dyer, and had three sons, David, Thomas and James. It is unclear where these two came from and if they were related.

The Manchester Directories 1808-1817 show Thomas and David STERNDALE as “dyers”, for a time associated with a company called “STERNDALE & HORROCKS”. After 1817, the entries continue with just David, who ceases to be a dyer, and quotes several other occupations (Labourer, Warehouseman, Packer, Porter, Book Keeper). As David’s brother, Thomas would only have been 11/12 years old when these entries started, it is likely that these entries are Thomas the father, and David the son, and also that Thomas died c1817, which is why the entries for him stopped and David changed careers.

I have now found that Thomas' wife Ann died in 1817, but Thomas did not die until 1824.


By 1817, David had already started his own family (son James, probably named after his uncle who died age 5). James was born in May 1810, but not baptised until 1812, a convenient gap, during which his parents David and Martha (WEATHERBY) had time to get married. The only evidence of David and Martha’s true ages comes from later census’s, and is extremely confusing, because both vary by up to six years. If the earliest birth of Martha is to be believed, then she was only twelve when son James was born, however sixteen seems the most likely age.


The trade directories (and rent books) in Manchester continue to show David as resident in a street called “Red Bank”, in 1836 a Thomas STERNDALE (dyer) reappears in these trade directories, however this is David’s brother, returning, with three children, to the area (from where ?).

Thomas must have been in the area, his children where baptised there (and one buried, giving the same street address (Red Bank) as the rest of the family), so perhaps he started his own business c1836?.


In 1838, David’s son James married Sarah (WALTON). The couple had two sons (both Thomas after their grandfather, both of whom died in infancy) and two daughters (Martha and Sarah after their grandmother and mother), However the marriage was cut tragically short when mother Sarah died of breast cancer in 1852, leaving James with two daughters (age 11 and 5) to raise. It is likely that grandparents David and Martha raised the two girls (certainly Sarah is with them in 1861, by which time they had moved across the river Orwell to Salford).

Like his parents, and also his daughter Sarah, James and Sarah also had a pre marriage child (another Martha). However Martha died before her parents had actually married. Of their five children, only Sarah (later MacLEAN) is known to have survived, although the second daughter Martha disappears after 1851.


What happened in the seven years after 1861 is a mystery, somehow Sarah moved to London, where she gave birth to her first son, William in 1869. Did Sarah leave the slums of Manchester, to seek “streets paved with gold” ?, if so perhaps her sister Martha came with her (there is no trace of her after 1851). Whatever happened, Sarah had met William McLEAN, and William jnr. was the result

I have now traced Sarah's aunt Emma ( STERNDALE ) McGARVIE and her family to an address in Dean Street, Soho, London. This is very near where William McLEAN was living. It seems therefore that Sarah had moved to London and was probably living with her aunt when she met William. Emma died in 1868, and her children had returned to Manchester by 1971, so presumably Sarah was left on her own in London.


Three months before the birth, Sarah’s father James had died of “senile decay” (age 59) in the Salford Workhouse hospital. In Oct. 1870 William and Sarah married and, on their marriage certificate, Sarah does not list her father as “deceased”, it is possible that, having left home, she did not even know that her father had died (perhaps she wanted to keep the baby a secret from her family, however she would not have had to keep the secret for very long, as baby William had died when only 1 month old). 


On baby William’s birth certificate, Sarah gave her name as “Sarah McLEAN formerly STERNDALE” , this was not true, however the address given on both birth and death certificates ( 66 Dean St.) seems to indicate that they were living together.  The marriage may have been delayed until William was 21, however when it did take place it was in Lambeth, on the other side of the Thames. Both William and Sarah gave (false ?) addresses near the church, so perhaps they married outside their own parish, to hide their unmarried status from the neighbours, when they returned to 66 Dean St. where they were resident for the 1871 census.


In Manchester, David and Martha continued to be surrounded by their children and grandchildren until they died (1877 & 1873), however as James was their only son to have children (George may well have died young, as there is no trace of him after baptism), and these grandchildren were girls, the name petered out in that part of Manchester.

There is a grave in St. John's church Manchester, which is the resting place of ; Ann (was WARDLEWORTH) her sons James and David, and David's wife Martha. Ann's husband Thomas may also be there (he was buried in that church), the transcript is unclear.



There is no baptism/ birth record for David, to confirm his parentage as Thomas and Ann, neither did they appear together on any census (too early). However when Thomas (son of Thomas) returned to Manchester in 1838, he took up residence near the old family home. When he died in 1844, David registered the death, this indicates to me that they were close relations, whilst this could be cousins, the fact that David appears to have been in business (or at least worked for ) Thomas snr, indicates that they were father and son.

This baptism has now been found. It is recorded as David STENDALE. It seems certain that this is the correct David because his mother (Ann WARDLESWORTH) was baptised in the same church - Cross St. Presbyterian, which is very close to all the other family addresses.




Where did the two Thomas’s come from?, how did they arrive (almost) together in North Manchester ?, are they related ?. Like all industrial centres at this time, large numbers of men (and their families) were attracted from the surrounding regions, particularly from the agricultural industry. It is entirely possible that these two (related or not) were from the farming areas of Derbyshire, but as there is nothing recorded which indicates their place of birth, proof of this seems impossible.

IGI shows 2 Thomas STERNDALES born in Derbyshire at about the correct time. One, from Hartington, became a quite wealthy grocer, and his family tree has been traced on another web site, so I presume 'our' Thomas is the other one, from Tideswell, baptised on 12 Oct. 1763. This date corresponds with Thomas' burial reference in Manchester.

As the two Thomas's were from different villages (not close together), then they are probably not related.

In 1861, James is not with his daughter (Sarah, who is with her grandparents). However nearby in Salford the census lists a couple “James and Susan STEVENDALE”, James is of the correct age and occupation to be Sarah’s father (although the birthplace is wrong). The name STEVENDALE does not occur anywhere else on the various Internet genealogical databases, so this is probably a transcription error by the enumerator. It seems likely to me that this is James with a new partner (there is no marriage in the index), however as he died before the next census there is no way to confirm this.


Sarah’s sister Martha (named after her grandmother) is missing on the 1861 census. She would have been aged 20 at this time, so it is likely that she would have been working (e.g. as a domestic servant), however there is no record of either  a death or a marriage for her, so what happened to her is a mystery (it is possible she set up home with a man, omitting the formal ceremony, and perhaps emigrated).


David and Martha started their family very young in 1810. Last child Charlotte was born in 1839. For a long time I presumed that this gap meant that there were two “David and Martha’s”. However Charlotte’s birth and marriage certificates clearly indicate who her parents are, so Martha appears to have been having children for 29 years (to age c47 !). this presumption is complicated by the fact that there is another child, Sarah Ann, who died in Dec. 1838 age 6 months. Unfortunately this Sarah Ann was born just before official birth certificates started, so her parents are not known, however David registered the death as her father. Clearly Martha cannot be mother to both daughters, else she would have been pregnant with Charlotte, 2/3 months before the birth of Sarah Ann, also she and David already had a daughter called Sarah Ann. My presumption is that one or both of these ‘daughters’ is in fact an unintentional granddaughter.



Search History


1881 census London - Sarah (born Manchester) married to Wm McLEAN, with children born Glasgow.


Glasgow birth certificate of son William George -gave Sarah’s marriage as “Waterloo Surreyshire”, and maiden name as STERNDALE.


London marriage certificate gave addresses near Waterloo


Long searches of earlier South London census’s,. for STERNDALEs in London – none found.


(IGI) 2 Sarah’s baptised about the right time in Manchester Cathedral, obtained birth certificate for most likely one – wrong (father’s name wrong).


Second certificate was from Accrington, 4 years before baptism in Manchester – this one was the correct Sarah.


From Sarah’s birth, could identify names of her parents James & Sarah, and from that their marriage certificate, giving father’s names.


Visit to Manchester Archives, found baptism records for siblings and parents. Also both Local directory and Rent books showing James with or near his father (David).


David’s birth a mystery – no baptism. So followed up a Thomas, who appeared nearby in 1836. His age indicates that he is the son of another Thomas (and Ann WARDLESWORTH). Thomas jnr. died in 1844, and David registered the death, so there is definitely a connection between them. As the earlier directories had indicated that David was in business (or at least working for) a Thomas, and David’s grandsons (by James) had both been named Thomas, it seems certain that Thomas and Ann were his parents as well as Thomas jnr’s.

David's baptism now found (see above), so relationship is proved.

Did check up the other Thomas from 1780’s, he was a wealthy grocer, his will leaves all to his two daughters (there is a photograph of one of them on the internet, when she married the year after her father’s death). I cannot find anything which connects the two Thomas’s, so may be a coincidence.

See above.


David and Martha’s other grandchildren can be found on 1881 and 1901 census’s, but all are descended from daughters, so the name in that part of Manchester died out.


Thomas jnr’s wife and children seem to have moved to Birmingham, where the name suddenly appears in the 1850’s.


Of the WALTON’s little can be proved, it is a common name in Lancashire (particularly Sarah). Elijah seemed more promising, and there are references to Elijah’s who are Labourers, Clock Makers, Skinners and Musicians. So far unable to sort out if this is one man or many.

   To Previous Page