Sheffield Indexers

Welcome to our forum ~ please post your questions below.

Sheffield Indexers
Start a New Topic 



Hi Janice,
Not sure how much information you have already but there are records on this site over to your left and on Family Search, also a Tree on Fam.Search (buyer beware)

F.S. records two births for an Elizabeth Reaney
one baptized 7th Aug/1803 at St. James Ch. Norton, parents: John Reaney and Ann

the second baptized 15th May, 1803 at St.James/Norton. Parents: John Reaney and Elizabeth. OF NOTE: on Fam.Search, there is a St.James, Norton marriage between John Reaney and Elizabeth Jones on Nov/8th/1802.

Sheff.Index.: Has 9 baptism records for what could be the children of Elizabeth & John (cutler) above, taking into account the marriage year you gave us of 1821. The first recorded child was bapt. Feb/1822..

Also on S.I. a much older Norton marriage record dating back to 1673 between Esther Reney and John Bower.

A "could be of interest" death/burial record at Norton for John Reaney, 11th June 1833 (age 63(B:abt.1770).

HAPPY HUNTING:sleuth_or_spy:


Hello Wendy:

Thank you for writing back to me and everyone who has read my post. I know a lot about massachusetts gengealogy as I have alot of early new england ancestry mayflower ect. What I do not have is the knowledge about how to reach the sheffield area. As I have learned each region has its own unique way of finding things. That being said I am very grateful for any help that I can recieve. In the 1840 mass census the john bowers/elizabeth reaney are not living there but in the 1850 mass census widow elizabeth had married a edwin polleck. This marriage did not occur in massachusetts. I have not found it sheffield area either...could be there I just do not know for sure. in the 1841 census i can not find john bower or edwin's famili family.

This there family histories or early settlers of sheffield books that list the genealogy of early families there?....Is there a bower or reaney books listing the descendants of the first person with that name in the region. i.e the descendants of piligrim myles standish first five generations or early families of watertown mass.

What is the best paper in the sheffield area to look for death notices in the late 1830's early 1840's? Do not have a clue on that one.

Janice Graves in Boston Massachusetts.

p.s If you are looking for anyone in the towns of Hatfield, Deerfield, Greenfield, Hatfield, Buckland or Shelburne or Amherst Massachusetts I can help you out.....


Hi Janice,

Just to add to Wendy's great reply.

Are you aware that Norton was in Derbyshire and not Yorkshire at that time.

I believe it was on a census I saw on Family Search that Elizabeth had another child in the household not called Bower. Is it possible that Elizabeth had been married prior to her marriage to John Bower.?

It's unfortunate that our marriages for St Jame Norton only cover 1559-1812.
Baptisms 1559-1620.... 1813-1846.

*Is there anyone on the Forum that has the marriages from 1812 onwards please.*

The Reany name perked my interest as I have "Reany" in my tree but a much more recent line. They came from the Bradfield/Wadsley side of Sheffield.

Can I ask how you know her history which has taken you to Norton? How old was she at death.

Elaine in Ottawa.

norton bower

Daughter of John (James) and Elizabeth (Rebecca?) Reaney. Baptized 3 Feb 1805 in Derbyshire.

On 23 April 1821, she married John Bower at Norton, Derbyshire..

As a widow, she married Edwin Poulton. She immigrated to America with Edwin and her seven children. Her grandson (son Thomas's son Edwin Thomas Bower) is buried in the same plot as his grandmother, Elizabeth Poulton.

Gravesite Details
Died AE 66 yrs. Late wife of Edwin (Poulton)

Re: norton bower

This fron the Find a graves website --- arm cemetery buckland/shelburne falls ma

Daughter of John (James) and Elizabeth (Rebecca?) Reaney. Baptized 3 Feb 1805 in Derbyshire.

On 23 April 1821, she married John Bower at Norton, Derbyshire..

As a widow, she married Edwin Poulton. She immigrated to America with Edwin and her seven children. Her grandson (son Thomas's son Edwin Thomas Bower) is buried in the same plot as his grandmother, Elizabeth Poulton.

Gravesite Details
Died AE 66 yrs. Late wife of Edwin (Poulton)

Her mass death record states that her parents are john reaney and elizabeth ( )...

The 4/23/1821 date given about matches in the church records

She married second edwin poulton. I can not find there marriage in england or in america. In the 1850 mass census elizabeth is living will Edwin and three children. The children I have not investiaged if they are elizabeth childen

Re: norton bower

The details of 6 of Elizabeth's children from the Find A Grave website match pretty well perfectly the baptisms Wendy found (see parish records over to left) which show that John Bower was a Cutler (perhaps more specifically a Blade Forger). The 7th one, Mary Bower can be found on GRO index website:
GRO Reference: 1841 M Quarter in ECCLESALL BIERLOW UNION Volume 22 Page 113.

The nice thing about this is you can purchase the birth cert (£7) as a pdf and get it by email in a few days. That should give you info on both father and mother and their address in 1841.

If John Bower was already a cutler in 1821/2 then he must be on the Apprentice and Freeman's alphabetical list (see link over to the left)
These records are a little complicated to deconvolute. In the case of John Bower there are several possibilities, BUT the youngest one was born about 1786 and the oldest about 1755. So if John the cutler died in the late 1830s to early 1840s he would be at least 54 and possibly in his 80s. The GRO index shows 2 possibilities
GRO Reference: 1843 S Quarter in SHEFFIELD Volume 22 Page 361
GRO Reference: 1839 S Quarter in ECCLESALL BIERLOW UNION Volume 22 Page 84

If he was the second one he would not be the father of Mary.
These death certs can be purchased (£7 each) from GRO as PDFs delivered by email in a few days. They will show who reported the death, address of death and, possibly, occupation of deceased.

I note that the Grave Site reference says Elizabeth Reaney was baptised (born?) 1805 which would make her 16 when she married.
Also note that the same reference indicates her "marriage" to Edwin Poulton was 1843. Perhaps they just got together, or could they have been married at sea during the crossing to Boston?


Elizabeth reaney bowers poulton mass death record lists her parents john and elizabeth( )Reaney. Does that help in anyway...


The gravesite details say her parents were:
john (James) and Elizabeth (Rebecca).
Whoever provided those details, presumably after her death, did not know which.
There are the following records at St James Norton,

15 May 1803 Elizabeth Reaney Father John, Mother Elizabeth (Already reported by Wendy)
7th Aug 1803 ditto Father John, Mother Ann ditto
3rd Feb 1805 ditto Father James,Mother Rebecca

REANEY Elizabeth 8 Mar 1826 Age 20 Greenhill
REANEY Elizabeth 16 Dec1829 Age 25 Greenhill
REANEY Elizabeth 11 Dec1831 Age 28 Hemsworth

Note that your Elizabeth Bower nee Reaney had her first child at Greenhill and her second at Meadowhead
It is clear that someone, after her death, has tried to find her origins, and that is what they have put up on the gravesite. They have assumed her age at death is correct (which may not be accurate) and they have assumed, because she was married in Norton, she was born there. Therefore they have looked for baptisms in Norton in the right period and come up with 2, with John and Elizabeth or James and Rebecca as parents. As you can see there is a third possibility. If we now look at deaths in Norton we find that, potentially, all 3 of those Elizabeths died before age 30.
So, potentially, your Elizabeth may be any one of those 3 baptisms, or none of them.



Her death certificate in massachusetts says her parents are john reaney and elizabeth ( ). her age was given 64 years and 5 months....death date of 7/23/1869.......that indicates

that she was born febraury 1805.....


Janice. You have her death cert. That is new info, and better info. Now we can progress.
Can you tell us please who registered the death.?


Source Information.,,,, Massachusetts, U.S., Death Records, 1841-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2013.

and massachusetts in the town of buckland massachusetts

Elizabeth Poulton
in the Massachusetts, U.S., Death Records, 1841-1915
Massachusetts, U.S., Death Records, 1841-1915

Detail Source
Name: Elizabeth Poulton
[Elizabeth Reany]
Gender: Female
Age: 64
Birth Date: abt 1805
Birth Place: England
Death Date: 23 Jul 1869
Death Place: Buckland, Massachusetts, USA
John Reany
Elizabeth Reany

There was no witness to the death...


massachusetts 1850 census shelburne is the town next to buckland

Elizabeth Poulton
in the 1850 United States Federal Census

View1850 United States Federal Census

Detail Source
Name: Elizabeth Poulton
Gender: Female
Race: White
Age: 46
Birth Year: abt 1804
Birthplace: Massachusetts
Home in 1850: Shelburne, Franklin, Massachusetts, USA

Inferred Spouse:
Edwin Poulton
Inferred Child:
Sarah A Poulton
William Poulton
Mary Poulton
Household Members (Name) Age
Edwin Poulton
Elizabeth Poulton 46
Sarah A Poulton 13

William Poulton 13

Mary Poulton 9

1850 census buckland


You do not have the death cert. That will give the informant. It costs $3 from state archives.


Janice, lots of errors on that 1850 census. She was not born in Massachussets and her daughter Sarah Ann was 19 not 13.
Have you looked for her other children on the US 1850 census? They were, with ages in 1850 :

Bower, Charlotte 27

Bower, Charles 25

Bower, Thomas 22

Bower, Louisa 17.

I suppose it is possible they were known as Poulton and perhaps Charlotte was married.



The mass vital before 1910 were not in a long there is no other information on the them

Yes there are also mistakes on census....I have the marriage records form the children listed and most of there death records. The father is john and the mother is elizabeth reaney.....



There is no doubt about the following facts, all at St James Norton
Elizabeth Reaney married John Bower, a cutler, more specifically a table blade forger. on 23rd April 1821
Their son HENRY was baptised on 17th Feb 1822
A further 10 children followed. we have the baptism records for 9 of them, most of which also record birth date. They are
Charlotte 1823, Charles 1825, John 1826, Thomas 1828, Elizabeth 1830, Sarah Ann 1831, Louisa 1833, James 1836, William 1837.
The 10th was Mary, for whom we have the Birth registration in Q1 1841.
I have death records (in infancy) for John, Elizabeth and James and at your end there are the detailed further life stories of 7 of them, mainly from death and marriage records and of Elizabeth herself. When comparing some of the so-called facts from these records there are many errors in reported birth dates for the children.
So the Elizabeth Poulton who died in Mass in 1869 was without doubt the Elizabeth Reaney who married John Bower in St James Norton in 1821. The mystery we are trying to solve is who were her parents. The informant on her death was almost certainly Edwin Poulton, and he was very quick to remarry. Did he really know who her parents were?

Turning now to Elizabeth's first born son HENRY. I have his marriage certificate at St James Norton in Sept 1839. He said he was 18, his bride Lucy Marsden was 16 and Henry was a Table Blade Forger whose father was John Bower, also a Table blade forger. They had a child Joseph in Q1 1840 so Lucy was pregnant at the marriage. The baptism for Joseph is in our parish records over to the left
There are no further children to this couple in UK. They disappear from UK records, just like the rest of Henry's family.
It looks like they all finished up in Boston between 1841 and 1845 at latest (Charlotte had a child there in 1846 and Charles married there in 1846). Did John Bower go with her and pass away en route?
Maybe Edwin Poulton met up with them in Boston.
Can you find any trace of Henry, Lucy and Joseph in Mass?

vt and mass vital records

I can research the mass records pretty easily....and live about 15 minute walk to boston public libray and new england historical and genealogical society......Henry married in vernon vt.....I found it in the civil war pension pAPERs FOR his wife. I do not recall if the marriage is in vt vital records....right now as I type this....I do not have my paper work in front of me.........Interesting that Henry had a marriage at a young age. I did not know that :)


On the 1841 census at Keetons Hill, Sheffield, there is a Lucy Bower aged 15yrs and a
Joseph Bower aged 1yr.
They are living with the Marsden family, Head of household is John Marsden, aged 46yrs and
he is a gardener and his wife is Mary Marsden aged 46yrs.

On the 1855 census in Franklin, Mass., USA there is a Henry Bowers aged 35yrs (1820), he is
a labourer born in England.
I can't make out the name of his wife, and there are also 6 children all born in Mass.


Re: vt and mass vital records

Hi Janice et al,
To add to Moira's finds.

1860 Census for Buckland/Franklin/Massachusetts

HENRY BOWERS 38 (est. 1822) England Occ: Table Cutter (poss.Cutler)
living with:
HULDAH BOWERS 37 (abt.1823) Massachusetts
HENRY BOWERS 15 (abt.1845) ditto
WILLIAM BOWERS 13 (abt. 1847) ditto
JAMES BOWERS 11 (abt.1849) ditto
ERNEST BOWERS 9 (abt.1851) ditto
HERBERT BOWERS 5 (abt.1855) ditto
FRANCIS BOWERS 2 (abt.1858) ditto
SUSAN RYTHER 40 (abt.1820) ditto

It looks to me as if HENRY BOWER possibly abandoned his wife LUCY (nee Marsden) and son JOSEPH and took off to America.

Meanwhile ELIZABETH (53) AND EDWIN(43)POULTON on the 1860 USA Census are living at Shelburn/Franklin/Massachusetts.

HAPPY HUNTING:sleuth_or_spy:

Re: vt and mass vital records

Janice et al
What great finds by Moira and Wendy. Just to complete the picture on Lucy and Joseph:
Joseph remained with his Marsden grandparents through 1851 and 1861 and in 1871, now married, his Marsden grandmother was with him.
Lucy married to Robert Pearson in 1850. They are on the 1851 and 61 censuses. They had no children. Lucy was a widow (greengrocer) in 1871 and in 1881 she was with son Joseph. She died in 1890.
The 1860 Mass census shows clearly the unreliability of the age of lizabeth Bower nee Reaney as variously reported in Mass. We have 3 birth years of 1807, 1805 and 1803. And of ourse Elizabeth had good reason to tell her much younger "husband" Edwin that she was younger than she may have been.
I can think of only one more slim possibility of finding more clues about this couple.
The birth registration in 1841 of Mary Bower (mother maiden name Reaney) in Ecclesall Bierlow (part of Sheffield) can be purchased online from the UK GRO (General Registry Office). It will cost £7 and will be delivered to your email address within 1 to 2 weeks of ordering. It will contain, at least, the following info:
Name of child, Address of birth, Name of father, name and maiden name of mother, name of informant.
The address could be a clue and, if you are lucky, the informant could be John Bower.
If you need help ordering that please just ask us.

Re: vt and mass vital records

The bower family moved to buckland, Franklin county....and not to be confused with franklin, Norfolk county.

Re: vt and mass vital records

This is the Henry Bower who married Lucy marsden

Henry Bower

Birth Date: 3/25/1818 (england select birth and christening 1538-1975) his parents are william and mary

Death Date: 27 Sep 1849
Cemetery: Sheffield General Cemetery
Burial or Cremation Place: Sheffield, Metropolitan Borough of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England find a grave

He is the henry in parishes records born 1818.......

also the charles bowers who married in 4/3/1845 acton mass parents were sam and mary (mass vital records 1840-1910). mass vr and he died woburn ma 1879..she married mary haywood.

family trees in ancestry says joseph stayed england and did marry

there is no charlotte bower/s marrying in massachusetts 1846 vital records.

None of the above people match who the parents and ancestry of Henry bower who was the son of John and elizabeth reaney

Re: vt and mass vital records

The original marriage record for Henry Bower to Lucy Marsden on 30th Sept 1839 at Norton Parish Church is on FMP.
It clearly states:
Henry Bower, Bachelor, age 18, Table Blade Forger, address New George Street, Father's name JOHN BOWER, table blade forger.
Lucy Marsden, Spinster, Age 16, address Heaton's Hill, Highfield, Father's name Samuel Marsden, Gardener.
Therefore the correct Henry is NOT the one born 1818 and buried in General Cemetery in 1849.

Here are the baptism records (in chronological order) of John and Elizabeth's children (from our Parish Records over to the left:
Bower, Henry (of Greenhill, born ~).
Baptised February 17, 1822, by ~ at St James, Norton.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

Bower, Charlotte (of Meadowhead, born ~).
Baptised August 31, 1823, by ~ at St James, Norton.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

Bower, Charles (of Sheffield, born 1825-02-17).
Baptised March 13, 1825, by William H Vale at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

Bower, John (of Sheffield, born 1826-09-11).
Baptised October 1, 1826, by W H Bull at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Blade Maker).

Bower, Thomas (of Sheffield, born 1828-08-15).
Baptised September 14, 1828, by E Goodwin at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

Bower, Elizabeth (of Sheffield, born 1830-02-28).
Baptised May 2, 1830, by J Gibson at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

Bower, Sarah Ann (of Sheffield, born 1831-09-10).
Baptised November 6, 1831, by W Harris at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (cutler).

Bower, Louisa (of Sheffield, born 1833-07-16). Death record says 17th July 1834
Baptised September 1, 1833, by E Goodwin at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

Bower, James (of Sheffield, born 1836-03-09).
Baptised April 3, 1836, by Wm Carter at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

Bower, William (of Sheffield, born 1837-05-21). Death record says 12th March 1837
Baptised June 18, 1837, by J Gibson at Sheffield Parish Church, Church Street, Sheffield.
Parents name(s) are Elizabeth & John (Cutler).

There is no baptism record for their daughter Mary, but there is a birth registration at GRO
BOWER, MARY mother maiden name REANEY
GRO Reference: 1841 M Quarter in ECCLESALL BIERLOW UNION Volume 22 Page 113

The above list shows that John and Elizabeth moved from Norton to central Sheffield between 1823 and 1825


Re: vt and mass vital records

Thanks everyone who helped me solve this great family mystery. janice

Re: vt and mass vital records

While looking at your problem I wondered how and why a cutler from Sheffield with a large family would travel to a specific place in Massachussetts in the 1840s. How could he afford the fare for himself and all his family members? Why Franklin county Massachussetts?.
They could not have randomly set off from Sheffield for USA. When they set off they must have known where they were going.
The answer in fact is very simple. In 1834 a man called John Russell built a cutlery factory called Green River Works on the Green River in GREENFIELD, Franklin County Mass. This was one of the earliest cutlery factories in USA.
When cutlery manufacture in USA was in its infancy in 1830s/40s, the factory owners were desperate for experienced cutlers, but there were none in USA. They had agents in Sheffield who would persuade experienced cutlers to emigrate to USA by paying the fares for them and their families, and when they got there they would pay them higher wages than the local employees.
In the case of John Bower and family, the John Russell Works was getting the already experienced John Bower, his experienced 19 year old son Henry and also Charles (16 so with about 6 yrs experience) and 13 yr old Thomas with about 3 yrs experience. That seems to me like an excellent investment.
I note that Henry Bower married (bigamously) Huldah Carey in Vernon, Vermont in 1843. Vernon is just a few miles north of Greenfield on the Green River.
Crossing the Atlantic at that time was a perilous journey of 6 weeks or more and disease was rife. It is possible that John may have passed away on board.
I think you can be pretty certain that Edwin Poulton became part of this family in USA.

sheffield to buckland massachusetts

Hi Dave:

I hope this article explains why someone may have moved to Buckland MA.

11/5/2017 greenfield recorder

Beginnings lamson and Goodnow company ---

The cutlery began on the Shelburne-side of Shelburne Falls, off Deerfield Avenue, in 1837. It was started by Silas Lamson, the inventor of the curved scythe snath — an innovation that allowed a worker cutting grass, grain or other tall crops to stand fully erect, making it easier on the back. In 1837, his two sons and Abel Goodnow were interested in making knives, which is the origin of the Lamson & Goodnow name.

The company grew steadily, adding new buildings in Shelburne Falls. Experienced cutlery workers were recruited from both Sheffield, England and Solingen, Germany. Descendants of these European workers were still employed by the company in 2009.

In 1851, the company moved to more spacious grounds, on the Buckland side of the Deerfield River, and by 1852, it employed 200 people, according to the Shelburne town history. The Lamson & Goodnow website says the company employed at least 500 workers during the Civil War and added tableware to its line of agricultural cutlery.