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I'm wondering if someone can explain the meaning of croft in the context of a 1702 will I have obtained.
In this will my ancestor Jacob Kinsey left "a close of 4 acres, plus another of 8 acres with two kiln fields and a button croft(sic) at Brightside Bierley."
The land was leased from the Duke of Norfolk therefore I'm assuming a "close" would be a section of a land or field for the lessee's use?
Would button croft in this context refer to a building? These properties were passed down to the next three generations.
Any suggestions for further research would be appreciated
Dictionary definition of Croft:
A small piece of arable land. A small farm.
Here's a link to a 1902 article by Robert Leader, which as well as explaining some of the names of Sheffield places refers to to history of Button Croft. A croft was a field, and Button Croft would have been north of the river Don, near Neepsend. (Examples of similar fields to the south would be the Colson Croft and Long Croft, both next to the Kellam Wheel. Later the crofts in the centre of Sheffield were built on and the streets took the name of the original croft, in due course this area become a notorious slum area, known as "The Crofts".
You may find the following link of interest when it comes to old occupations etc.
Sorry hyperlink is not working so just do an internet search for: Index of Old Occupations and the Hall Genealogy website should come up..click on 'C' for crofters and anything else you may like to explore.
Looks like the link did materialize.