Family History Notebook


Index to Gatfords investigated in the course of my researches.


The poll for Knights of the Shire to represent the County of Sussex - 1774
Freeholder: John Gatford
Place of abode: Slaugham
Where freehold lies and of what consists: Slaugham, b. & l.

Occupier: Ed. Hills

The Danny archives By East Sussex Record Office, Judith A. Wooldridge(1966)
Manor of Tilgate [including]..messuage and lands called Little Forest and Black fold in occ. of John Gatford

Calendar of wills and administrations in the Archdeaconry Court of Lewes
Gatford, William, Slaugham, yeoman  10th Jan. 1624, 12th July 1625

Messuages, farm and lands (72a. 3r. 1p.) in Shipley, sometime in occ. of Richard Hurst, dec'd., and now in occupation of Walter Gatford   all properties as in an indnture 3 Oct. 1647

Receipt from William Kelsey and William Kelsey, jun. to 'brother' John Gatford for 100 for the land at 'Truckers Hatch' Add Mss 17055 6 January 1796

Conveyance (Lease and Release) for 100, with covenant to levy a fine Add Mss 17056, 17057 10, 11 August 1796

From (a) William Kelsey of Gatwick in Charlwood (co. Surr.), yeo. and William Kelsey, jun. (eldest son and heir of William Kelsey by his late wife Sall Kelsey decd., heretofore Sall Gatford, spinster, dau. of John Gatford of Slaugham, yeo., decd.), to (b) John Gatford of Slaugham, yeo., (son of said John Gatford)
Messuage, barn, hovel, orchard and close of land or meadow ground (4 a.) called Kelsey or Peacocks Meadow, near Truggers Hatch in Slaugham, now in occ. of Edward Hills, which properties were purchased by Richard Ware of Slaugham, collier, decd., and by him devised in his will to said William Kelsey and w. Sall, and the heirs of her body

Final Concord Add Mss 17058 Easter Term 1797

John Gatford, pl. v. William Kelsey, sen., William Kelsey, jun., Charles Jackman and w. Ann, and William Mills and w. Elizabeth
Two messuages, one barn, one stable, two curtilages, two gardens, two orchards and land (5 a.) in Slaugham and Billingshurst



General Gatford notes

Frank (born C1877)and Elsie Gatford and their children (Frank, Raymond, Arthur, Jessica and Olive) emmigrated to America, possibly C1930's. Frank's father was Benjamin Gatford and his mother Jane Worsfold. Looking for information to complete this section of my family's genealogical history as contact has been lost.


There was a Benjamin Gatford aged 10 living at Tyler's Green, Cuckfield, Sussex, England according to the 1851 census.

Sorry I don't have the full details, but he had 2 siblings, Elizabrth (7) and Arthur (3). All ages are approximate, as I came across the census entry at the end of a search session (inevitably), and had to scribble details down as the Family Records Centre in London was closing, Father's name was James Gatford (agricultural labourer), mother Mary.

James was baptised 15 November 1792 in Cuckfield, parents John (agricultural labourer) and Ann. James's siblings, all baptised in Cuckfield, were Ann (20 May 1792), Mary (1 May 1795), Sarah (17 December 1798), William (my wife's ancestor - 29 December 1799), Elizabeth and Susannah (1 May 1803).
All these baptism dates are from a brief transcription of the parish register in the library of the Society of Genealogists.
The baptisms of James and Ann are rather close together.

The LDS International Genealogical Index gives the following baptisms for children of William Gatford and Ann Wells in the parish of Slaugham, right next to Cuckfield: John (27 August 1786), Ann (21 June 1789), Elizabeth (10 March 1793)

I haven't been able to check whether this is a separate family, or the same one, possibly with some children being baptised in both parishes. It may have been easier to have them "done" twice rather than bother to explain to the vicar when they moved from one parish to another, and baptism in both places might enable the child to claim parish relief in both places (this would be a scam, but they might try it on!).


Benjamin Gatford was my Gt Grandfather. I have him listed a being one of 9 children of James & Mary - I have the names and approx. birth dates if you are interested.

I was not aware who James parents were, or of any siblings that he had. Therefore the details you gave take me back another generation, if not two.

I would love to get to Sussex to research further, but with 2 very young children, this will not be possible for sometime! I guess I can hope that the parish records for the appropriate parishes will be published at some point & I can get the information that way.

I would be interested in any other pieces of information that you might have.


Hi. Again. At last.

Sorry for the long delay - I was concentrating on my own family, and since my mother was born a Smith in a large city it can get time-consuming.

I'm still stuck at the same point on John Gatford and Ann - can't prove that the Cuckfield pair are the same as John Gatford and Ann Wells in Slaugham.. I'm 90 percent sure, but I'll have to get to Chichester to see the parish registers.

One other problem. I found a second James Gatford born in Cuckfield in 1794 to alter Gatford and Betty Picknell. He might be Benjamin's father, though judging by the census details for 1841 and 1851 James, son of John is still the best candidate. Again the parish records may help, though I know some of the Gatfords were Baptists and may be registered in the Baptist Church in Horsham.

IF John Gatford and Ann Wells are our ancestors, you are right about the LDS website entry for John, son of John Gatford and Sarah Ware. There is a lot ore about the Slaugham Gatfords there, but it may not be the complete picture. The problem is that Cuckfield parish is not very well covered, I have actually read the Slaugham parish register from about 1700 to 1820 and confirmed the LDS entries (give or take a spelling), as well as seeing the burial records. It is clear from this that people from Cuckfield and Slaugham used either church from time to time. You couldn't do that if you were dirt-poor, but John Gatford's father was a householder, Land Tax payer and had the vote. I also have some memorial inscriptions from Slaugham churchyard.

There are still Gatfords living in Sussex, though the only ones I know are some of my wife's cousins who have moved back there. They are interested in their ancestry, but they rely on me to do the research! I'm visiting some in the next week or so, so I suggest that after I've picked up as much as I can from them about the later bits of this branch, I'll email you direct with all the stuff I can assemble. Some details go back to about 1600 but I can't yet fit them all together, although they often shed an interesting light on the past.

Hope to get back soon, meantime I'll try to assemble all the data.



I hoped to get back earlier on this, but at last I've been able to make a quick visit to the Sussex County Records Office in Chichester and I think I have the answer to the parents of your ancestor James Gatford and my wife's ancestor William.

There were two John Gatfords married to wives named Ann; the one you have seen on the LDS International Genealogical Index lived in Slaugham and was from a family of farmers on their way up into the gentry, he was NOT "our" John. Although it is not in the IGI, there was a marriage in Cuckfield on 15 December 1788 between John Gatford, bachelor and Ann Lee, spinster, both of Cuckfield; this fits neatly with the first Cuckfield christening.
John was a butcher, but I haven't been able to find details of his birth. There are many more Gatfords burid in Cuckfield than were married or christened there; this may be simply due to their moving about a bit, or they may have been nonconformists, in which case the children may not have any christening record and they probably married away from their home parish. The only clue I have is that Walter Gatford (not alter, as in my previous reply) married Betty Picknell only ten days after John married Ann - they are in the IGI.
I have other dates, including (I think) some christenings in your line, but I haven't sorted them out properly yet, when I do, would you like me to send them to you?



My farther is arthur gatford. his father is frank. my family comes from England. father was born in surry, in 1910. I would like to contact family over in england to try and set up a family tree. If I can be of any help please let me know.

Yours truly

Malcolm F. Gatford


Malcolm, from the information given, it looks as if there is a good chance that we are related. I will check the date of birth of your father Arthur to see if it ties in with what I have, but certainly I have a Frank Gatford born c 1877 with a son called Arthur. Was your grandmother's name Elsie? I have a reasonably detailed tree, but there are many gaps.