St. Mary's Church, Nantwich, Cheshire, England
  

The Illidge family comes from the area around Nantwich, Cheshire, southeast of Liverpool and Chester. Richard, our oldest known Illidge ancestor, was born in the village of Weston in the parish of Wybunbury, Cheshire, in 1637.1 A lot is known about Richard because he was a prolific writer in his later years, writing mostly about religious matter, but also about his early life.2

He was a younger son in a family with four sons. At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed to a shoemaker. When his apprenticeship was done he followed this trade for a number of years living in various places, including London, after which he returned to Nantwich about 1660-1661. He married a local woman, Mary, daughter of Richard Price, and the widow of William Minshull. When he was about forty years old he "took a rack lease of a farm called Cheer Brooke in Stapeley, near Nantwich and lived there for the next thrity years." [A rack rent refers to an excessive amount of rent which a landlord charged to a tenant]. He lived on this farm for the next thirty years.3

Richard had four sons and he outlived all of them except his son George. He also raised children from his wife’s first marriage. He joined the Cheshire Militia and remained a member for fifty years. Unfortunately, he drifted into a life of “drunkeness and profanity” until he finally found his salvation in God and gave up his “wicked ways.” He wrote many papers about living a moral and virtuous life, but he also wrote words of advice to his three granddaughters, in their teens at the time: Elizabeth, Mary, and Martha. He advised them to be loving and dutiful to their father, George. He wrote of their mother, a pious and good woman who died when they were very young. He mentioned his three brothers, all dead by then. He was sixty-seven at the time, about 1704.4 He died a few years later, on 12 June, 1709, and was buried in the Churchyard at Wybunbury, Cheshire.5

His son, George, was the executor of his will. Most of his estate went to his wife and his son. He left his oldest grandchild, Elizabeth Illidge, a silver tankard and a large new Bible. Her two younger sisters received a guinea each. The Minshull children were also mentioned in the will: Richard, Thomas, Elizabeth and Ann.6 Elizabeth Illidge’s husband, John Spurstow, left a silver tankard to his grandson in his will. Perhaps this was the same tankard that Elizabeth’s grandfather bequeathed to her.

Richard’s son, George, was christened in 1663.7 His first marriage, to the mother of his three daughters, was possibly to an Ellen Seavill in 1686. This would have been the year before the oldest daughter, Elizabeth, was born. An Ellen Illidge was buried in 1691 in Nantwich, the same year that the youngest daughter, Martha, was born.8 Elizabeth’s son, George Spurstow, named his first daughter Ellen.

In 1693, George married again, to Mary Croxton.9 They had no children.

Elizabeth married John Spurstow in 1716 in Bunbury, Cheshire.10 The Spurstow family goes back many generations in Bunbury, but John was a merchant from Chester, Cheshire. Elizabeth and John had two sons, George and John. Elizabeth died in 1757, a widow, and left a will. John wrote a will in 1749 but it was not probated until 1769 according to evidence found so far. They both mention their two sons, George and John. Our line descends through the oldest son, George, who was an apothecary in Chester.

Related Links
Descent report for Richard Illidge, 4 generations
The Spurstow Family of Cheshire, England
John Spurstow and Elizabeth Illidge of Chester, Cheshire, England
Marriage Allegation Bond and License of John Spurstow & Elizabeth Illidge, 1716, Bunbury, Cheshire


  1. An Account of the Life and Death of Lieutenant Illidge, by Reverend Mr. Matthew Henry, 1710, accessed at Google Books; the book is based on the diary and papers of Richard Illidge of Nantwich, Cheshire, England, p.1, "He was born in Weston, in the Parish of Wibunbury in Cheshire."
  2. The Life and Writings of Lieutenant R. Illidge of Cheer Brook.., in the Township of Stapeley, Parish of Wybunbury, and County of Chester. New Edition, corrected and improved, by John Twemlow, Manchester, 1836. Accessed at Google Books,
  3. An Account of the Life and Death of Lieutenant Illidge, by Reverend Mr. Matthew Henry, 1710, accessed at Google Books; the book is based on the diary and papers of Richard Illidge of Nantwich, Cheshire, England, p.1, "He was born in Weston, in the Parish of Wibunbury in Cheshire."
  4. An Account of the Life and Death of Lieutenant Illidge, by Reverend Mr. Matthew Henry, 1710, accessed at Google Books; the book is based on the diary and papers of Richard Illidge of Nantwich, Cheshire, England, p.1, "He was born in Weston, in the Parish of Wibunbury in Cheshire."
  5. Parish Registers: Nantwich, Cheshire, England, 1539-1963, FHL MF 2105029, img 251: Richard Illidge, Yeoman, buried at Wibunbury 14 June 1709.

    The Life and Writings of Lieutenant R. Illidge of Cheer Brook.., in the Township of Stapeley, Parish of Wybunbury, and County of Chester. New Edition, corrected and improved, by John Twemlow, Manchester, 1836. Accessed at Google Books, In the section called "Of His Death And Burial" his last days and his death are described.
  6. Original wills, bonds, and inventories for Chester only, 1492-1858, Church of England. Diocese of Chester. Consistory Court, FHL MF 2107568, imgs 309-314: Will of Richard Illidge, 29 Apr 1709.
  7. Parish Registers: Nantwich, Cheshire, England, 1539-1963, MF 2105029, img 35, George Illidge christened 4 Jan 1662 [1663], son of Richard Illidge.
  8. England, Cheshire Parish Registers, 1538-2000, FamilySearch.org database; marriage of George Illidge and Ellen Seavill, 27 July 1686, Nantwich, Cheshire, England. Extracted from FHL MF 2105029, from records in the Record Office, Chester, Cheshire.
  9. England, Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1598-1900, FamilySearch.org database; burial of Ellen Illidge, 6 Aug 1691, Nantwich, Cheshire, FHL MF 1786141, img 151. Her burial is also recorded in the Parish registers.
  10. England, Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts, 1598-1900, FHL MF 1850126, img 319: George Illidge Jr married Mary Croxton 15 Apr 1693, Wibunbury, Cheshire.
  11. Marriage Bond: John Spurstow & Elizabeth Illidge, 1716, FHL MF 1885445, England, Cheshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, J-Y 1716, John Spurstow, merchant, of Chester, 21 Oct 1716, intent to marry Elizabeth Illidge, of Stapeley, Wibunbury, spinster.

    Marriage Record: John Spurstow and Elizabeth Illidge, 1716, Bunbury, Cheshire, England, 4 Nov 1716. FHL MF 1655425, Bishop's Transcripts for Bunbury, John Spurstow, merchant, of Chester, and Elizabeth Illidge of Stapeley, parish of Wibunbury, both age 21 or older, married by license.

    Bishop's Transcripts: Bunbury, Cheshire, England, 1598-1900, FHL MF 1655425. Indexed in FamilySearch.org database as John Sparstow and Eliz. Neidge; married 4 Nov 1716, Bunbury, Cheshire.




Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
Photographs and web page content, Copyright © 2002- , Anne Field, all rights reserved.
Please feel free to link to my web page. Please do not copy and paste my images on other websites. For permission to use any pictures or content on my web pages, please email me at

4 Oct 2018

[home|spurstow]