NameRobert Sneyd [798], GGGG Grandfather
1Ann [798], GGGG Grandmother
ChildrenJohn (1803-)
 Harriett (1806-)
 Benjamin (1811-1866)
Notes for Robert Sneyd
This is a relatively tentative identification of Benjamin’s parents. The entry in the Burslem Parish Register reads “1811, Feb. 24, Benjamin, s. of Robert and Ann Sneyd (Tunstall)”. Now, the date, place of birth, and name all match up, which makes it likely, but not certain.

The other children of Robert and Ann also come from the Burslem Parish Register (which is freely available in searchable form online). But it is not possible to trace any more Sneyds in this line in the register. There are quite a lot of Sneyds, particularly in the 1600s and 1700s, but no indication of any relationship, of course. Lots of Bourne’s, also.

Since this is the earliest Sneyd I can find (in my direct line), a few general comments are in order. Burslem, Tunstall, and four other towns were the centre of the pottery trade for centuries, together with associated smaller hamlets such as Sneyd. As one might expect, there is a fairly fuzzy border between place names and surnames, with Sneyd, Bourne, Tunstall, etc, all being both places and surnames. Below I’ve reproduced some of the details from the Burslem Parish Register. Looking through this register is interesting. Sneyd was very often written Snead in the earliest entries (in the 1600s and 1700’s). There were quite a few Sneads then, but even more Bourne’s, which seems to have been a very common name. (Note that son Benjamin married Ann Bourne). So, there is little doubt that the origins of our Sneyd family line ultimately lie in the Burslem/Sneyd area, but it is unlikely that we’ll ever be able to say much more than that.

There is, of course, the well-known Sneyd family of Keele Hall, but they are no relation. Given that there were (almost certainly) a multitude of people who all named themself Sneyd, after the place they lived or worked or were born, that part of the country would be expected to be full of Sneyds, all unrelated.

From the Burslem Parish Register:
“ The Hamlet of Sneyd, which gave its name to the well-known family of Sneyd (Sneyd, of Sneyd, Bradwell, Tunstall, Keele, &c., one of our oldest English families), lies on the eastern side of the old township of Burslem ; it is mentioned in the foundation Charter of Hulton Abbey, a.d. 1223, when the Wood of Sneyd was granted to the Abbot and Monks along with the vills of Hulton and Rushton. Hulton Abbey, in the lordship of Hulton and in the parish of Burslem, was founded by Henry de Audley for Cistercian Monks.”

From Ward 'The borough of Stoke-on-Trent' 1842:
“The earliest mention we find of Sneyd, is in the Foundation charter of Hulton Abbey (A.D. 1223), in which the wood of Sneyd, (boscus de Sneade) was granted to the abbot and monks, along with the vills of Hulton and Rushton; and, though the hamlet has now lost its woodland features, they existed, partially, within living memory, and are still retained in various local names, viz. A farm called, THE WOOD, and lands called, the Chell-oaks (corrupted into Chellocks), and the Pen-oaks, (Pinnochs). We presume, too, that the proper name of the hamlet, when analysed, bespeaks its sylvan character; Sned, or Sneyd, being the past participle of the Anglo-Saxon verb Snidan, to cut; (the word Sned is still used in Scotland. Burns sends one of his coters to sned besoms on the moors.) and it may have denoted the place which supplied fire-wood, or bush-wood, for the use of the neighbourhood; perhaps for the earliest potteries existing here, before coals were introduced…..
The scythe, the armorial device of the lords of this and the adjoining townships, gives a sort of rebus of their surname, and affords a specimen of the ingenuity of the old heralds….
The principle (sic) estate in the hamlet of Sneyd is a farm of 150 acres or upwards, called emphatically "The Sneyd," belonging to the Earl of Macclesfield; and abounding, like all the rest of the hamlet, with mines of coal and ironstone, consisting of many separate strats, lying at various depths; five or six of which crop out, (i.e. rise to the surface)……"

Also see:
'Burslem: Buildings, manors and estates', in A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 8, ed. J G Jenkins (London, 1963), pp. 105-121

Some short quotes from the above source:
“The borough of Burslem consisted by 1910 of the townships of Burslem and Sneyd, Cobridge (formerly the vill of Rushton Grange), and 166 acres of the Sneyd Green portion of the lordship of Hulton, which were added to the borough in 1891. This area of 1,862 acres was bounded on the north by the urban district of Tunstall, on the south by the borough of Hanley, on the west by the parish of Wolstanton, where the Fowlea Brook formed the boundary then as now, and on the east by the urban district of Smallthorne.”

“Sneyd township, also called the Hamil by the 18th century from the name of the principal part (see below), occupied the north-east of the borough and amounted to some 550 acres in area. Although its name suggests a Saxon forest clearing, it was apparently still a woodland area, at least in part, in the early 13th century. There were at least three farms in Sneyd in the early 16th century, all owned by Hulton Abbey. By the 18th century the principal part of the township was around the Hamil, situated at what is now the north-east corner of Burslem Park. Hot Lane farther south, mentioned in 1669, was extensively built up on both sides by 1775, although most of the buildings there have been demolished. Moorland Road was constructed in 1820. There was little further development in the Sneyd area until the later 19th century … ”
Last Modified 14 Sep 2015Created 11 Sep 2016 using Reunion for Macintosh