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A few years ago, I took a photo of the gravestone of my 4x great grandparents, John Shillito and Sarah Newsam in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire. This is one of only two gravestones I have found of any of my direct ancestors, the other being Matilda Bird (nee Nelthorpe) in Grimston Norfolk. Unfortunately my photo is of very poor quality, but I did also record the text.

In Memory of John Shillito who died August 4th 1854 Aged 75

Also Sarah wife of John Shillito who died January 1st 1858 Aged 85 years


In the 1841 Census, John Shillitto (61, farmer [?] ), Sarah Shillitto (67), Joseph Shillitto (24) David Shillitto (22) and George Shillitto (8) are living in Scrooby.

The 1851 census shows John Shillitto (grocer, 70, born Tickhill, Yorkshire), wife Sarah Shillitto (76, born Styrrup, Nottingham) and grandson Joseph (16) still in Scrooby (and born there). A George Shillito, son of Ellen Shillito, was baptised there in 1836. He was living with John and Sarah in 1841, so it seems possible she was their daughter. I have found no later trace of Ellen or George.


The 1851 census says John was born in Tickhill, Yorkshire and was aged 70 (which would make his birth date around 1781). He might be a son of Joseph and Sarah Shillito, baptised in Clarborough, Nottinghamshire (8 miles south east of Scrooby and 12 miles southeast of Tickhill) on 19 July 1778.

A John Shillitoe married a Sarah Newsam in Misson (Nottinghamshire) on 25 February 180. Misson is 3 miles northeast of Scrooby.

As noted above, the 1851 census says Sarah was born in Styrrup. The ages given in the census (67 in 1841 and 76 in 1851) imply a birth date around 1775, perhaps as early as 1769 because of rounding down to 5 years in 1841. She is perhaps Sarah Newsom, daughter of James Carr and Sarah Newsom, baptised in Harworth on 21 July 1774. Although most of Styrrup was in the parish of Blyth, part of it was in the parish of Harworth.

John and Sarah’s children

Joahn and Sarah had the following children:

  • Mary Shillito (1801-1884). My 3 x great grandmother. Married Jonathan Kirk, moved to Everton, Nottinghamshire. 10 children.
  • John Shillito (1807), moved to Brightside Bierlow (Sheffield) by 1851. Hay dealer. Married Sarah (surname unknown, possibly one daughter)
  • Susanna Shillito (1809-1896). Married Joseph Roberts, 4 children, stayed in Scrooby.
  • George Shillitto (1812- after 1861). Married Ann Brown, 2 children. Shoemaker, moved to East Retford, then Ordsall (both in Nottinghamshire).
  • Thomas Shillitto (1815-1880). Labourer, then labourer at iron works, then groom and gardener, then inn keeper. Married Elizabeth Harrison in Doncaster in 1836. Moved to Park Gate, Rawmarsh, Rotherham. 11 children.
  • Ellen Shillitto (birth and baptism not found). Mother of George Shillitto, baptised in Scrooby 1836. George is on the census with John and Susannah Shillito in 1841 and 1851 and is listed in 1851 as their grandson. No other trace found of George or Ellen.
  • Joseph Shillitto (1817-1893). Married Sarah Roberts. [Is she a sister of Joseph Roberts above?] Stayed in Scrooby. Fruiter (1851), farmer 23 acres (1861), farmer (1871 and 1891), lunatic pauper (1881). 5 children.
  • David Shillitto (1819-1896). Stayed in Scrooby. Married Ann Gabbitas, 5 children with her. Then married Caroline Holmes. 10 children with her. publican (1851 ) famer (20 acres in 1861, 50 acres in 1871, 58 acres in 1881)

William Brewster of Scrooby, a pilgrim father

One of the pilgrim fathers who sailed to America on the Mayflower in 1620 was William Brewster, believed to have been born in Scrooby in about 1566. According to his memorial stone, he was patriarch of the pilgrims and their ruling elder from 1609-1644.

The following web site contains information abut celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower crossing and about the Pilgrims Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum, with information on Scrooby, the pilgrims flight to Holland, the Mayflower journey and the pilgrims’ early days in America. The Gallery also contains William Brewster’s study, a replica of what the room in Scrooby Manor may have looked like, and an audio of tales of William Brewster’s life.


There is an article about the history and geology of Scrooby, including brief references to surrounding places such as Scaftworth, Everton, Mattersey, Ranskill, Blyth, Barnby Moor, Styrrup, Bawtry and Austerfield, at  Some of these places appear in the life stories of some of my ancestors or their families.

The following post includes a map showing some of these places:

Follow up

  • Were Joseph Roberts and Sarah Roberts related to each other?
  • Was Ellen Shillito a daughter of John and Sarah? And what happened to Ellen and her son George?
  • Find out more about John Shillito (1807)

8 thoughts on “Scrooby

  1. It looks as though I am wrong about Susanna Roberts (1809-1896), wife of Joseph Roberts. She was born in Blyth and could be Susannah Piggot, not Susannah Shillito. To check.


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