Alderman Family

The Alderman Family of Swanbourne

By Neil Rees

The Alderman surname
There are a number of separate Alderman families around England, and it is the kind of surname that could have evolved independently in different places.  It comes from Anglo-Saxon and the use of the word alderman still survives as an honorary position for county councils.

Aldermans in Buckinghamshire
Today there are distinct Alderman families in the Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire area, also and also in Somerset and Hampshire.  There are records of Aldermans in Northamptonshire going back as far as usual church records go to the 1500s.  The Buckinghamshire Aldermans probably descend from Northamptonshire.  There are distinct Alderman families in Whitchurch, Beachampton, and Dadford.

Aldermans in Swanbourne
The first reference to an Alderman at Swanbourne is when Richard Alderman of Adstock who married Ann Green of Hoggeston at Swanbourne Church in 1773. They lived in Swanbourne and had six children including three sons: John Alderman (1773-1853), William Alderman (1775-1846) and Thomas Alderman (1782-1863), who are the ancestors of the descendant three Alderman family groups, with descendants who now live in England and Australia.

Family of John Alderman (1773-1854), 1st son of Richard
John Alderman, son of Richard and Ann Alderman, married Phillis Casemore (1775-1864) at Quainton Church in 1797.  They had nine children.

The Lee Family in Australia

Charlotte Alderman (1823-1895) daughter of John and Phillis Alderman married James Lee (1814-1886) of Weedon in 1854. The Lee family emigrated on the “Asiatic” to Queensland, Australia in 1855 and settled in Kilmore, and their descendants still live in Queensland.

Charles Alderman (1813-1885), son of John son of Richard
Charles Alderman, son of John and Phillis Alderman, married Hannah Tarry of Ashendon in 1830.  They had 15 children who were all christened at St Swithun’s, but in the 1860s the family joined the Primitive Methodist church in Nearton End. The first child was born when Hannah was 19 and the last when she was 45.  Charles and Hannah Alderman had at least 85 grandchildren at the time of the 1911 census. Charles Alderman was gored to death by a bull in 1885.

The Alderman brothers

The Alderman brothers, Stephen (left) and Philip (right)

The Willis Family
Sophia Alderman (1833-1921), daughter of Charles and Hannah Alderman, married William George Taylor (1833-1917) in 1861.  Their daughter Sophia Louisa Taylor (1871-1911) married Cornelius Willis (1863-1939) and they had eight children born at Swanbourne.  One of them, Mabel Willis, married Arthur White in 1940,and they lived at Nearton End next to her second cousin Fred Gurnett.  Many of the Taylor and Willis descendants still live locally.

Descendants of Charles & Hannah Alderman

Descendants of Charles & Hannah Alderman.  From the Left: FRONT ROW:- Philip Alderman, Ruth Rowe and John Price.  BACK ROW:- Jane Rowe, Brenda Buttterworth (nee Gurnett), Margaret Rees (nee Gurnett), Neil Rees, Stephen Alderman, Chris Gurnett.

The Gurnett Family
Charlotte Alderman (1839-1926), daughter of Charles and Hannah Alderman, married William Gurnett in 1862.  One of their daughters Hannah Rebecca Gurnett married her cousin Edward Alderman, son of Charles and Elizabeth Alderman.  Many of the Gurnett descendants live locally, including Ruth Rowe in Swanbourne.


The Pitkin Family link
Susanna Pitkin (1841-1921), daughter of Charles and Hannah Alderman, married Alfred Pitkin (1840-1913) in 1863 and they had 11 children at Swanbourne. Susanna’s sister Hannah Jane Alderman (1856-1927) married Alfred’s cousin Daniel Pitkin in 1880 and they moved to Oldham in Lancashire.

Joseph Alderman and the Peterborough Aldermans
Joseph Alderman (1843-1933) was the 8th child of Charles and Hannah Alderman.  He was a staunch Primitive Methodist and well educated. He married Louisa Claridge and set up business as a tailor in Swanbourne.  He was secretary of the Swanbourne Strike Committee in 1873.  In 1877 he established a business in Peterborough.  Their descendants still live around Peterborough.

Charles Alderman (1846-1925), son of Charles, son of John, son of Richard
Charles Alderman, 10th child of Charles and Hannah Alderman married his second cousin Elizabeth Alderman.  Their descendants still live in Swanbourne today and include John Price, and Stephen and Philip Alderman.

Family of William Alderman (1775-1846), 2nd son of Richard
William Alderman married Elizabeth Slemaker (1775-1847) in 1797 and they had 14 children including: Martha (1802-1829), Jane (1805-1853), William (1813-1895), Henry (1819-1901) and George (1821-1892).

Charles Alderman, emigrant to Australia
Charles Alderman (1823-1896) was the illegitimate son of Martha Alderman (1802-1829), daughter of William and Elizabeth Alderman.  He married Mary Eldridge of Great Kimble in 1839. In 1855 the family of Charles Alderman, aged 34, Mary aged 35, Francis aged 14, Anne aged 11, Martha aged 8 and Edmund aged 2 left Woodham, Huntingdonshire aboard the Samuel Boddington bound for Australia. They arrived on 19th February 1855. They had another son William who was “born on the voyage”, but who died soon after in Australia.   Charles Alderman died in 1896 in Bathurst, New South Wales and their descendants still live in Victoria and New South Wales.

William and Ann Alderman, emigrants to Australia
Jane Alderman (1805-1853) had an illegitimate son William Alderman (1830-1897).   Her sister Martha Alderman married William Cranwell and they had a daughter Ann Cranwell (1827-1856) born in Thornborough.

Ann Cranwell had an illegitimate daughter Elizabeth Ann Cranwell in1848, but then Ann Cranwell married her cousin William Alderman (1830-1897) in 1850. They had children Alfred Alderman 1851, and Edward Jabez 1853.  They emigrated on the Sultana and Ann Alderman died at sea on the Sultana on 11th April 1856 off the coast of north Africa, just north of the Equator. They arrived in Australia on 27th June 1856.  William Alderman died in Australia in 1897 in Gulgong, NSW.  His son Edward Jabez Alderman married Mary Jane Fox at Boonoo Boonoo, New South Wales in 1875 and died there in 1907 and their descendants still live in New South Wales.

Thomas Alderman  the convict
Thomas Alderman (1782-1863) 3rd son of Richard and Ann Alderman, was a horse driver and in 1805 he married Hannah Phillips and they had four children.

Thomas was caught stealing sheep and in July 1816 he was sentenced for transportation to Australia for 7 years.  Although freed from servitude in 1822 he remained in Australia and died in Sydney in 1863.

Ephraim Alderman (1836-1898), emigrant to Australia
Robert Alderman (1808-1885) son of Thomas and Hannah Alderman married Mary Ann Harding and they had four children including Ephraim Alderman (1836-1898).  Ephraim Alderman left Swanbourne in 1855 to go to Sydney on the “Asiatic” aged 18.  He married in Australia in 1860 where he had 10 children including two sons who are the ancestors of many Australian Aldermans.

lderman cousins looking at photos  John Price, Philip Alderman, Chris Gurnett, Margaret Rees (nee Gurnett)

Alderman cousins looking at photos John Price, Philip Alderman, Chris Gurnett, Margaret Rees (nee Gurnett)

Today there are still people called Alderman, and more with Alderman blood, living in Swanbourne, and many families all over England and in Australia whose Alderman roots come from Swanbourne.

Download in WORD :- Alderman Family tree charts compiled by Neil Rees

Alderman Family photographs (above) were taken at Neil Rees lecture at Swanbourne Village Hall, March, 2013.

family history, Bucks Herald, Swanbourne parish records; Alderman-Gurnett family Bible.


Charlotte Gurnett (nee Alderman) 1839-1926 – A strong Swanbourne woman.By Frankie Fisher – has been moved to the Interesting People Category

Read more about Thomas Alderman the convict, Charles Alderman, Joseph Alderman the tailor and Charlotte Gurnett under Interesting People.
Read more about the Gurnetts under Families

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