John Woodforde of Scaldwell

St Peter and St Paul, Scaldwell
St Peter and St Paul, Scaldwell

This page considers the pedigree published in Dorothy Heighes Woodforde's Woodforde Papers and Diaries which proposes the descent of the Ansford family from a John Woodforde of Scaldwell in Northamptonshire and his wife Alice.

The pedigree was intended to show the relationship of those members of the family mentioned in the book.  However, John of Scaldwell is not mentioned in the text and there is no source material provided to show evidence of a descent from him.

John Woodforde of Scaldwell is said to be the great-grandfather of Robert Woodforde of Old, Northamptonshire, and is the earliest member of the family listed.   Scaldwell is the neighbouring village to Old in north-west Northamptonshire.

The will of John Woodford dated 1517 mentions Agnes, his wife, and four children - Eusebius (Joseph), Katrine (or Katherine), Elizabeth and Alice.   The will also mentions his brother, Robert. 

The printed pedigree gives John of Scaldwell's wife as Alice, not Agnes.  It only lists a Robert as a son of John but adds 'many others'.   Coincidentally, the children of Robert Woodford and Ursula Woodford nee Colt (of Brightwell and Burnham in Buckinghamshire) have similar names, being listed in most pedigrees as Joseph, William, Maria, Katherine and Elizabeth.

More recent online family research suggests that John and Robert were twins and that John and Agnes had two other daughters, Julia and Mary who presumably predeceased their father.

His parents are given as John Woodford who was born in 1478 and a daughter of a member of the Sherard family who was born in 1430.  A branch of the Sherard family was located in Stapleford in Leicestershire in the fifteenth century. Robert Sherard was High Sheriff of Rutland in 1453 and Geoffrey Sherard succeeded to the role in 1468.

John Nichols (History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester) under Brentingby, reproduces a pedigree giving Elizabeth Woodford, daughter or sister of Sir Robert Woodford (1383-1455) as the wife of Laurence Sherard of Stapleford.  Under Ashby Folville, Nichols reproduces a pedigree by Francis Peck which gives Isabella as the wife of Laurence Sherard. 

Two of Sir Robert Woodford's six sons were named John. (John senior of Sproxton amd John Junior of Garthorpe) but there is no record of any of these sons except Thomas, the eldest, having married or having heirs. 

The only possible line would be from one of the above-mentioned John Woodfords, but there is no instance in any Leicestershire or Northamptonshire pedigree of a marriage of John Woodford to a daughter of a Sherard.


John Woodforde (born 1428) married a daughter of Sherard (born 1430).

Their twin sons were John Woodforde of Scaldwell (1460-1513) who married Agnes, and Robert Woodforde (born 1460).

John and Agnes' children were (possibly) Joseph, Katherine, Elizabeth, Alice, Julia and Mary.

The known ancestry of the Ansford family is:

Robert Woodforde who died 1574 at Old, Northants married Elizabeth Wymond who died 1576 in Old, Northants.  Their son:
Edward Woodforde married Marjorie Ragdale in 1562.  He died in 1604.  Their son:
Robert Woodforde (1564-1636) was born and died in Old, Northants.  He married Jane Dexter in 1603/4.  Their son:
Robert Woodforde (1606-1654) was born in Old, Northants and died in Northampton.  He married Hannah Haunch (1617-1698).  He was Court Steward of Northampton.   Their son:
Revd Samuel Woodforde DD.