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Stillington and District Community Archive

In the Heart of North Yorkshire

The Croft Family of Stillington

The earliest record that I can find of the Stillington Crofts is one Ralph Croft (circa 1518-1579) of East Witton, near Middleham, North Yorkshire. He and his wife Anne had a son Christopher (1543-1605) who in June 1564, at Middleham, married Elizabeth, daughter of William Clapham of Beamsley. They had five children, one of whom was Christopher (1583 to 1649). It was this Christopher who was Lord Mayor of York in 1629 and 1641. He was knighted by King Charles I in November 1641.
 Sir Christopher Croft married Cecelia Willford in June 1610. She was daughter of Sir John (James) Willford, the Prebendary of Stillington. They had three children Anne, Elizabeth and Sicily. Cecelia died in 1612. Sir James Willford died in 1605 and is buried in the aisle of Stillington church, under a blue stone.
On 21st November 1613, Sir Christopher married a second time to Elizabeth Harrison, daughter of Robert Harrison, Alderman of York. They had three sons, John, Thomas and Christopher and one daughter, Elizabeth. John, Christopher and Elizabeth all died young. Elizabeth, their mother, died in September 1643 and was buried at St. Michael's, Ousebridge, York. Sir Christopher died in 1649 and was also buried at St. Michael's.
Their son Thomas was the first to make Stillington his home. The Crofts held Stillington until 1895 when Harry Croft (1857-1926) sold the Hall and land that went with it.

The Croft family had a singular influence in Oporto, Portugal from the late 1600's to the early 1900's in the Port and Sherry trade.

 Birth, Marriage and Burial records for the Croft Family at Stillington: HERE
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