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My maiden name was Key. My father is Gordon Key and my grandfather was Gordon Key. My great Grandfather and great great grandfather were both called Charles Key and my 3x and 4x great grandfathers were called William Key.

While the Key family have a strong heritage and reputation as coal miners from Cudworth, Barnsley, my great great grandfather Charles Key originally worked in the mines in Longton Staffordshire.

I have been researching the Key family for many years and have lot’s of information, however today I am talking about (William Key’s) wife Sarah Tushingham my great great great grandmother.

I decided I wanted to research more about the Tushingham family and name to learn what I can about where they originally came from. It is clear that the Tushingham name originated from Cheshire and today I am sharing a little of what I have found.

Tushingham family of cheshire and staffordshire

Number of Tushingham Families living in England and Wales in 1891

In 1891 there were 109 families living in the UK and Wales with the name Tushingham.

76 Tushingham families were living in Cheshire .

19  Tushingham families were living in Staffordshire.

2  Tushingham families were living in Shropshire.

3 Tushingham families were living in Denbigshire, Wales.

5 Tushingham families were in Lancashire.

1 Tushingham family was living in London.

Tushingham Family name

My Great Great Great Grandmother Sarah Tushingham was the daughter of Benjamin Tushingham and Elizabeth Wickstead. Sarah was born in 1833 in Chester and was baptised at Saint John the Baptist in Chester, Cheshire.

Saint John The Baptist, Chester, Cheshire, England

St John the Baptist’s Church is in Vicar’s Lane, Chester, Cheshire, England. The church was a cathedral during the Middle Ages. The church can be found outside the city walls on a cliff above the north bank of the River Dee.  The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade I listed building. The parish registers at Saint John The Baptist began in 1559.

The Family of Sarah Tushingham, daughter of Benjamin Tushingham and Elizabeth Wickstead.

Sarah Tushingham had several brothers and sisters. These were Ellen Tushingham baptised 2 October 1836, George Tushingham baptised 30 December 1838, Francess Tushingham born April 1844 in Longton Staffordshire, Mary Tushingham born 1847, Longton, Benjamin Tushingham born 1848 and Eliza Tushingham born 1851.

Sarah married my Great great great grandfather William Key. Her sister Frances Tushingham married Thomas Sargent. Eliza married William Wyatt and Sarah’s brother Benjamin Tushingham married Elleanor Phillips.

Sarah Tushingham’s grandparents were George and Anne Tushingham. I am yet to find their marriage but George was born in Cheshire around 1791 and Anne was born in the same area in 1786.

George and Anne had 4 children that I know of. Benjamin my direct ancestor was the oldest son. He had one sister named Ann and two brothers Samuel and John Tushingham.

Benjamin Tushingham was a Train driver and engineer. His father was also a train engineer and his brothers Samuel and John worked as Steam engineers. It appears the family moved from Cheshire to Stafford to work on the Staffordshire trains and that is how the Tushingham family moved from Cheshire to Staffordshire.

Samuel Tushingham and Mary Marle

Samuel Tushingham is my great great great great Uncle. He married Mary Marle in Cheshire in 1847. Samuel and Mary had 8 children. Ann, George, Mary, Benjamin, Fanny, Edward, Samuel and Martha.

George Tushingham married Anne Slater.

Mary Tushingham married a man named Henry Holyhurst. They went on to have six children in Castle Church, Staffordshire. The children were Charles, Jessie, Annie, Harry, Ada and Sydney.

Benjamin Tushingham married Mary Clarke. I cannot find any record of them having children yet however Mary died and Benjamin married again at age 66 to a Minnie Caroline Owen.

Fanny Tushingham appeared to be working away from home as a servant at age 17 and I cannot find any trace of her after 1871.

Martha Tushingham the youngest daughter married a man by the name of Thomas Hanham in 1882. She and Thomas had one son named Albert Edward Hanham.

Samuel Tushingham married Annie Hatchman in 1887. They had two daughters Mabel Annie and Alice May Tushingham. Samuel Died in Hertfordshire in 1926. His two daughters both died in Denbigshire Wales.


Edward Tushingham married Margaret Dinah Wood. he had one son named Sidney Tushingham and two daughters Doris Marguerite and Evelyn. Doris married Alfred Arthur Bickerton. Evelyn died as a child in 1895. Sydney Tushingham became a famous artist in the UK.

Sidney Tushingham British Painter and Etcher

Sidney Tushingham was born in 1884 in Burslem Staffordshire England. Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire are well known for the potteries and for being the World capital of ceramics. Sydney started his career as an artist as a china painter. He attended the Burslem School of Art and then progressed to the Royal College of Art.

Sidney worked as a vase painter in Royal Doulton in 1922 and then built a career as a society painter. He is well known for his etchings of pre-war Britain, Italy and Spain. Sydney married Ella May Westlake in 1913 and dies in 1968 in West Sussex.

Sidney created some wonderful masterpieces including over 100 etchings between 1919 and 1934 and has pieces on sale to this day in various locations.

What Next For The Tushingham Family

My next step will be to begin researching my Great x 5 Grandparents George Tushingham and Anne. I do not yet have a marriage or know which families they came from however, they were born in the 1791 and 1786. There is one significant family who are looking like the potential parents of George and that is a couple from Cheshire called Ralph and Elizabeth. This is an interesting family with lots of children. There are census records, will probates and other documents to research and it may very well be that I have George’s family in the 1780’s in Cheshire. I just have to find the evidence.

If you are related or would like to comment please do. I’d love to hear from you.

Angela x