John Jesson

John Jesson married Amy Darby on 22 Jan 1609 in St Mary’s Handsworth. Amy is mentioned in her father Thomas Darby’s will of 1607 and her spinster Aunt Ann Darby’s will of 1612. Amy Jesson’s grandfather was therefore Edmonde Darby who left a will of 1598. 

John Jesson himself died young leaving a will dated 1625. Here he names his six young children as Thomas, George, Richard, William, Anne and Alice. His wife Amy is still alive and she was probably between 35 and 40 at widowhood.  John Jesson mentions his brother in law Edmund Darby. This will be the Edmund Darby who dies leaving a will of 1668. It is estimated that Edmond was born about 1585 and was the older brother of Amy.

John Jesson in his will refers to his late Uncle John Jesson, whose will of 1615 also exists. This makes it clear that John Jesson (jnr) is the son of Nicholas Jesson. There is a possible baptism in St Matthews Walsall in 1570 for a John Jesseson (sic) but this would make him 39 at marriage.

John Jesson (snr) the Uncle appoints John Jesson his nephew, “a servant” in his household, his sole executor and lists no less than six other daughters of his brothers William and Nicholas. The only other male Jesson relative is a kinsman George Jesson, who is appointed as one of the two overseers of the will. By the 1625 will ten years later, it is evident that the father Nicholas is still alive but he was clearly elderly and his son John grants him the right to continue to live in the house. He died a few months after his son.

An Amy Jesson is recorded as marrying Thomas Grove in 1631 in All Saints West Bromwich. This must be Amy remarrying, as her brother Thomas Darby in his will of 1658 refers to his brother in law Thomas Grove. It is a useful confirmation that Thomas Darby (will 1658), Edmund Darby (will 1668) and Amy Jesson (m 1609) were the three surviving children of Thomas Darby (will 1607).

George Jesson the second son of John Jesson and Amy Darby, is named as an executor in the wills of his stepfather Thomas Grove (1669) and of his stepfather’s brother Edward Grove of West Bromwich (1669) both sons of Edward Grove (will 1641).


  • Will of John Jesson, PCC Probate 14 Jul 1625
  • Will of John Jesson, Lichfield Record Office, Probate 28 Jul 1615 (Uncle)
  • Will of Thomas Darby, Worcester Record Office, Probate 14 Dec 1607 (Amy’s father)
  • Will of Thomas Darby, Yeoman of Rowley Regis, PCC, Probate 1660 (Amy’s brother)
  • Will of Ann  Darby, Worcester Record Office, Probate 12 Mar 1612 (Amy’s Aunt)
  • Will of Thomas Grove, PCC, Probate 17 Feb 1669 (Amy’s second husband)
  • A History of West Bromwich, Mary Willetts, 1882.
  • Jesson of Handsworth and West Bromwich family tree
Last updated on 8 May 2019 by JJ Morgan