Thomas Titensor

Sarah Robbins Titensor

George Robbins

Susannah Sutton Robbins


The name Titensor is a shortened form of the name Tittensor. In Staffordshire County, England there are at least three places that bear this name: Tittensor, Tittensor Commons and Tittensor Chase. The phone book for that part of Staffordshire has over twenty listings for Tittensor families. Tittensor is about five miles south of Stoke-on-Trent and Tittensor Commons is about a mile farther south. A chase was originally a tract of unenclosed land reserved for breeding and hunting wild animals. Tittensor Chase today is a very well wooded parkland. The whole Tittensor Chase area was owned by the Duke of Sutherland until the 1920's when most of it was sold. The large house in the Chase was for many years thereafter owned by the Copeland family, very "well known" pottery manufacturers in Stoke-on-Trent. They then moved to a smaller property nearby in the Chase to a house also known as 'Tittensor Chase". So the name, Tittensor, is very much alive in England. But where did the name come from? It is derived from the words 'Titten's ofer". The Anglo Saxon word "ofer" means a slope, and Titten is thought to be the diminutive form of some Anglo Saxon name like Tidfrithe. Thus, the word Tittensor means something like 'Tidfrithe's slope". And thus we conclude that the Tittensors are of Anglo Saxon origin. And who are the Anglo Saxons? Three Germanic peoples, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes, entered and conquered England in the fifth century A.D. and merged to form a people called the Anglo Saxons. It is interesting to note that at the back of Tittensor Chase, toward the village of Swynnerton is a Saxon burial ground known as Saxon's Lowe. There is also a clearly defined Iron Age hill fort, known today as Bury Bank, just south of Tittensor. Staffordshire has existed as a county for over 1000 years and the area of Staffordshire now called Tittensor is referenced in the Doomsday Book as Titesoure. The Doomsday Book is a book of records containing a survey of the lands of England, their extent, value, ownership and liabilities, made by order of William the Conqueror in 1086. In the Staffordshire section of this book is an entry that reads: The land of Robert de Stafford in Pereolle hundred: The same R holds 3 h in Titesoure and Stenulf of him. Ulviet and Godric held it and they were free. There is land for 3 ploughs. In demesne is 1 /2 plough: and 8 villeins and bordars and 1 serf with 1 1/2 plough. There 4 a of meadow, and a mill rendering 8d. Wood 6 furlongs in length and as much in breadth. It is worth 30s. It is not clear what this entry means in its entirety, but some clarification is possible. A hundred is a major expanse of land. Staffordshire was made up of five of these hundreds: Pirehill. Totmonslow. Cuttlestone, Offlow and Seisdon. In 1086, the hundred of Pirehill was known as Pereolle. So. the land owned by Robert of Stafford was located in the section of Staffordshire known as the hundred of Pereolle (Pirehill). A hundred consisted of 100 hides, a hide being a measure of land equal to the amount of land required by one free family and its servants: it was defined as being as much land as could be tilled with one plough in a year. A hide was normally equal to 100 acres. Thus, this same R(obert) owned 3 h(ides) (about 300 acres) in Titesoure (now Tittensor). The references to Stenulf, Ulviet and Godric is not clear, but it seems that they were free men able to hold (own?) property. This property was apparently previously held by Ulviet and Godric. but in 1086 it was held by Robert. Perhaps Stenulf was in the process of buying part or all of these 3 hides from Robert. 'There is land for three ploughs' jibes with the definition of a hide, one plough per hide. But all of the land may not have been tillable. The term "demesne" refers to the land actually occupied by the lord and not by tenants. "In demesne is 1/2 plough" therefore would indicate that Robert occupied about 50 acres of land. An additional 150 acres were the responsibility of 8 villeins and bordars and 1 serf. Villeins were the largest and highest class of unfree tenants at that time. A bordar was a cottager, a person that rendered menial service in exchange for a cottage, and slightly lower down the scale than a villein. And serfs were rock bottom: typically, they were regarded as "attached to the soil". But serfs were not slaves: they were able to possess (not own) land and they were transferred with the land when it passed to another owner. All three classes (villeins, bordars and serfs) would be called on by the lord of the manor for service, either on a regular two or three days a week basis or at special times like harvest time. And then there was a flour mill. probably operated by one of the feudal tenants, that yielded an income to Robert of 8 pence. It does not say whether that was 8 pence a day or 8 pence a year or something in between. Since a furlong is an eighth of a mile. the woodland portion of Roberts property was about 3/4 of a mile square. And the total recorded value of the holdings of Robert of Stafford in Tittensor was 30 shillings, a pound and a half. It is likely that the ancestors of our Titensors came from this part of England. Are we, perhaps, descendants of Robert of Stafford, or of Stenulf. Ulviet or Godric. or of a villein. bordar or serf? Perhaps during the millennium we will be able to answer that question. This material was prepared by Steven Jamison based largely on material sent to Mrs. Laura Tittensor in 1971 by Peter J. Berrisford, Public Relations Officer for Staffordshire County.


Brigham Young, the great leader and empire builder, planned with wisdom and inspiration when he colonized the land to which he had led his people. His method is well known. From among the stalwart pioneers, he chose individuals and groups and sent them out in every direction to build up communities. The men chosen were staunch Latter Day Saints' capable leaders and key men in their chosen fields of occupation. They were set apart for their callings. They worked diligently and well at the task of laying cornerstones of the settlements that they, and those who came later, built. Two of these early pioneers sent out by Brigham Young to help colonize Northern Utah in Cache Valley were Thomas and Sarah Titensor, a husband and wife of sterling qualities, talented and blessed with many accomplishments, the type of individuals needed to help settle the untamed wilderness. Thomas was born in Manchester, England on October 27, 1829, the son of Edward Titensor and Mary Rogerson Titensor. He heard the gospel at the age of seventeen and was baptized on Christmas eve of 1848. He labored with the missionaries in the Manchester Branch. He was also a Sunday School teacher there for a number of years. When he was a young man. he learned the trade of a machinist. In 1854, as recorded in the Marriage Register, he was an "Iron: Turner and Fitter" and his father, Edward, is shown as an "Iron Moulder". Thomas later became a master mechanic in the iron mill where he worked for ten years. The man for whom he worked gave him permission to make a small turntable in his spare time. He entered it in a fair that was being held in London and it took the prize. But, being made on company time, the boss took out the patent on it. It turned out to be a very important invention. The turntable which he invented (but was never credited with) is the same as those used today by all the railroads. Thomas married Sarah Robbins on April 1, 1854. Sarah had been born on August 17, 1829, the daughter of George Robbins and Susannah Sutton. In the Marriage Register, George Robbins is shown as a "Fustian Cutter". (Fustian is a strong cotton and linen fabric.) During Sarah's early childhood, she belonged to the Methodist Church. She had a lovely alto voice and sang with the Manchester Choir. The first time she heard the Mormon Elders preach the gospel, she was very much impressed and knew in her heart that they were teaching the true gospel of Christ. Very soon thereafter, on October 22, 1848, she was baptized a member of the church. At the time of their marriage, Thomas and Sarah were both 24 years old. The Marriage Register lists Thomas as a "Bachelor" and Sarah as a "Spinster". Four of their eight children were born in Manchester: Susannah, George Franklin, Mary Ellen and Sarah. Their son George, however, died in Manchester at the age of two. When Thomas told his boss that he was going to America to join with the main body of the members of his Latter Day Saint church. his boss offered to take him into partnership with him if he would stay. But Thomas refused, saying that he had made up his mind to go to Utah. His boss said. "Well. you are a dern fool or else there is something to your religion." A short time before Thomas' death, this man came to him in a dream. Sarah's parents were very concerned when Thomas and Sarah announced that they were planning to leave England and go to Salt Lake City. Two of their children had already died on their journey to Utah. Alice, one of Sarah's sister had given birth to twin boys while crossing the ocean. One of the twins was named George, after his grandfather Robbins, and the other was named Marshfield, after the captain of the ship. The twins were premature: they died and were buried at sea. The mother died while crossing the plains and was buried without a coffin. One of Sarah's brothers. George, after joining the church, had labored with John Taylor as a missionary in Lancashire, England. Brother Taylor sent him to America to join the Saints in Utah and to preach the gospel as he went. He got as far as St. Louis where he became ill and died of cholera. But despite all this, Sarah's father, her mother and her sister Ellen did everything they could to assist Sarah in her prepara- tions for the long trip. They went to Liverpool with Thomas and Sarah and their three girls to see them board the sailing vessel named Underwriter. They waited there till the ship set sail the following morning, April 17, 1861. It being Sunday, the ship didn't go far out to sea. but stopped to observe the Sabbath day. So Sarah's father, mother and sister hired a boat to take them out to the ship to spend the day and attend the meeting. President George Q. Cannon spoke to the Saints on board the ship. After the meeting, Sarah's father said that. if Thomas and Sarah would live up to the instructions of President Cannon, he knew that all would be well with them on their journey. It took them six weeks to cross the Atlantic and during that time they experienced several severe storms. Sarah was very ill for most of the crossing. Whenever she went on deck. Thomas carried her in his arms like a little child. She was too weak to stand alone. They crossed the plains in the Captain Eldridge Company and arrived in Salt Lake City in October 1861. Since they had no relatives in the area. they were taken to what was called Immigration Square. They stayed there only a few weeks before being called to locate in Cache Valley. hey settled first in Richmond, Utah, which was then only a small fort of about twenty houses built close together as protection from the Indians. Sarah's brother-in-law, John Allsop, invited them to come and live with his family until Thomas could build a house. Thomas succeeded in getting a one-room log cabin built before winter set in. Like the rest of the houses there at that time, it had a dirt roof and the rain could easily seep in. It had a wooden floor, a fireplace and one small window. On those nights that Thomas served as guard on the watch for Indians, Sarah would sit up all night: she was afraid to go to sleep when he was away. The baby. Sarah, died that Spring of what was then called black canker. The night she died was so cold her mother held her by the light and warmth of the crude fireplace until she passed away. There were no stores closer than Salt Lake City where material could be obtained for making burial clothes, so she was dressed in some of her old clothes. She was the second person to be buried in the Richmond Cemetery. Thomas operated a blacksmith shop and a small farm in Richmond. In November, Thomas and Sarah journeyed to Salt Lake to have their marriage sealed in the Endowment House for time and all eternity. Generally, the Mormon settlers tried to get along with the Indians; peaceful relations were important to them because of their intent to be permanent residents in these valleys. Richmond Ward records were kept of contributions to the Indians. and the members seem to have been as faithful in this as they were in the paying of tithes. One of the more important bands of Indians in the area was under the leadership of Pocatello, a Bannock Creek Shoshone. For several years, this group had been actively hostile in an area from the Great Salt Lake to the Snake River. In January 1863. federal soldiers, under the leadership of Col. Patrick Connor battled this tribe and were responsible for the massacre of Shoshone men, women and children at the Bear River in Utah. After the next baby, Thomas Edward, was born, Thomas and Sarah decided to move out of the fort. The family had to live in a temporary shanty while Thomas moved their house to the new location. It was during this time that trouble broke out with Indians in Franklin. Idaho. It is said that someone in Franklin gave liquor to an Indian, that the Indian then tried to run his horse over a woman and was shot by a white fellow. All the able-bodied men were called to go help settle the difficulty and the old men were left to guard the women and children. As night came on, Sarah became so nervous with her three little children in the open shanty, she took them to a neighbors home to spend the night. The oldest daughter, Susannah, recalls that "many times in those days we had no bread. Mother boiled the wheat and we would eat it with milk. I have seen her eyes fill with tears when she had no food to give us, but I never heard her complain. When asked if she would like to go back to her native land, her reply was, 'No, I came here for the gospel sake, and I am willing to work and wait.'" "My mother had to spin, knit, sew and braid straw hats. When the grasshoppers came and were eating our crops, she would take Mary Ellen and me about two miles to the field. We would walk up and down through the wheat, waving rags to keep the grasshoppers on the move so they wouldn't eat the grain. We were indeed tired at the end of the day." Their log home was improved and enlarged and three more children were born to them there: John William, Fredrick Robbins, and Ruben. Ruben also died in infancy. Shortly after joining the church in England, one of the people that Thomas baptized was a young girl of eight named Elizabeth Sarah Bradbury. Eighteen years later, Elizabeth also came to Utah and lived in Salt Lake City. In August of 1867, she was sealed to Thomas and, as his second wife, gave him six more children: Sarah Ann, Sophia, Joseph, Charles, Elizabeth and Rose. Charles and Elizabeth died as infants. It is said that Thomas had a great gift of healing and was called upon often, frequently late at night, to administer to a sick neighbor. At one time, he went to Salt Lake to work for President Bright Young in his woolen mill. As Christmas time approached, he felt that he must go home to spend the day with his family. It was a hundred miles and the only way he had of getting there was to walk. While going through Sardine Canyon, two young men overtook him. It was a very cold night. They built a fire and Thomas stayed all night. He tried to persuade the other two to stay until morning but, as it was only a few miles to Wellsville town, they decided to go on. When Thomas arrived in Wellsville the next morning, he learned that the two young men had frozen to death just a short distance from town. In 1872, Thomas took his families to Logan, Utah, where he worked as a master mechanic in the railroad shops. And then, two years later, Thomas and Sarah and Elizabeth took up a quarter section of land (a quarter of a square mile) three miles north on High Creek, a rushing mountain stream. This settlement was later called Coveville but, because of confusion with a town called Collie, it was renamed Cove. It is just south of the Idaho border, with Richmond, Utah on the south, Franklin Idaho on the north, Lewiston, Utah on the west and the Wasatch Mountains on the east. Here Thomas erected a substantial frame house. Besides farming, he again operated a blacksmith shop. And he planted a large, wonderful orchard that was a magic spot for all the children of the place. In the early days of the sugar beet industry in Utah, Thomas invented a beet topper. He also helped to build the first saw mill, the first grist mill and the first threshing machine in Cache Valley. To help earn some extra money, Thomas once went up to Camas, Idaho near the Montana line to use his blacksmithing skills repairing the wagons and shoeing the horses of freighters hauling ore to the railroad from the mines near Montana. His sixteen year old son, Fred, came to Camas to work with him and learn some of his skills. Sarah was Relief Society President in the Cove Ward for many years. When her health no longer permitted her to serve in this capacity, Thomas' other wife. Elizabeth, took her place as President. When their son, Fred, married, he and his wife, Ellen, lived in two rooms in the rear of his parent's home in Cove. Later, Fred took over the farm and Thomas again went to work for the Utah Northern Railroad as a master mechanic, this time in their shops in Pocatello, Idaho. He took his son Joseph (Jody) with him to work as an apprentice machinist, a trade that Joseph followed until his retirement in Ogden, Utah. In 1895, Sarah was injured in a fall from a moving train. She was on her way to Pocatello to visit Thomas. The fall caused a stroke from which she never recovered. In their older years. Thomas and Sarah lived in their frame house in Cove with their son Fred and his family. And they died there, Sarah in, 1903 and Thomas in 1907. They are both buried in the little cemetery in Richmond at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains. Here, in years gone by, one could have heard the ring of his hammer and the click of steel on the anvil in his blacksmith shop. He was a handsome, quiet, scholarly man with a twinkle in his brown eyes. He loved books, trees and flowers. He tilled the land, chiseled wood, built houses, worked with steel and iron, and helped to keep the wheels of industry and the railroad going. He loved and married two good women and held their love and devotion. He had fourteen children and now stands at the head of a numerous posterity. He left his mark on the land he helped to colonize and on the hearts of those who knew and loved him. Thomas Titensor ... inventor, farmer, machinist, blacksmith... and Sarah Robbins Titensor ... valiant wife and mother... two who worked with their hands, heads and hearts ... pioneers, colonizers and true Latter Day Saints ... we salute you. This account is the meshing of several accounts, one by Susannah Titensor (a daughter of Thomas and Sarah Titensor), one by Lavinia Horsely (a niece of Thomas and Sarah), one by Sarah Titensor Alien (a granddaughter) and the others of unknown authorship. This combining of the various accounts was undertaken by Steven Jamison (a great grandson).


(Son of Susanne Titensor and J. C. Larsen Sr, ) They've asked me to write a little rhyme to celebrate this day. If it turns out to be a corny piece, it wasn't for lack of time, but the lack of what to say. Thomas Titensor, I recall. And a mighty man was he. I can hear the clang of his anvil now - and it wasn't under a chestnut tree. It was in a shack at the foot of a hill where I watched his bellows blow - and I was a nuisance of a kid he always had in tow, Not only me, but a band of kids-sister, brother and a cousin-but he was a kindly, twinkling man who could tolerate a dozen, He loved the kids- and I recall when he'd come from Pocatello, he'd give us each a shining coin. He was kind of a Santa Caus fellow. He loved his garden, and I've heard tell, he'd loiter there for hours. When grandma would say, "Thomas bring some corn," hed likely come back with a handful of flowers. Well, that was the kind of a man he was- and the kind of man to be. True greatness is in the little things, as far as I can see. And we honor those loyal wives of his, as fine as ever breathed a breath- who lived in love and unison- Sarah and Elizabeth. There was Uncle Will, sometimes called "King" a famous hunter he. And Uncle Tom, a silent man, but sturdy as a pinion tree. There were our Aunt Ella and Aunt Susanne of blessed memory- and Aunt Sophie and Sarah Ann and one Rose blooming on the tree. The living sons are Uncle Fred, who made the old home his mission. And Jody, in his father's steps who kept alive the shop tradition. And it wouldn't be right to call the roll of the older generation, if we failed to call John Pimblett's name- in silent veneration, It's a long way back to the old days, and they'll never come again. So it's good to meet and remember some things that happened then. Some of us were on the scene at a very early date. Me, for example- born with hair- now look at my shining pate ! Rube was there, and small enough that I could push him around. But now he just defies me and stubbornly stands his ground. And there was a boy named Philemon- I recall it, old as I am- how he and I would sometimes steal his Grandma Goslin's jam. And I remember a handsome guy who used to love to fish. He could hook him a mess where no fish were, while I would stand and gawk and wish, (That was Jody) Some days I'd work with Uncle Fred, pitching hay or stacking straw. And that was a wonderful holiday, though I turned my wages over to Pa. And who remembers the school on the hill where I went when I was a rookie- where I got three stripes instead of a star, on the days I didn't play hookey. And do you remember the meeting house where we sat all afternoon- and while the brethren preached we prayed- prayed it would soon end- soon! Who recalls where the post-office was? Yes, the Bradbury home down west of the track. If you got some mail- and you seldom did- it was three miles there and four miles back, I wish I knew more of the Star Valley tribe, that left the old ancestral place to pioneer all over again and propagate a chosen race. I don't know their history, but you can bet those Titensor men and maids have lived a successful kind of life- well spiced with colorful escapades. But I can say this: It's good to see you here on reunion day. And I hope there'll be many happy returns before we've all turned grim and gray !


Thomas TIDENSONSelfMMaleW50ENGBlacksmithENGENG
Sarah TIDENSONWifeMFemaleW50ENGKeeping HouseENGENG
Thomas E. TIDENSONSonSMaleW16UtahLaborerENGENG
John W. TIDENSONSonSMaleW14UtahLaborerENGENG
Frederick R. TIDENSONSonSMaleW11UtahENGENG
Census Place: Richmond, Cache, Utah
Family History Library Film: 1255336
NA Film Numbr: T9-1336
Page Number: 245A

Inside Cover of Bible (showing spelling Thomas Tiser and Thomas Titensor

Bible Page

Susannah Sutton Robbins

Marriage Certificate of Thomas Edward Titensor and Sarah Robbins

Death Certificate of George Robbins

Death Certificate of Susannah Sutton Robbins


Go To Larsen History Page:
Go To History Of Susannah Titensor Larsen:
Go To History Of Mary Ellen Titensor Larsen:
Go To History Of Fredrick Titensor:
Titensor Research by Jim Petty:
Titensor Research by Shirley Gardner:
TITTENSOR One-Name Study Home Page:
Go To Cemetery Page:
Go To Pioneer Page (Eldridge Company Journal):

Dennis Larsen

10890 Bohm Place
Sandy, UT 84094
United States