Sarah Prestbury, of Hanbury, Staffordshire

Sarah Prestbury was one of Ari’s 8x great-grandmothers. She was born in about 1735 in Hanbury, Staffordshire.

St Werburgh’s Church, Hanbury – monument to Sir John de Hanbury (detail).

On 3 Dec 1765, John Bull of Cubley, Derbyshire, who was a widower, went to Church Broughton for a marriage licence, swearing an oath that he intended to marry Sarah, who was a single woman aged over twenty-one, and that there was no impediment to the marriage.

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Staffordshire, Dioceses of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations and Bonds, 1636–1893, Findmypast

The marriage licence meant that the couple did not need to wait to have the banns read in church. John and Sarah’s marriage took place on 8 Dec. One of the witnesses was “Maneuel” Presbury, possibly Sarah’s father or brother, but I haven’t found any other records for the family yet.

John was a farmer whose first wife, Mary, had died in childbirth in 1763.

Sarah had eight children between 1766 and 1778. She lived to the age of eighty, and died on 15 October 1815 (we only know the exact date from this notice in the Derby Mercury):

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Derby Mercury, 19 October 1815, Findmypast

She was buried at St Andrew’s, Cubley, on 18 Oct.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1991,
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The graves of John Bull, his first wife Mary, and second wife Sarah.

Ari, this is how you are related to Sarah:

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We have a swaler in the family!

Eliza Grace Potter was Ari’s 5x great-grandmother, born in 1815 in Longford, which is a village near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. She was baptised on the 10th of December that year at the church of St Chad.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813–1916,

Eliza was given the same name as George and Ann Potter’s first baby, who had died two years earlier.

At the age of 25, she married Samuel Williams, who was a pig dealer. By the time of the 1851 census she had four children, and a niece, Eliza Potter, was also living with them as a servant. We have just worked out that Eliza’s occupation is “swaler”, which was a dealer in meal, corn, butter, and eggs, according to the Oxford Dictionary of Local and Family History.

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1851 census,

The Derby Daily Telegraph of 17 January 1925 explained:

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In the 1861 census Eliza doesn’t have an occupation, but did have eight children! And then by 1871 they had moved to the Royal Oak in Ashbourne, and Eliza was in the census as Publican’s Wife. Samuel had died by the time of the 1881 census, and the family were living at Middle Kale near the marketplace. This address gets an early mention (1780) in the Derby Mercury:

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In the 1881 census, Eliza was listed as a licensed victualler, aged 64, with her youngest son Frederick (23), a cattle dealer, and daughter Lucy (21), who was a waitress. She is listed in Kelly’s Directory for 1881:

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In 1887 Eliza transferred the pub to her son Frederick:

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Derby Daily Telegraph, 30 March 1887,
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Derby Daily Telegraph, 23 August 1887,

The Crown Inn had closed by 1892.

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Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 31 August 1892,

By 1891 Eliza had moved to Tollgate House in Kniveton, next to a pub called Ketcham’s Inn (now The Ketch).


Eliza was “living on own means”, and Lucy was still with her, unemployed.

Eliza died on the first of October 1891 at Ketcham’s Inn. She was seventy-five and the cause of death was heart disease and general decay. Her son John was present at the death. She was buried at St Oswald’s in Ashbourne on the 6th of October 1891.

Ari, this is how you are related to Eliza Grace:

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Two discoveries about Jacob Cohen

I have written before about Ari’s 4x great-grandfather, Jacob Cohen. Yesterday I made two new discoveries about him.

The first one was a newspaper report showing that in November 1889 he had been assaulted at his own front door:

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East London Observer, 23 Nov 1889,

I love the things this tells us. He had a hat! He had a sitting room!

The second, potentially much more exciting, is that I think I have found him with his first wife and a daughter, in 1881.

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The address is 8 Hutchinson Avenue, in Aldgate. (Milly, his second wife, was living at no. 12 Hutchinson Ave before their marriage in 1889.)

So now I need to find out what happened to his first wife (Zerah?) and daughter Rose, because we know he was a widower by 1889. More to come on this story!


This second one is not our Jacob Cohen, so still looking …

Shlomo (Solomon) Gross from Kalisz, Poland

One 5x great-grandfather of Ari’s was Solomon Gross. All I know about him for certain is that his daughter Milly’s marriage certificate from 13 August 1889 describes him as:

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So we know he had died by that date. The synagogue marriage authorisation gives his Hebrew name as Shlomo Zalman Halevy.

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(Levy is a male Hebrew biblical personal name, as well as a title, indicating priestly lineage. The Hebrew prefix “Ha-” means “the”. The Levites are descendants of Levi, the third son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 29.34) – see

Milly’s grave also tells us in Hebrew that she is Mindel, daughter of Shlomo:

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We can assume that he lived in Kalisz, Poland, where Milly was born, but I have been told that she was orphaned at the age of four, which would be 1872.

Searching the JewishGen database for records from Kalisz does not offer any matches for him or Milly.

It’s possible that Milly’s son Solomon (born in 1897) was named after him. (He later changed his name to Sidney.)

The address where Milly was living before her marriage gives us the best clue to follow:

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This led me to an incredible newspaper article in the London Daily News of 22 March 1897 (, which is worth reading in full (it reads across and then down).

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It is also very probable that Milly was there when this terrible fire occurred almost next door in January 1888, reported in the London Evening Standard of 21 Jan (also from

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But none of this gets us any closer to finding him!

Ari, this is how you are related to Solomon:

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