Samuel Boothby, cotton framework knitter

Samuel Boothby was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, born in Duffield, Derbyshire, in 1781. He was the fourth child and first son of Samuel Boothby and Anne Radford, and was baptised at St Alkmund’s in Duffield on 20 March 1781.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812,

(Unusually, the mother gets a mention!)

Makeney Road bridge from a public footpath between it and St Alkmund’s Church, Duffield, Derbyshire.

The next record for Samuel is at the time of his marriage to Elizabeth Saunders, on 1 Apr 1804.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754–1932,

The marriage also took place at St Alkmund’s.


Elizabeth and Samuel had at least six children, and we can trace Samuel through the baptisms and marriages of the children. For example, when their second son Samuel was baptised on 17 June 1822, their abode is given as Holbrook Makeney, and Samuel’s profession was Framework Knitter:

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

When their oldest son William married in 1840, he gave his father’s details as “Samuel Boothby, framework knitter”. Daughter Elizabeth did the same in 1851, when she married shoemaker John Gillott. But when their son Samuel married in 1846, he said his father was a labourer. When Elizabeth died in 1870, her death certificate described her as:

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Front view of a knitting machine. 1751 etching, Thomas Paul Sandby. Sandby’s father was a framework knitter and it is likely that this was taken from one of his father’s machines.

None of the marriages listed Samuel as deceased, but he was not listed in the 1841 census. The most likely death date for him is August 1822. There is a burial at Duffield for Samuel Boothby, aged 41, from Makeney. The only problem with this death date is that Elizabeth has a daughter Emily, born in 1829, living with her in 1841. I haven’t found a baptism record, so possibly she had a different father.

We will need to go to the church again and look for his grave. Samuel did not leave a will.

The Holly Bush Inn at Makeney

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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Louis(?) Mendelsohn from Memel

Ari’s earliest known Mendelsohn ancestor is Louis, his 5x great-grandfather. Louis was the father of Moses Mendelsohn (see Family stories: the inn-keeper in Memel), but unfortunately I haven’t found a single document relating to his life.

Passport card of a part of the Baltic Sea with the coast of Poland and Latvia, with insert cards of the arrivals of Riga, Danzig, Koningsbergen and the river Memel, with three compass roses. North is on the left. The title is flanked by Ceres and a man with a sword. To the left of the title is a rider talking to a walker and to the right a farmer is plowing a piece of land.

Sometimes it helps to go over the known facts, so what do we have?

The death notice for Moses in the South African National Archives tells us that his father was called Louis:

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But this may not have been his actual name in Memel. If you look at the records for Memel (now Klaipeda) on, for example, there are some records for men called Louis, but also for Leib, Ludwig and Leo. (These are not just Jewish records.)

If we search for Louis Mendelsohn in the Memel records on Ancestry, nothing comes up. As Moses was born in 1855 or 1856 (but we don’t know if he had any siblings), we can estimate the date of his parents’ marriage as 1845–1855. This would put the rough birthdate for Louis as between 1825 and 1835. We also know that he was still alive in 1855 when Moses was conceived, so the death date must be after that.

Even with this range of dates, names and looking more widely at places, there are no records that can be identified as this person.

So no progress can be made until we find another clue, for example a sibling of Moses who also names his father as Louis, or a DNA match. I have recently been told that the Mendelsohns in Memel came from Darbėnai in Lithuania, so that’s another clue. Darbėnai is north of Klaipeda, close to the Latvian border.

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Darbėnai (red pin) and Klaipeda (Memel) on the coast. Map data ©2019 Google.

It would be helpful to have the Hebrew name for Moses (e.g. from his gravestone), which would give us his father’s Hebrew name. I have combed the photos of Braamfontein Cemetery (Johannesburg) where Moses was buried in 1904 on Jono David’s amazing site here (twice) but not found it.

Another clue might be the fact that I don’t think Moses named any of his sons after Louis, so that could mean that Louis was still alive until the late 1890s. I haven’t found any of his grandsons named after him either.

Ari, this is how you are related to Louis:

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Hannah Tomlinson of Little Eaton, Derbyshire

Overgrown railway sleepers at Little Eaton

Ari’s 10x great-grandmother Hannah Tomlinson was born in 1664 at Little Eaton in Derbyshire and baptised on Christmas Day at St Alkmund in Duffield.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812

In 1664, Charles II was on the throne, and this was also the year of bubonic plague. See

Print made by James Hulett, British Museum

Hannah left no trace of her life until she married on 6 May 1690 in the same church. Her husband was Samuel Eyre.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812


Hannah and Samuel had at least seven children. The baptism of the first child, William, in 1691, describes Samuel Eyre as “of Hazelwood”.


In 1693, Hannah’s father William died, and left a lovely inventory which included a half-headed bedstead, a candlestick, a bacon flitch, two looms, and two cows.

Hannah died in June 1721 and was buried at St Alkmund’s church.

Ari, this is how you are related to Hannah:

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Francis Poole of Oddingley

So Ari now has a new baby sister, Eva Rose Gwendoline, and of course all of these people are her ancestors too. I think she is going to have her own blog, once I’ve found an alliterative name for it 🙂

One of Ari and Eva’s 7x great-grandfathers was a yeoman, Francis Poole, born in Oddingley, Worcestershire in about 1745, the father of Betty. I haven’t found his baptism yet, but he had a brother John (baptised in 1741) and a sister Mary (baptised in 1745), both in Oddingley.

The font at St James, Oddingley

Francis married twice. The first marriage was to Frances Hardwick, who died in May 1769. Unfortunately the marriage record only gives the day and month, not the year.

The second time was on 18 September 1770, to Elizabeth Colley, at St James in Oddingley.

Flowers in the porch, St James, Oddingley

Francis died in Oddingley in 1802, and left a will (proved 14 August 1802) which I obtained from the Worcestershire Archives. This helped me piece together lots of family information.

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He mentions the cottage, land and orchard that he is leaving to his son John. He mentions his daughters, Ann (the widow of Thomas Garfield), and Sarah (the wife of Thomas Trimnell). He also mentions his wife Elizabeth.

He mentions Betty in three places:

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One of the executors of the will was the vicar, George Parker, first victim of the Oddingley Murders.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Francis Poole:

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