Emily Fanny Williams of Ashbourne

Emily Fanny Williams was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother. Her birth certificate shows that she was born on 9 April 1845 at Low Top in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, daughter of Samuel Williams and Eliza Grace Potter.

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Low Top is the steep upward slope from the northern part of Ashbourne marketplace. In the late eighteenth century it formed the turnpike road to Buxton and Bakewell, and is now Buxton Road.

Series: Boundary Commission Report 1832. Publisher: H.M.S.O. Sheet: Derbyshire. Scale: 1:253440. This work incorporates historical material provided by the Great Britain
Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth through their web
site A Vision of Britain through Time (http://www.VisionofBritain.org.uk). CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC LICENSE (CC BY 4.0)

Emily’s baptism took place at St Oswald’s on 25 May 1845:

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813–1916, Ancestry.co.uk
Detail of the chancel and choir roof, St Oswald’s

By the time of the 1851 census, Emily was at school in Ashbourne. The 1861 census gives no details of what she was doing, so we don’t know if she had a job of any kind, but no doubt she would have helped her mother with her five younger siblings. We know that she married John Sims when she was twenty-three, on 22 June 1868. She was described as a spinster, of full age, living at Church St in Derby.

In the 1871 census Emily’s job is to “Keep House”. They are living at Collyhurst Road in Manchester, and Emily has had two children: Louisa Ann (born in Ashbourne) and baby John Samuel, born in Manchester.

Ten years later, they are back in Derbyshire, running the Red Lion in Hognaston. Emily has given birth to four more children: Harriet (1873), Frederick (1875), Horace (1877), and George (1880).


Emily had two more children: Gertrude in 1883 and Walter in 1885. The 1891 and 1901 censuses show the family living in Holbrook, and by 1911 they are on Alfreton Road, Little Eaton.

We don’t know what Emily did after her husband died in 1918, but she was still in Little Eaton at the time of her death on 17 March 1927.

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Her youngest son, Walter, was present when she died. I have not found a will or a burial for her. Emily outlived two of her children: John Samuel, who died at the age of thirty-five in 1906; and Ari’s 3x great-grandfather Frederick, who died from Spanish flu just three weeks after his father John.

Ari, this is how you are related to Emily:

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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, Ancestry.co.uk

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, Ancestry.co.uk

The Derby Daily Telegraph of 17 January 1925 explained:

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From Findmypast.co.uk

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, Findmypast.co.uk
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Derby Daily Telegraph, 23 August 1887, Findmypast.co.uk

The Crown Inn had closed by 1892.

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Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 31 August 1892, Findmypast.co.uk

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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Ann Bull of Cubley, farmer

Ari’s 6x great-grandmother was Ann Bull, who was born in 1799 in Cubley, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

View of Cubley

We visited the village recently and found lots of Bull family graves.

Ann was the daughter of cousins John and Margaret Bull and was baptised on 3 March 1799 at the church of St Andrew.

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

She married a farmer, John Bladon, on 2 Jan 1817 at the church in Cubley.


As she was below the age of 21, her father gave consent for the marriage to take place.

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Staffordshire, Dioceses of Lichfield & Coventry marriage allegations and bonds, 1636–1893, on Findmypast

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I have found three children: Sarah Jane, born in 1829, John (1831–1835), and James, born in 1834. Ann’s husband John died in 1838, and Ann was listed in the 1841 census as a farmer in Yeaveley.

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1841 census, Ancestry.co.uk

Son James was helpfully included on the next page with a description, as was Walter Ford (male servant), who would go on to become Sarah Jane’s husband:

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In December 1842, Ann was selling some land and property, including a pew in Yeaveley church:

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Derby Mercury, 21 December 1842

By 1851 Ann was farming 81 acres in Hales Green, near Yeaveley.

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She was listed in White’s Directory for Derbyshire in 1857:

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She died on 4 Feb 1857 at Yeaveley, from pulmonary consumption, and was buried three days later.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813–1991

A death announcement was tricky to find but appeared in the Derby Mercury on the 11th:

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I haven’t found a will.

Ari, this is how you are related to Ann:

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Mary Pegg of Ashbourne

Site of one of the goals for the annual Ashbourne Shrovetide football match, which dates back to the seventeenth century

Ari’s 7x great-grandmother Mary Pegg was born in about 1733, probably in or near Ashbourne in Derbyshire. She is one of the ‘newer’ (i.e. older) ancestors that I have discovered by writing this blog. So what do we know about her?

If there is a record of her baptism, we should expect to find it on Ancestry.co.uk, in the collection Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812. There are some possible records in Kirk Ireton, for a Mary and her sisters, with a father called Edward, but nothing in Ashbourne.

But we do know that Mary married William Goodall on 18 July 1758 at St Oswald’s Church in Ashbourne, and she was living in the parish at the time.

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

Her son Joseph was born that year, and we also know that she and William had two daughters, Hannah and Martha.

Mary died in April 1811 and was buried on the 29th at All Saints Church in Bradley.

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

The burial record shows that she was living in Yeldersley, and her age is given as 78, which would make her birth around 1733.

Inside the church at Bradley

There is a will of a George Pegg of Yeldersley, married to Elizabeth, who died in 1715, so this family needs to be investigated further.


Ari, this is how you are related to Mary:

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William Williams

William was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, the husband of Frances. He was born in 1782 in Cawston, Norfolk. William White’s History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) tells us that Cawston “is a considerable village and parish, 2 miles E. of Reepham, and 4 miles W.S.W. of Aylsham. … Three FAIRS are held here annually on Feb. 1st, and the last Wednesdays in April and August; the latter of which is a large sheep fair. W.E.L. Bulwer, Esq., owns a great part of the soil, and is lord of the manor, which he holds in free soccage of the Duchy of Lancaster.”

St Agnes’ church, Cawston, and rooftops in the distance.

William was the son of Robert Williams and his wife Hannah, and we can see his baptism here:

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Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812

He must have married Frances in about 1806, and their first child, John, was born in 1807 in Cawston.

I don’t know whether they met and married in Norfolk or Derbyshire, but I would love to find out!

In the 1841 census he is not listed with the rest of his family (where was he?), but the previous April when his son Samuel got married, his occupation was given as pig dealer. The 1849 Post Office directory for Derbyshire lists him as a pig and cattle dealer:

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At the time of the 1851 census William and Frances are living in Buxton Road, Ashbourne, with three of their five children still at home.

Looking down on the Buxton Road, Ashbourne

In 1857 their son Thomas got married, and William was described as a pig jobber (another word for a dealer).

In the 1861 census we can see William at the age of 80 listed as an almsman (someone receiving alms), at Church Yard in Ashbourne, and he died there at the age of 86 {from “natural decay”) on 14 March 1868. He was buried at St Oswald’s, Ashbourne, on the 19th.


Ari, this is how you are related to William:

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Samuel Williams of Ashbourne, pig dealer and publican

One of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers was Samuel Williams, born on 21 May 1810 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.


Samuel was the son of William and Frances Williams. He was baptised on 27 December 1810 at St Oswald’s church.


Helpfully, the baptism record gives his exact birth date.

No records of Samuel have been found until his marriage, which took place on 20 April 1840 at the same church. His bride was Eliza Grace Potter. The marriage bond is in the collection of “Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations and Bonds, 1636-1893” on Findmypast, and shows that Samuel was a pig dealer.

In the 1841 census the couple are living in Ashbourne with Emily’s parents, George and Ann Potter.

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Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 04 December 1846

In 1849, Samuel appears in the Derbyshire Post Office Directory:

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In 1851 they are still living at Pig Market, with children Anne Eliza, Samuel, Emily Fanny,  and William George.

On 17 Feb 1854, this notice appeared in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal:

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In 1861 Samuel and Eliza are living in the same place, now with four more children: Louisa Maria, John, Frederick and Lucy. By 1870 Samuel is also working as a publican, at the Royal Oak. A lodger, also a pig dealer, is living with the family in 1871.

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Derby Mercury 29 May 1850

Samuel died in 1878 and was buried on the 1st of May at St Oswald’s. His abode at that time was given as Crown Yard.

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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Joseph Goodall of Bradley

Joseph Goodall was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, born in 1758 in Bradley, Ashbourne, Derbyshire and christened on 5 October at All Saints’ Church.

1553 church.JPG

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His parents were William Goodall and Mary Pegg, who had married in Ashbourne earlier in 1758.

We know that Joseph was a farmer, from his daughter’s marriage certificate, but there are no other records to confirm this. In about 1801 he married Ann, and their first daughter Hannah was born in 1802, followed by Fanny in 1804, Elizabeth in 1808, Joseph in 1813 and Harriet in 1817.

Joseph died in 1827 and was buried in the churchyard at Bradley.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Joseph:

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Samuel Sims of Ladyhole Farm

Samuel Sims was Ari’s 5x great-grandfather, born in 1817 at Morley Park, Ripley, in Derbyshire.

Coke iron furnaces at Morley Park, c.1780 and 1818. Built for Francis Hurt.

Samuel was the oldest son of John Sims and Ann Slater, and Samuel was a farmer like his father.

In 1837 Samuel had a son, Samuel Salt Sims. The child’s mother was Elizabeth Salt. I don’t think they married, or if they did then Samuel didn’t tell the truth when he married Harriet Goodall on 6 June 1838 at St Oswald’s Church, Ashbourne, saying that he was a bachelor:


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Detail from the marriage bond (Findmypast), Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations And Bonds, 1636–1893

In the 1841 census Samuel and Harriet are living at Yeldersley, Ashbourne with their two children, George (2) and Anne (1).

In the 1851 census they are at Lady Hole Farm in Yeldersley. Samuel is described as ‘farmer of 260 acres employing one labourer’, and they have four more children; Sarah (9), John (8), Hannah (7) and Samuel James (2) (another Samuel had been born in 1845 and died in 1848).

Ladyhole Farm, Yeldersley

The last census for Samuel is in 1861. He is still at Ladyhole Farm with Harriet. Eight of their children are living there along with Hannah Goodall, Harriet’s sister, and a servant (ploughboy) called George Deaville (16).

Samuel died on 2 Sept 1868 at the farm, aged 51. The cause of death was “Injury of the hand 5 weeks. Abscess in the Lungs”. He is buried in the beautiful churchyard in Bradley.

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Samuel Sims 7

Samuel’s will is available at the Derbyshire Record Office.

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On 7 March 1877, this notice appeared in the Derby Mercury:

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(Although Harriet didn’t die until 25 April, so something strange there!)

Ari, this shows how you are related to Samuel:

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Frances of Ashbourne

For several of Ari’s ancestors, I know very little about their lives. I thought I’d do a post about Frances, one of his 6x great-grandmothers, to illustrate this. Apart from her burial record, the census records for 1841, 1851 and 1861 are all I have found for her so far.

Frances (or Fanny) was born in about 1782 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. I don’t know when or where she married, but her first child, John Williams, was baptised on 8 Nov 1807 in Cawston, Norfolk, which was where Frances’ husband William Williams came from. Her other four children – Samuel, Frances, Thomas and Mary – were all baptised in Ashbourne.

In 1841, Frances is listed as living at Pig Market, Ashbourne. She is aged 60, and her children Frances (a dress-maker), Mary (a bonnet-maker), and Thomas (a pig jobber = trader) are at the same address.

In 1851 she is 70, listed as living at 32 Buxton Road, Ashbourne, with her husband, a pig dealer. The grown-up children John (42), Fanny (37) and Thomas (33) are all still living at home. (Buxton Road is just next to the Market Place.)

Finally, in 1861, she is listed at Church Yard with her husband who is shown as an almsman, widowed daughter Fanny, still a dress-maker, and son Thomas, now a general labourer. Does this mean she was living in one of Spalden’s Almshouses? Not sure!


“The grassed area at the front of a u-shaped row of almshouses viewed from the entrance gates off Church Lane. These were once almshouses for clergy widows. They were built in 1753, courtesy of a legacy outlined in the will of Nicholas Spalden. Spalden, who lived in the early C18th, also left money in his will with which to establish two elementary schools in the town, one for thirty boys and the other for a similar number of girls.”
  © Copyright David Hallam-Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

This is the record of her burial:

Frances Williams_bur

Source: England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537–1918.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Frances:

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