John Sims, farmer

Ari’s 6x great-grandfather John Sims was born in Heage, Derbyshire, in 1775 and baptised on 17 July at St Alkmund’s Church, Duffield. His parents were Samuel Sims and Mary Smith.

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Sheep grazing in the snow, below Heage Windmill

On 19 May 1807 John married Sarah Badder at Bradley, near Ashbourne. They had a daughter, Sarah in 1810, and then John’s wife Sarah died in January 1815 just after giving birth to a son, John.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813–1991, on Ancestry.co.uk

Sarah was buried at St Peter’s Church in Belper, and the residence is given as Morley Park.

John married his second wife, Ann Slater, at the church in Duffield two years later.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754–1932, on Ancestry.co.uk

They went on to have at least six more children: Samuel, George, William, Mary Ann, Elizabeth-Jane, and Betty. We know from the baptism record of William in 1826 that John was a farmer at Morley Park.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813–1916, on Ancestry.co.uk

John is listed in an 1829 County Directory as a farmer and freeholder. The 1841 census shows John at Yeldersley:

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1841 census, Ancestry.co.uk

Also in the household were Ann, sons George and William, and three servants.

The 1851 census tells us that John was at Yeldersley Farm, farming 250 acres.

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Derbyshire Courier, on Findmypast.co.uk

John died on 3 July 1858 in Yeldersley and was buried at All Saints Church in Bradley.

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John left a two-page will.

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One of John’s grandchildren was Joseph Sims (son of John born in 1815). After his death, Joseph’s wife Julia Hannah Alldread paid for this beautiful stained-glass window in St Peter’s Church, Belper which we recently discovered thanks to Julia’s will: “to provide a stained glass window in Saint Peter’s Church Belper on the North side thereof at a cost not exceeding the sum of Two hundred pounds”.

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Ari, this is how you are related to John:

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John Sims, farmer and publican

John Sims was Ari’s 4x great-grandfather, born in Yeldersley, Derbyshire, in 1843 and baptised at the church in Bradley on 23 April. His parents were farmers Samuel Sims and Harriet Goodall, and John was their fourth child.

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Baptism record, Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1916, Ancestry.co.uk

When John was five, his little brother Samuel died. The 1851 census shows John as a scholar, and the 1861 census gives no occupation for him. No doubt he was working on the family farm!

On 22 June 1868 he married Emily Fanny Williams at St Peter’s Church in Derby, and he gives his occupation as farmer.

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The 1871 census shows that the couple have moved to Manchester. They are living at 277 Collyhurst Rd. John is working as a carter and they have two children, two-year-old Louisa Ann (born in Ashbourne) and baby John Samuel, born in Manchester. Two lodgers are living with them, Thomas and Annie Harrison from Derbyshire. Thomas is a druggist’s porter.

The move may have coincided with the death of John’s father Samuel in 1868.

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The baptism of John Samuel Sims at St Oswald’s, Collyhurst, Manchester, which has since been demolished. Manchester, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915 on Ancestry.co.uk

By 1881 John and Emily had moved back to Derbyshire. They were living in Hognaston, where they ran the Red Lion.

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We visited in 2009 and found a list of the innkeepers displayed.

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By now they had four more children, so we can tell by their births that they moved in 1873 or 4.

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1881 census. Ancestry.co.uk

As we know from reading about the Oddingley Murders, inquests often took place in pubs, to allow for the public to attend. In February 1884, John would probably have been present at this one:

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Derby Daily Telegraph, 21 February 1884. Findmypast.co.uk

By 1891 John has gone back to his roots, and is working as a farm foreman at Day Park in Holbrook.

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1891 census. Ancestry.co.uk

The 1901 census describes the address as Coxbench Day Park. John is now an agricultural labourer, aged 59.

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By 1911 John is at Alfreton Rd, Little Eaton, Derbyshire.

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1911 census. Ancestry.co.uk

In 1917, John and Emily’s youngest son, Walter, joined the Labour Corps. He was 33. His service records show that he was shot in the head while in France, and underwent an operation there.

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Service record for Walter Sims.

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On 10 Nov 1918, John died at Malvern Terrace, Little Eaton. The cause was intestinal obstruction and strangulated hernia. His son Frederick was in attendance, but died the following month from Spanish flu. I have not found John’s burial place, and he didn’t leave a will.

Ari, this is how you are descended from John Sims:

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Thomas Murfin’s melancholia

Thanks to the very helpful service provided by staff at the Derbyshire Record Office at Matlock, I now have some more information about Thomas Murfin. They were able to send me four pages. One was the Register of Removals, Discharges and Deaths, which says that he was admitted to Mickleover Asylum on 1 April 1896 (so he was in the asylum for three years). The record says that he died from tuberculosis of the lungs and cerebral degeneration, and the archives assistant who sent me the pages said “possibly this refers to senile dementia”. There was a post-mortem.

The pages from the male patient case books were also provided. First come the patient’s details:

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Then the details about the reason for being in the asylum:

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I didn’t know that he had a brother, so it was very exciting to see that.

The other pages describe Thomas’s symptoms and behaviour:

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Over the following weeks and months there was no change, until December when he was “much stronger in bodily health”, “still subject to delusions, but … not so much influenced by them”.

Then in March 1897:

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And a year later, another report noted that he was not improved, “remaining profoundly depressed, with a constant expression of abject misery”.

He died at 9.20 in the evening of 5 March 1899, and the Statement to Coroner is pasted into the case notes:

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Finding a brother wasn’t difficult, with a Charles Murfin listed in the UK, Lunacy Patients Admission Registers, 1846–1912 on Ancestry (admitted in 1881, died in 1895). This in turn allowed me to find other siblings, including some born after 1837, which enabled me to find out their mother’s maiden name.

So I now know that Thomas’s parents were John Murfin and Hannah Allsop, and that has given us another generation further back, to her parents Charles Allsop and Sarah, who lived in Bradley.

In May 1898, the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald published a long article on an inspection visit to the asylum. This is just a small part, giving us some idea of what it was like.

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Mary Pegg of Ashbourne

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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.

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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.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Mary:

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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