Judith Brooks of Middleton-by-Wirksworth

Judith Brooks was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother. She was born in Middleton-by-Wirksworth in Derbyshire on 23 Jan 1828 and baptised at St Mary’s Church in Wirksworth on the 2nd of March.

In the 1841 census she is thirteen, living in Town Street, Middleton, with her parents Thomas and Mary, older brother Charles, and younger sister Martha. On 30 Oct 1848 she married William Spencer at Holy Trinity Church, an event captured in several local newspapers. This is from the Derby Mercury of 1 Nov 1848, on Findmypast:

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Screen Shot 2017-08-04 at 14.42.47.pngBy 1851, Judith has given birth to three boys: William (possibly born before the marriage), Daniel (who was baptised in March 1850 and buried in April) and Isaac.

The 1861 census shows Judith living in Hillside, Middleton-by-Wirksworth with her husband (a lead-miner), three sons and two daughters. The oldest son, William, is a lead-miner at the age of 13.

In 1871 they are at Rise End. Judith is now 43, with a five-month-old baby, Samuel. Daughters Martha (17) and Mary (14) are factory girls, son Thomas (11) is working in the stone quarry, and the two youngest boys, Francis (7) and David (3), are at school. (Samuel was probably Judith’s ninth and last child.)

In 1881 Judith gets an occupation: ‘wife’. Now they are living in Water Lane with six of their children and two grandchildren.

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Judith died on 18 Jan 1890, at the age of 62. Her death certificate shows that she had been suffering from liver cancer for one year. She was buried on 21 Jan 1890 in Middleton. We have found hundreds of other Spencers (I think it must be the most popular name in Wirksworth) but we haven’t found her grave yet.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Judith:

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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!

geograph-3623395-by-David-Hallam-Jones

“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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Hannah Cox of Corfe Castle

Hannah Cox was Ari’s 7x great-grandmother, born in about 1748. She lived in Corfe Castle, Dorset, and died in March 1816. She is buried in the churchyard at St Edward, King & Martyr.

geograph-3308173-by-Phil-Champion

Luckily, a census for Corfe Castle was conducted by William Morton Pitt, and it has been transcribed and made available (see http://www.opcdorset.org/CorfeCastleFiles/CorfeCastleCensus1790.htm). At the time, the population of Corfe Castle was 1239. We can see Hannah after the death of her husband John Stockley. She is listed as:

STOCKLEY Hannah; 42; Widow; Knits

Other members of the family, living in the High Street, were sons John (21) and George (19), clay-cutters earning 10 shillings, and daughters Hannah (17), Ann (11) and Sarah (7). Hannah and Ann were both knitters earning 4 shillings. Another son, Robert, was 14 and earned 4 shillings as a labourer. The family was on parish pay.

Hannah and John had another son, Shadrach, born in 1771, so the family seems to be connected to the other Shadrach Stockleys in the area but there is more work to do on that.

Sarah was to become Ari’s 6x great-grandmother so she will feature in a post of her own.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Hannah:

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