Judith

Ari has two 11x great-grandmothers whose names I know. One of them was called Judith, and she was born in about 1640, somewhere near Duffield, Derbyshire. (Charles I was on the throne.)

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She married William Eyre in about 1660, and they had at least eight children: William, Samuel, George, Mary, Jonathan, Elizabeth, Sarah and Ann.

Judith died in December 1717 and was buried on the 29th of that month at St Alkmund’s in Duffield.

St Alkmund

 

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This record describes her as “of Windley”, which is a small village just west of Duffield and Belper.

The record of her burial comes from a collection called “Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812” on Ancestry.co.uk, filmed by the Latter-Day Saints.

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First page of the register

The most useful record we have of Judith’s life is her will, which is on Findmypast, in the collection “Staffordshire, Dioceses of Lichfield and Coventry wills and probate 1521-1860”.

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This is easy to read and gives us an amazing amount of detail. She says she lives in Postern, which is a hamlet in the parish of Duffield.

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Cast iron post by the B5023, in parish of SHOTTLE AND POSTERN (AMBER VALLEY District), Wirksworth Road; SE of Cowers Lane jct, 500m SW of jct with Calladine Lane, on grass verge in front hedge, on West side of road. Harrison iron casting Erected by the Ideridgehay & Duffield turnpike trust in the 19th century.
Inscription reads:- WIRKSW.H / 5 / MILES / : : DERBY / 8 / MILES / : Shottle / LONDON / 134 / MILES / : . ; J. Harrison / DERBY.
Listed.

In the will she lists her children:

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This gives us the married names of her daughters, and also tells us that she has a granddaughter Judith, daughter of her son Jonathan. (She gets five shillings.) The will was proved in Derby on 28 March 1718.

And then, best of all, we have a beautiful inventory.

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This gives us a really detailed picture. We can imagine her house, with a parlour, lower parlour, milkhouse and barn, and space for horses, cows, sheep and pigs. We also now know that she lived at “Postern Park”. This was part of Duffield Frith, which was a Royal Forest.

One day I will find out Judith’s full name!

Ari, this is how you are related to Judith:Screen Shot 2018-01-14 at 10.20.48

 

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Thomas Castledine of Dale Abbey

Thomas Castledine was Ari’s 7x great-grandfather and I don’t know much about him yet. On 30 January 1787 he married Alice Warren at Dale Abbey in Derbyshire.

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“A more peaceful and pleasant spot than Dale Abbey is hard to find in the whole of Derbyshire. Yet it is less than three miles from the suburbs of Derby to the west, and even closer to a vast area of housing and industrialisation on the eastern side.

The story of Dale Abbey, or Depedale as it was originally known, begins when a Derby baker had a dream — the Virgin Mary appeared and told him to go to Depedale, to live a life of solitude and prayer. At that time it was a wild and marshy place and the hermit carved out a home and chapel in a sandstone cliff.

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Here he continued to worship in solitude until one day the smoke from his fire was seen by a Knight, Ralph Fitz Geremund the owner of the land. Intending to drive the intruder away, he rode over, but on hearing the hermit’s story he was filled with compassion, allowing him to remain and bestowing on him the tithe money from Borrowash Mill. This enabled the hermit to build a small chapel and home on the site of the present church.

After the hermit’s death, word spread of the religious significance of the place and following several attempts, Dale Abbey was founded in about 1200 by an order known as the White Canons because of the colour of their habits. The abbey remained until 1538, when it was dissolved and the greater part demolished by the command of Henry VIII.” (http://www.derbyshire-peakdistrict.co.uk/daleabbey.htm)

From the date of the marriage we can estimate that Thomas was born in about 1765. Thomas and Alice had at least six children: John, Thomas, Alice (Ari’s 6x great-grandmother), William (who died as a baby), Mary and Sarah (who died aged nine).

The children were baptised in Wilne, which is on the border with Leicestershire, and they were living in Draycott in 1813 when Sarah died.

No deaths or burials have been confirmed for Thomas yet, and he probably died before the 1841 census. I have not found a will or any definite newspaper records for him. There is a possible baptism in 1752 to a William and Martha. Also, a Thomas Castledine from Draycott signed up on 17 Jan 1807 to the 1st Foot Guards (this was the time of the Napoleonic Wars). Again, it will be a case of following up his children and any siblings to discover more about him.

Ari, this is how you are related to Thomas:

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Joshua Eyre of Hazelwood

One of Ari’s 9x great-grandfathers was Joshua Eyre, born in 1706 in Hazelwood, Derbyshire. He was baptised at the church in Duffield on 25 March 1706, the fifth son of Samuel Eyre and Hannah Tomlinson.

 

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On 11 June 1730, Joshua married Elizabeth Alsop, and the couple had seven children between 1731 and 1743.

I think they actually lived in Hazelwood, which is a village just north of Duffield. Their marriage record says ‘of Hazelwood’, and this is also recorded on the baptism of one of their sons, and in Joshua’s will. The church in Hazelwood was not built until 1846, so they would have had to walk to Duffield to use the church of St Alkmund.  Joshua’s father Samuel had left him three pieces of land in the liberty of Hazelwood: Calfe Close, Cawver Close and Bradley Close.

Joshua’s wife Elizabeth died some time before 1747, when he married again at the age of forty. His second wife was Ann Frost, described as ‘of Ashbourn, spinster, aged thirty’. Joshua is described in the marriage licence as a husbandman (tenant farmer or small landowner).

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They would go on to have seven children.

Joshua died in 1783, and his will is available to read on Findmypast.

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In the will, he lists all of the children of his ‘late son Joshua’ (who predeceased him by three years). He asks that his wife Ann ‘shall keep possession of the said closes or parcels of land for one year after my decease’. He helpfully gives us the names of his married daughters. Although he had signed his marriage licence, here he just puts his mark.

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The will was proved on 12 February 1783 at the Court in Lichfield.

Ari, this is how you are related to Joshua:

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Seventeenth-century ancestors

Recent research has allowed me to find a few ancestors of Ari’s who lived in England in the seventeenth century, some in Dorset and some in Derbyshire.

I thought it might be interesting to look at the historical context, focusing on one of these ancestors, William Tomlinson. William is Ari’s 11x great-grandfather (one of two that I have found so far).

He died on 3 March 1693 in Duffield, Derbyshire, and must have been married in about 1660 (based on the baptism dates of his children), which puts his birth date at about 1640.

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Charles I was on the throne at this time, and the English Civil War was just about to unfold. A PhD by Heather Falvey examines Duffield as part of a study of “custom, resistance and politics” in early modern England, and her thesis is available online. The parish of Duffield was part of the duchy of Lancaster, administered by a steward on behalf of the Crown. As well as farming and weaving, men at this time made their living by extracting iron ore, smelting, quarrying stone, mining coal, making charcoal, and making wire. (The occupation of wire-drawing involved turning metal into wire by drawing it through different-sized holes in a template.) Later, nail-making became more important in the area. Sources for this information in Heather’s PhD include the wills and inventories of some of these men. She also mentions a militia list from 1638 held in the National Archives, and of course men paid taxes, so there are hearth tax lists to consult. Heather uses the inventories of Duffield inhabitants to work out how many rooms they had and how wealthy they were, and we can do the same for Ari’s ancestors.

The inhabitants of Duffield had certain rights, and were entitled to use the forests, for example to feed their sheep and cattle, or to provide firewood and wood for making fences. This is what led to riots and resistance when some of the land was enclosed under Charles I. After a period of sabotage and non-compliance, actual rioting broke out in 1642. Evidence for these riots comes from court papers held in the National Archives, with 217 local people being named. They started by pulling down fences and destroying hedges “in a violent & tumultuous way”, and then drove their own cattle onto the king’s land.

This is the world that Ari’s ancestor William Tomlinson was born into, and it might even be possible to discover if his parents were involved. When William died in 1693 his estate was appraised and administered, and the records are part of the Findmypast collection called Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield and Coventry Wills and Probate 1521–1860. The first page starts in Latin, but then uses English to tell us that William’s surviving wife is called Anne. This page is signed by Anne, Samuel Tomlinson (William’s son), and Samuel Eyre, husband of William’s daughter Hannah.

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The next page gives us the inventory:

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From this, we know that he left property valued at £21, 16 shillings and 6 pence. The items were:

  • A purse and apparel.
  • In the house: five irons; three pewter dishes; one candlestick; a tankard; three bottles; a brass pot; an iron pot; a table; a form; a cupboard.
  • In the parlour: an old bedstead; a rug; curtains; two chests; one little table.
  • In the chamber: one half-headed bedstead with one flock bed and two blankets.
  • One flitch of bacon
  • In the shop: two looms(?) with materials belonging thereunto
  • Linen and lumber
  • Two cows and one heifer; two year-old calves.

This suggests that he may have been a weaver by trade. William was buried on 5 March 1693 at St Alkmund’s Church in Duffield. Even though he lived over three hundred years ago, there is still a story to be told and more to discover.

Ari, this is how you are related to William:

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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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Wilful murder in Heage

So I’m happily going through the death certificates recently ordered from the GRO, and filling in the causes of death in my database, when I come to the certificate I’ve received for William Taylor, Ari’s 6x great-grandfather:

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Not what one expects to find! This happened on 31 July 1849 in Heage, Derbyshire.

I then found the newspaper accounts in the British Newspaper Archive on Findmypast. The story appeared in the Derbyshire Courier and the Buxton Herald on 4 August 1849.

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William was born in 1784 in Staveley, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, to Thomas and Sarah Taylor. His christening took place on 19 September 1784 at the church of St John the Baptist. In 1808 he married Millicent Bower, and they had at least six children.

William worked as a collier, and afterwards as a nailmaker (one report says that he kept a shop in Belper). The murder was reported quite widely, even outside the county (this is the London Morning Post):

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The accused was charged at the next assizes, the following spring:

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The Staffordshire Advertiser reported the outcome on 30 March 1850:

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Such a sad story! The full newspaper accounts give lots of details about William and other family members, so I need to read them thoroughly. The moral of the story: death certificates are definitely worth finding!

Ari, this is how you are related to William:

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Job Spencer of Wirksworth

Job Spencer was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, baptised on 16 Feb 1770 at St Mary’s Church, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Job was the second son of Isaac Spencer and Sarah Buxton.

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Baptism record

On 24 June 1790, he married Hannah Spencer in Wirksworth, and they went on to have eleven children (Isaac, Reuben, Elizabeth, Hannah, Sarah, Mary, Mabel, Ann, Job, Arthur and Grace).

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Marriage banns

As Job died in 1840 before the first national census, we really only know about him because of the will that he left. This runs to twelve pages. From the will, proved at Lichfield on 20 May 1840, we know that Job was a miner.

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Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield And Coventry Wills And Probate 1521–1860

We also know that he owned land which he bequeathed to his wife and sons. For example, he mentions “parcels of land by name Meadow Rood or Meadow Roods numbers in plan 351 and 352 …  commonly called Walkers Close” in Middleton-by-Wirksworth, “Spencers Piece”, “Ash Piece containing two roods and thirty two perches”, and “Springers Close or Middle Piece number on plan 13 containing one acre three roods and twenty three perches”.

He also helpfully mentions his daughters “Ann the wife of William Roper” and “Sarah (wife of Edward Mather)” and his “Deceased Daughter Elizabeth’s children (who was the wife of William Marples)”.

He also owned shares in mines, which were left to his sons and sons in law.

Job was buried at St Mary’s in Wirksworth on 26 Feb 1840.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Job:

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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’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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Hannah Godbehere

Hannah Godbehere was Ari’s 7x great-grandmother. She was baptised on 15 Apr 1757 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, and died at the age of 78 in 1835 in Middleton-by-Wirksworth.

Hannah was the daughter of Edward Godbehere and Mary Kinder, who had married in 1756.

On 17 Jan 1782, Hannah married William Flint at St Mary’s church in Wirksworth.

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Hannah and William had six children: Thomas, Ann, Hannah, Mary, William and Joseph.

Unfortunately that’s all I know about Hannah.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Hannah:

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Horace Sims

One of Ari’s great-great-grandfathers was Horace Sims, the son of Frederick Sims and Elizabeth Phipps.

Horace and family

Horace was born on 1 Nov 1909 in Holbrook, Derbyshire and appears in the 1911 census as the sixth of seven children, living in Town Street, Holbrook. Horace worked as a motor bus conductor and a foundry worker. He appeared in the Derby Daily Telegraph on 27 March 1931:

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On 27 Feb 1932 he married Mary Elizabeth Ellen (Nellie) Wheeldon, and an announcement was published in the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald on 5 March:

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On 29 Sep 1939 Horace appears in the 1939 Register as a builder’s labourer, living at 36a Penn Street, Belper and in 1940 he was fined 5 shillings:

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Derby Daily Telegraph 12 April 1940

Horace and Nellie had three children. He lived to the age of 86, long enough to pass on some family stories to me, to enjoy the weddings of his grandchildren, and to know some of his great-grandchildren.

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Ari, this shows how you are related to Horace:

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