Mary Elizabeth Ellen (Nellie) Wheeldon

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Ari’s great-great-grandmother, Nellie Wheeldon, was born on 23 Feb 1911 at 167 Nottingham Road, in Belper, Derbyshire.

Her father, John Edgar Pearson Wheeldon, registered the birth on 3 April. He gave his occupation as blacksmith (journeyman). Nellie’s mother was Elizabeth Anne Murfin.

We have a copy of her birth certificate that was issued for the purposes of unemployment insurance in 1932.

She appeared in the 1911 census at five weeks old:

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1911 census, Ancestry.co.uk

Her christening took place in Wirksworth the following month, by which time the family had moved to Alderwasley:

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

Nellie worked as a winder before her marriage. She married Horace Sims on 27 Feb 1932 at St Peter’s in Belper. Her address at the time was 189 Nottingham Rd, Belper.

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Derby Evening Telegraph, 15 Nov 1941, Findmypast

Nellie’s signature can be seen on the marriage certificate, as well as that of her mother and her brother (her father had died eight years earlier).

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By the time war had broken out, Nellie and Horace had one son, John Norman (Ari’s great-grandfather). They were at 36a Penn St. in Belper.

“Once war became inevitable the British Government knew they had to issue National Identity cards. They planned for the wide-scale mobilisation of the population and the eventual introduction of rationing. The most recent census was now almost a decade old, so more up-to-date statistics were needed. Some preparations had already begun for the 1941 census, so the Government capitalised on this to take a register of the civilian population. They issued Identity cards immediately afterwards (which were used until 1952).” (FindMyPast)

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1939 Register, Ancestry.co.uk

This is an undated photo of Nellie and Norman.

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Nellie can be seen in this colorized and enhanced photo from Norman and Audrey’s wedding in 1957:

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This one is of Nellie with her two grandsons in 1963:

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And a couple of years later:

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With Horace

Nellie died on 16 Jan 1985 at 21 Ecclesbourne Close, Duffield. The cause of death was squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue and rheumatoid arthritis.

Ari, this is how you are related to Nellie:

Samuel Syms of Broadholme, yeoman

Samuel Sims was Ari’s 7x great-grandfather.

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View of the Derwent valley from Broadholme Lane

He was born in 1727 in Broadholme, Belper, Derbyshire, and baptised on 24 September that year at St Alkmund’s in Duffield.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812, Ancestry.co.uk

Samuel’s parents were James Syms and Hannah Barber, and he was their fifth child.

On 11 February 1752 Samuel married Mary Smith at the church in Duffield.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812, Ancestry.co.uk

(Although it says 1751, this entry comes after the page for December 1751.)

Samuel’s father James died in 1763, and his will mentions Samuel as follows:

Item. I give and bequeath to my beloved son Samuel Simms all my share of land being situate and lying at Hithin(?) Holler. Item I also leave to my said son Samuel Simms the Swinny Croft and the Dunge Pingle; I also leave to my said son Samuel Simms all the whole possession of Broadholm living with all the personal estate thereto belonging.

Item. I leave to my said son Samuel Simms all the whole possession of the Fishyards my son Samuel paying his brother Charles the sum of ten pounds to be paid at the expiration of twelve months after my decease. And I do hereby nominate and appoint my said son Samuel Simms my sole executor of this will and testament.

At some point I will have to investigate old maps of the area to see where these pieces of land are. I have seen references to Dunge Wood and Dunge Farm on Broadholme Lane. A typed bulletin of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural History Society from 1957 has this:

“Going back to the Alport Road we come to Sandiford Lane, where another road seems to have gone East down to the Derwent where there was a ford by Dunge Wood. The name Sandiford must have been used for this ford. … This road … is the boundary between Belper and Alderwasley. The road goes by Dunge Wood and the top of Broadholme Lane, across Crich Lane, over the Heage and Belper Common to the Bent. It appears to have led to Morley Park and Rykneld Street and was probably used for both lead and coal for Wirksworth for smelting purposes. The road from the top of Broadholme Lane would be to an alternative crossing at Belper if the other ford was difficult.” (p. 65)

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Perhaps some kind person reading my blog one day will help out with the place names!

On 17 November 1791, Samuel made a will, as follows:

In the name of God Amen I Samuel Sims of the Liberty of Heage in the county of Derby, Yeoman do make this my last will and testament in the manner following that is to say I give unto my wife Mary all my moneys and securities for money and all my personal estate during her natural life while she keeps in the same name and then I bequeath all my effects after her decease unto my three sons Samuel, James and John equal share and share alike their executors administrators and assigns only paying to my four daughters Hannah Sarah Elizabeth and Ann the sum of twenty pounds to be paid twelve months after my wife decease. I nominate and constitute and appoint my wife Mary and my son James joint executors of my last will and testament in witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal’d this seventeenth day of November in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and ninety one.

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Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield and Coventry Wills and Probate 1521–1860, Findmypast

His 5x grandson will be pleased to see that he signs his own name as Sims, not Syms.

Samuel died in February 1792 and was buried in Duffield on the 19th of that month. His will was proved on 24 April 1792. The will was very helpful in confirming who his children were.

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Broadholme in the news: Derby Mercury, 13 July 1842, Findmypast

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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Henry Dawson, silk glove maker from Duffield

Henry Dawson was one of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers. He was born on 18 April 1810 in Duffield, Derbyshire, the son of a linen weaver, Francis Dawson, and Martha Dunn. His baptism took place on 12 May 1810 at Duffield’s Presbyterian Chapel.

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England & Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567–1970, Ancestry.co.uk

(Notes from Derbyshire County Council’s online catalogue: “The Presbyterian Chapel in Wirksworth Road, Duffield, was built before 1790. In the early 19th century the congregation adopted the Unitarian faith. By 1860 the chapel had closed, but it was subsequently rented to the trustees of Duffield Reading Room. After the 1870 Education Act, Mrs Constance Smith of Duffield Hall encouraged the establishment of an infant school in the former chapel, which remained in use for this purpose until 1895. In the 20th century it became the meeting place for many local organisations including the local Temperance Society. In the 1960s and 1970s it was a china factory called Abbeydale China Co. Ltd., and in the 1980s was used as a light engineering workshop. Despite local protests, the building was demolished in June 2001 to make way for a housing development.”)

We don’t know anything else about Henry until his marriage at the age of twenty-five. He married Charlotte Parker on 27 December 1835 at St Alkmund’s church in the village.

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

The 1841 census shows us Henry, working as a silk framework knitter, his wife Charlotte, two-year-old Elizabeth, and two-month-old Philip. They were living on the Wirksworth Turnpike Road in Duffield.

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The Derby to Duffield Turnpike was authorised in 1756 and operated until 1875. It is now the A6.

Henry and Martha’s first son, William (aged four), was staying with Henry’s parents.

By 1851, Henry had become a silk glove maker, sons William (14) and Philip (10) were silk winders and three more children had been born: Caroline in 1844, Martha in 1847, and Francis Henry in 1850. They were living at Upper Green, and Henry’s parents were living with them (his father Francis would die that December):

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1851 census, Ancestry.co.uk

It was not a good time to be in the industry. The local papers were full of depressing news about the state of trade, and the family would all have had to work to earn enough to live on.

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Derby Mercury, 18 December 1839, Findmypast

There had been a strike in 1845:

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Derbyshire Courier, 2 August 1845, Findmypast
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Derby Mercury, 2 July 1851, Findmypast

The family moved to Castle Orchard before the 1861 census.

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Derby Mercury 02 June 1886, Findmypast

Francis Henry had died aged two, and one more child had been born: Charlotte Agnes in 1853. Henry’s widowed mother was living with them and working as a washerwoman.

Henry died at London Rd Infirmary in Derby when he was only fifty-three, on 31 October 1864. The record of his hospital admission is included in the collection called Derbyshire Hospital Admissions And Deaths 1855–1913 on Findmypast. The cause of death was given as “Disease of bladder, Asthenia” (asthenia is weakness or lack of energy).

He was buried at St Alkmund’s on 3 November:

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

Ari, this is how you are related to Henry:

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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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John Sims will 2.jpg

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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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, Ancestry.co.uk

(Unusually, the mother gets a mention!)

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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, Ancestry.co.uk

The marriage also took place at St Alkmund’s.

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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, Ancestry.co.uk

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.

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The Holly Bush Inn at Makeney

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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William Boothby, coal higler

Ari’s 5x great-grandfather William Boothby was born in 1809 in Milford, Belper, Derbyshire.

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The River Derwent from Milford Bridge, looking downstream and south. The river passes over two V-shaped weirs.
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The well dressing at Milford from 2017

William’s parents were Samuel Boothby and Elizabeth Saunders (both cotton framework knitters), and William was baptised on 2 July 1809 at St Alkmund in Duffield.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, Ancestry.co.uk

The next record for William is his marriage to Eliza Kent on 20 April 1841, also at that church. The marriage certificate describes him as of full age, a Bachelor, and a Labourer. His residence at the time of marriage is Little Eaton. He did not sign his name.

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Little Eaton Gangway, a horse-drawn plateway which operated from 1795–1908, carrying material from quarries to the Derby Canal.

William and Eliza were at Holbrook Moor by the time of the census in 1841, with a one-month-old baby, Anne. Their house was owned by Jedediah Strutt, and can be seen marked as no. 59 on a tithe map of the estate, dated 18 Jan 1840 (see Tithe Apportionments, 1836–1929. TheGenealogist.co.uk 2019).

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By 1851, sons Samuel, William and John had been born, and a second daughter, Ellen. They were still at Holbrook Moor, and William was a farm labourer. Sadly, baby William had died at only eight months old. He was buried at St Michael’s Church in Holbrook.

Eliza died in 1859, leaving William with one more child – a second William – born in 1856. The 1861 census shows him as a widower with five children at home: Ann (19), whose job is House Work, Samuel (17), Labourer Agricultural, Ellen (14), and William (4), at school. William and his son John (12) are both shown as coal higlers.

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1861 census, Ancestry.co.uk

This is one of those old occupations that can be found in the census, and meant someone who sold coal to householders, probably travelling with a horse and cart.

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Higler’s cart (from A new book of horses and carriages: The Rhedarium). Artist Thomas Rowlandson, 1784.

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Derby Mercury 28 April 1780, Findmypast.co.uk

William died in Holbrook on 17 July 1863. The cause of death was “Disease of the Heart, Debility”, and someone called Thomas Mee was in attendance. He was buried at Holbrook three days later.

Ari, this is how you are related to William:

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Caroline Dawson of Derby (and the Hot Dog King)

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Caroline Dawson was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother, the mother of Annie Morris (whose story is told in this post). Yesterday we visited Dale Road in Derby, where she lived, and found this Sikh gurdwara.

The house is still there, but is now a little shop, Oceans Travel:

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Caroline was born in 1844 in Duffield, Derbyshire. In 1851 she can be seen in the census, aged six, living at Upper Green. Her father, Henry Dawson, was a silk glove maker and framework knitter, and her older brother William was a silk winder. Her grandparents (Henry’s parents, Francis and Martha) were also living with them at the time of the census.

The local newspapers at this time were full of articles discussing the depressed state of the hosiery industry. This is from the Derby Mercury on 24 September 1851:

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By the time that she was sixteen, Caroline was working as a silk glove seamer. In 1864 Caroline’s father died, and on 28 December 1868 she married William Morris, a foundry labourer, at the Register Office in Derby. The 1871 census shows Caroline living with William in the house of his parents, no. 69 Russell Street, Litchurch.

This is the street where Harry M. Stevens, inventor of the hot dog, once lived. He also worked at a local foundry before emigrating to the US. Other ideas of his included improved baseball scorecards for spectators, and selling soda with a straw so you could drink without missing the game.

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Derby Daily Telegraph 12 October 1940

Litchurch is described on Wikipedia as “originally an obscure locality on the edge of Derby” but “rapid urbanisation and population growth in the 19th century led to it briefly existing as a separately governed local authority between 1860 and 1888, prior to once again being absorbed by its neighbour”.

By 1881 Caroline and William were living at 6 Harrington Street in Derby (the house isn’t there any more). Caroline had now had a son, John Henry, who was born in 1869 but sadly died at the age of twelve, and three daughters: Elizabeth Ann (Lizzie) in 1873; Charlotte Ellen (Nellie) in 1875 and Annie in 1880.

In 1891 they are at the same address. Elizabeth and Charlotte are both working (as assistant dressmaker and assistant milliner), and Caroline’s fifteen-year-old nephew, William Frank Dawson, is living with them too.

By 1901 they have moved to 38 Nelson Road, Normanton. Caroline is now fifty-six. No occupation is given for her. William is now working as a gas fitter, and daughters Charlotte and Annie are both milliners.

The 1911 census shows Caroline at 100 Dale Road, Derby, listed as “House Wife”. She died on 21 December 1914.

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Derby Daily Telegraph 21 December 1915

I have not found out where she is buried, and she did not leave a will.

Ari, this is how you are related to Caroline:

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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

 

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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