David Spencer, limestone quarry delver

One of Ari’s 3x great-grandfathers was David Spencer. David was born on 11 May 1867 in Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Derbyshire, to Judith Brooks and William Spencer.

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David’s birth certificate

He was their eighth child. His baptism took place one month later.

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

The 1871 census shows David aged three, living at Rise End in Middleton, and at school. There is a school record for Middleton By Wirksworth National School showing his admission at 3 years, 7 months in October 1870.

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Front cover of the register, National School Admission Registers & Log-books 1870–1914, Findmypast.co.uk

David was still listed as a scholar in 1881 at the age of fourteen, when the family were living in Water Lane, but by 1891 he was working in a quarry, probably a limestone quarry (where his father William worked). His mother, Judith, had died the year before.

On 9 May 1897, David married Elizabeth Pearson at the parish church in Wirksworth. His profession was given as Quarryman.

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The 1901 census shows them living at 11 Dale Street in Wirksworth with their two daughters, Mary Ann and Elizabeth. David’s mother-in-law and father-in-law were next door.

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1901 census, Ancestry.co.uk

In 1911 David was a limestone quarry delver, living at Coldwell Street in Wirksworth.

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1911 census, Ancestry.co.uk

(Sadly, baby Emma, their last child, had died in 1908.)

I have this photo of the family (Elizabeth and David on the left, then Harry, with Mary at the back and David on the right).

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David died on 19 January 1938 at 26 Queen Street, Belper. By this time he was working as a hoist man (lift operator) at the English Sewing Cotton Company. His son David was present at the death.

I have to share this story featuring Queen Street in 1930!

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Derby Daily Telegraph, 15 February 1930, Findmypast.co.uk

 

The house is still there, in the middle of this picture:

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Ari, this is how you are related to David:

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Ruth Brelsford, Primitive Methodist?

One of Ari’s 5x great-grandmothers was Ruth Brelsford, born in about 1824 in Middleton by Wirksworth, Derbyshire. Her father was William, a lead miner, and her mother was Mary Flint. She was their fifth child and first daughter.

I haven’t found a baptism record, so the first time we see her is in the 1841 census, aged 15, living with her parents and siblings in Hillside, Middleton.

On 27 February 1953 she married a hatter called John Wheeldon at St Mary’s in Wirksworth.

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Marriage certificate, Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932 on Ancestry

By 1851 Ruth and John had three children, William, Joseph, and John. They were living at Moorside, Cromford.

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Ruth’s widowed mother-in-law, Alice, was living with them.

1861 shows Ruth and John aged 37, with children John (12; working in a cotton factory), Samuel (9), Hannah (8), Mary (5) and Alice (2). They then moved to Holloway, Crich, where they can be seen in 1871. By now daughter Alice was 12 and also working in the mill, and Ruth had had two more daughters, Kezia (9) and Sarah Ann (5), both at school.

In 1881 they are in the same place and a visitor – James Hurd from Frome in Somerset – is staying with them. He was a Primitive Methodist Minister (see this page for his picture and biography).

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Derby Daily Telegraph, 6 July 1882 from Findmypast
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On former Scarthin Primitive Methodist Chapel, Cromford

Ruth’s husband John died a few months after the 1881 census, and in 1891 we can see her as the head of the household, with three daughters at home.

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1891 England census, Ancestry.

In 1901 Ruth was 77, living at Leashaw Rd, Dethick. Her daughter Kezia was still at home and working as a charwoman (she would marry the following year). Sarah Ann was also still single, working as a merino hosiery machinist. And Kezia’s daughter Sarah, born in 1895, was also living with them.

And finally we see Ruth, aged 87 in 1911, living with Kezia and her husband Andrew Lee, a hosiery worker, at Chapel House, Lea, Matlock Bath. She was described as an Old Age Pensioner.

Ruth died in the summer of the following year, 1912.

Ari, this is how you are related to Ruth:

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Rebecca Woodhouse

Rebecca Woodhouse was the daughter of Mary Redfern and Anthony Woodhouse, and was Ari’s 5x great-grandmother. She was their first child, born in 1791 in Bonsall, Derbyshire, and baptised on the 24th of July.

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At the age of 20, she married a quarryman, Isaac Spencer. The couple had ten children: Hannah, Isaac, Charlotte, Joseph, Anthony, William, Francis, Rebecca, Thomas and Sarah.

In 1841 the family are at Water Lane, in Middleton-by-Wirksworth. Four of the children are at home, with 15-year-old Anthony working as a lead miner.

In 1851, just 14-year-old Thomas is at home with Rebecca and Isaac.

Rebecca died on 20 February 1854 in Middleton. She was 62 years old.

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Looking north from Middleton, with Bonsall in the distance. Strip fields can be seen in middle distance, right. 

Ari, this is how you are related to Rebecca:

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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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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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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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