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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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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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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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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Frederick Sims of Holbrook

One of Ari’s 3x great-grandfathers was Frederick Sims, born 25 Jan 1875 in Idridgehay, Belper, Derbyshire. I like to imagine him getting dressed in his Sunday best to have this photograph taken.

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After his birth certificate, the next record we have of him is starting school at the age of three. This is his entry in the school admission register for Hognaston School, along with his brother John and sister Harriet:

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(Source: National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870–1914, D2695_2_1, Findmypast)

Fred worked as a bricklayer’s labourer and as a stoker in a blast furnace for an iron company. He married Elizabeth Phipps in 1899, and the couple had ten children. The last child, Leslie, was born in June 1918. Sadly, Fred died of Spanish flu on 8 Dec 1918, only three weeks after his own father, and one of the 50–100 million people around the world killed in the pandemic. According to the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal of 21 Dec 1918, 28 people had died of influenza in Derby that week, compared to 49 the previous week and 74 in the week ending 30 Nov when the epidemic was at its height.

He was buried at St Michael’s Church in Holbrook.

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Ari, this shows how you are related to Frederick:

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