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 Wheeldon, hosiery dresser

One of Ari’s 4x great-grandfathers was Samuel Wheeldon. Samuel was born in Cromford in Derbyshire on 14 July 1851, the fourth son of John Wheeldon (a hatter) and Ruth Brelsford. Samuel’s baptism took place at St Mary’s Church in Cromford.

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The church when we visited in December 2018
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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813–1916, Ancestry.co.uk

At the age of nine, Samuel appeared in the 1861 census, and was described as “at home”, unlike his older brother John, who was already working in the cotton factory at the age of twelve. By this time, he had three younger sisters too.

But by 1871 he had joined his father and mother as a merino dresser.

 

Samuel married Mary Ann Bunting on 7 August 1875 at the Salem Methodist Chapel in Belper. (This building was demolished in 1966. See http://www.belper-research.com/places/salemchapel.html). He is described as 21 years old, and a machinist, living at Holloway.

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J. Smedley, at Lea Bridge not far from Cromford and Belper. They have been in the knitwear business since 1784.

We can see Samuel and Mary in 1891 with their five children:

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1891 census, Ancestry.co.uk

Samuel is now a hosiery dresser. Samuel’s father John died from typhoid fever just a few months after the census was taken.

The 1901 census shows Samuel still living at Holloway, and working as a merino hosiery dresser. His daughters Mary (25) and Elizabeth (21) are both yarn winders at the merino mill, daughter Daisy (23) is a yarn mender, and son Lewis (17) is a machinist there.

The 1911 census shows Samuel still at the factory working as a hosiery dresser. His daughter Mary Ann, widowed at the age of twenty-nine, is living with them.

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1911 census, Ancestry.co.uk

Mary Ann’s husband, William Tolchard, had died in 1905:

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Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 20 May 1905, Findmypast
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Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald, 20 May 1905, Findmypast

Samuel died on 30 August 1922, at Yewtree View in Holloway. He was seventy-one, still working as a hosiery dresser, and the cause of death was disseminated sclerosis. His daughter Daisy was present. I haven’t found his grave yet, and he didn’t leave a will.

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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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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John Edgar Pearson Wheeldon

Ari’s 3x great-grandfather, John Edgar Pearson Wheeldon, was born on 27 July 1878 in Holloway, Belper, Derbyshire. His parents were Samuel Wheeldon and Mary Ann Bunting.

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Primitive Methodist Chapel, Holloway

John was not christened until 1896, and this event took place in Wirksworth.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1916

The 1881 census had shown John as a two-year-old, living with his parents and three siblings in Holloway. His father was a hosiery dresser.

In 1891, John was still at school.

On 12 March 1898, he married Elizabeth Ann Murfin at All Saints Church in Mugginton, her parish.

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The leaning porch at Mugginton church

The marriage certificate tells us that John was now working as a wheelwright.

In 1901, John and his wife are living at Little Hays in the parish of Alderwasley, Wirksworth, and John is a blacksmith’s striker. Two children have been born: Lawrence Edgar and John Henry Francis (Frank).

In 1907, John appeared as a witness in the newspaper account of a fatal injury (read left to right):

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Belper News, 20 September 1907

Four more children would be born before the next census in 1911: Winifred Ethel, Arnold George, Edward Oliver, and Mary Elizabeth Ellen (Ari’s great-great grandmother). By then the family had moved to Nottingham Road in Belper. John is described in the census as “Journey blacksmith, wheelwright & general smith”. Another son, Lewis Mervyn, was born the following year but died at only a few months’ old.

John lived to see the marriage of two of his children, but sadly died at the age of only forty-five, on 4 February 1924, at Derbyshire Royal Infirmary. The cause of death was given as broncho-pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma.

Ari, this is how you are related to John:

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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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