Emily Fanny Williams of Ashbourne

Emily Fanny Williams was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother. Her birth certificate shows that she was born on 9 April 1845 at Low Top in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, daughter of Samuel Williams and Eliza Grace Potter.

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Low Top is the steep upward slope from the northern part of Ashbourne marketplace. In the late eighteenth century it formed the turnpike road to Buxton and Bakewell, and is now Buxton Road.

Derbyshire
Series: Boundary Commission Report 1832. Publisher: H.M.S.O. Sheet: Derbyshire. Scale: 1:253440. This work incorporates historical material provided by the Great Britain
Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth through their web
site A Vision of Britain through Time (http://www.VisionofBritain.org.uk). CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC LICENSE (CC BY 4.0)

Emily’s baptism took place at St Oswald’s on 25 May 1845:

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813–1916, Ancestry.co.uk
geograph-4942128-by-Michael-Garlick
Detail of the chancel and choir roof, St Oswald’s

By the time of the 1851 census, Emily was at school in Ashbourne. The 1861 census gives no details of what she was doing, so we don’t know if she had a job of any kind, but no doubt she would have helped her mother with her five younger siblings. We know that she married John Sims when she was twenty-three, on 22 June 1868. She was described as a spinster, of full age, living at Church St in Derby.

In the 1871 census Emily’s job is to “Keep House”. They are living at Collyhurst Road in Manchester, and Emily has had two children: Louisa Ann (born in Ashbourne) and baby John Samuel, born in Manchester.

Ten years later, they are back in Derbyshire, running the Red Lion in Hognaston. Emily has given birth to four more children: Harriet (1873), Frederick (1875), Horace (1877), and George (1880).

geograph-358224-by-Ken-Walton

Emily had two more children: Gertrude in 1883 and Walter in 1885. The 1891 and 1901 censuses show the family living in Holbrook, and by 1911 they are on Alfreton Road, Little Eaton.

We don’t know what Emily did after her husband died in 1918, but she was still in Little Eaton at the time of her death on 17 March 1927.

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Her youngest son, Walter, was present when she died. I have not found a will or a burial for her. Emily outlived two of her children: John Samuel, who died at the age of thirty-five in 1906; and Ari’s 3x great-grandfather Frederick, who died from Spanish flu just three weeks after his father John.

Ari, this is how you are related to Emily:

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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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William Williams

William was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, the husband of Frances. He was born in 1782 in Cawston, Norfolk. William White’s History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Norfolk (1845) tells us that Cawston “is a considerable village and parish, 2 miles E. of Reepham, and 4 miles W.S.W. of Aylsham. … Three FAIRS are held here annually on Feb. 1st, and the last Wednesdays in April and August; the latter of which is a large sheep fair. W.E.L. Bulwer, Esq., owns a great part of the soil, and is lord of the manor, which he holds in free soccage of the Duchy of Lancaster.”

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St Agnes’ church, Cawston, and rooftops in the distance.

William was the son of Robert Williams and his wife Hannah, and we can see his baptism here:

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Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812

He must have married Frances in about 1806, and their first child, John, was born in 1807 in Cawston.

I don’t know whether they met and married in Norfolk or Derbyshire, but I would love to find out!

In the 1841 census he is not listed with the rest of his family (where was he?), but the previous April when his son Samuel got married, his occupation was given as pig dealer. The 1849 Post Office directory for Derbyshire lists him as a pig and cattle dealer:

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At the time of the 1851 census William and Frances are living in Buxton Road, Ashbourne, with three of their five children still at home.

geograph-5794935-by-David-Hallam-Jones
Looking down on the Buxton Road, Ashbourne

In 1857 their son Thomas got married, and William was described as a pig jobber (another word for a dealer).

In the 1861 census we can see William at the age of 80 listed as an almsman (someone receiving alms), at Church Yard in Ashbourne, and he died there at the age of 86 {from “natural decay”) on 14 March 1868. He was buried at St Oswald’s, Ashbourne, on the 19th.

geograph-5306882-by-Alan-Murray-Rust

Ari, this is how you are related to William:

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Samuel Williams of Ashbourne, pig dealer and publican

One of Ari’s 5x great-grandfathers was Samuel Williams, born on 21 May 1810 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire.

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Samuel was the son of William and Frances Williams. He was baptised on 27 December 1810 at St Oswald’s church.

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Helpfully, the baptism record gives his exact birth date.

No records of Samuel have been found until his marriage, which took place on 20 April 1840 at the same church. His bride was Eliza Grace Potter. The marriage bond is in the collection of “Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield & Coventry Marriage Allegations and Bonds, 1636-1893” on Findmypast, and shows that Samuel was a pig dealer.

In the 1841 census the couple are living in Ashbourne with Emily’s parents, George and Ann Potter.

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Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 04 December 1846

In 1849, Samuel appears in the Derbyshire Post Office Directory:

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In 1851 they are still living at Pig Market, with children Anne Eliza, Samuel, Emily Fanny,  and William George.

On 17 Feb 1854, this notice appeared in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal:

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In 1861 Samuel and Eliza are living in the same place, now with four more children: Louisa Maria, John, Frederick and Lucy. By 1870 Samuel is also working as a publican, at the Royal Oak. A lodger, also a pig dealer, is living with the family in 1871.

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Derby Mercury 29 May 1850

Samuel died in 1878 and was buried on the 1st of May at St Oswald’s. His abode at that time was given as Crown Yard.

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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Frances of Ashbourne

For several of Ari’s ancestors, I know very little about their lives. I thought I’d do a post about Frances, one of his 6x great-grandmothers, to illustrate this. Apart from her burial record, the census records for 1841, 1851 and 1861 are all I have found for her so far.

Frances (or Fanny) was born in about 1782 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. I don’t know when or where she married, but her first child, John Williams, was baptised on 8 Nov 1807 in Cawston, Norfolk, which was where Frances’ husband William Williams came from. Her other four children – Samuel, Frances, Thomas and Mary – were all baptised in Ashbourne.

In 1841, Frances is listed as living at Pig Market, Ashbourne. She is aged 60, and her children Frances (a dress-maker), Mary (a bonnet-maker), and Thomas (a pig jobber = trader) are at the same address.

In 1851 she is 70, listed as living at 32 Buxton Road, Ashbourne, with her husband, a pig dealer. The grown-up children John (42), Fanny (37) and Thomas (33) are all still living at home. (Buxton Road is just next to the Market Place.)

Finally, in 1861, she is listed at Church Yard with her husband who is shown as an almsman, widowed daughter Fanny, still a dress-maker, and son Thomas, now a general labourer. Does this mean she was living in one of Spalden’s Almshouses? Not sure!

geograph-3623395-by-David-Hallam-Jones

“The grassed area at the front of a u-shaped row of almshouses viewed from the entrance gates off Church Lane. These were once almshouses for clergy widows. They were built in 1753, courtesy of a legacy outlined in the will of Nicholas Spalden. Spalden, who lived in the early C18th, also left money in his will with which to establish two elementary schools in the town, one for thirty boys and the other for a similar number of girls.”
  © Copyright David Hallam-Jones and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

This is the record of her burial:

Frances Williams_bur

Source: England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1537–1918.

Ari, this shows how you are related to Frances:

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