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

 

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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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George Ball, Wirksworth lead-miner

George Ball was Ari’s 9x great-grandfather. He was born in about 1675 in Middleton-by-Wirksworth in Derbyshire, and worked as a lead-miner.

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Most of what we know about George is from his will, which is available in the collection of “Staffordshire, Dioceses Of Lichfield And Coventry Wills And Probate 1521–1860” on Findmypast.

The will was written in April 1753, just a few months before he died. In it, he bequeaths “one undivided moyety or half part of all my houses lands and tenements unto Mary my loving wife … provided she continueth Sole and Unmarryed.” The remainder is bequeathed to his son George and his daughter Parthenia and their heirs. He also gives all his “Groves Lead Mines mineral possessions and part and shares thereof with their appurtenances” to his wife and son.

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We also have the inventory of the “Goods and Chatels of George Ball late of Middleton by Wirksworth in the County of Derby Yeoman deceased”, appraised on 16 Nov as worth £13 8s 6d:

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All of this knowledge about George would have been lost if he hadn’t left a will.

Ari, this shows how you are related to George:

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Missing Minna

Minna Chaskelson was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother. She was born in 1852 in Silale, Lithuania, and died at the Carlington Nursing Home in Johannesburg on 9 Aug 1930. She had emigrated in 1903 with her husband and children, following her brother Bernard (or Benhard) who had emigrated in 1895 and set up a mattress company. The family had lived in Memel (Klaipeda), where the family kept an inn.

In her will, obtained from the South African archives (thanks to the very helpful service provided by Ancestor.co.za), she leaves everything to two of her daughters, Jennie (Janie) and Hannah.

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We don’t seem to have a photo of Minna. We had thought that she was the person on the left in this wonderful photo of all the great-aunts in their lovely hats taken in 1932, but obviously she was no longer alive then, so that’s another mystery to clear up. Amazing how you notice these things when you present the information in a different way!

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Ari, this shows how you are related to Minna:

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