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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Lydia Roper of Wirksworth and Cromford

One of Ari’s 7x great-grandmothers was Lydia Roper, the mother of Alice Holmes. She was born, probably in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, in about 1749.

On 28 September 1774, she married Samuel Holmes at St Mary’s in Wirksworth.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932, Ancestry.co.uk

They seem to have had at least ten children, but three of them, Mary (4), Thomas (3) and Lydia, all died young in 1783. Another Lydia was born and died in 1792 at four months, and a son William died young in 1795.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812on Ancestry.co.uk

Lydia died in Feb 1825 and was buried in Wirksworth. The record gives us her age (76), tells us that she was the widow of Samuel, and also tells us that she was living in Cromford.

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I would like to find her baptism and parents.

Ari, this is how you are related to Lydia:

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Samuel Kinder of Miller’s Green

Samuel Kinder was one of Ari’s 9x great-grandfathers. He was probably born in or near Wirksworth, Derbyshire, in about 1710 (just after the last stone had been laid at St Paul’s Cathedral).

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St Paul’s Cathedral, photographed by F G O Stuart (http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.529178)

The parish registers for Wirksworth seem to start with burials in 1708 and baptisms in 1709, in Latin, but I couldn’t see any Kinders. Maybe he was born earlier than this or came from somewhere else. (There was a Samuel baptised in 1707 in Fenny Bentley, which is less than ten miles away. The parents are Samuel and Mary. I need to rule this one out or keep as possible…)

We know that Samuel married Alice Thacker on the 6th of October 1732, at St Mary’s in Wirksworth.

They had four children: Mary in 1733, John in 1736, Samuel in 1738 (who died at less than a year old), and another Samuel in 1743. None of the baptisms give us any clues about Samuel’s occupation or address.

In 1766, Samuel’s wife Alice died, and the burial register tells us that she was living in Miller’s Green.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538–1812

 

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Looking along Miller’s Green Lane from the junction with Callow Lane.
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Haarlem Mill, a corn mill converted by Richard Arkwright to spin cotton (in 1777). One of two mills at Miller’s Green. Now a wedding venue! It is said that George Eliot based the characters Adam Bede and Dinah Morris from her novel Adam Bede on the factory’s manager, who was her uncle, and his wife.
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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754–1932

Samuel then married again. His second wife was Ann Butler, and the marriage took place in Wirksworth on 11th June, 1767.This tells us that Ann was a spinster, not a widow.

There is a possible burial for Samuel Kinder of Millhouses on 22 Sep 1782.

Ari, this is how you are related to Samuel:

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Anne Wright of Wirksworth

Anne was Ari’s 7x great-grandmother. She was born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, in about 1752. (There is a possible baptism in 1754, of Ann, daughter of Job Wright of Bolehill, and this family seem to have left wills, so plenty to investigate.)

 

On 29 December 1774, Anne married John Frost at St Mary’s in Wirksworth.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932

Anne and John had three daughters: Jane in 1774, Mary in 1776, and Hannah in 1779.

Anne died in August 1815 at the age of 63, and was buried on the 20th of that month at Wirksworth.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1991

 

The burial record shows that she was living in Bolehill, known for its lead-mining.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Anne:

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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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Harry Spencer of Wirksworth

Harry (christened Henry) Spencer was born on 15 August 1901 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, and was Ari’s great-great-grandfather.

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His parents were David Spencer and Elizabeth Pearson, and their address when he was born was No. 6 Bowling Green Lane, Wirksworth.

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Bowling Green Lane
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Baptism record, Wirksworth St Mary’s (Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1916)

Harry attended Wirksworth New Bridge School from 1912 until 1914.

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National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914

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From various records, we know that he had several different jobs. In 1928, when he married, he was a service mill hand. In 1934 he was a glove trimmer at the British Celanese factory in Spondon.

 

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Derby Daily Telegraph 31 December 1932

Harry married Edith Winifred Morris on 7 April 1928 at the Salem Chapel in Belper.

They had three sons and three daughters.

Harry was listed on the 1939 Register as an unemployed glove puncher. In 1957, when his daughter Audrey married, he was a fitter’s mate at the locomotive works in Derby.

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1957

 

 

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Harry died on 2 April 1971 and is buried at Belper Cemetery.

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Ari, this is how you are related to Harry:

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Joseph Bunting Thickett

Joseph was Ari’s 6x great-grandfather, born in 1765 in Ashover, Derbyshire, the son of Sarah Thickett.

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The River Amber near Ashover

On 30 December 1793, Joseph married Jane Frost in Wirksworth.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932

The couple had nine children, and they were all given the last name Bunting, rather than Thickett. Maybe Bunting was Joseph’s father’s name?

The first child, Betty, died aged six, and the second, Joseph, died at eight months. I knew he had died before 1811, as there was another son given the name Joseph that year, but I have just discovered his burial, in something called a Burials Waste Book for the church at Old Brampton, Chesterfield. This book lists the position of each grave. For Joseph, buried on 7 May 1798, it says:

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812

On the page 10 referred to, which records burials in April 1796, we see:

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812

So now I think that these are possibly Sarah’s parents. To explore further!

We know that Joseph was a blacksmith from the marriage record of one of his sons, and they carried on the tradition. Sons William, John, Joseph and James were all blacksmiths, while Thomas became a wheelwright.

Joseph died in June 1823 and was buried at Wirksworth.

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Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1991

Ari, this is how you are related to Joseph:

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Mary Ann Brewell

Mary Ann Brewell was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother. She was born on 21 May 1846 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, the third daughter of Ann Land and Joseph Brewell. Her father registered the birth and was unable to sign his name. His occupation was recorded as chimney sweeper. Mary Ann’s baptism took place on 14 June.

In the 1851 census Mary Ann is listed as a scholar, age 4, and ten years later she is still at school. The family live in the Dale, Wirksworth.

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At 18, Mary Ann married Henry Pearson, a labourer. Both gave their residence as Cromford. The wedding took place at St Mary’s church in Wirksworth. Mary Ann was unable to sign her name.

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St Mary’s. Norman carved fragments built into the north wall of the interior of the north transept

Their first child, Robert, was born in 1865 and baptised on 20 August. A daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1867. Between these two births it seems that the family had moved to Scarthin Nick in Cromford, and this is where they were living in 1871. No occupation was given for Mary Ann in any of the censuses.

By 1891 they had moved to Bolton in Lancashire, where Henry was working in a cotton mill. Mary Ann was now 45. Robert and Elizabeth were living with them, and Robert was working as a carter to a coal merchant. Ernest Pearson, a ‘nurse child’ aged 2, born in Bolton, was also living with them. Was he related or had he just been adopted and taken their name?

In 1901 they were back in Derbyshire. They were living at 3 Bowling Green Lane, in Wirksworth. Both children had married by this time.

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Bowling Green Lane is a narrow ‘jitty’ or ‘ginnel’.

By the 1911 census they had moved to the almshouses in Wirksworth. Mary Ann was now 65, and they had been married for 46 years. They had nine grandchildren. Henry died a few months later, and Mary Ann lived until 20 August 1923, when she died at 23 Dale Street, of atrophic degeneration of the heart. She was 78. Her son Robert was present at her death. No will, burial, or death announcement has been found yet.

Ari, this is how you are related to Mary Ann:

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Alice Holmes

One of Ari’s 6x great-grandmothers was Alice Holmes, who was born in Cromford in 1778, the second daughter of Samuel Holmes and Lydia Roper.

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The waterwheel at Cromford

The first record we have for Alice is her baptism at St Mary’s in Wirksworth on 16 September 1778.

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Alice married Joseph Wheeldon, a hatter, on 14 September 1801 at the same church.

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Twelve children were born between 1802 and 1826.

In the 1841 census Alice (aged 63) and Joseph (62) were living in Cromford with their three youngest sons John (17), James (16) and Samuel (15).

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In 1851 Alice is a widow aged 73, living at Moor Side, Cromford with her son John (Ari’s 5x great-grandfather) and his wife Ruth, and their three young sons.

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Alice died on 18 February 1858 and was buried on the 21st at Wirksworth. A notice appeared in the Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal.

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Passage to the churchyard in Wirksworth

Ari, this is how you are related to Alice:

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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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