George Facey Stevens was born in 1790, baptised on 20 October in Illogan, Cornwall. He was the son of Andrew Stevens and Honor Facey. He had five siblings that I know of (two brothers and three sisters).

Illogan

I can’t find much of interest about Illogan. It was named after an obscure Cornish saint. The population in 1801 was 2895 (compared to 5404 in 2011, the population rising to 10304 in the 1970s before falling again), so never a large town, but a centre of mining.

George married Honour Langdon on 20 April 1814 in Illogan. Honor was born about 1792, possibly baptised on 22 October in Illogan, daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth.

The couple had 11 children over 19 years. The first three were girls: Elanora Penrose (born about 1815, possibly named after George’s paternal grandmother), Mary (1821), and Elizabeth Langdon (1822). The family moved to Redruth at some stage where John Knill was born in about 1823 (probably named after George’s maternal grandmother), baptised on the same day as Lavinia Penrose (1823) who died the following year. Next were Ellen Francis (1826), William (1827), Edwin Vivian (1828), and another Lavinia born between 1829 and 1832. Finally there was Vivian (1830), then George Frederick (1834).

In 1841 the family were still living in Redruth. George was a parish clerk. All ten children were there, the three oldest boys working as copper miner and masons.

George had a short life, dying in 1844 at the age of 54. He was buried on 19 March.

In 1851 Honour was a widow living in Trevingay with six of her children and a granddaughter, Emma, age 8. Emma was possibly John’s daughter. I found a baptism for 1845, daughter of John and Martha in Redruth. Elizabeth was a dressmaker, Ellen a milliner, and Lavinia a tailoress. Edwin, Vivian and George were copper miners. Missing from the list were Elenora, Mary, John and William. I haven’t been able to find John or Elenora in the census. Searching for a Mary Stevens is nigh impossible for census, marriage, or death. Nor have I been able to find William.

Edwin married in 1854 and sailed to Australia with his wife, no doubt to try his hand at gold minning. I was told that John, Vivian, and George (all miners) also moved to Australia but I don’t know when. Any Australian descendants who can enlighten me, please get in touch!

Unfortunately, I don’t even know when Honour died. It’s a pain that the age at death is not given on the index so I could rule out some. She may have died in 1862. (The only other death I could find was Honour Maria in 1854.) How am I to know without an age?

So lots of missing information for this family.

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; genuki.org.uk; Google maps; Wikipedia; Cornwall OPC database; http://www.blaxland.com/ozships/

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The further back I go, the less information I have so some entries (like this one), will be rather brief.

John Grunsell (also spelled Grundsel, Grunsel, Gruncel, etc) was born in about 1792, baptised on 12 August, at Micheldever, Hampshire. His parents were Thomas Grunsell and Mary Chariot. He was the eldest of 11 children that I’m aware of (six brothers and four sisters).

He married Sarah Exel on 19 October 1822 in Overton, Hampshire. I don’t have any information on Sarah. The only baptism I could find was for a Sarah Exal born in Tadley, Hampshire, in November 1796, to David and Leah Exal.  According to the 1851 census “our” Sarah was born in Whitchurch. The names, David and Leah, don’t appear in children’s or grandchildren’s names either so it seems unlikely, but not impossible.

The couple had five children that I’m aware of, born in Overton from 1823 to 1836: Elizabeth (1823); George (1824); Thomas (1829); Henry (1832); and Mary (1836). Elizabeth died in 1836.

John was a journeyman tailor in 1841. The family were living in Southington (a tything in Overton parish). George is not with them and I have been unable to find him. (He wasn’t dead as he went on to marry in about 1847.)

Unfortunately, John died in 1848, buried on 26 May. He was only about 56. This was obviously bad news for Sarah who, in 1851, was listed as tailor’s widow and a pauper. With her is 18-year-old Henry, an agricultural labourer. Thomas, 21, appears to have been working as a shepherd in Sherborne St John. Among the other servants listed was George Miles, 18, farm hand. I suspect it was George’s sister, Mary, that Thomas married in 1852. The couple then sailed away to Australia in 1853. Mary also married in 1852 to Charles Kercher.

Sadly, Sarah died on 31 August 1857 in Overton. With their parents dead and Thomas in Australia, the rest of the children also migrated to Australia – Mary and her family in 1859, Thomas (now a widower) and family in 1866. I haven’t found when Henry emigrated – some time after his mother’s death perhaps.

 

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; http://www.myancestors.com.au/passenger-lists-and-immigration; Wikipedia

Joseph Beale, or Beal, was born in around 1806, baptised on 22 December of that year in Overton, Hampshire. His parents were John Beal and Sarah Barnett. He had eight siblings including five brothers.

Joseph was an agricultural labourer and married Frances, or Fanny, Kercher on 8 May 1830 two months after the birth of her/their son, Charles. As mentioned in the previous post, in 1841 the family, with seven children, were living in Bridge Street in Overton. Just down the road lived Joseph’s parents and two sisters.

The eighth child, Jane, was born in about 1842, then, sadly, Frances died in 1844.

Joseph was still an agricultural labourer (as were most of his neighbours) in 1851. The family were still living in Bridge Street next door to Joseph’s widowed father. Six of the children were still living with him between the ages of 9 and 18. Harriet, age 17, was a silk winder. The eldest, Charles, was living alone in Southington, working as a railroad labourer. Edmund, an agricultural labourer, appears to be visiting George and MaryAnn Roberts in West Street, Overton, near his uncle Charles (Kercher). Either that, or he died in 1850 (but no age is given).

Charles, now calling himself Charles Kercher rather than Beale, married in 1852 and emigrated to Australia in 1859 with his wife and young family. He disappears from the Beales’ lives.

For the rest of the children, some of the following is guesswork (where indicated by “might”).

In 1861, Joseph and his three youngest children were living in West Street. Joseph and son, Alfred, were agricultural labourers. Louisa (or Lucy) and Jane were a paper factory operators. The paper mill, between Overton and Whitchurch, was founded by Henry Portal in 1712 and won a contract to make banknote paper in 1724. It’s still in operation. With the closure of the silk mill (although there was still one in Whitchurch), the paper mill would have been a major employer of young girls.

I can’t find any sign of Edmund. George might have died in 1852 (again no age). I don’t know what happened to Harriet. Henry might have joined the army. I found a Henry Beale, of the right age and birth place, at Fort Gomer, Alverstoke (or Gosport), a private in the 11th regiment.

In 1871 Joseph, age 66, was still an agricultural labourer (and widower) in Overton, living with his youngest daughter, Jane, age 28, and one-year-old grandson, Thomas Beale, baseborn son of Jane. I can’t find Edmund, George, Harriet, or Henry.  I found an Alfred and Elizabeth Beale living in Overton in 1871 with a daughter, Jane, age 4. Alfred’s age is out by a couple of years but he is an agricultural labourer. His wife (a paper mill worker) was seven years older. With them are her mother and sister, Hannah and Jane Field (paupers). I found a marriage in 1866 for Alfred and Elizabeth Goodger. I suspect Goodger was Elizabeth’s married name from a previous marriage and, indeed, I found an Elizabeth Hannah Field marrying a George Goodger in 1853. This is all supposition for our Alfred, but highly likely.  Louisa Beale might have married William Wake, an agricultural labourer, in 1864. She and William appear in the 1871 census in Overton along with children Alice and William. Louisa was a paper mill worker (as before).

Jane Beale married Charles Gronsell (or Grunsell) in 1880. Was he the father of Thomas? Thomas was ten years old by then so it’s probably unlikely, and he kept the name Beale. Was Charles Gronsell related to Jane’s sister-in-law Mary Grunsell (married to Charles Kercher)? George Grunsell was christened on 4 May 1849, son of George Grunsell and Mary Ann Silver so there’s no direct link so far.

In 1881 Joseph was living with Charles and Jane (now Gronsell) and Thomas. They lived in High Street, Overton. Charles was a labourer and Joseph (now 74) was also still a labourer.

I can’t find a death date for Joseph, but it must have been between 1881 and 1891. I have 1889 noted down but my younger self did not note where this information came from. He lived to a good age regardless, despite the hard life he must have had.

 

Sources: Wikipedia; findmypast; familysearch

This will be a brief entry.  Frances Kercher, or Fanny, was born in about 1808, baptised on 18 September in Overton, Hampshire. She was the daughter of Timothy Kercher and Esther (or Hester) Webb. She had 10 siblings.

Frances was a silk girl working at the Silk Mill in Overton, which closed in 1846. I can’t find any old illustrations of the mill but here’s one of a silk girl in Hertfordshire.

SilkmachineryHertfordshire

from http://www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/data/occupations/silk.htm

It seems difficult to get any information about “silk girls” without Google throwing up dodgy results. Over to Wikipedia for information on silk throwing.

Frances gave birth to a boy, Charles, in March 1830 and had him baptised on 14 March. It was noted that he was a baseborn son of Frances, a silk girl. No father was named, but Frances married agricultural labourer, Joseph Beale, just two months later on 8 May 1830.

Frances had another son, Edmund Beale, in 1831 (baptised 7 August), followed by a third, George, in 1833 (baptised on 24 February). In about 1834 Frances gave birth to her first daughter, Harriett, who was baptised on 4 January 1835. In 1836 another son, Henry was born (baptised on 5 June), followed by Alfred in 1838 (baptised on 30 September). Finally, before the 1841 census, Lucy, or Louisa, was born in 1840, baptised on 4 October.

In 1841 the family were living in Bridge Street, Overton. They were living next door to Fanny’s older brother, Charles (also an agricultural labourer) and his wife and three girls.

Fanny had another girl, Jane, in about 1842 but I haven’t found her baptism.

Fanny had a tragically short life, dying in August 1844, and was buried on 29th in Overton.  She was just 36 years old.  Incredibly, I do not seem to have her death certificate!

More on her husband, Joseph, next.

 

Sources: family archives; findmypast; overtonparishcouncil.gov.uk; Wikipedia

Only 12 weeks left of this challenge. It has been enormously rewarding.

I’ll now turn to Richard Jones’ wife, Anne Phillips. She was born in about 1792 in Pontesbury. She was baptised on 23 December 1792. Her parents were John Phillips and Mary Rogers. Anne had two sisters – Mary and Jane, and a brother, John, that I know of.

As mentioned in the previous post, Anne married Richard Jones on 11 May 1815 in Pontesbury. I’ll use this post to write details of the children – 13 of them that I can find some information for, but my grandmother’s tree says there were 15.

The first child was Ann. I’m not sure of her exact date of birth but she was baptised on the same day as her sister, Sarah, on 24 August 1817. Estimates of years of birth from census returns are not helpful. For Ann – 1821, and for Sarah 1817, 1818 and 1823. Ann was the eldest daughter (from a death notice). I imagine Sarah was born in 1817 and Ann a year or so beforehand.

Following that confusion, the next children, apparently twins, were William Wall Jones and his sister, Mary, both born on 3 May 1818 and baptised on 3 October 1819.  Another son, Richard, was possibly born in 1822, being baptised on 9 June. His sister, Elizabeth, was born just a couple of months later on 24 August.  Hannah Maria was born on 3 May 1824. Elizabeth and Hannah were baptised on 3 September 1826. Another possible daughter, Margaret, of Castle Place, appears to have been born in July of 1826 but died and was buried in November. I cannot find a baptism for her (so cannot confirm her as a sister), although you’d think she would’ve been baptised at the same time as her older sisters.  Humphrey was the next son, born on 26 August 1828, then John on 23 June 1830, and Timothy on 26 April 1831.  They were all baptised on 16 September 1832. Another daughter, Frances, was born in about 1833 (according to census returns), baptised on 5 April. Last, but not least, was Catherine, born on 27 September 1834, baptised on 12 March 1840. That makes 13 children. Two others (to make the 15 my grandmother claims) could have been Susan, Walter, or Edmund, although I don’t know where I got those names from (it’s been a few years – perhaps from a visit to my great aunt) and I can only find a baptism for Edmund, baptised on 9 April 1836 but in Longnor which is not too far away from Pulverbatch. The reason he is a possibility is that my grandmother mentioned Longnor in the tree. However, none of them are mentioned with family in census returns that I can find (although they could have died as infants or young children), so I will discount them for now.

John died in March 1837, age 7. Humphrey died in August 1837, age 8. A sad year for Anne.

So to the 1841 census where we lose Anne and four children – William, Mary, Elizabeth and Hannah. I’ve not been able to find them, and Jones being a common name, they could be anywhere. The ‘children’ ranged in age from 17 to 23 so could be working or visiting.  The remaining children listed with Richard were Richard, Timothy, Ann, Sarah, Frances, and Catherine. With the family are five servants, one of whom was called John Phillips, the name of Anne’s brother. However, this John Phillips was listed clearly as age 38 and Anne’s brother would have been about 46.  I just found it interesting as Anne’s brother was listed with the family in just about every other census until 1871. Tantalisingly, there is an Ann Jones in Ellesmere in a list of people including John Phillips about the right age. I can only see the transcription of that entry which does not include occupation (unfortunately, they didn’t include relationship in the 1841 census, so the above John could be Anne’s brother with the wrong age). All very confusing.

William married Mary Hotchkiss in 1842. Sadly, Hannah died in 1844.

Eddowes17Jul1844

Eddowes journal and General Advertiser, 17 July 1844

Elizabeth married Samuel Smith in May 1845 and Richard married Sarah Bromley in July 1845. Elizabeth’s husband died in 1849. Elizabeth then married farmer, Thomas Mansell, in 1851.

So to the 1851 census where Anne and Richard were listed with children Ann, Sarah, Frances and Timothy. I don’t know what happened to Mary. Catherine was visiting her sister, Elizabeth. Anne’s brother, John Phillips, was living with them as an assistant. There were five servants.

Timothy married Eliza Inions in 1853.  Anne never witnessed any further marriages of her children.  She died on 12 August 1857 at Castle Place.

MrsJones

Such a beautiful memorial card, which I’ve handled reverently most of my life.

Catherine married Richard Powell in 1858. Sadly, Anne’s eldest daughter, Ann, died in 1860, never having married.

Eddowes8Feb1860

Eddowes journal and General Advertiser, 8 February 1860

Frances was the last to marry – to William Wilkies in 1869, after the death of her father.

WellingtonJnl26Jun1869

Wellington Journal, 26 June 1869

 

Sources: family archives; findmypast; familysearch; British newspaper archives

I now turn to Jones – not an easy name to research for obvious reasons.

Richard Jones was born about 1789, baptised on 16 August in Pontesbury, Shropshire. He was the son of Richard Jones and Sarah Wall. The only sibling I know about is Sarah, born in 1791.

Pontesbury is both a parish and a large village. The village is about eight miles south-west of Shrewsbury near the river Severn. It has a mining history of coal, lime, iron, and lead. The hill nearby is the site of an iron-age hill fort built around 600 BCE (the hill itself formed by volcanic activity in the preCambrian era).

EarlsHillPontesbury

Richard married Anne Phillips on 11 May 1815 in Pontesbury.  The church dates back to 1254 but has been rebuilt a few times.

StGeorgechurchPontesbury

The couple had 14, possibly 15 children (nine of them girls), and I’ll give the details in the next post on Anne.  Five children were born before 1820, another five in the 1820s, then another four in the 1830s.

Richard was a farmer, and the family lived at Castle Place near Church Pulverbatch in Shropshire.

“Castle Place Farm derives its name from a large circular depression, apparently natural, which surrounds the house and was formerly known as Toppings Castle. It is a brick house with some Georgian features, built in the early 19th century.”

(from http://www.gatehouse-gazetteer.info/English sites/3848.html)

I found Richard mentioned in newspapers in the 1830s and 1840s with regard to prosecuting felons and trespassers. I imagine men of some standing undertook these tasks.

felon1

felon3

Naturally, farmers would be concerned with trespassers.

Game

The 1841 census confirms Richard was a farmer at Castle Place. His wife, Anne, however, was not listed. She may have been visiting family but I have yet to find her.  Six children were listed (out of 14). Three children had died but I can’t find the whereabouts of four others. Perhaps they were with Anne, were working, or had also died. I shall explore further in the next post.

Richard obviously sold stock at the Shrewsbury fair,

Shrewsburyfair

dealt with claims against estates,

ShrewsburyChr9Mar1849

Shrewsbury Chronicle, 9 March 1849

and attended county meetings.

listaShrewsChr4Jan1850

listb

Shrewsbury Chronicle, 4 January 1850

Anne was back with Richard for the 1851 census. Richard was a farmer of 200 acres, employing one labourer and some coal miners. The region was known for coal and evidently Richard sold the coal found on the farm.  He was described as a coal dealer in a newspaper article of 1854.  Four children were listed with them in the census (as well as Anne’s brother).  Some others had married in the interim.

Sadly, Anne died in 1859 leaving Richard a widower. In 1861 Richard was still farming at Castle Place. His brother-in-law was still with him as well as two daughters.  He was still farming 200 acres, employing three men and two boys.

Sometime after 1861 Richard moved to Milton Place, Belle Vue, Shrewsbury. I imagine he retired from farming in his 70s to live the rest of his life as a gentleman.  I can find no reference to Milton Place – probably long since renamed or merged with another road.

Richard died there on 16 July 1864.

RichJones

(I have admired the above card for most of my life. The memorial cards, combined with my grandmother’s tree, set me on the ancestor hunt. I wish I could go back in time to discuss the tree with her.)

RJoneswill

 

Sources: family archives; wikipedia; findmypast; British newspaper archive; genuki.org.uk; shropshirehistory.com; st-george.org.uk; gatehouse-gazetteer.info;

Now I start getting back to the eighteenth century, starting with Richard Powell, who was born about 1791 in Bromfield, Shropshire. I haven’t been able to find a baptism. The closest found was a Richard on 23 September 1792 at Clunbury (a 3 hour walk away from Bromfield, in present times), son of William and Mary.  As there are no Williams among Richard’s children it doesn’t seem likely (but not impossible). I wouldn’t’ be surprised if Richard’s father was Richard (there are a lot of them). So, unfortunately, for now, this will be as far back that I can go with the Powells.

Richard married Martha Harris on 9 January 1818 at Bishop’s Castle in Shropshire, the place of Martha’s birth. Martha would have been born about 1792. I haven’t been able to find her baptism either.

The first child, Martha Eliza, was born about 1819 at “The Poles”, baptised on 4 August in Bromfield, Shropshire. When I found my grandmother’s handwritten family tree she had at the top “Powell, The Poles”. For years I couldn’t figure out what “the poles” meant and thought perhaps that it indicated how Powell was pronounced.  Years later, I was told it was a rural area within Shropshire, but maps seemed to place it far to the north of Bromfield. Then I found this.

 

Polesfromshropshirehistory_org_uk

From search.shropshirehistory.org.uk

Perhaps there was an earlier farmhouse (Richard was a farmer) as the above building dates from the mid-19th century.

The next child born was Charlotte, estimated to have been born around 1822, but baptised on 7 August 1824 in Bromfield. Following Charlotte was Ann (bear with me, there were nine children). Ann, born at the Poles, was baptised on 7 May 1823. Then the first boy was born in 1825, Richard, baptised on 16 September. Sadly, he died just three months later, and was buried on 5 December. The following year brought more sadness to the family as another daughter, Mary, baptised on 24 September 1824, was buried on 29 September.

There may or may not have been more children before another boy, also called Richard, was born in 1830. The family had moved northwest to Lydham, nearer to Martha’s birthplace. Richard was baptised on 27 June in Lydham.  Following Richard was another girl, another Mary, baptised on 27 November 1831 in Lydham. Two more girls were born: Sarah, baptised 3 February 1833; and Susan, baptised 20 July 1834. Sadly, she also died, buried on 17 April 1835. So Richard was the only surviving boy in a family of (six surviving) girls.

In the 1841 census the family were living at Lydham village, Richard a farmer. The surviving children were listed except for Charlotte. She may have been working as a servant somewhere. There was a Charlotte living with Elizabeth Harris at St Chad (who may or may not be an aunt) along with some other unrelated girls of the same age.

Ann married John Harris on 14 November 1843 at Lydham. Sadly, Sarah died in 1847 and was buried in Lydham on 22 February, aged only about 14.  The eldest daughter, Martha, married Thomas Bright on 12 April 1849 at Church Pulverbatch, Shropshire. This is where I had a hallelujah moment as my grandmother’s tree had ? marrying ? Bright followed by a list of five children, three of whom were named. (I found those five children and was able to confirm from my grandmother’s descriptions, eg “chemist London”, or “died a bachelor”. It was a wonderful feeling.)

Sometime between 1841 and probably 1849 the family moved to the Church Pulverbatch region. In the 1851 census they were living at Walleybourne in the parish of Wrentnall near Church Pulverbatch. Richard was a farmer of 250 acres employing one labourer occasionally. Despite that, living with them were a number of people: a dairy maid, a housemaid, two farm labourers, a waggoner and his boy, and a cow man. Also visiting was John Rhees, age 20, a nephew. Richard may have had a sister called Martha who married a Thomas Rhees, or certainly, if not that couple (who married in 1807 which seems too early) then a sister who married a Rhees (also a farmer). Living with Richard and Martha were Charlotte, Richard, and Mary.

Sadly, Ann died in 1855, at the age of about 32. She left a husband and five children, the youngest being four years old. Richard married Catherine Jones in 1858 at Church Pulverbatch. I don’t know what happened to Charlotte – whether she married or died.

So in 1861 there was just Richard and Martha living at Sydnall cottage, Pulverbatch, Richard a farmer of just 16 acres. Visiting them were grandchildren, Richard and Margaret Harris (the now motherless children of Ann). There was also a house servant. Richard’s age was put at 80 but according to previous census returns he would have been 70 (and was about the same age as Martha). He can’t have aged 20 years from 1851 to 1861.

Richard died on 15 July 1862 at Sydnall cottage. The probate of 1863 reads:

Powell Richard, effects under £2000

Richardsnr1863

Martha lived for another 11 years. In 1871 she was living with her daughter, Martha, and her family in Clun. Her son-in-law, Thomas Bright, was a farmer of 220 acres employing three labourers.

Martha died a couple of years later and was buried on 23 August 1873 at Church Pulverbatch.

 

Sources: family archives; findmypast; familysearch; searchshropshirehistory.org.uk; probatesearch

Matthew Darlington was born about 1809 and baptised on 19 February 1809 in Haslington, Cheshire. His parents were John Darlington and Jane Holland. I found nine children born or baptised in Haslington with John and Jane Darlington as parents. However, the baptisms were over a 30 year period (from 1792 to 1822), which seemed unlikely unless the children were baptised as older children. Having said that, I did find the 1851 census (at familysearch) for John and Jane, born in the 1770s listed with a son born about 1821. I haven’t seen the original (no current sub) so can’t confirm.  If so, it was a very long period over which to have children. If it’s the right couple, John was a brickmaker.

Matthew married Elizabeth Malam on 14 June 1829 at Astbury, Cheshire. I don’t know much about Elizabeth. She was born between 1804 and 1807 in Weston or Wybunbury in Cheshire according to census returns. She may have been born in 1805 in Wybunbury to John and Hannah Malam.

A daughter, Jane, was christened just three months after the wedding! Two years later in 1831 a son, John, was born in Haslington. Then three years later another daughter, Hannah, in 1834 (which seems to point to Elizabeth’s parents being named John and Hannah). Two more sons were born in 1835 and 1841 – Thomas and Matthew.

In the 1841 census all the children were listed as well as a two-year old girl called Elizabeth who would’ve been born in about 1839. I suspect she died before 1843 when “my” Elizabeth was born. And indeed, this is confirmed by a burial record at findmypast in which a girl, born in 1838 died in 1841 in Haslington. As I don’t currently have a sub I can’t view it. In any case, the family were living in Haslington and Matthew was a cordwainer.

Three more children that I know of were born during the next ten years: Elizabeth in 1843, Mary in 1847, and Joseph in 1850. The eldest child, Jane, married James Glover in 1850. The eldest son, John, may have died that year according to a burial record at findmypast. Certainly there’s no further sign of him.

In 1851 all the children except Jane, John, and the ‘earlier’ Elizabeth were listed. The family were still living in Haslington with Matthew being a master shoemaker.

In 1861 all the children except Jane, John and both Elizabeths were listed, all living at Haslington. The ‘younger’ Elizabeth was working at Haslington Hall. Matthew was a shoemaker and farmer of 18 acres, employing two men and two boys. He was also a gospel preacher! Son, Thomas was also a shoemaker, and daughter, Hannah, was a boot binder. Son, Matthew was also a shoemaker and “free gospel preacher”(in inverted commas and underlined), age 20.

Elizabeth married John Asher in 1864. Matthew married Hannah Whittaker in 1866. Thomas married Esther Plant in 1867.

In 1871, therefore, only Hannah, Mary, and Joseph were still living with Matthew and Elizabeth.  Matthew was now just listed as a farmer of 39 acres. With the family on census night were grandsons, John Glover, 15, and John Darlington, 5. John was born about 1866 and, I’m guessing, is either the son of Thomas or Matthew.

In 1875 Hannah married a widower with two children, Ralph Allcock.

Sadly, Matthew’s wife, Elizabeth, died in 1879.

In 1881, Matthew lived in Church Coppenhall, farming 35 acres at the age of 72. With him was daughter, Mary, 34, and son, Joseph, 31. John Darlington was also there, age 15, but this time was listed as a “son” not a “grandson”. Also there was Ellen Allcock, age 15.

Joseph married Elizabeth Whittaker in 1882.

I found an interesting article about Thomas Darlington, free gospel preacher and shoemaker in 1884:

Thosscene1CheshireObserver

Thosscene226Apr1884

Thosscene3

“Cheshire Observer”, 26 April 1884

“An ignorant shoemaker”. Oh dear. Go, Thomas.

According to a burial record on findmypast, Matthew died in 1884, and I subsequently found this notice.

MatthewdthCheshireObserver4Oct1884

Cheshire Observer, 4 October 1884

[I can find no information on Maw Green farm, apart from the fact that a few families lived there over the years, including Richard Lindop.]

So, Matthew died on 19 September 1884, at age 76, a good age.

Sources: findmypast; wikipedia; family archives; familysearch; British newspaper archive; Google.

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Samaria Johnson was born about 1827, but baptised on 23 September 1832 in Ibstock, Leicestershire. She was the second daughter of William Johnson and Lydia Hall.  Samaria was one of nine children. I always thought that Samaria was an interesting name and it seemed strange combined with the common name of Johnson. Researching into her family, equally interesting names emerged such as Selina, Reuben and German, likely Jewish in origin. Her other siblings had the more common names of William, Samuel, Mary Ann, Ellen, and Eliza. Is there a Jewish connection? Samaria’s parents were both born in Leicestershire.

In 1841 the family of seven were living at Deacon’s Lane in Ibstock. Samaria’s older sister, Mary Ann, had died the same year she was born. Her father was a sawyer.

Samaria was pregnant when she married Thomas Asher on 5 February 1845 in Ibstock. She gave birth to John on 15 June 1845. A daughter, Louisa, was born between October and December in 1848. The next son, Thomas, was born on 28 February 1851. The family were listed in the 1851 census in Ibstock. Thomas senior worked at the colliery.

HighStIbstock

A son, William, was born between July and September, 1853, in Ibstock, then another, Samuel, between October and December, 1855, in Coalville. The last child, as far as I know, was Selina, born between July and September in 1858, in Coalville. As mentioned before, Louisa was not included in the 1861 census and I have been unable to find her, although she grew to adulthood and married.

village_coop_coalville

Samaria did live to see one of her children marry, and became a grandmother. John married in 1864 and had twins in 1869 (having lost a baby girl).  She missed seeing Louisa married later in the year 1870.

Samaria (or “Mary”) died on 31 March 1870 at Church Coppenhall, Cheshire. Her age at death was given as 47 (which would mean a birth year of 1823), but according to census returns her birth year was 1827, which meant she was just 43 years old. She died of valvular disease of the heart and apoplexy.  She missed out on seeing the rest of her children get married, and on meeting her many grandchildren:

Louisa married William Turner in Cheshire and had five children.

William married Emma Guildford in 1875 in Staffordshire. They had nine children.

Selina married Thomas Snelson in 1877 in Cheshire.

Samuel married Lavinia Hall at the beginning of 1878 in Cheshire. They had four children.

Thomas married Elizabeth Gower in June of 1878 in Kent. They had a whopping 11 children, one of whom, sadly, died in Gallipoli in 1916.

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; family archives; derelictplaces.co.uk; Ibstock Historical Society

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Thomas Asher was born in about 1823 and christened on 12 October 1823 in Ibstock, Leicestershire. His parents were Joseph Asher and Sarah Heap. He had two brothers and two sisters, and two half-sisters from his father’s second marriage to Mary Thomas.

In the census of 1841 Thomas was 18 and at the colliery at Ibstock. The first coal shaft was sunk in Ibstock by William Thirby in 1825. In the beginning of the 1830s the colliery also began making bricks. In April 1846, the colliery was auctioned off. I thought the advertisement in the Aris’s Birmingham Gazette in March 1846 was quite interesting.

TO be SOLD by AUCTION, by B. PAYNE, subject to such conditions of sale as will be then produced, on Thursday the 2d day of April, 1846, at the Queen’s Hotel, adjoining the Railway Station, Birmingham, at two o’clock – all that valuable COLLIERY, in full working, called THE IBSTOCK COLLIERY, including an excellent Pumping Engine, with cylinder of 64 inches diameter, three Boilers, and 156 yards of Pump Trees. Clack-doors, Rods, and Iron-work complete [….]
And also 98 Acres of excellent Arable, Meadow, and Pasture Land, in fine condition with a Farm House in the centre, Barns, Stables, Sheds, and all the customary Buildings, in complete repair, situate at Ibstock aforesaid, contiguous to and now occupied in conjunction with the above Colliery.
The Colliery has been partially opened about twenty years, but has only been in full work for about ten years. The Estate contains several Seams or Beds of excellent Coal, the principal of which, so far as has yet been ascertained, are as follow: – the Five-feet or Top Seam, extending under 53 Acres, of which about 32 Acres have been worked out, and the Eight-feet or Bottom Seam, under 116 Acres of which about 23 Acres have been exhausted.
There is an abundance of Fire Clay, which may be turned to great advantage, and a good supply of Brick Clay, with a Brick-yard, Kiln, large Shed, &c. for its manufacture, now in full work.
A Branch Railway, of about a mile and a half in length, belongs to the Colliery Estate, and connects the same with the Leicester and Swannington Railway, at a distance of about eleven miles from Leicester, thus affording, in addition to the Home Trade, a ready market, with a priority in distance over other Collieries, for disposing of the excellent Coal at a moderate but remunerating price.
There are various Cottages and other Buildings and conveniences on the Estate, not only for the occupation of the Farm, but also for Colliery purposes, including new Offices and Store-room, capital Blacksmiths’ and Carpenters’ Shops.
>The Estate is tithe-free, with the exception of about 40 Acres, which pay a modus of £1.7s.6d a year.
The neighbourhood of Ibstock is thickly populated and wealthy, and the extensions of the Midland Railways now in contemplation will afford a new and very large market for the Coal towards Rugby and Northampton and other places, in addition to the present trade in the neighbourhood, and to the town of Leicester.
The Coal is particularly adapted for the working of steam engines, as it possesses great powers of generating steam.

Apparently the company went through several changes of ownership until 1875 when it was purchased by the Thomson family of mine owners.

But back to Thomas. He married Samaria Johnson on 5 February 1845 in Ibstock.  Samaria, it seemed, was already pregnant and gave birth in June to her first son, John. In 1848 they had a girl, Louisa, and then in 1851, a boy, Thomas.  All were listed in the 1851 census in Ibstock, and Thomas was a waggoner at the colliery (he pushed the underground tubs), age 28.

The couple had two more sons, William and Samuel, in 1853 and 1856, and then another daughter, Selina, in 1858.

At some stage the family moved to Hugglescote, just south of Coalville, not far to the northeast of Ibstock, and still part of the parish of Ibstock.

IbstocktoHugglescote

They were living there at the time of the 1861 census and Thomas was listed as a collier. All the children are listed except for Louisa, who I have been unable to find. (According to another researcher, she married in 1870, but I’ve been unable to find confirmation.)

Sometime between 1861 and 1870, the family moved to Cheshire to Monks or Church Coppenhall. “Monks Coppenhall was a township in Coppenhall ancient parish, Nantwich hundred (SJ 7056), which became a civil parish in 1866, and in 1877 became the Borough of Crewe.” (from Genuki)

Monkscoppenhall1882map

Thomas’ wife, Samaria, died in March 1870 at Church Coppenhall. Between April and June that same year, Thomas married Catherine Garner! He didn’t waste any time. I don’t have the details about the marriage, so don’t know if Catherine was also widowed. According to the 1871 census she was born in Willaston, Cheshire in about 1820.  So, in the census for 1871, Thomas was a stationary engine driver (not a train engine driver). Living with him and Catherine were Thomas’ two younger children, Samuel and Selina, both teenagers. Samuel was a forger (eg blacksmith) at iron works (and something illegible in brackets, possibly a shortened form of apprentice).

Something happened to Catherine within the next seven years. I’ve been unable to find a death record, but Thomas married Jane Harris in 1878. In the 1881 census he was living with her at 61 Flag Lane in Monks Coppenhall, Crewe. Thomas was a labourer at the iron works at age 60. Jane was ten years younger.

Thomas and his wife moved again, to Northampton. In 1891 he and Jane lived at 31 St Peter’s Street in south Northampton. Thomas, at age 71, was working as a railway porter.

Thomas continued living there and working as a railway porter until his death in 1900. He died on 19th February of “senile decay”.

Sources: findmypast; familysearch; family archives; ibstock.com/history; British newspaper archives;  Google maps; wikipedia; maps.nls.uk; genuki