Recently I have received requests from readers of the site, asking for help on particular issues or problems they have come up against when researching their family history or when exploring their roots in Ilkeston.
I have tried to help, though not always successfully or as fully as I would have liked. Consequently I have introduced this new section where in future I will post such requests in the hope that there are others who feel that they can join in and help.
If you have a problem, question or any such issue, related to your Ilkeston heritage (preferably from the period covered by the site) and would like to add it to this page, please pass it to me via the ‘Comments’ section or by email to email@example.com
And if you can add anything you can send your help via one of the same routes.
I have begun the page by listing the latest questions sent to me. If you have sent one earlier and would let to ask again, please feel free.
Can you help John Daniel ?
George Mather and Hannah Hirst were married in 1800 at Nottingham. At that time George was working as an iron founder at Ilkeston.
Their first child, Samuel, was born in 1801 while they were living in Cossall.
Their children, Mary and Ann were born in 1803 and 1804 respectively, at Derby.
George, Elizabeth, Thomas and Fanny were born between 1807 and 1813, in the Somercotes /Alfreton area.
And finally John was born in 1815 while the Mathers were at Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.
And then George disappears.
His wife Hannah can be found living in Ilkeston, without George, (on the 1851 census she is a widow) until she died and was buried in Ilkeston in 1853.
But what happened to George ?
John Daniel has been looking for his death for a very long time …
I believe that George Mather (husband of Hannah Hirst) died/was killed under dubious circumstances. I have a couple of newspaper articles (Derby Mercury and Nottingham Gazette) relating to a chap by the name of John Walker being charged with the ‘killing and slaying’ of George Mather in Somercotes in 1815 following an inquest held by the coroner of the time (George Gent). Other than this, I cannot find any follow on reports. It seems that John Walker was released ‘No Bill’ which apparently means insufficient evidence. I have tried to find out more about this case and what actually happened to George Mather but have hit a total blank. The County Records office tell me all old inquest documentation was pulped during WW2. I’m pretty convinced I have the same George Mather as he was an iron founder in Somercotes and didn’t father any children beyond 1815 (as I presume he was killed and slain!).
I think it will remain a mystery. I actually went to a meeting of the Somercotes Local History group once and specifically asked about a burial. I think they told me that the church in Somercotes hadn’t been built then.
Its a bit disappointing that the newspaper editors of the time didn’t give the full story. Reading the published articles in isolation wouldn’t mean very much i.e. no build up and no conclusion.
When I contacted the Records Office in Matlock they initially told me about the pulping in WW2 but said to try the coronor’s expenses claim as they sometimes give brief details of the inquest there. No joy!
This George Mather’, killed in Somercotes in 1815, must have been buried somewhere, perhaps in Eastwood ?
Francis Hallam, coalminer of Mapperley/West Hallam married Sarah Brentnall at Duffield on October 30th 1797. They had at least 10 children, the penultimate one being James, born in 1817.
Son James Hallam married Ann Pickering at St. Werburgh’s Church in Derby on November 26th 1843. Thomas seems to have been their last child, born in 1859.
He married Mary Ann Moore at Ilkeston Ebenezer Chapel in 1888 and when she died in 1903 Thomas remarried, the following year, to Emily Rebecca Meadows, at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Castle Donington.
One of their sons was James Hallam, born in 1913.
Michael James (Mike) Hallam (July 11th 2019) is very keen to contact any associated Hallams.
Mike writes …
Francis Hallam, Mapperley, collier, and his wife Sarah (Brentnal) were producing at least 7 children between 1800 and 1820.
His son James with his wife Ann (Pickering ) had 10 children and one of them was Thomas 1859-1931. I believe this Thomas was my grandfather and he bought the bakery from his brother in 1910.
I was the first child of James Hallam, baker, son of the above Thomas. I arrived during an air raid in the Battle of Britain 5th Sept 1940 in Ilkeston, 2 am.
My father still ran the bakery for his widowed mother when I was born.
Hopefully you have a picture of a bakery invoice dated 1912 from a bakery at 52 Station Rd., Ilkeston that was in Hallam ownership from Victorian times until about 1946.
My most treasured possessions to do with Hallam family history are:
1. A 50 page notebook dated 1910 in which a detailed valuation of every item in a bakery and shop at 52 Station Rd., Ilkeston are written by John Hallam and Thomas Hallam. Page one values the contents of the stable in which the horse is £20, the cart £12 down to brushes, combs and a whip.
2. Two 1940 “congratulations on birth of first child” cards, one blue and one pink.
3. A family bible with birth date entries. The Bible was published in 1821 and the first owner was Elizabeth Pickering. It is signed by her in 1821 the year of her marriage (nee Potter). So I think it was a wedding present.
She wrote “1821 Elizabeth Pickering” inside the front cover and went on to write about 10 lines of a poem warning anyone who dared to “steel” her new bible that they would be cast down below into the fires of Hell.
Her new husband had a sister, Ann Pickering, who married James Hallam and the bible passed into Hallam ownership through her. Pickering, Hallam, and Moore names are scribbled inside.
This family bible will be finished its restoration in 2 weeks. (dated July 11th 2019)
Mike adds …
I would welcome contact with any Hallams who are distantly related to me. So far we Hallams have only produced daughters for the continuation of the line of descent. I would like to make contact with Hallam families who share my ancestral bloodline, who have male children etc.
Steven Henman wrote on December 29th 2018 …
I used to live in Long Eaton and visited Ilkeston not realising some of my ancestors lived in the town. I’m gathering a lot of good information from my ancestry membership but does anyone have any pictures of 1 Chapel Row on Chapel Street from around 1900 as Henry William Smith (my great grandfather appears at the address in the 1911 census as a 15 year old boy. His occupation is a coal miner pony driver underground. Any idea which pit he would have worked? thanks for any help.
Dave replied with a map …
This is the area in 1880/81 … I suspect it would have changed little by 1911. Obviously not a photo … though there is one to be found on ‘Picture the Past’ website (for 1973).
Lynne Warren (Rigley) wrote on September 28th 2018 …
I’ve just read with great interest the article on William Hawkins and the Rutland Iron Foundry. William was my grandfather’s grandfather, and although I’ve not had great success in finding anything out about the Foundry on the internet, I was inspired to look this evening after visiting the Erewash Museum today. I went to see the photograph of William Hawkins (while visiting Ilkeston), but unfortunately it is currently in storage. Your article has so much information in one place, and that was wonderful to see!
By a strange coincidence, I am from Ontario where some of the other Hawkins descendants were born, and I’m wondering if it’s possible to connect us? S Hawkins is a great grandchild of William and Ann, and their first child Eliza was my great grandmother. It would be wonderful to share information and make a family connection. (I have seen a copy of William’s will, and he died in 1919.)
Thank you for your site!
Alan Morris wrote (June 13th 2018) …
After more than 20 months of research and two mistaken trails I finally found the lineage of my Great-Grandmother Caroline Davis. Her father who I identified courtesy of Census and Ilkeston Non-Conformist records was Frank Davis, born 1817 of John and I think Ann (Riley). Her mother Sarah Ann Ball was born in Loughborough in 1820 and married Frank in Nottingham in 1838.
Given that there are so many Balls in the Ilkeston website and that it is clear that both her family and that of Frank were engaged in the Lace industry (he had moved to Loughborough by 1841 and is described as a Warp Machine Engineer in later census records in South East London), I am trying to establish the connection of the Loughborough Balls to those of Ilkeston.
I’d also like to know of any lines of research that may better establish the family line of Frank who was apparently born in Shipley Wood.
One other question that someone may be able to help with are the names Alexander and Rueben (sometimes together) that crop up across the Davis family and their descendants for at least 3 generations.
Reply from Dave …
At present, I can’t see a connection between the Balls of Loughborough and any of the families in Ilkeston.
I agree that Frank was the (youngest) child of John and Ann (Riley) who married in February 1805 at Heanor.
His older siblings were Joseph (b1806) who married Elizabeth Bradley in 1825; George (1808) who married Mary Ann Bradley, Elizabeth’s sister, in 1827; James (1810) who married Charlotte Beardsley in 1828; and Mary Ann (1813) who married Benjamin Simpson in 1833, then John Williams in 1838, and then George Dutton in 1840.
I know that there are others much better informed than me about families in Heanor/ Shipley/ Marlpool etc. Let’s hope they might help ?
Alan Smith is trying to track down any details of Joe Frost (born 1902). He writes (May 13th/15th 2018) …
Do you have any information on a Joe Frost (of Ilkeston c1930s-50s) who split from his wife to become a tramp? It’s something my dad told used to tell me about, and that his sister used to feed him from time to time.
Dad used to tell me how his mum; Joe’s sister (my grandma); used to give him a dinner from time to time. Something had happened between Joe and his wife Lottie (that’s the name recorded on both the marriage registration and the 1939 register), and the words my dad told me Joe used were along the lines of “… she’ll not get a penny piece from me, I’d sooner tramp the streets” which he did.
Joe’s date of birth; as given on the 1939 register; is 6th March 1902, and he was working as a Colliery Deputy.
I’m unsure whether it was Joe or another Frost member, but dad used to tell me of how a Frost ‘thug’ used to carry a gun about him.
Beverle Tracey wrote (Mar 12th 2018) …
I’m new to all this but I’ve been searching family on my dad’s side … there seems to be a lot my dad George was one of nine children his dad Richard Alfred was born in 1896 married Harriet Waterall .Richard’s dad is also called Richard and his dad is Richard.
Most of my family are from Ilkeston or surrounding areas.
I didn’t know dad well but have recently found his siblings families
We are having a reunion of the Henson line in July
I was wondering if you know of any stories relating to any of the Hensons
It would be great to get an invite into their lives as I know very little at the moment.
Dave replied …
Looking at the records on line, it seems to me that your dad George was born on Oct 12th 1929 and at the beginning of the Second World War was living with his family in the Eastwood district.
At that time his father Richard Alfred (born Jan 3rd 1896) was a coalminer. With him was wife Harriet (Dec 18th 1894) and George’s siblings, Richard Alfred junr (May 4th 1919); Isaac (Apr 30 1921); Reginald (Aug 30th 1923); Jasper Melbourn (Oct 18th 1924); Dorothy (1932); June (1934); Barry (1938) (There was another child, Joan, born in 1927 but she appears to have died in 1929?)
It seems that Harriet Henson (nee Wateral) was an Ilkeston lass, the daughter of coalminer Joel and Mary Eliza (nee Hardy), and lived most of her early life in Grass Street, Ilkeston.
Perhaps there is someone who could add more detail for you?
Dawn Turner would like help (Feb 21st 2018) …
I wonder if you can shed any light on something for me. I am based in Shed 2 Studios which the middle of three buildings up an alleyway to the left side of Norton Plastics old factory on Heanor Road.
I understand that these three buildings belonged to the factory, certainly in the WW2 days, and that our particular unit was ‘British Restaurant’ as well as school dining for Holy Trinity and Granby.
I can find a reasonable amount of history on the factory, and even found evidence that the first building (now Jane Stapleton Photography , was the plumbers) was built prior to our building and the one next door which adjoins across the back – I came across a map online showing only that building, but later maps show all three.
What I cannot find is this – at the apex, all three buildings have a round window. The first building has been modernised, so haven’t seen it’s original. The third building’s window was boarded up a long while ago.
Ours has a six pointed star, looks like the Star Of David. I can’t find if this is significant in any way, and wondered if you could shed any light?
I don’t actually know whether all three buildings were built whilst owned by Baileys, or subsequently under the Hewitt’s or Carriers.
Many thanks if you can help!
Alan Smith seeks help …
I’d rather like to ask through these pages if anyone has any information on one John Severn of Ilkeston with regards to the 1841 census.
John was Christened on 6th March 1816 in Ilkeston to William Severn and Phoebe Leggitt, I know he was married to one Emma Ride of Muggington/Weston Underwood in 1838 and together they had two children; Matilda who was born in 1839, and John who was born in the 4th quarter of 1840.
Emma and her young son (John) both died in 1841 prior to the census of that year being recorded, I know that their daughter Matilda was living with her re-married grandmother Pheobe (who’d married Thomas Bennett), but its the whereabouts of Matilda’s father (John Severn) I’m after as he seems to have disappeared – it must have been hard for him after losing his wife and son.
From what I’ve found out, Matilda never lived with her father again, but John did live in Ilkeston as he’s found on the 1851 and later census. I’ve looked to see if John went to see his wife’s parents in Muggington/Weston Underwood, but he’s not listed with them, so I’m out of ideas of why to look for him.
Ken Taylor wants to know (Sep 30th 2017)…
I’ve been researching the Winfield branch of our family and am wondering if Lucy Harrison (born 1785 at Crich) who married George Winfield in 1807 at Ilkeston, is the same person as Sarah Harrison (also born in 1780s at Crich)…
Sarah appears with husband George Winfield in the 1861 Census and according to the Ilkeston ‘Independent’ baptism records was mother to his children Ann (born 1814), George (1819) and Sarah (1821).
Lucy and Sarah each have significant gaps in their genealogical record that the other neatly fills, and with no overlaps that I’ve found. However, that’s still only circumstantial evidence, and I’d really like to find a contemporaneous record that indicates Lucy and Sarah are actually one and the same.
If you know of such a thing, or can shed any other light on this puzzle, I’d be delighted to hear of it. Lucy is a direct ancestor, and it would be great to learn more about her.
My grandmother, Millicent May Pashley (nee Beardow) was born in 1928 in Ilkeston to Henrietta Beardow and a Sidney Kerry. She had nothing to do with her father as she was illegitimate and does not recall anything about him.
We would like to know more information about her maternal grandparents. Frank Brown Beardow (a Bargee) and Clara Beardow (nee Tompkins). Any information on any member of the family would be great!
Millie (as she is more commonly known as) is well and still manages to travel to Cyprus every year to visit her daughter, grandchildren and great grandchildren!
She has fond memories of her school years and recalls her classmates Gladys Kerry, Jean Toplis and Maureen Swan at Chaucer school (1937-1939) as well as Kath Butler, Kath Becket and Jean Wheatley from Bennerley school (1942 leavers).
I am researching my Harrison side of my family.
There is a lot of stories from different members but I have recently spoken to my cousin who believes that our Harrison’s started in Derbyshire. Four children … the only dates I have are for twins William and Joseph born in 1830 to a Thomas Harrison and lived in Hollinsclough. The other two children were Sarah and Thomas. Joseph moved to Manchester and got married to a lady called Alethea and he was a spirit dealer and inn keeper.
I have tried to research the Harrison family for a while as we are all on Merseyside and i have not found the link. If I can help anyone and they can help me I would be really grateful
A message from Pamela McKirdy in Wellington, New Zealand …
I am interested in a Joseph Moore born about 1820, son of William Moore and Ruth Davis of Shipley. Joseph was transported to Tasmania in 1845.
I would like to know what became of him, because he could be the same person as my husband’s ancestor who lived in Hobart, Tasmania in the 1850s.
The Tasmanian Archives have his convict records which list his age (born around 1822) and say he was from Shipley Wood, Nottinghamshire. One of the documents lists his brothers and sisters: Jeremiah, John; Mary, Martha, Sarah, Margaret, Fanny, so I’m confident he is a brother in the family of William and Ruth. His occupation was “collier” but I think that was the work he was doing in Tasmania. He was transported on the Ratcliffe 1845 ex London. One of his tattoos said “SIHB” (I have no idea what that might stand for), and his crime was desertion from 32 Regt 5 ….(hard to read!). http://search.archives.tas.
From Chris Wood (Dec 27th 2016)
I have a Beardsley family who don’t seem to be in your census list for 1841 and 1851. Does your website cover Ockbrook?
Isaac Beardsley was born in Kirk Hallam around 1792 and married Mary Dowman in Ockbrook in 1823. He was a frame smith for most of his life, then became a beer retailer. They lived in Ockbrook and had children Thomas, Ann, Harriet, John, Elizabeth, Caroline, Edward up to1841, then Hannah and Jane.
I am trying to find Isaac’s parents from Kirk Hallam.
Isaac died in Ockbrook in 1864.
I am overseas so haven’t been able to visit these places yet and others have told me that some of the parish baptism records are not yet on line.
A message from David Harrison (Dec 3rd and 6th 2016)
Would you please ask Linda Mott to contact me re the Harrison conundrum.
After 15 years of research I believe I have solved the riddle of Joseph Harrison’s birth and his Ancestry
Are there any Harrison Researchers who might be interested in my research?
I am a GGGrandson of Joseph Harrison by way of his son John, his grandson William, and his great grandson William.
From Peter Dawson (Nov 9th 2016)
My grandmother was also a Dawson. Her name was Hannah and was the daughter of Peter Pearson Dawson, who was the brother of the William Dawson Jnr in this article and I would so much like to find out more about William senior.
I believe he was from a boat family as the earliest I can find someone to match is William Dawson age 20 in Barlaston as a boat builder in 1841 and every subsequent detail matches your article. So any help would be appreciated.
I was aware but have never traced a member of the family who actually created the Dawson family tree and had over 800 living relative but this was over 10 years ago or such.
From Sonia Limm (Oct 31st 2016)
I am researching my friend’s family tree for them and am looking for information on George Dennis Straw who was born in 1916 in Basford.
He married a Joan Margaret Bantock in 1939 in Ilkeston and died 21st July 1969.
I am wondering whether any of your readers have any information on them in particular if they are buried locally or if anyone knows who Joan’s family were.
From Gary Moss (Oct 20th 2016)
When did the Flower pot pub close?
Dave replied (Oct 21st 2016) …
I am not aware of the precise date of its closure.
It stood not far from where I lived in Ilkeston and I recall a few occasions when I visited it in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.
It closed and was demolished in the 1990’s … another sacrifice to the Chalons Way ?, although not on the direct route (there is a car park there now)… but the exact year I don’t know.
Perhaps someone else could help?
From Lesley Hampton (Oct 5th 2016) ….
I am researching a gggg aunt of mine (Eliza Jane Tamlyn of Sedgley), who was married to a priest – JRF Meek.
I saw on the 1841 census that he was the clerk at the vicarage in 1841. He was ordained at Chester 1822 and took his B.D at Cambridge 3 years later.
I was wondering whether you have any more info on the family – photos would be brilliant!
I have received an email from Polly Lynn in Illinois who would like to contact members of the Harrison family line living in Derbyshire (and not just Ilkeston).
I have copied parts of her message ….
- from the Midlands in the 1800s (so probably from there in the 1600s)
- Presbyterian in the 1600s (could later changed to something Protestant including
- middle class or lower middle class (no noble title)
- hair that is very dark brown (black) or red, and wavy
- Harrison men in my family have a hairline shaped like a lower case letter n
- NOT related to Harrisons of Staffordshire. (My Harrisons are haplogroup I1 or M-253. They are R1b1, etc.)
Polly is part of a widespread DNA project and assures me that there is no financial cost involved. I have her full address in Illinois and her email contact.
If anyone wishes to contact her, they can do so via this website or by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A request from Sharron Cooper …
Can u help me trace an 85 year old chap called Joe Payne? He was in Chilwell Nottingham, Ordinance Corps 1948-1950. I have just met an elderly gentleman who would so love to make contact with his old friend. He came from Ilkeston.
Can anyone help trace him or his family?
(Aug 15th 2016)
My great grandfather was Thomas Straw Mather who was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Straw I believe.
His son, from his marriage to Sarah Beardsley, is Arthur who is my grandfather. Arthur died in 1955 before I was born.
My problem relates to the 1911 census for my grandparents – Arthur Mather and Elizabeth (Hartshorne) – which states that at the time of the census they had had 9 children, 4 living and 5 that had died. These children would be my Aunts and Uncles. Obviously, I know of the survivors but I had no idea of these deaths until seeing this census and, on and off for the last 5 or 6 years, have tried to establish who they where without total success.
I believe one was an illegitimate daughter named Florence (I don’t know for certain if this was Arthur’s daughter of Elizabeth’s but I have found a birth in 1896 with a surname of Hartshorn(e) which may or may not be her. I cannot locate a death record though. She appears on the 1901 census as a “Boarder” but then disappears. On this census, Arthur, Elizabeth and Florence are boarders at Elizabeth’s parents on Lord Haddon Road. Florence’s birth is stated as Ilkeston and, at the age of 5, would have been born before Arthur and Elizabeth married.
I have found two Mapperley Parish Church records which confirm that two of the unidentified birth/deaths were Catherine (1898) and Arthur Henry (1899/1900).
Can you help me identify who my remaining two Aunts/Uncles may be and shed any light on what happened to Florence.
I realise I could purchase copy birth certificates but I don’t know which to ask for as there are numerous Mather births within the period I am looking and don’t particularly want to speculate by buying numerous ones.
Following the 1911 census, Elizabeth and Arthur went on to have another 6 children – including my mother – of which another 3 died in infancy.
A request from Andy Sanders…
I would love to get more information on William Sanders and the other Sanders family that occupied the thatched house on South Street / Derby Road Junction. These were my great, great great & great great great grandfathers father’s. They occupied the property for 130+ years but would love to hear more. Previous to the Sanders family occupying this house it was possibly called the Cross Keys Inn and before that the Sun Inn. I believe the property could date back as far as the 16th century. The house was finally destroyed in 1933 and the family moved around the corner to 13 Moss Road. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
(April 28th 2016)
I have had a question from Dave Longden about what he refers to as ‘The Gatekeeper’s Cottage’ at 201 Nottingham Road. This is the white house standing on the right-hand side of the entrance road to Kensington Business Park (just south of the Tesco Express on Nottingham Road).
He would like to know if anyone has any information on the history of this house.
(April 13th 2016)
Carol contacted me …. ‘I am unable to find births for the following people both children of John Morley, schoolmaster and Mary Henshaw :
Solomon Morley born about 1811, he marries Mary Eaton and then Elizabeth Richards
and Mary Morley born about 1826 according to the 1841 Census ( this is the Mary who had two illegitimate children with George Wright the landlord of the Spring Cottage Inn).
Would you also have any idea which school John Morley would have been a schoolmaster.?
(April 7th 2016)