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The Walker family of Park Road

I must thank Dianne Timmerman whose comments prompted me to include this page and supplied much of the information on the Walkers of Iowa.
I have included her remarks below but at times have taken the liberty of rearranging them, hopefully without distorting the accuracy.

Samuel and Mary Walker of Park Road.

Samuel Walker was born in Bloxwich in Staffordshire about 1811, (the son of Samuel and Martha?), and married Mary Hayes on February 14th 1833 at Duffield, Derbyshire.
Mary was the oldest of at least ten children, born in Ilkeston on June 6th 1811 to framework knitter John and Elizabeth (nee Straw).

After marriage the couple can be found at Evans Row in White Lion Square (1841 and 1851 Censuses) and during that period, had at least nine children …
Diana (1833), Martha (1835), Elizabeth (1837), Mary Ann (1839), Samuel (1841), Maria (1843), Selina (1846), Sarah (1848), and John Hayes (1850).
By the 1861 Census the Walkers had moved into Park Road and were to remain there.

A brickyard labourer/brickmaker all his adult working life, Samuel died in 1889, aged 78
Mary died in 1894, aged 83.

From Ilkeston to Iowa

My great grandmother and great grandfather — Samuel Walker and Harriet Winfield Walker— were the only ones of the family to come to the USA.
None of the rest of the family from either side came. Samuel and Harriet were the only ones to go it alone.
Why would they do that? Anyone have any ideas?  (Dianne)

Samuel Walker junior was born in Ilkeston in June 1841, but just too late to appear on the census of that year (June 6th 1841).
On March 30th 1866 he married Stapleford-born Harriet Winfield, daughter of labourer Richard and his first (?) wife Elizabeth, at the Baptist Chapel in Queen Street, Ilkeston.

Samuel and Harriet had two young sons when they left England. My info has them coming over at different times. Samuel first and then Harriet and the boys. But that could be wrong as none of us researching this family were ever able to find a ship with them listed.

The ‘two young sons‘ born in Ilkeston were Samuel born in 1866 and Thomas Darington born in April 1869.
The US census for 1870 (July 19th) then lists a Walker family at the Great Nemaha Agency in Richardson County, Nebraska … with Samuel, aged 29, working in a coal mine, Harriet aged 26, Samuel aged 3, and Thomas aged 1 … all born in England.

…  the rest of the family was born in the USA.
My grandmother Minnie and her twin sister Mae were the youngest of the family, born in 1884.
Our info has them coming to Boone Iowa where Samuel was a coal miner. At that time Iowa was full of coal mines. 

By the 1880 census this family appears to have moved to Marcy township, Boone County in Iowa. Samuel was now a farmer and the children now included Mary Ann aged 7, Harriet aged 4, Sarah aged 2 and infant Catherine … all born in Iowa. Son Richard was then born in February 1882, and finally the twin sisters May and Minnie in May 1884.
By 1895 the Walkers were in Polk County, Iowa and at the turn of the century were living in Four Mile township, Des Moines, Polk County.

Mae never married and my grandmother Minnie had twins…. they were my father Ralph and his twin sister Ruth.

Minnie Walker married Burr Irvin West in March 1910 and a month later the couple appear on the census of that year at Polk County, Iowa. Their twins Ralph and Ruth were born in 1914.

Minnie’s husband – my grandfather – was a real sweetheart.

My father did well becoming a district fire chief in Des Moines. I was born and raised in Des Moines Iowa.
My husband is an aeronautical engineer. All three of our children went to University. Two became engineers.
Ruth’s children have done well also. She had two son’s and both have engineering degrees.

Samuel Walker died in Polk Co, Des Moines, Iowa on June 22, 1921.
We have been told that Samuel was difficult to deal with. He died long before I was even born so I really don’t know the truth. I do know that my grandmother’s favorite brother, Richard, left home because of the treatment by his father. My grandmother got letters from him for several years and then they stopped and she never heard from him again. They just didn’t have what we have available today to find folks. It must have been very sad for her..

Samuel’s wife Harriet died several years earlier of cancer.

My great grandparents didn’t acquire much in the way of material things. Neither did my grandmother Minnie.

Meanwhile… back at the (Park Road b)ranch,

I tried tracking down Samuel and Harriet’s brothers and sisters but once the parents died I lost any trace of the few I had been able to track.

Samuel Walker junior had at least four older sisters ….

Diana died in Ilkeston on April 10th 1843, aged 9.

Martha, I believe, died unmarried in May 1856, aged 21.

Elizabeth married Ilkeston coal dealer Henry Raymond Robinson on September 1st 1857 at St. Mary’s Church. Son of Henry and Martha (nee Tomlinson), Henry junior was a widower, his first wife Elizabeth (nee Attenborough) having died on February 27th 1855.

Mary Ann married a brazier — Charles Briggs, born in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire about 1833, son of George and Ann (nee Hickton) — on August 3rd 1856 at St. Mary’s Church.

And of Samuel’s younger siblings …

Maria was born on October 11th 1843, appeared on the 1851 census and then … ??

Selina was born on January 24th 1846 and died in the following year.

Sarah was born on June 29th 1848. She married rope maker Joseph Wheatcroft on May 11th 1868 at Stanley Parish Church, Derbyshire — he was born in Morley, Derbyshire, the son of agricultural labourer John and Dorothy (nee Goddard).

Years ago when I was heavy into searching for the branches of the families that stayed in UK I thought I had one very good clue. As it turned out I could never trace the family anywhere except Ilkeston.
When one of the census was taken–sorry I don’t remember which one–Samuel and Mary’s grandson was visiting. His name was Samuel Wheatcroft. I found who I think were his parents — Sarah their daughter and Samel Wheatcroft just a few doors down. So, I thought if I could find any living family member that trace back to this family then perhaps they would share info. That didn’t work out.

The census (above) to which Dianne is possibly referring  is the one of 1881 which shows the Walkers of 35 Park Road and staying with them is grandson Samuel Wheatcroft, aged 10. A few doors away — at number 39 — is the rest of the Wheatcroft family who continued to live in the same road until the end of the century.

In 1892, at the Baptist Chapel in Queen Street, Samuel Wheatcroft married Claudia Louisa Potter, youngest child of Thomas and Eliza (nee Crooks) … and also of Park Road!! At the turn of the century Samuel and Claudia Louisa had set up home … guess where!!

And finally, John Hayes Walker, born on December 14th 1850, youngest child of Samuel and Mary.

Samuel had one brother and there were letters back and forth between John and Samuel but, no one knew what happened to the letters so, that trail was lost too. Mae did the writing for her father and it was thought that she had the letters. But, at her death no one could find them.
At the time I was hoping to make contact with some family member that traced back to the Walkers and Winfields that might have the letters that Samuel sent and even family photos.
All of this was done long before we had so much on computers. I remember writing letters and then waiting for the replies. Now we wait sometimes only a few minutes and we have our answers.

John married his first wife Caroline Henson of Kimberley, Nottinghamshire in 1874 who died three years later.
His second wife was Harriet Hartshorn whom he married at the Queen Street Baptist Chapel in 1885. By the end of the century the couple had moved out of Park Road … but only ’round the corner’ into Graham Street.

Post Script

I have one more thing to add to the Walker family history that someone down the line may find informative.
Its a medical history of strokes within this family.
Since I only have the history of the family on this side of the pond I don’t know what the causes of death were of the folks that stayed in the UK. I also have no idea if it would have been a weakness from the Walker or from the Winfield side.
My grandmother Minnie Walker West died of a massive stroke in her 70’s.
So did her twin sister Mae. Mae lived a few weeks after her stroke but my grandmother died within a few days of her stroke.
Then my Aunt Ruth, Minnie’s daughter, had a massive stroke and she lived for at least a year but was bedridden until she died.
Then my father Ralph, Ruth’s twin, had a massive stroke that paralyzed one side of his body. He lived for ten years in this condition before passing away.
I have a death date for both Samuel and Mary Walker but have no cause of death listed.
All of my family lived to old age before hit with all these strokes But because so many of them had them I feel there is a weakness there in one of the family lines. Just don’t know which one.
If anyone in this family ends up doing a medical genealogy they will find this helpful. (Dianne)

But now on to Market and Extension Streets.

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