Page 2: Single women

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Here are more of Pam’s photos, the first group showing Sarah Marinah Ebbern, eldest daughter of Thomas and Mary (nee Birch) …. with an obliging caption beneath the first one.

Photo 3a: Sarah Marinah Ebbern

Searching for ‘P. Smedley of Wilton Place’, we find Peter Battelle Smedley.
Born in Stanton by Dale, Derbyshire, in August 1863, he was the third son of Samuel and Jane (nee Riley) and throughout his working life traded as a joiner. On Christmas Day 1885 he married Edith Smith, daughter of Herbert and Selina (nee Riley).
The couple, without children, moved into Wilton Place in the early 1890’s and remained there for over 20 years.


In December 1933 Peter Smedley wrote a short history of his family which was printed in the Nottingham Journal (December 8th) and is reproduced in full below …

The Smedley Family.

Writing from 4, Dale Street, Ilkeston, Peter Battle (sic) Smedley, a joiner by trade, sends me some interesting particulars about the Smedley family which was the subject of inquiry a day or two ago. He writes:
“I was born in Stanton-by-Dale in the year 1863. My father was born at Stanton-by Dale 100 years ago, 29 November, 1833.* His name was Samuel Smedley, and he was a boot and shoe-maker by trade, but later took on the Prudential Assurance agency which he kept till he died 13 years ago.
“His father, my grandfather, was born at Stanton-by-Dale 128 years ago, and his name was Robert Smedley and he was also a boot and shoe-maker. He died when he was 28 years old from an accident.**
“You know at that time they used to go out ‘plough-bullocking’, and as he was a very good jumper, he tried to jump the canal lock. He fell short and caught his ribs on the stonework.
“This Robert Smedley was one of a family of twelve sons and some daughters, all of Stanton-by-Dale. Some were farmers, some stockiners, blacksmiths, millers, bakers, wheelwrights, etc.
“I can just remember my great uncle Luke. He was a blacksmith and lived on Cat and Fiddle-lane which leads from West Hallam Station to Dale. The old house and smithy is still there.
“Then there was Steven Smedley who owned the Cat and Fiddle mill. All around the district of Stanton-by-Dale and Risley and Dale Abbey this old family lived – you can find tombstones in Risley churchyard, Kirk Hallam, Stanton and the other churchyards.
“I have heard my father say that the earliest history of the Smedleys began in a houes on No Man’s-lane, which leads from Dale Abbey to Sandiacre and they settled here as farmers, hundreds of years ago, perhaps from the time of the monks at Dale Abbey.
“There were some big families reared by the Smedleys of No Man’s-lane and my father thought some of these off-shoots went Matlock way and settled.
“Many of these Smedleys were really good musicians of that time and the family almost to a man or two formed the noted Dale Brass Band.
“They were great on a piece of music called ‘Wet and Windy’. The bandmaster of course was a Smedley and when the band got a bit mixed up he used to call to the drummer ‘Now, Dick, lay it into boomer’ and he would nearly burst the drum.
“The family also had a string band for years in Stanton Church, and there was one whose name was ‘Billy I-o-a Kick and bump-um Smedley’. He used to play the big bass fiddle. He was a very fat man, about 20 stone.
“Luke played the violin, and others trombone, oboe and cornet. The family were bell-ringers at Stanton.”

*Peter may be mis-remembering the birth year of his father as Samuel seems to have been baptised at Stanton-by-Dale on December 19th 1832.
** Peter may also be mistaken about the death of his grandfather, who was buried at Stanton-by-Dale church on February 4th 1837, aged 32

(The given name of Battelle may derive from Peter’s maternal great grandmother who lived in Ockbrook … it is a name which was common in the area of Spondon/Ockbrook).


Peter’s wife Edith would be about 30 years old when the couple first moved into Wilton Place (a pity we can’t quite see the fingers of the left hand).

Peter’s oldest brother was John Arthur, born in 1859. In March 1880 he married Hannah Rice, daughter of Samuel, grocer and baker of Market Street, and Mary (nee Shaw). They had seven children before Hannah died in 1892, aged 31 (in childbirth ?).

Three years later John Arthur remarried, to Catherine Coupe, began a ‘second’ family, and shortly after moved to Nuneaton, Warwickshire, taking with him several of the children from his first marriage. However a couple of daughters remained in Ilkeston, one of them being Edith Agnes Smedley, born in November 1887 — she appears on the 1901 and 1911 censuses living in Wilton Place with Peter and Edith.

Could either be the lass in the photo ? Neither of these young women appears to have a connection with the Paling or Ebbern families.

Several puzzling questions therefore remain (at least for me !!) …
Is the young woman in the photo ‘P Smedley’, or does that refer to Peter Smedley the joiner ?
If the latter than who is in the photo and why is she associated with ‘P Smedley’ ?
What is the connection, if any, between ‘P Smedley and the Ebbern or Paling families ?


Photo 3b

Photo 3c

Sarah Marinah once more,  standing in the same walkway as shown in 3g.

Photo 3d (obverse)

Photo 3d (reverse)


Photo 3e


The photo (above) was taken by Fred Ash (see Photo 2c Page 1). In 1913, Sarah Marinah married Thomas Whitehead at St. Mary’s Church. And below is Sarah Marinah (it is believed) seated in the plane. ready for take off with two unknown companions.

Photo 3f


The young lady in the photos 3g and 3h (below) is Mary Elizabeth Ebbern (1889-1961), unmarried daughter of Thomas and Mary (nee Birch)…. identified thanks to Pam Bates.

Photo 3g

Photo 3h


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