Sisson family

Bev Campbell commented (Aug 3rd 2013)…

Hi.   Was wondering if you have any information on “Giant’ Thomas Sisson please?

Admin replied (Aug 3rd 2013)…

Bev,    Thomas was baptised at St. Mary’s Church on Feb 15th 1781, son of Thomas and Ann.
He married Sarah Smith at the same church on Aug 31st 1805 (the daughter of cordwainer Joseph and Sarah (nee Barton)?)
The couple had at least 11 children, the first Sarah born Jan 10th 1806 and the last Hannah Margaretta born Mar 25th 1825.
Thomas was a coalminer who lived at Cotmanhay and appears there on the 1841 census… close by is his son Thomas junior and his family.
He died on May 17th 1847 at Cotmanhay, aged 66, and was buried at St. Mary’s on May 20th.
His wife Sarah died on Dec 9 1859, aged 78.

Thomas gets a mention is several sources.
For example, in Trueman and Marston’s ‘History of Ilkeston’ there is a copy of a portrait of him (between pages 248/249) followed by a short description (p249)
“Thomas Sisson (alias ‘Giant Sisson’) was a miner weighing 22 stone, employed at the Rutland Collieries, belonging to Messrs. Potter, and living in Cotmanhay. On one occasion, when the miners were on strike, he and a number of others dragged a wagon load of coal to Belvoir Castle, and so impressed the Duke of Rutland with his magnificent physique that he told him he would like to have his portrait. It was accordingly painted in oils by one Joseph Travers. A copy, by Simpson, is still in the possession of the ‘Giant’s’ great grandson, Thomas Sisson, of Church-street, Cotmanhay, by whose favour we are able to give the accompanying portrait”.
Thomas also makes an appearance in ‘Ey up Mi Duck!’ (Part 1) by Rick Scollins and John Titford … a cartoon of the ‘big bogger’ at his portrait painting.
He is also on the website of the Ilkeston and District Local History Society.. at its Portrait Gallery 3.

Dennis Ryan asked (Dec 16th 2015) …

Regarding Giant Sisson 1781-1847, I am lead to believe that he was Thomas Sisson 1797-1880 and he married Elizabeth Black 1802.
Could this be so.

Dave replied (Dec 18th 2015) …

In ‘The History of Ilkeston’ (page 249) by Trueman and Marston the authors refer to the great-grandson of Giant Sisson who lives in Church Street (in 1899). This would be miner Thomas Sisson, born in 1867, married to Maria Henshaw in 1894 and living at 15 Church St, Cotmanhay in 1901.

His parents were Thomas Sisson and Louisa (nee Aldred) married in 1862, his paternal grandfather was Thomas Sisson born in 1814 and married to Elizabeth Stirland in 1834, and his great grandfather Thomas ‘Giant’ Sisson died on May 17th 1847, aged 66. His widow Sarah (nee Smith) died on Dec 9 1859.

You mention a Thomas Sisson born in 1797 and dying in 1880 … Thomas Sisson, married to Elizabeth Stirland died in 1880 but he wasn’t born in 1797. I have no record of a Thomas Sisson born in 1797 or thereabouts.
You mention a marriage in 1802 of Thomas who was born in 1797 … I assume that there must be a mistyping of some dates here?
The marriage to Elizabeth Black ? … Again I have no record of this.
I would be interested in more detail of this and the other points you raise.

Dennis replied (Dec 20th 2015) …

Giant Sisson is one of my ancestors.
My Grandmother Louisa Sisson 1888-1975. her father Joseph Granville Sisson 1856-1910,her mother Sarah Lawton Smedley 1857-1930,Grandparents Thomas Sisson 1815-1880 & Elizabeth Stirland 1816-1884 (1871 census 17 Church Street ) Great Grandparents Thomas Sisson 1797-1880 & Elizabeth Back 1802.

Can you put me right on the later please.

Dave replied (Dec 21st 2015) …

Louisa Sisson was born in 1886, the daughter of Joseph Granville (1855-1910) and Sarah Lawton (nee Smedley) … the latter was born on July 20th 1856 and died on Dec 21st 1930.
Joseph Granville Sisson was the youngest son of Thomas and Elizabeth (nee Stirland) who had married on May 22nd 1834.
Thomas Sisson was baptised at St Mary’s Church on January 14th 1814 and died on Dec 3rd 1880 at Cotmanhay, with a registered age of 65. The baptism record of St Mary’s appears to show that his parents were Thomas (Giant) Sisson and ‘Elizabeth‘… I believe that the latter entry is an error and the mother should be ‘Sarah’. There is no marriage I could find of a Thomas Sisson and an Elizabeth …. there is a marriage of Thomas Sisson to Sarah Smith on Aug 31st 1805 and after this date there are the baptisms of several children born to Thomas and Sarah from 1806 to 1825 … during that time there is only one baptism for ‘Thomas andElizabeth‘.
On the 1841 census Thomas ‘Giant’ Sisson is living at Cotmanhay with his wife Sarah, his son Aaron (the second), Aaron’s wife Hannah (nee Taylor), and Thomas’s daughter Ann. The previous entry on the census shows Thomas Sisson junior with his wife Elizabeth (nee Stirland) and their family.
Thomas and Sarah had several children, including twins Aaron (the first) and Moses who were born on Dec 29th 1809. Neither survived infancy however and were both buried at St Mary’s Church on Jan 30th 1810 .. when they were recorded as children of Thomas and ‘Ann‘, another error?

Your grandmother Louisa had an uncle, Albert Sisson, an older brother of Joseph Granville, and there is a short description of him, with a photograph, in the book by Edwin Trueman called ‘Borough of Ilkeston; a portrait gallery of Forty of its Principal Inhabitants’ (published in 1911). Albert is described as “a grandson of ‘Giant’ Thomas Sisson”… this is the Thomas born in 1781 and who died in 1847, aged 66.
As I mentioned in my last posting, I am puzzled by the ‘Thomas Sisson of 1797-1880′ and of ‘Elizabeth Back/Black 1802′

Dennis remarked (Dec 22nd 2015) …

Thank you very much for replying with your information.I think I must be in error about Thomas Sisson & Elizabeth Black (whom I think was from Kimberly)