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My family

Robert Humphrey Hopkinson 1923-1986 – The update

It has been a busy couple of weeks. Else Churchill is packing a huge amount into the Pharos course that I am working on, together with client work, putting courses together for Society of Genealogists and an assessment due for Strathclyde University hasn’t left a lot of time for my own research.

Coming back to my To-Do list for my grandfather:

  1. Order birth certificate. Received. More detail completed for his birth.
  2. Locate death certificate. A copy received from my aunt and cousin. Detail completed in time time.
  3. Investigate using electoral registers when he moved from Foundry Lane to The Common. This will involve a visit to the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock.
  4. Look at newspapers for more information about his accident. Nothing in British Newspaper Archive. Another for Derbyshire Record Office.
  5. Investigate if Richard Johnson and Nephew records are accessible and view them if possible. As far as I can tell staff records have not survived.
  6. Investigate if more information about pre-war work as a farm labourer is available.
  7. Order the will of Mary Barratt died 27 June 1957. Ordered
  8. Look for a baptism record.
  9. Learn more about RAF service. I know the family have the records but I have not read them yet.
  10. NEW Investigate records of Queen Mary Nursing Home. It appears nothing before 1940 survives
DateAgeEventPlaceSources
about 1870Richard Johnson and Nephew Wireworks built in Ambergate. “Richard Johnson & Nephew Wireworks at Ambergate was a major employer of men and women from Crich Parish.”16
1920-1921Ireland partitioned into the Free State and the province of Northern Ireland
29 June 19230Birth. Son of Thomas Humphrey HOPKINSON and Adelaide May STEWARDSON. Born Queen Mary Nursing Home, Derby. His father was a grocers assistant and the family lived at The Bungalow, Whatstandwell, Belper. His mother registered his birth on 27 July 1923. See Picture The Past for a picture of the nursing home. Derby, Derbyshire1, 2
28 February 19262Birth of spouse, Norah May BOWLERBelper, Derbyshire
27 February 19273Birth of sister, Adelaide “Myrtle” HOPKINSONBelper, Derbyshire
20 January 193612George V dies and Edward VIII becomes King.
10 December 193613Edward VIII abdicates to marry Wallace Simpson. George VI accedes to the throne.
20 May 193713Death of mother, Adelaide May Hopkinson, from throat cancer.Blackbrook, Milford, Derbyshire
03 September 193916Outbreak of World War 2
29 September 193916Occupation : farm labourerCrich, Derbyshire6
29 September 1939 – 15 October 194716Lived at 102 The CommonCrich, Derbyshire6, 13, 14
25-26 July 194118Selection for RAF 7
04 September 1941 – 14 September 194618Served in RAF Volunteer Force. Reached rank of Corporal. Trade ARM: Bomb disposalDispersal Centre: Hednesford7
10 May 194521Overseas military service commenced.7
Abt February 194622Marriage of sister to Herbert SlaterBelper, Derbyshire
29 November 194623Military discharge7
28 September – 12 October 194724Marriage banns calledBelper, Derbyshire13
15 October 194724Married Norah May Bowler at the parish church at 2:30pm.
He was working as a fitter at this time. Marriage witnesses William Leslie Webb and Glenda Ann Hopkinson.
Belper, Derbyshire13, 14
4 June 194824Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
27 August 195027Accident at work, Richard Johnson and Nephew wireworks. His arm was caught in a machine, badly mangling it and requiring extensive surgery. He worked as a die grinder.Ambergate, Derbyshire8. 9, 10
27 August 195027Lived at 7 Foundry LaneMilford, Belper, Derbyshire10
06 February 195228George VI died and Queen Elizabeth II becomes Queen.
15 February 195329Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
02 September 195734Inherited £50 from great aunt Mary BARRATT11
196138Moved from 102 The Common to 53 Over LaneOpenwoodgate, Belper3, 4, 5, 12
11 August 196138Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
28 December 196441Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
24 August 196845Marriage of son at St Peters parish churchBelper, Derbyshire
197248Marriage of daughter
August 197349Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
09 August 197450Birth of granddaughterKent
29 January 197652Death of fatherOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
07 December 197753Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
16 June 197955Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
198057Death of sonOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
09 September 198057Wrote a willBelper, Derbyshire4
198158Remarriage of daughter
07 December 198259Birth of grandchild
198360Marriage of daughterOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
25 December 198562Birth of grandchildCheshire
11 August 198663Died at Derby Royal Infirmary from a chest infection and carcinoma lung. My father registered the death on 13 August 1986. Derby, Derbyshire1, 3
07 October 198663Probate, his estate was left to his widowManchester3, 4

I have left out some detail concerned living people to protect privacy.

There is plenty more I can learn but time to move on to another ancestor.

(c) Ruth Willmore. The link from Robert Hopkinson to Ruth Willmore

If you knew any of the people mentioned or have any other information you think I would be interested in I would love to hear from you. familyhistory@rhoshelyg.me.uk or comment below.

More about Robert Humphrey Hopkinson

52 Ancestors: Week 1 Beginnings

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021! The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week’s prompt, “Beginnings” is of course a good place to start. I am planning that 2021 is the year I begin again with my family history […]

52 Ancestors: Week 50 – Lines

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I’m nearly there. I was not sure where to take this prompt and decided to type “Lines” […]

52 Ancestors: Week 2 Family Legends

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is Family Legends. There are two stories I was told about my father’s side of the family. One that he was the oldest […]


References

  1. Deaths (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey. 1986. Vol. 6. p. 736.
  2. Births (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert. 3rd Q., 1923. Vol. 7b. p. 1055.
  3. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the grans of probate. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk : accessed 20 December 2020.
  4. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Will.
  5. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather2. Email, 22 October.
  6. 1939 Register, England. Crich Common, Derbyshire. HOPKINSON, Robert. Schedule 51/2. RG101/3084G/008/32. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 11 May 2020.
  7. Cresswell, Vicki. (2005) Re: Granpa. Email, 10 August, 10:38.
  8. Bowler, Bett. (2010) Re: Hopkinson. Email, 22 August, 15:27.
  9. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather. Email, 21 October.
  10. Derby Daily Telegraph. (1950) Ambergate Accident. Derby Daily Telegraph. 28 August. p. 12c. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000521/19500828/062/0012 : accessed 21 December 2020.
  11. Hawksley, Thomas Edgar (?). Probate calculations. BARRATT, Mary. 27 June 1957. Collection: Ruth Willmore.
  12. Directories. England. (1984) Phone book: Derby. British Telecom. p. 212. Collection: British phone books 1880-1984 from the collection held by BT Archives. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 26 October 2014.
  13. Banns (PR). England. Belper, St Peter, Derbyshire. 28 September 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Derby Records Office, Matlock, Derbyshire.
  14. Marriages (CR) England. Belper, Derbyshire. 15 October 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Vol. 3a. p. 130.
  15. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER. 15 October 1947. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Colourised by Ian Cresswell. Private collection of Vicky and Ian Cresswell, Belper. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  16. Patilla, Peter. Johnson and Nephew Ambergate Wireworks. http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebpages/wireworks2.html : accessed 06 February 2022.
  17. Images: Photograph. Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER with Ruth HOPKINSON. 1974. Location unknown. Photographer Bill Hopkinson[?]. Private collection of Ruth Willmore [Photograph of a couple holding a young child.]
  18. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Bill HOPKINSON and Vera TOMLINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  19. Images: Photograph. Bob and Norah HOPKINSON with son Bill HOPKINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Detail from Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
Categories
My family

Robert Humphrey Hopkinson 1923-1986

As I have finally completed the #52Ancestors challenge I have decided to move on to a “do over” of my family history research, one ancestor at a time. For each one I will be checking the accuracy of my research to date from what I have learned, looking for any gaps in my knowledge about them and working out what else I can find out about them.

I have decided to start with my paternal grandfather Robert Humphrey Hopkinson.

(c) Ruth Willmore. The link from Robert Hopkinson to Ruth Willmore

Now though I want to focus on checking my research and identifying the gaps. One good way to do this is to build a timeline.

DateAgeEventPlaceSources
about 1870Richard Johnson and Nephew Wireworks built in Ambergate. “Richard Johnson & Nephew Wireworks at Ambergate was a major employer of men and women from Crich Parish.”16
1920-1921Ireland partitioned into the Free State and the province of Northern Ireland
29 June 19230Birth. Son of Thomas Humphrey HOPKINSON and Adelaide May STEWARDSON.Derby, Derbyshire1, 2
28 February 19262Birth of spouse, Norah May BOWLERBelper, Derbyshire
27 February 19273Birth of sister, Adelaide “Myrtle” HOPKINSONBelper, Derbyshire
20 January 193612George V dies and Edward VIII becomes King.
10 December 193613Edward VIII abdicates to marry Wallace Simpson. George VI accedes to the throne.
20 May 193713Death of mother, Adelaide May Hopkinson, from throat cancer.Blackbrook, Milford, Derbyshire
03 September 193916Outbreak of World War 2
29 September 193916Occupation : farm labourerCrich, Derbyshire6
29 September 1939 – 15 October 194716Lived at 102 The CommonCrich, Derbyshire6, 13, 14
25-26 July 194118Selection for RAF 7
04 September 1941 – 14 September 194618Served in RAF Volunteer Force. Reached rank of Corporal. Trade ARM: Bomb disposalDispersal Centre: Hednesford7
10 May 194521Overseas military service commenced.7
Abt February 194622Marriage of sister to Herbert SlaterBelper, Derbyshire
29 November 194623Military discharge7
28 September – 12 October 194724Marriage banns calledBelper, Derbyshire13
15 October 194724Married Norah May Bowler at the parish church at 2:30pm.
He was working as a fitter at this time. Marriage witnesses William Leslie Webb and Glenda Ann Hopkinson.
Belper, Derbyshire13, 14
4 June 194824Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
27 August 195027Accident at work, Richard Johnson and Nephew wireworks. His arm was caught in a machine, badly mangling it and requiring extensive surgery. He worked as a die grinder.Ambergate, Derbyshire8. 9, 10
27 August 195027Lived at 7 Foundry LaneMilford, Belper, Derbyshire10
06 February 195228George VI died and Queen Elizabeth II becomes Queen.
15 February 195329Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
02 September 195734Inherited £50 from great aunt Mary BARRATT11
196138Moved from 102 The Common to 53 Over LaneOpenwoodgate, Belper3, 4, 5, 12
11 August 196138Birth of daughterBelper, Derbyshire
28 December 196441Birth of sonBelper, Derbyshire
24 August 196845Marriage of son at St Peters parish churchBelper, Derbyshire
197248Marriage of daughter
August 197349Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
09 August 197450Birth of granddaughterKent
29 January 197652Death of fatherOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
07 December 197753Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
16 June 197955Birth of grandchildDerbyshire
198057Death of sonOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
09 September 198057Wrote a willBelper, Derbyshire4
198158Remarriage of daughter
07 December 198259Birth of grandchild
198360Marriage of daughterOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire
25 December 198562Birth of grandchildCheshire
11 August 198663DiedOpenwoodgate, Belper, Derbyshire1, 3
07 October 198663Probate, his estate was left to his widowManchester3, 4

I have left out some detail concerned living people to protect privacy. Looking through the timeline I have most of the essential information but have the following to do list:

  1. Order birth certificate. This will provide more information about his parents and early home. It will confirm his birth date, though I am confident this is correct as his children told me.
  2. Locate death certificate. This will confirm his date, place and cause of death and may provide other useful information, we must have a copy of this in the family!
  3. Investigate using electoral registers when he moved from Foundry Lane to The Common.
  4. Look at newspapers for more information about his accident.
  5. Investigate if Robert Johnson and Nephew records are accessible and view them if possible.
  6. Investigate if more information about pre-war work as a farm labourer is available.
  7. Order the will of Mary Barratt died 27 June 1957.
  8. Look for a baptism record.
  9. Learn more about RAF service. I know the family have the records but I have not read them yet.
William Leslie Webb, Bob Hopkinson, Norah Hopkinson, William Bowler, Glen Hopkinson. Small bridesmaids Cath and Pen Curtis. Image coloured by Ian Cresswell. [15]

If you knew any of the people mentioned or have any other information you think I would be interested in I would love to hear from you. familyhistory@rhoshelyg.me.uk or comment below.

More about Robert Humphrey Hopkinson

52 Ancestors: Week 1 Beginnings

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021! The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week’s prompt, “Beginnings” is of course a good place to start. I am planning that 2021 is the year I begin again with my family history […]

52 Ancestors: Week 50 – Lines

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I’m nearly there. I was not sure where to take this prompt and decided to type “Lines” […]

52 Ancestors: Week 2 Family Legends

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. This week the prompt is Family Legends. There are two stories I was told about my father’s side of the family. One that he was the oldest […]


References

  1. Deaths index (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey. 1986. Vol. 6. p. 736. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed ?
  2. Births index (CR) England and Wales. Derby RD. HOPKINSON, Robert. 3rd Q., 1923. Vol. 7b. p. 1055. http://www.findmypast.co.uk : accessed ?
  3. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the grans of probate. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk : accessed 20 December 2020.
  4. Testamentary records. England. 07 October 1986. HOPKINSON, Robert. Will.
  5. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather2. Email, 22 October.
  6. 1939 Register, England. Crich Common, Derbyshire. HOPKINSON, Robert. Schedule 51/2. RG101/3084G/008/32. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 Register. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 11 May 2020.
  7. Cresswell, Vicki. (2005) Re: Granpa. Email, 10 August, 10:38.
  8. Bowler, Bett. (2010) Re: Hopkinson. Email, 22 August, 15:27.
  9. Hopkinson, Bill. (2014) My Great Grandfather. Email, 21 October.
  10. Derby Daily Telegraph. (1950) Ambergate Accident. Derby Daily Telegraph. 28 August. p. 12c. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000521/19500828/062/0012 : accessed 21 December 2020.
  11. Hawksley, Thomas Edgar (?). Probate calculations. BARRATT, Mary. 27 June 1957. Collection: Ruth Willmore.
  12. Directories. England. (1984) Phone book: Derby. British Telecom. p. 212. Collection: British phone books 1880-1984 from the collection held by BT Archives. http://ancestry.co.uk : accessed 26 October 2014.
  13. Banns (PR). England. Belper, St Peter, Derbyshire. 28 September 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Derby Records Office, Matlock, Derbyshire.
  14. Marriages (CR) England. Belper, Derbyshire. 15 October 1947. HOPKINSON, Robert Humphrey and BOWLER, Norah May. Vol. 3a. p. 130.
  15. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER. 15 October 1947. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Colourised by Ian Cresswell. Private collection of Vicky and Ian Cresswell, Belper. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  16. Patilla, Peter. Johnson and Nephew Ambergate Wireworks. http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebpages/wireworks2.html : accessed 06 February 2022.
  17. Images: Photograph. Robert HOPKINSON and Norah BOWLER with Ruth HOPKINSON. 1974. Location unknown. Photographer Bill Hopkinson[?]. Private collection of Ruth Willmore [Photograph of a couple holding a young child.]
  18. Images: Photograph. Wedding of Bill HOPKINSON and Vera TOMLINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
  19. Images: Photograph. Bob and Norah HOPKINSON with son Bill HOPKINSON. 24 August 1968. Belper, Derbyshire. Photographer unknown. Private collection of Ruth Willmore. [Detail from Group photograph of wedding party outside St Peters Church, Belper, Derbyshire.]
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52 Ancestors: Week 52 – Future

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. It has taken me longer than it should but here is the last post in this series.

I didn’t feel qualified to write about the future of our family, so I had a video chat with my nephew Matthew.

He told me that he plans to have one child, as he likes not having brothers and sisters as you don’t have to argue with them. He does like arguing with his Mum though, and when I asked if he thought his child would argue with him he said, “no, they’ll argue with their Mum.”

I asked if he thought he would live in England or Wales like his cousins but he hadn’t thought about that. He would like to see his cousins a couple of times a year as he does now.

Matthew’s career plans reflect the age in which he is growing up. He would like to be a part time gamer on YouTube, and part time scientist. He told me he would like to be the kind of scientist that invents things. His aims are to invent a kind of gun that when you shoot people it changes their age. His other ambition is to invent a time machine.

Matthew is very conscious that time machines would have to be used with care. His main purpose would be to go back in time to prevent murders and other bad things happening. He thought that getting murderers to hit something that prevented a killing taking place would be a good idea. He mentioned that very slight changes to the past could result in people being extinct so it would be important to make only very small changes. I think he has taken some lessons from “Back To The Future.”

Matthew thought that when he is an adult we will still be driving petrol and diesel powered cars, but they might be more eco. We might have sent people to Mars, but only just. Things will not change all that much.

Matthew pointed out that my blog about the future can only be a prediction, I would need his time machine to actually have a sneak preview and to be able to tell you what the future actually looks like.

Other #52Ancestors posts


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52 Ancestors: Week 50 – Lines

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I’m nearly there.

I was not sure where to take this prompt and decided to type “Lines” into Google. One of the suggestions was wires which made me think of my Grandfather, Robert Humphrey Hopkinson, who worked at Richard Johnson and Nephew Wireworks in Ambergate, Derbyshire.

Bob Hopkinson, as he was known, was born 23 June 1923 in Derbyshire, the son of Thomas Humphrey Hopkinson and Adelaide May Stewardson. When he was 3 1/2 years old his sister Adelaide Myrtle Hopkinson was born and 10 years later his mother died of throat cancer.

When WW2 broke out Bob was living with his widowed father in Crich. He was working as a farm labourer. I have not yet found his sister on the 1939 Register, but I believe she went to live with her mother’s family.

From 1941 to 1946 Bob served in the RAF.


After the war my grandfather was employed at Richard Johnson and Nephew wireworks in Ambergate. He worked shifts and was, I believe, a die grinder. The wireworks were a major employer for the residents of Crich.[1] They had a factory in Manchester as well as Derbyshire and during the war had supplied galvanised wire for the PLUTO pipeline (pipe line under the ocean).[2]

Advertisement. (1945) The Electrician. 01 June. p. v. https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/File:W._T._Henley_1945VP.jpg : accessed 06 February 2022.

In 1956 Richard Johnson and Nephew copper tape and steel armouring wire was used in the first transatlantic telephone cable. I can only imagine that my grandfather was involved in this in some way.[3]

In 1950 he was involved in an accident at work, his niece told me, “his arm was caught in one of the machines and it was only due to the quick thinking of another employee turning off the machinery that his injuries were not more severe. His arm was seriously ‘mangled’ and he spent some time in hospital. To save his arm the surgeons took some bone from his leg and grafted it to his arm. I don’t know if you remember he always walked with a slight limp and his arm was slightly misshapen but at least he could use it.”[5]

The local newspaper did not make the accident sound as serious as his niece. His arm still was affected over 25 years later. (c) Reach PLC. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.[4]
I think Bob Hopkinson is right at the back in the centre pane of the left hand window.
Jack Oldham’s retirement. Photo courtesy Crich Heritage Partnership[1]

Granpa retired in about 1984 and about ten years later the factory closed. Images of the closed factory can be seen here. https://www.derelictplaces.co.uk/threads/ambergate-wireworks.34614/ and here https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnorme/with/8408447021/ It looks very sad and neglected.

That has all changed again and the site is now home to a whisky distillery. White Peak Distillery have made their home at the former Johnson & Nephew Wire Works, in what is now the Derwent Valley UNESCO World Heritage site, with the still placed in what Bob Hopkinson would have known as the old Maintenance and Stores Sheds.[6] Their first whisky, Wire Works Whisky, was released just last week, and I cannot wait to try it. They also produce rum and gin. My next visit to Derbyshire will have to include a distillery tour so I can see where Granpa made wire and whisky is now made.

While writing this I have learned that there is another connection the Johnson and Nephew company. Our closest neighbours when we lived in Cheshire in the early 1980s were part of the Johnson family who had recently sold the company. It is a small world!

Other posts about this family


References
  1. Patilla, Peter. Johnson and Nephew Ambergate Wireworks. http://www.crichparish.co.uk/newwebpages/wireworks2.html : accessed 06 February 2022.
  2. Grace’s Guide Ltd. Richard Johnson and Nephew. https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Richard_Johnson_and_Nephew : accessed 06 February 2022.
  3. Burns. Bill. Richard Johnson & Nephew. https://atlantic-cable.com/CableCos/RichardJohnson/index.htm : accessed 06 February 2022.
  4. Derby Daily Telegraph. (1950) Ambergate Accident. Derby Daily Telegraph. 28 August. p. 12c. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000521/19500828/062/0012 : accessed 21 December 2020.
  5. Bowler, B. (2010) Re: Hopkinson. Email to Ruth Willmore, 22 August, 15:27.
  6. White Peak Distillery Ltd. The Wire Works. https://www.whitepeakdistillery.co.uk/waiting-for-whisky/ : accessed 06 February 2022.
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52 Ancestors: Week 49 – Handmade

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible.

There was never any question over who this prompt would be about. It always had to be about my Mum. She is one of the most talented needlewomen I know.

I have just had a look through her Facebook page and here are some of her makes from 2021. Many of the quilts and blankets are given to charities such as Project Linus.

All images above (c) Vera Hopkinson 2021.

I just had a quick look around our house for things Mum has made, there are the living room curtains, and two patchwork duvet covers. These are just a selection of what I found on a very quick look. I’m afraid I’ll offend her by what is left out!

I asked her how it all began. After all, she was crafting long before I was born. I remember wearing handmade clothes as a young child. There were some jumpers that were knitted in three different sizes so that I could wear them at the same time as my siblings.

Images: Photograph. Vera Hopkinson knitting. 01 July 2018. Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochant. Max Hopkinson.

“I have been sewing all my life, since before I can remember. I say that because I remember a pot holder at my maternal grandmother’s house that was always called “Vera”. It was a pretty scruffy thing and I remember asking, when I was aged about 8 why it has my name, and the answer was that I had given it to my Grandma as a Christmas present when I was 3. I can only assume my Paternal Grandmother who lived next door to us had been the one to get me to make it.

Some of my earliest memories are of being taught to use my Grandma’s treadle sewing machine. I wasn’t tall enough to reach the pedal, so she would sit me on her knee and she would operate the treadle while I guided the fabric under the needle. When I was about 7 she started teaching me embroidery and when I was 8 I was entering competitions run by the local Methodist church. I don’t think I ever won, but when I cleared out my mother’s house I found some of the work I had done, and I had difficulty believing I had been so young when I did it.

I learnt to knit in my early teens, and to crochet while I was a student. There aren’t many yarn or fabric crafts I haven’t had a go at. When my children were small I made a lot of their clothes, and they must have felt they were OK because 3 of them asked me to make their wedding dresses. In the event I only made 2, because the 3rd was having quite a short engagement and with my mother being very ill we decided time was too short.

I used to knit for my grandchildren, but now they are older they don’t really like handknits anymore! However, a few years ago one of them insisted in saving up any damaged to toys for my visits because she was sure “Grandma can fix it”

Now there is hardly a day goes by that I don’t get at my sewing machine, usually making patchwork quilts. All the family have several, and I make them for Project Linus, who give them to “Children in need of a hug”. In the evenings while watching TV I usually have either a crochet hook or knitting needles in my hands. During lockdown I gave a number of handmade blankets to people who had lost loved ones. I called them “woolly hugs” because I couldn’t give them the hug they really needed.”

Images: Photograph. Ruth and Tony Willmore. 07 June 2008. Tan-y-Bwlch station, Ffestiniog Railway, Maentwrog. [photographer unknown] Private collection of Ruth and Tony Willmore.
Embroidered by Vera Hopkinson, aged 8.

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52 Ancestors: Week 36- Work

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should by now be writing week 52, but study, work and life got in the way. I’m aiming to catch up over the 12 days of Christmas.

I’m currently revisiting each individual on my tree, checking that I’m still confident in my research and looking for gaps. I’ve reached my 2nd great grandfather Job Hopkinson. He was born on 06 February 1869 in South Wingfield, Derbyshire, the son of blacksmith Thomas Hopkinson and Sarah James. [1]

On the 1891 census, 22 year old, Job was described as an “under gardener (domestic servant)”.[2] I have not yet been able to work out for whom he was working, or even where in South Wingfield would have employed at least two gardeners.

By the time he married Elizabeth Goodwin at Wessington Parish Church on 07 May 1893[3] he described himself as a gardener. He may still have been an undergardener, but the record does not give any more detail.

Marriage of Job Hopkinson and Elizabeth Goodwin

Two years later, when my great grandfather Thomas Humphrey Hopkinson was born Job’s occupation was recorded as market gardener[4] and in January 1896 when Thomas was baptised he was a gardener.[5]

As his family grew Job seems to have had a change of occupation. In 1901 we find him living at Park Head, Crich, employed as a limestone quarryman.[6] A couple of months after the census when Job’s younger son George was baptised Job was described as a labourer.[7]

However, ten years later in 1911 he describes himself as a “Jobbing Gardener”, frustratingly he left the column describing the industry or service in which he was connected blank, but put that he is a worker, i.e. employed rather than self employed.[8]

When Thomas married in 1922 he gave his father’s occupation as farmer.[9] Could this have been an expansion of the market garden? By 1939 he had retired from farming.[10] I am looking forward to finding him on the 1921 census as that may give more information.

Extract showing Job Hopkinson on the 1939 Register

It would be interesting to learn more about the crops that Job grew. I’m sure his advice for my own back garden attempts at fruit and vegetables would be invaluable. The reference to “mixed” farming on the 1939 register suggests that he also kept livestock. I wonder what? There must be ways to find out more, and I will try to find time to look at the local directories, and the archive catalogues to see what more I can learn.

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References

[1] Births. England. SD Ripley. RD Belper. Derbyshire. 06 February 1869. HOPKINSON, Job. Vol 07B. p. 477.

[2] Census Records. England. South Wingfield, Belper, Derbyshire. 05 April 1891. HOPKINSON, Job. RG12/2747. FL. 82. p. 23. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 09 August 2021.

[3] Marriages. England. Wessington, Derbyshire. 07 May 1893. HOPKINSON, Job. Entry No. 9. D2364A/PI2/1. Derby Records Office, Matlock.

[4] Births. England. SD Ripley. RD Belper. Derbyshire. 13 July 1895. HOPKINSON, Thomas Humphrey. Vol 07B. p. 641.

[5] Baptisms (PR). England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 19 January1896. HOPKINSON, Thomas Humphrey. p. 71. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 21 August 2020.

[6] Census Records. England. Crich, Belper, Derbyshire. 31 March 1901. HOPKINSON, Job. RG13/3231. FL. 32. p. 8. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 21 December 2020.

[7] Baptisms (PR). England. Crich, Derbyshire. 23 May 1901. HOPKINSON, George Job. p. 71. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 26 December 2021.

[8] Census Records. England. Crich, Belper, Derbyshire. 02 April 1911. HOPKINSON, Job. ED 14 RD: 436. SD: Ripley. Sch: 114. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 04 April 2009.

[9] Marriages. England. Crich, Derbyshire. 23 August 1922. HOPKINSON, Thomas Humphrey. Entry No. 248.

[10] 1939 Register. England. Belper, Derbyshire. HOPKINSON, Job. 29 September 1939. Schedule 164/1. RG101/5941C/436/2. National Archives (Great Britain), Kew, England. Collection: 1939 England and Wales Register. http://www..findmypast.com : accessed 05 April 2015.

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 30- Health

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am slowly catching up.

I deliberated about who to write about for this prompt. Most of my knowledge of my ancestors health comes from their death certificate. Which while useful information doesn’t really tell me much about their lives.

I knew that Oscar Tomlinson was hospitalised with scarlet fever, but I have written about him previously. Then I remembered an article I read a few weeks ago about my 3 x great uncle Peter Hopkinson.

Peter was baptised on 30th January 1842 in South Wingfield, Derbyshire.[1] He was the son of Thomas and Hannah Hopkinson. I believe Peter grew up with his 10 siblings at the blacksmiths in South Wingfield. At the age of 19, when the 1861 census was taken, Peter was working as a ploughman for Richard Smedley, who farmed 171 Acres at Amberley in Pentrich, Derbyshire.[2] Peter was living in, or at least stayed at the farmhouse on census night.

On census night, 7 April 1861, as well as Richard Smedley, his wife and six children, there was a waggoner, cow boy, dairymaid and kitchen maid at Amberley House with Peter Hopkinson the ploughman.

10 years later, on the night of 2 April 1871 Peter was at home with his parents, younger siblings, nephews William James Hopkinson and Job Hopkinson, and his niece Ann Hopkinson. He is now an agricultural labourer and his brothers are assisting their father.[3] Fast forward another 10 years and Peter is lodging with John Willshaw and family in Chapel-en-le-Frith.[4] Peter is still a farm labourer, but John Willshaw, his son and one of the other lodgers work for the Midland Railway, as a signalman, labourer, and porter respectively. This may have influenced Peter Hopkinson’s next career move.

Until recently the next I knew of Peter Hopkinson was the 1911 census, where he was living at Park Head, Crich, Derbyshire, with his widowed brother Thomas, his unmarried nieces Ann, Mary and Ethel, and his great niece Lucy May Hopkinson.[5] He was 69 years old by this time, and “of private means”, meaning that he had a pension or other income.

A few weeks ago I decided it was time to try to find out what Peter was doing between 1881 and 1911. Searches of the 1891 and 1901 census were getting me no where. I just could not find him. I ordered a copy of his death certificate and that revealed a surprise.

Deaths (CR) England. Ripley, Belper, Derbyshire. 12 April 1914. HOPKINSON, Peter. Vol 7b. p. 731. Entry 377.

When she went to register Peter’s death the day after she witnessed him pass away, his niece, Ethel had told the registrar not that he was a ploughman, or a farm labourer, but a retired gold miner. Not what I was expecting to see.

Of course, I had to look for more information. A search of Ancestry for Peter Hopkinson born South Wingfield 1842, died Crich 1914, revealed all. Another Ancestry user, Valerie Levers, had uploaded the front page of the Derbyshire Courier from 25 April 1914 which contains an obituary for Peter. The newspaper is also available on the British Newspaper Archive.[6]

According to the newspaper Peter Hopkinson had worked as a tunneller for the Midland Railway, helping to construct the Dove Holes tunnel which carries freight trains to this day. [12]

He also worked at Somercotes Colliery, where he broke both legs, one in three places. Finally, a mention of something related, vaguely, to the supposed topic of this blog! He obviously recovered from this.

The newspaper goes on to tell us that at the age of 41, in 1882, Peter “decided to try his luck in sunny Australia”. He and his nephew Lot Porter arrived in Melbourne on board the Vellore on 20 February 1883 after a voyage of almost three months.[7] 3 days later they continued on board the Ly EE Moon to Sydney. [8]

In Australia Peter worked in railway construction, as he had in Derbyshire, for a good period. He also worked as a farm labourer across Australia before trying his luck at gold mining, and prospecting. The newspaper tells us that Peter was healthy, he was “possessed of splendid physique”, “able to withstand the tropical sun” and had “splendid strength”, which must have helped him to survive three shipwrecks around the Australian coast.

On 27th August 1908 65 year old Peter boarded a ship called “Commonwealth”.[9] Two months later on 19th October 1908 he arrived back in London, also on board was 47 year old Mr J Hopkinson, but I have not established a connection.[10] The newspaper tells us that he had purchased himself a home, Park Head, Crich, whilst in Australia, certainly this is where we find him in 1911, and where Peter died in 1914.

Peter Hopkinson told his family back home stories of the “natives skill with the boomerang”, and sleeping under his calico tent with a tomahawk under his pillow in case of visits by snakes. On return to England Peter’s health declined, apparently turning lame on arrival. He had made enough from his adventurous career to allow him to retire back to Derbyshire, and left an estate worth £435 (about £46000 in today’s money) to his sister Arlette and nieces Ann, Mary and Ethel.[11]


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52 Ancestors: Week 36- Work

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should by now be writing week 52, but study, work and life got in the way. I’m aiming to catch up over the 12 days of […]

52 Ancestors: Week 24 – Father’s Day

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am working on catching up. I have chosen to write about father and son Thomas Hopkinson (1837-1913) and […]

52 Ancestors: Week 23 – Bridge

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am working on catching up. I initially couldn’t think of any ancestors with connections to bridges, and wondered […]

[1] Baptisms (PR) England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 30 January 1842. HOPKINSON, Peter. Derbyshire Records Office. M14.

[2] Census records. England. Pentrich, Derbyshire. 07 April 1861. SMEDLEY, Richard (head). PN RG9/2513. FL. 69. p. 13. www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 10 May 2020.

[3] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 02 April 1871. HOPKINSON, Thomas (head). PN RG10/3589. FL 31. p. 12. www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 03 April 2005.

[4] Census records. England. Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire. 03 April 1881. WILLSHAW, John (head). PN RG11/3456. FL 93. p. 41. www.familysearch.org : accessed 14 August 2005.

[5] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 02 April 1911. HOPKINSON, Thomas (head). RD 436. PN 20981. ED 10. SN 90. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 04 April 2009.

[6] Derbyshire Courier. (1914) Adventurous Life. Derbyshire Courier. 25 April. p1d. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ : accessed 26 September 2021.

[7] Yeo, John. Passenger list for Vallore departing London, England for Melbourne, Australia. HOPKINSON, Peter (aged 39). 24 November 1882. Collection: Victoria, Australia, Assisted and Unassisted Passenger Lists, 1839-1923. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 09 October 2021.

[8] Australasian Steam Navigation Company. Passenger list for Le EE Moon departing Melbourne, Australia for Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. HOPKINSON, Peter. 23 February 1883 Collection: New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 09 October 2021.

[9] Department of Trade and Customs, Victoria, Australia. Passenger list for Commonwealth departing Melbourne, Australia for London, England HOPKINSON, Peter age 65. 27 August 1908. Collection: Outward Passengers to Interstate, U.K. and Foreign Ports. https://www.prov.vic.gov.au/ : accessed 09 October 2021.

[10] Board of Trade. Passenger list for Commonwealth arriving London, England 19 October 1908. HOPKINSON, P, age 65. 19 October 1908 Collection: UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 09 October 2021.

[11] Testamentary records. England. 19 January 1915. HOPKINSON, Peter. Will. https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/ : accessed 23 September 2021

[12] Images: Photograph. Dove Holes tunnel. 31 July 1980. High Peak district, Derbyshire. Tony Willmore. Private collection of Tony Willmore. [Class 25 locomotive hauling empty ICI limestone hoppers through Dove Holes tunnel.]

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 29 – Fashion

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am slowly catching up. Todays blog is short to help catch up, especially as I am back in work and university term has started.

I have decided not to focus on one particular ancestor today. I am really not fashionable, and have never been interested in keeping up with the latest trends. Disposable fashion, fast fashion, buying clothes that will not last has never appealed to me.

I don’t know if my ancestors were fashionable, but one can’t help but feel that wedding photographs are very much “of their time”. What may have felt like a classic design at the time can look very dated years later.

Here are a selection of the fashion hits and misses at some of our family weddings. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

14 August 1929
2 November 1935
25 September 1943
23 July 1955
24 August 1968
1974
1983
7 June 2008

My 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blog posts

52 Ancestors: Week 47 – Thankful

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible. When I saw this prompt I immediately thought of […]

52 Ancestors: Week 46 – Birthdays

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible. On 2nd September 2006 my Grandmother Bessie Tomlinson turned […]

52 Ancestors: Week 45 – Stormy Weather

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I should have completed all 52 prompts by now, but I will do so as soon as possible. When I first saw this prompt I didn’t know […]

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Courses

What have I learned in August?

I completed my first course with Pharos, Employment Records. We learned about the kinds of records which exist for many different occupations, where to find them and how they may be of use in family history. My final assignment was about blacksmiths and you may already have read my blog about Thomas Hopkinson, father and son, blacksmiths.

I then started Recording the Poor – From Parish to Workhouse and Beyond. We thought about why a higher percentage of the population was poor in previous generations, and how we would know our ancestors were poor. We looked at using newspapers to learn about pauper ancestors. I’ve much more understanding of the old and new poor laws now and the records that they generated.

I took a bit of a break from reading, and I am still reading Ian Mortimer’s “The Time Traveller’s Guide to Regency Britain.” I am also working my way through “Tracing Your Ancestors in the National Archives: The Website and Beyond” by Amanda Bevan.

As light relief I enjoyed In the Blood (Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery Book 1) by Steve Robinson. It made a change from Jane Austen fanfiction! Currently available through Kindle Unlimited, it is also an audiobook, paperback etc. The blurb on Amazon compares it to Dan Brown, Stieg Larsson and Arthur Conan Doyle, well I love the first two so worth a try? It certainly was … I finished it at 2am.

I have co-hosted the Society of Genealogists “Tracing your London Ancestors” course, which continued from July. Very few of my ancestors came from London, but so many people visited or lived there for a while that this course feels very useful.

Course/WebinarSpeaker(s)OrganiserMy reflections
1 August
My Ancestor was a Blacksmith
Ian WallerSociety of Genealogists This talk has been very useful for my Pharos Employment Records assignment. It has pointed me in the direction of other records that I might not have thought about otherwise, such as checking whether my ancestors smithy was adjacent to the coaching inn. Ian suggests looking at Quarter Session records and title deeds in the local archives to find out more about blacksmith ancestors.
4 August
Lunchtime Chat – Ephemera- How do Transitory Objects offer Insight into your Ancestor’s Lives?
Else ChurchillSociety of Genealogists Some people are lucky to have received letters, birthday books and other documents handed down from previous generations. Others have nothing, or so much that they don’t know where to start. One attendee had written her family history in 100 objects. For each object she wrote about the family member or ancestor associated with it. Objects chosen ranged from jewellery to pictures to furniture. What a fabulous idea.
4 August
Burying the Body in England
Helen SmithLegacy Family Tree WebinarsHelen suggested some useful places to look to find out where our ancestors might have been buried. I didn’t know that in many parts of the world the burial location is listed on the death certificate.
5 August
Latin for Family Historians
Caroline GurneySociety of Genealogists Following on from last months class on palaeography this was incredibly helpful and gave me confidence that I will be able, if slowly, to work out Latin documents that I come across in my research.
7 August
Tracing your London Ancestors Course class 6: Finding London Burials
John HansonSociety of Genealogists This followed on very neatly from Helen Smith’s talk a few days ago. There are many many indexes which can help to trace where London ancestors were buried.
11 August
Ship to Shore
Janet Few Society of Genealogists Living close to the sea shaped our ancestors lives. It was often a dangerous and uncertain life, more so than inland lives. There are some specific records that can be used, perhaps the deaths at sea registers need to be considered more often. I’m looking forward to learning more about the sea men that I find in the Pentrefelin records.
14 August
Tracing your London Ancestors Course class 7: London Sources in the SoG Library
Else Churchill Society of Genealogists I learned that the Society was originally focussed solely on London and only later became a national organisation. It was not a surprise to learn that the library holds many and various records of Londoners.
17 August
Quick Start: Blogging
WordPressI still find the process of blogging and getting it to look how I would like difficult. I learned a little more about how to structure my blog site but several of my questions were directed to the forums rather than answered.
18 August
Standards for Genealogical Documentation
Tom Jones, Ph.D., CGLegacy Family Tree Webinars A very helpful presentation which mainly covered the importance of referencing and how to craft a citation.
18 August
Using Zotero to Organize and Annotate Your Family History Research
Colleen Robledo Greene, MLISLegacy Family Tree Webinars I had begun using Zotero as it had been recommended by the tutors at Strathclyde University, but this gave me much more insight into how to use it to keep track of my sources and books. I’ll be spending some time organising soon.
30 August
The Role of the Victorian Head Gardener
Judith HillSociety of Genealogists A fascinating look into gardeners, the progression from a 12 year old garden boy, through to head gardener. I suspect my great great grandfather Job didn’t work at a “big house” so this wasn’t quite what he was doing. My first presentation where I added notes straight into Zotero.

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My family

52 Ancestors: Week 24 – Father’s Day

I am taking part in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge for 2021. The challenge is organised by Amy Johnson Crow who provides a weekly writing prompt. I am way behind with my writing but I am working on catching up.

I have chosen to write about father and son Thomas Hopkinson (1837-1913) and (1807-1882). Part of my assessment for the Pharos Employment records course I took last month was to document the records which could tell me more about the employment of an ancestor. These two Thomas Hopkinson’s were blacksmiths in South Wingfield.

I have found them on all censuses from 1841 to 1911, tracing Thomas junior from being the 4 year old second son of a blacksmith in South Wingfield, Derbyshire[1] through being a 13 year old assistant blacksmith[2] to an employed blacksmith in 1891[3] and a blacksmith on his “own account” in 1901.[4] By 1911 he was a widowed farmer living with four of his unmarried daughters, still in South Wingfield.[5]  The blacksmith would have been in the heart of the village and it should be interesting to find out more.

Thomas senior was baptised on 21st March 1807 in Morton near Alfreton in Derbyshire.[6] He married Hannah Purdy on 1st January 1833 in Duffield, Derbyshire.[7]  By 6th June 1841 the couple had four children, Jane, William, Thomas and George. [1] 10 years later they had six children at home, Jane, Thomas, Joseph, Peter, Arlette and Adeliza. [2] Thomas junior was now 13 years old, and his occupation is given as assistant to blacksmith. 

Fast forward another 10 years to the census of 1861 and we find 24-year-old Thomas at home with his parents, and four younger siblings, both father and son are blacksmiths.[8] In November of that year Thomas married Sarah James at Holloway Chapel in Ashover, Derbyshire.[9]  Thomas and Sarah were living with Thomas’ parents Thomas and Hannah in 1871.[10] We find them again on the 1881 census, by which time Thomas senior is widowed, but he still has three unmarried children living with him, his son Harold is now also a blacksmith.[11] A few doors away, on the same census page, we find Thomas and Sarah with three children at home.  Less than a year later Thomas senior died and was buried in All Saints Churchyard, South Wingfield.[12] He did not leave a will, and his eldest son, William Hopkinson, a coal miner, administered his estate.[13]

Thomas junior continued to work as a blacksmith, in 1891 he was employed, and intriguingly had an adopted daughter Ethel Booth. [3] By 1901 he was 64, but still working as a blacksmith, now on his “own account” and working at home. [4] He does appear to have “retired” by 1911 as he moved away to Wingfield Park and was farming. [5]

So, how can I find out more about their lives as blacksmiths? The first thing I wanted to find out is exactly where the smithy (was there more than one?) was within South Wingfield.  I was able to do this using the side by side maps at the National Library of Scotland. [14]

Many directories are now available online, though often not indexed.  The earliest I have found is the 1849 Post Office Directory for Derbyshire. This lists “Hopkins, Thomas, blacksmith” in Oakerthorpe, a hamlet within the parish of South Wingfield.[15] I have been able to find the smithy listed in the 1887 edition of Kelly’s Directory of Derbyshire[16]  and 1895 History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire[17] Both of these indicate that is was younger brother Harold Hopkinson who was running the blacksmith at this time. Harold and Thomas’ sister Annie is a shopkeeper and dressmaker. There are many other on Ancestry and in the University of Leicester online collection.  

Newspapers are another fascinating source of information, and I found that a blacksmith‘s shop and cottage were available to let in South Wingfield in April 1899.[18]  I wonder what was happening?

I have to plan a visit to the Modern Records Centre, Warwick where I will be able to examine the Associated Blacksmiths’ Forge and Smithy Workers’ Society (ABFSWS) membership registers as well as their quarterly and annual reports.  Another visit will be to the Bishopsgate Institute Special Collections and Archives to find out if either Thomas joined the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, Machinists, Millwrights, Smiths and Pattern Makers.

When it reopens I plan the Society of Genealogists library to examine “Apprentice indentures of pauper children in: Derbyshire names in miscellaneous lists”[19]

Another visit will need to be the Derbyshire Record Office in Matlock where I might find one or both Thomas Hopkinson’s in the records of the Oddfellows Society.[20]

While there, I will also be able to look at some other directories which might indicate when Harold took over from Thomas senior.  I would also have a look at the parish council records[21] and tithe records.[22]

Finally to experience something of the life of Thomas Hopkinson father and son I would like to visit a working blacksmith museum.  My first choice would be Beamish, but there are others.

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North, Beamish Museum, Regional Resource Centre, Beamish, County Durham, DH9 0RG. https://www.beamish.org.uk/exhibits/blacksmiths/

Burswell Museum & Windmill, Mill Close,Burwell,Cambs,  CB25 0HL http://burwellmuseum.org.uk/cd_portfolio/blacksmiths-forge/

Chiltern Open Air Museum, Newland Park, Gorelands Lane, Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire HP8 4AB https://coam.org.uk/museum-buckinghamshire/historic-buildings/garston-forge/

Ryedale Folk Museum, Hutton le Hole, North Yorkshire, YO62 6UA. https://www.ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk/robin-butler-the-first-blacksmith/

Dead ends

I looked at the blacksmiths index (https://blacksmiths.mygenwebs.com/) but Thomas Hopkinson was not included. I have submitted the information I have to date.

The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths state on their website:[23] “Regrettably, the Company does not hold any genealogical information and is unable to assist with family history research. The ancient records of the Company (pre-1828) are held in the London Metropolitan Archives”.

I was unable to find Quarter Session records, fire insurance, title deeds or any possible business records but only 40% of Derbyshire Record Office holdings have been catalogued.[24] It is possible that more could be found by speaking to the archivists.  The most recent documents for South Wingfield Manor appear to be from 1760.[25]

Bibliography

Emm, Adéle (2015) Tracing Your Trade and Craftsmen Ancestors. [Kindle version] Barnsley: Pen & Sword Family History. http://www.amazon.co.uk : accessed 04 August 2021.

Scott, Jonathan (n.d.) Are there metalworkers in your family tree? Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. https://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/tutorials/jobs/are-there-metalworkers-in-your-family-tree/ : accessed 04 August 2021.

Waller, Ian (2021) My Ancestor was a Blacksmith. [online]. Society of Genealogists. https://societyofgenealogists.arlo.co/w/events/148-my-ancestor-was-a-blacksmith accessed 01 August 2021.


[1] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 06 June 1841. HOPKINSON, Thomas [head]. PN HO 107/196. Bk18. EN10. FL 28. p. 15. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 04 April 2009.

[2] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 30 March 1851. HOPKINSON, Thomas (head). PN HO 107/2145. EN5a. FL294. p. 25. SN 101. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 24 October 2020.

[3] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 05 April 1891. HOPKINSON, Thomas (head). PN RG12/2747. EN16a. FL92. p. 23. SN 137. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 28 July 2021.

[4] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 01 April 1901. HOPKINSON, Thomas (head). PN RG13/3231. EN17. FL111. p. 21.  http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 28 July 2021.

[5] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 02 April 1911. HOPKINSON, Thomas (head). RD 436. PN 20981. EN10. SN90. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 04 April 2009.

[6] Baptisms (PR) England. Morton, Derbyshire. 21 June 1807. HOPKINSON, Thomas. Image 95 of 100. Collection: Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 20 August 2021.

[7] Marriages (PR) England. Duffield, Derbyshire. 01 January 1833. HOPKINSON, Thomas and PURDY, Hannah. Image 144 of 586. Collection: Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 24 October 2020.

[8] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 02 April 1861. HOPKINSON, Thomas (head).  PN RG9/2513. FL80. p. 3 SN. 15. 1861 Derbyshire Census CD.

[9] Marriages (CR) England. Holloway Chapel, Ashover, Derbyshire. 05 November 1861. HOPKINSON, Thomas and JAMES, Sarah. RD Belper, Derbyshire.

[10] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 02 April 1871. HOPKINSON, Thomas (Head). PN RG10/3589. FL 31. p. 12. UK Census Collection. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 03 April 2005.

 [11] Census records. England. South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 03 April 1881. HOPKINSON, Thomas (Head).  PN RG11/3415 FL147 p. 5. FHL Film 1341817.

[12] Monumental inscriptions. England. All Saints, South Wingfield, Derbyshire. 19 February 1882. HOPKINSON, Thomas. Transcribed by Ruth Willmore, 24 October 2020. From a picture John Jeffery originally shared on 18 May 2019. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 24 October 2020.

[13] Testamentary records. England. 14 April 1882. HOPKINSON, Thomas. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the grants of probate. p. 406. Collection: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar, 1858-1966. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 31 January 2015.

[14] Ordnance Survey. (1897) Chesterfield Outline. One-inch Revised new series, England and Wales, 1892-1908. Sheet 112. 1:63600. Southampton: Ordnance Survey. https://maps.nls.uk/ : accessed 04 August 2021.

[15] Post Office (1849) Post Office Directory Derbyshire. P.2494. Collection: U.K., City and County Directories, 1600s-1900s. http://www.ancestry.co.uk : accessed 21 August 2021.

[16] Kelly (1887) Kelly’s Directory of Derbyshire. London: Kelly & Co. https://sogdata.org.uk/ accessed 21 August 21.

[17] T Bulmer & Co. (1895) History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire.  Littleover, Derby: T Bulmer & Co. https://sogdata.org.uk/ accessed 21 August 21.

[18] Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald (1899) To Let – South Wingfield-  Blacksmith Shop and Cottage. Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald. 29 April. p. 4b. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000228/18990429/105/0004 accessed 08 August 2021.

[19] Derbyshire FHS (comp.) (1999) Poor law unions, Basford, Nottingham. Apprentice indentures of pauper children in: Derbyshire names in miscellaneous lists, vol. 3, 1472-1888 accession 96533u

[20] Loyal Faithful Shepherd Lodge of Oddfellows Society (1842-1944) Contribution cards including cards for the Loyal Lamb Lodge (the junior branch) D6496/2/1/1-11 and Loyal Faithful Shepherd Lodge of Oddfellows Society (1910-1913) Declaration book of members D6496/2/2

[21] South Wingfield Parish Council (1894-1935) Annual parish meetings minute book. D1569/A/PC/5

[22] Parish of South Wingfield All Saints (1845) Tithe Rent charge apportionment award for South Wingfield.
D639/A/PI/91 and Parish of South Wingfield All Saints (c1920) Tithe rent charge register showing name of present landowner, the plot numbers of the lands subject to rent charge and the amount due for each parcel. D639/A/PI/92

[23] The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths. Genealogy/Family History. https://blacksmithscompany.co.uk/history/family-history/  : accessed 07 August 2021

[24]   Derbyshire County Council Record Office catalogue. https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/record-office/records/catalogue/catalogue.aspx : accessed 08 August 2021.

[25] National Archives (Great Britain) http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ : accessed 08 August 2021.

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