top of page
  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Ann Beresford, cotton spinner

Updated: Aug 25, 2021

Ann Beresford was Ari's 5x great-grandmother, born in 1814 in Barton Knowle, Belper, Derbyshire. Her father, William, was a stone mason, and her mother's name was Hannah. Ann's baptism took place on 10 September at St Peter's church in Belper, and the family's address was given as Barton Knowle, which still exists as a road off John O'Gaunt's Way.

Ann appears in the 1841 census, aged twenty-five, and working as a cotton spinner. The address is Hopping Hill (see

Cotton spinning (spinning cotton into yarn for the woollen industry) was carried out at home until the end of the eighteenth century, and then moved to the mills that Belper is famous for. It was often a job done by children, and would have been a dangerous and very noisy environment.

Public Domain Mark (PDM) terms and conditions

Credit: Textiles: a belt-driven version of Crompton's mule inside an iron-framed spinning shed, workers setting machines and clearing cotton waste, etc. Engraving by J. W. Lowry, 1834, after T. Allom. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

On 14 April 1843, Ann married John Morris at the church in Pentrich, the banns having been read there on the previous Sundays 19 and 26 March and 2 April.

Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754–1932, Crown copyright.

Her sister, Eliza, was there to watch her get married and signed as a witness.

The 1851 census shows Ann now listed as a "spinner's wife", and she has two sons, George (7) and William (5), both at school. She is pregnant with her third son, Jacob, who would be born within weeks (but he died aged two).

The family moved to Russell Street in Litchurch, Derby, sometime before the 1871 census, probably because of John Morris's job as a watchman in a foundry there.

On 4 October 1876, Ann died at an address in Harrington Street, Derby. She was sixty-two years old and died from congestion of the lungs and exhaustion.

Crown copyright.

The death was certified by T. L. Gentles, one of the medical officers of the Derby Union. I don't know where Ann was buried.

Ari, this is how you are related to Ann:

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page