top of page
  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Ann Sheldon of Whatstandwell, blacksmith

Ann Sheldon was one of Ari’s 5x great-grandmothers. She was born in 1823, in Biggin-By-Wirksworth in Derbyshire.

In the 1851 census, Ann was twenty-seven, living with her widowed father John at Pointon Cross, Hucklow, where he was a farmer. Shortly after that, on the 8th of June, she married John Frost Bunting, a blacksmith.

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 07.09.34.png

John had previously been married to Ann’s aunt, Mary Ann Sheldon, who had died in May 1849, leaving him with a nine-year-old son, Jacob. (This marriage caused an interesting tangle in Ari’s tree!):

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 07.30.07

I don’t know who Ann’s mother was. I haven’t been able to find her baptism record or the marriage of her father, and I haven’t found them in 1841 yet.

By 1861 they were living at Crich Carr, with Jacob and six children of their own. In 1871, they were at Whatstandwell, next to the Bull’s Head. Ann was described in the census as a housewife, and there were five children at home, from nineteen-year-old Mary down to six-year-old Charles.

By the 1881 census, Ann’s husband John had died, so she was now the head of the household.

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 07.48.59.png

The youngest child, Frederic, was Ann’s grandson, the illegitimate son of Ari’s 4x great-grandmother, Mary Ann. Frederic was also a blacksmith, and in 1905 he emigrated to a place called Elyria in Ohio with his wife Sarah Jane and children Vernon and Dorothy. (His baptism, marriage and death records all give no father’s name, but when he applied for social security, the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007 gives his father’s name as Samuel Wheeldon, who Mary married in 1875.)

Frederic had taken advantage of an offer whereby the Canadian government’s immigration branch paid commission to steamship booking agents in the UK for any suitable immigrants who bought tickets (the immigrants didn’t receive the bonus themselves unless they settled on western homesteads).

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 09.01.15.png

Passenger record for Frederic and family on the Lake Manitoba, arriving in St John, New Brunswick, Canada, from Liverpool. Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865–1935,

Maybe he decided that farming wasn’t for him – by 1910 he was back to being a blacksmith, in Ohio. Frederic died in Elyria at the age of seventy-five.

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 08.45.15.png

His obituary appeared in the Chronicle-Telegram in Elyria:

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 08.44.19.png

Obituary of Frederic William Bunting, 2 Aug 1946, from

Ann was sixty-eight in 1891, running a blacksmith’s business in Whatstandwell.

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 09.09.32.png

Her daughters Louisa and Lizzie were living with her and working as dressmakers. Son Charles and grandson Frederic (described here as her son) were blacksmiths.

Here she is in Kelly’s Directory for 1891:

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 09.15.05

Ann died a couple of months later, on the 6th of June. The cause of death was bronchitis and cardiac failure, and her son Charles was present at the death. She was buried at Crich.

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 09.17.10.png

Ann’s death was reported in the Derby Telegraph and the Ripley and Heanor News:

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 09.22.41.png

I have ordered a copy of the will of Ann and her father John, so will update this post when they arrive.

Ari, this is how you are related to Ann:

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 09.58.30.png

4 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page