Emily Fanny Williams of Ashbourne

Emily Fanny Williams was Ari’s 4x great-grandmother. Her birth certificate shows that she was born on 9 April 1845 at Low Top in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, daughter of Samuel Williams and Eliza Grace Potter.

Low Top is the steep upward slope from the northern part of Ashbourne marketplace. In the late eighteenth century it formed the turnpike road to Buxton and Bakewell, and is now Buxton Road.

Series: Boundary Commission Report 1832. Publisher: H.M.S.O. Sheet: Derbyshire. Scale: 1:253440. This work incorporates historical material provided by the Great Britain Historical GIS Project and the University of Portsmouth through their web site A Vision of Britain through Time (http://www.VisionofBritain.org.uk). CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION 4.0 INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC LICENSE (CC BY 4.0)


Emily’s baptism took place at St Oswald’s on 25 May 1845:

Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813–1916, Ancestry.co.uk


Detail of the chancel and choir roof, St Oswald’s


By the time of the 1851 census, Emily was at school in Ashbourne. The 1861 census gives no details of what she was doing, so we don’t know if she had a job of any kind, but no doubt she would have helped her mother with her five younger siblings. We know that she married John Sims when she was twenty-three, on 22 June 1868. She was described as a spinster, of full age, living at Church St in Derby.

In the 1871 census Emily’s job is to “Keep House”. They are living at Collyhurst Road in Manchester, and Emily has had two children: Louisa Ann (born in Ashbourne) and baby John Samuel, born in Manchester.

Ten years later, they are back in Derbyshire, running the Red Lion in Hognaston. Emily has given birth to four more children: Harriet (1873), Frederick (1875), Horace (1877), and George (1880).

Emily had two more children: Gertrude in 1883 and Walter in 1885. The 1891 and 1901 censuses show the family living in Holbrook, and by 1911 they are on Alfreton Road, Little Eaton.

We don’t know what Emily did after her husband died in 1918, but she was still in Little Eaton at the time of her death on 17 March 1927.

Her youngest son, Walter, was present when she died. I have not found a will or a burial for her. Emily outlived two of her children: John Samuel, who died at the age of thirty-five in 1906; and Ari’s 3x great-grandfather Frederick, who died from Spanish flu just three weeks after his father John.

Ari, this is how you are related to Emily:

#LowTop #Derbyshire #Ashbourne #Hognaston #Williams

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I started my blog when my grandson Ari was born in Feb 2017. His birth gave me an opportunity to focus on part of what has become an unmanageably large family tree, looking again at all the records I

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