John Sims, farmer and publican

John Sims was Ari’s 4x great-grandfather, born in Yeldersley, Derbyshire, in 1843 and baptised at the church in Bradley on 23 April. His parents were farmers Samuel Sims and Harriet Goodall, and John was their fourth child.

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Baptism record, Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1916, Ancestry.co.uk


When John was five, his little brother Samuel died. The 1851 census shows John as a scholar, and the 1861 census gives no occupation for him. No doubt he was working on the family farm!

On 22 June 1868 he married Emily Fanny Williams at St Peter’s Church in Derby, and he gives his occupation as farmer.

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The 1871 census shows that the couple have moved to Manchester. They are living at 277 Collyhurst Rd. John is working as a carter and they have two children, two-year-old Louisa Ann (born in Ashbourne) and baby John Samuel, born in Manchester. Two lodgers are living with them, Thomas and Annie Harrison from Derbyshire. Thomas is a druggist’s porter.

The move may have coincided with the death of John’s father Samuel in 1868.

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The baptism of John Samuel Sims at St Oswald’s, Collyhurst, Manchester, which has since been demolished. Manchester, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1915 on Ancestry.co.uk


By 1881 John and Emily had moved back to Derbyshire. They were living in Hognaston, where they ran the Red Lion.

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We visited in 2009 and found a list of the innkeepers displayed.

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By now they had four more children, so we can tell by their births that they moved in 1873 or 4.

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1881 census. Ancestry.co.uk


As we know from reading about the Oddingley Murders, inquests often took place in pubs, to allow for the public to attend. In February 1884, John would probably have been present at this one:

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Derby Daily Telegraph, 21 February 1884. Findmypast.co.uk


By 1891 John has gone back to his roots, and is working as a farm foreman at Day Park in Holbrook.

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1891 census. Ancestry.co.uk


The 1901 census describes the address as Coxbench Day Park. John is now an agricultural labourer, aged 59.

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By 1911 John is at Alfreton Rd, Little Eaton, Derbyshire.

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1911 census. Ancestry.co.uk


In 1917, John and Emily’s youngest son, Walter, joined the Labour Corps. He was 33. His service records show that he was shot in the head while in France, and underwent an operation there.

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Service record for Walter Sims.


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On 10 Nov 1918, John died at Malvern Terrace, Little Eaton. The cause was intestinal obstruction and strangulated hernia. His son Frederick was in attendance, but died the following month from Spanish flu. I have not found John’s burial place, and he didn’t leave a will.

Ari, this is how you are descended from John Sims:

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#Collyhurst #LittleEaton #Farmer #Sims #Inquest #Derbyshire #Manchester #Derby #Yeldersley #Hognaston #Bradley #Publican #Holbrook #Coxbench #RedLion #Williams

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