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  • Writer's pictureJessica Feinstein

Mary Ann Bunting from Whatstandwell

Mary Ann was one of Ari's 4x great-grandmothers. She was born in the village of Whatstandwell, which is between Matlock and Belper, on the River Derwent in Derbyshire. Her father John was a blacksmith, and Mary was the first child of John's second wife, Ann Sheldon.

The 1861 census shows the family living at the nearby village of Crich Carr, where Mary is nine and at school.

In 1871 they are in Whatstandwell, living in between two inns, the Wheatsheaf and the Bull's Head. The caption for this photo says that "the building in the middle of the picture used to be a pub, called The Wheat Sheaf":

This page has old photos and information about the pubs.

In 1871 Mary Ann was nineteen and had no occupation listed in the census. Three months after it was taken, she had a son, Frederic William Bunting. He was not baptised until he was an adult in 1895, and the baptism record does not give his father's name. He later emigrated with his wife and children to Elyria, Ohio, where he died in 1946. You can read more about him at

Mary Ann married four years later. The wedding took place at the Salem Chapel in Belper, "according to the rites and ceremonies of the United Methodist Free Church", and her new husband was Samuel Wheeldon, a hosiery machinist.

They moved to Holloway in Belper, and Mary Ann gave birth to seven children: Mary Ann, Daisy Louisa Augusta, John Edgar Pearson, Elizabeth Ellen, Samuel George, Joseph and Lewis. (Interestingly, the 1911 census record only claims six!) None of the census records shows Mary Ann with an occupation.

I think Mary Ann died in 1922, but will need to order the death certificate to be certain.

Ari, this is how you are related to Mary Ann:

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