They cover the whole of the old Parish of Wirksworth, about 6 miles x 6 miles.
The places include:
Alderwasley, Ashlehay, Biggin, Bonsall, Brassington, Callow,
Carsington, Cromford, Griffe Grange, Hopton, Hulland Ward, Ible, Idridghay,
Ireton Wood, Ironbrook, Kirk Ireton, MATLOCK,
Middleton, Shottle, Tansley and WIRKSWORTH
All except Wirksworth were villages, hamlets or homesteads. However,
Wirksworth church is a fine place, and there have always been a lot of
"strays" enjoying the ceremonial.
Probably not. Practically all the information to be found in the Parish
Register before 1900 is in the website, and this applies to all the other databases too.
Before about 1800, only very basic information was included in the records.
Certainly, help yourself. Download the bits you want. If you have any
problems, get back to me and I'll try to help. If you use the information
in your website or a publication, please acknowledge:
"John Palmer, Dorset, England" and
"The Wirksworth website (www.wirksworth.org.uk)"RETURN
No. Running this website is my hobby, and in the tradition of the Internet
the information is available free. If you are still desperate to pay someone,
give what you want to your favourite charity.
No. My information only covers Wirksworth Area. It is also unwise to think
in terms of there being a single family, unless the surname is very rare
indeed. Usually there were many families with the same surname living in
parallel in a large parish like Wirksworth.
I have quite a long list of
places to stay In Wirksworth, hotels, Bed & Breakfast, Hostels,
self-catering and so on, supplied by the local Tourist Board. Unfortunately
I live 200 miles South of Derbyshire, so cannot check these myself.
Checkout the Surname List in this website.
It contains over 13,000 different spellings of surnames found in the
Wirksworth Parish Registers. If your surname is there, make a note of its
code number, then follow the instructions. You'll find other surnames in
the other databases in this website. Afraid you'll have to checkout each one,
its impractical to "unite" them. If you still can't find your name in this
website, checkout "Derbyshire Families" or "Big R" (both available on
microfiche from DFHS) or better still "IGI" compiled by the Mormons
(available at their Family History Centres or at good Reference Libraries
or on (www.familysearch.org).
If its in Derbyshire, checkout Derbyshire
Placename Index in this website which contains 7,000 Derbyshire
Placenames. If you still can't find it, but you're sure its in Derbyshire,
send me an e-mail and I'll try to locate it in my reference maps.
Regret I can't help you much here, apart from what I can deduce from looking
at an Ordnance Survey Map. I have "Placenames of Derbyshire" in my Library,
and sometimes this has some placename histories. Send me an e-mail and I'll
have a look.
Before about 1800 the spelling of surnames was very varied and non-standard.
The surname of one family would change over the years. From 1600 to 1800,
the sound of the name was more important than the spelling (eg WRAGG and RAGG).
In this website, different spellings of what I consider to be the same basic
name are given the same code number. If you e-mail me, I can send you a list
of all the different spellings of a name found in the Parish Registers.
Sorry to say that it is a mistake to think that there is only one SPENCER
family. All common surnames would consist of many parallel families living
in the same area. If they ever did originate from a common ancestor, he
would be lost in the mists of time! To search for your family, you will
need the name, date and place of at least one member.
Before Nov 1779, a mother's name was rarely given at a baptism unless she
was unmarried. In these cases, its best to try and identify the marriage of
the parents. Beware of ambiguity when two fathers of the same name are
baptising children at the same time!
Occupations were rarely given in the Parish Registers before 1756 for
Marriages and 1813 for Baptisms. Some jobs can be worked out from the
Churchwarden's Accounts. The best source
of occupations is the Census, especially 1851 and after. See my website
at Wirksworth Area CensusRETURN
In the early Parish Registers, any addresses given were of the Parish
(ie Wirksworth parish). Later addresses of the town (Wirksworth), village
(eg Cromford, Middleton etc) or hamlet (eg Hopton, Ible etc) were given.
Street addresses only appear in the 1841 Census and the Tradesman's Index.
Street numbers usually appeared too late for this website.
Because the earliest surviving Parish Register for Wirksworth begins in 1608.
However, a few Memorial Inscriptions inside the church go back to 1555.
Rare Parish Records of other kinds are earlier than 1600.
It can either mean "Gypsy" (someone without a fixed abode) or it can mean
someone travelling away from his home Parish. Often the word "Foreigner"
is used for this, not necessarily someone born outside England
Yes. The Parish Registers Database run on my computer allows extensive
searching and ordering of the records, if they exist in the first place.
If you have identified an individual in this website as your ancestor,
but are unable to trace further back, contact me with the details, and I
will try with the computer. Usually all the siblings can be found, often
the parent's marriage, and sometimes the wife's maiden name can be deduced
when not mentioned.
A good start can be made with the IGI, obtainable from your local Mormon
Family History Centre or larger References Library. Its also on-line at
Microfilm of the Parish Registers can also be ordered via FHCs.
Derbyshire FHS will do searches of a range of Records for their members.
Professional Researches will do more detailed searches at Record Offices
in Derbyshire for a fee. I can send more information and addresses
Please send me details! I can re-check against my microfilm library.
Hopefully errors are rare, but they have happened in the past. If necessary,
I can easily and quickly correct and update this website.
Most of the records I have are already on this website and browseable. I
have others in which I'm prepared to do a look-up (not a search, it just
takes too long). Here's what I've got:
Alsop le Dale PRs 1701-1854, Ashborne PRs 1538-1702, Tansley PRs
1840-1903, Middleton PRs 1847-1881, 1841-51-61-71-81-1901 Census for
Kirke Ireton, Ireton Wood, Kniveton, Mappleton, Matlock, Parwich, Thorp, Tissington,
Wirksworth, Callow, Cromford, Hopton, Ible, Middleton, Elton, and Middleton
My mother's ancestors (DOXEY) came from Middleton, and my research gradually
spread from her family to the whole community of the Parish, which I found
more interesting. I enjoy using databases, and found the Web to be an ideal
way to display large amounts of data in text. Like Topsy "it just grow'd..."
Some. Matlock is an adjacent but separate Parish to the NE of Wirksworth.
However, 500 entries in the Wirksworth PRs refer to Matlock, and I also
have the 1841-51-61-71-81-91-1901 census for Matlock, plus 9000 Marriages
and burials from the Matlock PRs.
This Website contains all the 30,000 burials to be found in the Wirksworth
parish registers. However, it is not always easy to connect a burial to a
marriage or a baptism. Ages at burial were usually only given after 1813.
Yes please! Its very important that I correct any error that comes to light
in my website or database. Readers with differing information to mine are
about the most important way of correcting errors.
Yes, the best way to buy it is as a CD of my whole website (see:
SALES). I also have a few microfiche sets
remaining of the Parish registers 1608-1837. The computer databases
from which the website is generated are not for sale. RETURN
Yes, but first check that you can handle the volume of entries. For example
there are about 3,500 SPENCER entries in the Parish registers. It may be
easier for you to download the entries you want yourself.
Yes. There's an excellent BB called DERBYSGEN which has about 800 members
interested in Derbyshire Genealogy and History. Here's what you do to join:
Send a message to: (DERBYSGEN-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Put nothing in the body of the message except the single word: subscribe
By return you'll get an e-mail confirming your membership, and explaining all the facilities available.
This BB is really interesting, I wouldn't be without it!
My Mother's ancestors (called DOXEY) come from Middleton and Wirksworth.
My interests have spread to the whole parish of Wirksworth, but my interests
in Derbyshire as a whole are limited because of the sheer size of the job
and my time available.
Yes. I have over 1,000 fiche, mainly containing the Wirksworth Parish
registers 1608-1900, the 1841-51-61-71-81-91-1901 Census for most of Wirksworth
parish, and "Ince's Pedigrees". All of this was on my website before the
end of 2000, my Millenium Project!
Probably because of the gap between Date of Birth and date of Baptism.
Baptisms were usually performed within a few weeks or months, but
occasionally were over a year after birth. The record is 50 years!
Checkout Dates of BirthRETURN
He may have moved into Wirksworth Parish from elsewhere. Young men often
married in their bride's Parish, and stayed there to work and bring up their
family. Checking the IGI may help to locate his baptism.
Perhaps because your family moved into Wirksworth Parish from elsewhere.
Lead mining expanded after the Great Fire of London in 1666, and the
building of Arkwright's cotton spinning mill in Cromford in the 1770's
attracted many workers
Because, when the owner couldn't write and the Churchwarden couldn't spell,
the sound was more important than the spelling of a surname. One common
Derbyshire name, GREATOREX, is spelled in 46 different ways in the Parish
registers. In these circumstances, it is not surprising if a surname
changes slightly over 200 years.
No. I have to limit myself to the period before 1900, because it is illegal
to have living people in my database without their permission.
However, my Memorial Inscriptions (not living people!) do extend to
No. For reasons of time available, I have to limit myself to the Parish of
Wirksworth. However, if the person lived in Wirksworth for a few years,
I'll check my records to see if I can find them.
Yes, for the dates up to the end of 1899. I have taken the greatest pains
to put every entry into the database and so onto this website. If you
suspect that an entry is missing, please let me know as soon as possible.
I used to have one, but it got so big it became unwieldy. Now I have a
separate Index for each of my 75 databases. There is also a "Search this
website for a Word" facility on the Frontpage. This takes you to the page
which has the word you entered.