Updated 19 Nov 2006

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 486


"Mary Jane, wife of the late Thomas STEEPLES of Wirksworth,
died 28 Nov 1929 aged 98 years, interred at Wirksworth cemetery."

Mary Jane Steeples of Wirksworth

    While I was asleep, my good friend Brett in New Zealand came up with all this information about a funeral card I won on Ebay. See Census, IGI and FreeBMD data and Pedigree. I had made little progress myself, so sent him 3 Funeral cards I did not want in exchange for Brett having a look into the problem. Brett, I don't know how you do it!

    From: Brett Payne
    Subject: Re: [DBY] Funeral cards
    Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2006 18:06:01 +1300

    Dear John,

    Thank you very much indeed for the funeral cards, for which I'm very grateful. I've spent some time today on the subject of your fourth funeral card, and have come up with quite an interesting story, so here goes ...

    Well, your Mary Jane STEEPLES led me a merry dance, as she had perhaps done yourself, too. I think there is little doubt that she is the same Mary Jane (HAYNES) who married Thomas STEEPLES at Carsington on 29 September 1859. Her baptism record (13 December 1835 at Kirk Ireton) is in the IGI and shows that she was the daughter of James & Jane HAYNE(S). I found this family in the 1851 Census at Ashleyhay, giving Mary's age as 15. While this doesn't quite correlate with the date of birth suggested in the funeral card, I think I can demonstrate that it has to be the same person.

    The main reason she has been so elusive is that she uses almost as many surnames as there are census records, apparently to suit the circumstances of the occasion. With some perseverance, however, it was possible to track her down through her children. I have attached a text file containing all of the census transcripts so that you can refer to them yourself, and see if you agree with my interpretation. I am, of course, happy to be corrected or proved wrong. Anyway, the following is a "Life and Times of Mary Jane Steeples," as I see it.

    Mary Jane STEEPLES was born at Ashleyhay and baptised on 13 Dec 1835 at Kirk Ireton, one of at least eight children of an agricultural labourer James HAYNES and his wife Jane nee FLINT. Kirk Ireton was her father's home parish. Although some of the children were baptised in Kirk Ireton, and others in Wirksworth, they definitely lived in Ashleyhay, Wirksworth parish at the time of both the 1841 (Broadgate) and 1851 (New Buildings) Censuses.

    Mary Jane married Thomas STEEPLES at Carsington on 29 September 1859. He was baptised on 15 Jul 1838 at Hognaston, second son of another agricultural labourer William STEEPLES and his wife Mary. However, it appears that Mary Jane had had a son born prior to her marriage, whose father may or may not have been Thomas STEEPLES. The son's name was William, and he was known by the surname HAYNES (or HAINES) throughout the subsequent census returns. In 1861, he was living with his maternal grandparents James & Jane HAYNES at Hard Hurst, Wirksworth, and in 1871 he was working as a Farm Servant (Indoor) at North St, Wirksworth.

    Back to his mother, who by the time of the 1861 Census had had a daughter Lucy Ann and was living with her husband Thomas STEEPLES at Crop Hill, Clifton. However, Thomas died two years later in 1863, in the Ashbourne Registration District, which includes Clifton. There appear to have been no other surviving children of Thomas & Mary Jane, apart from Lucy Ann.

    A few years after Thomas' death, Mary Jane appears to have commenced a liaison with widower Thomas BYARD (1825-1895), an agricultural labourer and gardener from Wirksworth Moor. Although Mary used the surname BYARD in both the 1871 and 1881 Census, I can find no evidence that she ever married Thomas BYARD, and other evidence which will be presented later suggests to me that she never did. However, she had another daughter Jane in 1867, presumably by Thomas HAYNES, who appears to have been registered with the surname STEEPLES, even though she used the surname HAYNES in the 1871 Census.

    It is also interesting that if Mary Jane ever did co-habit with Thomas BYARD, she returned to her own home for census night each year. In 1871, and using the surname BYARD, she was with her father James, living at Broom Field, Wirksworth, but Thomas was immediately next door, with three of his children by his marriage to Eliza. Ten years later, in early April 1881, and still going by the name of BYARD, she was at Wash Green, Wirksworth, a few doors down from Thomas, and living with her were her sister and brother-in-law, two daughters Lucy and Jane (both STEEPLES), two nieces and a nephew, as well as another daughter, Lydia, aged 5 and using the surname BYARD. I can find no entry for Lydia with the surname STEEPLES in FreeBMD, so presumably this time Mary Jane registered her birth with the surname BYARD - there is a probable birth entry for a Lydia BYARD registered at Belper ( R.D.) in the September quarter of 1875.

    Another ten years, in 1891, Mary Jane had reverted to her married name of STEEPLES, and was living with her son William, three daughters Lucy, Mary and Lydia, three grand-daughters and a niece at Wash Green. Thomas BYARD, however, was still living two doors away with a son, a daughter, and four grandchildren. Thomas BYARD died at Wash Green in early 1895, and by the time the census enumerator arrived at the door in 1901, Mary Jane had reverted to her original, maiden name of HAYNES - although spelled HAINES on the census sheet. With her was her son William, still single, two grandchildren, and a DAUGHTER Clara HAINES, aged 30, who had been described in previous censuses as Mary's niece! As Clara's baptism doesn't seem to appear in your transcripts of the Wirksworth PRs, the question of who her mother was - i.e. Mary Jane or one of her sisters - will probably only be determined by ordering a birth certificate.

    I'm sure there was much more to the life of Mary Jane HAYNES-STEEPLES-BYARD than can be deduced or inferred from census records, birth indexes and parish register transcripts. A good deal of reading between the lines can be done merely from the records found. It would be fascinating to track down each of her children and grandchildren, and find out what happened to them. As there were so many, it seems very likely to me that there will be some. She was only a washerwoman, but she was a long-lived one, even if she wasn't quite the 98 years claimed on her funeral notice. I calculate that she must have been about 94!
    [Please contact the webmaster on: if you have any more information about Mary Jane.]

    Enough for now, though. I have been researching and composing this while cooking dinner, and that is almost ready, so I'd better get this off to you. It will be waiting when you wake up, hopefully for a drier Sunday. We've had quite a bit of rain recently, which is not unexpected, but I could do with some dry now! I'll be in touch again soon.

    Regards and best wishes,


Census, IGI and FreeBMD data

                                Mary Jane STEEPLES

James HAYNES m: 15 Sep 1828 Duffield DBY Jane FLINT (#M049941)
Mary Jane HAYNE bapt. 13 Dec 1835 Kirk Ireton DBY, dau of James & Jane (#C061301)
James HAYNE bapt. 26 Sep 1830 Kirk Ireton DBY
Thomas HAYNE bapt. 23 Sep 1832 Kirk Ireton DBY
German HAYNE bapt. 14 Sep 1834 Kirk Ireton DBY
William HAYNES bapt. 29 Oct 1837 Kirk Ireton DBY
Lucy HEYNES bapt. 4 Jul 1842 Wirksworth DBY, dau of James & Jane (#C059491)
John HAYNES bapt. 7 Dec 1828 Wirksworth DBY
Anne Elizabeth HAYNES bapt. 26 Apr 1846 Wirksworth DBY bur. 27 May 1846

C 1828dec07 HAYNES John=(son)James/Jane(Ashlehay)[Labourer]
B 1834dec24 HAYNES German(Ashlehay)[10w]
C 1846apr26 HAYNES Anne elizabeth=James/Jane(Ashleyhay)[Labourer],#976
B 1846may27 HAYNE Anne Elizabeth(Ashleyhay)[inf],#95
C 1842jul04 HEYNES Lucy=James/Jane(Ashleyhay)[Labourer],#459
M 1853sep06 HAYNES James(Ashleyhay),Labourer/SMITH Harriet(Ashleyhay),#229
            Fathers: James HAYNES,Labourer/William SMITH,Stockingmaker?
            Witnesses: George GREATOREX,Emmer SMITH
            Status: b,f/s,f
M 1856dec15 HAYNES John(Ashleyhay),Labourer/WINSON Mary(Ashleyhay),#336
            Fathers: James HAYNES,Labourer/James WINSON,Labourer
            Witnesses: Job SPENDLOVE,Mary jane HAYNES
            Status: b,f/s,f
M 1880dec25 HAYNES Maria(Wirksworth)/LOWE Robert(Wirksworth),Labourer,#448
            Fathers: James HAYNES,Labourer/John LOWE,Smelter
            Witnesses: Lucy STEEPLES,William HAYNES
            Status: s,f/b,f

Thomas STEEPLES bapt. 15 Jul 1838 Hognaston DBY, son of William & Mary (#C055111)

Thomas BYARD b. 26 Oct 1825 bapt. 20 Nov 1825 Wesleyan, Cromford Circuit DBY, 
son of John & Elizabeth (#C066641)

1841 Census: from www.wirksworth.org.uk
---Broad Gate---[Ashlehay]----------
As10a     James          HAYNES         35  m  Y  Ag lab
As10b     Jane           HAYNES         30  f  Y  Ag lab
As10c     John           HAYNES         12  m  Y  Ag lab
As10d     James          HAYNES         10  m  Y  Ag lab
As10e     Thomas         HAYNES         8   m  Y
As10f     Mary           HAYNES         5   f  Y
As10g     William        HAYNES         3   m  Y
As10h     Joseph         HAYNES         2   m  Y

1841 Census: Hognaston DBY Ref. HO107/197/21/7/14:
William STEEPLES  M  30  Ag Lab  Y
Mary    STEEPLES  F  20          Y
John    STEEPLES  M  4           Y
Thomas  STEEPLES  M  2           Y
William STEEPLES  M  1           Y

1851 Census: Upper Town, Hognaston DBY Ref. HO107/2146/577/10/2:
John TRUMAN      Head  M  M  31  Landed Proprietor Farmer of 44 Acres
                                 Employing 2 Lab 1 Boy     DBY Hognaston
Mary TRUMAN      Wife  M  F  39                            DBY Littleover
Thomas STEEPLES  Serv  U  M  17  Farmer's Boy              DBY Hognaston

1851 Census: New Buildings, Ashleyhay DBY Ref. HO107/758/10/35:
James HAYNES    Head   M  M  43   Ag Lab  DBY Kirk Ireton
Jane HAYNES     Wife   M  F  42           DBY Hulland Ward
Mary HAYNES     Dau    U  F  15           DBY Ashleyhay
William HAYNES  Son       M  13           DBY Ashleyhay
Joshua HAYNES   Son       M  11           DBY Ashleyhay
Lucy HAYNES     Dau       F   7           DBY Ashleyhay
John MARSH      Visit     M   2           DBY Ashleyhay

FreeBMD - Births Mar 1855 - Haynes  William     Belper  7b 415 
FreeBMD - Marriages Sep 1859 - Steeples  Thomas & Mary Jane HAYNES   Ashborne  7b 707 
FreeBMD - Births Jun 1860 - STEEPLES  Lucy Ann    Ashbourne  7b 485 

1861 Census: Hard Hurst, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG9/2517/93/18/103:
James HAYNES    Head  M  M  55  Ag Lab  DBY Kirkireton
Jane HAYNES     Wife  M  F  50          DBY Hulland Ward
Lucy HAYNES     Dau   U  F  19          DBY Ashleyhay
Maria HAYNES    Dau      F  8           DBY Ashleyhay
William HAYNES  GSon     M  5           DBY Hard Hurst
Mary J. HAYNES  GDau     F  6m          DBY Hard Hurst

1861 Census: Crop Hill, Clifton DBY Ref. RG9/2520/8/9/50:
Thomas STEEPLES    Head  M  M  23  Ag Lab         DBY Hognaston
Mary STEEPLES      Wife  M  F  23  Ag Lab's Wife  DBY Ashleyhay
Lucy Ann STEEPLES  Dau      F  1                  DBY Clifton
Pheebe TOMKINSON   Lodg  U  F  26  Factory Hand   STS Bilston

1861 Census: Breemfield Lane, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG9/2517/94/20/112:
Thomas BYARD     Head  M  M  36  Ag Lab  DBY Ashleyhay
Eliza BYARD      Wife  M  F  37          DBY Belper
Thomas BYARD     Son      M  12          DBY Ashleyhay
Aaron BYARD      Son      M  9           DBY Ashleyhay
Elizabeth BYARD  Dau      F  7           DBY Breemfield
Hannah BYARD     Dau      F  4           DBY Breemfield

Deaths Sep 1863 - STEEPLES  Thomas     Ashborne  7b 297 
Births Sep 1867 - Steeples  Jane    Belper  7b 457 
Deaths Jun 1868 - HAYNES  Jane - aged 58 - Belper  7b 310 

1871 Census: Broom field, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG10/3595/12/17/93:
James HAYNES   Head  Wid  M  74  Ag Lab     DBY Kirkireton
Mary BYARD     Dau    M   F  37  Charwoman  DBY Ashleyhay
Maria HAYNES   Dau    U   F  19             DBY Ashleyhay
Lucy STEEPLES  GDau       F  11             DBY Clifton
Jane HAYNES    GDau       F  4              DBY Broomfield
Clara HAYNES   GDau       F  5m             DBY Broomfield

1871 Census: Wirksworth Moor, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG10/3595/12/17/92:
Thomas BYARD     Head  M  M  46  Gardener  DBY Ashleyhay
Thomas BYARD     Son   U  M  21  Ag Lab    DBY Ashleyhay
Aaron BYARD      Son   U  M  13  Ag Lab    DBY Ashleyhay
Elizabeth BYARD  Dau      F  14            DBY Wirksworth Moor

1871 Census: North St, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG10/3594/11/15/80:
George FROST  Head  M  M  53  Joiner & Builder employing ....  DBY Bonsall
Mary FROST    Wife  M  F  51                                   DBY Ashover
William HAYNES  Serv  U  M  15    DBY Wirksworth

FreeBMD - Births Sep 1875 - Byard  Lydia     Belper  7b 540 

1881 Census: Washgreen, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG11/3420/9/9/50:
Mary BYARD              Head    M  F  46  Charwoman         DBY Ashleyhay
Maria LOWE              Sis     M  F  28  Charwoman         DBY Ashleyhay
Robert LOWE             BroLaw  M  M  23  General Labourer  DBY Tansley
Lucy STEEPLES           Dau     U  F  21  Tape Mill Hand    DBY Clifton
Jane STEEPLES           Dau        F  14  Tape Mill Hand    DBY Wirksworth
Clara HAYNES            Niece      F  10  Scholar           DBY Wirksworth
Annie Elizabeth HAYNES  Niece      F  6  Scholar            DBY Wirksworth
Lydia BYARD             Dau        F  5  Scholar            DBY Wirksworth
William LOWE            Niece[sic] M  2                     DBY Wirksworth

1881 Census: Wash Green, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG11/3420/8/8/45:
Thomas BYARD     Head  M  M  55  Agricultural Labourer  DBY Ashleyhay
Aaron BYARD      Son   U  M  27  Agricultural Labourer  DBY Ashleyhay
Hannah BYARD     Dau   U  F  23  Tape Mill Hand         DBY Wirksworth
Mary BYARD       Dau      F  9   Scholar                DBY Wirksworth
Elizabeth BYARD  GDau     F  2                          DBY Wirksworth

1881 Census: West End, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG11/3419/47/12/61:
Joseph BOWMER   Head  M  M  50  Farmer of 41 acres, employing 1 man  DBY Wirksworth
Mary BOWMER     Wife  M  F  47                                       DBY Ashleyhay
William HAYNES  Serv  S  M  24  Farm Servant                         DBY Wirksworth

1891 Census: Wash Green, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG12/2750/84/9/54:
Mary STEEPLES       Head  M  F  56  Char woman        DBY Ashleyhay
Lucy STEEPLES       Dau   S  F  30  Domestic Servant  DBY Clifton
Mary STEEPLES       Dau   S  F  19  Domestic Servant  DBY Wirksworth
Lydia STEEPLES      Dau   S  F  15  Cotton spinner    DBY Wirksworth
Lucy STEEPLES       GdDau    F  7   Scholar           DBY Wirksworth
Maria STEEPLES      GdDau    F  4                     DBY Wirksworth
Elizabeth STEEPLES  GDau     F  1                     DBY Wirksworth
William HAYNES      Son   S  M  34  Farm Servant      DBY Ashleyhay
Clara HAYNES        Niece S  F  19  Cotton Spinner    DBY Wirksworth

1891 Census: Wash Green, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG12/2750/83/8/52:
Thomas BYARD  Head  M  M  61  Gardener DBY Ashleyhay
Aaron BYARD   Son   U  M  38  Farmer   DBY Ashleyhay
Hannah BYARD  Dau   U  F  33           DBY Wirksworth
Lizzie BYARD  GDau     F  12  Scholar  DBY Wirksworth
Annie BYARD   GDau     F  7   Scholar  DBY Wirksworth
Mary BYARD    GDau     F  4            DBY Pinxton
Maggie BYARD  GDau     F  1            DBY Wirksworth

FreeBMD - Marriages Dec 1894 - Steeples  Lucy Ann & William SPENCER - Belper  7b 1156 
M 1894dec08 STEEPLES Lucy Ann(Wirksworth),-/SPENCER William(Wirksworth),Quarryman,#224
            Fathers: Thomas STEEPLES,Labourer/John SPENCER,Quarryman
            Witnesses: Samuel SPENCER,Clara HAYNES
            Status: S,F/W,F

FreeBMD - Deaths Mar 1895 - Byard  Thomas  71  Belper  7b 455 
B 1895apr01 BYARD Thomas(Wash Green)[71],#1417

1901 Census: 52 Wash Green, Wirksworth DBY Ref. RG13/3234/87/8/51:
Mary Jan. HAINES  Head M  F  66  Washerwoman       DBY Ashleyhay
William HAINES    Son  S  M  44  Labourer on Farm  DBY Wirksworth
William HAINES    GSon S  M  7                     DBY Wirksworth
Clara HAINES      Dau  S  F  30  Cotton Spinner    DBY Wirksworth
Lucy HAINES       GDau S  F  16  Cotton Spinner    DBY Wirksworth

Funeral Card
Mary Jane, wife of Thomas STEEPLES of Wirksworth, died 28 Nov 1929
aged 98 years, interred at Wirksworth cemetery.

This might be conected with a marriage at Carsington on 29 Sep 1859
between Mary Jane HAYNES (father James) and Thomas STEEPLES (father

Outline Pedigree

Warning: Mary Jane seems to adopt a surname "to suit the circumstances of the occasion". It is a wise child that knows its father.
The pedigree below is meant purely as a guide to the confused reader, and not as holy writ.

                 |                |                                    |                  |
                 |                |                                    |                  |
               c1806            c1810                                c1811              c1821
                James    1828    Jane                                 William            Mary
                HAYNES=====v=====FLINT                                STEEPLES=====v=====
                           |     1868                                              |
                           |                                                       |
     |-----|------|-------|-------|-----|--------|-------|-----|-------|      |-----|-------|
     |     |      |       |       |     |        |       |     |       |      |     |       |
    1828  1830   1832    1834    1835  1837     1839    1842  1846    1853   1837  1838    1840
    John  James  Thomas  German  Mary  William  Joseph  Lucy  Ann     Maria  John  Thomas  William   
                         1834    Jane                         Elizab                |
                                  |                           1846                  |
 |               |                |                                                 |
1824    1850    1825       ?     1835    1859                                      1838
Eliza=====v=====Thomas= = =v= = =Mary=====v========================================Thomas
TAYLOR    |     BYARD      |     Jane     |                                        STEEPLES
          |     1895             HAYNES   |                                        1863
          |                |    /STEEPLES |
          |                     /BYARD    |
          |                |              |
 |       |      |          |        |       |        |       |       |      |        |
1849    1852   1854       1855     1857    1860     1863    1867    1971   1872     1876
Thomas  Aaron  Elizabeth  William  Hannah  Lucy     Thomas  Jane    Clara  Mary     Lydia
                                           STEEPLES        /STEEPLES      /BYARD   /BYARD

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