Updated 04 Jun 2011

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 628


A Georgian Sampler by Elizabeth Pearson of Wirksworth dated 1806. It measures 11.5 cm by 9.5 cm. The colours are good; there is some staining; but the stitching seems to be all there.

The sampler has silk backing.

A Sampler from Wirksworth 1806

A small sampler (4"x4.5") has appeared on Ebay, made by "E.Pearson" in Wirksworth 1806. It sold for £81.95 on 23 May 2011. This is an attempt to trace the needlegirl and her family. Anyone with more information, please contact the webmaster on

Tracing E.Pearson

The following assumptions were made:
The needleperson was a girl, aged about 13-18.
Her first name was probably quite long.
She was unmarried.
She was born and lived in Wirksworth.

Only one person was found in the Wirksworth Parish Registers that met all these requirements. Elizabeth Pearson's family tree was traced as far as could be, shown below. Her father George was a Sadler, with 7 children. Elizabeth married at 28, when pregnant. Her husband died 7 years later. She lived in Greenhill, a poor part of Wirksworth. I have not been able to trace her son Luke Kirk after 1841.

              1752              1751
              George    1776    Elizabeth
              1832        |     1822
 |     |       |      |       |          |       |
1779  1779    1781   1784    1788       1790    1795
Ann   George  Henry  Thomas  Elizabeth  Hannah  William
                             1788              1789
                             Elizabeth 1816    Benjamin
                                         |     1823
See emails for comments by Judy McCoy.


----Anyone with more details for publication on this webpage, please email ----

Judy McCoy writes from California
Hi John:
My PEARSONs were from Wirksworth and I have Elizabeth PEARSON, daughter of George and Elizabeth HAWLEY.
I tend to agree with Charani that the sampler was usually done by a younger child, rather than a woman of 19, but as you point out, Elizabeth is the only one christened in that period.
On your 'A Sampler from Wirksworth' page you have a pedigree for George PEARSON and Elizabeth HAWLEY. I see that one name is omitted and one added. I have copied and pasted from your Ince's Pedigrees Page 037D (102, 124, H929.2/102) concerning an additional son:
Drawn up from information of several old people (especially George PEARSON of this family aet 77) from personal knowledge &c &c by Thomas Norris Ince of Wirksworth Jany 1829
[children of George PEARSON & Elizabeth HAWLEY]
50 John PEARSON [c 1 Jun 1777 Wirksworth]
51 Thomas PEARSON of Wirksworth Miner [c 11 Sep 1785 Wirksworth] mard Hannah da of Samuel POYSER Shoemaker [mar 31 Dec 1806 Wirksworth]
52 William PEARSON 1 Han Farm [c 13 Sep 1795 Wirksworth]
54 Hannah PEARSON ob unmd [c 12 Sep 1790 Wirksworth]
55 Eliza PEARSON [c 10 Jan 1814 Wirksworth] ux B[enjamin] KIRK [mar 10 Jun 1816 Wirksworth]
From the Wirksworth Parish Records:
C 1777jun01 PEARSON John=(son)George/(Middleton)
C 1779sep12 PEARSON George=(son)George/(Wirksworth),dob=1779apr27
C 1781dec26 PEARSON Henry=(son)George/Elizabeth(Wirksworth),dob=1781nov09
C 1785sep11 PEARSON Thomas=(son)George/Elizabeth(Wirksworth),dob=1784nov19
C 1788sep17 PEARSON Elizabeth=(dau)George/Elizabeth(Wirksworth),dob=1787oct28, ""born 28oct1788""
C 1790sep12 PEARSON Hannah=(dau)George/Elizabeth(Wirksworth),dob=1790apr19
C 1795sep13 PEARSON William=(son)George/Elizabeth(Wirksworth),dob=1795apr28
Elizabeth HAWLEY was christened in Middleton and perhaps George and Elizabeth were living there as newly-weds when John was christened.
M 1776dec25 HAWLEY Elizabeth(Middleton)/PEARSON George
Witnesses: Joseph PEARSON,Stephen OGDEN
I am confused about the inclusion of Ann in your Sampler page pedigree. George was born on 27 Apr 1779 and Ann was born on 12 Feb 1779:
C 1779feb12 PEARSON Ann=(dau)George/(Wirksworth),dob=1779jan16
I think the following entry:
B 1780oct29 PEARSON Ann(dau)George/Mary(Wirksworth)
shows that Ann was the daughter of George and Mary PEARSON, not George and Elizabeth PEARSON.
George and Elizabeth were my 4th Gr. Grandparents. Their first son, John, was my 3rd Gr. Grandfather. He moved to Ticknall and married Jane TOPLISS at Calke Parish Church 5 Jan 1801. They had 8 children (one died soon after birth) and in 1819:
"THAT John Pearson, Jane his wife, and his seven children namely Mary, age eighteen years, Elizabeth, age seventeen years, George, fourteen years, Thomas, twelve years, Samuel, age nine years, Henry, seven years and William about two years....actually became chargable...legal settlement ....to be in the Township of Wirksworth...remove and convey....from and out of your said Parish of Ticknall to the said Township of Wirksworth...." "Given under our Hands and Seals, the Eighth Day of October One Thousand, Eight Hundred and 19".
[children of John PEARSON]
61 5 or 6
Note the names of John's brother and son. Henry suddenly appears because it is Elizabeth HAWLEY's father's name and it continued on in our family. John and Jane's son, Samuel, was my 2nd Gr. Grandfather, and he named one of his sons (my Gr. Grandfather) Henry. By the way, the ages of the children on the settlement papers are ball park at best. Thomas was 9 and Samuel was only about 5 (the Calke/Ticknall P.R.s were missing for 1813-1816 baptisms).
Well, so that is my story. Elizabeth PEARSON, she (perhaps) of the Sampler, would be my 3rd Gr. Grandaunt. If you have any questions or comments, let me know.
Best wishes,
Judy McCoy

Charani writes
I would have thought 18 would have been a bit old to have been doing samplers. Those I've seen or have in the family have been done by 7-10 year olds. That's not to say Elizabeth wasn't the needlewoman in question, of course. It does look like a much younger child's work though.

Charani (UK)
OPC for Walton, Greinton and Clutton, SOM
Asst OPC for Ashcott and Shapwick, SOM

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