Updated 21 Aug 2011

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Photo 631


Dr George Harvey 1842-1923
Derbyshire Times, Sat 1 Dec 1923
The late Dr George Harvey, JP, was interred in Wirksworth Cemetery, in the same grave as his wife, on Thursday afternoon. The first portion of the service was held in the Parish Church, the Rev H Ham, vicar, and the Revs Trevor Jones and W Tonge officiating. The full choir was in attendance, and Mr E S Jones, organist, played "Blest are the departed" Chopin's "Funeral March", and "O rest in the Lord". The hymn "Now the labourer's task is o'er", was sung. Among those present were the Misses Thornton, Mr and Mrs C W Webster, Mrs N P Wilshire, Mr and Mrs A Macbeth, Mr A de M Severne, Dr E D Broster, Mr and Mrs T Atkinson, Ald G H Wheatcroft, Messrs J Tremaine, W G Nyilassy, H L Coulson, E G Goodwin, W Killer, W W Marsden, D R Marsden, C Wright, Major C B Symonds, Capt Jack Symonds, Messrs G Gamble, A Bowmer, Mrs Bowmer, Messrs J Anthony, Edward Moore, R Johnston, Richard Taylor, Mrs Benyon, Miss Harrison, Inspector Hollis, Police- sergt Bunting, and P C Pakes. The family mourners were Dr Arthur Harvey (son), Misses Ida, Maude and Florence Harvey (daughters), with Mr J H Starkey, JP, and Mr W Sealy Fisher. The coffin was borne by Messrs F Peat, J W Barker, J Wigley, T Wigley, W Gallimore, W Wheatcroft, and Herbert Palin. The wreathes were many and very beautiful.

Dr George Harvey (1842-1923)

Dr George Harvey practised as a Doctor of Medicine in Wirksworth from before 1871 to after 1911, and was of course a well known figure in the town. Details of the Doctor's life are not easy to come by. Contact with his descendant Sue O'Sullivan raises the possibility of more information, see emails.

1842             Julia     1849            1848
George   1873    Agnes     John    1870    Priscilla
HARVEY=====v=====POTTER    WILSON====v=====BONSALL
1923       |     1919                |
           |                         |
  |----|---|---|-----|    |-------|--|--|-----|
  |    |       |     |    |       |     |     |
 1875 1876    1879  1882  1875    1877  1879  1880
 Ida  Arthur  Maud  Flor. Sarah   Mary   Lucy  Fred
      George  1958  1975  Jane    Elizab
       |                   |
       |                   |
      1876                1875
      Arthur              Sarah
      George  unmarried   Jane
      1948        |                |--------|
                  |                |        |
                 1891??            |       Joseph
                 Arthur           Mary     William
                 WILSON=====v=====BARKER   BARKER

Census: 1901-- 1891-- 1881-- 1871 and 1871
Inscription in Wirksworth cemetery: QC051
1911 Census for 1 West End Wirksworth DBY
HARVEY, George Head Married M 69 1842 Surgeon Cove Cork IRE
HARVEY, Julia Agnes Wife Married 38 years F 66 1845 Helgate LND
HARVEY, Arthur Geo Son Sing M 35 1876 Surgeon - Partner Wirks DBY
HARVEY, Maude Daughter Single F 32 1879 Wirksworth DBY
HARVEY, Florence Daughter Single F 29 1882 Wirksworth DBY
SWINSWE, Bertha Servant Single F 31 1880 Cook Cromford DBY
COULTHREAD, Edith Servant Single F 23 1888 Housemaid Belper DBY

Son Arthur George
Cambridge University Alumni 1261-1900
Name: Arthur George. Harvey
College: ST JOHN'S
Entered: Michs. 1894
Born: 20 Mar 1876
More Information:
Adm. pens. at ST JOHN'S, Oct. 4, 1894.
S. of George, surgeon, of Wirksworth, Derbs.[and Julia Agnes Potter].
B. there Mar. 20, 1876.
Schools, Wirksworth Grammar (Mr A. Berridge)
and Malvern College (Mr A. St John Gray).
Matric. Michs. 1894; B.A. 1897; M.B. and B.C. 1905; M.D. 1909.
At the Middlesex Hospital, London. M.R.C.S.; L.R.C.P., 1903.
House Physician at the Middlesex Hospital.
In practice at Wirksworth, Derbs.
Medical Officer of Health, Bonsall Urban District.
Served in the Great War, 1914-19 (Capt., R.A.M.C.).
Of 27, Rugby Road, Brighton, in 1944.
(Malvern Coll. Reg.; Medical Directories.)
from 14th August 1915 BMJ (British Medical Journal).


DR. ARTHUR GEORGE HARVEY (Wirksworth, Derbyshire) writes:
A few days ago a gentleman came to me to be examined for life insurance. He was a healthy, vigorous young man, aged 28, engaged in farming. I left him alone to pass urine, and on returning to the room I was surprised to find the fluid was exactly like spring water, and had a specific gravity of 1000. He was perfectly normal in every other respect. The next morning he sent a sample of his urine passed early in the morning. This sample was normal in colour, had a specific gravity of 1024, acid, and free from albumin and sugar. I have frequently had cases of low specific gravity of urine due to nervousness, but never one approaching this case. The peculiarity of this case is that he showed no sign of nervousness during examination, and I am inclined to attribute it to his drinking large quantities of tea, as he is a total abstainer. I should like to have the experiences of other men on the subject'.


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

Hi John
The information we have about the Harvey's is not very extensive but as below:
As you said Dr. George Harvey came from Cork, Ireland.  His wife Julia 
(Potter) from the Middlesex area. Surgeon and Certifying Factory Surgeon 
and Medical Officer Wirksworth District, Belper Union and Medical Officer 
to Matlock Bath urban district. Member of the Royal College of Surgeons.  
I found a few references to him in the BMJ. Photo we took of grave attached.
It appears that none of George/Julia's children married.  In the 30's they 
seem to have moved to Brighton, Arthur George passing away in 1948, Maud 
1958, Ida 1962 and Florence 1975. In George Harvey's Will he bequeathed 
11,300.23 to Ida Harvey and Arthur George, what we couldn't understand was 
that both Ida and Florence were still alive (they were at his funeral) but 
they didn't seem to get mentioned in the will.
You being an expert, what would the education standard in the mining area 
of Somercotes (a poor area in the early 1900s?) have been like?  We have 
some of our grandfather's wartime diaries and he seems to have been quite 
well educated and intelligent, able to express himself well but he came 
from quite a poor background.  His diaries noted several visits of King 
George, to Scapa Flow and the writer Rudyard Kipling aboard HMS Mischief 
(grandad's ship) Grandad was studying geology, scope and value etc. of 
course with mining in mind. Because his link with the Harvey's was never 
talked about, we just wondered if there could have been any contribution 
to his education. I realise this is all conjecture but intriguing. 
His son Arthur George Harvey (whom we understand is our great grandfather):
Hi John
Just looking at the list of coffin bearers:
J W Barker - we have a Joseph William Barker, 
he was a brother of Mary Wilson (nee Barker), 
wife of our Grandfather Arthur Wilson.  
I can't imagine it would be our J W Barker, 
but intriguing all the same.
Hi John
On looking further at the Sarah Jane Wilson you 
have a record of I don't think it is the same as our Sarah Jane:
Born 1875 Birchwood, Derbyshire, Father John Wilson 
and mother Priscilla Wilson (nee Bonsall) Father Thomas Bonsall 1815.
We are all thrilled with the picture of George Harvey.
Hello Sue,
Yes, I have!
They sent me photocopies of the obituary and photo from a local newspaper.
The quality of the photo is rather poor though (see attached scan).
They say:
Dear Mr Palmer
Apologies for keeping you waiting so long. It has taken me a wee while to 
search our newspapers on film, for this gentleman. 
I checked the High Peak News (I thought the most likely one) on Dec. 1st, 
8th and 15th, nothing there.  
I checked the Derby Mercury and found an obituary in the issue for 
7th December.
I checked the Derbyshire Times and found a photograph ... bearing the 
caption "Dr Harvey of Wirksworth"  "a full obituary and report of funeral 
appear on another page".  I couldn't find the "other page". Checked 
through the next edition also, not there.  I asked Ruth (Gordon) and she 
said that they may well have had a wee space for the photograph in the 
Chesterfield edition, which is what this was, but the rest was probably 
in the Matlock edition. Which, of course, has not survived to be filmed.
I checked the Ashbourne Telegraph for Nov. 30th and Dec. 7th and found 
nothing. So saying, I have to send you, the obituary from the Derby 
Mercury and a photograph (quite a reasonable one) from the Derbyshire Times.
This may be satisfactory for you but if you wish to search further
Ruth said it might be worth trying the Ashbourne News Telegraph and the 
Belper News. However, they are at Ashbourne and Belper libraries 
respectively and at Derby Local Studies Library.
It's such a shame the DTimes obit. hasn't survived, maybe someone local  
clipped it at the time, but it's a case of tracking it down of course.
If you can send a land line address I will post out to you the photograph 
and the obituary. I don't think they will scan to email very well.
One last possibility, we have a few bits that have been donated from the 
estate of Michael Handley of Wirksworth, who sadly died last year. 
I will check through those. I don't think there are many photographs though.
Have you tried DRO and Derby Local Studies?
Yours sincerely
Sue Band
Library Assistant

I haven't got round to putting this info on a webpage yet, maybe when I 
can get some info from you to add to it?
In  a Walker pedigree www.wirksworth.org.uk/P-WALK-2.htm. 
I have a Sarah Jane Wilson b 1874 Could this be the one?
Keep me posted
John Palmer, Dorset, England
Author of Wirksworth website
From: Sue O'S 
To: John Palmer 
Sent: Monday, August 08, 2011 11:30 AM
Subject: Re: Dr. George Harvey, Wirksworth, South End

Hello John
I just wondered if you had any feedback from the Local Studies Library at 
With best wishes
From: John Palmer 
To: Sue O'S 
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2011 12:00 PM
Subject: Re: Dr. George Harvey, Wirksworth, South End

Hello Sue,
Thanks for the email. Glad you liked the website.
Alas, I don't think I have a photo of Dr George Harvey. He seems to have 
practised in Wirksworth from before 1871 to after 1911, and came from Cork 
in Ireland. He was a very well known personality in the town, and was 
buried there, and certainly deserves a webpage if I could get a photo of him. 
Perhaps you would contribute what you know of the good doctor? I am writing 
to the Local Studies Library at Matlock to see if they have an Obituary 
(1923) and perhaps a photo.
Best wishes,
John Palmer, Dorset, England
Author of Wirksworth website,
From: Sue O'S 
To: johnpalmer@wirksworth.org.uk 
Sent: Friday, July 15, 2011 10:17 AM
Subject: Dr. George Harvey, Wirksworth, South End

Dear John
I think you website is fab.  I have searched through it on numerous 
I don't know if you can point me in the right direction:
Myself and my sister are visiting Wirksworth next week, staying in the 
town for a week.  We are doing a bit of family research as our father 
originally came from Somercotes.
There is a bit of a 'skeleton in the cupboard' as there is in most families, 
in that my father's father, Arthur Wilson was born out of wedlock to a 
Sarah Jane Wilson, who was a maid at Dr. Harvey's house in Wirksworth and 
became pregnant by the son Arthur George Harvey, (who became a surgeon and 
is mentioned in various papers pertaining to Wirksworth and the surrounding 
area) the Harvey's offered to take on the child/help with his upbringing 
but the Wilson's closed rank and refused any help.  The Harvey's are my 
families ancestors and we have done quite a bit of research on them and it 
seems none of the children of George Harvey and Julia Harvey ever married.  
What interests us most though is the possibility of any photographs that 
appeared in the local press of any of them.  They must have had a bit of 
standing in the town and been photographed at some functions.  Any ideas of 
where we could look?  I have studied the photos on site but can't find 
anything relevant.
Look forward to hearing from.
Sue O'Sullivan

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