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Mary Ellen Kirkham

1843 - 1886

Father James Kirkham
Mother Ellen Kirkham
Husband Matthew Hodgkinson
Children Matthew, Ellen, Hannah, Mary, William, Thomas, Jane

Mary Ellen was born in Fawfieldhead in about 1842 or 1843 (1), the ninth child of James and Ellen Kirkham. Her only younger sibling Abigail was born in about 1845 or 1846 (2). By the census of 1851 (2) Mary was living with her parents, eldest brother William and youngest sister Abigail on Spout Farm near Fawfieldhead, where she had almost certainly lived since birth (3).

By the time of the 1861 census (4), she had left home and was living on John Thompson's farm in Middleton near Youlgreave, where she was employed as a dairymaid. She must have moved back to her parents sometime prior to 1867, as when she married Matthew Hodgkinson at Alstonefield on 25th February that year (14)(5), her residence was given as Reapsmoor (which is adjacent to Spout Farm). Soon after their marriage they moved to Flagg (6), and by the time of the 1871 census (7) they were living at Ubberdale Farm with a one year old son Matthew. Mary's sister Hannah was also living with, and working for them.

Her daughter Ellen was born about 1872 (9), followed by Hannah about 1874 (9), Mary in 1876 (8), William in about 1879 (9), Thomas in 1881 (13), and finally Jane in about 1884 (12).

Mary died aged just 43, on 16th June 1886 (10), and was buried at Chelmorton 3 days later (11).

Brief details of her children:


  1. Her birth certificate has not been found. The ages given on the 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881 censuses, and her death certificate all point to a birth date between 17th June 1842 and 30th March 1843. Of her and her 10 siblings, only two baptism records have been found, not including hers. Her census entries variously list her place of birth as Fawfieldhead, Longnor and Alstonfield. As Fawfieldhead is a place within the chapelry of Longnor, which is itself within the parish of Alstonfield, it would seem that these are all in agreement, but differ only in the level of detail provided. Her parents were also living there in both the preceeding 1841, and later 1851, censuses.
  2. Census of 30th March 1851 reads:
    Place: Spout, Fawfieldhead
    James Kirkham Head Mar 46 Farmer Cheshire, Macclesfield
    Ellen do wife Mar 50 . Staffordshire, Fawfieldhead
    William do Son U 21 Farms Son[.........unreadable..............] Staffordshire, Sheen
    Mary do Dau . 8 Scholar Staffordshire, Fawfieldhead
    Abigail do Dau . 5 . Staffordshire, Fawfieldhead
  3. As her parents were there in the preceding 1841 census.
  4. Census of 7th April 1861 reads:
    Place: Middleton & Smerrill (modern day "Middleton by Youlgreave")
    John Thompson Head Mar 55 Farmer Stafford [Dilhorn]
    .... Other members of the household ....
    Mary Kirkham Serv Unm 18 Dairymaid [Stafford] Alstonfield
  5. Marriage Certificate from Registration District of Ashbourne states:
    1867 Marriage solemnized at Alstonfield in the parish of Alstonefield in the County of Stafford
    When married Name and Surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of marriage Father's name and Surname Rank or Profession of father
    Feby 25th Matthew Hodgkinson 21R Bachr Servt Wormhill, Derbyshire James Hodgkinson Farmer
    Mary Ellen Kirkham 21R Spinster - Reapsmoor James Kirkham Do
    Married in the Ch according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church by license
    in the presence of Joseph Riley, Abigail Kirkham
  6. They were in Flagg in 1871 (7), at which time her husband Matthew appears to have been given about a third of his father's farm. Their son Matthew is also stated to have been born there about a year before, so it seems likely that they moved back to Flagg immediatley after their marriage, when Matthew's father gave him the land to farm.
  7. Census of 2nd April 1871 reads:
    Place: Ubberdale House, Flagg
    Mathew Hodgkinson Head Mar 39 Farmer of 32 acres [Derbyshire], Buxton
    Mary Do Wife Mar 28 Farmer's Wife Staffordsh; Longnor
    Hannah Kirkham Sister Unm 40 General Serv Do: Do:
    Mathew Hodgkinson Son . 1 . Derbysh; Flagg
  8. Birth Certificate from Registration District of Bakewell states:
    When and where born Name Sex Name and surname of father Name, surname and maiden surname of mother Occupation of father Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
    Eleventh September 1876, Upperdale, Flagg Mary Girl Matthew Hodgkinson Mary Ellen Hodgkinson, formerly Kirkham Farmer Matthew Hodgkinson, Father, Upperdale, Flagg Sixteenth October 1876
  9. Census of 3rd April 1881 reads: (Note that Mary Ellen appears to have been mis-entered as May Elizth)
    Place: Hubberdale, Flagg
    Matthew Hodgkinson Head Mar 50 Farmer of 64 Acres Derbyshire, Flagg
    May Elizth do Wife Mar 38 Farmer's wife Staffordshire, Longnor
    Matthew do Son . 11 Scholar Derbyshire, Flagg
    Ellen do Dau . 9 do do do
    Hannah do do . 7 do do do
    Mary do do . 4 do do do
    William do Son . 2 . do do
    Thomas do do . 1m . do do
    Rosie Mellor Niece Unm 18 Visitor do, Taddington
  10. Death Certificate from Registration District of Bakewell, states:
    When and where died Name Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description and residence of informant When registered
    Sixteenth June 1886, Hubberdale, Flagg, Bakewell Mary Ellen Hodgkinson Female 43 years Wife of Matthew Hodgkinson, Farmer Disease of organs of Circulation, Certified by Philip S [??????] Matthew Hodgkinson, Widower of deseased, In Attendance, Hubberdale, Flagg Seventeenth June 1886
  11. Burial entry in Parish register of St John the Baptist's, Chelmorton reads:
    [1886] Mary Ellen Hodgkinson, Ubberdale, June 19, 43 years
  12. Census of 5th April 1891 reads:
    Place: Taddington
    Mathew Hodgkinson Head Widr 61 Farmer [Derbyshire], Greensides
    Mathew Do Son S 21 Do son Do, Flagg
    Ellen Do Daur S 19 Farmers Daughter Do, Do
    William Do Son . 12 Scholar Do, Do
    Thomas Do Son . 10 Do Do, Do
    Jane Do Daur . 6 Do Do, Do
  13. Taddington School records state that he was born on 18/3/1881 and admitted to the school on 23/3/1885.
  14. Marriage License for Mary Ellen Kirkham and Matthew Hodgkinson reads:
    At Alstonfield the 24th day
    of February 1867 before the Reverend
    John Simpson DD Clerk
    Appeared Personally Mary Ellen Kirkham
    of Reapsmoor in the Parish of
    Alstonfield Spinster
    in the County of Stafford and Diocese of Lichfield
    of the full age of 21 years and upwards
    and prayed a Licence for the Solemnization of Matrimony in the Parish Church of
    Alstonfield in the
    County of Stafford and Diocese of Lichfield
    between her and Matthew Hodgkinson
    of Wormhill in the Parish of
    Wormhill in the
    County of Derby and Doicese of Lichfield
    Bachelor Servant
    of the full age of 21 years and upwards
    and made Oath that she believeth that there is no Impediment of Kindred or Alliance
    or of any other lawful Cause, nor any Suit commenced in any Ecclesiastical Court,
    to bar or hinder the proceeding of the said Matrimony, according to the tenor of such
    Licence; And he further made Oath that she the said Mary Ellen
    Kirkham hath had her usual place of abode within
    the said Parish of Alstonefield for the space
    of fifteen Days last past
    [Sig:] Mary Ellen Kirkham
    Sworn before me John Simpson Surrogate


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