The Hawley Family from Ilkeston

on the Derby Nottinghamshire borders

Ann Hawley married Joseph Fletcher in Derby St Peter in 1842. The Hawleys had been established in Ilkeston for at least a hundred years, since the middle of the eighteenth century. Ann’s Father John Hawley (1790-1866) was a butcher, and in 1841 the family home was in South Street, Ilkeston. I hope that John was proud of the fact that his only son, Edwin Flint, continued the family business; then his grandson of the same name was there in South Street, running the business; later still, the great-grandson, also called Edwin Flint Hawley went into the butchery business, although he died relatively young, before his fiftieth birthday. I have no evidence that the last Edwin married, but even so, a family business that kept going through four generations (and probably five - I have no record of John’s father’s trade) is no mean achievement.

The nineteenth century - John Hawley and Mary Burgin Richardson

Ann was to be part of a family of seven children, and six of those were girls! Their parents appear to have chosen slightly unusual names for their children - apart from Ann, that is. She was the first-born (1819), and was followed by Julia Marenah (1824), who died as an infant; Sarah Rebecca (1826); Julia Emma (1827); Elizabeth Ann (1830); Edwin Flint (1831) - the only boy; and lastly Marina Matilda (1834).

Their mother was Mary Burgin Richardson (1791-1876). She was married to John Hawley in Ilkeston Parish Church in 1818. She had her own trade - dressmaker - and never appears in census records as just ‘butcher’s wife’. By 1861 Mary appears to have separated from her husband. In the census records she is living with her married daughter Julia Wright - and ten years on (1871) Mary is still part of that household. Meanwhile John Hawley took to lodgings elsewhere in the town, and we shall never know the reason why. He died in 1866.

The eighteenth century - Richard and Elizabeth Hawley

John Hawley’s parents were Richard Hawley and Elizabeth. I could find no record of their marriage (in about 1786), but they had four children, all born in Ilkeston, and all baptized in Ilkeston St Mary church. The first-born was Mary (1787); then came John (1790); William (1790); and lastly Hannah (1793). I can tell you very little else about them, because, when it came to searching for possible marriages in the Ilkeston parish registers, there is a crucial gap from 1812 onwards, which is the period when people of this generation might have been contemplating matrimony. By the time we arrive at the 1841 Census this same generation were in or approaching their fifties. I searched both this set of census records and the 1851 Census without success, and so I decided to concentrate on the family of John Hawley instead.

The lives of the children of John Hawley and Mary Burgin Richardson

Julia Hawley and John Clay Wright

Julia Emma (1827-1910) was twice married; she had one daughter with her first husband, who died young, and then five more children with John Clay Wright. There was considerable confusion in the census records (5 sets) over whether this family went by the name of Claywright, or Clay, or Wright. Eventually the family seems to have settled on Wright, although in the 1860’s the children’s births are all registered in the name of Clay. This family lived for forty years and more in South Street, Ilkeston.

Edwin Flint Hawley and Elizabeth Ann Stanley

You will find three generations with this name in the family tree. They all lived out most of their lives in South Street, and as recorded above, the family trade of butchery continued right through the nineteenth century.

Marina Matilda Hawley and Charles Sudbury

This couple were married in 1855, and I have not pursued their fortunes further.

I could find no useful records for the lives of Julia Marenah, Sarah Rebecca, or Elizabeth Ann, and it is indeed possible that they all died young.

The Hawley family would seem to have been a very close family - many of them lived and worked in the same streets - Bath Street and South Street in particular, often living next door to one another. No doubt there were all the ups and downs of daily life, quarrels, reconciliations, births, marriages, deaths. I searched the Ilkeston and District Family History Society’s delightful “Portrait Gallery” (on the internet) of local Victorian worthies in vain, for photos of any of ‘my’ relatives  - but do go there anyway - it is well worth a visit. 


Looking for more details? Try the Family Groups page, where you will find Census references, birth, marriage and death records.