The Family of Edward Johnson (1809 – 1879) of Ironville, Derbyshire

Family Chart

Edward Johnson (baptised 23 March 1809 at Pentrich) was a son of Alexander Johnson and Hannah (formerly Fletcher), who were married 27 April 1791 in the parish church of Alfreton.

Edward’s first marriage was to Rebecca Pickering. This marriage was at Pentrich Parish Church, on 14 December 1829. They were both of the extra parochial place of Codnor Park. It is not known where Rebecca came from. She was not born in the county of Derbyshire in the 1841 census, aged 30-34. She died 1 March 1851 at Ironville, aged 44, the wife of Edward Johnson, furnace man, of hypertrophy of the heart (enlarged heart).

Six children of Edward and Rebecca have so far been found:

1.      Barbara (1830 – 1850), baptised 4 April 1830 at Pentrich.  She died aged 20 in the Alfreton sub-district in the December quarter 1850.

2.      Ann born around 1832 (aged 9 in 1841) and baptised 21 August 1836 at Pentrich.

3.      Alexander (1834 – 1834), baptised 30 June 1834 at Alfreton and buried 16 August 1834 at Pentrich.

4.      Maria (1836 – 1839), baptised 21 August 1836 at Pentrich and buried at Alfreton 24 February 1839 from Ironville.

5.      Alexander (1838 – 1906), born 24 October 1838 at Ironville and baptised 18 November 1838 at Alfreton.

6.      William born at Ironville and baptised 28 September 1845 at Ripley.


Rebecca died 1 March 1851 at Ironville, aged 44, the wife of Edward Johnson, furnace man, of hypertrophy of the heart (enlarged heart).  The informant was Edward Johnson (X) who was present at the death.


Edward's second marriage was to Elizabeth Hawksley, at Pentrich parish church on 16 May 1853. He was a widower, aged 44, a foundryman of Butterley [he had a nephew, George, living there], a son of Alexander Johnson (labourer).  Elizabeth was a widow (literate) aged 35 of Butterley, a daughter of Charles Hawksley (framework knitter).  The witnesses were Thomas Horsfall (a possible relative of the curate, John Horsfall, who performed the ceremony) and Edwin Turton.

Elizabeth was actually a singlewoman and a daughter of George Hawksley, not Charles, and had two daughters, Caroline and Mary. 

Four children were born to Edward and Elizabeth:

7.      George (1854 – 1895), born at Ironville 22 February 1854.

8.      Sarah (1855 – 1899), born at Ironville 12 November 1855.

9.      Rebecca (1857 – 1938), born at Ironville 28 August 1857 and baptised 6 December 1857 at Ironville.

10.  Joseph (1859 – 1859), born at Ironville 12 January 1859 and was buried 18 May 1859 at Ironville.


In the census of 1841, Edward was living in Victoria Street, Ironville, aged 30 - 34, a forgeman, with Rebecca aged 30 - 34, Barbara aged 11, Ann aged 9 and Alexander aged 3 and all were born in Derbyshire.

In the census of 1851, at Victoria Street, Ironville, Edward was aged 48, a widower and mill furnace man, born in Pentrich, with sons Alexander aged 12 and William aged 5, both scholars and born in Ironville.

In the census of 1861 of 15 Victoria Street, Ironville, Edward was aged 52, a labourer ironworks and born at Pentrich.  Elizabeth, his wife, was aged 44, born at Wingfield and his children were William aged 15, a labourer ironworks, George aged 7 a scholar, Sarah aged 5 and Rebecca aged 3, all born at Ironville.  Also living with them (with thanks to Margaret Middleton) were Mary Tupman, step-daughter, married, aged 22 and born at S. Wingfield and Elizabeth Tupman, granddaughter, aged 2 months and born at Belper.  There was also a lodger, William Spencer, married, aged 52, a labourer ironworks and born at Ticknall.


In the census of 1871 of 15 Victoria Street, Ironville, Edward was aged 62, a labourer, born at Pentrich, with his wife Elizabeth (52), a shoemaker, born South Wingfield, and children George aged 17 a puddler, and Rebecca aged 13 an unemployed domestic servant, both born at Ironville.  Elizabeth’s occupation is telling.  Her daughter, Mary Tupman, appears to have married, bigamously, at Alfreton 2 November 1863, John Wright, who later became a master shoemaker, and who no doubt, employed Elizabeth.

Edward died on 23 July 1879, at Ironville, of heart disease and chronic bronchitis.  G. Johnson, his son, (who has to be George) was the informant.  He was buried on 26 July 1879 in the churchyard at Ironville aged 70.

Elizabeth, Edward’s widow, in the 1881 census, was living at 36, King William Street, Ironville.  She was aged 65, a widow and born at South Wingfield.

Elizabeth died, also of heart disease, on 31 January 1886, at Ironville.  Her daughter, Sarah Edwards, was the informant.  She was buried at Christchurch, Ironville, 21 February 1886, aged 69.

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