The Family of George Johnson of Ironville and Rotherham

Family Chart

Kimberworth Grave G and E Johnson7 15 Jul 08.jpgThis headstone (photographed in 2008) in Kimberworth churchyard, commemorates George and Elizabeth Johnson and their grandchildren Johnson Elliott Pool, Irene Johnson and Norman Johnson.

George was born 22 February 1854 in Ironville, probably at Victoria Street, where his father lived in 1851, and probably at No. 15, where his family continued to live until at least 1871, to Edward Johnson (a mill furnace man) and Elizabeth formerly Hawksley (who were married at Pentrich, Derbys., 16 May 1853).

At age 17 (in 1871) George was a puddler and shortly afterwards was a collier. His first marriage was to Nancy Smith at Alfreton parish church on 22 June 1873 at which Edward Johnson and Sarah Johnson were witnesses. Nancy is presumed to have died between 1873 and 1880 and no children from this marriage have been found.

George's second marriage was to Elizabeth West (formerly Baines) at the Birchwood Chapel, Somercoates on 31 October 1880. Elizabeth Baines was the daughter of Joseph Baines and Sarah, nee Elliott (married Christmas Day 1845 at Alfreton General Baptist Chapel).

Elizabeth Baines was born 13 June 1851 in Ironville. In 1845 Joseph was a furnace man and subsequently a labourer at ironworks and an iron furnaceman. Her parents lived in Furnace Row in 1851 and 1861 and also in 1871 when the address is given as 16 Furnace Row. Sarah, nee Elliott, died between 1851 and 1858 when Joseph married Sarah Storer, a widow, on Christmas Eve 1858, at St Mary's Nottingham. In 1851 they were living next door but one to each other in Furnace Row. Elizabeth married William West between 1871 and 1875. A marriage has yet to be located. Similarly the death of William West has not been found between 1875 and 1880.

On her second marriage to George, Elizabeth already had two children, Albert Edward West (born 7 August 1875 at 37 Maltravers Road, Sheffield, the son of William West) and Agnes Ellen West (born 15 September 1878, at 16, Furnace Row, Ironville).

Initially the family lived at Topcliffe Row, West Ardsley, Yorks, where Joseph Edward was born 27 January 1881. Most interestingly C. Shephard, of the same address registered the birth. Also, in the census of 1881, Isaac and James Bradley (first cousins of both George Johnson and Caroline Shepherd), coal miner sons of Keziah Bradley formerly Hawksley, were both living in West Ardsley, which may explain why George and Elizabeth Johnson, and Caroline and Nathan Shepherd moved there.

George and Elizabeth and their family then moved to Prospect Place, Normanton, where they were found in the 1881 Census, in the same street as Caroline, his half-sister, and her husband, Nathan Shepherd.

Then there was a move to Lower Somercoates, where George Winfield William was born in 1888.

From Lower Somercoates the family appears to have moved to Huthwaite, Sutton in Ashfield, where the family, but without George, was found in the 1891 census. They were living at 25 Newcastle Street, Hucknall under Huthwaite, Sutton in Ashfield, Notts., Elizabeth was the head of the household, married, aged 39 and born at Ironville. George was not at home (perhaps he was already working at Orgreave). Elizabeth's children were Albert E (as Johnson, rather than West), aged 15, a colliery banksman, born in Sheffield, Agnes E. (as Johnson, rather than West), aged 12 and born in Ironville, Derbys, Joseph E. aged 10, born at Topcliffe, Yorks, Caroline L aged 8, born at Normanton, Yorks and George W. aged 2, born at Somercotes, Derbys.

From Huthwaite the family moved to Treeton, east of Sheffield and south of Rotherham, near Orgreave colliery where George is thought to have worked at this time.

Finally the family then moved to 45 Regent Street, Masborough, Rotherham. This was the address when George was killed in a mining accident, 23 October 1895. The accident occurred at about 5.15 am, at the Orgreave Colliery, owned by Rotherham Vale Collieries Co Ltd. As the cage was approaching the top of the shaft, George, one of 12 miners, for no apparent reason, put his head out and caught it on the gantry. He was thrown out, by the impact, on to the bank and died in about 5 minutes. Identification was provided by Elizabeth, his widow. The inquest was at the Wilton Inn, Kimberworth Road, Rotherham, and after establishing that there had been no larking around or quarrelling and that George had been a very healthy man, a verdict of accidental death was returned.

Elizabeth also met her death in circumstances that resulted in an inquest. At the time she was living with her son, Joseph Edward, at 15 Ferham Park Avenue. Another son, Ernest Harold, who was living in Midland Road, Rotherham, had a quarrel with a neighbour, Timothy Garbett. Elizabeth tried to intervene in the fight and was hit on the head. She was taken home but died at about 2.20 a.m. on 7 July 1915. The inquest recorded a death from natural causes since evidence was given that she had suffered a stroke.

George and Elizabeth, between them, had the following children:

  1. Albert Edward, the son of William and Elizabeth West, born 7 August 1875 at 37 Maltravers Road, Sheffield.
  2. Agnes Ellen, a daughter of Elizabeth West, born 15 September 1878 at 16 Furnace Row, Ironville, Derbys.
  3. Joseph Edward, a son of George and Elizabeth Johnson, born 27 January 1881 at Topcliffe Row, West Ardsley, Yorks.
  4. Caroline Louise, a daughter of George and Elizabeth Johnson, born 3 December 1882 at 11 Prospect Terrace, Normanton, Yorks.
  5. George Winfield William, a son of George and Elizabeth Johnson, born 30 April 1888 at Lower Somercoates, Derbys.
  6. Ernest Harold, a son of George and Elizabeth Johnson, born 24 January 1893 at 42 Mill Lane, Treeton, Yorks.

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Posted October 2017