1st Generation: Millicient Osbaston and Germane Harrison?
MILLICENT OSBASTON “of Hullands Lands” had at least two illegitimate children. One JONATHAN (reputed father DANIEL BIRCH) baptised 29.09.1712 in Bradley but soon dead, and JOHN baptised 23rd Jan. 1714 (reputed father GERMANE HARRISON). GERMANE (who may have been the origin of the number of GERMANs in the family) HARRISON seems to have been buried on April 4th 1720, when JOHN was six. He probably married MARY WRIGHT 15.4.1710 at St. Peter’s, Derby, and had at least one legitimate child, GERMAN baptised 22.4.1711 at Atlow. His parents were probably GERMAN and REBECCA HARRISON and he was born in 1681 or 87. If MILLICENT followed family tradition she named her son after her father, JOHN, but there’s no evidence of this , although John called one of his children after her, and his first child JOHN. A MILLICENT OSBISTON `of Hullands Lands` was buried at Atlow 17th April 1751.
2nd Generation: John Osbiston and Mary ?Whitacre.
There is some confusion about this marriage, since they seem to have married twice within a few months of each other. I have come to the conclusion that it is the same couple in each case. The first marriage is in Atlow in 1741, if it is a full marriage and not publication of banns (since it does not appear in the Bishop Transcripts). The second marriage was in Duffield on 4.11.1742. Mary and John were poor, and we have a document of a removal order in 1758 for them and five children from Hulland to Biggin, which suggests a connection with both parishes, which border each other. Their children were JOHN (baptised 26.4.1747 Atlow `of Hulland`), twins ANN and LYDIA (baptised 31.12.1749 in Bradley), SAMUEL (born 1753) and MILLICENT (born 1756/7). There is a possibility of at least one other child, WILLIAM (born 6.4.1766 Duffield) who married his? brother’s widow ALICE in Derby, and died in May 1812, leaving a will, in which he left her the full estate. JOHN OSBISTON (Snr) died 21.7.1772 and is buried in Atlow, as is his wife MARY who died 8.2.1783. Both their burials record them as living in Hulland or Hullands Lane, so they seem to have slipped back over the parish boundary!
3rd Generation: John Osbiston and Alice R(o)ide.
It is clear from wills etc and a later marriage that Alice’s surname was RIDE, despite the first marriage entry of ROIDE, which possibly suggests how they pronounced it. They were married in Duffield 11.3.1772. John died aged 46 in Duffield 3.5.1793, leaving everything to Alice in his will, and his memorial stone is still clear to read in the churchyard, next to that of his eldest son WILLIAM. After his death, and still with a large young family to care for, ALICE seems to have married his brother WILLIAM. This was illegal in those days, so she reverted to her maiden name (although she still said she was a widow) and married in Derby. Alice died 18.12.1816 at Duffield. They had 9 children, with possibly two sets of twins, only one of whom died before adulthood. They were: WILLIAM (21.2.1773 Duffield), JOHN (22.1.1775), GERMAN (3.10.1776), ELIZABETH (22.2.1778), ALICE (1779), MILLICENT (1779), GEORGE 1 (17.1788), LYDIA (6.12.1788), GEORGE 2 (2.9.1791).
4th Generation: William Osbiston and Sarah Slater.
WILLIAM was baptised and buried at Duffield aged 53 on 24.1826. He married SARAH SLATER at St. Micheal’s Derby 1.5.1796. SARAH was baptised 5.10.1779 Duffield and seems to be connected to the SLATER family who produced SAMUEL SLATER who ran away from Strutt’s Mill apprenticeship in his early 20s to America and founded the American Cotton Industry in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. SARAH was a wheelwright and farmer of 6 acres in Hazlewood near Duffield, and died 21.5.1863 aged 85 `of natural decay`. In the Hazlewood Tythe map of 1848 her farm field boundaries are identified and can still be traced today. WILLIAM and SARAH produced 13 children of which 11 reached adulthood, and many of them became wheelwrights or blacksmiths. They were JOHN (10.7.1796), WILLIAM 1 (29.4.1798), THOMAS 1 (6.10.1799-28.12.1802), GERMAN (19.7.1801), ELIZABETH (16.1.1803), WILLIAM 2 (19.8.1804), THOMAS 2 (17.5.1807), THIRZA (born 26.12.1808), MARY (born 15.5.1810), SAMUEL (23.12.1815), JOSEPH (1821), SARAH (1822), HANNAH (1824). Most of the children remained in the Hazlewood/Duffield/Belper area, and some of the children and grandchildren lived with Sarah in her widowhood, no doubt helping her run her business and farm.
The line now splits into two significant branches, neither of which are legitimate, carrying the OSBISTON name through the female line. Although we know SARAH was their grandmother, for neither child are we sure of their father, and even in one case of his mother.
5th Generation – Paternal- Thirza Osbiston and ?
By the 1841 census Thirza has two illegitimate sons JOHN and WILLIAM OSBISTON living with her as a sole female servant to RICHARD ELLIOT, a boot and shoemaker in Belper. Richard has 4 of his own children living with him, and calls himself a widower. Shortly after the census on 7.6.1841 in Duffield, Thirza and Richard were married. It may be he was their father, although in future censuses they continue to be given the name OSBISTON and called `sons in law`, in those days a term for step-son. On his wedding certificate JOHN gives his father as ELLIOT OSBISTON, but many of RICHARD’s younger children were born at a similar time to THIRZA’s, suggesting that if an earlier relationship existed, there were two parallel families. When the family moved to Milford probably for work, Richard died aged 68 in 1865, and Thirza moved in with John and his young family in Ripley. In December 1871 she married WILLIAM STRANGE, described as a `general labourer` in 1881 in Derby. They both died soon after this; Thirza in the summer quarter of 1882 in Belper. Thirza was a shot binder and later a nurse.
5th Generation – Maternal- Elizabeth/Mary/Thirza/John and Joseph the gamekeeper/other mother?
In the 1841 and 51 census GERVAIS OSBISTON, trainee wheelwright is living with grandmother SARAH in Hazlewood. We know he was illegitimate, but nothing certain about his parents. He was born in late 1829/1930. There are only three daughters of SARAH and WILLIAM that could be his mother. The most likely seems to be ELIZABETH since she died in 1832 aged 28, around the time of his birth, and he called one of three daughters ELIZA. However MARY is also a remote possibility since he called another daughter MARY, although she married ABRAHAM LANGLEY, a miller from Nottinghamshire in 1832 and had eight children with him. The third option is that THIRZA had yet another illegitimate, older child, and by 41 had sent him to her mother to be trained in a profession. He was according to Belper Strutt School records living at Shottle in the family of a wheelwright from November 20 1838 to Oct 31 1840. Shottle is near Hazlewood where his grandmother lived, and those children living in Hazlewood are noted as coming from Shottle in the records.
His father is even tricker. There has been a family legend that GERVAIS’s father was a STRUTT, the mill owners of the area, and certainly some of the STRUTT sons had a bad reputation. I can find no evidence of one of the OSBISTON girls working for them. For his first marriage certificate he gave his father’s name as JOSEPH OSBISTON, a gamekeeper but on his second as JOHN OSBISTON wheelwright, and his only son may have been called JOSEPH. However, his uncle JOSEPH OSBISTON, born 1821, was much too young to have been his father. However, I may be being sexist in assuming Sarah’s looking after her daughter’s child. Her eldest son John died in Belper in September 1830, and it is always possible GERVAIS was his child, although that does not solve the maternal question. I am also conscious that GERVAIS may have been baptised under his father’s surname, which record I’ve failed to find because I do not know it.
6th Generation-Paternal- John Osbiston and Harriet Hill.
JOHN born 3.7.1836 and baptised at the Primative Methodists, Belper 2.9.1836, was an engineer, engine driver for the Butterley Works, Ripley, and a Baptist local preacher, known in the family as `John the Baptist`. He first married HARRIET HILL from Eastwood, Notts, aged 21 on 1.6.1863. They had three children: FLORENCE (1869), CLARA (1871) and ALBERT (1874). Harriet died aged only 26 in 1874, some 5 months after Albert’s birth. In 24.1.1875 JOHN illegally (the law was not changed till the early 20th century) married Harriet’s sister ANNE. They had one child LOIS ANNE who died aged 6 of `cold and brain inflammation’ in 1885. Both older daughters trained as nurses, and ALBERT was apprenticed at the Butterley Works with his father. JOHN died 8.2.1904 `of Butterley Hill` and ANNE on 1.12.1909 `a widow of Alfreton`. He is buried with both his wives in Ripley Municipal Cemetery in an unmarked grave.
6th Generation/7th Generation –Maternal- Gervais Osbiston and Emma Kirk/ Emma Osbiston and Thomas Biddulph.
GERVAIS born 1830 seems to have been a naughty boy at Strutt’s School for Boys in Belper, since he was expelled aged 11 for fighting. It may be this led to his apprenticeship to his grandmother. He remained a wheelwright all his long working life, although with increased mechanisation, it may well have been a dying trade in his later years. His first marriage was to EMMA KIRK in Duffield on 9.4.1851, the daughter of Sampson Kirk a framework knitter. They had four children; MARY (born 1854), EMMA (born 29.12.1857), ELIZA (born 17.8.1859) and JOSEPH (10.12.1860), who was born on the day his mother died of `exhaustion 13 hours flooding and precipitate labour`in Tupton. EMMA was buried in Clay Cross and GERVAIS returned to Belper. Gervais and his family moved around Derbyshire; it is clear that when ELIZA and JOSEPH were born (1859/60) he was working in the Tupton area, but he eventually moved to Matlock and in 1870 is identified as one of its constables (an occupation which was done alongside normal work) and set up business in various premises in the town, eventually, in old age, moving to the Bobbin Mill, Tansley, which still exists down a rutted track. It was in Matlock on 14.11.1863 that he married his second wife, MARY BUNTING, but by then his only son had died aged one in 1861. Both he and MARY are buried in the parish churchyard there, although he died at Heanor, probably visiting his eldest daughter’s family.
EMMA, his second daughter was engaged to THOMAS BIDDULPH, whose father ran a cornmill in Cromford, near Matlock. Around 1877 he left for Australia, promising to send for her and the child she was expecting, but never did. Despite her father’s understanding and support after the child, MAGGIE’s, birth, EMMA never recovered and died `of a broken heart` 12.11.1879 aged 22. Recent research with the BIDDULPH’s of Australia (now in Sydney) has led me to believe Thomas was very ill on the voyage and almost died. It is interesting to know he mined in Tasmania, and eventually married some two years after her death. He was in touch with the family in Cromford, so it’s possible he knew of the death. MAGGIE was brought up by her grandfather GERVAIS, as he had been by his grandmother. It was a comfortable and happy childhood with a pony and painting lessons. In the next generation, the two split branches were to come together, as an OSBISTON married an OSBISTON.
7th/8th Generation- Maggie Osbiston and Albert Osbiston.
ALBERT and MAGGIE, who apparently didn’t realise how they were related, were married in Bakewell 22.7.1897. Their wedding picture only shows his father, step-mother/aunt, and two sisters. She was a few months pregnant with her first child, FLORENCE. Shortly afterwards they moved from Ripley, where their first two children were born, when he obtained work in the Engine Shop of Clay Cross Iron and Steel Works. Their other children were born in the three bedroomed house in John Street, opposite the works, where they remained for the rest of their married lives. They had 9 children: FLORENCE (1897), DOUGLAS (1899), NORA EMMA (1903), ALAN (1906), ALBERT (1908), JOHN (1910), DON (1911), DOROTHY (1913), KATHLEEN (KITTY) (1915). NORA EMMA, ALAN and JOHN died in infancy, but the others lived well into old age, and KITTY at 92 is still going strong! MAGGIE and ALBERT celebrated their golden wedding anniversary in 1947, and she died in 1951 and he in 1958. Both are buried together in North Wingfield churchyard, `reunited` as their memorial stone says.
8th/9th Generation- Douglas Osbiston and Hannah Crofts.
DOUGLAS, ALBERT’s eldest son, joined his father at CLAY CROSS WORKS, the only son to do so, aged 13 for a 7 year apprenticeship as a pattern maker. He had briefly worked at Parkhouse Pit, since he left school aged 12, but an early accident convinced his mother to move him to a safer position. He left there only to retire in 1964. He married HANNAH CROFTS (born 1906) the daughter of a Pit Deputy from Danesmoor at Clay Cross Primative Methodist in 1930. They had a full term still born son born 1933, and a daughter BARBARA JOAN born 7.1.1945. DOUGLAS died aged 83 22.6.1983, and HANNAH 13.1 1986 aged 79 at Chesterfield. Both were cremated at Chesterfield.
10th/9th Generation- Barbara Osbiston and Roger Pearce/Nigel Winder.
Barbara took an English degree at Birmingham University and trained to be a secondary English teacher. After 37 years teaching, she retired in 2005. He first marriage was to ROGER PEARCE in Clay Cross Parish Church 12.4.1969. They had two children, both born in Birmingham; REBECCA (18.3.73) and DANIEL (19.4.1976). In 1879 Barbara and Roger divorced and she married NIGEL WINDER, gaining a step-son ROBERT (born 18.3.1969), who now lives with his family in San Francisco.
11th/10th generation – the children of Barbara Osbiston.
Rebecca took a 2:1 degree in Modern Languages (French and Spanish) at Cambridge University in 1995 and married PHILIP COSTELLO of Oldham. They now live near Wantage in Oxfordshire where she is a youth worker. Daniel took a first class degree in Theoretical Physics at Imperial College in 1998, and a doctorate from there in 2000. He completed an acting degree in central London at the London Drama Centre in 2006. He is now based in London. Step-son Robert works in the senior management of Alcatel, a French-American IT company based in San Francisco. He married MARGARET BARTON in Bolton in 1993 and they have 6 children: ANNA, RUTH, FIONA, JOSEPH, and twins FREDERICK and MARIA. All were born in Britain but now they live and work in America.