Author Topic: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?  (Read 965 times)

Offline PaperQueen

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Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« on: Thursday 15 June 17 18:40 BST (UK) »
I'm perplexed. It appears at least a couple of my ancestors should/would have been buried on the grounds of St. Helen's in Stapleford in the late 1700s and early 1800s, but was stunned upon visiting this spring to find burial sites gone. Vanished.

Calling the church to inquire about the history of the missing graves was met with a rather abrupt "I don't know." Searching online hasn't filled in the blanks (the most I've been able to find is this, which doesn't explain a thing: http://southwellchurches.nottingham.ac.uk/stapleford-st-helen/hchyard.php).

I'm digging (no pun intended) into this further, since a family member whose children were all baptized at St. Helen's died in 1840, but wasn't buried there. One possible explanation would be a break from the church, if parishioners were upset by the removal of graves. Without the history of what, exactly, happened regarding the original graves, well...it's just guesswork.

Anyone have some insight or suggestions about what may have occurred? Would really like to learn the entire story behind this "naked" churchyard.

Photos:

• A, B: I took these during my May visit. In it, you can see the most elegant of the original stones were kept then re-purposed to line the entry walkway. 

• C: Found online, showing monuments in the background---none of which are there today.

BAXTER (Scotland, primarily Dumfrieshire)
JACKSON (England, primarily Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire)
IRVINE (Scotland, primarily Borders area)
LOCH (Scotland, primarily Borders area)

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Offline PaperQueen

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 15 June 17 18:43 BST (UK) »
For comparison with the black and white photo, here's that same side of the church today--no grave markers remain.

BAXTER (Scotland, primarily Dumfrieshire)
JACKSON (England, primarily Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire)
IRVINE (Scotland, primarily Borders area)
LOCH (Scotland, primarily Borders area)

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Offline larkspur

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 16 June 17 13:57 BST (UK) »
The closing of the graveyard was 26th October 1881, so would have had no effect on your 1840 burial. "died in 1840, but wasn't buried there. One possible explanation would be a break from the church, if parishioners were upset by the removal of graves. Without the history of what, exactly, happened regarding the original graves, well...it's just guesswork."
 The stones were removed NOT the graves, they are still there under the grass, they just have no markers. I have come across several grave yards where the stones have been removed and form the boundary wall or walk ways, this is not unusual.
NFHS has 38 burials for 1840 at St Helens.
If you would like to give me the name of the ancestor, whom you believe should be buried there in 1840 I can have a look for you.
AREA, Nottinghamshire. Lincolnshire. Staffordshire. Leicestershire, Morayshire.
An(t)(c)liff(e).Faulkner. Mayfield. Cant. Davison. Caunt. Trigg. Rawding. Buttery. Rayworth. Pepper. Otter. Whitworth. Gray. Calder. Laing. Wright. Jackson. Taylor.
Linsey. Spicer. Corns. Judson. Greensmith. Steel. Woodford. Ellis. Wyan. Callis. Warriner. Rawlin. Merrin. Vale. Summerfield. Cartwright.
Beckett. Heald. Pilkington. Arnold. Hall. Willows. Dring. Newcomb. Hawley. Beardall. Mabbott.

Offline Annie65115

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #3 on: Friday 16 June 17 14:34 BST (UK) »
I have ancestors buried in the same graveyard and visited, hoping to spot a stone or two, but found it possibly the most soul-less graveyard I've ever visited (pun intended).

I think that generally speaking, stones get taken down when they are dangerous; if a graveyard has been closed for many many years (as is the case here), the chances of anyone tending to the individual graves becomes increasingly slight, and hence the stones are eventually removed rather than left to fall where they once stood. It's then much easier to keep the graveyard tidy (if looking very empty).

I don't know if that's what's happened at Stapleford.
Bradbury (Sedgeley, Bilston, Warrington)
Cooper (Sedgeley, Bilston)
Kilner/Kilmer (Leic, Notts)
Greenfield (Liverpool)
Holyland (Leic)
Pryce/Price (Welshpool, Liverpool)
Rawson (Leicester)
Upton (Desford, Leics)
Partrick (Vera and George, Leicester)
Marshall (Cheshire/Leicester)

Offline PaperQueen

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 16 June 17 18:29 BST (UK) »
The closing of the graveyard was 26th October 1881, so would have had no effect on your 1840 burial. "died in 1840, but wasn't buried there. One possible explanation would be a break from the church, if parishioners were upset by the removal of graves. Without the history of what, exactly, happened regarding the original graves, well...it's just guesswork."
 The stones were removed NOT the graves, they are still there under the grass, they just have no markers. I have come across several grave yards where the stones have been removed and form the boundary wall or walk ways, this is not unusual.
NFHS has 38 burials for 1840 at St Helens.
If you would like to give me the name of the ancestor, whom you believe should be buried there in 1840 I can have a look for you.

I knew about the 1881 closing to all below-ground burials, but wondered if something had occurred prior to that which may have impacted family decisions. Just can't fathom why, after having all their children baptized there, and since the family lived in Stapleford, a head of household wouldn't have been buried at St. Helen's.

Maybe, with luck, he was. :) Thank you SO MUCH for offering to look this up, larkspur!

William Jackson
b. abt 1802/1803
d. 27 Mar 1840
Occupation: Lacemaker
Spouse: Elizabeth Summerfield (b. abt 1806/d. after 1841, but don't know when/where)

Fingers crossed....

BAXTER (Scotland, primarily Dumfrieshire)
JACKSON (England, primarily Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire)
IRVINE (Scotland, primarily Borders area)
LOCH (Scotland, primarily Borders area)

Offline PaperQueen

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 16 June 17 18:34 BST (UK) »
I have ancestors buried in the same graveyard and visited, hoping to spot a stone or two, but found it possibly the most soul-less graveyard I've ever visited (pun intended).

It struck me much the same way. While, on one hand, it's commendable that they saved the prettiest markers---oooh, some of the calligraphy was stunning---overall, the grounds felt, well, soul-less, as you put it.

Maybe it wouldn't have hit me quite that way if not for the chilly responses from the church office. Guess that kind of set the tone early on, before seeing the grounds in person.
BAXTER (Scotland, primarily Dumfrieshire)
JACKSON (England, primarily Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire)
IRVINE (Scotland, primarily Borders area)
LOCH (Scotland, primarily Borders area)

Offline Annie65115

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #6 on: Friday 16 June 17 23:25 BST (UK) »
I think Larkspur's resource may be a bit more recent than mine, but my disc is not coming up with much at all for your William.

I can't see any marriages in countrry between a William Jackson and Elizabeth Summerfield.
With respect to Baptisms, there are 3 at St Helen's that could be theirs:
Thomas (1826)
James (Dec 1828)
and another James (Nov 1831)
In each of these, William's occ is given as FWK.

There is a burial for 2 year old James Jackson in Oct 1831 in St Helen's. There are NO burials at any time there for a William Jackson -- and in fact, on my disc, there are no burials anywhere in county in 1840 for an adult William Jackson.

So that's a bit of a mystery!
Bradbury (Sedgeley, Bilston, Warrington)
Cooper (Sedgeley, Bilston)
Kilner/Kilmer (Leic, Notts)
Greenfield (Liverpool)
Holyland (Leic)
Pryce/Price (Welshpool, Liverpool)
Rawson (Leicester)
Upton (Desford, Leics)
Partrick (Vera and George, Leicester)
Marshall (Cheshire/Leicester)

Offline PaperQueen

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 17 June 17 01:12 BST (UK) »
I think Larkspur's resource may be a bit more recent than mine, but my disc is not coming up with much at all for your William.

I can't see any marriages in countrry between a William Jackson and Elizabeth Summerfield.
With respect to Baptisms, there are 3 at St Helen's that could be theirs:
Thomas (1826)
James (Dec 1828)
and another James (Nov 1831)
In each of these, William's occ is given as FWK.

There is a burial for 2 year old James Jackson in Oct 1831 in St Helen's. There are NO burials at any time there for a William Jackson -- and in fact, on my disc, there are no burials anywhere in county in 1840 for an adult William Jackson.

So that's a bit of a mystery!

William and Elizabeth were married at Melbourne St. Michael, Derbyshire, after which they moved to Stapleford. Their five sons (Thomas, James, James the second time, Samuel William, and Charles) were born in Stapleford; I only have St. Helen's baptisms for the first three boys.

In his will, William specified that his lacemaking equipment be given to Elizabeth for use throughout her lifetime (so yes, FWK--Frame Work Knitter--fits); after that, it would go to one of the boys...can't recall which one.

William is a puzzle, quickly turning into a brick wall. Can't find anything on him prior to his marriage in 1826. Equally perplexing is Elizabeth, as I can't find her anything for her after the 1841 Census. Nothing.

THANK YOU for checking your disc. The mystery continues.... :::sigh:::
BAXTER (Scotland, primarily Dumfrieshire)
JACKSON (England, primarily Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire)
IRVINE (Scotland, primarily Borders area)
LOCH (Scotland, primarily Borders area)

Offline larkspur

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Re: Original graves at St. Helen's in Stapleford...?
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 17 June 17 12:55 BST (UK) »
"I think Larkspur's resource may be a bit more recent than mine, but my disc is not coming up with much at all for your William."

Same for me Annie, Zilch  :(
AREA, Nottinghamshire. Lincolnshire. Staffordshire. Leicestershire, Morayshire.
An(t)(c)liff(e).Faulkner. Mayfield. Cant. Davison. Caunt. Trigg. Rawding. Buttery. Rayworth. Pepper. Otter. Whitworth. Gray. Calder. Laing. Wright. Jackson. Taylor.
Linsey. Spicer. Corns. Judson. Greensmith. Steel. Woodford. Ellis. Wyan. Callis. Warriner. Rawlin. Merrin. Vale. Summerfield. Cartwright.
Beckett. Heald. Pilkington. Arnold. Hall. Willows. Dring. Newcomb. Hawley. Beardall. Mabbott.