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Q I have two similar problems regarding tracing people backwards beyond 1841. I have Julia BENNETT, the daughter of Francis BENNETT, on a marriage certificate for 1847. She married Samuel KIRKMAN at Alstonefield Church, Staffordshire, and by 1851 was in Sutton Bonnington, Nottinghamshire. She has been traced in the 1861 and subsequent census returns. Other details are that she had a daughter, Ann, before marrying Samuel, and was born about 1820/21 in Newhaven, Derbyshire. Secondly, from information in a family Bible, Richard POOLE was baptised about 1812, but there are no parent’s names. Richard married twice, both times in Ashby de la Zouch: firstly to Mary HEATH and secondly to Frances BARLOW. The registers show Richard’s father was also Richard. I have traced the POOLEs in the 1851 and 1861 census returns. I wonder if they came from somewhere else – I have been unable to trace them for 15 years.

Mrs Margaret Dowell

A The 1851 to 1881 census returns indicate that Julia was born 1816–1821 in Biggin or Newhaven, Derbyshire. Additionally, the 1851 census shows that Julia’s daughter, Ann, was born about 1839/40 in Alstonefield. As Alstonefield (variously spelt Alstonefield, Allstonefield, Alstonfield) was where Julia married in 1847, which must be the most likely location for her at the time of the 1841 census. Possibly therefore you need to research the 1841 census return more closely, as unfortunately we all miss things occasionally. The piece number is HO 107/1003 and this can be searched online on the website. The images for this piece are in colour and very easy to read. Both Biggin and Newhaven were in the parish of Hartington, Derbyshire. A CD containing a transcription of The Parish Registers of St Giles’s Church (CMB 1610–1910) is available for purchase from Ancestral Archives ( You tell me that at the moment you are ‘not on the computer system’. By not taking advantage of the very many, and growing, resources available on the internet you are making the likelihood of successful research less likely and certainly more prolonged. Your local library will have computers you can use and almost certainly either have someone on hand to advise or perhaps even run short courses to introduce you to computers and the internet. Your local family history society will also certainly be able to advise you. By visiting the relevant page on the GenUKI website ( you will discover a huge amount about the parish with links to many other resources. By using the internet you would also be able to make much wider searches of the 1841 census using such websites as and The 1851 and 1861 census returns, to which you refer, both give Richard’s date and place of birth as about 1813 in Ashby de la Zouch. So have you looked at the parish registers of Ashby? The original registers are deposited at the Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland Record Office (Long Street, Wigston Magna, Leicester, LE18 2AH; tel: 0116 257 1080; Or you can order microfilm of the registers from your local LDS Family History Centre which you can view there. I note that on the International Genealogical Index ( there is listed the marriage of a Richard POOLE to Elizabeth CLIFFORD in 1803. They had a daughter, Sarah, baptised on 4th November 1804.

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