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Thomas Cotton Smedley

What happened to great great grandpa Smedley, and why were we lead to believe that he died in 1851?

Thomas Cotton SMEDLEY was born on 17 Apr 1803 in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire, England. He was christened on 8 May 1803 in Stapleford, Notts, Eng. He died after 1857. Thomas was baptized 4 on 31 Mar 1851 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England.

Thomas married, (1) MARTHA MITCHELL 4,5 on 26 Feb 1822 in Kettlethorpe, Lincoln, England. MARTHA was born about 1793 in Nottinghamshire, England. She died9 on 21 Jul 1859 in Harby, Nottingham, England.
They had the following children:

2 F i. Ruth SMEDLEY was born on 23 Mar 1829 in Kettlethorpe, Lincolnshire, England. Ruth married Unknown .
3 F ii. Matilda SMEDLEY was born about 1832 in Nottinghamshire, England

Thomas married (2) Elizabeth JOYNES daughter of Thomas JOYNES and Ann HOLBROOK about 1836. Elizabeth was born in 1808 in St Peters, Nottingham, Notts, Eng. She was christened on 15 Jun 1808 in St Marys, Nottingham, Notts, Eng. She died on 21 Jul 1854 in Derby, Derbys, Eng.

OCCUPATION: Elizabeth Joynes was a dressmaker.

Thomas and Elizabeth had the following children:
Thomas Joynes SMEDLEY was born on 16 Aug 1837. He died on 23 Feb 1921.

OCCUPATION: Thomas Cotton Smedley was a brick and tile maker.
Smedley and Wilson, brick makers ----- 1829 directory of County Derby, page 79

RESEARCH_NOTES: Thomas Cotton did not die in England 1851 as we have been lead to believe. He was with his son Thomas J and Ann Smedley aboard the ship George Washington on their trip to America in 1857. I still have not been able to find any trace of him after the ship's arrival in Boston, Massachusets.

RESEARCH_NOTES:I have not been able to find any census records for Thomas Joynes Smedley or his father in 1860. It is possible that Thomas Senior could have been living with him at that time, or could have remarried.

Have found census information that suggests the first wife of Thomas was Martha Mitchell, however she is listed as still married in the 1851 census as well as on her death certificate. Their daughter Ruth was living with Thomas and Elizabeth in 1841, and with Martha in 1851. In 1841 Martha and their daughter Matilda were living with Thomas' brother Gideon. Still have not found anything on Eliza from the 1841 census. She may be Elizabeth's daughter.

RESEARCH_NOTES: Email from Edward Smedley I think I know who Eliza was age 15 in the 1841 Census. Check out Eliza Joynes born 28 Sept 1826 Derby, Derby England. Died in 1907 Married to a Fredrick Thomas. Work was done in the early 1900 for her as a relative of Thomas Joynes Smedley. I wonder if Elizabeth may have had a Child out of wed lock. This would therfore be Thomas Joynes Half sister. The only Ruth that would match running the name of Joynes, Smedley or Tainey. Is a Ruth Smedley born in 23 March 1829 Kettlethorpe Lincoln England. Father Thomas Smedley, mother Martha. Shows a marriage between Thomas and Martha in 1828. Maybe we are looking at a merged family. Who Knows?

RESEARCH_NOTES: Email from Edward Smedley --"Thomas Smedley is listed on the records of those using the Perpetual Emigration Fund Traveling on board the ship George Washington in 1857. He is traveling with his Son Thomas Smedley and Ann Smedley.---On the branch records where Thomas Joynes Smedley, and Thomas Smedley were first baptized in England it shows him being cut off the membership record in 1850 and later being re-fellowshiped in 1853. I think this being cut off from the church is the date that some have used for his death."

Thomas ( Cotton ) Smedley
by Edward Franklin Smedley of (1947)
Thomas Cotton Smedley was born on April 17 1803 at Stapleford, Nottinghamshire England, Christened on 8, May 1803 Stapleford Notts, England. Father was John Smedley, Mother was Mary Smedley. Stapleford is a large pleasant village and parish situated on the Erewash, near the Derby Road, six miles south by west of Nottingham. The parish contains, 1,059 acres of land, and its population at the time of Thomas�s birth was 748 by the year 1853 it had grown to 1,968 souls. At the time this was written in "White�s Directory 1853". "The principal owners are John Jackson Esq. Hon. William Vernon, a minor, second son of Lord Vernon, J.S. Sherwin Esq. And T.D. Hall Esq., the former of whom is lord and manor, and patron of the perpetual curacy. The Rev. W.R. Almond M.A. is the incumbent. The church is neat edifice, dedicated to St. Helen, with a small tower, a spire and three bells, and was repaired in 1785 and 1819. It contains some ancient monuments worthy of inspection, also several of a modern date, one of which is the memory of George John Borlase Warren, eldest son of Admiral Sir. J.B. Warren. He lost his life in the battle of Aboukir, in Egypt, March , 1801, age 19. A handsome tomb was erected to the memory of Cap. Wm Sleigh in 1842. In 1836 a large National School was built and endowed by Lady Caroline Warren at a cost of 3,000 lbs. It is situated on a commanding eminence near the east end of the village, and is a handsome structure in Elizabethan style, 100 feet long and 25 wide. A portion of the building is occupied as an infant school. The Artisans� Library, established in 1837 has about 514 volumes. The Wesleyan, Kilhamite, Primitive Methodists and Particular Baptists, have each a chapel in the village. The feast is on Sunday before Old St Luke�s, or on that day when it falls on a Sunday. The Midland Railway Company�s branch of the Erewash Valley Line runs past the village, and has a station here. Stapleford Hall was built in 1797, by the late Right Hon. Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren, Bart and K.B. It would far exceed our limits to enter on the biography of this gallant admiral who died in 1825, but his active and great services will be recorded among the achievements of British heroes, when his stately dwelling shall be crumbled to dust; one act of his generosity is worthy of notice; at the commencement of the American war, he went to the Fleet and King�s Bench Prison, and released with his own purse all the naval officers confined there for debt. Lady Caroline Warren, relict of the Admiral, died in 1839, and the hall and estates have become the property of Hon. William Veron, second son of Lord Vernon, a minor, and the heir at law; and the hall is presently occupied by L.C. Wright Esq. It is a commodious mansion with a fine lawn and beautiful plantations. The poor parishioners receive 20s yearly from Handley�s charity, and 20s from the funds of Wiloughby�s Hospital in Cossall. New Stapleford is a small hamlet of 26 houses chiefly occupied by stocking makers, one mile north east of Old Stapleford. Near it is the "Hemlock Stone" supposed by some to be the remains of a Druid�s temple, and by others the remnants of a quarry, the stone of which has been cut from around it. It is about 30 feet high, and composed of layers of sand-stone rock." Such were the Surrounding of the area where Thomas Cotton Smedley grew up. The next recorded record that I could find about Thomas Smedley shows Thomas in Yorkshire in the year 1835 living near the town of Wadsley. In the year 1835 the Barnsley Poll Book 135 R-T shows a Thomas Smedley in the Barnsley pool district living in the township of Brampton Bierlow. His address was at Royds. Brampton (or Brampton Bierlow) in the parish of Wath upon Dearne, upper division of Strafford, and Tickhill, liberty of Tickhill; 6 miles from Rotherham and Barnsley, 12 from Sheffield. Pop 1,263 1822. Royds, the address, is a few farm houses in the township of Brampton-Bierlow, and the parish of Wath upon Dearne; six miles form Rotherham. The main church is the All-Saints Church. It is estimated that some time around 1835-6 Thomas Cotton Smedley married Elizabeth Joynes. I have not found the exact marriage records. It could be they are located in the records of the All-Saints Church or in the new one being built at Wadsley. The other Church in the area was a Methodist chapel located in Wath upon Dearne. The only child that a name was recorded for was a son Thomas Joynes Smedley. One person indicated that there may have been an older daughter also. IGS LDS files. I find one listing for a John Smedley in Nottinghamshire near Stapleford listed as a brick-maker working for a manor-house. It is quite possible that Thomas Cotton learned the trade from his father John. Thomas grew up during the time of the Napoleonic War. (1793-1827.) There were mandatory service requirements for citizens at that time. Since the main landowner in Stapleford had a strong military background it is quite possible that Thomas Cotton Smedley spend his late teens and twenty�s enlisted in military service either in the Royal Navy, or British Army. England had military forces stretched around the world during this time. This would explain why he was almost 32 when he married. Writing about Thomas Joynes Smedley, Lillian S. (Buck) Smedley Beck, (Thomas Cotton Smedley�s granddaughter) writes. " Thomas Joynes Smedley was born August 16th 1837 in Wadsley Lane, England to Thomas and Elizabeth Joynes Smedley, His father (Thomas Cotton Smedley) was a brick maker and his mother was a dressmaker. Because his father was burning a kiln of brick in Yorkshire he was born away from the Smedley stronghold of Stapleford in Nottinghamshire. At an early age he helped his father in his brickyard." Lillian says that Thomas Cotton died in the year 1851 in her writings. I have some evidence that will be presented later that would contradict that story. The area of Wath upon Dearne was noted for it�s kiln that fired tile and other clay products. " Noted from White�s Directory of 1836." Thomas Cotton Smedley would have been an employee of this operation with his son Thomas Joynes Smedley as well. It is interesting to note that Yorkshire is not far from Stapleford and borders Nottinghamshire. Wadsley- 1834 Wadsley is a villiage, in the parish of Ecclesfield, in the wapentake fo Strafforth and Tickhill, West Riding, about three miles NW of Sheffield. The principal trade is the manufacture of a corase description of pocket knives, known as cutlery trade by the name "flat backs" A church is erecting at this place, at the sole expense of the Misses Harrison, who are owners of considerable property here. It is a handsome building in the Gothic style of architecture, having an elegant spire. The edifice, nearly completed is expected to be consecrated on the 1st May 1834. The patronage of the living is vested by act of parliament in the founders of the church and their heirs. The other place of worship is a chapel for Wesleyan Methodists. Population returned with the parish.� Could it be that Thomas Cotton Smedley was there to help make bricks for the construction of this chapel? It was noted in the 1851 census that Thomas Cotton Smedley and Thomas Joynes Smedley were tile Makers. Thomas Cotton Smedley disappeared in 1851. His wife Elizabeth Joynes returned to Derby, Derby in 1851 to live with her family. Why Thomas disappeared or was lost is not known. Possible could have been taken for service at sea. Their was a shortage of sailors and if he had experience at sea he could have been shanghaied and Elizabeth may have assumed he died when he did not return home. He may have been put in Debtor�s prison or just gone walk-about or he may have had a first family that he returned to. This is just speculation on my part. In 1851 the family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I suspect that Thomas Cotton Smedley also joined at this time but I am still looking for the records to show that. After returning to Derby, Derbyshire Elizabeth Joynes, Smedley died on 21 of July 1854 at Derby. Thomas Joynes Smedley their son went to live with family. For the following reason I suspect that Thomas Cotton Smedley was still alive and a member of the church in the year 1857. His son Thomas Joynes Smedley got married early in the year of 1857. Shortly after that marriage three Smedley passengers boarded the ship the George Washington, which set sail from Liverpool England on 27 March 1857, listed as passengers on the ship are Thomas Smedley age 19 (Thomas Joynes Smedley) Thomas Smedley age 54 (Thomas Cotton Smedley) Ann Smedley age 22 (Ann Eaton). The record shows that Thomas Smedley age 54 was listed at the head of the traveling group of three. The trip was paid for by the Perpetual Emigration Fund. It would therefore make since that Thomas Cotton Smedley must have been a member of the LDS church. The George Washington recorded four deaths on the passage to Boston Massachusetts. It is quite possible that after the arrival in America that Thomas Cotton Smedley finished the instruction to his son on the art of brick and tile-making. The family first lived in New Jersey then Moved to Delaware. What happened to Thomas Cotton Smedley is still unknown. I believe that he came to America and is buried somewhere in the United States.

IMMIGRATION: Thomas Smedley along with son and daughter in law, Thomas Joynes and Ann Smedley, came to the US in 1857 on board The George Washington. They sailed from Liverpool, England on March 28, 1857 and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts April 20, 1857.
They were listed as follows:
Thos. Smedley 54 Brickmaker
Thos. " 19 Tailor
Ann Smedley 22 unstated (The passenger list can be found on
The following is a brief description of the ship:
GEORGE WASHINGTON (1) George Washington, 1534 tons, 198' x 41' x 29', built 1851 by John A. Taylor at Chelsea, Massachusetts. Square-rigged with 3 decks, square stern, and a billethead owned by William Bramhall and others in the Boston area, she sailed in the Williams & Guion Line, Train's Line, and Warren & thayer's line of Liverpool and Boston Packets. On his return home to England, Charles Dickens preferred this sailing craft rathar than another experience on a British steamer. In 1867, the ship's registration was surrendered with no reason given. In 1857, the George Washington sailed under Captain Josiah S. Comings/Cummings, bringing 817 Mormons from Liverpool to Boston in 23 days. During the period of highest immigration, the Mormon church often chartered an entire ship. While it is not stated as such in my source, SHIPS, SAINTS and MARINERS by Conway B. Sonne (University of Utah Press, 1987), this appears tobe the case. [E-mail from Myrl Pardee - January 4, 1998]


1. 1851 Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England Census, 30 Mar 1851.
7 Rosemary Lane Thomas Smedley Head mar 47 brick and tile maker Notts Stapleford
Elizabeth " wife mar 42 dress maker " Nottingham
Thomas " son 13 Tile maker Yorksh Wadsley."

2. 1841 Wombwell, Darfield, Yorkshire, England Census.
Thomas Smedley 35 Brick Maker
Elizabeth " 30
Eliza " 15
Ruth " 12
Thomas " 3
James Robertshaw 15 M.S.
Thomas Guest 12 M.S."

The George Washington passenger list.

4. Brent Jensen, Calvin Buck Smedley, page 6.
"The Smedley baptisms into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints were noted in the Mansfield Branch records."

5. 1841 Census-- North Clifton Hundred: Newark (North Division) Harby, Nottinghamshire, England , Folio: 8; Page: 8; Line: 13; GSU roll: 438907. Gideon Smedley 30 Ag Lab
Alfred Smedley 6
Reuben Smedley 4
Martha Smedley 50
Matilda Smedley 9

6. 1851 Harby, Nottinghamshire, England Census, Class: HO107; Piece: 2136; Folio: 106; Page: 17; GSU roll: 87766
Martha Smedley 58 head mar nurse
Ruth Smedley 22 dau
Matilda Smedley 2

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