"To the living we owe our respect, to the dead we owe nothing but the truth." Voltaire.
Hobbs Family History News and Notes
This section of the site is really an update of the areas that I am concentrating on at the moment. However before I begin the update there was a poem that was posted to the mailing list in January 2002 and it gives an indication of why I am researching my ancestors and their lives. It is entitled "Strangers in the Box" but the author I'm afraid is unknown.
Come, look with me
inside this drawer,
On a lesser point many of the documents in the nineteenth century and earlier indicate that a large number of my ancestors were unable to write. Viewed from a modern day perspective this would make them illiterate but when seen in the context of time many people would have had no NEED to sign their name, from one year to the next, (unlike today), except on official documents, contracts etc.
Throughout 2007 fresh information has come to light on the brothers and their descendents of my paternal great grandmother ELIZABETH HOBBS nee THOMAS. But there are two brothers SAMUEL and WILLIAM and a sister MARY that we know very little about.
New and I must admit fascinating information has emerged on my paternal great grandfather's JAMES HOBBS (EDWIN FREDERICK BELL) side of the family. James had two stepbrothers and a stepsister Susannah Hobbs. She married a ABRAHAM GEORGE SARKISS in 1898 and it is this marriage that has led to important new information on their descendents.
There have also been major developments in the my mothers maternal line. To date this was a neglected line but thankfully I made a breakthrough which has enabled me to trace the family back to Barlow near Chesterfield at the turn of the nineteenth century. The surname was The Shirt Family - Sheffield - The Family of Fred Shirt (1877 - 1944).
For a number of years ever since I started researching the family history, I was puzzled by the surname NUNNINGTON. My mother remembered from her childhood her Auntie Connie referring to a "Grandma Nunnington". In early 2006, I discovered that NUNNINGTON was the maiden name of my great grandfather ALONZO HEMSWORTH'S mother. Armed with this information, I was fortunate to trace this line of my ancestry back to Kingston upon Hull in the late nineteenth century. Grandma Nunnington by the way is buried in Sheffield's City Road Cemetery together with her husband WILLIAM HEMSWORTH
In May 2006, there has been a major development in tracing my paternal ancestors. The information came from the 1851 Census and poses a number of questions that may never be fully resolved. The key person is my great great grandmother EMMA HOBBS (nee DAY)
I have also obtained a lot more information about my grandmother (Rose Hobbs nee SANBY) and her family. My grandmother was born and brought up in Walkley district of Sheffield and I have managed to trace all her immediate family. In May 2003 a fellow researcher kindly located the grave of my gran's mother and father Edwin and Mary SANBY in St Mary's Cemetery in Walkley, Sheffield. He also located the grave of Edwin's twin brother Frederick SANBY. In July 2004 I obtained the marriage certificate for Henry SANBY and Agnes JONES, my great great grandparents. They were married in Sheffield Parish Church in 1849. The certificate states that Henry's father was called JOSEPH SANBY and Agnes's father was called WILLIAM JONES. They are of course my great great great grandfathers.
In late November 2004, I obtained information from the 1841 Census Index for Sheffield which confirmed the information on the marriage certificate. As a consequence I established a link with the Colley family in Sheffield as Mary Ann SANBY, my great great grandfather Henry's elder sister, married a James COLLEY in 1846. Much of the information on Mary Anne Sanby (1826 - ) was obtained by my fourth cousin once removed Allan Colley. (Our common ancestor being JOSEPH SANBY (1806 - 1876). Alan has created an excellent and informative website that covers the history of The Colley Family in Sheffield from the late eighteenth century to the present day. It was through Allan's efforts that I have been able to confirm the links with my own SANBY ancestors
I am also corresponding on a regular basis with my Dad's cousins Ray and Dennis Hobbs who lives in Nottingham. Ray and Dennis run an excellent website that is dedicated to the his family which obviously as a strong HOBBS element. If you wish to contact Ray his e-mail address is Ray3760@btinternet.com. Alternatively you can contact me and I will pass the details onto Ray
My mother has given me two marvellous photographs of her wedding day in September 1951 - one in particular shows many members of the Hemsworth Family at the reception that was held at the Brincliffe Oaks Hotel in Sheffield. There is also a photograph that shows an unidentified ancestor - Is this lady related to my great grandfather Alonzo Hemsworth?. This photograph may be tied in with the Nunnington family who originated from Hull in the late eighteenth century.
There is a mass of information concerning my ancestors in Wales. It is a fascinating and at times a harrowing story - for instance my great great great great grandfather David Lewis was transported to Botany Bay for stealing a turkey and a ploughshare and went in the same convoy as his brother John Lewis who was sentenced for stealing a sheep valued at 2s 6d. I am in the process of adding some background material to the site in order that the true nature of what they went through can be told
I also came across the following article in a newsgroup that gives a good perspective of the task facing those tracing the HOBBS Family. I have looked at the 1881 census, and there were 12,173 persons called HOBBS living in England, Scotland and Wales at that time. Of these:
1552 born in London
962 born in Gloucestershire
934 born in Somerset
862 born in Hampshire
635 born in Kent
559 born in Wiltshire
533 born in Devon
368 born in Buckinghamshire
326 born in Worcestershire
310 born in Sussex
264 born in Berkshire
247 born in Cornwall
244 born in Warwickshire
175 born in Dorset
145 born in Oxfordshire
143 born in Bedfordshire
137 born in Essex
From this data, it would be a fair reflection to state that the HOBBS surname predominates in Southern England, particularly Gloucestershire, Somerset and Hampshire. The northern version of the name would be Hobson. (Rather like Simmonds in the south; the northern variant being Simpson.) However, the LDS, for some strange reason, has included Hopps amongst the northern variants of Hobbs, which I don't think is correct. The great number born in London could be skewed, as many families eventually settled there at some point.
The writer then mentions that there are a lot of HOBBS families in the North Devon region of the U.K.
These observations are confirmed by Professor David Hey of The University Sheffield. In his book "Family Names and Family History" he states the Names Project Group at the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition and Language at the University of Sheffield has been studying the surnames of South Yorkshire and north Derbyshire under his direction.
" As we have seen patronymic surnames were often formed by the addition of short suffixes and that -s was favoured in the southern half of the country, particularly in the Welsh border counties, whereas northerners generally opted for -son.
Hobbs is given as an example from the Gloucestershire poll tax returns of 1381.
The other more general fact I've come across is the following is applicable to each person
8 Great Grandparents
16 Great Great Grandparents (x2)
32 Great Great Great Grandparents (x3)
64 Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x4)
128 Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x5)
256 Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x6)
512 Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x7)
1024 Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x8)
2048 Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Great Grandparents (x9)
It puts the task facing the family historian/genealogist in perspective
There is also a poem that in today's times may seem maudlin' but the sentiments seem genuine enough. The poem is called "Last Sunday in England"
Research In Sheffield - Brief Notes
The microfilm of the various Sheffield newspapers of the period which are the 'Sheffield Telegraph' and 'The Star'.
The Burgess Rolls which are on film as they list the addresses of everyone in the City .
The Registry Office, The Local Studies Department and the Archive Department are at
Sheffield Registry Office [births, deaths and marriages].
Certificates cost £7.00
Further information can be found on the next page
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This page was last updated on 15/12/10 13:37