The Paternal Grandmother (Rich) tree

Alice Maud (Rich) Baker

Other Family Tree pages

Overview of the tree

Figure 1 The Paternal Grandmother Tree generations 1 to 5 (asterisk indicates continuation of tree in figure 2)

The first five generations of the Paternal Grandmother tree is shown in figure 1 above.   In what follows we will look at two specific issues.

  • A canal boat family – the Cooper family of Stourport.
  • The Darbys of Tipton and Sedgley.

A canal boat family

Benjamin Rich of Tipton (3.1) married Elizabeth Cooper of Stourport (3.2) in St Thomas’s church in Dudley in 1856.  Before his marriage in 1851 he was a Journeyman painter living in Tipton. After his marriage in 1861 he and Elizabeth lived in Sellatynn on the Shropshire Wales border, where he is described as an Agricultural labourer. These locations are suggestive of involvement in some way with the canal boat trade – Stourport is the junction of the Staffs and Worcs canal with the Severn, Sellatynn is close to the Shropshire Union (Llangollen) canal, and the role of a journeyman painter may well have been to paint the narrow boats that travelled around the Midlands.  The birthplace of Benjamin and Elizabeth’s twin daughters (Elizabeth and Mary Anne or perhaps Holey) was in Selattyn, Shropshire in 1861. Discussions with an Ancestry member suggests their third child Sarah Jane was born at Llangollen in 1863, and was a deaf mute. She married Moses Downes (also a deaf mute at All Saints Wolverhampton in 1894 and together they kept the canal Toll House at Llangollen, again suggesting a connection with the canal trade. 

Elizabeth was baptized in a Wesleyan Chapel in Stourport, indicating that she came from a non-conformist family. The details of her father and grandfather (both Cornelius – 4.3 and 5.5) become progressively more difficult to trace and lessrrelaible, partly because the baptism registers aren’t available, but also because there are a number of other Cornelius Chambers around at that time. 

The Darbys of Tipton and Sedgley

Figure 2 The Paternal Grandmother Tree generations 5 to 10  (extended from Figure 1)

In figure 2 we can see Elizabeth Darby of Tipton, who married John Juckes also of Tipton. The name Juckes was spelt in a wide variety of ways, which made tracing the lineage quite difficult. They had seven children, the sixth of whom was called Abraham.  Elizabeth’s brother also bore the name of Abraham Darby. This connection suggested to me that there might be a connection with theAbraham Darby, the ironmaster of Coalbrookdale. His family came from the next-door parish of Sedgley, and is reasonably well documented through a range of historical and non-conformist (Quaker) registers. This was of particular interest since others have shown that Abraham Darby was a descendent of Edward Sutton, 5thBaron Dudley and his concubine Elizabeth Tomlinson – and thus, albeit through a bastard line, to the lines of the Barons of Dudley, the Suttons and the de Somery’s and thus, via a number of obscure connections, to the Norman and English royal families. So this was my opportunity to prove my royal connections. Unfortunately this was not to be, and I could find no link between the Tipton and the Sedgley Darby’s, at least not in the period that would allow my ancestry of the Baron’s of Dudley. Thus my lineage remains wholly plebian. I still feel that there is a likely link between the two families, although this probably occurs in the period before parish records began. That being said, the Darby thread does extend back to the 1620s – one of the longest threads in my family tree.