The Freeman & Wood Family.

Following on from my previous post, I decided to follow my 3x Great-grandfather Mark Wood (1856-1901) backwards through the census returns to see if I could locate him with his wife & before that with his parents.

I’d previously found Mark Wood in the 1901 census return, living with his wife, Mary Jane and six of their nine children, in Linton, Derbyshire. The census confirms his occupation as a miner and his place of birth as Two Gates, Warwickshire


The 1891 census shows Mark living away from his wife in Grassmoor, Derbyshire. He is with his older brother, Thomas Wood, lodging with Robert North and his family in New Street.

Mark’s wife, Mary Jane is living with five of their children in Linton, Derbyshire.

I wondered why Mark & his brother were living away and if it was to do with work – there is another coal miner from Swadlincote also lodging with the North family.

I might do a bit of reading later to see if there were any problems with the South Derbyshire mining industry at that time.

Going back another ten years to 1881, Mark Wood is living with his older brother George, his wife Martha and their five children. It’s a little difficult to read, but it seems that Mark is married, but not living with his wife.

Mark Wood 1881

Both Mark and George are working as coal miners. I finally found Mark with his parents in 1871 aged 15. His parents are Thomas & Elizabeth. Thomas is a hawker, born in Polesworth, Warwickshire and his wife Elizabeth hails from Stoneydelph also in Warwickshire. There’s also a younger sister of Mark’s in the household, Charlotte, born in two Gates. All the places mentioned are quite close together.

Back to the 1861 census which is the earliest available for Mark Wood. He’s with his parents and seven siblings in Wilnecote, Warwickshire, again quite close to the places already mentioned. Thomas is working as a coal miner as are three of Mark’s older brothers, William, George & Thomas.

After I’d found all the census returns for Mark, I started to look for the GRO index references for his birth, marriage and death. His birth reference was fairly easy to find in the Tamworth district so I ordered the certificate via the GRO’s PDF service.

His marriage certificate proved more problematical. A search for a marriage between Mark Wood and Mary Jane ? threw up two possibilities. Either Mary Jane Woolford in Kensington or Mary Jane Baverstock in Gateshead.

Mark Wood Marriage ref

The Kensington one looks most likely, as I know their first child, Elizabeth Ann, my 2x Great-grandmother was born in Hampshire which is considerably closer to Kensington than Gateshead. But what was Mark doing down there?

So I also looked up the reference for Elizabeth’s birth and ordered the certificate. This should give me her mother’s maiden name and help me to order the correct marriage certificate.

So hopefully I should have a few more answers once they arrive.


© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year

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