I want to try and track where my 5x Great Grandfather John Hays (1776-1858) was living and farming in Pilsley, Derbyshire, so I took advantage of an introductory offer of two weeks of free access to The Genealogist. I’m after the Tithe Maps in the area as they date from 1841, so I can tie it up with the census & find out where John Hays was living.
These maps were drawn up by the Government with a view to ending the tithe system, which saw a tenth of any profit made on agricultural land paid to the Church. The apportionment books list every land owner and tenant; each plot is numbered which then corresponds to a map, making it possible to put names to places.
From the books I can see that John Hays Snr was a tenant of various fields in Pilsley, all related to Church lands.
|North Wingfield Church||John Hays Snr||222||Moorlands||arable|
|North Wingfield Church||John Hays Snr||223||Moorlands||pasture|
|North Wingfield Church||John Hays Snr||253||House, outbuildings, garden, stackyard|
|North Wingfield Church||John Hays Snr||287||Moor Piece||meadow|
|Glebe Land||John Hays Snr||356||Doctor’s Piece||arable|
So I match up the plot numbers above on to the tithe map and am totally stunned with what I’ve found. In my last post I mentioned that we’d kept a field from my late father-in-law’s estate which we now rent out – 150 years ago my 5x Great Grandfather was making a living from the field we now (part) own!
It feels a bit freaky – I don’t have any ancestral connections in my local area apart from this one family and it turns out they are closely connected with my hubby’s family home! Pilsley was mostly agricultural at this time with many tenant farmers – to think we’ve ended up with the same field out of many. It also appears that John Hays lived in the house next door to my hubby’s home, but unfortunately that house isn’t there any more.
So I’m going to carry on looking at my Hays family and also the occupants of the farm – can’t imagine I’ll turn anything else up like this though!
Derbyshire map from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/
© Caroline Cox and Caroline’s Chronicles. 2011 – current year