Anthony Hays (1869-1945) This Is Your Life …

Anthony Hays was born in Pilsley, Derbyshire, in June 1869 the eldest child of of William Hays (1841-1911) and Mary Ann Lee (1844-1912). He already had two older half-brothers from his parents’ previous marriages; John Thomas Hays born 1864 in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire and James Riley born in 1866 in Lea, Derbyshire.

I found Anthony living with his parents in the 1871 around Elm Walk in Pilsley. The census returns show quite a few Hays families living in these streets, they must’ve been quite a close knit family. By 1881 Anthony had more siblings; Herbert, Robert, Edith E., Noah, Emily A. and William, all still living in Elm Walk, Pilsley. Anthony is a scholar at the village school; in October 1882 the school log book notes:

Very fine morning. Good attendance. Punished (two strokes) Anthony Hayes for making water against the school wall.

Clay Lane Urban District Board Pilsley Boys
Pilsley School

The same log book notes two months later that he left school to go to work. The 1891 census shows Anthony working as a coal miner so that’s likely where he went after leaving school; his father William and brother Herbert are also miners. Anthony is married by this time, to Rachel Flint. The couple were married in Wilford, Nottinghamshire, but returned to Pilsley to live with his parents. They also have a daughter, Anna, born in Pilsley early in 1891.

The 1901 census finds Anthony sadly widowed; Rachel died in 1897 and is buried in Danesmoor. Anthony and his children Hannah (Anna), Sarah Ellen and William Anthony are still living with his parents in Elm Walk, although not for long.

In 1902 Anthony marries Jane Taylor in Clay Cross and they go on to have five children; John Thomas in 1902, Emanuel Taylor in 1907, Edmund Henry in 1908, Ruth Taylor in 1913 and Isabella in 1915. In 1909, he buys the farmhouse on Morton Road in Pilsley and the 1911 census shows him living there with Jane and five of his children. Anthony is still working as a coal miner rather than as a farmer. His daughter Hannah is living and working as a general servant to a watchmaker in Nottingham.

Kelly’s Derbyshire Directory of 1932 shows the family still living there but by the time of the 1939 register Anthony and Jane are living at ‘The Nook’ on Morton Road, which is actually next door to the farmhouse. A check of the Deeds shows that Anthony has sold the farm to his son, Emmanuel Taylor Hays.

The Nook. Photo from Google StreetView

Sadly, Jane died in 1944 and Anthony passed away in April 1945, probate being granted later to John Thomas Hays, his son and Ruth Taylor Hays, his daughter.

I’ve struggled to find anything on Anthony’s children from his first marriage to Rachel Flint, but had more luck with those from his second marriage;

  • John Thomas Hays (1902-1977) married Ethel May Spencer in 1924
  • Emmanuel Taylor Hays (1907-1972) married Mary Alice Wright in 1931 and lived at the farm until 1972
  • Edmund Henry Hays (1908-1991) married Pamela Hannah Sadler in 1930 & then Lilian Staniland in 1937
  • Ruth Taylor Hays (1913-) had a career as a midwife before marrying Charles Wright in 1954
  • Isabella Hays (1915-) married Gordon Harrison in 1939
Signature from the Deeds to the farmhouse

School Log books from Ancestry
Census information from Ancestry and Find My Past
Kelly’s Derbyshire Directory available at Derbyshire Libraries
School photo by Alan Walker from Geograph
The Nook photo from Google Street View


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

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