Search is on for descendants of first person buried at Boythorpe Cemetery 100 years ago

An old picture of Boythorpe Cemetery.
An old picture of Boythorpe Cemetery.

The search is on for the descendants of the first person to be buried at Boythorpe Cemetery as a 100 year commemoration of the site draws near.

Mary Dale, of Chesterfield, was buried at the cemetery on January 15 1919, aged 62.

Chesterfield Borough Council will install a bench, tree and plaque to mark the cemetery’s 100th year on June 26.

They are trying to trace any descendants of Mary Dale as B Hattersley and Sons, who carried out Mary’s funeral a century ago, will be laying flowers at her grave.

Drew Lilliker of Harold Lilleker and Sons Funeral Directors will be bringing a vintage car from 1919.

There will also be a Remembrance service with knitted poppy wreaths to be placed at four World War One graves at the cemetery by The British Legion.

Research to find all of the marriage and census records used to create a timeline of Mary Dale was acquired by Margaret of the Friends of Spital Cemetery group:

Mary was born to Joseph and Mary Smith in Durham in 1858. Mary’s father is known to have been a builder. Not much else is known about Mary until records show that she got married on July 30 1876 at Holy Trinity Church.

The lucky man was 21-year-old George Haslam who, according to the marriage certificate, was a bachelor fitter living on Saltergate.

Mary is recorded as being a minor, or under 20 years old, living at The Terrace at the time.

Sadly, Mary’s husband George died and was buried on the 1877 March 27 aged 22 in the Parish of Hault, Hucknall.

Mary and George had only been married for eight months and Mary was pregnant when George died.

Mary then remarried on January 4 1879 at St Thomas in Brampton, aged 22, to Thomas Dale. Thomas was 25 at the time and was a horse keeper from Walton. Thomas and Mary were both widowers.

The 1881 census reveals that they were living at 86 St Thomas Row and they had three children, William aged five, who must have been the son of Mary’s first husband George Haslam, Thirza aged four and Elizabeth, aged five months.

The census also shows that Thomas was born in London, Mary in Durham and all three children in Chesterfield.

Looking at the 1891 census, the two daughters Thirza and Elizabeth do not appear but there is a new addition of Frederick who was born in 1884 and was seven at the time of this census.

They also have the addition of a 19-year-old lodger called George Richmond whose occupation is a Railway Labourer.

Thomas’ occupation has also changed from a Horse Keeper to a Railway Night Watchman and their son William is working as a Pointsman on the Railway.

The 1901 census is showing a change of address to 407 Chatsworth Road and some new additions to the family.

Thomas is now 48 and Mary is 45.

Elizabeth has re-appeared aged 20 and working as a tailoress.

Frederick is now 17 and working as a stable boy. There are more new additions- that of Ada who is eight and Lilly who is five.

The 1911 census gives lots of information on how the family has grown.

The family have now moved to 118 Old Road and Thomas is now 57 and working as a general labourer at an Iron Works.

Because Mary is the wife of the head of the family, there has never been an occupation for her, instead, on this census, there are questions she has answered about her marriage and children.

Mary has said she is 55 and that her marriage has lasted 33 years. She has had six children born alive, six children still living and no children that have died.

This census shows that Ada is now 18, single and following in her sister’s footsteps by becoming a tailoress.

Lilly is 15, a single shop assistant at, what looks like, a dyers and cleaners and Frederick is a 27 year old married brickyard carter.

For Frederick to be living at home and the mention of two grandchildren, Edna and Mabel, under his name, we are lead to believe that Frederick’s wife may have died and so he and his children came to live with Mary and Thomas.

This census also shows that Elizabeth has married a George Marshall and had one child, Gladys.

In total that makes 10 people living in one house.

This house no longer exists but the image of the map shows where it was located. The year 1875 is above the archway of House 112, indicating that this row of houses was built then.

Thirza has not reappeared on a census since 1881 but, according to the 1911 census, Mary says all of her children are still living.

Mary was 62 when she died, and according to a newspaper article, Mary collapsed while walking home along West Bars after making some purchases in town.

She was carried into the shop of Mr J Stewart, and Dr Evans was called to attend to her but Mary had already died. Heart failure was given as the cause of death.

Cemetery records show that Mary died on the January 10 1919 and was buried on the January 15 1919.

B Hattersley and Sons of Chatsworth Road conducted the service. Her husband Thomas died on the February 1 1932 and was buried with her. He was 80 years old when he died.

If you are related to Mary Dale and would like to take part in the ceremony contact Diane Collett or Jo-Anne Lundie on 01246 345888 or by emailing Diane.Collett@chesterfield.gov.uk

READ MORE: STOLEN GARDEN FURNITURE RETURNED TO ‘RIGHTFUL GNOMERS’ IN SOUTH NORMANTON