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3 Dec 2018

The Girl from Wirksworth - Part One

If you have read my post The Teenagers, you will know what a tough time they had. Sarah Brasier (b. 1751) was sixteen on her marriage and sent far from home to live; Ann Shaw (b. 1774) was orphaned age 12; her daughter Hannah Bagshaw (b. 1792) never knew her mother, and was totally orphaned at 13. I can add another one, Sarah Carr (b. 1859) who sent herself many leagues across the Sea to South Africa aged 18. Why did she do that?

But it is Ann whose story we are trying to tease out. She was evicted from Wirksworth age 12, in 1786, the year when her mother and two sisters all died. They died before the move, and after move, but in the same year. I am almost certain she would have been one of Arkwright's Girls, workers at the cotton mill a few miles away in Cromford. A long uphill journey back, but at least it's downhill in the mornings.

She may be no connection at all. The trail for her goes completely cold in 1786, age 12, and there are no further references. But I think she is my ancestor. And DNA will prove it, very soon. Very soon indeed.