top of page


of Stocksbridge WRY & Bradwell DBY

Pearson family with Harold and Clara Eli

Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside ... click HERE for a selection of photographs of the Pearson / Rogers clan at the seaside. 



The Pearson family came to Stocksbridge from Bradwell in Derbyshire in about 1860 to find work at Samuel Fox's steelworks.  Samuel Fox had been born in Bradwell, and he began a wire-drawing business in an old cotton mill at Stocksbridge in 1842.  Many families now living in Stocksbridge can trace their roots back to the Derbyshire village of Bradwell.  The Pearsons can be traced back in the records of the parish of Hope (which included Bradwell) to at least the 16th century.  I have not looked into the family history for many years, and the bulk of the research was done in the days before computers, when one had to travel to the record office at Matlock to do any research.  This is, therefore, work in progress.  I have traced the family back to the marriage of John Pearson and Ann Hill at Hope parish church in 1748.  John would have been born in about 1728.  Their first child was Hugh, born at Little Hucklow in 1750.  Little Hucklow is a village a few miles to the south of Bradwell.  The remaining children were born at Coplow Dale (also spelt Coppledale in the records), a small hamlet close to Little Hucklow, in the parish of Hope.

Church Street Water Lane2.JPG
Church Street Water Lane1.JPG

Bradwell Village



It was John and Ann's great-grandson Benjamin who made the move to Stocksbridge.  He had been born at Bradwell in 1817 during the reign of King George III.  Like many in the village, he worked as a lead miner.  He and his wife Ann had ten children, all born at Bradwell, but they were not baptised at the parish church in Hope because they were non-conformists; Bradwell was a stronghold of non-conformity and Benjamin’s father Robert was mentioned in the book "Methodism in Bradwell" by Seth Evans.  Benjamin and Ann moved the family to Stocksbridge in about 1860.


Benjamin worked in Fox’s, and is mentioned in Joseph Sheldon’s book, “The Founders & Builders of Stocksbridge Works,” published in 1922.  He wrote that “the Engineering Department 61 years ago [1861] was on a very small scale”… and he mentions Benjamin Pearson, who was employed as a general hand.

In 1861 the family were living at Hunshelf.  At some point they moved across the river to Horner House.  Ann died there in 1869 from heart disease.  Benjamin died a year later, having had typhoid for 4 weeks.  Typhoid was water-borne and very infectious.  Benjamin seems to have contracted some kind of pneumonia, as his lungs were congested as well.  Typhoid was easily caught in the times when houses were built close together, with large families crowded together inside.  Primitive systems of drainage and inadequate or contaminated water supplies, overcrowding and shared privies, all had their effect on disease.  


My great-great grandfather Benjamin was one of their sons, born at Bradwell in 1853.  After his parents died, his older sister Hannah took charge of the family, and Benjamin lived with her until his marriage to Mary Birkhead in 1874.  They had four children, Frank, Maria, Harold (my great-grandfather) and Joseph.  In 1881 they were living at Water Lane, Stocksbridge (now called Gibson Lane), and Benjamin was working as a joiner.  He died young, aged just 32.  His widow later married Frederick William Hollins and had two more children, Frederick and Harry.  They lived at Watson House, Deepcar. 

Benjamin and Mary had four children: Frank (1875), Maria (1877), Harold (1880) and Joseph (1883)

1. FRANK (1875) married Lily Kaye from Holmfirth.  He worked in the steel works as a moulder, and they lived at Watson House. Frank had red hair.  Their children were: Willis (died young); Ernest (died young); Benjamin (1899), married Elsie Gregory and had a daughter Ann who married Jack Rigby; Ethel (1903); Clemmy (1911, married Arthur Newton); Frank junior (1917-1977) who married Lena Smith; their daughter Pauline married Kenneth Hall.  Fred had very blonde hair and blue eyes.

2.  MARIA (1877-1954) worked as a kitchen maid in the Lunatic Asylum at Wadsley before marrying Joseph William Camplin in 1904.  Joseph had been born in Lincolnshire, and he too had been employed at the Asylum (as an ‘attendant on the insane’), which could be where they met.  In 1906 they emigrated to a new life in America, departingd from Liverpool aboard the ship Carmania, travelling in steerage class, the cheapest option.  They took with them their son Fred, who was seven months old, Joseph’s sister Ruth, and a friend Willis Trickett Garside (another employee at the Asylum).  They told immigration that they were en route for Omaha, Nebraska, where Joseph’s brother Henry lived.  However, they actually settled in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Maria and Joseph had three more children, Mary, Harry and Ruth.  In 1920 the family moved to Webster, Wisconsin, where they farmed for many years, but when Maria died in 1954 Joseph moved back to St. Paul.

Maria and her husband had three children:

1.Fred: born in 1905 and married Mabel.  Their daughter Betty Lou married Harold Pederson.  Betty Lou’s daughter Carrie Pederson is researching the family tree.

2. Mary: married George Plant and had two children, Gail and William.  Gail married Eric Hollins.  Eric lived in England but died in Minnesota whilst visiting Gail’s parents.  He is buried there with Gail, next to her parents.  

3. Harry: married Laura and had three children, Mary, Harry and Kathleen.  

4. Ruth: married Walter Block and had three children, Barbara, Charles and Robert.

3.  HAROLD (1880-1926) was my great grandfather, and he married Clara Eliza Hinchliffe in 1901.  They lived at Watson House and had twelve children including my grandfather Jack.  Harold worked in Fox’s.  

There will be a separate page for under construction

3.  JOSEPH (1883-1966) married Mary Ann Crossland in 1909.  They lived at Common Piece, Bracken Moor, and Joseph worked in Fox’s.  He had various occupations within the works, and also worked in the mine as a collier.  Joseph and Mary Ann had four children, and celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1959.  The Fox Magazine printed the following: "Golden Wedding Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pearson, of Shay Road, Stocksbridge, who celebrated their Golden Wedding on 28th. February.  Both are active and in good health.  Mr. Pearson (now 75) retired in 1952 after more than 50 years’ service in Spring Works and Billet Bank."

Joseph and Mary Ann had four children:

1. Clarice (1909) married Harold Caswell in 1935 and had two children, Alan and Gwyneth.

2. Winifred (1911), never married

3. Elsie (1913) married Bert Smith and had a daughter Patricia

4. Florence married Jack Day

bottom of page