Ann Woodcock 1809-1877

Ann WOODCOCK (the mother of my 4th great grandmother Mary EARNSHAW) is from Penistone, South Yorkshire. I enjoy researching my local ancestors and visiting the places they have been. I am excited that I have ancestors from Penistone because I am familiar with the area, and very interested in its history.

Mary EARNSHAW (daughter)

To prove the link between Mary EARNSHAW and Ann WOODCOCK, I have started the research with some parish records for Penistone, Yorkshire. Mary EARNSHAW was born in Langsett, Near Penistone, South Yorkshire on 13 November 1824, and was baptised at St John the Baptist Church, Penistone on 27 December 18241. Mary EARNSHAW’s father was William EARNSHAW, a carpenter.

St John the Baptist Church, Penistone. Photo Credit: Ben Hopkins
When BaptisedChild’s Christian NameParents NamesParents SurnameAbodeTrade or profession
December 27th [1824]Mary d[aughte]r ofWilliam & AnneEARNSHAWLangsettCarpenter
Born 13th Nov[ember] 1824


Ann WOODCOCK and William EARNSHAW were married in that same church (St John the Baptist) in Penistone on 18th October 18242, which was only two months before Mary was born!

William EARNSHAW of this parish and Ann WOODCOCK of the parish of Silkstone were married in this church by banns this eighteenth day of Oct[ober] One thousand eight hundred and twenty two. Witnesses: Benjamin SWINDIN & Harriot HUGH.

1841 Census

In 1841, William & Ann EARNSHAW and famiy were living at Upper Point, Hepworth, Yorkshire3. They had 5 more children: Elizabeth (born abt. 1826), Thirza (born abt. 1832), Ann (born abt. 1836), William (born abt. 1838), and Martha (born abt. 1840). As previously mentioned, Mary was living elsewhere and would be married the following year.

Mary was their eldest child, and she left the family home at a young age – she was living in the same household as her future husband John BEET in 1841 at the age of 154.

NameAgeProfession, Trade or EmploymentBorn in county?
William EARNSHAW40CarpenterYes
Elizabeth EARNSHAW14Yes
William EARNSHAW3Yes

1851 Census

At some point during the next decade (probably between 1841 and the birth of their daughter Susan[na] in 18455), the family ventured across the Peak District and settled in Whitfield, Derbyshire (near Glossop), leaving their daughter Mary behind – I wonder if that was an easy decision for either of them? It was probably a difficult journey, did they ever see each-other again?

Samuel on the road to Glossop. 09 August 2020. Photo: Clare Hopkins

The 1851 shows the family living at Field Head, Whitfield, Derbyshire6. I know that this is the same family because they list their places of birth as Penistone and Langsett, and most of their children have the same names. William and Ann have had more children who were listed on this census: Susanna (born abt. 1844), Rachel (born abt. 1849), and Jonathan – who was born about 1830 but was not living with the family on the 1841 census.

In 1841 Jonathan EARNSHAW was living with his grandparents in Penistone, which was the key in finding the link to Ann WOODCOCK’s parents and will be mentioned in more detail later.

NameRelation to HeadConditionAgeProfession or OccupationWhere Born
William EARNSHAWHeadMarried50WheelwrightPenistone, Yorkshire
Anne EARNSHAWWifeMarried43Penistone, Yorkshire
Theresa EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried18Cotton weaverLangsett, Yorkshire
Anne EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried16Cotton weaverLangsett, Yorkshire
William EARNSHAWSonUnmarried14Weaver’s tenterLangsett, Yorkshire
Martha EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried12Langsett, Yorkshire
Susanna EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried6Timmord, Derbyshire
Rachel EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried2Whitfield, Derbyshire
Jonathan EARNSHAWSonMarried21Penistone, Yorkshire
Sarah Anne EARNSHAWDaur. in lawMarried20Rowarth, Derbyshire

1861 Census

In 1861, William and Ann EARNSHAW were living at Lower Whitfield, Derbyshire with their children Martha, Susanna, and Rachel7. The census also shows they had had another son during the preceding decade – Walter EARNSHAW who is estimated to have been born about 1853. This is the first census where Ann gives a more accurate place of birth: Silkstone, Yorkshire. The parish of Silkstone borders Penistone to the North East.

NameRelation to HeadConditionAgeProfession or OccupationWhere Born
William EARNSHAWHeadMarried60WheelwrightLangsett, Yorkshire
Ann EARNSHAWWifeMarried52Silkstone, Yorkshire
Martha EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried22Cotton weaverHepworth, Yorkshire
Susanna EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried16Cotton weaverTommordly, Derbyshire
Rachel EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried12Cotton weaverGlossop, Derbyshire
Walter EARNSHAWSonUnmarried8ScholarGlossop, Derbyshire

1871 Census

In 1871, the family were living at 68 Freetown, Whitfield, Derbyshire8. William was still working as a Wheelwright. Despite getting on in years, William and Ann still had several children living with them, including another daughter, Emma, who was born about 1865, and a grandson Joseph HAWKSWORTH.

NameRelation to HeadConditionAgeProfession or OccupationWhere Born
William EARNSHAWHeadMarried69WheelwrightLangsett, Yorkshire
Ann EARNSHAWWifeMarried62Silkstone, Yorkshire
Martha HAWKSWORTHDaur.Married32Cotton weaverHepworth, Yorkshire
Susanna EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried26Cotton weaverGlossop, Derbyshire
Rachel EARNSHAWDaur.Unmarried22Cotton weaverGlossop, Derbyshire
Walter EARNSHAWSonUnmarried18Cotton weaverGlossop, Derbyshire
Emma EARNSHAWDaur.6ScholarGlossop, Derbyshire
Joseph E HAWKSWORTHGrandson8ScholarGlossop, Derbyshire

I find it incredible that Ann was able to have her 11th child (Emma) at the age of 46. However, a search of the birth indexes does not show any results for Emma EARNSHAW with a mother’s maiden name WOODCOCK. Emma might not have been William and Ann’s biological daughter. More research will need to be done to prove a connection to the family.


Ann WOODCOCK (EARNSHAW) died on 19 May 1877 at 68 Freetown, Whitfield, Derbyshire9. The cause of death given on the death certificate was bronchitis 9 months.

When and where diedName and surnameSexAgeOccupationCause of deathInformantWhen registered
19 May 1877. 68 FreetownAnn EARNSHAWFemale68 yearsWidow of William EARNSHAW, wheelwrightBronchitis 9 monthsMartha EARNSHAW, daughter. Present at the death. 68 Freetown, Whitfield.21 May 1877

At the time of her death on 19 May 1877, Ann was a widow, which means her husband William EARNSHAW would have died sometime between the years 1871-1877.

It is worth noting for other researchers that Ann’s daughter Martha, who was living with William and Ann in 1871 under her married name Martha HAWKSWORTH, was using her maiden name EARNSHAW when she was listed as the informant of Ann’s death in 1877.

Ann WOODCOCK (EARNSHAW) was buried at Whitfield, Derbyshire on 23 May 187710. We went to the parish church at Whitfield to see if we could find the headstone for William and Ann EARNSHAW. Unfortunately we didn’t find it, but we did find the headstone for their son William EARNSHAW, his wife Mary, and their daughter Alice Ann at the rear of the church.

NameAbodeWhen buriedAge
Ann EARNSHAWFreetown, Whitfield23 May [1877]68 years
Whitfield Church. 31 July 2020. Photo: Clare Hopkins


Finding the birth of Ann WOODCOCK was the tricky part of this research because she was born before civil registration. She has been very consistent with her age throughout the census records so I knew she would have been born about 1809 in Silkstone, Yorkshire (near Penistone).

As I mentioned previously, William and Ann’s son Jonathan EARNSHAW was living with Thomas and Mary WOODCOCK at West Thorp, Silkstone, Yorkshire11. The relationship isn’t given between individuals on the 1841 census, so further research will need to be done to prove that they are his grandparents.

1841 Census – West Thorp, Silkstone:

NameAgeProfession, Trade or EmploymentBorn in county?
Thomas WOODCOCK55FarmerYes
Jon[atha]n EARNSHAW12LodgerYes

A search of the parish registers for St John the Baptist Church, Penistone, shows that Thomas WOODCOCK and Mary SHAW of West Thorp, Silkstone, had 7 children baptised in the church between 1806 and 1829: Rebecca12, Nansie13, Hannah14, Rachel15, George16, Mary17 , and Jonathan18. (There are some familiar forenames in there that Ann used for her own children – Mary, Jonathan and Rachel!). However, there is no mention of Ann herself.

The names Nancy and Hannah are both variations of the name Ann – Nansie was baptised in 1809, and Hannah was baptised in 1811. So did one of these daughters spend the rest of their lives being known as Ann?


Unfortunately this is probably something that I don’t think we can know for sure without further records. But what we do know is:

  • Jonathan EARNSHAW was living with Thomas and Mary WOODCOCK in 1841 at West Thorp, Silkstone.
  • Ann WOODCOCK is estimated to have been born in Silkstone in 1809, according to information provided by the censuses.
  • The baptism records of the WOODCOCK children born at West Thorp, Silkstone give Mary’s maiden name as SHAW.

My best guess is that Ann WOODCOCK was baptised at St John the Baptist Church in Penistone on 04 May 1809 with the name Nansie.

04 May 1809. Nansie d[aughte]r of Tho[ma]s WOODCOCK & Mary his wife (formerly SHAW) born March 25th.

Transcription of Parish Register. St John the Baptist Church, Penistone.

Family Members:

Husband:William EARNSHAW 1801-1874
Daughter (my direct ancestor):Mary EARNSHAW 1824-1907
Father:Thomas WOODCOCK 1784-1842
Mother:Mary SHAW 1787-1862

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  1. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 27 December 1824. EARNSHAW, Mary. Collection: West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910. : accessed 04 December 2021.
  2. Banns (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 18 October 1824. EARNSHAW, William and WOODCOCK, Ann. Collection: West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935. : accessed 04 December 2021.
  3. Census Records. England. Hepworth, Yorkshire. 06 June 1841. EARNSHAW, William. PN 1277. Book 5. FN 36. p. 5. : accessed 12 May 2021.
  4. Census Records. England. Bradfield, Yorkshire. 06 June 1841. HAIGH, Thomas (head). ED 19. FN 26. p. 10. : accessed 27 November 2020.
  5. Births (CR) England. RD Hayfield and Glossop, [Derbyshire]. 3rd Q., 1844. EARNSHAW, Susan. Vol. 19. p. 530. : accessed 17 December 2021.
  6. Census Records. England. Hayfield, Derbyshire. 30 March 1851. EARNSHAW, William (head). ED 4a. SN 47. PN 2152. FN 326. p. 13. : accessed 04 December 2021.
  7. Census Records. England. Hayfield, Derbyshire. 07 April 1861. EARNSHAW, William (head). ED 11. SN 28. PN 2550. FN 71. p. 6. : accessed 04 December 2021.
  8. Census Records. England. Hayfield, Derbyshire. 02 April 1871. EARNSHAW, William (head). ED 11. SN 202. PN 3642. FN 71. p. 37. : accessed 04 December 2021.
  9. Deaths (CR) England. Hayfield, Derbyshire. 19 May 1877. EARNSHAW, Ann. Entry No: 166.
  10. Burials (PR) England. Whitfield, Derbyshire. 23 May 1877. EARNSHAW, Ann. Collection: Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1991. : accessed 17 December 2021
  11. Census Records. England. Silkstone, Yorkshire. 06 June 1841. WOODCOCK, Thomas. PN 1325. Book 11. FN 8. p. 9. SN 2957. : accessed 06 December 2021.
  12. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 22 November 1806. WOODCOCK, Rebecca. Collection: England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. : accessed 17 December 2021.
  13. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 04 May 1809. WOODCOCK, Nansie. Collection: West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1512-1812 : accessed 06 December 2021.
  14. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 06 October 1811. WOODCOCK, Hannah. Collection: England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. : accessed 17 December 2021.
  15. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 13 March 1814. WOODCOCK, Rachel. Collection: England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. : accessed 17 December 2021.
  16. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 07 March 1816. WOODCOCK, George. Collection: England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975. : accessed 06 December 2021.
  17. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 25 February 1819. WOODCOCK, Mary. Collection: England, Select Births and Christenings, 1538-1975. : accessed 17 December 2021.
  18. Baptisms (PR) England. Penistone, Yorkshire. 29 February 1824. WOODCOCK, Jonathan. Collection: West Yorkshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910. : accessed 07 December 2021.


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