52 residents in 52 weeks #26 John Mills.

His is the most impressive edifice in Sion Baptist Church's graveyard. A four sided obelisk with stone urn on the top, which helpfully details many of his family. Three faces are inscribed, the fourth (north) is blank - i wonder who that was saved for?

gravestone 39 Mills thumbnail


From the information on the stones we can construct a reasonable tree of the family:

John Mills tree 600

From this we can see a few things of interest:
William was 20 years older than his wife Sarah
James and Ellen lost 3 daughters before they were 3. Very sad.
Grace Ellen died and Sarah Elizabeth were born on March 2nd (although different years)
John had lost both a son (James) and a daughter (Mary) before he died.

The census dataset adds relatively little to this. He was indeed of Thornfield House, Waterfoot for at least 10 years before he died, and was in the Waterfoot areas for well over 20 years. During this time he worked as a blacksmith then clog iron manufacturer - a relatively limited field but many people wore clogs then.

Thornfield House isn't marked as such on the 1890 OS map but may have been the one on the left (north side) half way up Thornfield Road.

Waterfoot 1890 600