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George Firth(1818-1874) -Steel Manager

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I've been trying for several years to find information about George Firth, who appears in 1861 census, aged 43, living with his wife, Mary Ann, & children at the Norfolk Works, Savile St. He is "foreman to the steel-melters". In 1871, he's living in Andover St., Brightside Bierlow, and is now "steel manager".

He's almost certainly related to the founding family of Thomas Firth & Sons, but I can't find the link. I can't definitely identify him in 1841 census. I assume that he is the individual baptised in St Peter's, Sheffield on 1 May 1818, with parents named John and Mary; and that he married Mary Ann Wragg in the Dec quarter of 1841.

I have recently been told by another researcher that Thomas Firth [1789-1850] was the second son of John Firth and Mary Moorhouse, but I don't know the grounds for this. I'm wondering whether the first son was called John and whether, with a wife called Mary, he was the father of "my" George. This would, of course, make George the nephew of Thomas Firth and cousin of Mark. All mere speculation! Can anybody offer any hard evidence?

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Looking at the baptisms at SS Peter & Paul (cathedral) I found these.

7 April 1809 Mary dau of John and Mary FIRTH, Book-keeper born 17 March 1809

22 Nov 1812 Thomas son of John and Mary FIRTH, Book-keeper born 25 October 1812

8 March 1818 George son of John and Mary FIRTH. Book-keeper. Born 8 March 1818

7 April 1816 William son of John and Mary FIRTH, Book-keeper Born 17 March 1816

Burials at the same church

7 July 1822 John FIRTH aged 11 son of John a Book-keeper of Sheffield Mill Sands

15 Sept 1822 Thomas FIRTH aged 10 son of John Book-keeper of Sheffield Mill Sands

3 April 1825 John FIRTH aged 39 a Book-keeper.of Sheffield Mill Sands

This might be the 1841 census for George. Don't forget that ages were supposed to be rounded down in this census to the nearest 5 or zero.Note that the address is the same as the two burials.

Firth, George of Mill Sands, Sheffield North. Aged 20 years.
(Piece #1335/13, folio 40a, enumeration district 31.)

Firth, Mary of Mill Sands, Sheffield North. Aged 64 years.
(Piece #1335/13, folio 40a, enumeration district 31.)

From the information above George's father John (the book-keeper) was born approx. 1786 so is unlikely to be the father of Thomas FIRTH (b.1789)

Angela

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Angela,

Your information is pure gold! I had already decided that the 1841 census entry that you cite was the one most likely to be relevant to 'my' George, but your discovery of the address in the baptism & burial records clinches it. I'd previously had only IGI as a source, and, of course, there was no info about George's abode or his profession. IGI does not have all the siblings of George that you found - though it does have a baptism for John (31 Aug 1810 -C15052-2).

I was slightly surprised that you didn't find a baptism for Harriet. I reckon that her DoB must be about 1816, and I'd wondered whether she might be William's twin. If she was, though, they'd surely be baptised at the same time? My evidence for her is indirect but pretty solid. She marries George Ditchfield (Mar qtr 1850, Sheffield, 22, 477) and in 1861 Census, she's 46, born Sheffield, living in Dale St., Manchester with her husband and her niece, Harriet Firth (15, b. Sheffield). The younger Harriet is George's daughter. They are both still there in 1871,along with a second "niece", Elizabeth Ripley (28, b. Sheffield). Elizabeth is d/o Dan Ripley and Mary Firth (whose baptism you found in 1809.

The information you provide about the likely DoB of Bookkeeper, John, does not damage my hypothesis. Ideally, I want to discover that Bookkeeper John is Thomas (b. 1789) Firth's older brother. Your calculation fits in perfectly with that. It's not proof, but I live in hope of an answer one way or the other.

Thanks very sincerely, for your help.

David

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David.

The baptisms and burials were taken from the Sheffield & District FHS transcriptions. I should have known better than to just check FIRTH, as I have done some research for a lady in Canada in the past into a FIRTH family and should have been aware that it is often recorded as FRITH.

Baptisms at SS Peter & Paul (cathedral)

17 Jul 1814 Herriet (sic) dau of John and Mary FRITH of Sheffield, Book-keeper born 20 June 1814

John is in the transcriptions I have, again recorded as FRITH.

Angela

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Angela,

Thanks for the follow-up. I think I now have solid evidence for the family of John Firth, the Bookkeeper of Mill Sands (c 1786-1825). What I need next is evidence of his parentage. I don't suppose that your transcriptions have a baptism for him, or I'm sure you'd have told me.

Another possible avenue would be early records of Thomas Brown & Sons. They just might mention the appointment/promotion of a cousin to be steel manager, housed at the Norfolk Works. Do you know of any such thing?

David

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You might be interested to know that there is a history of Firth's 1842-1918 published in 1924. Written by A. C. Marshall and H. Newbould. Should be available in the Central Library code 338.4.

And of course Mark Firth's grave is in the General Cem. Picture of it on the Cemetery's website.

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Thanks, History dude. I've now managed to get "The History of Firths" on inter-library loan. It does confirm that the George Firth who lived for a number of years at the Norfolk Works was Mark Firth's cousin.

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