William I

Moira OS 1st ed 1842
Moira. Ordnance Survey 1st ed., 1842.  Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

William Dennis (1784-1847) and Elizabeth Bonsor (1783-1873) – 3x great grandparents.

It was easy enough to find William and Elizabeth in the 1841 census at Moira. Leicestershire. Both were aged 55, but probably rounded down, and with them were children Elizabeth (9), Thomas (15), Patience (9) and Selina (2). With them were James Dennis (60) and his daughter Susannah (12). All three males were coal miners.

On the same page all males older than eight years were coal miners. The only other occupation, pursued by two women, was lace making. At that time the population of the village was 399, of which 200 were male and at least 97 of them worked at the pit; 56% of those with an occupation.

Moira 1841 occupation
Occupations of people in Moira from the 1841 England census.

William died on 24 Nov 1847 at Moira and was buried at St John’s Donisthorpe four days later.  Cause of death was “unknown”.

To clarify the generational relationships, in 1861 Elizabeth (76, coal miner’s widow) was at Moira, with daughter Elizabeth (33, unmarried, charwoman) and and grandchildren. They lived next to the Caves Arms – I wonder if that was where Elizabeth the charwoman plied her trade.

But I also pushed backwards to another generation. William was born on 4 Nov 1784 and baptised at Measham just nine days later. His parents were William Dennis and Mary.

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