Chesterfield family history · Griffin Family History

Joseph Henry Griffin, the disappearing seaman.

Joseph was the second child of Joseph Griffin and Ann Budd, whilst Joseph senior was working as a coachbuilder in Clevedon, Bristol. He appears to have been christened the year after he was born and is last listed in the 1870 census, living with his parents in Chesterfield.

He left home to join the merchant navy and never returned. The cadet ship on which he was training was lost in the Bermuda Triangle. He was unmarried.

HMS Atalanta
HMS Atalanta there is more on the story, including this image, here:

griffin grave.jpg

There is a full list of names on this website and a picture of the memorial in St Ann’s Church, Portsmouth. But it lists him as “Griffon” not “Griffin”-

Chesterfield family history · Green Family History · Griffin Family History · Somerset Family History

Joseph Griffin and Ann Budd in Chesterfield


Married life for Joseph and Ann had not started well in Bristol. You can read what happened there in Joseph’s story.

The whole story of Joseph’s life is an odd one. Born into generations of relative prosperity in Somerset, he finds himself working as a bootboy in his uncle’s hotel in Cardiff. It is clear that something had gone wrong before the tragic events which occurred shortly after his wedding. Anne too had come from a huge family marked by tragedy. It seems unlikely that she ever met the youngest members of her family, or knew the fate of her father, Charles. Her wedding certificate is marked with a cross instead of a signature, from which we know she could not sign her name. Both families were constantly on the move. A letter written on their behalf might take months to reach the other party, if it did at all.

From newspaper articles describing the events of …… we know that Ann was living with friends in Bristol. The address at which they were living turns out to have been an inn, not a private address, known as The Falcon Inn, the licensee of which was John Tippett from 1840- 1858. We also know that Joseph continued to work for his uncle as late as 1854, a year before his daughter’s birth. He is called as a witness in a minor crime in Cardiff and is described as living with his uncle. But, by Emily Jane’s birth in 1855, he is described as a “labourer at a coach factory”.



By the time of their son Joseph’s birth, the family have moved to Clifton. It is not, unfortunately, possible to find out how long they stayed for.

Bristol to Chesterfield is some 160 miles, by a reasonably straight road. But we do not know whether that journey was broken, because I have not yet found them in the 1861 census, or indeed, exactly when they made the break from Somerset. It is reasonable to assume, if you read the first part of the story. that there was much to put behind them in Bristol.

Family legend dictates that their reason for leaving Bristol was to deliver a new coach to the Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth. Unfortunately, that lead has not turned up a link in Chatsworth’s archives. What we do know is, that by 1868, Joseph and Ann had reached Chesterfield and were established enough members of the community, for Joseph to be a signatory to a notice in many local newspapers.

joseph griffin chesterfield 1868
Various Chesterfield newspapers carried this notice in 1868, to which Joseph Henry Griffin was a signatory.

Joseph and Ann were very religious and Joseph was a lay preacher, his preaching advertised regularly in the Chesterfield area of Derbyshire.

By the 1871 census, Joseph is working for a flour dealer and living in Spencer Street. We can tell that the flour dealer was Thomas Irving of Gluman Gate from contemporary newspaper articles. This is a picture of his shop and an advert for the business from 1876.


It would seem to have half a mill wheel in the wall, making me think it had been a mill before it was a meal merchant’s.

joseph griffin a Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - Saturday 22 January 1876 flour advert
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – Saturday 22 January 1876 flour advert

Far from selling only flour, the shop sold a wide range of goods, mainly of the type bought from farmers locally.

joseph henry griffin 1871
The 1871 census with the Griffin family.
Spencer Street, Chesterfield
Spencer Street, Chesterfield

The couple were clearly happy in Spencer Street and don’t leave. In 1877, Emily, a milliner, marries Robert Lichtenstein Green. They move into number 32 Spencer Street, as their first married home. Joseph leaves home too and dies at sea in 1880, on board HMS Atlanta. We know that Emily’s children visited every Sunday and were allowed to see giant dolls from Japan, that their “uncle” had sent home. But no record of Joseph entering Japan has been found, perhaps he visited whilst in the merchant navy and he died during training.

On August 24th, 1893, Ann Budd died. Her death announcement was short and to the point. Joseph had lost his beloved Annie.

annie budd Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - Saturday 02 September 1893
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – Saturday 02 September 1893

By the 1901 census, Emily and her family had moved in with her widowed father. It must have been quite a squeeze. Six children, aged between 4 and 23 and their parents. The second and middle daughter (although the sixth child) was named after her grandmother, Annie and born the year before her death. At the time of Annie’s accident in 1899, the family are already living at the Griffins. The oldest two boys still at home, Joseph and David, are already working.

joseph henry  griffin 1901
The 1901 census with the Griffin and Green families.


On 18th December 1802, Joseph Griffin died at home, in Spencer Street, Chesterfield.

The death announcement of Joseph Henry Griffin, from the Derbyshire Courier of Saturday 18 December 1902
The death announcement of Joseph Henry Griffin, from the Derbyshire Courier of Saturday 18 December 1902. The death announced the day of the death.
Chesterfield family history · Green Family History · Lincoln family history

Robert Green, tobacconist of Liverpool, Chesterfield and Lincoln and his wife, Eliza McAlister

Robert was the son of Robert Green and Jane Nelson and was born in Liverpool in 1794, the youngest of eight children. He became a tobacconist and married Eliza McAlister on 4th April 1814. Eliza was born in Warwickshire, of Argyllshire descent, but her parents and family lived in Liverpool by the time of the marriage.

Their first child, Peter, seems to have been born very close to the marriage in Liverpool. He was followed by four more siblings in Liverpool, then, for reasons unknown, they moved to Chesterfield in Derbyshire. We can guess from the children’s christenings that this was sometime in the 18 months between February 1827 and August 1828.

High Street, Lincoln, just off St Mary’s Street.

By the time we find them in the 1841 census the family have moved again. Only five of the ten children are living with their parents in St Mary’s Street, Lincoln, just off the busy High Street. Peter is left running the Chesterfield business, two of the older girls are in Liverpool and another in service.

robert green st mary's street 1841.png

It would seem likely that they were working with Thomas Lunt, also listed at this address and a tobacconist. There was a long standing family tobacco broking business in Liverpool of the same surname. Thomas dies at their home in Lincoln, May 1847.

At this point, I am going to tell the story through his daughter Sarah (click on her name to continue reading) and then her son, Robert.

The children of Robert and Eliza (Because of their travels, there may be gaps. If you can fill them, please let me know)

Peter McAlister Green born Liverpool 1814 died Chesterfield 1894 married Elizabeth Davison

Jane Green, born Liverpool 1818, died?

Margaret, born Liverpool 1820, died?

Robert, born Liverpool 1823, died Liverpool before 1827

Eliza, born Liverpool 1826, died?

Robert, born 1827, died?

John, born Old Brampton 1828, died Chesterfield?

Anne or Ann born Chesterfield 1832,  died?

Sarah born Chesterfield 1834, died Lincoln 1858 married George Edward Lumb.

To go to the Index, click here



Green Family History · Liverpool Family History

Robert Green of Liverpool and his wife, Jane Nelson of Ormskirk

robert green 1 birth

Robert was the son of James Green or Gzren and Mary Burton and was born in Red Cross Street, Liverpool.

He married Jane Nelson of Orsmkirk, a town some 14 miles North of Liverpool, a long distance in 1778.

robert and jane marriage

Their first child was born in 1781 and named William. At that time they were living in Preston Street, a narrow street in the heart of Liverpool.Peggy, Betty, another William and Alice all follow at that address. But by Margaret’s birth in 1790, they have moved to Shawhill Street, where they have two more children, Henry and Robert.From the children’s birth records we can see that Robert is recorded as working as a labourer.




The children of Robert and Jane (if you can fill in the gaps, please let me know) –

William born 1781, died before 1786.

Peggy born 1782

Betty born 1784

William (2) born 1786

Alice born 1788

Margaret born 1790

Henry born 1793

Robert born 1794, died Chesterfield 1875.

To go to the Index, click here



Green Family History · Liverpool Family History

James Green or Gzren of Liverpool, whitesmith and his wife Mary Burton

james green and mary burton marriage 2

James was a Whitesmith and married Mary Burton on 20th July 1742 at St Peter, Church Street, in the parish of St Nicholas, Liverpool. Their son, Robert, was born in 1751.

James is variously listed as “Green” and “Grzen”.

robert green 1 birth

From Robert’s birth record we can see they lived in Red Cross Street, which was right in the centre of old Liverpool. By ““The Poll for the borough of Liverpool” in 1796, we can see he later lived in Thomas Street.

To go to the Index, click here

Chesterfield family history · Green Family History

Little Annie Green- burnt by Bengal match.

Annie Green's Wheatbridge Pottery moneybank 1901
Annie Green’s Wheatbridge Pottery moneybank 1901

Annie Green was the daughter of Robert Lichtenstein Green and Emily Jane Griffin and was born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire in 1892.

She was the sixth child of seven and had four older brothers. One day in 1899, three of the boys were playing with their younger sister and allowed her to hold one of their Bengal matches, which were similar to sparklers, but much more dangerous as they dripped molten phosphorous. Unsupervised, Annie did not know to hold the match away from her and burning drops landed on her chin.Where the sparks fell it melted away her skin and flesh. She spent many, many months in hospital and was badly scarred for life.

The next door neighbour of her grandfather was David Skelton, manager of the Wheatbridge Pottery who gave her a moneybank from the pottery as a present to welcome her home in 1901.

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald - Saturday 03 February 1900
Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald – Saturday 03 February 1900

Annie Green 1892-1954 married William Macneilage

You can go to the Index page by clicking here


Chesterfield family history · Green Family History · Lincoln family history

Sarah Green, a tale of lost loves.

Sarah Green was born in Chesterfield and baptised on 23rd September 1835 in St Mary and All Saint’s Church, known locally as the “Church of the Crooked Spire”.

St Mary and All Saint's Church, Chesterfield.
St Mary and All Saint’s Church, Chesterfield.

Her father, Robert Green was a tobacconist, born in Liverpool in 1790 and his wife Eliza McAllister (spelt various ways) was born in Warwickshire of Argyll descent, They had met and married in Liverpool, in 1814, where Eliza’s family had settled and had their first child, Peter, soon after.

Sarah was by far their youngest and when they uprooted the family once more and moved to Lincoln, she went with them. Peter stayed behind and ran a tobacconist’s business of his own.

Sarah Green 1841 st mary's street
1841 census entry for the Green Family.

They lived in St Mary’s Street, in central Lincoln.

St Mary's Street, Lincoln in 1900
St Mary’s Street, Lincoln in 1900. Some 60 years after the Greens lived there.

Not much is known about the ten years between the 1841 and 1851 census, but by the later date, there were three children still at home and the two girls were listed as dressmakers. Beaumont Fee is a pretty terrace in a leafy street.

The Green Family in Lincoln 1851
The Green Family in Lincoln 1851.
Beaumont Fee, Lincoln
Beaumont Fee, Lincoln.

In March 1855, Sarah gave birth to a son. If it wasn’t that she gave him his father’s surname for a middle name and that he was brought up knowing who his father was, he would probably have been just another Victorian child whose story was untraceable. His father’s name is not recorded on his birth certificate, but by his christening, on 27th August 1855, his name is recorded as “Robert Lichtenstein Green”.

A delay in christening a child is not so unusual. But in this case, it is possible Sarah hoped his father would marry her and as the father was Jewish, the child would not have been christened. Robert’s father was a jeweller from Lask in Congress Poland, named Levy Lichtenstein. But he didn’t marry her. The family story has always been that she had been working as a maid and became pregnant by the son of the family. This proved not to be the case. He was also not yet a diamond merchant as the tale was told, he made and sold Whitby Jet jewellery. But, well, as I have found, stories grow!

On 7th October 1856, when Robert was 18 months old, Sarah married George Edward Lumb in the same church in Chesterfield she herself had been christened in. They were the same age, from the same town and she had possibly known him most of her life.

George was the son of a tinsmith. Tobacco was often sold in tin boxes or snuff, also sold by tobacconists, was kept in tin lined boxes. Their parent’s trades were interconnected in a small town.

George was living at home with his parents in the 1841 census. But he had a sister, Charlotte. By 1841 she was 15 and a living in maid for a silversmith’s household in Silver Street.

silver street
Silver Street, Lincoln.
Entry for the Cohen family and Charlotte Lumb in 1841.
Entry for the Cohen family and Charlotte Lumb in 1841.

On 2nd August 1850, Charlotte gave birth to a boy, John Edward Lumb. He was christened at St Swithin’s church on 8th September. At the time of the 1851 census, he was living with his grandparents and his uncle.

11 City Court, Lincoln. Entry for the Lumb family.
11 City Court, Lincoln. Entry for the Lumb family.

It would seem Charlotte became pregnant whilst working for a Jewish family in Lincoln. Perhaps this helped George accept his stepson, it would certainly have meant the parents had something in common. The Cohen family left the area and eventually settled in the US.

Sarah’s family certainly seem pleased about the marriage and announced it in numerous newspapers.

sarah and george Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Monday 13 October 1856
The wedding announcement- Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 13 October 1856
3 Friday 10 October 1856 , Stamford Mercury , Lincolnshire, England
3 Friday 10 October 1856 , Stamford Mercury , Lincolnshire, England

George had gone from being a printer and compositor’s apprentice to editor of the Derbyshire Times in five short years. This seems a little unlikely? But the significance of the particular announcement is more interesting. Levy’s brother was living in Sheffield in 1851. It is likely that this announcement was meant to be seen by Levy.

George returned to live in Lincoln after the marriage, a thing he probably could not have done had he been editor of a Derbyshire paper. In January 1851, George’s sister Charlotte married the appropriately named John Newlove.  In October 1857, George and Sarah had a son,  Edward Stevenson Lumb. Life seems rosy. But of course, that isn’t the end to the story.

In April 1858, when her son Edward was but 6 months old and Robert only 3, Sarah died of TB, having been ill for 3 months. She died at an address round the corner from the home of her parent’s,  Beaumont Place and is buried in Canwick Road cemetery, Lincoln.

In January 1860 George married Elizabeth Anson, exactly a year later their son George Anson Lumb is born. Robert Lichtenstein Green was brought up by his grandparents who return to Chesterfield after the death of Sarah. His story will be told later.

The census of 1861 shows Edward living with his father, stepmother and stepbrother at the address his mother died at.

The Lumb's in 1851
The Lumb’s in 1851

On 8th October 1861 George Edward Lumb was declared bankrupt. The reason given is “living beyond his means”. It is interesting to note he calls himself a “newspaper reporter/ newsagent” in the census of that year.

George and Elizabeth had another son, Albert John, in February 1864. But later in November 1864, he too died.

Edward Stevenson Lumb married Emily Climpson and lived until 1927. To my knowledge, his half brother did not see him again after the death of their mother.