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Posts: 37
Thanks for the information. I'll dig through it and see what I can tease out.

For now I just wanted to drop in that my son has taken an autosomal DNA test at FTDNA and his kit number on GEDmatch is: Z184032

He already has a number of solidly Staffordshire matches, but given the size of both trees and the "Robinson Problem" obscuring a quarter of Staffordshire DNA it might be tricky confirming a match with someone who isn't a descendant from known, if distant, cousins. At least for now.

Posts: 37
As previously mentioned:

John and Esther were married on July 12, 1849 in Rushton Chapel, Leek parish.

Esther Ash was born Kirkham, her parents were Isaac Kirkham and Sarah who had numerous children: John (1804-), Hannah (1805-), Samuel (1807-), Elizabeth (1808-), William (1811-), Joseph (1815-) and Isaac (1819-).

There are earlier bits of family trees that don't quite tie in, although they might hook in as things are pushed back:

John Ash's parents were Solomon Ash and Sarah, who also had quite a few kids: John (1886-1820), Ann (1812-), Moses (1814-1896), William (1817-), Sarah (1822) and Catherine (1824)

I've been putting the family tree online at and so I've been going over the records. One interesting thing is that in the 1841 census, Esther Kirkham is working as a house keeper for the Mountforts and John Ash is also working there. Also there is a child, Mary Kirkham is Esther's child but John would have been 15 when the child was born. In the 1851 census (after John and Esther married in 1849) they are with a Mary Ann Kirkham (which gives us her baptism, proving she is Esther's daughter) and another slightly older girl Sarah Kirkham (who turns out to be Esther's niece):



She appears to be the Mary Anne Kirkham who married Brian Armitt in Rushton Spencer (although they are both resident in Meerbrook at the time) and then are living around Leek and Meerbrook - more details here:

The marriage certificate might help prove or disprove this link.

So that might provide a little more information on another Meerbrook resident.

However, looking over the 1851 census, I see there is a lad also working for the Mountforts, a year younger than Mary Anne - William Robinson. This rings a bell because the only thing we know about the father of John and Esther's grandson, J. W. Ash (through their daughter Catherine) is that his name was probably Robinson. This is the only Robinson I've found in close proximity to these Ashes and he is in the same generation as John and Esther's children. However, there will be a lot of Robinsons around, but, if nothing else, he has to be the first one to eliminate from our investigations.

So, I did a bit more digging. The only William Robinson who could be born around that time in the general Leek area is one christening from Rushton Spencer:

Looking him up I find him in other records:

They were married in Ipstones in 1873:

And can be found farming in Ipstones in the censuses, which gives his birth as Heaton, consistent with him being baptised in Rushton Spencer:



His wife was Hannah Fernihough, which rings bells, as John Ash's mother's maiden name is Fernihough. Now I can't link the Fernihoughs (although all Fernihoughs are related) but it is Hannah's father Josiah Fernihough that got the link - he is John Ash's first cousin, through Solomon Ash's father, also called Solomon. So we already have William Robinson in the family tree:

JW Ash was born 6 years after William Robinson's wedding. So it may be the reason he has been scrubbed from the family history is because, while he doesn't seem to have children with his wife, he may well have had one with her second cousin.

If they didn't have any children, it'd be interesting to find his will to see if he did the decent thing. Unfortunately, I can't pick up his death amongst all the other William Robinsons around.

Worth noting that JW Ash is John William Ash - William is a family name (John Ash had a brother and son called William), so I'd overlooked it, but it might be the father's name was staring us in the face all the time.

So possibly nailing down a few extra bits of the family tree and exposing more Meerbrook links.

Does anyone know any more about these Armitts or Robinsons?
Andrea nee Oakes-Ash
at times I do look at my family tree from Derbyshire and remember my father Edward who grew up on the farm in Leek telling me about his history. A cousins has researched a great deal but I do know he and we are related to Moses and Soloman. Can recall my father telling me about Solomans Hollow also Jaobs Ladder where both named after previous generations . not sure how useful this is 
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