The Current State of research on the Kirby family of

Joseph Kirby of Moreton


Sarah Bartlett of Evenlode.


This list does not include research on ancestors or brothers and sisters of the above.


Sarah Kirby – The Hicks Family


Born about 1823 in Moreton in Marsh, Sarah Married William Hicks a Groom on the 10th of February 1848. In 1851 they were living in Moreton. Sarah was a Launderess. There is strong evidence that Sarah had one, possibly two children, both before her marriage to William Hicks. Ann Hicks was born in 1841 and a certificate is required to prove this. In 1851, Ann was staying with her grand parents Joseph and Sarah Kirby.


It is not yet clear what happened to William Hicks although I believe he died. Neither Sarah or William appear in the local Census. However in 1881 Sarah is a widow working as a general servant for the Knights family on a farm on the Warwick Road, Yardley Worcestershire. As yet I have not her children or any reference to her death, although she does not appear in the 1901 census, unless she remarried.




Joseph Kirby


Joseph is the son on the direct line of all current known researchers, born on the 17th of November 1824 and christened on the 16th of January 1825 in Moreton in Marsh. Probably more is currently known about him than any other Victorian Kirby mainly because of his career. His early life is not documented, but no doubt he was educated around Moreton and possibly. His father was a Horse keeper in the 1851 census and it is possible that through some connection with the Batsford Estate that he entered the Navy. In 1857 his fathers occupation is recorded as a Servant



He is reported to have Hazel eyes and a Ruddy complexion and was obviously literate as he signed his name on the birth certificate of his son Alexander at least.


Joseph was a labourer prior to joining the Royal Navy. This may be regarded as unusual as it is difficult to get much further from the sea than Moreton in Victorian times although Bristol was an important Port. However examination of census information ships personnel coming from almost anywhere. After the Crimean war, selected former Navy personnel were retained in a newly formed Coastguard who role was to act as Naval Reservists in times of crisis. Although this was a shore-based activity in the main, Coastguards were allocated to a Guardship in which they had to train to maintain their naval readiness. In order to progress in a career it was important to move location. At the time he became a Coastguard on the12th of February 1857 he was still unmarried. Whether Navy life was not conducive to marriage being away from home for long periods of time, particularly in the Victorian Navy, or whether to progress in the Coastguard it was viewed that to be married was important it is hard to tell. On the 15th ofOctober 1857 at the age of 34 he married Lucy Payne aged 21,13 years his younger. How did they meet? This large age difference may be harder to understand today but this may have a bearing on John Kirby's later life. She was from Moreton in Marsh too. Obviously he had kept links with Moreton, despite having been widely travelled in the Navy.



On joining the Royal Navy he served on HMS IMPERIEUSE. This was a wooden, Second Rate Frigate. 2358 Beam, size 212ftx50ft, 10-8in 1-68Pdr 40 32Pdr guns and built at Deptford Dock Yard 15.9.1852.



Joseph would have served in the Baltic during the Crimean War. After the Crimean War the size of the navy was reduced. The Coastguard was set up and a number of men were taken into it from the Navy. This made the men Naval Reservists and as such were attached Navy ships allocated to Coastguard 



Whilst on Coast Guard duty served on HMS St George. Orderd in 1820, the keel was laid in 1827 and launched in 1840. The ship served in Baltic - Crimea converted to screw 1859 under Captain Hon Francis Egerton June 1860-1864. From 1864-1869 it was in  Coast Guard service. (For photo see postcard from Falmouth Art Gallery)



HMS Revenge was lent to coastguard 1865. Launched 1859 at Pembroke dock it was a 91 gun Screw ship, second rate. A Photo can be found in "The Royal Navy at Malta" Volume, Richard Ellis & Lt Commander Ben Warlow.



In 1857 he lived at Oystermouth, Glamorganshire. Following his marriage to Lucy Payne their first son, Joseph Thomas was born on the 13 February 1859 and christened on 27/03/1859 at Pembrey, Carmarthern, Wales.


His second son John KIRBY was born on 8th January 1861 and christened 10th February 1861 Pembrey, Carmarthern, Wales. Their third son, William George was born on the 13th February 1863 at Bury Port and christened on 29th March 1863 at Pembrey, Carmarthen, Wales.


 In 1864 there is an entry in the baptism Records for Joseph Kirby living at Salop

Street Penarth.


Their fourth son Albert Edward was born on 15th October 1864 at Penarth, Salop Street, South Wales and christened on Christened 6/11/1864 Penarth, Wales.


A fifth son Alexander James was born on the 10th November 1866 and born in Winchester Buildings, Falmouth, Cornwall. The buildings are no longer there the site having been redeveloped (6/1998). However the name lives on. The site is North of the town centre and on an 1851 map (in Falmouth Library), the Coast Guard building is shown at the quay adjacent to the Winchester Buildings


Rose Emeline, their first daughter, was born in1869 in Falmouth however she died on 25th October 1869 in Berkley Place, Falmouth. Records show she is buried in Falmouth Cemetery near Swanpool. However no lair is recorded and no stone has been found.


In  1871 Joseph was Chief Boatman in Charge in the Coast Guard at St. Mawes in Cornwall. Frederick Richard was born on the 5th May 1871, their sixth son. On 5th January 1872 Rhoda Annie was born in St Mawes followed by Francis Henry, their last boy on the 9th July 1873.


Joseph then moved to Polkerris a small village on the opposite side of the estuary from Fowey. Here their last child Ada Lucy was born on the 1st September 1875.


Retiring in 1879, Joseph moved back to Moreton in Marsh as a Naval Pensioner. They lived next door to the Payne's, Lucy, his wifes family. Not all their children moved back with them. Joseph Thomas, John and William George. By 1881 the family were living at Landgate Lodge opposite Bakers Row, part of the Batsford Estate. Although Landgate Lodge was not owned by Joseph, he must have had a substantial pension and a good record to get possession of such a house. Lucy, his wife was a Nurse working at the cottage hospital at the end of the road. The two elder sons remaining at home were both at work and Albert Edward and Alexander James were both general domestic servants. In 1891 the family had a boarder, William Grafton a Butcher born in Chipping Norton. William would go on to marry Rhoda Annie, the eldest daughter on the 3rd of August. 1891. August was a traumatic month for the whole family. On the 6th of August Lucy Annie his grand daughter was born, daughter of Joseph Thomas and Beatrice (formerly Neal). However on the 11th August, 8 days later, his eldest son Joseph died in Moreton of Brights disease of Kidney and Uraemia exhaustion.


Joseph died before his wife on the 9th of April 1897 in Moreton of general paralysis aged 73. The death was reported by his son Albert on the 10th of April and he was buried in St Davids Churchyard, Moreton on the 13th ofApril.   



Thomas Kirby


Born in Moreton in Marsh around 1826/7 and christened on the 27th of January 1827, Thomas was their third child and second boy. Although little is known of his early life, by 1851 he was already 24 and working as a groom for George Moore and his family. Around 1851/2 he married Amelia Bayley, Milley who was from Alderminster. Their first child, a daughter, was born on the 7th of February 1853 and was named Sarah Ann.


Two further children followed, Rhoda Jane on the16th July 1854 and Thomas Joseph born on the 25th of October 1856. However Rhoda died on the 2nd April 1857 almost 3 years old. Their fourth child William James was born on the 1st of February 1859 however Thomas Joseph died on the 28th of November 1859.


In 1861 Thomas was still a Groom, and Sarah Ann aged 8, William  James being two years old. On the 1st of June 1862 Emily was born in Moreton, and the 3rd of June 1863, Miriam Bailey. Their last son Thomas was born on the 30th of July 1865 again in Moreton.


By 1871 Thomas and his wife were both aged 44 and he was still employed as a groom although he was now a gardener like his father. Thomas’s mother had died on the 14th of February 1866 and Joseph his father came to live with the family and by this date he was aged 74.


The family moved to Birmingham. Emily married William Brookes on the 29th of March 1880 and moved to their own home in Archibald Road, Hansworth.. There is evidence that this marriage may have had to have been brought forward a bit. By 1881 and living at 34 Crompton Road, Handsworth. Thomas now 54 was still a groom. Only William James and son Thomas were living at home, however the family had taken in a boarder, Matilda Dodson from Wiltshire. Miriam, or Minnie, was working for the Derrington family at the Manor House in Lyndon Green Road in Solihull as a general domestic servant.


On the 29th of July 1889  Miriam Bailey married Charles Thomas Pearce Kendrick in the Register Office, Lambeth in London.


On the 1st of October 1891, William James married Emily Mary Badsey from Hampton Bishop, Herefordshire.


The family moved to No 7 Victoria Grove Nursery Rd and by 1901 Thomas and Amelia were both 74. Only Thomas (Jnr) and William James were living at home. William James is shown as single so what happened to the marriage is unclear.


Thomas Kirby died on the 16th of February 1902 aged about 75 at 7 Victoria Grove. Amelia died aged 80 at Aston Manor, 23 Court 6 Alma Street, Aston.



James Kirby


Born in Moreton in Marsh, sometime around 1830, James is a bit more mysterious than his two other brothers. By 1851 he was a Groom and Horse Dealer lodging in Birmingham at 4, Browns Buildings, Bradford St, Birmingham with William Rabone and his family also a Groom and Horse Dealer. His age is shown as 27 in the census but I believe him to actually be 21.


On the 5th of October 1856 James married Mary Ann Willis from Barford at Saint Phillips Church, Birmingham, Warwickshire. She would have been 22 years of age, James being about 26. In 1861 they were living at 5 court 3 Bradford Street Birmingham. Mary Ann was a launderess but had no occupation in 1871. They had also moved to 3 house 5 Court , Bradford Street.


There is no evidence of them having any family. Mary Ann died in 1877.


James continued to live at Bradford Street and in 1881 aged 51 he was a Stallman and living at Court 545 Bradford Street. Two nieces were living with him. Jane Lee was his housekeeper and also Sarah Ann Lee was a Tailoress.


James died on the 10th of September 1883 aged 53 of Hepatitis. The death reported by Mary S Eglington present at the death in 2 Court Conybere Street,  Aston on the 11th of September 1883.


It is not clear at the moment who the Lee family were related too but currently it is suspected they are more direct relations to Mary Ann Willis than to James Kirby.

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