Saturday, January 14, 2017

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS–Week #2–Thomas Gillespie–My 3rd Great Grandfather-1794-1868

I’ll start this post off by saying that I have limited information about the life of my 3rd great grandfather, Thomas Gillespie.  Here’s what I do know.

Thomas was born about 1794 in Stenton, Derbyshire, England possibly to Robert Gillespie and Elizabeth (maiden name not known).  My source for the parent’s is information I received from another researcher.  I have not been able to verify the information, yet.

Thomas married Susannah BARROWCLIFF in 1815 in Wilne, Derbyshire, England.  Here is the only image for that marriage that I currently have, from Pallots Marriage Index 1780-1837, found on

GILLESPIE_Thomas & BARROWCLIFF_Susannah_Pallots marriage index for England

Here is a map of the area where Derbyshire is located in England.  Also on this map is the location of Devonshire, where this family moves to after the birth of their son, John in 1821 and before the birth of twins, Joseph and Robert in 1825.

map of england_annot

I have located baptismal records for some of the children.  The children I have so far, for this couple are:

David, baptized 12 Jan 1817 in Derbyshire, died in 1866 in Tiverton, Devonshire
John, baptized 14 Feb 1819 in Derbyshire
William, baptized 29 Apr 1821 in Derbyshire
Twins, Joseph and Robert, born 23 Oct 1825 in Devonshire (I believe they may have died young and two other children were later named after them)
Robert, born about 1828 married Elizabeth COSWAY in 1849
Mary A. baptized 13 Sep 1829 in Devonshire
Thomas, born about 1832 in Devonshire, married Sophia CARPTENTER
Richard born about 1836 in Devonshire, married Eliza Jane PATTERSON in 1854
Joseph (my 2nd great grandfather), born 11 Apr 1837 in Devonshire, married Susan BURGESS on 24 Dec 1859 in Tiverton, Devon, England and immigrated to the United States in 23 Dec 1862 with his wife and their oldest child, also named Susan.

That’s 9 boys and 1 girl.  According to a letter written to me, by my grandmother, Florence Bowden Milne (who was the family historian before me), there were 12 boys and 1 girl born to this couple.  I’m still looking for 3 more boys.

I’ve located Thomas and Susannah and their family in the 1841 and 1851 English census records.  They were living in Tiverton, Devon at the time.  I have not been able to locate this family in the 1861 English census.
Here is the 1841 census.  This shows Thomas and Susannah with their children, William, Mary, Robert, Thomas, Richard and Joseph.  Thomas is working in the Lace industry, which fits with other records I have for him.

1841_GILLESPIE_Thomas and family_1841 Tiverton_Devon_England_annot

Here’s a close up of the family.

1841_GILLESPIE_Thomas and family_1841 Tiverton_Devon_England_annot - Copy

Here’s the family in the 1851 census. 

1851 EnglandCensus-Burgess-Gillespie_annot 
NOTE:  Living next door are Henry Burgess and his family.  Among the children in the Burgess household is a daughter named Susan.  She married Joseph Gillespie on 24 Dec 1859 and became my 2nd great grandmother.
Also of note in this census is a granddaughter named Mary A., age 8.  This would put her birth about 1843.  My original thought was that she was the daughter of Mary Ann Gillespie.  However, Mary Ann would have been 14 at the time of the birth.  Certainly not impossible.  I don’t have a husband for Mary Ann Gillespie, nor have I found other records for her.  So is Mary A. the 8 yr. old hers?  Or is she the daughter of one of the brothers and just named after Mary Ann?

The only other record I have for Thomas is a death record.  He died 16 Jan 1868, age 74 years.  His occupation is listed as Foreman of Silk department, Lace Manufactory.  He died of Bronchitis.  I obtained this record by sending a request to the General Register Office.

GILLESPIE_Thomas_1868_death cert_England

I have located no records for the death of Thomas’ wife, Susannah.  I also have no burial location for Thomas.  I’ve always wished the UK death records list the burial locations, as do many of the U.S. records.

I would certainly love to hear from any of you that may be related to either the Gillespie or the Burgess families.  With all those sons, there have to be many descendants.


AMANUENSIS MONDAY - My grandmother's journal with info & photos of Susan Burgess

AMANUENSIS MONDAY - With info & photos of Joseph Gillespie

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2017   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Hi Diane, I sent you some info regarding the Gillespie family by email. I am not related in anyway, but thought you may find it of interest. Regards, Robyn

    1. Robyn - I received everything and cannot thank you enough. Most especially for the death index record of Susannah Barrowcliff Gillespie. I have sent my request to the GRO for the actual death record.
      Thanks so much!

  2. Nice summary of the "limited information" you have on the family. Hope you make contact with descendants of some of the children. Congrats on the RAOGK. Looking forward to the update post. ~ Cathy

    1. Cathy - Thanks. One of the records that Robyn (RAOGK) shared with me was a death index for Thomas' wife Susannah. I believe it to be correct and have ordered the actual record from GRO. I'm so hoping it will contain her parents names. I know the Scottish records have parents names, but the English records, sometimes just the father. Here's hoping.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.