Thomas Varley

 
 

THOMAS VARLEY


b. 1810 or 1811 ?

d. 1867 ?


The Genealogical Puzzle


Born in 1810 or 1811, the probable son of William Varley and Katherine Limb. The father of William Varley, Sr. and the great grandfather of Charles Raymond Varley.


His life was and remains a puzzle. Who was he? When and where was he born? Who, really, were his parents? Did he leave the church? Why didn't he come to Utah with his wife and son? Did he die in Chesterfield, Derbyshire on May 9, 1867?


In January, 1985 I started a search in the church's genealogical library, and what follows is what I found and didn't find.



By C. Ray Varley, July, 1993



The concern was to find out more about Thomas Varley who was born in 1810 or 1811 and to find out just for sure who his parents were,


what happened to him and his family and when he died.


All research was conducted in the LDS Church's Family History Library.


I searched both the PATRON and ARCHIVE family group sheet files and found two on Thomas and Marie Slater as husband and wife. Both sheets were quite complete, differing mainly in the recorded birth and christening dates of Thomas. one showed him christened on May 8, 1810 in Eastwood, Notts County. The other showed him born on April 21, 1811 at Wingfield, Derby County. Both sheets showed them as having four children, including my grandfather, William Varley as being born June 11, 1837. Listed parents of Thomas were William and Katherine Limb. Parents of Marie were listed as William Slater as father and Ann Brown as mother.


I had been corresponding with a Betty Greenhalgh of Newcastle, England and who had provided me with a large amount of Varley family information of the family which were located near and in Eastwood, Notts. Her information also showed the conflicting birth and confirmation dates of Thomas.


I searched all family diaries and or journals in the Church History Library to see if there was anything about the Thomas Varley in question. The only written material that they had were the nine journals of William Varley, Jr, my dad's older brother. They contained nothing about his grandfather, Thomas.


I searched the INTERNATIONAL GENEALOGICAL INDEX (IGI) and found the following:


A. For NOTTINGHAM COUNTY:


1. A William Varley married Catherine Limb on October 8, 1809 at Eastwood.


2. Thomas, son of William Varley and Katherine, christened May 8, 1810 at Eastwood.


3. Thomas married Maria (sometimes spelled Mariah) Slater on September 8, 1832 at Selston.


4. Birth records were recorded for the four children of Thomas and Maria: Catherine, Martha Ann, William and Abraham.


B. For DERBY COUNTY:


1. Thomas, son of William Varley and Catherine Limb born on April 21, 1811 at Wingfield.


2. A Thomas Varley (no parents listed) as being born on April 21, 1811 at North Wingfield.


3. Catherine and Martha, daughters of Thomas Varley and Maria were christened on March 12, 1835 at Ilkeston Wesleyan


Methodist Church.


I checked for ORIGINAL SOURCES on these above records, so as to verify, and I found:


From LDS Film Area #1126257, batch # 7808134, Sheet # 97: The source was Franklin M. Varley, grandson of Thomas and Maria and was on temple work cards submitted by Clara Poulson, 1452 Binford St., Ogden, Utah, 84401


From LDS film # 087000 (The membership records of the Grassmoor Branch [Grassmoor is about 3 miles south of Chesterfield and near North Wingfield] from 1849 to 1857) that Thomas Varley was an Elder; baptized LDS on August 8, 1950 by Elder Joseph Cutts and listed his birth date at April 21, 1811 at North Wingfield and as living at Clay Cross. This film also stated that Thomas was blessing people as late as 1855 (April) and listed the baptismal dates for Mariah and their four children.


I found a Thomas Varley and his wife Ann, who were in the Rotherham and later the Doncaster Branches of the LDS church. I concluded that they were not of my family.


I checked for any LDS records at Eastwood. LDS Area Film #086996 was there but the film is either burned or mildewed over much of the 1847-1901 period, so I couldn't find anything there.


LDS film # 086991 for the Chesterfield Branch contained Maria's records as they were received from the Grassmoor Branch. But there were no records of Thomas. It also listed children William and Abraham and noted Maria's and William’s Immigration Certificates. This was close to 1860. LDS records indicate that Thomas' birth date was April' 21, 1811. It was interesting to note that the records of this Branch of the church recorded that Maria's youngest son, Abraham, who would have been about 19 or 20 years old, was "cut off" (from membership) during the Chesterfield Branch Conference which was held on September 18,1860. No reason was given for this action.


I checked LDS church records in: Greasley, Selston, South Wingfield, North Wingfield, Wingfield and the Heanor Branch (film # 087002) and found no Varleys.


I then checked with the British Area Record section for original records: Film # 883649, the Eastwood records of 1750-1859 show Thomas, son of William and Katherine was christened on May 8, 1810, a parish record. Film # 1041630 are the South Wingfield records of 1765-1812. They show no Varleys for the years 1810 or 1811 under baptism, christenings or even deaths. I had begun to believe that a Thomas was born in 1810, died and another son also named Thomas was born in 1811 in North or South Wingfield.


Another film, #428941 of the South Wingfield area births, marriages and burials for the period 1661-1810 had no information for me. (1811 was missing) Film # 0498127 for this area for the 1813-1824


period had no information. Film # 1041094 , the North Wingfield The concern was to find out more about Thomas Varley who was born in 1810 or 1811 and to find out just for sure who his parents were,


what happened to him and his family and when he died. -


All research was conducted in the LDS Church's Family History Library.


I searched both the PATRON and ARCHIVE family group sheet files and found two on Thomas and Marie Slater as husband and wife. Both sheets were quite complete, differing mainly in the recorded birth and christening dates of Thomas. one showed him christened on May 8, 1810 in Eastwood, Notts County. The other showed him born on April 21, 1811 at Wingfield, Derby County. Both sheets showed them as having four children, including my grandfather, William Varley as being born June 11, 1837. Listed parents of Thomas were William and Katherine Limb. Parents of Marie were listed as William Slater as father and Ann Brown as mother.


I had been corresponding with a Betty Greenhalgh of Newcastle, England and who had provided me with a large amount of Varley family information of the family which were located near and in Eastwood, Notts. Her information also showed the conflicting birth and confirmation dates of Thomas.


I searched all family diaries and or journals in the Church History Library to see if there was anything about the Thomas Varley in question. The only written material that they had were the nine journals of William Varley, Jr, my dad's older brother. They contained nothing about his grandfather, Thomas.


I searched the INTERNATIONAL GENEALOGICAL INDEX (IGI) and found the following:


A. For NOTTINGHAM COUNTY:


1. A William Varley married Catherine Limb on October 8, 1809 at Eastwood.


2. Thomas, son of William Varley and Katherine, christened May 8, 1810 at Eastwood.


3. Thomas married Maria (sometimes spelled Mariah) Slater on September 8, 1832 at Selston.


4. Birth records were recorded for the four children of Thomas and Maria: Catherine, Martha Ann, William and Abraham.


B. For DERBY COUNTY:


1. Thomas, son of William Varley and Catherine Limb born on April 21, 1811 at Wingfield.


2. A Thomas Varley (no parents listed) as being born on April 21, 1811 at North Wingfield.


3. Catherine and Martha, daughters of Thomas Varley and Maria were christened on March 12, 1835 at Ilkeston Wesleyan


Methodist Church.


I checked for ORIGINAL SOURCES on these above records, so as to 2


verify, and I found:


From LDS Film Area #1126257, batch # 7808134, Sheet 97: The source was Franklin M. Varley, grandson of Thomas and Maria and was on temple work cards submitted by Clara Poulson, 1452 Binford St., Ogden, Utah, 84401


From LDS film # 087000 (The membership records of the Grassmoor Branch [Grassmoor is about 3 miles south of Chesterfield and near North Wingfield] from 1849 to 1857) that Thomas Varley was an Elder; baptized LDS on August 8, 1950 by Elder Joseph Cutts and listed his birth date at April 21, 1811 at North Wingfield and as living at Clay Cross. This film also stated that Thomas was blessing people as late as 1855 (April) and listed the baptismal dates for Mariah and their four children.


I found a Thomas Varley and his wife Ann, who were in the Rotherham and later the Doncaster Branches of the LDS church. I concluded that they were not of my family.


I checked for any LDS records at Eastwood. LDS Area Film #086996 was there but the film is either burned or mildewed over much of the 1847-1901 period, so I couldn't find anything there.


LDS film # 086991 for the Chesterfield Branch contained Maria's records as they were received from the Grassmoor Branch. But there were no records of Thomas. It also listed children William and Abraham and noted Maria's and Williams Immigration Certificates. This was close to 1860. LDS records indicate that Thomas' birth date was April' 21, 1811. It was interesting to note that the records of this Branch of the church recorded that Maria's youngest son, Abraham, who would have been about 19 or 20 years old, was "cut off" (from membership) during the Chesterfield Branch Conference which was held on September 18,1860. No reason was given for this action.


I checked LDS church records in: Greasley, Selston, South Wingfield, North Wingfield, Wingfield and the Heanor Branch (film # 087002) and found no Varleys.


I then checked with the British Area Record section for original records: Film # 883649, the Eastwood records of 1750-1859 show Thomas, son of William and Katherine was christened on May 8, 1810, a parish record. Film 1041630 are the South Wingfield records of 1765-1812. They show no Varleys for the years 1810 or 1811 under baptism, christenings or even deaths. I had begun to believe that a Thomas was born in 1810, died and another son also named Thomas was born in 1811 in North or South Wingfield.


Another film, #428941 of the South Wingfield area births, marriages and burials for the period 1661-1810 had no information for me. (1811 was missing) Film # 0498127 for this area for the 1813-1824


period had no information. Film # 1041094 , the North Wingfield


| Parish and Vital records had no Thomas Varley in 1810-1811.


If a Thomas Varley was born in Eastwood, then died there and the second Thomas was christened in Wingfield, there would be a death record of this. A search of all death records in that area for that period revealed no baby Varley deaths.


Parish records, film # 503489 of Eastwood listed the October 8, 1809 marriage of William Varley and Katherine Limb, performed by a "Barnes." This was also shown on the Nottinghamshire film # 481067.


The 1841 Census listed as living on Mansfield Road in N. Brinsley: Thomas Varley, age 30 (census ages were rounded downward), a coal miner (said yes, he had been born in the same Parish; Eastwood, Notts.); His wife, Maria, age 25; daughters Catherine, 8, Martha, 6; and sons William, 4; and Abraham, 2. This was found in film # 438904. There were several Varleys listed; most of them were coal miners and there were lots of Limbs listed.


The 1851 Census of North Wingfield (film # 087780) listed as living at # 10 Speedwell Road: Thomas Varley, age 41, coal miner, born in Notts (name of town was illegible); Maria, wife, age 38; Martha, daughter, age 15; William, son, age 14, coal miner; Abraham, son, age 11, scholar (student). Wife and children all listed as having been born in New Brinsley, Notts.


The 1861 Census of that area (Greasley, Eastwood, Selston, Kirkby in Ashfield) listed many Varleys but no Thomas or William (Thomas' father) Varleys.


The 1851 census of Old Brinsley and other areas, Film 087755, shows no Thomas nor William Varley families.


I checked the census records of other communities in Derby County (Heanor and South and North Wingfield) and found no Thomas and Maria Varleys listed. I did this to see if there were two Varley families whose head was born in Wingfield and grew up there.


In my search for Thomas, I decided to look at death/will records to see if I could locate him. On one of the Thomas Varley/Maria Slater family group sheets, I found the notation under deaths for Thomas: "about 1864." I checked all the wills and testaments for all cases in England from 1861 to and including 1867. All six films showed no Thomas Varley, so if he died within that period he left no will nor did he have enough wealth to have the courts administer his estate.


I checked through all deaths in England and Wales during the 18601866 period. There were twenty nine Thomas Varleys noted as dying during that time. The place of death is listed only and after 1865. Age at death is given. Most seemed to be from areas where he might have been (within 100 miles from place of birth). Most of this would be the area North and West of Eastwood. The only way to see if any of the 29 was "my" Thomas would be to send to England requesting the "full file," which I decided not to do.


In the IGI file I found a Thomas Varley, christened on April 21, 1811 at the Manchester Cathedral, Lancashire County, which is North-West of Derby/Knotts. He was the son of a Robert and Martha Varley--not my Thomas.


The earlier mentioned Betty Greenhalgh, who is a very distant relative of mine, and one I discovered through a Varley I ran into in British Columbia, suggested that Thomas could be the youngest son of a William Varley and a Katherine Massey, who were married on March 21, 1784 at Greasley, Notts. She would have been 42 or so years old when Thomas was born, a most unlikely situation.


I traced down all persons who's names were listed in the Genealogical Library as being interested in this VARLEY line. I wrote the few who were listed, seeking information. A few replies were received, but no new information was forthcoming.


Perhaps Thomas's wife, Maria knew and recorded something about her Thomas and same has been lost, or perhaps she chose not to say anything about him. My father Thomas, his namesake, may have known something about his grandfather, but he never told me nor did he, to my knowledge, record any information about Thomas that I am aware of. Maria apparently had three husbands after she came to Utah: Clarence Richard Jackson; John Parkin; and William Chunn. She was buried at the Callsfort Cemetery, Honeyvllle, Box Elder County, Utah after her death at age 84 in 1898. The name over her grave is clearly marked in big letters: VARLEY. I have visited her grave site and wished, as I stood there, that I could have but a half-hour of time with her so that I could receive some answers about her husband Thomas and his parents.


MY CONCLUSIONS: THOMAS VARLEY was born sometime in early May, 1810 at Eastwood, Notts County, England. He was christened on May 8, 1810. He was the only child of William Varley and Katherine Limb. On April 21, 1811 his parents took him to South Wingfield to be christened in another church. He grew up in Eastwood and by age 14 had become a coal miner. He married Maria (or Mariah) Slater on September 24, 1832 at Selston. In 1841 he was still living in the Eastwood area. He later moved north to the North Wingfield area, where he become acquainted with the LDS Church. He was baptized LDS on August 8, 1850. Church records show that he was ordained an Elder by 1851. At this time he was still living in North Wingfield with his wife and three of his children: Martha Ann, William and Abraham. The oldest child, Catherine, who would have been 18 years old by this time was not living with her parents. He was still a coal miner in 1855. By 1861 his wife Maria had moved to Chesterfield with her two sons, William and Abraham. Why her husband and two daughters did not come with her to Chesterfield is an unknown. In 1861 she and her son William, along with William's wife Ellen MacDuff applied for a Church Emigration Certificate and came to Utah, arriving in the Salt Lake Valley in the fall of 1861. Her son Abraham had been "cut off" from the church. The big question is: what happened to Thomas? and even more puzzling is: what about his parents?


A check of the church's Family Ancestral file 4.11 on 23 July, 1993, revealed that Thomas Varley, (code AFN:lCKP-B5) was indeed born on May 8, 1810 at Eastwood, and that he died on May 9, 1867 in Chesterfield, Derbyshire. I'm not sure of the "root" source of this information. This record also indicates that he was Christened on the same day of his birth, and that his parents were William Varley (code AFN:37FR-L6) and Catherine Limb (code AFN:37FR-MC). This file has little to add about Thomas' father, William, except to note that he was born in [ 1788 ].


THOMAS' PARENTS: Records show that a William Varley born in 1788 ? and Katherine Limb were married on October 8, 1809 at Eastwood, Notts. (British Parish records, film # 503489 and also film # 481067) They had a son whom they named Thomas and who was christened on May 8, 1810. Evidently Thomas was the only surviving son of this marriage. Katherine (sometimes spelled with a C), died shortly after Thomas' birth and was buried at Eastwood on November 1, 1810. William remarried on April 3, 1814 to Ann Limb, who could have been Katherine's sister. This marriage resulted in their having seven children, all born in Eastwood or Selston. It is interesting to note that many of the names given to these 7 children were names that were used by the VARLEY family some two and three generations later: Catherine, William, Eliza, Samuel, John and Thomas.


The above conclusions about Thomas and his father William are based on genealogical material available in the church's Genealogical Library. Tracing the VARLEY line back any further than Thomas and his father William appears to be difficult, if not impossible.


FOR FUTURE RESEARCHERS: The Church Genealogy (Family History) Library has what is called the I.G.I. file (International Genealogical Index). The information therein should be taken lightly, or to be only as good as its listed source. Some of the listed names came from Church members which are, apparently, the "iffy" entries. Others came directly from marriage, census, confirmations, christenings, parish and other, generally reliable sources. I have always assumed that LDS Temple work could be done for persons whose names had been tied to family group sheets, or confirmed by pedigree charts. Apparently this is not the case for most of the names on the IGI file have had their "work" done for them. Temple work for thousands of VARLEYS, located in various counties in England has been done, some as late as 1981, that in no way are tied to any line as near as I could tell.