Search for Names
Last Name:
First Name:
Our Family Genealogy Pages


HomeHome    SearchSearch    PrintPrint    Login - User: anonymousLogin    Add BookmarkAdd Bookmark

Start Slide Show   

» Show All     «Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 19» Next»

Gee of Derbyshire

Mr. Henry7 Gee, born about 1550, lived in Middleton and later in nearby Wirksworth, both in Derbyshire. Mr. Henry7 owned properties in Wirksworth, Mapperley and Smalley, all in Derbyshire.

He identified himself as a yeoman. “Yeoman” was the next social rank below "Esquire", which at that time was the next below "Gentleman", which in turn was the next below "Knight". It denoted a man who owned property or a small landed estate, but not enough to be considered a manor.

Mr. Henry7 owned properties in Wirksworth, Mapperley and Smalley, all in Derbyshire. This explains his styling himself "Mr." Mr. Henry7 also owned mines in Wirksworth and nearby Bolehill. Bolehill at that time was the largest lead mine in England.

There is an interesting connection with Gee of Bishop Burton and Gee of Leeds. John Fearn, gent. lived in Wirksworth in the early 17C. Fearn was also involved in mining at Bolehill. At that time minerals and mines belonged to the sovereign, however there were “liberties” under private ownership. Many may have been owned by the abbeys and became available at the Dissolution. It is tempting to see this John as a son of Sir John Fearn, and that Sir John’s position gave him the opportunity to acquire this interest for himself and his descendants.

Given that Henry’s will makes him likely the grandson of Henry Gee, twice Mayor of Chester, it is tempting to see this connection with Sir William Gee, Sir John’s co-Secretary at the Council of the North, as proof of the connection between Gee of Rothley/Hull/Bishop Burton and Gee of Manchester/Chester. However given the genetic distance between the two, this appears more as an interesting coincidence. It does however add to the great many coincidences that seem to connect the two lines.

In his will, dated 1619, Mr. Henry7 requested that his body be buried in the parish church of Mouldsworth, in Cheshire. This ties him firmly to the line of Henry5 Gee d 1545, Sheriff and twice Mayor of Chester. Henry5 had owned The Peele, a manor house in Little Mouldsworth, today's Horton cum Peele. Henry7 must have spent time there as a child, perhaps even grew up there.

Mr. Henry7 was too young to have been the son of Henry5, he likely descended from Henry5's son Edmond6. If so, then his father's premature death of Sweating Sickness in 1551 may have meant that his memories of either his father or grandfather were few or none. The Peele would have been the home of his great aunt, Anne6, who had married the younger Henry Hardware, son of another Mayor of Chester and who became Mayor himself.

Even though his paternal grandmother Elizabeth had remarried after Henry5's death, she spent much of her time in Chester and possibly Mouldsworth as well. We know that Elizabeth chose to be buried in Chester in Holy Trinity, beside her first husband, Mr. Henry's grandfather. Edmond6 was also interred there. Mouldsworth must have held very happy memories for young Henry, his later years in the mine-scarred landscape around Wirksworth perhaps less so.

We know a few events from Mr. Henry7’s life. He reported for the muster of 1587/88, in preparation for an expected invasion by the Spanish Armada.

He armed himself with a corslet and bill. A corslet was a light half-armor made up of a collar called a gorget, plates covering the breast and back, overlapping plates covering the haunch called tassets, full arms and armored gloves called gauntlets. A bill was similar to a pike—an axe-blade at the end of a long wooden staff. A total of 400 Derbyshire men were mustered and trained in anticipation of eminent Spanish invasion. From the Wirksworth Hundred, 50 mustered at Middleton: 19 “shott” (men armed with pistols, muskets, and a lighter and shorter gun than the musket called a caliver), 10 archers, 10 armed with corslet and bill, and 11 armed with corslet and pike.

Upon his death he endowed £10 in perpetuity to charity, half for the school for boys in Wirksworth and half for the alms house there. An engraved plate has been found with the following acrostic recalling Mr. Henry:

In Memoriam Henrici GEE

H He Whose Good Guifts & Charitable Will
E Enricht The Poore Let Him Be Thought On Still
N New Benefactors Now Too Few Wee See,
R Remember Then The Old Old Henry GEE,
I In That He Added To The Schoole & Poore.
E Ech Yeare Ten Pound Forever To Endure.

G Geve Due Remembrance For His Kind Addicon
E Els Twere Ingratitude And Foule Omission:
E Enrold His Will Ith Arches may Be Seen
Proud Anno Sixteene Hundreth & xix
+ Which Here As He Desird Declard Ye See,
Lest It In Future Should Forgoten Be.

Appropriately enough this was engraved in lead, about 8 or 9 inches square, perhaps lead from Mr. Henry7's own mines. His bequests to the school and alms house reflect, on a lesser scale, similar charitable bequests in the wills of his grandfather and uncle.

His will refers to his first wife having been buried in Mouldsworth and requests that he be buried there as well. His bequests were to the school and alms house in Mouldsworth, not those in Wirksworth or Middleton. And funding for the bequests was to come from income from his properties in Mouldsworth, not from his mining interests in Derbyshire.

Mr. Henry7 had a son, Henry8, born around 1590. This is likely the Henry Gee who surveyed Green Fairfield in 1626.
The John Fearn mentioned above leased some of his estate at Hopton to John Gell. Henry Gee’s survey of Green Fairfield is included in the papers of the Gell family of Hopton.
Henry8 married Ann Gratton in Wirksworth in 1617. They had a son, yet another Henry so Henry9, in 1621.

Mr. Henry of Wirksworth—first Virginia Gee?
We will learn later that Sir William7 Gee of Bishop Burton was an investor in the Virginia Company (that is, the London Company, there was also a Plymouth Company). Sir John Zouch was also an investor in the London Company, their names appear in the same fairly short list of investors. Codnor Castle, ancestral seat of Sir John, was just a few miles from Wirksworth.

Sir John attempted to restart the first ironworks in America, which had operated earlier on the James River in Virginia at Falling Creek. This was by far the largest single investment of the Virginia Company, around £5000, an immense sum at that time. Sir John sold Codnor Castle in 1633 to raise funds for this effort to restart that ironworks.

Very interestingly, lead was also being smelted at Falling Creek. Codnor Castle was only ten miles from Wirksworth. Was Sir John responsible for convincing Henry8 Gee, his near neighbor with his holdings in England's largest lead mine, to sending his son Henry9 along?

Henry9 Gee, grandson of Mr. Henry7, may have come to Virginia around 1636 to help Zouch reestablish lead mining on the James River. This was on the site of the first ironworks in the New World, at Falling Creek, which had previously been run by the London Company. That fits nicely with ownership of property in the tidelands of the James River, which were settled very early. More on this in a discussion of Gee in early Virginia.

Place  Wirksworth 
Latitude  53.082819 
Longitude  -1.570677 
File name  Bole Hill, Wirksworth.jpg 
File Size  226.93k 
ID  77 
Dimensions  354 x 500 

» Show All     «Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ... 19» Next»


This site powered by The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding, Copyright © 2001-2008, created by Darrin Lythgoe, Sandy, Utah. All rights reserved.