The Bettison Ancestors

The Bettisons

This page tells the story of the Bettison line of the family. If you want to see a detailed diagram of the Bettison ancestors, then click Bettison Tree. This will open in a new tab so that you can flip between this page and the diagram.

These are the ancestors on the maternal line of Grandad Dewis Wilson. The surname Bettison derives from ‘son of Beton’. Beton was a female name from which Beatrice was a later derivation. It is very unusual for a surname to be derived from a mother’s name. The geographical distribution of the name is also unusual as there are two main clusters. One is in the north midlands and the other is Devon and Cornwall, which must mean two separate origins.

The Bettisons in our family were in the north midlands cluster. They lived most of the time on the eastern border of Derbyshire in Pinxton, Alfreton and South Normanton before moving over the border to Huthwaite Nottinghamshire. The earliest reference I have found to the Bettison ancestors was in 1734, so the story starts from there.

William Bettison and Margaret

The earliest reference was when William and Margaret christened of their son William on 19 April 1734 in Pinxton. William died in Pinxton in 1781 aged 81 so he must have been born around 1700. I have no other information about either of them.

William Bettison and Rebecca Brown

William was the son of William and Margaret who was christened in Pinxton on 19 April 1734. He then married Rebecca Brown on 28 October 1765 in Crich Derbyshire. The entry for their marriage on the Crich website shows her coming from Chesterfield. I was able to find her christening in Chesterfield in 1747.

William had two nephews called Thomas and Francis. They became involved in something called the Pentrich Rising. I have written a separate section about this so you can find out more about Thomas and Francis on my Pentrich Rising page.

William died in Alfreton Derbyshire in 1805. Rebecca died in 1826.

William Bettison and Ann Tagg

William was a son of William and Rebecca and was christened in Alfreton in 1767. He then married Ann Tag in South Normanton Derbyshire on 19 February 1787. South Normanton was Ann’s parish as she was christened in South Normanton in 1769. William died in 1839 and Ann died in 1810.

William Bettison and Ann Hoole

William was a son of William and Ann and was christened in South Normanton in 1787. He then married Ann Hoole in Alfreton on 27 Mar 1815. Ann was christened in Alfreton in 1793. Ann’s father Edward Hoole was a tenant farmer. I have included some information about his farm at the bottom of this page.

William is the first of the Bettisons who was alive when the first census was taken. It showed that William had moved to Pentrich in Derbyshire which is about 3 miles south of Alfreton. This would have been after the Pentrich Rising. In the 1841 census, he is shown as a collier, but in the 1851 census he is shown as a coal agent. Coal agents would buy coal from the mines and sell it to customers. William died in Pentrich in 1865.

Ann Bettison

Ann was a daughter of William and Ann and was christened in Alfreton in 1821.

Ann gave birth to an illegitimate son Jonathan in 1842. However, in the 1851 census, Ann is not living with her son Jonathan, but instead, she was living with the family of a framework knitter in Sutton-in-Ashfield working as a seamer. Her son Jonathan was living with his aunt Gilly. We don’t know if Ann didn’t want her son, or was forced to give him up because she couldn’t afford to keep him, but Jonathan was definitely not brought up by his mother, but instead by his Aunt Gilley. There is no way of telling if Ann kept in touch with Jonathan after they were parted. Sadly, Ann died quite young at the age of 38 in 1859.

Jonathan Bettison and Lucy Herrod

Jonathan was the illegitimate son of Ann Bettison and was christened in Ripley in 1842. Ann was probably living with her parents at the time in Pentrich which comes under Ripley.

In the1851 census, Jonathan is living with Gilley Bettison, but the census record incorrectly says he is her son. Then in the 1861 census, Jonathan is still living with Gilley, she is now married and living in Huthwaite, but now he is correctly shown as her nephew.

Jonathan continued to live in Huthwaite where he became a miner and later married Lucy Herrod on 26 February 1866 in Sutton-in-Ashfield. Lucy’s father Sampson Herrod was a framework knitter who later became a coal miner. This is another example of people changing jobs because of the decline in framework knitting and the increase in coal mining. There is more information about coal mining and framework knitting on the Other page.

Sampson did get a mention in the local papers in 1839. This is the report.
On Monday at Hucknall-under-Huthwaite, a foot race came off between James Birks of Kirkby and Sampson Herod of Hucknall. Birks has been victorious in several previous contests and is considered a fast runner, but the strength of Sampson prevailed, and he distanced his opponent by six yards. The race drew a quantity of the good people of Sutton to witness it, it being feast time, and a good deal of money changed hands on the occasion.

Jonathan and Lucy had 12 children. Jonathan died in 1904 and Lucy died in 1896.

Harriet Bettison and Joseph Wilson

Harriett was a daughter of Jonathan Bettison and Lucy Herod. She married Joseph Wilson and I have covered their marriage on the Wilson page.

They are the parents of grandad Wilson so I have come to the end of the Bettison ancestors.

Harriet Bettison
Harriet Bettison


Pinxton, the home of the early Bettisons, was a small agricultural settlement for centuries with some small-scale coal mining. Things changed with the industrial revolution with a number of coal mines opening in the area. The mines were owned by the Coke family.

Perhaps the most unusual piece of Pinxton history is the Pinxton Porcelain Company. This was started by John Coke and William Billingsley in 1796 and only had a short lifespan closing in 1812. William Billingsley was a very talented porcelain painter and now any surviving Pinxton Porcelain is highly sought after.

Edward Hoole

Edward Hoole was the father of Ann Hoole who married William Bettison. Edward was a tenant farmer and the farm where he worked was called Outseats Farm on the east side of Alfreton. The farm is described in a sale in 1809 as follows.
‘114 acres with two convenient farm houses, a dovecot, well flocked, barns, stables and other outbuildings all in complete repair, several closes or parcels of rich arable and pasture land in the highest sate of cultivation, now in the occupation of Mr Wilson and Edward Hoole.’

The area where the farm was located was subject to an archaeological survey in 2017. Ceramics were found going back as far as the 13th century. It was probably originally part of the Carnfield estate as Carnfield Hall is nearby.

The location of the farm is shown on the right hand side of an Ordnance Survey map dating from 1900 below.

Alfreton map 1900