James Wigley is my 4x great grandfather. Here is his profile page on my tree James Wigley. There are some family stories about James and some mysteries so I’m researching these to ascertain fact from fiction.
James was born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, UK to Obadiah and Mary Wigley (nee Wheatcroft) on 12 March 1807.
James’ first wife was either Jane Brock or Jane Carousa. They were married in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. On their son Charles Robert Wigley’s death record it lists his mother as Jane Brock but the only marriage of a James Wigley in Nottinghamshire at the right time is one to a Jane Carousa. So I’ve emailed the Nottinghamshire archives and will be sending off for the parish register entry to see if this can shed any light on Jane’s surname. If this doesn’t help then I’ll get a copy of the marriage license. I got an email back from the Nottinghamshire Archives and as they don’t have a payment method I can use I’ve contacted a research agent instead.
James and Jane had five children Ellen, Mary, Eliza, Charles and Grace. In 1843 Jane and two of the children, Eliza and Grace, died in a house fire in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, UK. I just recently found out that Mary didn’t die in the fire. I will need to find death records to confirm if Eliza and Grace died then too.
I’ve been told that James stole the plans to a lace making machine and went to France and sold them there. I don’t know that this story can ever be verified though. It just may not be possible.
In July 1848 James married Maria Lihou nee Bray and in 1849 he took the family to South Australia. James and Maria, Maria’s daughter Sarah Lihou and Ellen and Charles. There they lived in Burra for a time before moving to Victoria.
James’ son Charles Robert Wigley who I’ve mentioned above is said to have gone to boarding school in France and that he forgot how to speak English. Apparently there was a sign on his house in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia which said, “French spoken”.
I’ll keep adding updates as I find out more.