Solving a Derbyshire Babbs Mystery

I was contacted on LinkedIn in by a member of a Babbs (Plural) Family who couldn’t get any further back in her tree than a John Babbs (born 1816) and she was looking in the Yorkshire or Liverpool (Lancaster County) areas. She was looking to find out more about John’s ancestry and find out which of my book series he was covered in.

Liverpool is best known as the place where The Beatles got their start.

I did a quick search and couldn’t come up with anyone in the Master Tree that fit the bill of John or his descendants. So, I embarked on a search to find out the true story. I first located the nearest deceased Babbs relative in their line and worked backwards in time making sure to prove every generation as I went. The process started to unfold and revealed something I never expected about the Babb(s) family.

The reason she wasn’t able to find anything further back than John is that he was born under the surname Bibbs. His son Henry started going by Babbs at some point during his life and that was throwing her searches off.

Once I made this discovery I was able to take her line back a total of 13 generations to 1608 before the trail went cold. Along the way the name changed a bunch of times and included the variations Bib, Bibb, Bibbe and Bibbs. Thankfully we have a process for finding those records these days. 

It was true that the most recent generations were located in and about the Yorkshire and Liverpool area, but several generations back they were located in Sheffield.

Sheffield is best known as the home of Sheffield Silver Company who created a layered combination of silver and copper that was used for many years to produce a wide range of household articles. Almost every article made in sterling silver was also crafted by Sheffield makers, who used this manufacturing process to produce nearly identical wares at far less cost.

The Candelabra at my home is made by Sheffield and one of my prized finds from more than a 1/4 Century ago.

As we moved back in time I found that they traversed the county line and originated in the town of Dronfield which is just a couple of Kilometers away. The family has a very long history in Dronfield and goes back to 1608 where the record finally runs dry.

I’ve attached what I call a Starter Tree. It pretty much only contains info from the Census, Baptism and Marriage records, but outlines this brand new tree for the first time.

Please welcome the Babbs of Dronfield, Derbyshire, England as the newest members of our collective tree!

Oh and about that Beetles connnection, it is still in doubt, but as far back as this family goes in the area we could easily find John, Paul, George or Ringo if we spent a hard days night looking!

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