John Kirby, born about 1814 in North Benfleet, Essex

For related information see List, Place Index and Wills Index


Yet to be summarised.

Parents and family


Census records suggest that John was born in North Benfleet, Essex, in about 1815.  

He appears to have been Christened at North Benfleet on 29 Oct 1814, as John son of John and Elizabeth KIRBY

Childhood and education

On 12 Dec 1811 one John KIRBY married Elizabeth LEE in North Benfleet, Essex. On 1 Dec 1816, his father re-married Sarah WOLF in South Ockendon, Essex. It therefore appears that John lost his mother in the first years of his life.


I have as yet been unable to find John on the 1841 Census.

Marriage to Susan Sullings

On 25 Sep 1842 John married Susan SULLINGE from Rochford at Downham, Essex. The marriage registration (1842 Sep Quarter, Billericay, 12, 7) gives the following details -
Groom: John KIRBY, full age, Bachelor, Labourer of Downham, son of John KIRBY, Labourer, Bride: Susan SULLINGE, full age, spinster, of Downham, daughter of Thomas SULLINGE, Sawer.
Witnesses were John MARSHALL and Ann MARSHALL, both made their mark. John KIRBY made his mark but Susan signed for herself.

Years on the move

In about 1843 his son Thomas W. KIRBY was born in Runwell, Essex. Runwell was about 3 Km SW of Downham, Essex. 

In about 1845 his son Charles KIRBY was born in Wickford, Essex. Wickford was about 1 Km SW or Runwell, Essex.

In about 1849 his son Samuel John KIRBY was born in North Benfleet, Essex

In about 1850 his son William KIRBY was born in South Ockendon, Essex

On the 1851 Census he is listed at Hall Cottage, North Benfleet, Essex. The family comprised:
In about 1852 his daughter Mary Anne KIRBY was born in North Benfleet, Essex

On 7 April 1854 his daughter Eliza Elinor KIRBY was born in South Ockendon, Essex. Her birth certificate, registered 17 May 1854 in Orsett Grays, gives the following details - Name Eliza Elinor, Father John Kirby - Occupation Husband Man, Mother Susan Kirby formerly SULLINGS. Informed by Susan KIRBY, Mother, South Ockendon. Eliza later married Nathaniel GURNETT (14 Sep 1878, South Ockendon), a son from a neighbouring family.

On 2 Feb1857, his son Edwin Henry KIRBY was born. His birth certificate give the following details: Edwin Henry, Boy, father John KIRBY, Agricultural Labourer, mother Susannah KIRBY, formerly SULLINGS. Reported by father John KIRBY of South Ockendon, registered 10 March 1857 in Orsett Grays.

On 9 May 1857 John KIRBY may have been one of the witnesses on the marriage of his wife's sister Martha in [unknown location] Essex. The details were
Groom: Henry LEWIS, son of William LEWIS (Labourer), age 24, batchelor of South Ockendon.
Bride: Martha SULLINGS, daughter of Thomas Sullings (Dead), age 21, spinster of South Ockendon.
In the presence of John CURBY, Sarah LEWIS, Sarah SULLINGS.

On the 1861 Census he is listed in South Ockendon, Essex at unit 51, the previous unit with a name against it being unit 41 ('The Prince of Wales Inn', presumably the one still in West Road, South Ockendon, RM15 6PA, i.e. near the old centre of South Ockendon).
The family comprised:
On 16 Mar 1862 his son Frederick John KIRBY was born. The details of the birth registration are - Frederick John, Boy, Mother Susan KIRBY formerly SULLINGE, Father Farm Labourer, John KIRBY of South Ockendon (left his mark), registered 26 April 1862 in Orsett, Grays.

On the 1871 Census he is at 7 Romford Road, South Ockendon, Essex.
Living next door at 6 Romford Road was the family of his wife's brother-in-law Henry LEWIS (widower of her sister Martha).
Romford Road was not in South Ockendon, but in nearby Aveley, Essex, perhaps 'South Ockendon' sounded more up-market. It lay just next door (to the east) of the pit where the famous ‘Aveley Elephants’ were to be found in 1964 (I used to collect fossils from this clay pit, never realising how close to my family roots I was). The old houses have all gone now, replaced by a 20th C estate or consumed in the expansion of the pit.

On 8 Aug 1876 his son, Samuel John KIRBY, married at which time John KIRBY gave his occupation as 'Farmer'.

On 8 Aug 1876 his son, Samuel John KIRBY, married.

Last Will and Testament



Exact date unknown but it was within days of the marriage of his son Samuel John Kirby. The marriage record of his daughter Eliza Eleanor KIRBY confirms that he was dead by 14 Sep 1878. His wife survived him and her story is continued in the biography of Susan SULLINGS. His death registration would appear to be that of John KIRBY, aged 60, i.e. born about 1816, and registered in the Sep Quarter of 1876 in the Orsett, Essex, registration area (Vol 4a, pg 114)


15 Aug 1876, at South Ockendon, Essex. 

Descendants and notable relations

See descendants section for his wife Susan.

Any transcripts and images on this page are Copyright R I Kirby 2005 unless stated otherwise.