The Imperial Gazetter of England and Wales lists Hathersage, Derby as a village and township in Bakewell District  (Norine Fox, Rita and Russ Felt in 1990 met the sexton of the Hathersage Parish Church, his name was Mr. Bakewell from Bakewell). A small part of the Hathersage Parish is also in Chapel en Frith District.  The village stands in the midst of a mountainous tract three miles from the Yorkshire border.  The population in 1851 was 882 persons with houses.  However, there are numerous cottages in the surrounding countryside.  The countryside is called Hathersage Outseats.  Some of these areas are named: Callow, Bamford, Thorp, The Hill or Hilltop, Neitherhirst, Hazleford, Upperhurst, Highlow and Birley, etc.


The Parish Chapel is in Hathersage with a chaplery at Derwent.  Most of the people of the area came to Hathersage Church to have christenings and marriages and burials were performed there.  However, some in the area would go to the nearby parishes of Hope or Eyam for their ordinances.


The area was predominant for centuries as an agriculture area.  However, there was a nearby lead mine and also a grindstone quarry.  In the latter part of the 18th and into the 19th centuries, manufacturing was introduced in the form of wire drawing, the making of umbrella frames, and needle making.  Many person became adept at small enterprises that were mostly located within their homes.(Norine Fox, Rita and Russ Felt observed in 1990 many grindstone along the fence lines and were told that tupence a day was a salary for working on the grindstones)


One other thing interesting about the Hathersage area is the abounding tales of the legendary Robin Hood.  Sherwood Forest is not far distant and it is said that Little John, Robin’s companion, was buried in the Hathersage Churchyard.  Two upright stones mark his gravesite (Norine Fox, Rita and Russ Felt, in 1990, saw the headstone for Little John in the churchyard.  A note of interest were the number of headstones in that graveyard with the name FOX on them).


Hathersage was the birthplace of I.Wilson Fox, an emigrant to American (and Utah) in 1860.  His ancestory is in Hathersage area, particularly in the Hilltop or The Hill part of Hathersage Outseats. (Rita and Russ Felt have two of I.W. Fox’s trunks used in their immigration, one is clearly marked I.W. Fox and in the lid is penciled that it was made in Leeds, Yorkshire, England in 1860)













The Hill or Hilltop was high rise or ground on the outskirts of Hathersage village.  The top of which was arable land.  It was divided among a number of tenents.  The Hill was on a road which proceeded up the Derwent Valley and connected to the road to Sheffield.  At the bottom of the Hill or Hillfoot were several cottages where travelers could rest their horses and pause for refreshments.  A lane proceeded up the Hill to the top where there were more cottages.  The tenents therein were mostly engaged in agriculture.


One of the early tenents of the Hill was Thomas Marshall and his Catherine.  Thomas was buried in Hathersage in 1628.  He left his land at the Hill to his heirs who lived their for several generations (This Thomas Marshall and his son, Thomas were ancestors of Isaac Wilson Fox).


Another later tenent of the Hill was a family named Fox.  When the Highlow property of the Hill was sold in 1802, the tenents of this farm of more than 16 acres were George and Benjamin Fox.


The Hill in the 1800s was a hamlet of muddy lane s and mean dwellings.  In 1861 tdhere were about fifteen separate households mainly engaged in the needle making and umbrella frame construction.  The work was being carried on in the homes with all of the household members contributing,


By the end of World War Two the Hill was transformed into a modern suburb with practically nothing remaining of the old farms.  Some of the old cottages were to survive with an owner-occupier who was willing to care for a ‘good old stone house.’  None of the homes were outstanding architecturally and most have been altered extensively.


But through the centuries these cottages have been homes for many who dwelt there.  The Fox family was one of those families who resided there for several generations


(From Farms and Families of Hathersage Outseats by Rosamond Meredith)
















There have been several biographies written of Isaac Wilson Fox.  Most notably one by John Alfred Fox, his grandson, who knew him and lived with him at one time.  Some of his children have biographies written by them  that have some of the data of Isaac Wilson Fox.  Much data can be documented from various records such as: GS #1041701, Hathersage, Derby, England Parish records.  GS#87009, L.D.S. Branch records of Leeds, Yorks, England.  GS#25691, Emigration records of the Liverpool Shipping Office.  GS#255071, L.D.S. Ward records of Lehi, Utah.  There are census records of England and Utah and family records retained by various family members.


Isaac Fox was born in Hathersage, Derby, England, the son of Robert Fox Jr. and Martha Wilson.  28 Jun 1818 is the date used for his birth and is so stated in all records of Isaac Fox, except the Hathersage, Derby, Parish records.  They have a baptism date of 21 Jun 1818.  This is 7 days earlier than the used birthdate.  During that time Christenings were performed usually 4 to 6 weeks after birth and that would make his birth date sometime in May.  This account used a birth date of 28 Jun 1818.  Isaac was probably born at ‘The Hill’ where the family resided.  Robert Fox, Isaac’s father, was know as Robert Fox of ‘The Hill’ to differentiate him from other Robert Fox’s in the area.


In his youth Isaac undoubtedly learned the art of making needles.  Robert, his Father, worked in manufacturing most of his life.  One biography suggests Isaac went with his Father to Scotland to make needles.  Isaac was reported to have been quite proficient in punching the hole in the needles and then hardening the needles.  In the Hathersage area there was an organization called the ‘Friendly Society’. Robert and later, Isaaac, belonged to this organization.  They paid 3d per month and in return, were given a pension, burial expense and a feast once per year.  Most men in Hathersage belonged to this group (GS#1041703).


At the age of twenty one, Isaac Fox married Margaret Ann Slinn in the Old Church (St Peter’s Cathedral) in Sheffield on 29 Jun 1838.  She was the daughter of Joseph Slinn and Ann Marshall.  Joseph was from Hathersage and Isaac met Margaret while she was visiting friends and relatives in Hathersage.  They made their home in Sharrowvale (subdivision of Ecclesell-Bierlow) and that was part of Sheffield, Yorks.  Their first child was Charles who became ill and died 26 Nov 1841 and was buried in the Hathersage parish cemetery on 28 Nov 1841..  Two more children were born in Sharrowvale, Alfred Marshall Fox, b. 3 Sep 1842 and Martha Ann Fox, b. 11 Jul 1844


In the middle of 1846 Isaac and his family moved to Deepcar, Yorks.   The Imperial Gazetter  states that Deepcar was a railway station in West Riding, Yorks, 7 ¾ miles from Sheffield.  It was a short distance from the village of Bolsterstone.  Deepcar was where another son, Robert was born 28 Oct 1846.  Robert was baptized in the Bolsterstone Parish Church 31 Jan 1847.





It may have been, while living in Deepcar, that Isaac and Margaret became interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  John A. Fox, in his biography, that when the heard the Gospel preached they were ready to join.  Isaac was baptized in Leeds, Yorks. 24 Oct 1848 by Crandall Dunn and Margaret followed on 5 Nov 1848 in Sheffield being baptized by Elder Sylvester.  Isaac quickly advanced in the Priesthood of his new Church and was ordained an Elder 1 May 1853 by Thomas F. Brodrick. 


Soon after joining the Church, the Fox family moved to Leeds, where Isaac learned the art of tempering steel.  He had experience from hardening needles.  He was employed by the Peter Fairbanks Works in Leeds working on the hackle and gillpin trade for Murray Clayton.  His son Alfred worked with him.  When they came to Utah they had a set of knives made by the Hardy firm.


Two more children were born in Leeds.  The family apparently lived in the Holbeck area of Leeds and that is where Isaac Jr. was born on 17 May 1849.  Caroline was born 12 Apr 1851. 


Isaac was soon called to preside over the Leeds Branch of the Church on 15 May 1853.  In Dec of 1856 he was called to preside over the Bradford Conference of the Church and Leeds was part of that Conference.  In Branch records of 5 May 1857 is a notation of a conference with Elder Isaac Fox presiding (GS#87402, Minutes of Bradford Conference).  Isaac was then called to preside over the Glasgow, Scotland District 7 Jan 1858  (GS#104152).  Isaac baptized his Father, Robert, into the Church in Scotland 17 Dec 1859, shortly before the family immigrated to Utah.  On  5 May 1860 the family sailed for Liverpool and arrived there on 6 May where they booked passage on the ‘William Tapscott’  (There is an account of the Tapscott voyage on www.feltonline.com uinder Family History)


Immigration records of the British Mission (GS#25691 page 164) show Isaac, age 42  yrs., an axelpin maker from #44 Gloucester St., Kingston, Glasgow, and his wife, Margaret Ann and 5 children were sailing on the ‘Tapscott’.  They were booked in Steerage and there is the notation that Robert Fox changed his mind and went back to Sheffield where he died in 1864.  He was buried in Hathersage 3 Jul 1864 with a notation that he was from Sheffield.


Note: Nearly a page is devoted to the voyage and that is covered in the website entry and is not repeated here.


Upon reaching New York, the family went to Brooklyn to visit a cousin of Margaret.  His name was George Marshall.  Both George and his wife were cousins to Margaret.  George was in the hardware business and helped Isaac with some materials needed to proceed westward.  Margaret and the girls stayed with the Marshalls and Isaac and the boys stayed the night in a hotel.  The next day they boarded a train going west to Winter Quarters, Nebraska.  Note:  Other accounts have them taking a steamer or a train up to Buffalo, New York and then a train to Nebraska.  On the web is an account ot the train trip and open cars and a difficult trip.


Upon arriving Isaac went into Florence and purchased two yoke of oxen, a wagon, and other supplies needed to cross the plains.  They joined the Nephi Johnson Company consisting of 55 wagons, 215 oxen, and 77 cows with over 400 people going to Utah.  William Budge led this company.


Most of the men had never seen oxen before and many of the oxen were unbroken and there was considerable difficulty getting underway.  Herds of Buffalo would often sweep by wildly in front of the wagons causing the oxen to be frightened and run away with the wagons.  John A. Fox reports that one day this happened to the Fox wagon.  “Grandfather and the boys saw the condition in time and ran and stood in front of their team, thereby  holding them in check.  Poorer teams took to the chase.  Isaac’s boy friend Joseph Colledge was in the wagon just ahead.  He put his head out the back of the wagon cover and yelled to his mother, “Oh Mother, you will never see your boy again.”  Men riding horses as guards got the team and wagon under control with no damage. Note:  Joseph College and Isaac Fox Jr. played together on the Tapscott and once swung on the yard arm over the water which was dangerous.  Isaac was disciplined for that risky trick.


All men, women and children were required to walk as much as possible, except those who were handicapped in order to conserve the animals’ strength.  This was a blessing as the exercise gave them great strength.


The two largest Indian tribes, Sioux and Paunees, were at war with each other.  Once there were 500 Sioux moving away from the fighting to the mountains.  They followed the wagon train for three days and camped nearby at night.  Captain Budge asked for everything that could be given away and gave that to the Chief.  Budge put it all in a pile and an Indian and then a white alternated and encircled the pile of goods.  They all smoked the peace pipe and the next day, the Indians left in another direction..  Another day a Paunee Indian, wearing a soldier’s cap and coat over his Indian clothing came into the camp with a white cloth on a stick.  Two days later he was found scalped and left on the banks of the Platte River.  He had gone to the Sioux to make peace and was killed. 


Two days later two people were seen coming toward the company and they turned out to be a squaw and a pretty white girl about 18 yrs old.  Captain Budge send word for no one to talk to the girl that would cause her to want to go with them and thus be a danger to the company.


The journey was long, hard, tedious and wearisome.  What joy they must have felt entering Salt Lake Valley


Note:  Isaac Fox Jr. as a boy had memorized some 122 songs and had a good voice.  He often at night entertained the company around the campfires with singing.  Later in his life he was called to serve an L.D.S. mission in Hawaii.  George Q. Cannon was to give him a worthiness interview for the mission and began by saying, ‘were you the boy who sang around the campfires across the Plains?’


The Fox family stayed in Salt Lake City for one week so they could attend October Conference.  They stayed with President Phinehas H. Young.  When Phinehas was in England he often stayed with the Fox family.  They then moved to Lehi and stayed with Isaac’s brother, Charles Fox.  Lorenzo H. Hatch also lived in Lehi and was a good friend from England along with the Colledge, Trane, and Fjield families who crossed the plains with the Budge company. 


Isaac soon established himself in Lehi acquiring land and a home and they settled down.  The Fox family was re-baptized and re-confirmed according to records, GS#25071.


Isaac engaged in polygamy.  He was sealed to Margaret Ann Slinn and then to Eliza Ann Brain.  He married a third time to Catharine Sophia Simmons.  More information is provided in other biographies. 


Isaac owned some land but was not a very good farmer.  His experience was in manufacturing in England.  Isaac and his sons helped build the first telegraph along the railroad to Promontory Point into Salt Lake City and on to Nephi.  They also worked on the Provo Canal.  He was also a Herbal Doctor.  He was successful in treating people but with remedies that leave one wondering by today’s standards. 


In 1869 Isaac received his citizenship from Judge Patrick Lynch of 3rd District Court.  This account has him taking the Wilson middle name to differentiate from other Isaac Fox names.  Another account has him taking that middle name to confuse authorities in England, during immigration, because Margaret’s family had political influence and didn’t want her to immigrate and he changed his name to confuse any attempts to stop them. 


In 1930 at a family gathering there were over 400 descendants of Isaac Wilson Fox.   He died in Lehi, 11 Jun 1908


Note: In fact there are many accounts and biographies of I.W. Fox and perhaps one should read them all to get a more detailed account even though there are differences of opinion.


Russ Felt does not know who wrote this account.  I have abbreviated and consolidated parts of it and parts are already in the same detail on the website.