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Isaac Hayball
Susannah Carswell
Moses Forsey
Sarah Barrett
Isaac Hayball
Mary Forsey
Robert Hayball


Family Links

1. Mary Lucas

2. Amelia Hurford

Robert Hayball 4 5

  • Born: 1789, Chard, Somerset, England 3
  • Christened: 27 Feb 1789, Chard, Somerset, England 3
  • Marriage (1): Mary Lucas on 21 May 1807 in Chard, Somerset, England 1
  • Marriage (2): Amelia Hurford on 18 Jul 1820 in Chard, Somerset, England 2 3
  • Died: 21 Oct 1839, "in the Borough of Chard", Somerset, England 6
  • Buried: 25 Oct 1839, Chard, Somerset, England 3

  General Notes:

The following is the best description of the profession of millwright I could find:


Although "millwright " is a common word, most people (including many in the Carpenter Brotherhood) are hard pressed, if asked, to define the term and its many uses. With that in mind, a definition taken from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles would seem to be an appropriate introduction to a discussion of the craft:
"Millwright: Installation man, machine erector, a maintenance mechanic, plant changer, installs machinery and equipment according to layout plans, blueprints and other drawings in an industrial establishment, using hoists, lift trucks, hand tools and power tools; reads blueprints and schematic drawings to determine work procedures; dismantles machines, using hammer, wrenches, crowbars, and other hand tools; moves machinery and equipment using hoists, rollers, and trucks; assembles and installs equipment, such as shafting, conveyors, and tram rails, using hand tools and power tools; constructs foundations for machines, using hand tools and building materials, such as wood, cement, and steel; align machines and equipment, using hoists, jacks, hand tools, squares, rules, micrometers, and plumb bobs; assemble machines and bolts, welds, rivets, or otherwise fastens them to foundation or other structures, using hand tools and power tools; may repair and lubricate machines and equipment."
The word "millwright" has long been used to describe the man who was marked by everything ingenious and skillful. For several centuries in England and Scotland the millwright was recognized as a man with a knowledge of carpentry, blacksmithing and lathe work in addition to the fitter and erector. He was the recognized representative of mechanical arts and was looked upon as the authority in all applications of winds and water, under whatever conditions they were to be used, as a motive power for the purpose of manufacture. In other words, as the above definition would indicate, he was the area engineer, a kind of jack of all trades who was equally comfortable at the lathe, the anvil or the carpenter's bench. Thus, the millwright of the last several centuries was an itinerant engineer and mechanic of high reputation and recognized abilities. He could handle the axe, the hammer and the plane with equal skill and precision. He could turn, bore or forge with the ease and ability of one brought up in those trades. He could set and cut in the furrows of a millstone with an accuracy equal to or superior to that of the miller himself. In most instances, the millwright was a fair arithmetician, knew something of geometry, leveling and measurements, and often possessed a very competent knowledge of practical mathematics. He could calculate the velocities, strength and power of machines; could draw in plans, construct buildings, conduits or watercources, in all the forms and under all the conditions required in his professional practice. He could build bridges, cut canals and perform a variety of work now done by civil engineers. In the early days of North America millwrights designed and constructed the mills where flour and grist were ground by water power. Water was directed over hand-constructed wooden mill wheels to turn big wooden gears and generate power. Millwrights executed every type of engineering operation in the construction of these mills. The introduction of the steam engine, and the rapidity with which it created new trades, proved a heavy blow to the distinctive position of the millwrights, by bringing into the field a new class of competitors in the form of turners, fitters, machine makers, and mechanical engineers. Although there was an extension of the demand for millwork, it nevertheless lowered the profession of the millwright, and leveled it to a great degree with that of the ordinary mechanic. It was originally the custom for the millwrights to have meetings for themselves in every shop. These meetings usually included long discussions of practical science and the principles of construction which more often than not ended in a quarrel. One benefit of these meetings was the imparting of knowledge, as young aspirants would frequently become excited by the illustrations and chalk diagrams by which each side supported their arguments.

Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette 31 October 1839
DREADFUL AND FATAL ACCIDENT. -lt is a long time since we have heard of a more distressing death, than the one below detailed, which occurred on Monday evening last in the lace manufactory of Messrs. Hill and Company, in Holy.Rood Street, Chard. The victim was an industrious carpenter and mechanic named Robert Hayball. about 52 years of age, residing about two miles from the town. He went into the factory about five o'clock, for the purpose fixing a heavy grindstone on the second floor, which it was intended to propel by means of a belt attached thereto, and to the shaft an engine of 16 horse power. The belt was temporally put round the drum wheel through which went an iron shaft, the distance of foot from the ceiling, and the engine being in full motion, the poor man observed to Mr. Hill, that he thought the shaft was turned somewhat too fast, or faster than one at another factory, and got a piece chalk to mark the number of revolutions it performed a minute, which was supposed to be nearly 70. Scarcely, however, had he extended his arm for the purpose, when the belt, which was so slack as to form a loop, drew him, with surprising velocity, to tbe ceiling, and at the next instant his left leg was found at nearly dozen yards towards the other end of the room, broken off at the knee. His right hand, and part of the arm below the elbow, fell under him, while the other leg was wound like a cord two three times round the shaft, the bones being asunder at various places. Before the engine could be stopped the rest of the body must have gone round between the two shafts at least 40 times. The body was so firmly fixed that it was necessary to amputate the already mangled arm at ihe shoulder, ere it could be extricated from its horrible position. The deceased felt his danger, but had time to make only one exclamation as it rapidly approached. A dreadful blow on the right side of the head, above the forehead, as it came in violent contact with the ceiling, relieved him from all but momentarv suffering ; was a sudden and terrible shock, with which life instantaneously fled. The son of the deceased was near, but he had not power to save his father; yet it is a most singular circumstance that about an hour previously he rescued an individual, named Webb, from a similar death, by pulling him back the legs, after the belt had laid hold of him. Having this caution before his eyes, and having received another from the lips of his master, Mr. Hill, it is indeed lamentable to think that the deceased should have placed himself so heedlessly in the midst of such imminent danger, when there no necessity forgoing so near the fatal belt. A bed-ridden wife and seven children are left to deplore the untimely deprivation of a good husband and father. An inquest was held on the body Mr. Caines, at the London Inn on Wednesday last, when the Jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death."



He worked as a Carpenter before 1839. 7 (according to the death certificate of wife Amelia in 1842)

He worked as a Builder before 1839. 8 (according to the 1889 death certificate of his son Robert)

He worked as a Millwright in Oct 1839 and resided at Lace Factory, Chard. 9

(Informant: Coroner Richard Pople Caines)


Robert married Mary Lucas, daughter of Unknown and Unknown, on 21 May 1807 in Chard, Somerset, England.1 (Mary Lucas was born in 1786 in Chard, Somerset, England, died in 1816 11 and was buried on 28 Apr 1816 in Chard, Somerset, England.)


Robert next married Amelia Hurford on 18 Jul 1820 in Chard, Somerset, England.2 3 (Amelia Hurford was born in 1779 in Chard, Somerset, England (?),3 died on 9 Jan 1842 in "in the Parish of Chard", Somerset, England 12 13 and was buried on 16 Jan 1842 in Chard, Somerset, England 3.)


1 Hayball, Eugenie, Family Tree, Somerset UK, 1986, 18 May 1807.

2 Hayball, Eugenie, Family Tree, Somerset UK, 1986.

3 The Church of Latter Day Saints, International Genealogical Index,

4 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ancestral File (R), Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.

5 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Index,, 1887/9252 (Death of son).

6 General Register Office (England & Wales) Certificate,, Deaths Dec 1839 HAYBALL Robert Chard 10 217.

7 General Register Office (England & Wales) Certificate,, Death of wife Amelia 1842. "widow of Robert Hayball Carpenter".

8 Registry of Births Deaths & Marriages (Victoria) - Certificate,, Death (RH son).

9 General Register Office (England & Wales) Certificate,, Death. I'm assuming he was working when he had the accident that killed him.

10 General Register Office (England & Wales) Certificate,, Death.

11 Hayball, Eugenie, Family Tree, Somerset UK, 1986, 1816.

12 FreeBMD Online Index of BMD, England & Wales,, Deaths Mar 1842 HAYBALL Amelia Chard 10 283. Tentative - means baptism is a year out.

13 General Register Office (England & Wales) Certificate,, Years 62, Widow of Robert Hayball, Carpenter, Decline.