which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Alfred Harper (1848-1912) & Lucy Martin(1848-1930)

The following notes have been submitted by Prunella Bradshaw.


Alfred Harper, aged 38, left England on the SS Servia, a Cunard ship, bound for New York and arrived there on 16 May 1887 with one piece of luggage.

His wife Lucy (née Martin), aged 38, left England some months later on the SS Aurania, also a Cunard ship, with sons John aged 18, Edwin 10, Ernest 8 and daughter Bertha aged 2. They arrived in New York in 22 August 1887 with three pieces of luggage.

Lucy Martin, my great grandaunt, was born on March 10, 1848 in Crich. She was the daughter of John Martin and Mary Dawes.

Alfred Harper was born on May 30 1848 in Crich Carr. He was the son of John and Catherine Harper. He married Lucy on April 19, 1869 in St Mary's Church Crich.

Lucy and Alfred had five children, three of whom died in infancy.

Another Crich family also went to the USA – Lewis and Jane Merchant and their five children. Lewis, with two pieces of luggage, travelled on the same ship with Alfred Harper, whilst Jane and her five children, with two pieces of luggage, went with Lucy Harper.

Both families set up homes in Amherst Township in Lorain County, Ohio where the menfolk found employment in the stone quarries.

Amherst is known as "The Sandstone Center of the World", where its Buckeye Quarry was said to be one of the deepest quarries in the world.

According to the 1910 Census, Lucy and Alfred had a total of thirteen children. John died in 1888 but three – Edwin, Ernest and Bertha – had all married by then.

Amherst newspaper reports indicate that the families settled well into their new lives there and they give details of various social activities in which they were involved.

Lucy, Alfred and John are buried in the Evergreen Cemetery South Amherst along with their friends the Merchants.

grave of Alfred Harper grave of John Harper grave of Jane Merchant

Photographs courtesy of Rick Tuck

Home| Genealogy Index