The Grocock Family

On 12th March 1861 Richard Shellaker, the son of Sarah and the late William Shellaker, marries MARY ANN GROCOCK in the parish church of St Thomas a Becket at Tugby. His bride was who came from the neighbouring village of Hallaton where her family were carpenters by trade. Richard was 30 years old when he married, his bride, Mary Ann Grocock. was 23 years old.Emma's mother, Mary Shellaker

Mary Ann Grocock

Mary Ann Grocock was born on 19th October 1837 in Hallaton, a pretty village in East Leicestershire.

Her father was JOHN GROCOCK who was 26 years old when his daughter was born. Mary Ann’s mother was ANN, she was 23 years old when her daughter was born. Mary’s parents were married the year prior to her birth, on 17th October 1836 at St Michael and All Angels Church in Hallaton (pictured on the right).

Mary was the firstborn child. Her parents subsequently had four further children; John born in 1841, Emma born in 1842, William born in 1845 and Jane born in 1847. However both William and Jane died as children. Jane in September 1850 age 4 years. She was buried on 28th September 1850

At the time of the wedding the respective fathers of the bride and groom were deceased. Richard’s father died four year prior to the wedding of his son. Mary Ann’s father John died in July 1859 two years before the wedding.



Hallaton is a small village in South-east Leicestershire, England set in rolling green countryside. It is in close proximity to the historic market town of Oakham, Uppingham and Market Harborough and 90 miles north of London. Hallaton is a parish of 2,969 acres, 16 miles east-south-east of Leicester, and 8 miles north-east of Market Harborough.


1861 – CENSUS
Three weeks after her wedding a Census was taken on was the night of Sunday 7th April 1861. The Census records Mary and Richard living together in Tugby, either in, or next to, the Butcher’s Shop.


Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
Richard Shellaker Head Marr M 30 Butcher Leicestershire,Tugby
Mary A. Shellaker Wife Marr M 23 Butcher Leicestershire, Hallaton


The Butcher’s Shop is located at the top of Chapel Lane, Tugby. Below are two relatively contemporary photographs of Chapel Lane, Tugby one of which shows a lady in a white apron in front of the Butchers shop with two people either side of her and also two boys further forward. The roof apex of Butcher shop, which faces towards the camera can be seen in both of the photographs below. The date of these pictures is unknown although it is possible they were taken after the family had left the village. The original Butcher’s shop no longer remains although there is still a new Butcher’s shop on the same site in Chapel Lane –  ‘G. T. Doughty Butchers Shop’, under the ownership of Gary Gregg. The large house directly on the left was the village bakery and is now known as ‘The Old Bakehouse’.

[Click on the images below to see a larger picture of these photograph].

Two views of Chapel Lane in Tugby showing the Butchers Shop

Mary Ann’s Mother-in-law, Sarah Shellaker, also lived in the village. At this time she was a 67 year old widow and is recorded as running a Beerhouse. A beerhouse was not a public house but was basically a private house licensed under the Beerhouse Act of 1830 to sell beers but not spirits, often from just one room.


1851 – CENSUS
Going back ten years to the Census of 1851, which was taken on Sunday 30th March of that year records Mary Ann Grocock living in Church Street, Hallaton with her father, JOHN GROCOCK, aged 40 and her mother, ANN GROCOCK, aged 37, together with her 11 year old brother JOHN GROCOCK and her sister EMMA GROCOCK age 4. Her father John is recorded as a ‘Master Carpenter’ and all the family are recorded as being born in Hallaton.


Location Name Relationship Condition Sex Age Profession Where Born
Church Street John Grocock Head Marr M 40 Master Carpenter Leicestershire,Hallaton
Ann Grocock Wife Marr F 37 Leicestershire,Hallaton
Mary Ann Grocock Daug Unmarr. F 13 At Home Leicestershire,Hallaton
John Grocock Son M 11 Scholar Leicestershire,Hallaton
Emma Grocock Daug F 8 Scholar Leicestershire,Hallaton


1841 – CENSUS
Going back another ten years to the Census of 1451, which was taken on Sunday 6th June, the family are again recorded as living in Church Street, Hallaton. JOHN GROCOCK’s age is recorded as 30 year with a a profession of a ‘Joiner’ His his wife, ANN GROCOCK, is incorrectly recorded 25 year old. However in this Census the ages of adults were round to the nearest ‘five’. MARY ANN is 3 years old and her brother JOHN is one year old.


Location Name Sex Age Profession Born in the County
Church Street John Grocock M 30 Joiner Yes
Ann Grocock F 25 Yes
Mary Grocock F 3 Yes
John Grocock M 11 Yes


My research indicates the Grocock family, who are my antecedent, to have moved to Hallaton from the village of Sproxton around 1810. However records show there were several families living in Hallaton since at least the 1700’s. I have listed these below. I do not know if these families were connected to my antecedents and it is not something I intend to pursue.

JOHN & ANN GROCOCK had at least two children; ANN baptised 12th October 1760 and a son, RICHARD baptised 3rd June 1763

JOHN & MARY GROCOCK had at least four children; MARY baptised 27th December 1775 who died age 4 years and was buried on 10th August 1775, ELIZABTH baptised 24th March 1776, JOHN baptised 13th May 1779 and MARY baptised 14th October 1781. 

JOHN & MARTHA GROCOCK had at least three children; EDWARD baptised 27th November 1796 who died 5 months later and was buried on 23rd April 1797, ELIZABETH baptised 10th May 1800 and JOHN baptised 28th June 1803 but who only survived 7 week as he was buried on 15th August 1803. 

The mother, MARTHA, died at the age of 38 years around a week following the birth of her son JOHN, mostly likely as a consequence of childbirth. She was buried on 8th July 1803.

WILLIAM & MARY GROCOCK had at least four children; a daughter who appeared to be named LUCY, although the record is not clear. She was baptised 25th October 1807. A son THOMAS baptised on 2nd July 1809, another son baptised on 10th March 1811 whose name is unclear but it appears to have started with a ‘S‘. On 9th May 1816 another son RICHARD was baptised, however the record have a burial of a ‘Richard Grocock’ on 6th May 1819 age 2 years. This is probably this young boy as at that time he would have been two year old but approaching his third birthday.

RICHARD & ELIZABETH GROCOCK had at least six children; Charles Henry baptised on 8th March 1842, Elizabeth baptised on Christmas Day 25th Day 1847, Louisa baptised 17th March 1852, Charlotte baptised 26th November and William and Anne both baptised on the same day, 6th July 1860.

The family of Richard and Mary lived in the village of Hallaton at the same time as my antecedents.

There are also several burials, in the parish records for Hallaton of people with the surname of Grocock.

  • 1797 Dec 17John Grocock
  • 1773 Oct 28Francis Grocock
  • 1787 Sep 11Mary Grocock – Widow
  • 1810 Sep 19John Grocock – 65 years
  • 1848 Dec 24William Grocock – 65 years
  • 1850 Dec 24John Grocock – 70 years
  • 1859 July 14 – John Grocock – 48 years ‘Abode Tugby’
  • 1875 Jun 21Jonathan Grocock – 60 years


There is also a record of a ELIZABETH GROCOCK marrying in Hallaton on 10th October 1820. This is possibly the daughter of JOHN & MARTHA who was baptised on 10th May 1800. If so, she would have been 20 years old at the time of her marriage.


Right, back to my own Grocock antecedents…..

As mentioned at the start John and Ann were married on the 17th October 1836 at St Michael and All Angels Church in Hallaton. Ann’s maiden name was EXTON.

John Grocock 
and Ann Exton both of his Parish
were married in this church by Banns with Consent of
Parents this seventeenth Day of
October in the Year One thousand eight hundred and thirty-six
by me Richard Blackby(?)
This Marriage was solemnised between us      John Grocock
Ann Exton
In the Presence of William Exton & Cannot read

Both John Grocock and Ann Exton were born in the village. From the Census records we know JOHN GROCOCK was born around the year 1811.

The parish records for Hallaton have the following records of baptism (and burials) of the children of John Grocock and Ann Exton.

A daughter EMMA baptised in Hallaton Church on 2nd Sept 1842

A son WILLIAM baptised on 26th July 1845 who died three weeks later and was buried on in the churchyard at Hallaton on August 4th 1845

A daughter JANE baptised on 25th January 1847 who died at the age of 4 years and was buried on in the churchyard at Hallaton on 28th September 1850

There are no records of the baptisms, with the Hallaton Parish Records, of MARY ANN – 9TH OCT 1837 or JOHN GROCOCK 1840.

Check Non-conformist records? LRO – DE7117


Next Page: The Village of Sproxton, Leicestershiore