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Old Derbyshire and New Worlds: The Jefferys of Hungry Bentley

By Valerie Hardy

The story of the Jefferys of Hungry Bentley, Derbyshire.

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‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there. L. P. Hartley. (The Go Between)

This is the story of ‘Jefferyland’: the story of the Jeffery family of Derbyshire who have farmed in the Dove Valley area between Ashbourne, Derby and Uttoxeter for around 400 years. The medieval ‘lost village’ of Hungry Bentley and the Riddings Farm were home to six generations.

The Jeffery story tells of a vanishing world: a story of a family through thirteen generations with its roots in the land and whose members are now spread around the globe.

Through a treasure trove of family letters, diaries, memoirs and photographs from the 1800s to the present day it reveals not only who the family’s ancestors were but also glimpses of how they lived, what they wore and even what they ate.

This meticulously researched family history brings to life an era of social change not only in the farming world of Derbyshire and the prairie lands of North America, but also for those Jefferys who sought their fortunes outside a life of farming.

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