CFHS code : AL235

Parish : St Andrew the Less

Inscription : In Loving Memory of JESSE DARNELL d July 5th 1890 aged 63 also of his beloved wife MARY d Jan 14th 1906 aged 78 also RUTH DARNELL d March 4th 1940 aged 80 also of MARY ANN DARNELL d Dec 28th 1941 aged 89

Monument : Headstone

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Darnell grave
Darnell headstone




Loving Memory of

Jesse Darnell,

who died July 5th 1890.

aged 63 years

also of his beloved wife


who died Jan. 14th 1906.

aged 78 years.


Ruth Darnell

who died March 4th 1940

aged 80 years.

Rest in the lord.


Jesse Darnell (c.1827 – 5 July 1890)

Jesse was born in Beeston [part of Sandy] in Bedfordshire, and is believed to have been the son of agricultural worker John Darnell and his wife Mary.  Aged 14 [1851] Jesse was also working as an agricultural worker. He married Mary Dennis in Eaton Socon, Bedfordshire on 15th July 1849.

Jesse and Mary had at least six children: George [1851-], Mary Ann [1853-1941], Henry Dennis [1857-1930], Martha [1858-], Ruth [1859-1940] and Charles [1862-1913].

George and Mary Ann were born in Eaton Socon, but by the time Henry Darnell was born in 1857 the family were living in Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire.  In 1871 Jesse was a farm bailiff, and the family were living at 1 Cootes Lane in Fen Drayton.

It is known when the family moved to Cambridge, but in 1881 Jesse and Mary were living at 1 Eckworth Villas [at the top of Mill Road] and he was working as a greengrocer. Kelly’s Directory of 1883 has his address as 4 The Arcade, and his occupation as ‘fruiterer’ .  Kelly’s Directory of 1888 has him as a fruiterer and greengrocer at 42 Kingston Street.  He died at 5 Kingston Street in 1890 aged 63 years old.


Mary Darnell [nee Dennis]  (1827 – 14 January 1906)

Mary was born in Eaton Socon [now part of St. Neots] and was baptised there on 4th November 1827.  She was the daughter of Henry and Mary Dennis.  Henry Dennis was a tailor.  She married Jesse Darnell when she was 22 years old. She was widowed in 1890.

In 1901 she was living at 8 Petersfield with daughter Mary Ann and a boarder named Albert Potter who was a tailor’s assistant.  She died in 1906 aged 78 years old.


Ruth Darnell (28 October 1859 – 4 March 1940)

Ruth was the youngest daughter of Jesse and Mary Darnell. She was born in Fen Drayton, and baptised there on 15th January 1860. She grew up in Fen Drayton.  In 1881 she was living and working as a housemaid to Robert Sayle at Leighton House, Trumpington Road.

She worked as a domestic servant throughout her life, and in 1930 was living at 29 Egerton Gardens in Kensington.  By 1935 she had retired and was back in Cambridge and living with her sister Mary at 8 Petersfield.  She died aged 80 years old at the Devonshire Nursing Home on Tenison Road.


Mary Ann Darnell (3 May 1852 – 28 December 1941)

Mary Ann was the eldest child of Jesse and Mary Darnell. She was born in Eaton Socon and grew up in Fen Drayton.  Aged 19 she was already working as a dressmaker. She moved to 1 Eckworth Villas [1881] and then to 8 Petersfield [at least 1901 onwards].  She worked as dressmaker throughout her life. She lived with her mother at Petersfield [1901] and then her sister Ruth [1935-1940], and died there aged 89 years old.




Claire Martinsen

Source: Ancestry/Newspaper archives


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Jesse Darnell; Mary Darnell; Mary Ann Darnell; Ruth Darnell