Monday, July 20, 2015

Stephen Barrowfoot Coalminer

Murton Colliery near Seaham Durham by John Wilson Carmichael 1843
Elizabeth Beresford is almost certainly the mother of John Beresford, my step-2xgreat grandfather. I wrote that I would return to Elizabeth Beresford's origins. Of certain information there is little more to say, however, than noting that the Marriage Certificate for her marriage to William Fagan gives her father as Stephen Beresford, Coal Miner. Also, her census records give her place of birth as Tanfield, Durham and year of birth about 1821-1824. This is the best information I have for her origins, assuming she is giving the correct information on these documents.

But I do want to sketch some preliminary data, including a possible baptismal record for Elizabeth, and some sense of the itinerant life of one coal-mining family in particular. In short, Elizabeth Beresford is probably the daughter of Stephen Barrowfoot and Elizabeth Stevenson, and Stephen Barrowfoot is possibly the son of Ralph Barrafoot and Ann Gibson.

In this part of the country, the occupation of coal miner is pretty common, but not so the name Stephen Beresford - even taking into account the variant spellings observed through the records for son, John: Beresford, Berresford, Barresford, and even Barrowford. Other related names appear to be Berisford, Barefoot and Barrowfoot.

On the search engine, a good way to search for these variants is "B%r%fo%", where the % is a wildcard for any number of characters (including zero). Earlier records appear to have names such as Barrowfoot, while later ones are Beresford. This may indicate that the Barrowfoots died out to be replaced by Beresfords from outside the region. But it may also indicate that the name changed over time.

In concert with the name "Stephen", the search yields a limited number of hits. A few more hits arise if we enter "Stephen" as father. The results are consistent with very few individuals sharing the name in the Durham/Northumberland area, and only one in the early decades of the nineteenth century. The caveat here, of course, is that as more records become available, we may uncover more Stephen Beresfords (or B%r%fords).

There are no Beresfords baptized in Tanfield around the time of Elizabeth's birth. It is possible that our Elizabeth was not baptized at the parish church, St. Margaret's. However, if she was, a likely (or at least possible) record for Elizabeth's baptism might be that found on for Ann and Elizabeth Barrowfoot baptized in Tanfield, Durham in 1821. Bishops' Transcripts of these Tanfield parish baptisms are available for browsing during this time period (1820s) at Durham Diocese Bishop's Transcripts, 1639-1919, Durham, Tanfield, image 351/649 has:
       4 Mar 1821  Ann D[aughte]r of Stephen & Elizabeth Barrowfoot  Collier
       4 Mar 1821  Elizabeth D[aughte]r of Stephen & Elizabeth Barrowfoot   Collier

Ann and Elizabeth might be twins, or else the older of the two had missed out on being baptized previously. More on Ann below. Barrowfoot is similar to Barrowford, which you might remember is how the name of Elizabeth's son, John Beresford, was rendered in the 1851 census. Also in Tanfield, there is this 1818 marriage, presumably, of the parents of Ann and Elizabeth.
       7 Sep 1818 Stephen Barrowfoot married Elizabeth Stevenson,
       both of this chapelry, by banns

And just as there is the baptism of an Elizabeth Barrowfoot in Tanfield, followed by the marriage of our Elizabeth Beresford, whose married census returns give Tanfield as a place of birth, so too for Ann. One of the records found in a search of was the following marriage:
       St Paul's Gateshead (Church of England)
       22 August 1842
       Joseph Bestman (bachelor, pitman), full age, of Winlaton, son of Robert Bestford
       (pitman) married Ann Beresford (spinster), full age, of Winlaton, daughter of
       Stephen Beresford (pitman)

This corresponds to BMD Marriage Index:
       Sep1842 Gateshead 24 119 Joseph Bestford and Ann Bereford [sic]

This 1842 marriage for Joseph Bestford is the only one in this name until 1867 according to FreeBMD. The 1861 England Census has this household at Ernest Place, Durham, St Giles:
       Joseph Bestford  Head Mar 42 Coalminer  Newcastle on Tyne St Andrew
       Ann       Do          Wife  Mar 40                   Durham, Tanfield
       Joseph   Do         Son            6                        Do       Lanchester
       Stephen Do         Son            3                        Do       Usworth
       Robert   Do         Son            1                        Do       Washington

Assuming that this census record is for the same couple as the marriage, one wonders what had become of the children born between 1842 and 1855. But notice especially that for Ann and Elizabeth, we have baptisms in the name of Barrowfoot, both daughters of Stephen, Collier, followed by marriages for Ann Beresford/Bereford (1842 to Joseph Bestford) and Elizabeth Beresford (1849 to William Fagan), in each case daughter of Stephen Beresford, Pitman or Coal Miner respectively. Subsequently in census returns, Ann Bestford and Elizabeth Fagan both give Tanfield, Durham as their birthplace, and ages consistent with the baptisms.

Thus I strongly suspect these baptism and marriage records as belonging to the two sisters, the one of which is the mother of John Beresford. The following are possible siblings:
       2 Sep 1824 baptized at the Lying In Hospital, St John's parish,
       Newcastle upon Tyne: Stephen, Son of Stephen & Elizth Barrowfoot Pitman
       of Byker, Northumberland

       18 Jan 1828 baptized at the Chester Workhouse, Chester-le-Street,
       Margaret and Matthew, Daughter and Son of Stephen & Elizabeth Barrafoot

       16 Jun 1828 baptized at Gateshead, Durham,
       Mary, daughter of Stephen and Elizabeth Barrowfoot of Gateshead, Collier

If these are all the same family, I'm thinking Margaret and Matthew arrived at the workhouse unbaptized during the winter 1827/28, and their mother Elizabeth pregnant. By June, Stephen was back in work, and daughter Mary was born in Gateshead. From Tanfield to Newcastle to Chester-le-Street to Gateshead, the births illustrate economically marginal and itinerant lives.

England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973 has:
       7 Jul 1833 at Lanchester, Durham, Stephen Barasford and Jane Simpson

In the 1851 England Census at Collierley and Pontop, there is:
       Ann Barrasford         Head  Wid  81  Pauper   Durham, S Shields
       Stephen Barrasford  Son    Mar  57  Collier        Do      Plisemouth [Plawsworth]
       Jane            Do         Wife   Mar  51                    Do     Medomsley

Of this household, has the burial:
       1851 at Pontop for Ann Barrasford age 81

BMD Birth Index has the death registration indexes for:
       Jane Barrasford Jun1857 Gateshead 10a 296
       Stephen Beresford Sep1866 Gateshead 10a 359 age:76

For the latter, England, Select Deaths and Burials 1538-1991, has:
       Stephen Beresford Gateshead, Durham 10 Aug 1866 aged 76

The age at death of 76 in 1866 would indicate a birth in about 1790, while the census age of 57 in 1851 calculates to about 1794. During this period (and presumably records are incomplete), I can find only one baptism record for Stephen Beresford/Barrowfoot on
       Stephen Barrafoot [born] Feb 12 1797 [bapt. May 23 1798] 1st Son of
       Ralph Barrafoot of Chester Poor house Pitmn Native of Lamesley by
       his wife Ann Gibson native of South Shields.

This record - apart from the name - has two things in its favor. First, Chester-le-Street is close to Plawsworth, and second, Ann Gibson's nativity in South Shields matches that of the 81-year-old Ann Barrasford in the 1851 census. However, the date of birth doesn't match Stephen's death record or census return very well.

Ralph Barrafoot and Ann Gibson had two daughters Ann, both of whom died young. Ann daughter of Ralph Barfoot and Ann Gibson born  at Iveston in 24 Nov 1800 and baptized 28 Dec 1800 at Lanchester; and Ann daughter of Ralph Barfoot and Ann Gibson born at Iveston 22 Aug 1804 and baptized at Lanchester 30 Sep 1804, and is probably the Ann Barrowfoot buried at Gateshead in 1809, aged 5.

In looking for the marriage of Ralph Barrafoot and Ann Gibson, I found this in England, Select Marriages 1538-1973:
       27 April 1796 at Chester-le-Street Stephen Barrass and Ann Gibson

Which suggests another spelling variant; perhaps Barras (or Barrows) was a nickname for Barrowfoot. Using Stephen Barrass as a search term yielded this 1841 England Census at Winlaton:
       Stephen Barras  44  Miner  Yes [born in Durham]
       Jane         do      49              Y
       Ann         do        21              Y
       Elizth      do        19              Y
       Margaret do       16              Y
       Stephen   do      13             No
       Matthew  do       12             No

The first names are consistent with the names discovered above. Mary, baptized in Gateshead, is missing from this list. The ages are consistent with those discovered above except that Stephen (the son) and Margaret are transposed in the census list. It further suggests that Ann and Elizabeth are not twins. Stephen, the father, has an age which is correct for the baptism in 1798 of the son of Ralph Barrafoot/Barrass and Ann Gibson.

The 1861 England Census at Brancepeth Colliery has as lodgers of William and Ann Love:
       Stephen Barrass  Lodger  Widr  71  Coal Miner  [Durham] Chester le St
       Sam Smith              do      Mar   35        do                do        Stanhope
       Margaret do            do      Mar   36                            do        Bp Auckland

This is possibly Stephen Barrowfoot and his daughter and son-in-law. BMD Marriage Index has the names Samuel Smith and Margaret Beresford on the same page for Dec1849 Gateshead 24 171, while have the names associated with each other on their index, and with Stephen Beresford as father of the bride.

If these are the same family as above, then by 1871 Samuel and Margaret Smith are living as head of household and wife at Cottage Row, New Durham, and, as we have seen, Stephen had died at Gateshead in 1866. The given birthplace on the census for Margaret Smith, Bishop Auckland, is some way from the baptismal records for Stephen Barrowfoot's family, but this may only be more evidence of how far Stephen had to travel to find work in the late 1820s.

And finally, we can follow the documentation for Stephen Barrowfoot baptized at Byker Hill. There are many records for him; he married three times, and lived long. His death certificate records (BMD Death Index: Stephen Barrasford Jun1917 Easington 10a 500 age:95) an age of 95 in 1917, although baptized at the Lying In Hospital in 1824, he was more likely 93 years old.

BMD Marriage Index has marriages of:
       Stephen Barrisford and Mary Punshon Mar1849 Durham 24 66
       Stephen Beresford and Philippa Bray Dec1890 Gateshead 10a 247
       Stephen Barrasford and Mary Ann Taylor Dec1908 Easington 10a 765
(the latter is also available as a parish record from durhamrecordsonline, and confirms the groom's father as Stephen Barrasford)

Family histories and census returns show these to be all the same person. The 1851 Census at South Hetton, Haswell, Durham has what may be the young family:
       Stephen Barsford  Head  Mar  23  [Coal miner]   Newcastle
       Mary        Do         Wife   Mar  21                         Lamesley
       William    Do          Son              1                         St Gilesgate

More certainly, the 1861 England Census at South Moor, Greencroft, Durham has:
       Stephen Beresford  Head  Mar  43  Coal Miner     Newcastle on Tyne
       Mary          Do         Wife  Mar  30                          Burley Durham
       William      Do         Son   Un    11                          St Giles  Do
       Elizabeth    Do        Daur  Un   6                            Heddon-on-the-Wall
       Matthew     Do        Son   Un    3                           Walbottle Northumberland
       Margaret    Do        Daur  Un    1                           Lanchester Durham

From the places of birth of their children Mary and Stephen's family appears to have moved around as much as his parents'. And they continued to do so, as we can see by the 1881 England Census at Chopwell, Durham:
       Stephen Baresford  Head  Mar  59   Coal Miner     Northd Byker Hill
       Mary          Do         Wife   Mar   56  Wife                Durham Burtly
       Matthew    Do          Son   Unm  23  Coal Miner     Northd Walbottle
       Mary A      Do          Daur  Unm  17                              Do   Oakenshaw
       Isabella      Do         Daur  Unm  15                              Do   Coopen
       Jane           Do         Daur  Unm 12                          Durham New Durham
[new page]
       Stephen Baresford  Son              5                          Durham North Pitt
       Elizabeth Hodgson  Serv  Unm  15                              Do     Heathley

In 1891 at 24 Thomas Street, Edmondsley, Durham having remarried:
       Stephen Barresford  Head  Mar  69  Coal Miner                Northd Bicker Hill
       Philippa       Do        Wife  Mar  66                                    Cornwall Len Tae
[new page]
       Stephen Baresford   Son   Unm  15  Coal Miner (Driver)  Durham Lanchester

In 1901 at 2 Johnson Terrace, Shotton, Durham:
       Stephen Beresford  Head  M  79  Retired Coal Miner     Durham Tanfield
       Philippa     Do          Wife  M   77                                      Cornwall St Hews

And in 1911, still at 2 Johnson Terrace, having remarried again:
       Stephen Barrasford  Head  90  Married  Retired Miner Hewer
                                                                                               Northumberland Nafaton
       Mary Barrasford       Wife  60  Married                            Lancashire Radcliffe

The 1911 census form is signed Stephen Barrasford, which would indicate his preferred spelling. It also confirms they had been married for two years (and had no children together). Some of the descendants go by Beresford and others by Barrasford. The sons William and Matthew each name a child Stephen Stephenson (born 1870) and Stephen Stephenson (born 1893) respectively, presumably after Elizabeth Stevenson paternal grandmother of William and Matthew.

Thus, I have baptisms of six children of Stephen and Elizabeth Barrowfoot (or some phonetic variant) between 1821 and 1828. These are consistent with there being only one couple with those names. I have marriages of four children of father Stephen Beresfords (or some phonetic variant) with first names that match the baptisms (Ann, Elizabeth, Stephen and Margaret). Three of these are also linked by the name Stephenson/Stevenson; Ann and Elizabeth would appear to be children of Stephen Barrowfoot and Elizabeth Stevenson, while Stephen Barrasford (junior) has grandchildren with Stephenson as a given name.

Then there is the 1841 Census of the Barras family which has five of the six given names of the Stephen and Elizabeth Barrowfoot children. And the association of Ralph Barrowfoot and Ralph Barras as husband of Ann Gibson.

My hypothesis runs:
       Ralph Barrowfoot/Barrass married Ann Gibson 1796 and had three children.
       Ann died in 1851 aged 81:
              Stephen   1797-1866
              Ann         1800- ?      (obviously died before 1804)
              Ann         1804-1809

       Stephen Barrowfoot married 1818 Elizabeth Stephenson and had six children.
       Elizabeth must have died between 1828 and 1833:
              Ann         1819-1865 married 1842 Joseph Bestford
              Elizabeth 1821-?      married 1849 William Fagan
              Stephen   1824-1917 married 1849 Mary Punshon,
                                                              1890 Philippa Bray,
                                                              1908 Mary Taylor
              Margaret 1826- ?      married 1849 Samuel Smith
              Matthew  1827- ?
              Mary       1828- ?
       Stephen Barrowfoot as Barasford married 1833 Jane Simpson. They had no children,
       but show up in the 1841 census as Barras. Jane died in 1857 and Stephen in 1866.

       Elizabeth Barrowfoot as Berresford had a son out of wedlock,
       father possibly John Caldcleugh.
              John        1845-1912 married Mary Ann Kennett
       Elizabeth Barrowfoot as Beresford married 1849 William Fagan. They had no children.
       William Fagan died in 1875.

Evaluate the data for yourself, and, should you pass it on, remember to qualify it as my hypothesis.