|Murton Colliery near Seaham Durham by John Wilson Carmichael 1843|
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.
On the durhamrecordsonline.com 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).
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 durhamrecordsonline.com 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, durhamrecordsonline.com 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 durhamrecordsonline.com:
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 durhamrecordsonline.com 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
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
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
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:
Ann 1800- ? (obviously died before 1804)
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.