Monday, 21 April 2014

A bit of a catch-up story today


On this day one hundred and ninety-four years ago my great-great-grandparents George and Jane were married at the church of St Eloy in Great Smeaton, Yorkshire. George was the son of Ann Stevenson and a so far unidentified father and was born about 1798; probably in Great Smeaton. Census records tell me that Jane was born in Birtley, County Durham in about 1799.

George and Jane can be found on the 1841 census in Appleton upon Wiske with three of their children; 20 year old Henry (my great-grandfather), 18 year old George and 17 year old Margaret. George is the only tailor in a village full of agricultural labourers and linen weavers. Like many parts of Yorkshire in the 19th century, Appleton upon Wiske was involved heavily in the production of linen, from the growing of flax to the manufacture of the cloth & clothing. At the peak of the industry in 1850, there were up to 200 looms operating in Appleton.

By the 1851 census George and family have moved 3.5 kms to the village of Hornby where George is now a “tailor employing one man”. All three Stevenson children have left home but George’s widowed mother Ann has joined the household. Also in the house on census night was Jane’s married sister Susan Addison and George and Jane’s grandson, George.

Ten years later and the census once again finds the Stevensons in Hornby Village. George now employs 2 men and grandson George is an apprentice tailor. George’s mother Ann had died some time between the censuses and another grandson, 11 year old Frank, has joined the household.

When George died in 1865 he was buried in the churchyard at St Eloy in Great Smeaton on 8th June 1865. He left a modest will.

Jane lived on for at least another 25 years as she is on the 1871 census living alone in Hornby and working as a laundress. By 1881 she is 82 years old and described herself as a tailors widow and is visiting the home of George Pamley in Hornby. Surprisingly she is still alive in 1891 where she has moved to Stockton on Tees and is living with her daughter Margaret and her husband William Rouson. So far I have not found an entry for the death of Jane.


  1. I was interested to find this information. I believe we may have a link - albeit a long time ago. My 4 x great-grandparents were John Stevenson and Mary (Fawcett) of Hornby. They had 10 children, one of whom was my 3 x great-grandmother, Margaret Stevenson who was born in Hornby in 1781. She had an older sister Ann born 1777 and I wonder whether this is your Ann? Margaret married James BELL (James and his father John were farmer/millers at Hornby) and one of their sons, Henry (b. Hornby 1816) married Ann Jane BLENKINSOPP who was born in 1823 in Staindrop, daughter of Francis and Ann BLENKINSOPP. I wonder whether the two families were inter-linked? If you would like to correspond I should be pleased to hear from you.

    1. Hi Diane, so sorry to take so long to reply but I was so sure that no-one but my family would be interested in this that it never even occurred to me to check for comments! I suspect that we must have a connection somewhere as it is too much of a coincidence that we both have a Stevenson/Blenkinsop connection. Very exciting! Please feel free to contact me on