Tombstone Tuesday

Tombstone Tuesday – Priscilla Dawson and John Smith

This gravestone is at Holy Trinity Church, Cowling, West Yorkshire. It is the resting place of Priscilla Dawson, my 2x great grand aunt and her husband John Smith.

Priscilla was born in Cowling on 3 May 1824 to parents Thomas Dawson and Margaret Snowden. She was the third of nine children – 4 boys and 5 girls.

From the census returns it looks as though John Smith was also born around 1824 in Cowling. I haven’t done any research at all about John or his parents.

Priscilla and John married sometime in Q2 1848 and the marriage was registered in the Skipton district.

They had at least seven children between 1849 and 1867. I say at least because some of the gaps between the years suggest that there may have been other children born in between census returns that I have not yet found and who died as infants.

James – c1849

Ann – 1850

Peter William – c1855

Thomas – c1857

Joseph – c1859

John – c1860

Margaret – c1867

John appears to have worked either at home or in the local mill throughout his working life. His occupations included twister, overlooker in worsted factory, and warp dresser.

Priscilla died on 30 October 1891.

John survived for just over twelve more years and died on 24 January 1904.

Tombstone Tuesday – James Buckley and …..

This gravestone is in Utley Cemetery, Keighley, West Yorkshire. It is grave number 168 in unconsecrated ground in Section B of the cemetery.

The grave is the resting place of my 2 x great grandfather James Buckley; his first wife Sarah Tattersall; their son Joseph; James’ second wife Ellen Spedding; and their daughter Annie Ranson.

Joseph Buckley was born about 1858 and died sometime late in August 1861. He was buried on 30th August.

Sarah Buckley (nee Tattersall) was born about 1836 and married James on 26th April 1857. She had five children and died at the young age of 44 on 24th January 1880.

James then married Ellen Spedding on 30th October 1880 and they had one daughter, Annie.

James and Ellen were married for almost 16 years until James died aged 58 on 11th October 1896 and was buried three days later.

Ellen survived for a little over 24 years until she died at the age of 82 on 13th November 1920.

Annie went on to marry Joseph Ranson in December 1932. She died at the age of 74 on 13th May 1956

A total of nearly 95 years between the first and last burial in this grave.

Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas Buckley (1795-1880)

This gravestone is in Utley Cemetery, Keighley, West Yorkshire. It is grave number 169 in unconsecrated ground in Section B of the cemetery. I have only just acquired the photograph today courtesy of a Bradford City Council bereavement services officer.

I bought a copy of the National Burial Index at a family history fair last weekend and did a bit of searching. I found some ancestors buried at Utley Cemetery and emailed Bradford Council for any information such as plot numbers or a map.

To my total surprise and gratitude they sent me a reply today about the people I identified plus other related ancestors – and photographs of the headstones. So a huge thanks for a superb service. I have replied and expressed my thanks.

Anyway back to the story.

The plot was bought by Thomas Buckley, my 3x great grandfather. The grave is the resting place of Thomas (1795-1880); his first wife Henrietta Mason (1794-1861); their daughter Mary Barker (1826-1887); and Thomas’s second wife Maria Hindle (1800-1871).

Much of this information is new to me as a result of receiving the photograph and doing a bit of digging this afternoon.

For instance I didn’t know that Thomas and Henrietta had three children who died in infancy. I didn’t know that Thomas had married again after Henrietta died. I discovered this afternoon that he married Maria Hindle in Q3 1866.

When I checked the 1871 census again I noticed that Thomas is shown as married but no wife is there – I hadn’t picked this up before. So I searched for Maria Buckley and found her as an inmate in the Union House.

There is no indication in the census return that she was either deaf-and-dumb, or blind, or a lunatic or an imbecile or an idiot.  However, the 1871 census was taken on 2nd / 3rd April and Maria died just two months later on 2nd June. So I do wonder if she was so poorly that Thomas couldn’t look after her or if there was some other reason why she would be in the Union House.

I need to take a closer look at Thomas and his family and perhaps do an Ancestor Profile post in the future.


Memory of












She lived respected, and died lamented













Tombstone Tuesday – William and Elizabeth Dawson

This gravestone is in the grounds of Holy Trinity church, Cowling, West Yorkshire.  The stone marks the resting place of William Dawson and his wife Elizabeth (nee Bracewell).

William is my 2nd cousin 3x removed.  He was born in Cowling on 13 June 1851.  His parents were James Wright Dawson (1825-1893) and Mary Thompson (1825-1891).  He was the third of five children.  The other children were – Thompson (c1846), Alice (c1848), Dinah (5 May 1853) and Martha (22 September 1857)

In the 1861 census William is living at home with his parents and siblings at an address in Middleton (a part of Cowling which at that time was not much more than two rows of terrace cottages).  At the age of 9 he is shown as a scholar.

The 1871 census has the family still living in Middleton, although I can’t say whether or not they are in the same house as neither census shows a house number.  William is working as a “worsted weaver” as are his sisters Dinah and Martha.  The two older children have moved out by this time.

Elizabeth Bracewell was born about 1852/1853.  The first time she appears on the census with William is 1881 and her place of birth is recorded as Cowling.  I haven’t been able to locate a birth for an Elizabeth Bracewell in Cowling or any other nearby Yorkshire town around that time.

I have found an Elizabeth Bracewell on the 1861 and 1871 census returns for Great Marsden, Lancashire.  This is not too far from Cowling and I know that families regularly moved across the Yorkshire/Lancashire border to live and work.  So I am making an assumption here that this is the right person.  Of course I could obtain the marriage certificate for William and Elizabeth and this would go a long way to resolving this for me.

Anyway, William and Elizabeth married sometime in Q4 of 1875.  The marriage is registered in Skipton, North Yorkshire.

The 1881 census has them living at Well House in the village of Glusburn, about two or three miles from Cowling.  William is working as a “farmer of 39 acres” and they have one son, John William who is 11 months old.

The 1891 census shows the family are still living at Well House and William continues to work as a “farmer”.  Two more children have been born now – Martha Ann (c1882) and Freddie (c1885).  All three children are “scholars”.

Elizabeth died on 27 November 1895 at the young age of 42.  I haven’t obtained a death certificate so I have no information as to the cause of death.

Dover Street, Nelson, LancashireBy the time of the 1901 census William has given up farming and has moved to 16 Dover Street, Nelson, Lancashire (second house from the left in the photograph).  He is now working as a “cotton weaver”.  Two children, Martha Ann and Freddy are still at home and they are also working as “cotton weavers”.

Sometime in the next ten years William returned to farming.  In the 1911 census he is living at Lane Head Farm, Laneshawbridge, Colne, Lancashire.  William is shown as a “retired farmer”.

His son John William is single and living back at home working as a “dairy farmer” – I am assuming that he is now running the farm.  Also living there is William’s daughter Martha Ann and her husband, John Williamson and their two children William Henry (7) and Mary E (2).  Martha is shown as “housekeeper” while her husband is working as a “cotton warp dresser”.

This is the last information about William and he died on 29 January 1920.

Tombstone Tuesday – Martin and Ann Gawthrop


of Ballgrove, Late of Cowling

who died May 16th 1860, in the

61st year of his age.

Also ANN relict of the above

who died April 5th 1863, in the

65th year of her age.

Blessed are the dead, which die

in the Lord

Martin and Ann Gawthrop are my 3x great grandparents.  They are buried in St. Andrew’s Methodist Church graveyard in Cowling, West Yorkshire.

I know from census records and the gravestone that Martin was born around 1799 / 1800.  I have found what I suspect is a record of his birth and christening on the Family Search website.  This suggests that he was born on 22 November 1799 in Colne, Lancashire and was christened on 30 March 1800 at St. Bartholomew’s church also in Colne.  His parents are recorded as Jno Gauthrope and Sarah.

Ann Kighley was born in Cowling and the IGI record suggests that this was on 3 June 1798.  Her parents are recorded as Isaac Kighley and Ellen (nee Jackson).

Martin and Ann were married on 13 July 1818 at the parish church of Kildwick, West Yorkshire.

The next information I have about them is from the 1841 census.  They are living in the township of Sutton in the parish of Kildwick.  Martin’s occupation is recorded as a farmer.  Nine of their eleven children are living with them in 1841.  The eldest child, Isaac had already left home and was working as a weaver in Cowling.

The children at home were

Sarah – born about 1826; Ellen – born about 1826; Hannah – born about 1828; Joseph – born about 1830; Martin – born about 1833; Mary – born about 1835; Benjamin – born about 1837; Israel – born about 1839; and John – born about 1840.

Their other child Ann was born about 1843.

The name Gawthrop lends itself to misspelling in all sorts of ways.  The 1841 census entry looks like Martin Gothrope and Ancestry indexed it as Marton Gothrope.

In 1851 Martin and Ann are living in Cowling with seven of their children and four grandchildren.  Martin’s occupation is farmer of 35 acres and 24 acres moor (presumably moorland) employing no labour.

The seven children are – Isaac (30) working as an agricultural labourer; Joseph (20) working on the farm; Martin (18) and Mary (16) working as handloom weavers; Benjamin (12) and Israel (11) working on the farm; and Ann (8) who is a scholar.

The four grandchildren are – John (11) who is a scholar; James (11) and Martin (9) working as bobbin winders; and Sarah (4).

The census entry and the Ancestry index are both clearly Gawthrop.

Martin died in 1860 before the next census.

So in 1861 Ann is living at Garth Holme in Colne, Lancashire.  Also living there are her daughter Ann (18) with her husband John Riley and baby William (5 months) plus three other grandchildren John (20), Martin (19) and Ellen Hopkinson (6).

The actual census entry looks like Anne (with an “e”) Gawthrope and that is how it is indexed in Ancestry.

Ann passed away in 1863.

Tombstone Tuesday – Tale of Two Sisters

This gravestone marks the resting place of two sisters who were born within three years of each other but who died nearly half a century apart.

Mary Ellen Gawthrop (nee Snowden) was born about 1869 in Cowling, West Yorkshire and her sister Leah was born about 1872, also in Cowling.

Mary Ellen is the wife of my 1st cousin 3x removed.

On the 1881 UK census Mary Ellen and Leah were living with their parents John (48) and Ann Snowden (44) and  their seven other siblings

Alice (19)

Annie (19)

John (16)

Emily (14)

Selina (10)

Dinah (6)

James (4)

The family is living at Fold Lane, Cowling.  The father is working as a weaving overlooker at a worsted factory.  The four oldest children are working as worsted weavers and the remaining children are recorded as scholars.

Mary Ellen married Joseph Gawthrop sometime in Q3 of 1889.  In the 1891 UK census they are living at 7 Gladstone Terrace, Trawden, Lancashire.  Jospeh’s occupation is cotton weaving overlooker and Mary Ellen is working as a cotton winder.

The following year their son, Wilfred, was born and his birth is registered at Burnley, Lancashire in Q3 1892.

I have no other information about Mary Ellen until her death on 29th April 1897.

Joseph married Selina Bannister in 1898 and they had twin boys the following year, John Elvin and Joseph Arthur.

In 1891 the UK census shows Leah Snowden living with her widowed mother Ann and still at Fold Lane, Cowling.  Also still living at home are siblings Emily (24), Selina (20), Dinah (16) and James (14).  All the children are working as cotton weavers.

In 1901 the family are still together and still living in Fold Lane and still working as cotton weavers.

In 1911 Leah remains living at home with her mother and three siblings – Emily (44), Selina (40), and James (35).

I have no other information about Leah until her death on 1st June 1944.  And I find it really interesting that sisters were buried together after so much time between their deaths.

Tombstone Tuesday – Alice Gawthrop

Here’s a rather understated tombstone and I think that the family gave quite a lot of thought to it with the little scroll effect at the bottom.

In Loving Memory of


wife of Isaac Gawthrop

of Crow Nest Farm, Colne

Died Jany. 16th 1922

Aged 60 years

At Rest

Alice Gawthrop (nee Snowden) is the wife of my first cousin 3x removed.

She was born in Cowling, West Yorkshire sometime in 1862.  As yet I don’t have any information about Alice’s parents.  To be honest I haven’t looked – it isn’t one of the priorities on my to do list.

Alice married Isaac Gawthrop in the first quarter of 1885 and the marriage was registered at Skipton in North Yorkshire.

The first time that they appear on a census together is 1891.  They had moved to Trawden in Lancashire – only a short distance away.  Isaac is shown as a farmer.  Sometime over the next ten years they moved to 28 Market Street, Colne, still in Lancashire and Isaac is now working as a stonemason.

Between 1887 and 1898 Alice and Isaac had four children

- Johnny (c1887)
– Edith Ann (c1890)
– Joseph (c1892)
– Ida (c1898)

    Given the six year gap between Joseph and Ida I have wondered if there was at least one other child who didn’t survive – but I haven’t looked at the death records to try and confirm this.

    Alice’s tombstone suggests that sometime after 1901 they had moved again and that perhaps Isaac was farming at Crow Nest Farm.