napoleon

Happy 210th birthday grandma

Today in 1800 my 3xgreat grandma was born.  So join with me and a raise a glass or two to clebrate the 210th birthday of Margaret Snowden.

Margaret was born in the West Yorkshire village of Cowling – situated on the road between Keighley and Colne.  The road crosses the Yorkshire – Lancashire border.  Back in 1800 the main road through the village was still a dozen years away.  The building of it was said to be under the supervision of Blind Jack of Knaresborough, who constructed roads throughout Yorkshire.

Here’s a couple of links to websites about Cowling village.

http://www.cowlingweb.co.uk/about/about_cowling.asp

http://www.moon-rakers.co.uk/wordpress/

Cowling is an important part of my family history and will get regular mentions in future posts.

Anyway back to Margaret.  She married Thomas Dawson on 2nd September 1819.  They had nine children between 1819 and 1840.  On the census returns Margaret is always shown simply as “wife”.  That really doesn’t do her justice does it.  Thomas was mainly employed as a cotton warp dresser (see explanation below) all his working life.  So Margaret would have been responsible for the house – I really can’t imagine what it must have been like to raise nine children in rural England in the mid 19th century.

I suspect that their homes were really quite small cottages built near the local mills – which is where Thomas probably worked.

A warp dresser is someone who prepared the long worsted threads for weaving. This consisted of sizing the warp threads with "paps" - a flour and water mix – which strengthened the warp threads and lessened the possibility of them breaking during weaving.

In 1800 King George III was still on the throne, John Adams was well into his presidential term in the USA and in Europe, Napoleon was about to start throwing his weight about.

I can't let a post about the Snowden family go without mentioning Viscount Philip Snowden who was born in Cowling in 1864. He was a British politician and the first Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1924. I know I may be clutching at straws but I am hoping that I can eventually find a family connection to this famous son of Cowling – even if it is only by distant marriage. Watch this space!!

Here's a link to more information

http://www.cowlingweb.co.uk/local_history/cowling_people/philip_snowden.asp

Happy Birthday Margaret.