This is the headstone at the grave of John Smith Buckley and his wife Mary Ellen. I took the photograph yesterday.
The grave is at Utley Cemetery, Keighley, West Yorkshire – it is grave number 494 in section N.
Clearly as you can see the headstone is in a very poor state with the top having broken away from the base. Also the ground around it is overgrown. Even so, after a bit of brushing away the dirt and debris, I was able to just make out the inscription.
John Smith Buckley is my 1st cousin 3x removed. He was born sometime in 1858 in Keighley, West Yorkshire. His parents were Mason Buckley and Susannah Hargreaves.
In the 1861, 1871 and 1881 census returns John is living with his parents. In 1871 he is working as a “worsted spinner” and in 1881 as an “iron moulder”.
Sometime in the March quarter of 1882 John married Mary Ellen Brigg. Mary was born about 1854. I have only done some very quick searches for her on the subsequent census returns but haven’t found a definite entry for her.
John and Mary had two daughters – Annie in 1882 and Ellen in 1887.
In the census records for 1891, 1901 and 1911 the family remained living in Keighley. John continued to work as an “iron moulder”. In 1911 their daughter Ellen is still single and living with them – she is employed as a “dressmaker”.
Their other daughter Annie married Willie Appleyard in the fist quarter of 1907. In the 1911 census Annie and Willie are living with Elizabeth Brigg – who appears to be a sister of Mary Ellen (Annie’s mother). I mention them particularly because Willie was also buried with John Smith and Mary Ellen when he died in 1947.
Anyway, Mary Ellen died on 19th March 1918 and was buried three days later at Utley Cemetery.
At some point after he was widowed John appears to have moved to Morecambe in Lancashire. The information I got from Utley Cemetery says that at the time of his death on 16th July 1932 he was living at 41 Victoria Parade, Morecambe.
The remaining mystery for me is where is Annie Appleyard buried? I found an Annie Appleyard in the National Burial Index who died in 1956 aged 75 years – which puts her at the right sort of age. This person is buried at a church in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. So I will need to do far more detective work to discover if this is my Annie Appleyard (nee Buckley).