Christopher Pickersgill & Elizabeth Smithson

I believe Christopher Pickersgill was baptised on 24 May 1773 in Ripon, Yorkshire, the son of Paul Pickersgill. He married Elizabeth Smithson on the 21 December 1799 in Ripon. I believe she was the daughter of Ralph Smithson and Elizabeth Reader baptised 7 September 1776 at St Mary’s, Cundall.

Christopher died on 26 January 1843 at Sharow and was buried on the 29 January at St John’s, Sharow. It is not yet known when or where Elizabeth died other than it was before 1841.

This Christopher and Elizabeth are not the couple buried at St Lamberts, Burneston. Our Christopher is buried at Sharow and bear in mind he’s in Sharow on the 1841 census! There’s no record of Elizabeth being buried at Sharow but she may have died prior to St John’s being consecrated in 1825.

I’ve found four children so far.

  • Ralph Smithson Pickersgill baptised 24 November 1800 at the Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Wilfrid, Ripon. He commenced as a private in the 1st Regiment of Lifeguards on 1 March 1820 and was discharged on 9 November 1836. He died on 26 January 1839 at 10 John Street, Westminster and was buried on 30 January 1839 at St Marylebone.
  • Elizabeth Pickersgill baptised 4 October 1805 at the Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Wilfrid, Ripon. She had two illegitimate children James (who ended up in prison) who married Annie Walls and Jane who married Joseph Thackway and after his death, Mark Beckwith. Elizabeth subesquently married William Lancaster on 23 February 1852 at St Columba’s, Topcliffe. She died on 4 September 1883 at Bishop Monkton and was buried on 7 September at St John the Baptist, Bishop Monkton.
  • Jane Pickersgill baptised on 13 June 1807 at the Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Wilfrid, Ripon. She married George Hardy on 4th December 1826 at the Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Wilfrid, Ripon.They had eight children. Jane died on 23 May 1884 at 6 Bishopton Lane, Stockton-on-Tees (Informant: Jane Stillborn of 6 Bishopton Lane, Stockton-on-Tees, daughter, present at death) and was buried at St John’s, Sharow on 26 May 1884.
  • Ann Pickersgill baptised on 19 November 1808 at the Cathedral Church of St Peter and St Wilfrid, Ripon. She married Stephen Smithson on 13 February 1836 at St Columba’s, Topcliffe. They had three children. She died on 29 November 1869 at Copt Hewick and was buried at St John’s, Sharow on 3 December 1869.
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George Hardy born 1833

After resolving the Sharow Burial Mystery I further researched the children of George Hardy and Jane Pickersgill but couldn’t determine what happened to George, their eldest son.

I believe we find him in Leeds in 1861 working as a servant. On 28 Aug 1869 he marries Elizabeth Poulter from Marton-le-Moor at St Peter’s in Leeds. He can be found on subsequent censuses working as a hotel porter. He ended up as head porter at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, somewhere I’ve stayed many times!

He died on 18th Jan 1909. Elizabeth died 23 Jul 1906. They had three children, John George, Mary Jane and Catherine Elizabeth.

The evidence as to why I think this is the right George is that his marriage certificate states his father is George, a farmer and a couple of censuses state he was born at Sharow. Others state Ripon. We already know that he was baptised on 12 May 1833 at St John’s church, Sharow where his parents are buried.

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Update on the Hardys of Sharow

Following the resolution of the Sharow Burial Mystery I further researched the children of George Hardy and Jane Pickersgill as follows:

  • Elizabeth Hardy baptised 28 Apr 1828 at St Johns, Sharow. Married Christopher Hammond Q2 1853, Ripon. Died 14 Jan 1898 Stockton on Tees and buried at Oxbridge Lane Cemetery, Stockton.
  • Mary Anne Hardy baptised 21 Mar 1830 at St Johns, Sharow. Married Thomas Wilton 23 Nov 1853 at Wath. Died 6 Oct 1873 buried 8 Oct 1873 at Wath.
  • Jane Hardy baptised 20 Dec 1831 at St Johns, Sharow. Married William Wrigglesworth on 11 Apr 1857 at Ripon Cathedral. William died 29 Mar 1875 and is buried at Oxcliffe Lane Cemetery, Stockton on Tees. Jane married Francis Stilborn Q4 1879 Stockton. She died 23 Jul 1901 and is buried at Oxbridge Lane Cemetery, Stockton.
  • George Hardy baptised 12 May 1833 at St Johns, Sharow. Not sure what happened to him after the 1841 census. View update here.
  • Dorothy Hardy baptised 5 Apr 1835 at St Johns, Sharow. Died 1858 and buried on 13 Apr at St Johns, Sharow.
  • Edward Hardy baptised 2 Apr 1837 at St Johns, Sharow. Married Jane Umpleby on 7 May 1859 at Ripon Cathedral. Suspect Edward died Q2 1910 Auckland, Durham.
  • Thomas Hardy baptised 7 Apr 1839 at St Johns, Sharow. Died 1860 and buried on 18 Jun at St Johns, Sharow.
  • Ann Hardy born 1840/41 married John Hayton Q2 1864 Ripon. Died 21 Nov 1913 Stockton on Tees and buried at Oxbridge Lane Cemetery, Stockton.

William Wrigglesworth, Jane Stilborn (Hardy), Ann Hayton (Hardy) and John Hayton share the same memorial at Oxbridge Lane Cemetery.

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David Pickersgill Smithson – the full story

David Pickersgill Smithson is found in the Birth Index Q1 1883 Tadcaster 9c 807. He was born in Ledsham in Yorkshire the son of William Robert Smithson and Isabella Wilson. His siblings were Ann Emma Smithson (1876 – 1959) and John William Smithson (1878 – 1945). He is found with his parents in the 1891 census at Thorpe Willoughby and the 1901 census at 5 Fishers Court, High Skellgate, Ripon.

Up to yesterday this was all that was known about him. He wasn’t to be found on the 1911 census nor on any marriage records. I had looked at the death indexes and there appeared to be only one record that seemed to fit. This was for a David Smithson age 40 Q1 1924 Wharfedale 9a 215. I took a punt on it and ordered the certificate hoping that the informant may be a known relative.

This David Smithson died on 5 January 1924 at the West Riding Asylum at Menston. As it turned out, the informant was unknown but in the Occupation field it was noted “of 7 Water Skellgate, Ripon U.D., a general labourer”. A quick check of the 1908 electoral register for Ripon showed that his brother John William Smithson had an interest in 7 Water Skellgate. This confirmed that the death certificate did indeed belong to David Pickersgill Smithson.

It was then just a case of finding the admittance register entry which tells us that he was admitted on 30 June 1906, within 6 months of his mothers death. He is recorded as dying at the asylum. He is actually on the 1911 census, recorded only by his initials.

A sad outcome and not the one I’d hoped for. David was buried in Buckle Lane cemetery at the asylum on 10 January 1924.

Thanks to the Friends Of High Royd’s Memorial Garden and Mark Davis for their help.

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Moulton Hall

Moulton Hall, near Richmond, Yorks.

The hall was rebuilt on an ancient site in the 1600’s for Leonard Smithson, who was succeeded in 1650 by his son Christopher Smithson. The latter’s son George Smithson was MP for the North Riding in the First Protectorate Parliament in 1654 and briefly MP for Northallerton in 1659. On his death in 1692 the estate was sold by his widow to Sir Mark Milbanke of Halnaby.

His descendant Sir Ralph Milbanke, 6th Baronet sold it to Colonel Sir James Charles Dalbiac to pay the dowry when Sir Ralph’s only daughter Anne Isabella Milbanke disastrously married the poet Lord Byron in 1815. Sir Charles sold it in turn in 1836 to the Sanderson family to provide a dowry for his only daughter, Susanna, who married James Innes-Ker, 6th Duke of Roxburghe that year.

The property was then occupied by members of the Sanderson family for the remainder of the 1800s, including Michael Sanderson, who died in 1850, Matthew Sanderson, who died in 1854, John Sanderson, who died in 1860, Dennison Sanderson (fl. 1863, 1871), Henry Matthew Sanderson (fl. 1890), Henry Middleton Sanderson (fl.1906).

The National Trust acquired the house in 1966 and promotes its “beautiful carved staircase” as its main feature. It is open to the public on a limited basis by arrangement with the tenant. See

The current tenants of Moulton Hall are John Eccles, 2nd Viscount Eccles and his wife, the Baroness Eccles of Moulton.

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