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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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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The Sharow Burial Mystery

Plan of a section of the graveyard at St John's, Sharow

My interest in my family history started when I was about 10 years old when my mother & father took me for a day out to the Ripon area. I was taken aback to see a headstone at St John’s, Sharow with my name on it! My father informed me that it was my great-great grandfather Stephen Smithson. I now know this headstone and that of his son Ralph Pickersgill Smithson very well having frequently visited St John’s over the years. The bush marked on the plan by Stephen’s grave was removed sometime in the early 2000’s.

When my father died I inherited various family papers. Amongst these was a used envelope that had been opened up and a plan of a section of St John’s churchyard drawn on the inside. The envelope has a postmark dated August 28th 1900 and it is addressed to Mr R P Smithson, 3 Bingwood Terrace, Ripon. I know this to be my great uncle Ralph Pickersgill Smithson Jnr, the son of Ralph Pickersgill Smithson Snr. Ralph Snr had a pork butchers on Kirkgate, which when he died at the age of 33 in 1872 from smallpox, was subsequently passed on to an employee, Thomas Appleton. Ralph junior rose through the various ranks of clerk in the post office and died in 1938 in Wimbledon. I can only assume Ralph Jnr drew the plan.

Now to the mystery. The plan shows the two headstones I know well, those of Stephen and Ralph Snr (marked Grandfather and Father on the plan) near to the main door of the church. It also shows a row of burials for which there are no headstones but on the plan they have been transcribed as follows:

  1. “Grandmother 1869. Levelled. ”
  2. “Stephen (father’s brother)”
  3. “Pickersgill – Grandmother and Mrs Hardy’s father”
  4. i)
  5. ii) Three burials simply marked “Hardys”
  6. iii)
  7. “Thackeray (married Hardy’s niece)”
  8. “Aunt Hardy”

Wouldn’t it have been helpful if he’d used their names when he drew the plan? I’m aware that Ralph jnr did conduct some family history research but for some reason threw it away with the comment “where there’s cows there’s muck” although he used another word in place of ‘muck’!

What it was he discovered that so appalled him I don’t know but I thought it was about time I discovered who these Hardys, Pickersgills and Thackwrays were from this last remaining piece of Ralph juniors research.

Through a process of research and elimination I now believe the burials to be:

  1. Ann Pickersgill
    Born in 1808 in Sharow, the daughter of Christopher Pickersgill (3) was baptised on 19 November at Ripon Cathedral. She married my great-great grandfather Stephen Smithson on 13 February 1836 at St Columba, Topcliffe. They had three children, Ralph Pickersgill Smithson snr, William Smithson and Stephen Smithson (2). Ann died 29 November 1869 at Copt Hewick and was buried on 3 December 1869.
  2. Stephen Smithson
    The third son of Stephen and Ann (1) born 3 May 1845, died 17 January 1848 at Copt Hewick and buried on 18 January 1848. Cause of death: “fits”.
  3. Christopher Pickersgill
    The father of Ann (1), he was baptised 24 May 1773 at Ripon Cathedral and was buried 29 January 1843. He married Elizabeth Smithson on 21 December 1799 at Ripon Cathedral – more here. He had three daughters. Elizabeth b1805, Jane (8) b. 1807 and Ann (1) b. 1808.
  4. Dorothy Hardy
    The fourth daughter of George Hardy (6) and Jane Pickersgill (8). Dorothy was born in 1835 at Hutton Conyers and baptised at St John’s on 5 April. Dorothy died at Sharow and was buried on 13 April 1858
  5. Thomas Hardy
    The third son of George Hardy (6) and Jane Pickersgill (8). Thomas was born on 18 March 1839 in Sharow and baptised on 7 April at St John’s. He died in 1860 and was buried on 18 June.
  6. George Hardy
    The husband of Jane Pickersgill (8). George was born in 1801 at West Tanfield and married Jane on 4 December 1826 at Ripon Cathedral. They had eight children. George died in 1861 and was buried on 19 July.
  7. Joseph Thackwray
    Ann (1) and Jane Pickersgill (8) had a sister Elizabeth born 1805 in Sharow. She was baptised on 4 October at St John’s. I believe she had two illegitimate children, James b1833 and Jane. Jane was born on 7 September 1843 at Rainton and baptised on 1 October 1843 at St Columba’s Church, Topcliffe. She married Joseph Thackwray, a blacksmith, on 31 December 1860 at Baldersby St James. Joseph was born in Winksley in 1837 and was baptised there on 12 February. He died at the age of 34 in Sharow and was buried on 26 June 1871 at St John’s. Jane then married Mark Beckwith (another blacksmith) on 28 April 1872 and died in 1879 and was buried on 9 September at Baldersby St James. Mark went on to marry Elizabeth “Betty” Kipling.
  8. Jane Pickersgill
    The wife of George Hardy (6). Jane, the daughter of Christopher (3) was born at Sharow in 1807 and baptised on 13 June at Ripon Cathedral. She spent her later years living with or near her eldest daughter Elizabeth in Stockton on Tees where she died on 23 May 1884. She was buried on 26 May 1884 at St John’s.

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So who won the Enos challenge?

Some 10 years or so ago I set a challenge to readers of this site to find the ancestry of Enos Smithson born 1778 in Langthorpe. At the time I’d had a number of discussions with Bill Smithson of Killinghall who had been most helpful with his own research but we couldn’t find where Enos got his name or who his ancestors were. A number of us had drawn a blank so I set the challenge.

So who won it? Well, I think I did but only recently! The process was as follows. I firstly found the baptism of “Enos son of Willm Smithson” baptised 8th May 1778 at Kirby Hill near Langthorpe. Next step was to find Williams wife – “William Smithson of Skelton in parish of Ripon, yeoman and Margaret Metcalf of Longthorpe, spinster married by licence 28 November 1763. Both signed. Witnesses Dorothy Dale and Richard Tanfield.” – again, this record from Kirby Hill.

What else can we find about William? Again from the Kirby Hill registers “William son of Samuel Smithson of Langthorpe by Mary his wife was born May 22nd, was baptised June 20th 1735” and “William Smithson of Langthorp was buried June 1787”. And what about his wife Margaret? “Margaret, the wife of Wm Smithson of Langthorpe buried at Kirby on the Moor, the 21st of January 1783.”

OK but where did Enos get his name from? Margaret’s father was Enos Metcalf born around 1698 and baptised at Kirby Hill: “Enos son of Leonard Metcalfe of Humburton was baptised Jan 10th 1698” and “Enos Metcalf of Longthorp buried the 25th day of December 1771”.

What do we know about William’s father Samuel? “Samuel Smithson of Skelton in the parish of Ripon late of Langthorpe in this parish. Buried the 28th day of September 1763”, again from the Kirby Hill registers.

So can I claim the prize?

Check out a public tree I’ve put on Ancestry to show the above in more detail.

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The Enos Challenge

I am aware that a number of people may have drawn a blank in finding the parents of Enos Smithson of Langthorpe (born 1779).

So, here’s the challenge – has anyone successfully connected Enos to his parents?

Here’s what we know of Enos:

Census data shows him to be born about 1779 in Langthorpe. 1841 census shows him as an Agricultural Labourer in Cundall as does the 1851 census. The 1861 census shows him in Ripon workhouse. Death indexes show his death Qtr 1 1864.

He married Susannah Dawson (b1785, Kirkby Hill) on 31 May 1806 at Cundall. Susannah’s parents were Thomas Dawson and Alice Wiseman and Alice’s parents were William Wiseman and Esther Pick.

The children of Enos and Susannah were:

Enos – 1808 to 1874
William – 1810 to 1886
Thomas – 1811 to 1871
John – 1817 to 1890
Samuel – 1818 to 1879
Alice – 1821 to 1888
Mary – 1823 to ?
Mark – 1828 to 1887

Come on, where does Enos fit in?

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