When is a family part of a one name study and when is it not? I have collected quite a lot of data from the 1939 Register relating to Sarginson’s, and their many variant surnames. I came across a family of four living in Gateshead, County Durham who I couldn’t immediately place into another family group. Tracing their line back in time led me to a couple, David Sargent (1905-1850) and Catherine Allan (1808-1868), living in Cummersdale, Cumberland, over 50 miles away from Gateshead. The following chart outlines what is known about them and three generations of their descendants:
In the 1841 census Thomas Sargent, a flax spinner, was living with his wife Catherine and five sons in Dalston Lane, Buckabank West, in the parish of Dalston. There were several mills in Dalston and it was known for cotton manufacturing as the following extract from Lewis’ topographical directory of 1848 explains:
Thomas died in 1850. By 30 March 1851 Catherine, with her children James (born about 1831), Moses (born about 1834), Margaret (born about 1842) and David (1846-1890), had moved to Cummersdale. Their surname was recorded as Sargenson, living at High Cummersdale (marked on the following map in blue); Buckabank Mill is circled in green. Moses and James were working as agricultural labourers.
Catherine married her second husband Edward Roberts (1824-1871) in 1855, and in the 1861 census they were living at 24 Trinity Buildings, Caldewgate, Carlisle. Edward was an overlooker in a cotton mill, son David a power loom weaver and daughter Margaret a cotton winder. Catherine died in Carlisle in 1868, followed by Edward in 1871.
Other members of the family have so far been difficult to trace; this could be partly attributed to whichever surname they were using, either variants of Sargent/Sarjeant or variants of Sargenson.
Thomas and Catherine’s youngest son David, married Elizabeth Rea (1853-1930) on 17 September 1871 in the Carlisle Registry Office. David was a core maker and Elizabeth a cotton winder. They both gave their address as Bread St, Carlisle. Neither of the witnesses were members of David’s family.
By the time David and Elizabeth’s son James (1873-1951) was born, the family had moved to Gateshead in County Durham. In the 1881 census David was a hammerman (iron) and the family were at 103 Abbotts St. David died in 1890 and Elizabeth married John Fitzpatrick (born about 1869) not long afterwards.
It was David and Elizabeth’s great grandson David (1898-1951), who I originally found in the 1939 Register. He was a builder’s labourer living with his second wife Mary (1913-1978) and sons Sidney (1922-1976) and David (1939-1942) at 26 Hubert Terrace, Gateshead. David had followed his father James (1873-1951) into the building trade, although in the 1921 census he was recorded as being out of work. At that point he was living his parents James and Margaret and sister Margaret in two rooms at 65 Clasper St, Gateshead.
I am interested in knowing more about this family and specifically those I’ve so far been unable to trace. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
A while ago I was involved in a project researching gardeners. I came across William in a tree I’d developed for those descended from a group of Serjeantson families I’ve traced back to Kirkby Malhamdale in the West Riding of Yorkshire. I was intrigued to see that he had been a gardener at Trafford Park, Greater Manchester.
William was baptised on 13 April 1806 in Hawkshead, Lancashire to father James. In later records he provided his birthplace as either Hawkshead or nearby Coniston. A definitive 1841 census record has not yet been found for him. However, in 1851, he was recorded as a gardener working at Trafford Park. Trafford Park Hall had been built in 1762 and, with the adjoining area, was owned by the de Trafford family who can trace their origins back to the 13th century. The following OS map shows the hall (marked in blue) and the extent of the estate in 1848. Barton is circled in purple.
William continued to work at Trafford Park, although in both the 1861 and 1871, he had moved into the nearby village of Barton upon Irwell. In 1861 his address was Canal Side and his sisters Margaret (1815-1874) and Jane (1808-1879) and two nieces lived with him. In 1871 just Margaret and Jane were with him at 11 Canal Bank. The following outline descendant chart shows William in blue, his sisters in red, nieces in pink and nephews in green.
When the 1881 census was taken William was 75, and back living at Trafford Park, where he was head gardener. While I was unable to find a newspaper report of William’s death, I did come across a report of the death of the owner of Trafford Park in the Manchester Evening News (4 May 1886). Sir Humphrey de Trafford, a prominent Catholic, died “after a lingering and painful disease”. His funeral was held at All Saints Catholic church which he had had built in Barton about 20 years before his death.
William died on 24 June 1886 and was described as being “late of Trafford Park”, suggesting that he was still there when he died at the age of 80. He was buried in St Catherine’s churchyard on 29 June 1886 and his headstone has the following engraving:
“In loving remembrance of
During 42 years
Head Gardener at Trafford Park
Died June 24th 1886, aged 80 years”
Inscription from Headstone for William Sargeson
The inscription helpfully includes a reference to his work at Trafford Park and that he worked there for 42 years; probably from about 1844. Sadly, his headstone is broken with the cross having come away from the plinth. Probate was granted to two of his nephews, Thomas and William, who are marked on the above outline descendant chart.
Trafford ParkHall – about ten years after William’s death, the Hall and its surrounding land had been sold to E. T. Hookey, who registered Trafford Park Estates Limited in 1896. The area around the hall was gradually developed for industrial purposes, facilitated by the building of the Manchester Ship canal in the late 19th century. The hall (circled in blue) can still be seen in the following 1927 OS map of the area; however, it had been demolished by 1939.
Finally – I am interested in knowing more about William and his family. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
While I was researching Sargison’s for my one name study I came across a record in FindmyPast’s Crime, Prisons and Punishment collection for a James Sargisson who was committed for trial in 1864 at the Leeds summer assizes. He was sentenced to death on 17 August 1864 for the wilful murder of John Cooper in Abbey Lane in the parish of Laughton-en-le-Morthen in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The case became known as the Roche Abbey murder. Cooper, a gardener, had been bludgeoned to death on the evening of 9 April, after having visited a tavern in Brookhouse. His stolen watch and keys were later found in James’s lodgings and James admitted to seeing the “deed being done by another man”. This man was later identified as George Denton. He too was sent for trial with James but was not convicted. Denton’s case was defended by legal counsel Mr Vernon Blackburn. The grand jury decided that the evidence provided by James could not be corroborated and Denton was released. James does not seem to have had any access to legal counsel.
A combination of local newspaper entries and census records for Laughton-en-le-Morthen helped me to establish James’ parents, John Sergison (1813-1893) and Elizabeth Row (1818-1890). The surnames in records for both John and James varied significantly. A feature which I’ve already written about in a previous blog post.
James was baptised on 21 April 1844 in All Saints Church, Laughton-en-le-Morthen. He was recorded with his family in the 1851 census living at Brookhouse in the parish of Laughton-en-le-Morthen. His father John was an agricultural labourer. By 1861 James was a farm servant at Pond Farm, Dodworth in the parish of Silkstone, where the head of the family was John Coldwell, a farmer of 60 acres.
A newspaper report of the murder at Laughton-en-le-Morthen in the Leeds Intelligencer (27 August 1864), provided some background into James’s family. His parents were living in Brookhouse at the time of his trial and this was where James was born. The report goes onto say that James received very little education and that “at a proper time he was sent for farmer’s service”. He was described as being about 11 stones in weight and about 5ft 7 ½in high. It seems that the murdered man John Cooper was about three stones heavier and much taller than him and the report goes onto suggest that James could not have murdered him on his own. The report describes Cooper as “stout, tall, muscular and active” and that “we most sincerely hope that if another person was concerned in the foul and cowardly murder a few more days may disclose the secret as to who he is”.
James was sentenced to death by hanging at Armley Gaol in Leeds. He was hanged outside the prison at 9am on 10 September 1864 with another prisoner Joseph Myers. It was the only public execution which ever took place outside the prison and according to newspaper reports attracted a crowd of 80,000-100,000 (Morning Advertiser, 12 September 1864). After his death James was buried in the prison graveyard.
Not everyone at the time believed that James was guilty of murder. A reporter visited James’s residence at Lockwood near Huddersfield after his death and interviewed Mrs Schofield (Leeds Mercury, 20 September 1864). James began lodging with the family in May 1862 and secured work in a nearby brickyard. He stayed with the family for about a year and then returned to Laughton-en-le-Morthen where he secured work. After his conviction he asked that none of his old companions or fellow workers go to Leeds to see him being hung. The reporter also interviewed Mr Haigh, the manager of one of his previous employers, who described James as “willing and obliging; he could set himself to any kind of work and nothing came wrong in his hand”. He then went onto say that he was of good character and “could not say a word against him”. A colleague of James’s, Sanderson, was also interviewed; he said that:
“Jim was foolish for not letting us know when he got into trouble; for we would have tried to get him a reprieve; they’ve hung him, but they’ve hung the wrong one – he never did the murder”.
Perhaps there was a miscarriage of justice here as it seems unlikely that James could have assaulted Cooper on his own. His lack of education could have been a contributing factor as well as an apparent lack of legal representation. Maybe James was guilty of receiving stolen goods but not murder. He was survived by his parents John and Elizabeth who continued to live in the parish of Laughton-en-le-Morthen until their deaths.
I am interested in knowing more about James and his family. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
My one name study into the surname Sarginson has revealed a number of soldiers with the surname variant Sergison/Sergesson, many of whom were born either in Ireland or Scotland. During my research I have disentangled two individuals: Francis Sergison a Roman Catholic baptised in Barony, Glasgow in 1851 aged 3 and Thomas Francis Sergison, probably Church of England, born apparently in Witton Park, Durham. A summary of what I’ve been able to find out about him so far is included in the following descendant chart:
Clues to his birth have so far not led to finding out about who his parents were. No attestation record has been found for when he enlisted in the Royal Artillery (RA) in 1875 and the RA establishment books which are available on FindmyPast only start in 1883. One military record for him dated 1882 suggested he was then aged 24, indicating his birth was about 1858 not 1853 as indicated on his census records. When he married Kate in 1883, he gave his father’s name as Francis, a house steward. Despite extensive research I’ve so far been unable to find either a birth certificate or baptism record for him. In both the 1891 and 1901 censuses he gave his birth place as Witton Park, Durham, a village which at one time had extensive ironworks. It gets a brief mention in Lewis’s 1848 topographical directory of England as follows:
I am interested in knowing more about Thomas Francis, also known as Frank, do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share with me.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Witton Park, in Wear Valley and County Durham| Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time. URL: https://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/23211 accessed: December 2021.
Whilst I was researching Thomas and his family, I found a record for Mary and their two sons that showed they were living with her father in the 1871 census in Longtown, Cumberland. Both Mary and her father Robert (born about 1814) described themselves as widowed. My next step was to find out more about Thomas. I found a death record for him and a number of newspaper articles which described how he had committed suicide in Longtown in 1869.
Thomas had been baptised on 9 October 1835 in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Appleby, Westmorland. His parents were Thomas Sarginson (born about 1808) and his first wife Mary Richardson (1805-1838). The register records his father’s occupation as a veterinary surgeon. After his mother died Thomas’ father married Ann Rockliff (1808-1871) with whom he had another son William (born 1843). The following descendant chart shows the family relationships:
By 1851 the family had moved to Newcastle upon Tyne in Northumberland when Thomas senior gave his occupation as a chemist. They had moved back to Westmorland by the 1861 census and by that time Thomas junior had met and married Mary Beaty. The household census entry reads as follows:
Relation to Head of Family
Rank, Profession or Occupation
Student Royal Veterinary College Edinburgh
1861 Census for Thomas and family
Interestingly, Thomas the younger’s entry listed him as a lodger, not a son, and it was annotated with the words “practising as a veterinary surgeon”. Thomas and Mary went on to have two sons:
William Robert Sarginson (1861-1931) – his birth was registered in Longtown but he did not consistently use this information on later census records.
Frederick Arthur Sarginson (1864-1877) – his birth was registered in Longtown and his death on 26 September 1877 in Barrow in Furness, Lancashire. His mother Mary registered his death and their address was given as 29 Napier Street, Barrow.
Thomas committed suicide, at the age of 34, on 11 October 1869 in Longtown, Cumberland. He had obtained prussic acid from a local surgeon, Dr Francis Graham, citing his need for it professionally as a veterinary surgeon (Carlisle Patriot, 15 October 1869, page 4). An inquest was held into his death presided over by the coroner, Mr Carrick, and a jury was appointed (Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser and Literary Chronicle, 19 October 1869, page 4).
Although he was said to have a good business, initially practicing in Westmorland and then Penrith, he was reported to have taken to drinking and been unkind to his wife Mary. In her evidence to the inquest Mary said that they had been married for nine years and had two children. She had left him four years ago and retuned to Longtown to live with her father. Three months ago, Thomas had persuaded Mary to return to him but a week before his death had left saying that he was going to collect money but he didn’t return. She had been left without money for food and all the furniture in the house, except the children’s bed, had been removed by her husband’s aunt and uncle. The only food they had had been provided by the neighbours. Mary had written to Thomas advising him of their plight but he hadn’t come home so she retuned to her father Robert Beaty’s house in Longtown (Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser and Literary Chronicle, 19 October 1869, page 4). Robert was the gateman at Longtown railway station. Mary described her husband as:
“Deceased looked very wild when he got drink, and was very passionate. He was much reduced in circumstances. She had always done her duty as a wife to him, the quarrels taking place through his drinking.” (Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser and Literary Chronicle, 19 October 1869, page 4).
When Thomas returned to the home he shared with Mary and his children on 11 October he found that it was deserted; he then made his way to Longtown where he bought the prussic acid, half an ounce in a small phial. Dr Graham described Thomas as being sober and cleanly dressed (Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser and Literary Chronicle, 19 October 1869, page 4).
After buying the acid Thomas went to his father-in-law’s house to see his wife. He was refused access, took the acid and fell down. What happened next was described as follows:
“He was carried at once to the waiting room of the station and medical assistance brought, but it was of no avail, he died about an hour later, apparently without pain.” (Carlisle Patriot, 15 October 1869, page 4)
The jury found that the “deceased had committed suicide by poison while insane”.
There is a postscript to this story as regards Dr Francis Graham. He was fined 5s at the Longtown Petty Sessions for “unlawfully selling a quantity of prussic acid without labelling the bottle with the word poison” (Christchurch Times, 30 October 1869, page 7).
After the death of Thomas, Mary continued to live in Longtown with her father and sons until at least the 1871 census:
Relation to Head of Family
Rank, Profession or Occupation
1871 Census for Robert, Mary and her sons
The family left Longtown sometime before Robert Beaty’s death on 9 September 1892. His death certificate records that he died at 43 Napier Street, Hindpool, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire. Robert was described as a general labourer and his daughter Mary was the informant for his death. Mary was also the informant for her son Frederick’s death on 28 September 1877 when they were living at 29 Napier Street.
Thomas and Mary’s oldest son, William (1861-1931) was boarding with the Abbott family at 29 Napier Street, in the 1881 census. He was described as a fitter born in Appleby, Westmorland. The head of the household was Victor Abbott, a railway guard.
Mary continued to live in Barrow-in-Furness and in 1891 she was living in James Street with her occupation given as a monthly nurse. Mary died on 12 March 1892 at 18 James Street. Her son William was the informant when her death was registered. By then he was living at 16 Oxford Street, Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham. William met and married Eliza Dunning (1865-1932) and together they had six children. In the 1911 census he was described as an engine fitter.
I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.
Sometimes, when researching people, a specific record catches your eye. This was certainly the case with William Sargison (1786-1811), whose burial record from the parish of St Mary the Virgin, Cottingham, dated 14 June 1811, indicated that he was the son of Thomas (Sergeason/Sergesson) and gave his cause of death as “killed by lightening”. At the time of the incident Cottingham was located in the East Riding of Yorkshire, near to Hull, and its position has been marked on the following map (see bibliography for map attribution):
William is included in the “Sargison South Cave and beyond tree” which includes people living in Cottingham.
The story of William’s death seems to have been picked up by newspapers outside the local area. For example, a report in the Salisbury and Winchester Journal (24 June 1811, page 4) reported that:
“During a thunderstorm at Cottingham, near Hull, on Wednesday afternoon, Mr Sarjeson, his son William, and his nephew, being all engaged in hoeing turnips, the former at the end of the field and the nephew and son at the other, the latter (son) was suddenly struck dead by the lightening, his face on one side was completely scorched, and his hat, clothes and shoes, all rent to pieces.”
In other reports William’s age was given as 22 and that he was “a remarkably steady young man” (Stamford Mercury, 21 June 1811, page 3). None of the reports identify his father by his first name although they do report his surname in a number of different ways: Sargerrison and Sarjeson are just two examples.
William was buried in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin, Cottingham, Yorkshire (see bibliography for photograph attribution):
William was the youngest of two sons born to Thomas Sargison (1747-1825) and his wife Jane Milburn (1746-1815). His elder brother Thomas (1773-1839) continued to live in Cottingham with his wife and children. Thomas and William also had seven sisters, some of whom I’ve been able to trace. The following chart shows Thomas, Jane, and the children and grandchildren that I’ve found so far.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Cottingham, in East Riding of Yorkshire and East Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time. URL: http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/place/979 Date accessed: 11th March 2021
Ronald (a member of the Sargison South Cave and beyond tree) was born on 10 November 1910 in Nottingham, England to parents Percy John Sargison (1876-1952) and Lucy Ann Ragsdale (1878-1951). At the time of the 1911 census Percy was described as a draper and outfitter and the family were living at 95 Sherwood Street, Nottingham. By 1939 Percy and Lucy had moved to 29 Ribblesdale Road and Percy was a credit draper and outfitter. In contrast their son Ronald was a Clerk in Holy Orders, single and living with Clarence and Elizabeth Beardall at Woodlands, Mansfield Woodhouse, Nottinghamshire.
The following timeline for Ronald’s career has been constructed using a combination of primary sources (education, newspaper articles, passenger lists, probate records and electoral registers) and secondary sources. I was only able to access online resources which I subscribe to so have not been able to utilise clergy related occupational sources like Crockfords Clerical directory.
Ronald married Olive Thompson (1910-1979), a widow, in Q4 1951, in Nottingham. Olive’s first husband, Frederick Thomas Thompson (1907-1951), had died on 28 June 1951. Olive had three children with her first husband, two of whom accompanied them when they went to Guyana in 1956. After their marriage the following table shows what happened next to Ronald’s career and his new family.
The ship Ronald, Olive and family travelled to Guyana was called the Arakaka. It had been built in Teeside and was launched in 1946 as a cargo steamer. On its voyage in 1956 it carried 12 passengers and was operated by the Booker Line.
Secondary sources suggest that after his return to England, Ronald was the vicar of churches in Balham, and Hawthorn and Trimdon, both in County Durham. Ronald and his wife Olive moved at some point to Dulverton Hall in Scarborough, a home for retired clergy, which was replaced by a new property in 2002. Olive died in Q3 1979 and Ronald on 18 October 1987. Both their deaths were registered in Scarborough.
I am interested in knowing more about all the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.
Whilst I was working on the Sargison tree which, includes people in the parishes of Eastrington, South Cave and Cottingham, I came across a couple who had had three children baptised in the Hallgate Zion Independent chapel. The children of Thomas Sargison (1773-1839) and Mary Kitchin (1774-1857) were as follows:
Jane (1803-1834) baptised on 10 Oct 1803.
Sarah (1806-1871) baptised on 3 Sept 1806.
Thomas (1811-1846) baptised on 18 March 1811.
At the time of their baptisms the congregation worshipped in a pre-1800 Presbyterian chapel located in Hallgate, Cottingham. The Presbyterian congregation had become Independent after the death of the Arian Minister, Edward Dewhirst, in 1784. The chape was replaced in 1819 by a new building (Zion United Reform Church) which is now listed on the Historic England website.
Cottingham in the early 1800s was considered a large village with upwards of 2000 inhabitants. Although Thomas was a labourer, he was listed in the Poll Books of 1830 and 1832. Certainly in 1831 the largest occupational group in the census were agricultural labourers and it is likely that Thomas worked on the land until his death in 1839.
By 1841 the population of Cottingham had grown to more than 2500 people. Two new streets had been built near the Hallgate chapel: George Street and Crescent Street. In the 1841 census Mary and two of her children, Sarah and Thomas, were living in George Street with another possible member of the extended family, Mary Sarginson aged 45. All three ladies were described as laundresses. Mary’s son Thomas was aged 30 but had no occupation recorded against his entry. The following extract from the 1855 OS map shows the position of the two new streets and the Hallgate chapel.
By the 1851 census Mary’s son Thomas had died and it was just Mary and her daughter Sarah who lived Crescent Street. Mary’s occupation was laundress and Sarah “at home”. Mary died in 1857 and was buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s, Cottingham. Her daughter Sarah was then left without immediate family and she was admitted to the North and East Riding of Yorkshire Lunatic Asylum in Clifton (near York), Yorkshire on 10 November 1860. A series of records from the Sculcoates Poor Law Union, catalogued at the East Riding Archives, show that she was regularly recorded in their returns of pauper lunatics from 1861-1871. The asylum census recorded Sarah as a charwoman from Cottingham in both 1861 and 1871. She died in the asylum on 5 May 1871 with her age given as 66. She was the last member of her immediate family.
I am interested in knowing more about the people mentioned in this blog post. Do contact me if you have any further information which you are willing to share.
I have recently returned to my one name study after quite a long break while I completed by MSc in genealogy at Strathclyde University. Having taken the opportunity to look at my site with fresh eyes, and having responded to a number of queries from people over the last year or so, I decided that it needs to be re-organised. In addition, much of the data behind the site is held by myself and having recently seen a lot of emails about preserving one name studies I think that now is the time to clean everything up as much as possible and take advantage of the arrangements the Guild of One Name Studies have put in place to assist with this.
Tidying up my study and taking advantage of the 1921 census which, should be available at some point next year will keep me busy for some time. In the mean-time though my plan is to re-arrange and update the information I have on the main pages of the website. At the moment family groups are arranged by surname variants. This isn’t an exact science though, as within any one family group there are a number of different spellings of surnames, so it can be a challenge to find a specific family group or individual.
What I have done is review each of the family trees I’ve created so far to identify the earliest known ancestor in each one and where they are from. I have also looked more closely at where else members of these family trees can be found, including in countries outside the UK.
Finally, I now have a plan to create a set of different sections for my website which better reflects the origin of each of the family trees as shown below.
I was alerted to the existence of Richard Sargeson, a resident in Ontario, Canada in the nineteenth century some while ago. I developed a tree for those of his descendants I could find using existing online resources and then set aside the issue of where he had come from in England. His burial record in the MacMillan pioneer cemetery in the Lancaster township in the historic county of Glengarry in Ontario Canada provides the following intriguing information about him:
“Richard Sargeson born May the 24, 1789 departed his life April the 16 1890 aged 101 years 11 months & 8 days native of Cumberland England” (The source for this information is the Lonely Stones website mentioned in the bibliography.)
Some members of Richard’s family are buried in the cemetery, including his son Isaac (1840-1903) and both of Isaac’s wives: Catherine Ann McMillan (1841-1879) and Virginia Sayeau/Seguin (1854-1943). The cemetery itself is situated on Concession 7, lot 24 on the north side of Lancaster township. It seems to have been built on land originally settled by the McMillan family and contains burials for mainly members of the McMillan and McKay families. Concession 7 lot 24 was originally settled by Donald McMillan. Members of the McMillan clan were some of the original Scottish settlers in the county of Glengarry. A plan of the Lancaster township from 1862 show that Concession 7 lot 24 was at that time held by William McMillan (1799-1871).
There are two specific issues which I have been trying to resolve with regards to Richard and his descendants: where in Cumberland did Richard come from and was his son Isaac’s first wife, Catherine Ann McMillan, related to the other members of the McMillan family buried in the cemetery?
Richard and his Cumberland origins
In order to search for Richard in the Cumberland baptism records I needed some idea of his date of birth. According to the burial record found in the MacMillan pioneer cemetery he died on 16 April 1890 aged 101 years, 11 months and 8 days old. The record of his death in the Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas (1869-1948) collection on Ancestry also gives his date of death as 16 April 1890 and his age as 101 years and 11 months. It records that he was born in Cumberland, England, his occupation as a blacksmith and that he died of old age. The informant was probably his son Richard Surgeson (1855-1915). Based on these two records his suggested birth date is 1788/89. However, his age in earlier records do vary somewhat as follows:
1851 Census Lancaster, Glengarry County – Richard gave his age as 58 implying his birth was about 1793. He was a blacksmith and occupying Concession 6 lot 24 with his wife Fanny (Roman Catholic) and six children who, together with Richard, were all described as Church of England.
1861 Census Lochiel, Glengarry County – Richard gave his age at next birthday as 71 implying a birth date of around 1790. The family were living in a two-storey log house built in 1820. Richard was described as a blacksmith and farmer and two of his son’s occupations were also recorded: George was a blacksmith and Isaac a labourer. Richard and Fanny had eight children in their household and their daughter Elizabeth’s name was now recorded as Escet. The family all gave their religion as Church of England, except their mother Fanny, who was Roman Catholic. Neither Richard nor Fanny could read or write.
1871 Census Lochiel (Division No. 2), Glengarry County – in this record Richard age was 77, implying he was born about 1794. His wife Frances, daughter Jane and son Richard were living with him as well as his son Isaac, Isaac’s wife Catherine and their three children. Richard and his children’s religion were given as Church of England, Frances as Catholic and Isaac’s wife Catherine’s as Church of Scotland. Richard was a farmer and neither he nor his wife Frances were able to read or write.
1881 Census Lancaster (Division No. 2), Glengarry County – in this census Richard gave his age as 85, implying he was born about 1796. He was a farmer living with his wife Frances with his religion as Church of England and hers as Catholic. They also had two children living with them: Fanny Porter aged 10 and Richard Porter aged 8, both of whom had been born in the USA. Perhaps they were their grandchildren?
Just nine years after this census was taken Richard’s age at death in 1890 was recorded as 101 years 11 months implying his birth about 1788/9. However, as can be seen from the varied ages given in his census records, he did not age from census to census in 10-year increments. Based on his age in 1881, when he died in 1890, he could have been 94 years old suggesting a birth age of 1796. The censuses of 1871 and 1881 also recorded that he couldn’t read or write.
A search for a possible baptism in the online baptism records for Cumberland based on a possible birth date of 1796 did not initially find a possible baptism for him. Widening the search to look for records of baptisms for 1796 plus or minus 10 years identified a possible baptism: Richard Sargison baptised on 30 November 1806 to parents George Sargison (1776-1862), a blacksmith, and Ezat/Ezed Wright (1771-1843,) in Cumwhitton, Cumberland, England. Whilst at first glance this looks too late a date to be a record for Richard, there are a couple of things which make it worth considering. First of all, the family of George and Ezat in Cumberland had a son called Isaac (181-1893) who went onto become a blacksmith.
Secondly his potential mother’s first name is unusual: Ezat/Ezed. It does look like Richard and Fanny named one of their children after her: Escet/Elizabeth born about 1842 and then two of their children named a daughter in a similar fashion. Their son Isaac and his first wife Catherine named one of their daughters Essette (Elizabeth) Sargeson who was baptised a Catholic on 14 August 1870 in Lochiel, Glengarry County. Her birth date was recorded as 17 June 1869 and her parents were Isaac Sargeson and Catherine Ann McMillan. Her sister Margaret was baptised on the same day and her birth date given as 14 May 1867. In addition, Richard and Fanny’s daughter Jane named her first child Essette Annie Hope (1874-1956).
It does seem possible therefore that Richard’s origin could have been Cumwhitton in Cumberland, however more information about his origins would be helpful. The following chart outlines what I’ve been able to find out so far for him and his immediate descendants.
Catherine Ann McMillan (1841-1879)
Catherine was Isaac Sargeson’s first wife; she was buried in the MacMilllan pioneer cemetery where her age was given as 35 years old, implying a birth around 1844. In the 1871 census her religion is recorded as Church of Scotland, however at least two of her children were baptised as Catholic’s. Unfortunately, a record for Isaac and Catherine’s marriage has not yet been found. In addition, the FamilySearch tree suggests her birth date was 1841 and that her parents were Allan McMillan (1807-1844) and Mary Campbell (b 1812). So far, I’ve not been able to clarify Catherine’s link to the McMillan family buried in the cemetery.
While I have found some evidence, which suggests that Richard Sargeson can be linked into George and Ezat’s family in Cumwhitton, Cumberland, I would like to see what other information can be found. So far, I have been unable to find a copy of the Glengarry News for 1890 online to see if there was an obituary for Richard in it. Nor have I found any marriage records for him or his son Isaac. I would like to find out more about the family. If you have information that you would be willing to share with me do please contact me.