(c1808  -  28th April 1885)




Great Great Grandmother  of W.P. 'Bill' Richardson


Mary was born in Richmond, Yorkshire in around 1808. She was baptised on 5th June 1808 and her father was recorded as John Robinson, a labourer. Her mother did not get a mention on the baptismal record, so I don't yet know her mother's name.

At some stage before 1829 Mary was living in South Shields. Her brother John was also living there.

On 16th August 1829, at the parish church in Jarrow, Mary married Thomas Richardson who was born in Fatfield, Washington. Mary was 21 and Thomas was 22. Their witnesses were Thomas Sheldon and Jane Dodds.

As her husband moved from place to place for work Mary went with him and, as they came along, so did the children.

In 1831 when her first child, John, was born they were living at Biddick Burn near Washington. Thomas's occupation was listed on the baptism record as 'husbandman' so they would have lived in an agricultural worker's cottage. Mary's second child Margaret was born at Biddick Burn too in 1833 but by then Thomas was working as a brick maker.

By 1835, the family had moved back to South Shields, Mary had her third child, Isabella, and they gave her the middle name of Robinson, which was Mary's maiden name.

1837, another child and another address. Mary Ann was born in Monkwearmouth and her baptism record shows that the family were living at Hylton Dean.

Sadly, in 1838, Mary's daughter Margaret died. She was just five years old. The record of her burial shows it was at Trinity Church in South Shields and the family's address was Brunswick Street.

Still in South Shields in 1840, Mary's fifth child, Thomas, was born

The 1841 census shows that Mary and Thomas were living in Union Alley, Westoe, South Shields. Mary is listed as being 30, but the 1841 census 'rounded' adult ages. Her husband Thomas was also listed as 30, and his occupation was recorded as a brickmaker. They were to remain in South Shields until at least the end of 1844 as the next two children were both born there. Margaret (who was named for her older sister who had died) was born around 1841/42 and Eleanor was born in 1844.

Sometime between 1844 and 1846 Mary and Thomas, along with six children, were on the move again. In 1846 their son Robert was born at Barnard Castle Moor. Robert was to be the Great Grandfather of Bill Richardson.

Mary had her last child, Annie, in 1849. By that time the family had moved yet again and were living in Usworth.

The 1851 census recorded the family in Usworth Colliery Village. Mary was 42, Thomas was 44 and all the children (apart from Isabella who was working in Jarrow as a domestic servant) still lived at home, they ranged in age from 20 to 17 months.

In the 1861 census, the family were still in Usworth, living in Inkerman Terrace. Mary was 52 and her husband Thomas was 53, still working as a brickmaker. Two of the boys, Thomas (21) and Robert (14), both working as coal miners and two of the girls Mary Ann (23) and Annie (11) were still at home. There was also a baby called George Richardson in the house, just 11 months old and he was listed as a grandson. He was Mary Ann's child, though I don't know who his father was.

In 1867 Mary's husband, Thomas, was killed in an accident on the railway line. They had been married for 38 years.  Killed in the same accident was John Craggs who lived in the nearby Strother House.

In the 1871 census, it was difficult to locate Mary but she is down as a visitor at Strother House.  Perhaps she was there to help Sarah Craggs and her chidren.

In 1881 she was living in the house of her nephew, John Robinson, at 8, Willington Terrace, Westoe, South Shields. She was 72 years old.

Mary died on the 28th April 1885 at 57 Grange Road, Jarrow. She was 77 years old and her daughter Margaret registered her death. She was buried on 2nd May 1885 at Jarrow Cemetery, Section B, Grave 240.

Updated 24.07.13