I originally created this blog to document my work on the family history of my grandmother, Maggie Goodfellow Story, later known as Madge Rogers. She was from Bewcastle. After it became evident that other family historians were attracted to the site, I invited them to share their memories and family histories from Bewcastle and the surrounding parishes. And so, it is evolving into a useful research tool for genealogists. Please note, if you want to read my original work, you will need to scroll down to the beginning of the blog and continue reading up.

If you have information that you would like to share here, or a question, you need to become a blog author and make a posting. To do this, contact me at rosemarydale3@yahoo.co.uk, and I will send you a permission. However, I can not respond to requests for further information or assistance.

Rosemary Dale

Sunday, 30 August 2015

I visited Lanercost and Bewcastle churches yesterday and viewed headstone , inscriptions and took a lot of photos.

Quite a number of the Potts family are buried in the cemeteries there, including 20th century.

Quite happy to send photos once I have downloaded them.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

MURRAY family of Bewcastle

Thanks Rosemary for allowing me to post my family information on your blog. I have been researching my father’s Murray ancestors for many years. I hope to connect with others who are related to this family from Bewcastle.

John MURRAY (1760-1848) married Mary POTTS (daughter of Thomas POTTS & Elizabeth FORRESTER) on 18 Jan 1823 in Bewcastle. They had 8 Children:

1. John MURRAY (1796-1867) married Ann DODGSON – No children
2. Thomas MURRAY (1798-1816) died at age 18.

3. William MURRAY (1800-1875) was a farmer at Ashycroft. William never married.  However, he is named as the father of Elizabeth born to mother Jane FOSTER on August 14, 1841.  Elizabeth was baptised August 30, 1841 at Knowe Presbyterian Chapel, Bewcastle.  William's home was listed as Asheycroft while Jane FOSTER lived at Hole of Line, where the birth took place.  James FOSTER, uncle of the mother was listed as sponser.
4. Leonard MURRAY (1802-1845) was my ancestor. Leonard was married 3 times. His first wife was Elizabeth FOSTER. They had 4 children: Mary who died as an infant, John (1825-1889), Thomas (1827-?) and Arthur (1830-?). John is my ancestor. I have not been able to find any trace of his brothers Thomas & Arthur. After the death of his first wife, Leonard married Elizabeth KYLE and has one son named William. His mother died when he is about 3 years old and William goes to live at Crook with his mother’s KYLE family. Leonard’s third wife was Margaret HETHERINGTON. They had a daughter Mary (1843) and Margaret (1845) who was born 2 months after Leonard died in March 1845 at Newhouse. After Leonard’s death, Margaret married James MILLICAN and had 5 more children.

5. Arthur MURRAY (1802-1868) was Leonard’s twin. In 1835, he married Sarah NIXON, widow of Thomas ARMSTRONG. They had 2 children: John (1834-1905) who married Elizabeth JARDINE and Mary (1836-?).
6. Elizabeth MURRAY (1804-1869) was never married but had 3 children: Ann (1832-?), John (1835-?) who married Jane MADGIN and Mary (1837-1909) who married James OLIVER.

7. James MURRAY (1807-1878) married Elizabeth Steel (1815-1907) and had a large family of at least 10 children (Mary, Sarah, Leonard, Ann, John, Jane, Elizabeth, twins William & Thomas and Libby). Elizabeth Murray died at the age of 90 and her death notice in the Carlisle Journal reads: MURRAY - At Nickies Hill, Walton, on the 7th. inst. Elizabeth Murray, aged 90 years.  Interment at Bewcastle Church on Thursday, the 10th, at 2:30.  Friends please accept this intimation.  (Carlisle Journal 8/1/1907). I have not been able to find a marriage record for James and Elizabeth or determine the parents of Elizabeth Steel.

8. Mary MURRAY (1811-1876) was never married but had one daughter Mary (1836-?) who married Walter FORSTER.

My ggGrandfather John Murray (1825-1889) was born at Coldslope and died at Toe. He married Christina Elliot, widow of Armstrong SCOTT and daughter of John ELLIOT and Margaret HART of Cavers, Roxburgh, Scotland. They had 4 children: Elizabeth (1857-1893) who married her father’s first cousin, John MURRAY (son of James MURRAY & Elizabeth STEEL), Isabella (1859-1902) who married Robert HARKNESS, Leonard (my ancestor) and Arthur (1865-?).
My gGrandfather Leonard (1862-1895) was 18 years old when he married Margaret STEELE, aged 31. I would love to see that wedding photo! I actually have no photo of Leonard MURRAY who was a shepherd and died of pneumonia at the age of 33 in Roxburgh, Scotland. His wife Margaret (daughter of Jonathan STEELE & Elizabeth KENNEDY) died 7 years later at the age of 52 in 1902. This left my Grandfather William (1890-1957) an orphan at the age of 11. He and his younger brother Leonard (1893-1962) went to live with their older sister Kate MURRAY and her husband Charles Renwick HUME. Their other brother, John Steele MURRAY joined the army. My Grandfather William Murray came to Canada at the age of 19 and worked until he had enough money to bring his brother Leonard to Canada as well. Sadly my Grandfather died 4 years before I was born so I never knew him. I have spent over 20 years researching the MURRAY family and would love to hear from anyone connected to this family of Bewcastle. Most of the MURRAY family of Bewcastle are buried in St. Cuthberts churchyard. Many thanks to Mike Jackson for all his great work transcribing the records of this area. His publications made my research so much easier and I am very grateful to him.

Linda Murray
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Friday, 13 March 2015

Dodgsons of Dodgsontown book?

I received this from Karen whose email also included a copy of the post by Tom some time ago now. It is lower down on the blog. Karen is interested in the Dodgsons of Dodgsontown book. Please comment if you have info to share with her. Thanks, Rosemary

Hello Rosemary
I have come across your webpage and have found it most interesting. My ancestors also come from Bewcastle.  I have Routledges, Forsters Storys etc etc in my tree and the places my family came from are Oakshaw, Flatt, Crosshill,  Kinkry Hill and Nook and some others. 
I saw the post below, but I am not sure when it was put on, so I have  copied over the whole section.  I am very very interested in the last paragraph.  I am descended from the Dodgsons of Dodgsontown and would love to find out about the book mentioned.   I would greatly appreciate any help you may be able to give.
Karen Blackman

William Haughan info contact

Stephen is researching William Haughan. Please leave any feedback in a comment. Thanks, Rosemary.

I am just researching my maternal family tree. My name is Stephen Hay and I am from Gateshead, my Mother'ss great great Grandfather was from Bewcastle. I was wondering if you are aware of the name Haughan, William Haughan was the last of my family to live in the parish.
Stephen Hay

Questions re: Knowe Chapel and John Anderson Smith

Any help for Ken's questions? I suggest you leave as a comment. Thank you. - Rosemary

I wonder if you can help me, please?

I understand that there is a history of the Knowe Chapel where I believe the
above John Anderson Smith was ordained in 1873. I understand he moved to the
North UF  Church in New Castleton from about 1876 until 1898. I have some
details from census returns indicating he had 2 sons to his first wife and
one son to each of his subsequent wives before he died in 1911. Some of my
questions are:

a) is the history of Knowe Chapel still available?
b) does it contain any information about John Anderson Smith?
c) his 1st wife, Jane Watson Steele died in 1878; is she buried in New
Castleton and in which cemetery?
d) his eldest son, William, born in 1874, Forfar, appears as an apprentice
lawyer in 1891 census and thereafter I can find no trace. Did he ever return
to New Castleton?
e) did John Anderson Smith continue in his ministry between leaving New
Castleton and his death in Bishopbriggs?

If you know any answers or can point me in the right direction, I might be
able to tie up a few loose ends. If not, no matter, I shall struggle along
and one of these days may even manage a visit to the area.

Kind Regards,


Request for Noble information

If you are able to help Jo, please leave a comment. Thanks. - Rosemary

Dear Rosemary

Where to begin! I am completely lost at the moment, swamped in a mountain of ancestry information.
I came across your website and it really intrigued me, especially the family name section on the left 
hand side. I have currently came across my ancestors, many may I add came from Bewcastle. 
They are called Noble and I saw it was missing from your list of families from this area. Is there any chance you know any of the history or any Nobles in fact that came from here. I appreciate that it is 
a long shot but I am so lost I don't even know where to start and I have been an avid ancestry
researcher since my early teens. 

Many Thanks 

Jo Usher

Ewart/Armstrong document

I received this email in January with attached photo. If you want to share info with Drew, go ahead and write a comment. I will alert him to keep an eye out. Thanks, Drew. - Rosemary
Greetings Rosemary,
As you must be aware, when researching ones ancestry, there are often seeming dead-ends. Occasionally, I go to those dead-ends in hopes that there may be something new on various sites or do Google searches with different key words. Searching Jenny Bell Nicholforest got me to your blog.
The name John Ewart from your blog stood out as that name is listed on a Bastardy Recognizances which I believe pertains to my 3-g grandfather Andrew Armstrong. Although not from Bewcastle, they were not far away in Stonegarthside and Whiteknowe and I wonder if they connect with your Ewarts.
I have attached a copy of that order for your consideration.
I enjoyed reading your blog. Well done!
Drew Armstrong

Spring 2015 Update from Rosemary

Goodness me ... another two years have passed. It really is time to update this blog. I have quite a few emails sitting in a folder which haven't been replied to. There are some people interested in posting new information, so keep an eye out for it. I really am going to try to get to this. Meanwhile, here are some lambs which I photographed last Saturday at St Abbs Head, near Eyemouth in East Berwickshire. Happy Spring ... and stay tuned.


Sunday, 21 July 2013

Well, hello ...

... this is Rosemary here. Finally, popping up again after a very extended break from the family history biz! I am realizing that I had really lost track of some of the posting, and especially some of the comments on the site. Also, I am realizing that maybe it is time, or almost time, to dip in again. It will require unpacking and sorting all of my papers and records, a thorough reading of this blog, and reacquainting myself  with my Bewcastle forebears.

My seasonal job at the Eyemouth Museum and Visitor Information Centre (which houses a genealogy centre as it happens) ends in early November, so maybe I'll do an official relaunch at that time. Surely this will warrant a baking of my mother's Cumbrian Current Cake recipe? Now that I have been living in Northumberland and Scottish Borders over the last few years, I realize it is essentially a Border Tart. In fact, I recently saw a recipe for Eyemouth Tart (in the new EBLiving magazine).

I left things hanging back on 29 June 2007 with this post:

Mary Ewart's Family Tree

In Family History XI Part 1, I mentioned that I wanted to do more research on Mary Ewart, the mother of Elizabeth Forster Goodfellow. Well, June has kindly sent this family tree of Mary Ewart. She received it from Aurea. I will study it to see if my ideas mesh with this.

However, I never did. So I will start there, aided by this comment from Tom in December of that year:

Joseph was one of Twin sons born to Robert Forster and his wife Mary Ewart. Henry his Twin died in Dec. 1846 [age 3 years ] at Crookburn. Thus Joseph and Elizabeth Forster [ 1828 - 1909 ] were brother and sister.

Meanwhile, sitting in my inbox since January, is an email from Moira, which I will respond to today:

I thought you may like to know I am Moira the daughter of Joseph Elliot  (Whintingstown) & the late Barbara. I have 2 brothers Keith & Trevor. Would be interested to hear from you.

So, as they say, I'll be back.

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

New Haughan Information

Thanks to the Annan FHS, I've found this entry in the Annan Old Church Kirk Session Minute Book, record dated 26 Apr 1850:
"Agnes Kinnear: Res. with husband William Roddick, Merkland, Kirkpatrick Fleming. Previously res. with mother at Dumbretton.  Has two children aged 8 and 5 still unbaptized. Minister of KPF to rule on discipline an restoration of privileges.
Fathers: Wm Heughan (sic.) of Bewcastle and Robert Carruthers."
There are only the two William Heughan (Haughan) in the 1841 census and the father was presumably running out of steam in that department, dying after a very (re)productive life in 1848.  So, I assume Wm was a chip off the ol' block at the age of 21 and just a year before his own marriage to Margaret Johnston at Gretna Green.
In the 1851 Scottish census, Wm and Agnes are shown living in Kirkpatrick Fleming.  The two oldest children are both born Annan 1842 and 1844, respectively Elizabeth and Margaret (both surnames recorded as Roddick).  Subsequent children are born Kirkpatrick Fleming. There is a four year gap between Margaret and the next Roddick child.
Elizabeth went on to marry John Law in Longtown in 1860. 
All this is new to me but if anyone has any further info I would love to hear from them.
Rgds, Sue Barnes

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Potts Query

James Potts of Lanercost and Mary Slack of Wetheral, married July 24 1805 in Lanercost. First child, Mary, appears to be born 1804 in Lanercost. There are two sons James and Joseph, both younger than Mary. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

Cathryn Fischer

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


In terms of finding photographs, I can recommend looking at the Geograph website. Many photographs are placed there, covering all areas of the country. I have a link to the Bewcastle section of the site under Links in the column on the left of this page. Many useful photos of Bewcastle may be found there, with instructions on how they may be used. For convenience, here is the link: http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=2898548&page=1.

Sowerbies Photo Request

Hello, Rosemary
Your blog is looking very interesting of late!
I have written to you in the past but some time ago now.
Do you know anybody local to Bewcastle who wouldn't mind taking a snap of Low Sorbies farm if they happen to be passing that way?
I have discovered that this place is what was once known as Sowerbies and appears all over my family tree - of at least that part of it which refers to Haughans.
Sorry, I know that's cheeky but I am at a loss as to what I can do about it. 
We were in Bewcastle for the first time ever at the weekend and, although we drove round looking for Low Sorbies, it was a bit like finding a needle in a haystack and we failed miserably.
If any one is interested, there is only one Haughan grave still extant in the churchyard - I know, I read every one!  Then I went into the church and found they had all been very neatly transcribed and bound into a book. Oh well! The existing one is for Francis and Elizabeth Haughan and 'two of their sons'. They lived in the early 18th century and Francis was born in Annan.
We actually came up to visit the Common Riding in Langholm - what a fantastic day out!  I loved every minute.
Nice chatting, take care.
Sue Barnes

Wednesday, 27 June 2012



My Das's family are from Carlisle/Borders area and I recently found a Bewcastel line.

John Harrison b1781, Bewcastle (Married to Ann Dixon of Stanwix)
His parents were John Harriosn of Bewcastle b 1756 and his mother was Mary Davison of Bewcastle b1758.

Mary Davisons parents were George Davsion b1730 and Elizabeth Scott b1734, both of Bewcastle.
George Davison's father was another George Davison.
Elizabeths father was Thomas Scott.

John's parents were John Harrison of Bewcastle b1727 and his mum was Elizabeth Nixon of Bewcastle b1714

Elizabeth Nixons father was James Nixon of Bewcastle b1703
James Nixon's parents were Thomas Nixon and Elisabeth Routledge both of Bewcastle.

On another branch of my dad's family is Mary Turnbull of Bewcastle b1790. Parents were Robert Turnbull and Jane Forster.

Thomas Goodfellow Born 1620 Help

Hi Rosemary,

My name is Sue Ann Goodfellow-Kelly. I am researching one of my Grandfathers. His name was Thomas Goodfellow. He was born in England in 1620 and came to America in or around 1639, to Connecticut. I am trying to find out WHERE he came from in the U.K. and who his parents were. Can you Help me with this? He is such a BRICK WALL. He was my first Goodfellow Ancestor in the USA. I have searched and searched to no Avail. PLEASE, ANY information you have would prove to be most Helpful. Thank you!!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Nixon Enquiry

Hi Rosemary,
I hope you don’t mind me emailing you.  My dad David Nixon and I are currently researching our family name Nixon and we wondered if you had any further information relating to this name.
The few Nixon’s that remain now live in Yorkshire (a generation or two ago the Nixon’s mainly lived in the Oakworth area).  As far as we can research our family history originates from Bewcastle. 
If you have any publications you can recommend or share any information relating to Nixon’s history we would be very interested. 
Thanks and regards,
Michelle Nixon

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


There is information on Bewcastle gravestones in the Genealogy section of the Bewcastle website. Here is the link: http://www.bewcastle.com/monuments.htm . (Mike Jackson has done so much great work to assist family history researchers.)


Hi there - My name is Marjorie Nixon-Sorrels and my family comes from
Bewcastle.  I enjoyed your blog, and saw many of our family names
(Armstrong, Nixon, Potts, Elliot, and Story)

My Great Grandfather was William Nixon and his wife Elizabeth (she went by
Bella) was a Granddaughter of William Lauder the minister of Bewcastle. My
Grt-Grandfathers Dad was also William Nixon and was a partner with Paul
Nixon in their contracting business.  The brothers Paul and William Nixon
were stone masons, who built bridges and churches in the north of England.
Their Father was a William Nixon who had a brother, a John Nixon, who had an
Esq. behind his name, (and I'm not sure why).  John and William's father was
called the "Laird of Mire or Mitre - (I can't quite make out the spelling).
There is a Thomas Nixon who married a young lady by the last name of Story
at the age of 80 plus.  They kept the news note from the Carlisle Patriot,
and Grt Grandpa has a note beside it the says "Nixons, eternally young". I'm
not quite sure if he is an Uncle, father or brother to William and John
Nixon, but was hoping you might know.

My Grt Grandpa William came to America in 1881, and my grandfather and he
worked as building contractors in Streator Illinois, USA.  Attached is a
picture that was mailed to Grt Grandpa Nixon sometime after 1881, and
Grandpa has noted "George Nixon in Suit, and Tom with hat and beard." Would
you mind posting this picture to see if anyone recognizes others in the
photo? Another relative living in America has a photo like this one, and it
has a note from "Lizzie" on the back.

Also, do you know if there are any photos of the Lauder, Story, and Nixon
gravestones in Bewcastle?

Thanks so much,

Marjorie Nixon

Friday, 25 February 2011

Ewarts from Bewcastle in Huntingdon, Quebec

My name is James and I live in Montreal, Quebec. I've been researching my family history for about a year. I always thought that all of my great-grandparents had emigrated from Europe to Canada, but I found soon enough that one great-grandfather had been born in Canada. It's this line that I've been focusing on researching and that has led me, figuratively speaking, to Bewcastle.

It was relatively easy to work my way backward from my great-grandfather to my GGG grandparents Alexander Cockburn and Mary Ewart, thanks to Canadian censuses and the Drouin collection. But then I got stuck on the Ewarts. There are quite a few Ewarts in the 1852 census of Lower Canada (now Quebec) but no Mary. There is a Mary Ewerd, but the date of birth didn’t match with what I know from her obituary in the local newspaper’s archive, and I couldn’t find any info to match up Mary Ewerd to Mary Ewart. There were also many Hawarts, Awarts, Hawards, Yewarts, Uarts, Yeowards, and others, some of whom were probably Ewarts in actuality but whose names were mispelled by the census-taker. Still, Mary Ewerd had several siblings, so I looked to see what I could find for them. Luckily, the Drouin collection has many records for various Ewarts who share names with the Ewerds, and several of them mention the parents’ names John Ewart and Sarah Boston. The parents of Mary Ewerd on the 1852 census are John Ewerd and Sarah Boston. Aha! But, even more confirmation came when I found a marriage certificate for Sarah J. Ewart, daughter of John and Sarah, witnessed by Mary Cockburn. That was Mary Ewart’s married name. They must indeed be siblings.

James Ewerd (really Ewart) is listed as having been born in England on the 1852 census. How could I make the leap to the old country when immigration records were so sketchy at the time? I went back to that local newspaper archive (The Huntingdon Gleaner, and a very valuable resource!) and I found an obituary for another sibling of Mary’s, Annie Ewart Sullivan. It mentions that she was the daughter of John Ewart and the granddaughter of Thomas Ewart, who came to Canada in 1795. More digging through the Gleaner’s archives led me to a few more Ewarts who, based on dates of birth, were probably siblings of John’s. What’s more, John’s death notice and that of his likely brother Robert mentioned that he was a native of Cumberland, England. OK, so now I had the county, but not the place.

I searched on a few different websites, but finally, FamilySearch.org had the info I was looking for. I searched for Ewarts born between 1799 and 1820 with the father’s name of Thomas in Cumberland, England. What came up, on the first page of results, were records for George, John, Thomas L., Ann, and Robert Ewart, all born to Thomas and Violet Ewart in Bewcastle, Cumberland, England, and with dates of birth that match up with various obituaries from The Gleaner. Even better is that the name Violet shows up a couple of times among Canadian Ewarts. It must be a family name.

To sum up, what I know about "my" Ewarts in Bewcastle starts with Thomas and Violet Ewart, who had, according to FamilySearch.org, children George (b. 8 Jan 1802), my GGGG grandfather John (b. 12 Sep 1806), Thomas Lander (b. 1810), and Ann and Robert (twins, b. 29 Jun 1812). I also know from the Ewart family forum at genealogy.com that Thomas and Violet's eldest son was James (b. approx 1799). The dates of the various family members' immigration are unclear. Annie Ewart Sullivan's obituary says that Thomas Ewart came to Canada in 1795, but he had at least five children in Bewcastle between 1802 and 1812. Perhaps he came to Canada as a young man, returned to England, and then his children emigrated when they were older.

On the 1852 census John Ewart and Sarah Boston (who was born in Upper Canada) had 10 living children: James (aged 21), Mary (19), Thomas (18), John (16), Hugh (14), Robert (12), Elisabeth (10), Violette (8), Ann (5), Sarah J. (3). In addition, John's siblings had many children. They all lived near to each other in the Huntingdon area of Quebec and many of the cousins share names and have similar dates of birth. For instance, there are three Thomases, two Jameses, two Violets, and two Elizabeths and a Betsy. This makes it difficult to sort out who is related to whom when looking through baptismal, marriage, and death certificates.

I will be spending more time in the future sorting through the various branches of the Ewart family, both in Canada and in England. I look forward to putting the pieces together, especially if I can make the connections between what I know about "my" Ewarts and the other Ewart families that I've already read about on this site.

Friday, 22 October 2010


(Vern has posted this as a comment, but I thought all this information would be more available to researchers as a new post. So I have taken the liberty to do that. - Rosemary)

Hello! Andrew Ewart and Catherine Armstrong are my great3x Grandparents through their second son John born 1829.
I hope the following may help to illuminate another branch of the Ewart family from Bewcastle.

John Ewart, second son of Andrew and Catherine Armstrong emigrated to Montreal, Quebec, Canada and married Mary Munro February 14, 1855. Their first son Andrew Holmhead Ewart was born Dec 24, 1855,and married Ruth Rowen, December 1884. He died Sept 1927 in Birkenhead, Chesire, U.K. He was a shipboard cattleman who apparently made many trips back and forth across the Atlantic between Montreal, his first home and Liverpool where he eventually resided. Next of John Ewart's children was Annabell born July 2, 1857, died September 1868 followed by Alexander, born September 25, 1859 (believed to have not survived childhood but no record found thus far), followed by John (Jack) Ewart born March 22, 1861, (married Jessie Herald and made his fortune in Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada as a merchant in advance of the trans Canadian railway, had ill health and died in 1893 in Medicine Hat, leaving two children, Maclaren (married Susan Anglin) and Jacqueline (married Hector Duggan)).
My great grandmother Grace Ewart, was born June 7, 1862, married Henry Crowe Blair February 13, 1882,and died March 23, 1949, Truro, Nova Scotia,Canada (having three children, Caroline (my gmother, Georgina, Dorothy (died 5 yrs age) and James (kia WW1)) Born after Grace Ewart was Joseph William Ewart, born October 4th, 1863, died October 14th, 1863, followed by Catherine Alexandra, born February 4, 1866, died September 18, 1867.
John Ewart himself, died October 29, 1868 and Mary Munro, his wife, 3 weeks later November 22, 1868. They had seven children and 3 survived the loss of their young parents.

Also, some may already know, and others find it interesting that Joseph Ewart born 1831, younger brother of William Ewart, born 1827 (of Andrew and Catherine Armstrong of Holmhead and Woodside) and the above mentioned John Ewart of Montreal, Canada, became Sir Joseph Ewart M.D.,J.P., (knighted by Queen Victoria upon the recommendation of Prime Minister Gladstone)
and after a distinguished career in India, mayor of Brighton U.K.. He succeeded Andrew Ewart, his father to Holmhead and Woodside and his younger sister Grace, who never married, kept house for him after the death of his wife Madeline Lister, daughter of Major T. St. George Lister, 6th Dragoon Guards. Sir Joseph and Madeline's two children also died at this time (1863, shipboard from India). My uncle has a letter in his possession which Sir Joseph wrote his nephew in 1901, (also named Joseph), willing Holmhead to this particular nephew. After Sir Joseph's death this nephew then supposedly sold Holmhead and it was later purchased by Joseph Telford (and a brother of Joseph Telford's) married to Mary A. Ewart born 1834, daughter of Andrew and Catherine Armstrong (1891 Census shows Mary and Joseph's family at Dirtup) It was said that Joseph and Mary's son Joseph Ewart Telford married Anna Elliott of Bewcastleand my uncle states in his notes on the Ewart family, " The result of this union, James and Mary Telford were living at Holmhead when visited by Dr. Ewart B. (living) some fifteen years ago(1970)". (Note: Dr B. is my Uncle's first cousin and also a direct descendant of John Ewart and Mary Munro through his grandmother Grace Ewart Blair.) Dr. B found out that earlier in the same year Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut on the moon's surface, visited the same Telfords in search of his own roots.
I also noticed a posting earlier acknowledging the passing of Aurea Elliot Telford, who with her husband, farmed at Holmhead many years. I expect that she was a relation in some way to the above mentioned Telfords?

Sunday, 3 October 2010


Am trying to locate a book of essays of which the first essay describes the countryside around Bewcastle in a lyrical as opposed to a "travelogue" style. Locations mentioned include Sighty Crag, Birdoswald and Kirkoswald. I think the essay was titled "Measuring Rod" and as the book was a miscellany my recollectiopn had been that this title was also used as the book title but exhaustive searches under "Measuring Rod" have proved fruitless.
Was given the book "new" in 1961 but in addition to title, do not recall author or publisher except all the essays were by the same author and book was published in U.K. and contained no illustrations. There were about ten short essays and the only other one I remember dealt with "the greenwood" or "the forest" again in a lyrical or philosophical way.

Any suggestions would be most welcome.

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

In Rememberance

Remembering Aurea Elliot Telford who died in Newcastleton, on November 23 2009. Thank you June for letting me know. Aurea was a second cousin to June and to my mother, Margaret. There is an article about her posted earlier on this blog. She lived in Bewcastle most of her life, farming with her husband at Holmehead for many years, and active in so many ways in that community. She was a founding member of the Bewcastle Heritage Society, and she generously shared old family photos with me when I met her a few years ago. Aurea will be missed.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

A Note from Rosemary

In 2007 I returned to the UK, after living 34 years in the U.S., to care for my elderly father. My Dad passed away last September but I am still here in Northumberland. My youngest son has been living here with me for the last year. We discovered that he had been a dual citizen all along, as am I.

What with one thing and another, I took quite a break from my family history research. Unfortunately, I have not yet got all my Bewcastle materials here. But, hopefully, when I visit the States in February, I can carry back with me all my copies of the Bewcastle Journal, the Knowe church record transcript, the St. Cuthbert's transcript and more. (A lovely photo of St. Cuthbert's can be found on the church profile, linked on the Bewcastle site.)

I have spent a bit of time during my half-term week (I am back working in a school), updating this blog. I think you will receive notification of any new posts on the blog, if you sign up as a follower. The link is on the left hand side of this page.

Happy digging,


The Haughans of Bewcastle

I believe I am distantly descended from the Haughans of Bewcastle and wonder if anyone more closely connected to the family can shed any light on the family group.

My mother was a Simpson who was distantly related to one James McKay Jnr who was a quarry owner in the Dalston area of Cumberland. James McKay Jnr was born in Bromfield, Nr Wigton on 9th April 1837.

His father was James McKay Snr who was born in Ireland some time around 1800.

James McKay Snr married a Sarah Haughan on 10 November 1827 in Bromfield, Cumberland . Although they married in Bromfield Sarah came from Bewcastle. She was christened on 23 July 1800 at the Scotch Church , Bewcastle and her parents were William and Margaret Haughan.

I wonder if anyone may know more about William and Margaret Haughan and the extended Haughan family. I guess William Haughan may have been born some time around 1775 to 1780 given he married in 1800.

I noticed some interesting material on the Haughans of Bewcastle on this site and would be most grateful to receive any relevant information on srcs@iinet.net.au

Many thanks in anticipation.

Monday, 26 October 2009

A Family of Stonemasons (Revisited)

This photograph, from the Bewcastle page of the Geograph website, was taken by Peter McDermott. It shows the "Round House" at Roanstrees Farm.

The Bewcastle Journal tells us, "The Shawhead Storys built the 'Round House' in the yard at Roanstrees farm, said to be a great achievement in architecture at the time."

Robert Story, my 2xgreat grandfather, and his sons were "The Shawhead Storys". His eldest son was Thomas, my Grandma's father, who died in 1898, aged 44 years.

Christopher Story (left) and Robert Story (2nd to the right), Robert's 4th and 3rd sons, respectively

As I have previously written on this blog, there have been many generations of Story stonemasons. An earlier ancestor was Thomas Story, born 1757, who was a stonemason of the Row Mains. At that time there was a lot of stonemasonry work in Bewcastle. The Story family is said to have been very much involved in the building of farms, houses and stonedykes that were being erected in the parish. Records show that his son, John Story, born 1787, was a stonemason of Mains. Shawhead Robert was John's son.

This tradition has continued into the present. My uncle Frank Rogers, the son of Maggie Goodfellow Story, became a stonemason, as did his son, my cousin Ian Rogers.

This adds up to six known generations of stonemasons in the Story line. There was a gap in my grandmother's generation, as her brother Willie worked in the grocery business and Robert became a farmer.

Thomas Story born 1757
John Story born 1787
Robert Story born 1821
Thomas Story born 1855

Frank Rogers born 1930
Ian Rogers born c. 1962

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Farms and Cottages

I pieced this map together from printing off 4 inch OS online maps and taping them together (while I was in America). Then I scanned the result into my computer. As I researched my Bewcastle family history, it was great to be able to locate the homes which showed up in church records and census information. Some of these farms and cottages were mentioned in the stories my Grandma would tell me of her childhood. I loved to listen to these stories when I was a child. Now I wish I could remember everything she spoke of. I think this map is worth re-posting here.

(Click on the map to enlarge.)


Hi there,
I was very interested to read your blog about your family and realised that the Robert and Betty of Harpers hill are also in my family tree!!!
My Great grandmother was Sybella Kyle 1859-1937 born at Peela Hill Bewcastle and later living at Harpers Hill 1881 with parents Robert and Jane Kyle and siblings William Catherine and Margaret
However I cannot find and trace of them in the 1871 or 1861 census.
I do have them in the 1851 census at Peela Hill Robert and Jane (parents) have Mary Ann Jane Elizabeth Agnes Isabella and Sybella although this Sybella is 10 years too old to be the one I am looking for.
You obviously have a lot of info about the area and I wondered if you could shed any light on what happened at Harpers hill during my missing years.
My Aunt remembers Betty Robert and Evelyn Kyle and also mentions William and Robert as being their brothers
She is sure that the Kyles were at Peela hill or Harpers hill and did not move anywhere else but I am very puzzled about this gap on the census
Hoping you can help to solve this puzzle that is driving me mad!!!!
Yours Jan


Two of my 3x great grandparents were Routledge from Bewcastle (both descended from the Oakshaw Routledge family). They were 2nd cousins once removed. Thomas Routledge (b 25 Jul 1763 Broderigg) and Elizabeth Routledge (b 27 Aug 1763 Raw).

Thomas' parents were: Henry Routledge (b 30 Jul 1720 Oakshaw) and Margaret Tweddle (b 6 Mar 1728 Ringing Hills Lanercost).

Elizabeth's parents were: George Routledge (b 17 Apr 1729 Todhills) and Grace (Grizzel) Routledge (6 Sep 1741 Oakshaw).

Henry's parents were: William Routledge (b c 1672 Oakshaw) and Grizzel Routledge (b c 1688)

Margaret I am leaving out as she was from Lanercost

George's parents were: George Routledge (b 10 Mar 1692 Stubb) and Margaret Routledge (?)

Grizzel's parents were: Thomas Routledge (b c 1712 Oakshaw) and Elizabeth Storye (d 2 Apr 1763)

Thomas Routledge (1712) and Henry Routledge (1720) were brothers.

I have a letter which George Routledge (son of Thomas and Elizabeth Routledge) wrote to Archibald Armstrong in 1839 from Ontario, Canada and I could include a transcription if you like.

Elizabeth Kipp
Elizabeth (Blake) Kipp, PLCGS
Member, Association of Professional Genealogists
Guild of one-name studies #4600 - LAMBDEN, PINCOMBE and SIDERFIN
Webpage: http://ca.geocities.com/kippeeb@rogers.com/index.html
Blog: http://kippeeb.blogspot.com/

Friday, 27 February 2009


Hi, Rosemary
I have just been reading your Blog. I was trying to find out where Sowerbies was as I have quite a number of ancestors, according to the census returns, who lived there.
The family in question is called Haughan (pronounced Haffan).
They seem to have originated just across the border in Annan but by the 1750s had moved to Bewcastle.
Perhaps someone would be kind enough to draw me a map showing local areas and farm names.
The first Bewcastle reference I have is to Jane or Jenny Haughan who was born in Dirtup, Bewcastle in 1753. Although she is the first by the name of Haughan, her mother was born there. Her name was Elizabeth Carrick who was born in Bewcastle in 1723 and died there in 1812.. Her husband was Francis Haughan (1722-1793) from Annan.
Francis and Elizabeth had 7 children between 1753 ann 1770 and I am descended from their son William who was born in Sowerbies in 1770 and died at Shawhouse in 1848.
William set about repopulating the Bewcastle area with a will. He had eighteen children to two wives (Margaret Wilson and Margaret Steel). Just for good measure, his first child - a daughter, Mary - was born to a lady by the name of Jenny Blaik at Woodside and was baptised on May 1st 1796. The parish record reports that she was presumed to be the daughter of William Haughan of Sowerbies and brings his total offspring to nineteen.
Wm's second to youngest child, Catherine b. Bewcastle 1835, was my 3 x great grandmother. Her life story, gleaned mostly from census records has made me rethink my attitude to Victorian morality. To say that she was a free-thinker is to somewhat underestimate her.
She had, apparently, inherited her father's proclavities and by the time she was eighteen she had been packed off to live with her older brother William in Shincliffe near Durham. There, the following year, she gave birth to a son, William Bagnall Haughan (1853 Shincliffe). A matter of weeks later she made her only marriage to Richard Bagnall, poor soul. Reading between the lines, Richard was a bit of a 'put up job' and provided by the family to cover her blushes, if you will pardon the irony.
By the time of the 1861 census, she had left Richard and was living, aged 25, with a 64 year old coal miner by the name of Joseph Robson, in Birtley, Co Durham. Richard is shown as also living in Birtley and is described as 'married' although clearly Catherine didn't think so. Catherine and Joseph had two sons - David b.1857 and Joseph b. 1860 who were also born out of wedlock.
When Joseph snr.died in 1867, Catherine moved on to form another complete family. This time with a shoemaker by the name of Robinson Proudlock of Lamesley. By him, she had four other children of her own plus an adopted son, Frederick William Smith b.1890 in Lamesley, Co Durham.

There is an Isabella Proudlock b. five miles from Lamesley at Heworth in 1840 but, although also living alone, she is described as a widow. She died in 1880 in the Gateshead r.d. There is a record of an Isabella Woodruff marrying a Bryan Robinson Proudlock in the March 1/4 of 1862 in the Gateshead registration district. "Oh, what a tangled web.....!"

I do seem to have rattled on a bit for which I beg your pardon. Once started on the subject of Catherine Haughan it is a bit difficult knowing when to stop!

The purpose - or should I say, the original purpose - of this email was to enquire after the Haughan family of Bewcastle and district, many of whom you will by now have gathered, moved over the border to County Durham, in particular to the Birtley area, during the 19th century.

Sadly, I have no photograph of Catherine. However, I have one of her brother William and family, the same brother to whom she was sent when she first moved to Shincliffe and a few others if you are interested.

I notice in my records a surname which will be familiar to you. A James Armstrong married Nan Haughan in Bewcastle in June of 1745 and had nine children: Elizabeth (1742-1742), Christopher (1744), Jane (1747), Sarah (1749), Mary (1751), Agnes (1753), another Elizabeth (1754), Andrew (1756), Alexander (1757), James (1760), Francis (1761), another Andrew (1763), Margaret (1764), Eleanor (1766-1767) and John (1768-1751). Perhaps someone else may find a familiar name amongst these?

Kind regards, Sue Barnes

Wm. Haughan and MJ:

William 1821 Haughan and Family:
John Haughan (of John and Ruth):
Wm. Haughan 1821:

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Link to a great website

Here is the site that I promised to place here ages ago, and I apologize to June for taking so long. This is a project whereby people are posting photos on a map grid of the UK. The shorter link is to the home page, and the longer link is to the Bewcastle page. Also, here are some photos I found there that link to our family history.



Underwood Farm, where our grandmother's maternal grandfather grew up.

I think this is Shawhead on the left (where Gran's paternal grandfather lived and then Gran grew up there, and Shawhead Cottage on the right where her father and his two brothers lived as young men.
Knowe Church

Judging by the names this is close to Whintingstown and Shawhead.

Thursday, 31 January 2008

ELLIOTs+ in Bewcastle

Thanks to Rosemary for letting me post.

This has not all been completely proven by documentary evidence.

James ELLIOT (this could be him - The Bewcastle Parish Register shows James ELLIOT was the s/o John & Mary (nee HUNTER) ELLIOT of Roanstrees. He was a joiner)
chr 2 Aug 1805 Bewcastle
d 23 April 1880 aged 73; Nether Oakshaw, Bellbank, Bewcastle CUM
1841 census Newcastleton Village Castleton ROX
1861 Castleton ROX
marr 1 16 Nov 1833 Aspatria CUM ENG Spouse Mary BROWN. d 8 April 1837 aged 29 (Cem record)
marr 2 Bewcastle CUM ENG 13 Feb 1839 Spouse 2 Helen HEWITSON/HOTSON/HUDSON b Newcastleton abt 1815; d 1895 Hawick ROX, SCT

Children of first marriage of James & Mary
1. John ELLIOT b abt 1833 ENG
d 7 Feb 1892 Nether Oakshaw, BEW; aged 61 years
1861 census Castleton ROX
1881 census Nether Oakshaw, Bewcastle CUM farmer 39 acres
marr Jane ; d 30 Dec 1919 at Shaw Head; aged 79

2. Elizabeth ELLIOT
b 15 Aug 1834 Bewcastle CUM (IGI to James ELLIOT & Mary)
1841 census Castleton Newcastleton Village, ROX, SCT

3. Mary ELLIOT
?d in infancy

Children of second marriage of James & Helen (Ellen):
4. William ELLIOT- my direct line
b abt 1838 in either Castleton, ROX or Bewcastle CUM
marr 30 Nov 1866 Teviothead Smithy ROX Spouse Christina POW (marr. cert. names his parents as James ELLIOT & Helen HEWITSON)

5. Robert ELLIOT
b to James ELLIOT & Helen nee HUDSON
chr 29 March 1840 Bewcastle ENG (IGI)
1841 census Castleton Newcastleton Village
1871 census Broadlie Castleton
1881 census 7 Whitchester St Castleton; rly lab
marr 27 May 1870 Middlebie, DUM; Spouse Agnes CARRUTHERS b abt 1847 to Wm CARRUTHERS (joiner) & Helen
Children of Robert & Agnes
a) James Graham b 30 June 1870 7 p.m. at Breadlie, Castleton
b) William C b abt 1873 Castleton
c) Nelly b abt 1875 Castleton d. Mary b abt 1878 Castleton

6. Isabella ELLIOT b. 7 Aug 1842 Castleton ROX
1861 census North Hermitage St, Castleton marr (IGI)aged 26 at marr;
marr 12 Sep 1868 Bewcastle Spouse Robert KYLE
Children: all born in ROX a) Nelly KYLE
b) Adam KYLE
c) James KYLE
d) Mary KYLE

7 James ELLIOT b abt 1847 Castleton ROX
1861 census North Hermitage St, Castleton
d 8 March 1880 aged 33 years; at Kinkry Hill

8. Mary ELLIOT
b abt 1850 Castleton ROX (or 28 April 1850 Bewcastle to James ELLIOTT & Ellen)
1861 census North Hermitage St, Castleton
d Dec 12 1870 aged 21 years

9. Esther ELLIOT
b ??7 Oct 1855 Bewcastle to James ELLIOTT & Ellen
d 23rd April 1882 Nether Oakshaw, Bewcastle, CUM; aged 27
1861 census North Hermitage St, Castleton
1881 census with bro John on farm at Nether Oakshaw

10. Jane ELLIOT
b 13 Jan 1858 Newcastleton
1861 census North Hermitage St, Castleton marr 19 yrs;
marr 20 OCT 1877 Bewcastle, Cumberland Spouse John IRVING (IGI); aged 20 yrs at marr Children a. Sarah (IGI) chr 10 March 1878 Bewcastle

11. Robina ELLIOT
b 29 March 1861 Newcastleton
1861 census North Hermitage St, Castleton - 1 month
1881 census with bro John on farm at Nether Oakshaw
marr 12 Dec 1885 Bewcastle Spouse Joseph FOSTER (IGI)

I was also given the following info from a Cumberland lister which I believe refers to my ELLIOTs:
About 1819 James Elliot of Newcastleton acquired Nether Oakshaw in right of his wife Mary Little the 1831 Bewcastle Valuation Book says "Mary, the eldest daughter of William Little who was heir to her brother[Richard, who was mortgagee to N.O for £250 so the Littles got it because the mortgager could not repay the £250], is proprietor of the Customary part and also One Third of the Freehold allotment of Common as Coheir with her Two younger Sisters" [Elizabeth and Alice]. And between 1826-29 the land tax lists show Mary Little as owner.
In October 1830 James and Mary mortgaged Nether Oakshaw to John Scott, and in April 1831 mortgaged again this time to James and Margaret Douglas for £350. In 1844 the property was held by John Scott "in Trust for the children of James Elliot" About 1857 N.O passed to John Elliot & William and Elizabeth Little.


Monument No.262 in Bewcastle Churchyard:-

Erected in memory of Mary, wife of James Elliot of Netheroakshaw, who died April 8th 1837, aged 29 years.

Also Mary, daughter to the above, who died in her infancy.

Also of the above James Elliot, who died at Nether Oakshaw, April 23rd 1880, aged 73 years. Also of Mary, their daughter, who died December 12th 1870, aged 21 years.

Also of James, his son, who died at Kinkry Hill, March 8th 1880 aged 33 years.

Also of Esther, his daughter, who died at Nether Oakshaw, April 23rd 1882, aged 27 years.

Also of John, his son, who died Feby.7th 1892, aged 61 years.

Also of Jane, widow of the last named John Elliot, who died at Shaw Head, Decr. 30th 1919, aged 79 years.

My line ended up in ROX, SCT. William's daughter, Helen Dickson ELLIOT married John GARDNER. In 1913 they emigrated to Australia with their family. The youngest son of William, Gavin Pow ELLIOT, emigrated to Australia as a single man in 1899.

Hoping to find some connections.

Reading the DODGSON info online, I feel as if there is a connection there. The odd thing is that my sister, married a DODGSON here in Australia, but I'm not sure if his family is from Cumberland.

Judy in Australia

Monday, 28 January 2008

Andrew Ewart born 1797 - Bewcastle

This picture was missed from my previous entry.          Moira

Ewart Family


I'm doing research on the Ewart Family and My great grandfather was Thomas Alexander Ewart.He was born in Plympton Township, Lambton County, Ontario, Canada on December 21,1873 to Thomas and Margaret Ewart. His father was the grandson of Thomas and Violet Ewart, who immigrated to Canada around 1820. I'm interested in tracing the Ewarts that stayed in England. I saw Mary Ewart Family tree on the June 28,2007 blog and interested in any information that she or anyone else can tell me about the Ewart Family.Thank you


Armstrongs, Ewarts and Scotts in the Bewcastle area.

Hi Bewcastle researchers.
This is the information I have gather so far.
My grandmother was Catherine Farquharson (nee Scott) born Dec. 29. 1870. Bewcastle
James & Janet Armstrong married April 9, 1789
1. William b. April 10/1791
2. Margaret b. March 22/1798
3. Mary ? christened ?b. Nov. 25.1795
4. Anna ? chirstened ?b. Nov. 25, 1795
5. Jane b. March 22, 1798
6. Richard b. Dec. 18, 1800
7. John April 6, 1803
8.Elizabeth b. April 24, 1805
9. Katherine b. 1807  (She becomes my great, great grandmother Ewart - see below)
The above information came from Bobbie Jean - Thanks

The following information comes from family sources and studying census records I have places where they lived from 1841 onwards.

Katherine (Catherine) Armstrong  married Andrew Ewart Nov. 25th , 1826 Bewcastle
(1807 - 1880)                                                      (1797 - 1882)
1. William Ewart b. 1827 becomes a farmer
2. John Ewart b. 1829
3. Joseph Ewart (1831-1906) Became the Lord Mayor of Brighton, Sussex in the late 1880s
4.James Ewart b. 1834 - becomes a farmer
5. Mary Ewart b. 1836
6. Andrew Ewart b. 1838 - becomes a farmer
7. Janet Armstrong Ewart b. 1843
8. Grace Ewart b. 1845 - Lives with her brother Joseph in Brighton - never married
9. Elizabeth Ewart b. 1840 d. 1881. (My great grandmother Ewart)
All children were born in Bewcastle, Cumberland.
Census records show that they lived Holmhead, Woodside & Mire looking at census records from 1841-1891.  I have photos of Holmhead and Woodside. 

(Question. Would the above Andrew Ewart senior be a brother to George  Ewart residing at the Knowe farm in the 1871 census. ? Andrew 73yrs.  George 71 years.) 
Please see attached photograph of Andrew Ewart.

Elizabeth Ewart married  James Scott in Bewcastle  ( Scotts lived at Stelshaw)
Married Feb 16, 1867.
1.Andrew Scott b. 1868 came to Canada in 1889 to Saskatchewan
2. Henry Scott b. Oct. 19, 1869 - died March 2, 1943, Boise City, Idaho. USA
3. Catherine Scott b. Dec. 29, 1870 - Dec. 1967 (My grandmother Farquharson)
(came to Canada in 1922. to Saskatchewan)
4. Wilhelmina Scott b. 1873
5. Grace Scott b. 1874
6. Janet Scott (twin) b. July 29, 1875
7. John Scott (twin) b. July 29, 1875 d. 1960 Canada - emigrated in 1903 to Canada
8. Agnes Scott b. 1878 d. 1931 in Saskatchewan, Canada
9. James Scott b. 1880 d. 1882 
All the above children were born in Bewcastle.

Catherine Scott b. 1870 married William Farquharson of West Linton, Scotland.
They were married Oct. 7, 1896 in Yarrow, Selkirkshire, Scotland.
1. Alexander Forrester Farquharson b. Sept. 30 1897 - died. Aug.22/1917 WWI France
2. James Farquharson b. April 25. 1899
3. Wilfred Bertram Farquharson b. Dec. 15, 1907

Andrew Scott came to Canada about 1889
John Scott came to Canada in 1903
Henry Scott moved to Boise City, Idaho from Scotland in 1909
Catherine Scott (Farquharson) and sons James Farquharson  and W.B. Farquharson. & sister Agnes Scott came to Saskatchewan Canada in 1922.

There are approximately  170 descendants from Andrew Scott and Catherine Scott(Farquharson) here in Canada.

Any connections??

Sunday, 27 January 2008


My g.g.g.grandmother was Jane Goodfellow (b.1833/4) in Stapleton parish in Cumbria. She died on 28.11.1911 (78) in Pelaw, Gateshead. She married Thomas Coulson on 24.4.1861 in Haltwhistle. Jane's father was John Goodfellow (b.1804/5) at Floweryhirst (or Floneryhirst), Lanercost, Cumberland. He was an agricultural labourer and died 16.3.1884, aged 80 yrs. He died at The Crooks, Thirlwall, nr Haltwhistle. Jane Goodfellow's mother was Mary Blaylock (b.1804) in Kirkandrews on Esk, Cumberland and she died 30.12.1883 (aged 79 yrs). I suspect (no proof apart from the fact that the families are adjacent to each other on the 1841 census sheet) that her father was Francis Blaylock (b.1765 in Kirkandrews on Esk) and who died 14.2.1860 (aged 94 yrs) at Low Sowerbies, Bewcastle. A David Faulder, (who has been in touch via Ancestry.co.uk has advised me that he has found the following memorial inscription: Erected in memory of Francis Blaylock who died at Low Sowerbies/Sourbies in Bewcastle 15 February 1860 aged 94 years, Mary Ewart, wife of Francis Blaylock, in Riddings who died October 4 1809 aged 33 years. Also John, grandson of the above and son of George Blaylock who died at Sowerbies in Bewcastle July 30 1837 aged 13 years.

Jane (my g.g.g.grandmother) seems to have had several brothers and sisters: Mary (b.1829/30, at Sowerby, Elizabeth (b.1832/3 Stapleton), then comes Jane, Anne (b.1834 Bewcastle), John (b.1835 at Nichol Forest, died 1917 (77 yrs) in Haltwhistle, Hannah (b.1838 at Nichol Forest), George (b.23.3.1841 at High Sheldhill (or Shieldhill), Bewcastle, Hector (b.1843 at Nichol Forest - a gamekeeper) and Ellen (b.1848 at Greenhead).

Many of these names, e.g. Goodfellow, Ewart, Hector, etc., seem to feature on your website. Can you throw any light on where "my lot" might fit in with what you have already established?

John, brother of Jane (g.g.g.grandmother) was married to Margaret Nixon (b.abt. 1838 in Thirlwall, nr Haltwhistle) and seems to have had two children, Barbara (b.1869) and Mary Jane (b.1871).

Any assistance you can give would be very much appreciated.

forsters and harding at bewcastle

Both my great grandads came from Bewcastle. Edward Harding was the son of John Harding and Grace Noble (Pikefoot) a carpenter. Im having real trouble tracing my great grandad Thomas Forster...all I know is that is father was William Foster a farmer (Crossgreens) who I think married Mary Murray(Ashycroft)...the family eventually living at Whitebeck before William Charlton Forster (??a half brother or cousin to Thomas) bought Smithsteads, the Forsters still live there now. Thomas' uncle was John Forrester...so tracing this family with all the different spellings has been a nightmare... any help gratefully appreciated

Susan Stephenson

Potts families in the Bewcastle / Lanercost area


I don't know if you can help, but I'm trying to find out any information on the Potts families of the Bewcastle / Lanercost area. I believe my Potts line to be through Leonard b1677, David b1749, William b1806, William b1839. I believe some Potts families lived at Wintershields and Lines Farm.

My great great grandfather William Potts b1839 Bridge End, Askerton married Ann Walton and lived in Walker, Northumberland, they had several children, including my great grandfather Joseph Cornelius Potts.

My grandfather and his three siblings were orphaned when their father Joseph Cornelius died during World War 1 in 1917 and their mother from influenza the following year (my grandfather was a baby). The children apparently went to live with their grandparents for several years, until grandad's two sisters left for New Zealand, aged 14 and 16. He and his brother went on to live with an Aunt in Northumberland.

He and his brother never saw their sisters again, but I managed to track down the families of his two sisters in April last year and we have been in regular contact since.

We have certificates for my great grandfather Joseph Cornelius Potts - his birth certificate gives his parents to be William Potts and Annie Walton. On the census it shows William to have been born 1839 Lanercost.

We have a birth certificate for William and it indicates he was born at Bridge End, Askerton, his father was William Potts (an innkeeper at this time) and his mother Jane Smith. Neither William or Jane appear together on any of the census data, which makes things a little tricky! William we believe died between 1861-1871.

As my grandfather and his siblings were so young when they were orphaned they knew very little of their family, which has made things a little more difficult. The fact that there just seemed to be so many Potts's in the Bewcastle and Lanercost area makes matters worse, it's difficult to work out who belongs to who!

I would be eternally grateful for any information relating to Pott's in the area which could help to piece the jigsaw together!

Kind regards



Hi all. I am afraid I haven't been paying too much attention to this blog for a while, what with one thing and another. I have been receiving quite a few emails over the last couple of months. Today I sent those folks an invitation to post on this site. The blog is enabled so that anyone can post comments. The trouble with comments is that if they are made to a post that is quite old, people may not see them. Actually putting your information in a post will make it more visible. I would like to open the blog so that anyone can post, but I don't think it is possible.

I am personally unable to respond to specific queries, but others may well be able to do so. (I also can't do any more welcomes, but you are welcome anyway!) So if you sent me an email requesting help, post your question on the blog, and see what others have to say. I have just realized that great information has been posted here. Thank you all. Some of you have emailed me records and research. I don't have the time to place it on the blog. Please try to do it yourselves because it will be of interest and help to others.

Thanks for all your interest and happy digging!
This is information that Tom emailed to me early in December. He had given me permission to post it, so I am doing that now. It comes from two separate emails.

My paternal Grandmother was Mary Forster, the youngest of 4 children, born to Joseph Forster [1843 - 1890 ] and his wife Frances Ann Armstrong.

Joseph was one of Twin sons born to Robert Forster and his wife Mary Ewart. Henry his Twin died in Dec. 1846 [age 3 years ] at Crookburn.

Thus Joseph and Elizabeth Forster [ 1828 - 1909 ] were brother and sister and my software calculates that you and I are third cousins once removed.

Recently [ 27th Nov. I believe ] two photos of "Elizabeth Forster Goodfellow" were posted on your blog by June. Would I be correct in taking this Lady to be "Elizabeth Forster" [ 1828 - 1909 ] the daughter of Robert Forster and Mary Ewart. She married William Routledge Goodfellow in November 1851 ??

As I said at the start I find your blog really interesting, it has given me lots of leads in developing this part of my Tree.

You mentioned Joan Robson and Aurea Telford earlier in the blog, these two ladies really started me on the Paternal side of my Family Tree. Joan gave me a huge Dodd Tree and Aurea gave me lots of information, both written and verbal. She also allowed me to copy the book "The Dodgsons of Dodgsonstown" which takes some branches of my family way back into the 1600s.


Reading the recent Post about her (June's) visit to Greystead made me sit up when she mentioned "Redsyke" farm. A 2xgreat grandaunt of mine Isabella Dodd married William Armstrong Goodfellow in March 1852 at Greystead and while she died in 1858 William and others in the Goodfellow family were still farming at Redsyke in the 1901 census. Unfortunately I do not know of any connection with the Whintingston Goodfellows.

Back to Aurea -- We are 2nd Cousins once removed, her Grandmother Mary Potts and my Great - Grandmother Rosanna Potts were sisters.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Another Welcome

I have received a very interesting email from a fellow Bewcastle researcher, and it seems we are third cousins, once removed. Tom, do I have your permission to post your email here? One of my planned future areas of research is to look into Robert Forster and his wife Mary Ewart. I had also tracked Elizabeth Forster Goodfellow to Crookburn. Tom descends from a brother of Elizabeth.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Forster/Goodfellow descendants 1st Generation

William, unmarried; Hector, unmarried; Arthur, married Catherine Shadwick = 4 children;
Elizabeth, married Thomas Story = 7 children; Mary Jane, married John Ewart = 2 sons; Robert, married Elizabeth Innes = 1 son; Catherine, married George C. Mossman = 4 children;
Joseph, married Frances Armstrong = ? children; Margaret Ann (Maggie), married William Kyle = 6 children.


On the road through what is now the Keilder Forest Park in Northumberland, stands Greystead Churchyard, Keilder. ... on the right hand side headed south... There are some neglected Goodfellow gravestones and some years ago with Aurea, we pulled the ivy off one which read:
Hector Goodfellow died at Redsyke, March 23, 1863 aged 81 years and Margaret Armstrong, widow of the above died Bellbank, June 10, 1867aged 76 years
(plus more names not noted)... This churchyard deserves another visit at some point!

The bleak croft of Redsyke (now ruined and in the middle of the new 'forest') was family home to Goodfellows..... I do not know how this Hector fits in to the Goodfellow tree..
i.e. was he an uncle to William Routledge Goodfellow?

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Brilliant, June!

Thank you so much, June, for posting these photos of Elizabeth Forster Goodfellow. I had been hoping to eventually get a copy of the one my Auntie Joan had, but this solves the problem. And Moira: June has a comment addressed to you on Bobbie Jean's post.
Elizabeth Forster Goodfellow with granddaughter 'Cissie' Story, daughter of Elizabeth Goodfellow and her husband , probably taken 1907/08?
Posted by Picasa

Elizabeth Forster Goodfellow

This is a photo of Elizabeth Forster Goodfellow
of Whintingstown, Bewcastle 1829-1909
probably taken @1885/90?

see next photo.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 25 November 2007


Well, it is so great that we have more people contacting this blog. Moira has added a comment to Bobby Jean's post. She has asked me in an email whether we have connections. Our lot definitely has Ewarts. Moira, I'll turn some attention to this and see if your Andrew Ewart is related, if I can. Meanwhile, I will email you an invitation to the blog. If you choose, you can follow the directions and become a contributor. Please feel free to post any writing or photos. I have sent an invitation to Nicola, who plans to post some information here. And, Kathryn also contacted me about her Armstrong research. (Perhaps Moira and Kathryn need to talk!) If anyone else reading this wants to include family history on our blog, email me at rosemarydale3@msn.com, and I will send you an invitation.

Sunday, 18 November 2007


Welcome, Bobbie Jean! Thank you for sharing your great research with us. I am going to put a post on my other blog, telling my family to visit here to read this. The photo is great, too. My other blog is http://puddingtocome.blogspot.com/.

Goodfellow and Armstrongs of Bewcastle and Lanercost

Hi all!

I was invited by Rosemary to post my connection to the Bewcastle area.

I have been researching my Armstrong line from Woodhead, Lanercost which is just southeast of the Bewcastle Church south of the Kirkbeck about a mile near Shopford. It is a former bastle house or stonehouse. It was built in the late C16 or early C17. The house is made from grey and calciferous sandstone rubble walls which are raised in height. There is a graduated slate roof with C19 stone and C20 rendered chimney stacks. It is 2 storeys high with 3 bays. The building stood derelict for many years and was reoccupied in early 1970s. Mentioned in 1603 survey as held by Jo Armstronge. The John/Clement Armstrong line continued in the Parish records for four centuries at Woodhead mostly recorded in the Bewcastle and Lanercost Parish Registers and tombstones at the Bewcastle Church.
For those interested in the Goodfellows one John Armstrong of Woodhead married Margaret Goodfellow by License at St. Cuthbert's in Carlisle 14 April 1747. Margaret was christened at Bewcastle 3 Feb 1712 to John and Elizabeth Goodfellow of Pealahill. John and Elizabeth died in 1737 at Wintershields, Lanercost Parish and were buried at Stapleton. Many Bewcastle people are buried at Stapleton, I assume since their ancestors might have been from that parish. Many common names at Stapleton are Forster, Routledge, Armstrong, Little and Davison. Common farms for the Goodfellows were Side, Flowryhurst, Highonset and Park.
The children of John Armstrong and Margaret Goodfellow were John, Helen and Clement. I am descended from John. I do not believe Clement married. They are all buried at Bewcastle. The last Armstrong at Woodhead was John Armstrong who married Mary Noble at Lanercost Abbey 18 Dec 1797. Their children were John, William, Mary and Ann. All were born at Woodhead except Ann who was born at Scottstown in 1805. The Edward Charlton family next moved into Woodhead and stayed there until they emigrated to Lobo, Middlesex County, Ontario in 1824. Eight of their twelve children were born at Woodhead the others at Moorguards, Lanercost parish which was his wife's, Catherine Calvert, home. Interestingly, I traced the William and John Armstrong lines to the same area of Lobo in 1855. They followed their uncle, John Noble, to Middlesex County (London Township) who had emigrated there in 1818 with his wife Ann Dodd of Dermansteads, Stapleton and their three children Sarah, William and John. Sarah and William turned out to be the children of John Noble and Elizabeth Forster of Greenhill, Stapleton who had died at Elleryclugh, Bewcastle in 1812. John and Mary's brother, William Noble and his wife Ann Routledge also emigrated at the same time. Many Lanercost/Bewcastle/Stapleton families emigrated to Middlesex County, Ontario in the early 1800's. I have traced Robson, Calvert, Charlton, Routledge, Noble there to name a few. There were also Thirlwalls from Walton in the same area of Lobo (northeast section) near the border of Lobo and London Township.
Bobbie Jean Armstrong Hooser
of Colleyville, Texas

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Goodfellow get-together

Welcome back to the UK Rosemary!

I'm coming up to Cumbria on the 5th August for a week. Can I tempt Rob and you to a get-together?


Friday, 13 July 2007

Hi all - finally got through the Cookie Monster & had my Invitation confirmed. June - Hello again! Wonderful to see the pics of you and your mum.

I'm trying to sort out some pics from mum's collection so that faces can be put to names, but I will need some help with some of them. Mum wasn't too good at writing the names/dates/info etc on the back of the pics!

Really love this Blog - well done Rosemary.