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

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:


Rosemary said...

Sue, this is quite a delayed response, as I took a break from my family history research for a while. I have reposted the map of the farms and cottages of the area. Click on it to enlarge it. You will find Dirtup and Sorbies on the left about 2/3 of the way up. Perhaps Sorbies is a variation of Sowerbies. Variations of names and place names happened a lot in the records.

Susan Earl said...

I am a Haughan descendant and have been trying for a very long time to discover information about the family. Hurrah for this blog(thanks Rosemary).
I am hoping that my Elizabeth Haughan is related to your Haughans or that you may know something about her or her family. All I know of her is this: she married Robert Oliver at Bewcastle on 22/9/1808 at the tender age of 14 (according to the Carlisle Journal of 1/10/1808), so she was born about 1794, and she came from "Raw" (is this supposed to be "Row"?). I do not know anything about her parents. She and Robert had 11/ 12 children, and farmed at Crosshill. After Robert died in 1838 (buried at Bewcastle) she disappeared, as did some of her children. Two of them were in the Brampton/Lanercost area in the 1841 Census, but I couldn't find the others in England (haven't checked the Scottish Census, yet). Their daughter, Elizabeth (my gr-gr-grandmother), later turned up in Wigton, married (?) to William Earl (can't find their marriage anywhere; but their first child, Wilkinson, was born in Wigton, 1845).
If you or anyone else reading this can help at all, I would really appreciate it, and if you are interested, I can reciprocate with information about Elizabeth's descendants.

Susan Earl said...

I am up-dating what I wrote before.
In frustration, I decided to check some research that had been given to me, guaranteed correct... (I should know better by now!) and discovered that Elizabeth had not, in fact, disappeared, but in the 1841 Census was living with her in-laws and brother-in-law, Thomas, at Abbey Lanercost, near to where 2 of her children were working. I had been told that this Elizabeth was Thomas' wife, but in later Censuses he was listed as being unmarried. I was then able to track Elizabeth through the 1851 and 1861 Censuses until a death which I think is hers, in 1868, registered in Carlisle. The ages given in the Censuses and at her death are not conclusive as to her birth year, but it lies somewhere between 1793 and 1798! A fellow Haughan researcher elsewhere thinks my Elizabeth may be the daughter of William and Margaret Steele. Does anyone have any information about their daughter Elizabeth? Thanks!

pdj_singleton said...

I am sure I have seen these photographs before elsewhere on the Web, but as relating to a William (?) Routledge rather than a Haughan, but it is not really my area of interest, which is Ewarts

Annie said...


William Haughan (1770-1848) married his 2nd wife Margaret Steele (1800-?) in 1818 and their 7 children were William 1821, Charles 1824, Thomas 1827, Margaet 1830, David 1832, Catherine 1835 and Hannah 1839. He did have a daughter Elizabeth born in 1798 by his first wife Margaret Wilson (1775-1815) but that doesn't fit in with your Elizabeth either.