William Manners, my 3rd great-grandfather, was born in 1818 and was the fourth son of George Manners (1779-1841) and Margaret Simpson (1783-1862). William and his siblings grew up in Coundon, near Bishop Auckland, and he was one of four sons destined to work in the coal mines.
William makes his first appearance in the census records in 1841 where he is recorded as living with his widowed mother and is employed as a brakeman (someone employed to work the steam engine or other machinery that raises the coal from the mine). On 10 November 1844, William married Mary Carrick, the daughter of John Carrick (1788-1851) and Hannah Hetherington (1792-1868), and a member of another large family on my tree who we will meet again.
William and Mary remained in Coundon where they were soon joined by their daughter, Hannah, my 2nd great grandmother, who was born in April 1845. After Hannah’s birth, the family moved to the Westerton area where they can be found on the 1851 UK Census which shows two more children have been born, George, in 1846, and Mary Ann, in 1848. William is still employed as a brakeman and is likely to have been working for the Westerton Colliery which opened in 1838. For the next decade, William and Mary would remain living in the same area and four more children were born: John, in 1851, Elizabeth, in 1854, William, in 1857, and Joseph, in 1859.
By the 1871 UK Census, William and Mary have moved to Byers Green, however the Coundon births of two more daughters, Isabella, born in 1861, and Jane, born in 1864, indicate the family may have moved back to Coundon in the middle of the decade. The four eldest children are no longer living with their parents as they have all married and started families of their own. Their son, William, who was born in 1857, is also missing from the 1871 records but I’ve been unable to trace his whereabouts.
On the 1881 UK Census, William and Mary have moved back to Coundon with four of their children and are living at No.2 Engine Houses which must have been a familiar address by this time. All of the children are employed, including daughters, Elizabeth and Isabella, who are dressmakers, and Jane, who is a tailor. William and Mary’s second son, John, was also a tailor so Jane probably trained with him.
William and Mary were lucky in that all nine of their children survived into adulthood and their first grandchild, William Clark, eldest son of Hannah, was born in Byers Green in 1867. In 1888, William and Mary lost the first of their children when their third son, William, died, aged 31 years, on 18 November, and he would be followed a year later by his older sister, Elizabeth, who died on 14 June 1889, aged 35 years.
William died in Coundon on 7 January 1887 and Mary died on 7 December 1894.