Trying to find John Hodgson Marsden and children in England

+2 votes
I needed a break from my Prussian/German/American person (still waiting on some answers to problems with him), so decided to follow through with some information sent to me regards my great-grandfather's line.

I do NOT have a profile for the individual of this question, yet, because I cannot seem to track him down beyond that he was the father of my grandmother's grandfather.

Grandma's grandfather was born in Cumberland, the district was Cockermouth.  I have found one brother who seems to have stayed in the Cockermouth area, married and had children.  I don't know how many others may also have stayed.

Grandma's grandfather, however, moved to the Chester-Le-Street area of County Durham.  Others also seem to have moved there.  I am presuming moved, because of the naming of children that are not in my direct line showing evidence (to me, anyway) that they belong to my family --i.e. the name Hodgson has been passed down, showing in both Cumberland and Durham.

I've been trying to determine a few things .. one  of which is the parentage of one Thomas Marsden (born about 1839, Cockermouth, Cumberland, but cannot find a registration for him), father of George Hodgson Marsden (1876-1940).  I believe him (Thomas) to be brother to Jonathon (about 1833) and Peter (about 1826) Marsden.  Peter married a Sarah Millican (sometimes rendered as Milligan).  Jonathon married Jane Tait.

I believe Thomas married Ann Wilson, but cannot find that, either.  (Wilson is the Maiden Surname on the  registrations for the children, and Ann is from the census records.)  Thomas and Ann had at least two children, so far found, both sons -- the aforementioned George Hodgson, and Thomas (1874).

What I'm looking for is any other children of John Hodgson Marsden (about 1790-1800-ish), born in Cockermouth area of Cumberland -- most likely born before 1840 -- and whether Thomas is the son of John Hodgson Marsden, or anther, related, Marsden (due to the name thing).

(I figure the Hodgson came from higher up the line, but I'm not ready for that yet.)

Thanks in advance
in Genealogy Help by Melanie Paul G2G6 Pilot (351k points)

4 Answers

+3 votes

Name: Thomas Marsden

Age in 1911: 72

Estimated birth year: abt 1839

Relation to Head: Father

Gender: Male

Birth Place: Cockermouth, Cumberland, England

Civil Parish: Chester le Street Lambton Little Lumley

Search Photos: Search for 'Chester le Street Lambton Little Lumley' in the UK City, Town and Village Photos collection

County/Island: Durham

Country: England

Street address: High Tow Lumley Colliery Fence Houses

Marital status: Widowed

Occupation: Colliery Labourer

Registration district: Chester le Street

Registration District Number: 554

Sub-registration district: Chester le Street

ED, institution, or vessel: 03

Piece: 30087

Household Members:

Name Age

George Hodgson Marsden 35

Elizabeth Marsden 31

Thomas Marsden 3

Anne Marsden 2

Thomas Marsden 72

Source Citation

Class: RG14; Piece: 30087

Source Information 1911 England Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011

by Marion Poole G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Catherine widow  Housekeeper  b Harrington

Thomas 21 son b Cockermouth

Thomas g son 19  b Seaton

Joseph g son 17 b Seaton (all boys were coal.miners)
Most of them seem to have been miners, including the lot that moved to Co Durham (Chester le Street).  One of the Joseph Marsden men was a carter in the Cockermouth area, and he may also have tried mining for a while in Chester le Street (although that may be yet another one -- it's all becoming such a blur!).

1841 Census Cockermouth

Catherine Masting 50 bobbin winder

Catherine Masting 15  woollen factory worker

Peter 12  cotton weaver

Jonathan 6

Thomas 1

Seems to be the same family as was working in the Brick fields in Seaton in 1851but there is a son Joseph with them

Catherian Maston w 57 Harrington

Joseph  26 son Egilesfield (Eaglesfield)

Peter 21 son Popcastle ( apparently it's near Cockermouth)

Jonathan 16 Seaton

 Cathrian .24 Whitehaven

Thomas 11 Cockermouth

(Jonathan, Peter, Cathrine seem to be the children mentioned below by Anon Woody)

Three children Mary, Hodgin and Elias baptised in 1797 at the Cockermouth  (ref from Marion above)

Headache building!  surprise

So -- John Hodgson Marsden (as attested by his son, Jonathon), was baptised as Hodgin? Marston I have seen already, but Hodgin?!  Everything else says Hodgson.

If I ever get to creating a profile for this guy -- lnab = Marston oln Marsden.  But, is that 1797, or 1795?  It looks more like a 5 than a 7 . . and the 7 underneath(?) the 5 doesn't look like the rest of the 7s, and really looks more like a slip of the pen than a deliberate downstroke.

Catherine widow  Housekeeper  b Harrington
Thomas 21 son b Cockermouth
Thomas g son 19  b Seaton
Joseph g son 17 b Seaton (all boys were coal.miners)


The grandson Joseph seems to be the one registered in 1844, with the mother's last name of Tinnion — but I cannot find a marriage for a Marsden to a Tinnion.  Joseph also appears to have a sister, Hannah, born about 1846, registered in Cockermouth in the March Quarter.
Catherine and Hodgson's son Joseph married a Thompson in 1857, so that lets him out.  Son Peter married a Millican in 1859, so that lets him out.  Jonathan also married in 1859 (Jane Tait), and was known to have only two children, both daughters.  The youngest, Thomas, is the son born 1839 and in this quoted census, so HE isn't the father of his nephew.
There is the eldest child, another Thomas, born about 1821, but I cannot find another documentation of his existence after his christening in 1821.  It is possible he lived, and they simply had two sons with the same name (it would not be the first time I have come across that in records, where the two name-alikes both live to adulthood), but more likely he died between 1821  and 1839 — which would remove him as a possible father for Joseph in 1844.
It may be that Catherine and Hodgson had more children than the six I know of but, if they did, I can't find them. 
Then there is the Hannah, who appears to be the mother of the 1840 Thomas, but the census has her born about 1812, which make it pretty near impossible for Catherine Porter (born about 1798-ish) to be her mother.  (Possible, at age 14-ish, but how probable?)  Yet, her son is listed as "grandson" on the census.

I am also more and more convinced that the Hodgson Marsdew whose death is registered in 1844 is "my" Hodgson Marsden and the person transcribing misread the final n as a w (very easy with some of the handwriting of those days).

How can I find the 1901 Durham census, when family search comes up blank, and all the links on family search regarding where to look are either" gone", behind a paywall, or just do nothing?  I have Jonathan in 1891 with his daughter, Catherine, still at home.  I have Jonathan's daughter, Catherine (married to James Kirkbride), and her family in 1901, no mention of Jonathan.  I have Jonathan's older daughter, Margaret, as head of the household in 1901, with her six kids, no mention of Jonathan.  (Margaret's husband was off at war in South Africa.)  I have where Jonathan was living with the Kirkbride family (as a boarder -- his own daughter!) in 1911.

I just don't have Jonathan in 1901, although he was in Durham, listed as 67, occupation as a "coal miner shifter below", according to the index of the UK census online (all details are behind a paywall). I have no actual residence, or other occupants of the home, if any.  (His wife was now eleven years dead, and both daughters married and living in their own homes.)
Jonathan a widower & shifter in coal mine in 1901 was boarding in the household of Francis Proctor in East Terrace, Ushaw, Durham. He is listed as being born in Seaton, Yorkshire

Francis Proctor 69

Mary Proctor 64

Dorothy Proctor 3

James Henderson 27

Mary Henderson 23

Francis T P Henderson 2

Jonathan Marsden 67

James Roland 42

Thanks for the lookup!

It saying he was born in Seaton seems weird, because he was born in Cumberland (Cockermouth). cheeky 

Well, unless there were two Jonathan Marsden coal miners born in or about 1833.  (There's also a Seaton in Durham, Northumberland, and Devon.) 

Urshaw is also some 13 or so miles from where he was living in 1891and 1911.  Seems more weird.  (I'll remove the 1901 statement from the biography.)


He's also missing from the 1851 census .. or, at least, family search isn't showing me an 1851 census .. so I have no idea when he moved from Cumberland to Durham.

In 1851 he was living in Seaton, Cumberland, with widowed mother & siblings.

Cathrian Maston 57  born Harrington

Joseph Maston 26   born Eguilefield

Peter Maston 21     born Popcastle

Jonathan Maston 16   born Cockermots

Catherian Maston 24  born Whiteham

Thomas Maston 11    born Cockermots

The whole family are described as Brick labourers. Place names are copied above as transcribed.
Thanks, again!

Yet another misspelling.  So the whole family seems to be both coal miners and brick labourers.  Whatever work is there to be done, I guess.  And those census takers .. boy do they take liberties with place (and people) names!

So the move was between 1851 and 1859 -- you would think a couple of years or more before 1859, as I doubt he showed up one day and decided to get married right there and then.  (They were married for 30 before Jane died.)
+3 votes

Two baptisms were held in Cockermouth, Cumberland on 14 April 1833 ,Jonathan Marsden & Peter Marsden, likely twins. Their parents were Hodgson Marsden & Catherine.



Earlier in Whitehaven, 1827 A Catherine Marsden was baptised:

by Anonymous Woody G2G6 Mach 2 (26.7k points)
The boys were baptised at the same time, but (according to later census returns) they were actually born 7 years apart -- Jonathon in 1833, and Peter about 1823 - 1826.

That Catherine is possibly a sister, maybe.
+3 votes

A Thomas Marsden was baptised 2 January 1841 Cockermouth, the son of Hannah Marsden. . The family unit appears to be living in Brigham in the 1841 Census:

Thomas's birth registration is though that of Thomas Marston, Q4, 1840, Cockermouth. Mother's maiden name unlisted.

by Anonymous Woody G2G6 Mach 2 (26.7k points)
The question then is -- who were Hannah's parents?  And  Dinah?

Young Mary was also registered with no mother's maiden surname .. so both kids were born outside marriage.  Were they both Hannah's kids, or was Mary the child of Dinah?
+3 votes
The Thomas I believe you are searching for was born in 1839 with birth registration Thomas Marston, Cockermouth, 22/72 q4. Mother's maiden name listed as Porter.

He can be found in 1841 living in Brigham, Cumberland as follows: (

Catherine Mastings 50 cotton winder

Catherine                15 Woollen factory

Peter                        12 Cotton weaver

Jonathan                    6

Thomas                      1

A marriage is recorded on 31 January 1820, Brigham Cumberland between Catherine Porter & Hodgson Mastin. (
by Anonymous Woody G2G6 Mach 2 (26.7k points)
But, but, but .. who's the daddy?!  (Joking.)
I'm gonna be forever sorting out this family!
I still find it unbelievable that a 50-plus year old would behaving babies.  (1941 census rounded age down to nearest 5 years, so if she shows as 50, she was either exactly 50, or over 50.)

I wouldn't get hung up on the census age. The 1841 enumerator, quite typically hasn't followed the instructions; one of the reasons they changed them for the next census. Some entries may be rounded  (but up or down?), others obviously not  rounded (63, 53, 54 all on that page).Catherine may have had  only a rough idea of her own age. Next census she's 57.

Biggest question is when did her husband die?

Possibility in1846 residence Seaton at death.  If so where was he in 1841

 (not found a civil death registration for this one)

COMMON NAMES!   Gotta hate 'em!

Catherine was a widow in census, 1851 & 1861, and said to have been born in Harrington, 1793-1795. Whether husband had died by 1841, possibly not

I believe she was baptised in 1798, Harrington the daughter of Thomas Porter & Eleanor

I think her husband was baptised 1796 as Hodgin Marston the son of Joseph Marston & Mary 

Catherine born about 1795, baptised 1798, would make way more sense for having a baby in 1839, than being born 1791-1793-ish.

Thanks so much for all of this. heart

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