A Brickmaker’s Family

William RAWSON was born in South Collingham, Nottinghamshire towards the end of 1837, to parents John and Elizabeth née BODY.

East Nottinghamshire around Newark is at the edge of the Rawson heartland, stretching north through Derbyshire into south Yorkshire and then taking a leap south-westwards to Manchester.

William had two brothers and two sisters (at least) but he is the only one that appears to have left his home patch to seek a fortune. I don’t suppose anyone knows why he chose Filey and having started out as an agricultural labourer his prospects were not great. But he was a robust and fine-looking fellow and in 1866 he married Elizabeth Ann MAULSON, a Filey woman about ten years his junior. In 1871 they were living on Ravine Terrace with two children, John Thomas, 3, and Elizabeth, 2. I suspect it is their firstborn pictured below.

Photographer unknown, no date, courtesy of Marilyn Briggs.

After John Thomas and Elizabeth, there was a deluge of ten more children. The births of Robert Hornby and Mary Eliza were registered in Stockton, County Durham, but all bar one of the others first saw light in Filey. (William junior, number 7, was born in Riccall.)

William senior seems to have had a career change in Durham. In 1881 he told the enumerator he was a bricklayer’s labourer. Ten years later he was a brickmaker, but maybe not a successful one because in 1901 he gave “general labourer” as his occupation. 

The Shared Tree has married six of the children but two more had exchanged vows in my RootsMagic database.

You may have noticed that the firstborn son John Thomas appears twice in the Shared Tree. In his 1888 death registration, he is just John. A labourer, he died at Cayton at the end of May and was buried in St Oswald’s churchyard on the third of June. He doesn’t have a marked grave. He had married Ann MAINPRIZE in Bridlington less than five months earlier and she would register John’s death and the birth of their son George in the June quarter of 1888. (You should check this information – and every other fact in the lists above.)

John the First made way for William and Elizabeth Ann’s last child, John the Second, who was tragically killed in a fall (see An Accidental Death). His memorial stone in the churchyard has toppled and broken in half. The hidden part of the inscription remembers his parents.

Marilyn also kindly donated this photo to Looking at Filey but she was not certain that it shows the Rawsons in later years. If the youngest boy here is John the Second, he looks to be about five years old, dating the photograph to around 1895.  That year, Robert Hornby was 24, William 16 and Charles 13.

I didn’t have information about William junior’s death. He was easy to trace. He married Angelina SPAVIN in 1902, five years after older brother Robert had married Angelina’s sister Hannah. In 1911 William had three children and was working as a blast furnace labourer in Loftus. In 1939 he was a “road worker” living in Scalby with Angelina and their daughter Minnie, 34. William’s birth date is given as 1 November 1880 in The Register but his birth was recorded in the December Quarter of the previous year. His death was registered in the September Quarter of 1958, aged 78.

I think it is the brickmaker’s family.

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