Descendants of Graham Family in Hexham 1750-1860's

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  • #3828 Reply
    Martin Graham

    I wonder if anyone out there can shed some light / has any information on the Graham Family (Bakers.) in the Hexham area from 1750-1860’s. I have reached a “Brick Wall” on because actual images of Certificates are not available & it is almost impossible to verify a person is the correct family relation.
    In particular l am trying to trace information on John Graham b1786 d1830’s and “Wife” Dorothy (Not sure they were married.) who lived in Skinnersburn. (Now Eastgate.) On 1841/1851 Census they were described as Bakers of Bread and in 1861 Census Baker & Inn Keeper. I believe they lived on the southern end of Skinnersburn possibly somewhere near “Hackwood Manor” there were four children: Mary b-1808, James b-1811, Ann b-1819 & John b-1816. The latter is my GG Grandfather who was a Stonemason and left Hexham before 1841 for London.
    I live in Herfordshire and physically visiting the Northumberland Records Office is not a viable venture, and the huge expense of purchasing “Certificates” through the Records service only to find it does not relate to the person you are researching is really frustrating.

    Any help or suggestions a Member can offer would be very much appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance, Martin Graham.

    #3859 Reply
    Jennifer Britton

    Long reply coming up which I hope will make sense eventually.

    In 1851 Dorothy has two grand-daughters with her – Elizabeth Carrick aged 11 and Mary Carrick aged 9. Looking at their birth registrations, their mother’s maiden surname is given as Armstrong. In 1841 Elizabeth aged 1 appears to be with her parents William and Mary Carrick in Gilligate.

    It appears that William Carrick died in 1842 and that Mary re-married in 1845, to a Joseph Forster, with whom Mary can be found in 1851 complete with some of her Carrick children and three young children born to Mary and Joseph. These latter children’s mother’s maiden surname again given as Armstrong.

    The marriage of Mary Carrick and Joseph Forster in 1845 gives her father’s name as John Graham.

    Going back to the marriage of Mary to her first husband William Carrick, this was on 27th August 1831 at Hexham Abbey. One of the witnesses was a John Graham (transcription at Hexham Library).

    You mention four children to John and Dorothy, but I could only find baptisms of two of them in the Hexham registers: 15th December 1816, John, son of John (labourer) and Dorothy. 28th March 1819, Ann, daughter of John (labourer) and Dorothy

    However there are these two interesting baptisms in the Hexham register transcriptions, which date-wise fit with the two older children you have mentioned:
    15th October 1809, Mary Armstrong bastard daughter of Dorothy Armstrong
    24th May 1812, James Armstrong, bastard son of Dorothy Armstrong.

    So, my suggestion is that Dorothy was actually Dorothy Armstrong, that she had two children out of wedlock before she married/lived with John Graham. Hence, when Mary Armstrong married for the second time she gave her father’s name as John Graham although in fact he was only her adoptive father.

    However…..I can’t find a marriage between Dorothy and John (yet).

    Hope this might help a bit.

    Jennifer Britton

    #3906 Reply
    Martin Graham

    Hi Jennifer,
    All seems very plausible, dates match up near perfect. Seems that James changed his name back to Armstrong after his mother, Dorothy died in 1868. Because he is stated on the 1871 Census at the same address, same occupation & with Wife Ann. Perhaps Dorothy let him into her secret past on her death bed?

    Anyway many thanks for the invaluable information, just wish l had the same access to the records that you have!
    Best regards

    #5624 Reply
    anthony grahame

    Martin (if I may),

    I was in touch with Mark Benjamin, who kindly responded as follows. I would be interested in learning more about more recent ancestors and hope that this enquiry will be the first step.

    It seemed right to approach a Graham …

    A starting point is:
    My mother, Mary Graham, b. 12 August 1914, was born in Hexham. I believe she was the youngest of ten children.


    Tony Grahame

    Dear Tony

    As you may be aware, the Grahams (no e!) were one of the notorious – possibly the most notorious – of the Border Reiver families who held sway over the Anglo-Scottish borders from the thirteenth century to the unification of the crowns in 1601. As part of the pacification of the region, the Grahams were transported wholesale to North America and some to Ireland. Some subsequently made their way back and the surname remains fairly common in the Tynedale area. There are two good books on the Border Reivers, by George MacDonald Fraser and Alasdair Moffatt. However, if you’re more interested in more recent ancestors I would suggest that you post your enquiry on the Notes & Queries page of our website and see what our wider membership can contribute.

    Best wishes


    On Wed, 4 Dec 2019 at 08:49, Sussex Academic Press <> wrote:
    Dear Mark (if I may),

    I spotted the news about Hexham, hence my email.

    My mother, Mary Graham, b. 12 August 1914, was born in Hexham. I believe she was the youngest of ten children.

    I have pics of my grandmother and grandfather, and I would be pleased to pass them on.

    I added the end ‘e’ in my twenties.

    My grandfather John lived with us in north London in his later days, surviving on a whisky & soda and a King Edwards every day. His eldest son, also John, emigrated to America. I met him many years ago, and met up with a sister Margaret as well.

    I would be pleased to be informed of any published material that might provide information on family background.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Anthony V. P. Grahame
    Editorial Director
    PO Box 139
    Eastbourne BN24 9BP
    United Kingdom

    #5790 Reply
    Sandra Jackson

    Hi everyone I saw the post recently for information on the Graham family who were in Hexham in the 1790’s.
    I am also searching for information on a family member who was living in Hexham between 1851 and until his death, April 1874 – Thomas Collins Thompson (Thomson), who served with the 3rd Battalion Royal Artillery during the Battle of Waterloo and was injured. Thomas was born in the Shetland Islands in 1793 this has been confirmed but can’t find any information for Thomas while living in Hexham, who he married and who all of his children were.

    I have information on a son also by the name of Thomas Thompson. I am also looking for any descendants of William Thompson born 1865 in the Hexham area who’s father was Thomas Thompson (either son or grandson) of Thomas Collins Thompson.

    hope there is someone who can help me, as Western Australia is a long way to come from to search for this information.


    Sandy Jackson

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