The Carr Family of Hexham

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  • #7021 Reply
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    Matthew Carr

    Hello All,

    My name is Matthew Carr and I am descended from several Carrs hailing from Hexham and the surrounding villages. Sadly my family’s link to Hexham is rather old as my 6th Great-Grandfather George Carr 1723-1773 was the last to be born in the town. However, my family has often visited the town and pay homage to the gravestone of my ancestor Matthew Carr (1688-1757) and his wife Dorothy in the Abbey grounds which has sadly disappeared. However, I am looking to try and create a comprehensive History for my family and have several queries that I’d help in answering. I understand records aren’t easy to get to at the moment so I am more than happy to wait. Here is all the Hexham information I have:

    John Carr of Eardley/ Ardley d. abt. 1702
    John Carr of Slaley m. Robinson

    Slaley’s children
    Matthew Carr b. 1688 m. Dorothy Hislop d. 1757
    John Carr of Hexham had 2 daughters
    Thomas Carr of Drury Lane had one son
    Richard Carr – Customs Officer in Tower Street
    Elizabeth m. Loadman

    Matthew Carr’s children
    George b. 1723 Hexham m. Sarah Bird d. 1773
    John – Officer in the Army
    Matthew d. Hull
    Dorothy m. Charles Bell of Hexham

    Obviously I understand that this is not a lot to go on but if any of this rings a bell please let me know. I would come up to Northumberland to see the archives myself but sadly I live in the South-East making it hard to find the time to travel to Northumberland. Thank you for reading this and hope you’re all keeping well in these times.

    #7022 Reply
    Ian Hancock

    The Carrs of Slaley owned the large farm called Slaley Woodfoot from the 1600s to the 1800s.
    There are deeds and other papers for the farm at Northumberland Archives (NRO 1888/32, NRO 393) and a plan of the farm from 1838 (ZCL/D/83). The NRO also have the valuation of the farm when it was sold in 1845 (ZHE 38a p5). The Carrs owned at least one house in the village, as well as the farm. There is a 17th century enclosure award for the village common fields and an 18th century enclosure award for the common, which both show the extensive property of the family, both at NRO. At the NRO it is also worth looking in the list of Enrolled Deeds in the Quarter Sessions records, where I think several Carr land transactions are recorded.
    There are wills for the Carrs of Slaley at the National Archives and in the Durham Probate Registry, all available on-line, and a 1838 Chancery Court Case about Woodfoot involving the will of John Carr, which is available on-line in “Cases in Chancery”, on Google Books. There is a pedigree of the extended Carr family in the Northumberland County History (also available on-line).
    I have an interest in the Carrs simply because Woodfoot had a share of some ancient woodland which is my particular interest.

    #27328 Reply
    Carole Smith

    Hi, I am also descended from the Carr family via the Forsters.

    I know that both the families ended up in Carlisle from Hexham, the Forste’s (farmers), worked their the West landing first in the Longtown /Brampton areas, which they quicky populated and the Carr’s move to the Kendal area and then up to Carlisle when it was rapidly expanding.

    I do not know this but we are both distantly related to the Carr biscuit family.Both the Carr’s, (millers and bakers), and for me, via Forsters (banking),families who both occupied work peremises in Castle Street Carlisle.

    In 1831, John Dodgson Carr establishse his biscuits in what is now the McVittis factory by the Canal, (located for ease of transportation), sadly, the Forster bank went broke in 1834.

    Oddly enough, the reason why I went down this rabbit-hole was because my 2x grear grandfather settled in London around 1826 and married in 1830. one of the witnesses wad William Carr. I assumed that they were either friends or more likely, related. I had no idea that I would find any of this.

    I hope this helps you, it would be nice to work with someone as serious about this as I am rather than most on Ancestry who seem to dabble.


    #28993 Reply
    Betty Wynne

    I am a descendant of Cuthbert Carr of The Spitall. He was a Captain, serving in Tangier, Morocco at at elder age. I want to know what the Spitall means.

    #28995 Reply
    Pete Lee

    “Spital” is a contraction of “Hospital”. This is probably the Spital house on the West End Road (B6531) out of Hexham, now the Golf Club. There are some photos of this in our Photo Archive:

    Some further information:
    1811. Now an elegant, handsome house, lately built by James Gibson Kirsopp, Esq. the
    present possessor: it stands upon an elevated ground, at a hundred and fifty yards distance
    from the Tyne on the south bank, and commands a fine prospect for ten or twelve miles
    eastward down the vale, as also a good way up the North and West Tynes, being a little
    below the conflux of these branches. The Spittal formerly belonged to Hexham church, and
    was called St. Giles’s Hospital, but was dismembered by some means not now known,
    about the time of Henry VIII. History of Northumberland, Vol. II, Mackenxzie and Dent, 1811, p.346.

    #29159 Reply
    Peter Richmond

    The Hexham Abbey website has a page showing the burials in the Northern Graveyard: and if you click on the circled number ‘15’ you should see catalogue record for the gravestone you mentioned:; it is still there but neither the Abbey nor the local council has the resources to keep these gravestones free from encroaching turf and grass clippings. (Any volunteer gardeners?)
    There are other Carr gravestones at the Abbey, including (1715–1750) in the north chancel aisle.

    #29169 Reply
    Matthew Carr

    Thank you all for the information you have provided, it has been really interesting and helpful. I did come up to Hexham a few years ago to look for the gravestone but could not find it; clearly, I was not looking in the right place! Interestingly I actually found a section of Matthew’s will in J. C. Hodgson’s A History of Northumberland (1902) Vol VI which calls him a gentleman with lands in Slaley, Hexham and Hexham East Common as well as a farm in Acomb. He also gave money to protestant dissenters in Giligate, so why he was buried in an Anglican church seems to be my new mystery!

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