Mary Jane Crosby was the third child of Robert Crosby & Mary Ann Brown born June 19th, 1871 at Sherburn Hill, Co Durham.
In 1881 Mary was living at home at 10 Front St. Sherburn where her father was a butcher. She had a brother Benjamin & 2 sisters, Dorothy Ann, & Edith.
Mary was still living at home at Front St in 1891 as was her sister Dorothy Ann.
Soon after the census 1891 Mary married Thomas James Peel in Sunderland.
Things went sadly wrong with Mary & Thomas as the Durham County Advertiser of November 23rd, 1900 shows. Mary had charged Thomas with desertion after neglecting her & their 3 children for some time. He was said to have come down in the world & abandoned himself to drink. Thomas was ordered to contribute 7s. a week & pay the costs.
The 1901 census shows Mary as lodging in Hetton-le-Hole with her 4 year old daughter Dorothy & noted as widowed. Mary’s 2 sons Robert & Ernest were living with her brother Benjamin Crosby at Shadforth Farm at the time of the census. Thomas was back living with his parents in Thornley, Co Durham & working as a colliery clerk.
Mary was not however a widow as an article in the Durham County Advertiser of February 6th, 1903 shows. Thomas had been summoned to pay £1.15s in arrears to his wife Mary. This had been passed in a previous court but no money was forthcoming & Thomas was ordered to pay or go to prison for 1 month. Obviously Thomas, an assistant bailiff, had not learned his lesson, as in July 1903 he was again summonsed to pay £2.9s in arrears for maintenance. He pleaded inability to pay as he had been unable to work due to rheumatic pains. Mary stated that even when he was in work he would not pay. Thomas, when sentenced to prison for 14 days hard labour, pleaded that he could not do hard labour. He was told he would be put in the second division where a doctor would look after him.
There is a death for Thomas James Peel in 1909 aged 43. He was buried on April 20th, 1909 at Hartlepool Old Cemetery.
In 1911 Mary was again described as widowed & living at South Terrace, Hesleden. With her were sons Robert Crosby (20) colliery labourer, George Ernest (18) blacksmith striker, Dorothy (14), Norman (5) & Wilfred (2). Also with them was a nephew, Benjamin Crosby (8).
Mary was living at 1 Armstrong St, Hesleden at the time of the 1939 census & with her was son Wilfred who worked at the colliery.
There is a death for Mary Jane Peel aged 68 in Oct-December 1939 in Durham East.
The children of Mary Jane Crosby & Thomas James Peel were:
c.22.214.171.124.1 Robert Crosby Peel born July-September 1891at Sherburn Hill, Co. Durham
c.126.96.36.199.2 George Ernest Peel born August 7th, 1893 at Wheatley Hill, Co Durham; died April-June 1969 in Durham East
c.188.8.131.52.3 Dorothy Peel born Oct-December 1896 at Wheatley Hill, Co Durham
c.184.108.40.206.4 Norman Archbold Peel born September 3rd, 1905 at Haswell, Co Durham; died April-June 1970 in Durham East
c.220.127.116.11.5 Wilfred Peel born April 30th, 1908 at Hesleden, Co Durham; died April-June 1980 in North Cleveland