Robert Crosby was the third child of Mary Crosby, born August 16th, 1808 and christened November 27th 1808 at Bishop Middleham, Co. Durham.
Robert married Mary Ditchburn on May 16th, 1829 at Hart Parish Church, Co Durham. Mary was a spinster of the parish & witnesses at the wedding were John Willson, Charles Ogle, John Peter Burrell & Michael Gent. Records of christenings of their children begin in 1832 at Dalton-le Dale. Mary was born c1802 at Pelton, Co. Durham.
At the time of the 1841 census Robert, described as a cartman, was visiting his sister Elizabeth Earnshaw (nee Crosby) at Dawdon Hall, Seaham. Robert's wife Mary was living at New Cassop at the time of the census with 2 children - Robert (7) & Jane (4). Mary was described as a publican. Sadly another son, also named Robert, was born in 1832 but he only lived for 5 days. Mary gave birth to twins in 1835 but they only lived for 1 week.
In 1851 Robert was farming in New Cassop Colliery village, Co. Durham and he and Mary had a daughter, Margaret (14) (called Jane in previous census) & a ‘nurse child’ George 'Crosby' aged 4 & born at Cassop living with them. [No record of a birth for this George Crosby could be found, but there was a George Baird born at the appropriate time & place – a George Baird is found with the family in the next census.] Their 17 year old son Robert was an apprentice butcher living with John Picken, butcher, & family at nearby Coxhoe.
By 1861 Robert, still a cartman, and the family lived at Front Row, Cassop. Son Robert, aged 27, was still living with them & was a butcher. Daughter Margaret had married Robert Jackson in 1853. Also visiting was William Nisbet (25) from Scotland who was a member of the Society of Physicians & Surgeons. There was also a servant boarding with them called George Baird (14). George continued his close relationship with the Crosbys, & even after his marriage, he & his wife Ann were living next door to Robert & Mary in 1871.
In 1863 Robert was charged with ‘furiously driving his horse and cart on the highway at Castle Eden’. He was fined 5s.6d and cautioned. (Durham County Advertiser, August 7th, 1863)
In 1871 Robert (63) was a farmer of 50 acres & a cartman, still living at Cassop. With him were Mary (70) and grand daughter Mary Jackson (16) & grandson Robert Jackson (14) who were children of daughter Margaret. Also present was another grandson, Benjamin Brown Crosby, aged 4, son of Robert Crosby, the butcher, who had married Mary A Brown in 1866. Benjamin's parents were living in Sherburn at the time of the census, next door to Mary Brown's parents, Dorothy & Benjamin Brown, a retired butcher.
Mary died on May 7th 1875 at Cassop, aged 73, & was buried on May 9th, 1875 at Shadforth , Co. Durham.
In 1881 widowed Robert (listed as Robt. Orsby in Ancestry index!) continued to live at Front St & was now a farmer of 7 acres. He had a 22 year old farm servant living with him, John Stephenson. George Baird was still living close by & was now a green grocer.
Robert (85) was a retired farmer by 1891 & was living at Esh, Langley Park, with his daughter Margaret (56) and her husband Robert Jackson (60), a coalminer, and their family.
There is a death recorded for Robert Crosby in Jan-March 1897, aged 91, at Durham.
The children of Robert Crosby and Mary Ditchburn were:
c.4.3.1 Robert Crosby born 1832 Dawdon Hall, christened July 25th, 1832 at St Andrew's, Dalton-le-Dale; died at Dawdon Hall & buried July 30th, 1832
c.4.3.2 Robert Crosby born 1834 at Dawdon Hall, christened February 25th, 1834 at St Andrew's, Dalton-le-Dale, Co Durham; died Oct-December 1900 at Durham
c.4.3.3 Elizabeth Crosby born December 1835 at Seaham Harbour; buried December 13th, 1835 at St Andrew’s, Dalton-le-Dale, Co Durham
c.4.3.4 William Crosby born December 1835 at Seaham Harbour; buried December 13th, 1835 at St Andrew’s, Dalton-le-Dale, Co Durham
c.4.3.5 Dinah Margaret Jane Crosby born 1836 at Seaham Harbour, christened December 12th, 1836 at St Andrew's, Dalton-le-Dale, Co Durham; died July-September 1912 at Lanchester, Co Durham
c.4.3.6 Elizabeth Crosby born August 1838 at Seaham Harbour; buried September 9th, 1838 at St Andrew’s, Dalton-le-Dale, Co Durham