Elizabeth Earnshaw was the first child of Robert Earnshaw and Ann Richardson born April 3rd, 1870 at Seaham, Co. Durham.
Elizabeth was living at home at Seaham Park, Seaham in 1881. In 1891 she was working as a finisher at the paper works and lived at home, now Grange Terrace, Ryhope.
Elizabeth married Henry Francis Wright on June 3rd, 1891 at St Paul’s, Ryhope. They were both of Grangetown & both worked as paper finishers. Henry Francis was christened September 8th, 1867 at Warden, Northumberland, son of Jane Cummings & George Wright, a schoolmaster. Witnesses at the wedding were Robert Earnshaw & John Nicholson Wright, Henry’s brother. Many of Henry’s family were employed at the paper mill and were living at Ryhope in 1881.
Hendon paper mill, Grangetown, was one of the 3 main employments in the area, the other two being mining and ship building. The mill offered reliable, clean employment whereas both mining and ship building had often to “lay off” men. As unemployment benefit (dole) was not readily available at this time, the unemployed were forced to seek aid from their parish - “go on the Parish”.
By 1900 they were living at 6 Stockton Terrace, Ryhope, & at the time of the 1901 census they were neighbours of Elizabeth’s brother Thomas Earnshaw. At this time Elizabeth & Henry, still a papermaker, had 3 sons, Henry Francis (9), Robert Ernest (2) and 'Francis' C (4 months). The latter name was an error by the enumerator as ‘Francis’ was in fact James! Also living with them as a domestic housemaid was Edith Place (22), Elizabeth’s cousin (daughter of Mary Richardson).
By 1905 Henry had become a shopkeeper & was living at 1 Stockton Terrace, Grangetown. He continued as a shopkeeper at this address until at least 1910.
In 1911 Elizabeth & Henry were living at 26 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown, next door to Elizabeth's brother Frederick Earnshaw. Henry had returned to working at the paper mill & was a paper finisher. Their 4 sons, Henry Francis, now a paper maker, Robert, James & Launcelot (5) were living at home. Also living with them was Elizabeth's brother George Earnshaw who was a picture framer.
According to Ward’s directory of Sunderland the family were living at 26 Leechmere Rd until at least 1923 when Henry was still listed as a papermaker.
Henry died on May 17th, 1924, aged 57, at 26 Leechmere Rd & was buried at St Aidan’s cemetery, Grangetown. Probate was granted on June 19th, 1924 to sons Henry Francis, a foreman papermaker, & Robert Ernest, an engine fitter. His effects were £747.10s.10d. (Henry’s estate, now £500, was readministered in 1945 & administration with will was passed to son James Cumming Wright, a marine engine fitter.)
In 1927 Mrs Elizabeth Wright was listed as the head of the household at 26 Leechmere Rd in Ward’s directory of Sunderland & son Robert was living with her. Sons James & Launcelot lived next door at 27 Leechmere Rd. In 1929 Elizabeth had her 2 sons Robert Ernest & Launcelot living with her. Robert continued to live with his mother for several years.
Son Robert married Dora M Heaney in 1931 & in 1939 they were living at 25 Cardwell St, Sunderland where Robert was a master pastry cook baker confectioner. They had a 6 year old daughter, Ann Elizabeth.
The 1939 register shows son Harry living with his mother at 26 Leechmere Rd. Harry was a paper maker foreman & with him was his wife Florence May & a child. Harry & Florrie continued to live there after the death of his mother.
By 1939 son James had married Nellie Fisher & they were living with Nellie’s parents at 24 Grassmere Crescent, Sunderland. James was a printers dispatch clerk & packer.
Son Launcelot had married Gladys Ethel Fishwick in 1933 in West Ham, & by 1939 they had moved to Hornchurch, Essex & were living at 86 Hyland Way. Launcelot was a carpenter & joiner.
Elizabeth died on November 1st, 1943, aged 73 & was buried at St Aidan’s alongside her husband & a son Wilfred who died in infancy.
The children of Elizabeth Earnshaw and Henry Francis Wright were:
e.188.8.131.52 Henry Francis Wright born November 23rd, 1891 at Ryhope, Co Durham; died July 13th, 1945 at 26 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown
e.184.108.40.206 Robert Ernest Wright born April 8th, 1898 at Ryhope, Co Durham; died February 4th, 1944 at the Royal Infirmary, Sunderland
e.220.127.116.11 James Cummings Wright born November 24th, 1900 at 1 Stockton Terr, Ryhope, Co Durham & christened December 20th, 1900 at St Paul's, Ryhope; died November 10th, 1958 at 9 Whitburn Terrace, East Boldon
e.18.104.22.168 Wilfred Wright born July-September 1903 at Ryhope, died Jan-March 1905
e.22.214.171.124 Launcelot Wright born January 18th, 1906 at 1 Stockton Terr, Ryhope
& christened February 15th, 1906 at St Paul’s, Ryhope; died April 19th, 1950 at 86 Hyland Way, Romford, Essex