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Sarah Stephenson [s.9.7]

Sarah Stephenson was the seventh child of George Stephenson & Jane Wade born at Aislaby & christened October 16 th, 1827 at Egglescliffe, Co Durham.

Sarah was found in the 1841 census for Aislaby living with her widowed mother Jane who was working as an agricultural labourer.

Sarah was a witness at her brother Joseph’s marriage to Jane Carter on Christmas Day 1848. Another witness at the wedding was her future husband John Waller.

Sarah married John Waller on May 19th, 1849 at St John the Baptist, Egglescliffe. Both were of Aislaby & both were able to sign the register. Witnesses at the wedding were Sarah’s brother Joseph Stephenson & Alice Waller. John, christened July 10th, 1825 at Seamer by Stokesley, Yorks, was the son of Jane & Christopher Waller, a labourer.

In 1851 Sarah & John were living at Low Worsall where John was an agricultural labourer. They had a 1 year old son George.

By 1861 they were living at Rift House Cottages, Tunstall, West Hartlepool, Co. Durham. Their family had grown to include George (11), Jane Ann (9), Mary (6), Sarah Alice (4), Elizabeth (2) & Ellen (4 months). John was still a farm labourer.

In 1871 Sarah & John were still at the same address but only Ellen (10), & new additions John Stephenson (6) & William (4) were at home.

On September 28th, 1873 son George, a joiner, married Elleanor Hodgson (24), daughter of George Hodgson, a farmer, at All Saints Church, Stranton, West Hartlepool.   They did not have any family.

By 1881 John & Sarah had moved to Owton Grange, Seaton Carew, Co. Durham. At home were Mary (formerly a sewing maid), Elizabeth (formerly a nurse), Ellen (a dressmaker), John (farm labourer) & William. John was an agricultural labourer.

Daughter Sarah Alice married John Knowles, a railway engine driver, in 1881 in Ormskirk, Lancs.

In 1891 John & Sarah were still living at Owton Grange, Brierton, & John was now a farm foreman. At home were daughter Elizabeth, & son John Stephenson, a farm servant. Also with them at the time of the census was daughter Jane Ann now married to George Lindsley, a railway engine driver, & their daughter Nora Alice (9). Daughter Ellen Waller had married Robert Smith Hansell in Oct-December 1885 at Hartlepool & at the time of the 1891 census they were living at Stranton, West Hartlepool with their 1 year old son George E Hansell & with them was Ellen’s brother, William, now a butcher.

Sarah died on May 1st, 1891 at Owton Grange, aged 63 & was buried on May 5th, 1891 at Holy Trinity Church, Seaton Carew, Co Durham.  A death notice in the Northern Daily Mail of West Hartlepool reveals that Sarah had ‘faithfully served the family of Richard C Walker of Owton, Fence House for upwards of  40 years’.

John died August 9th, 1899 at Owton Grange, aged 74, & was buried on August 12th, 1899 at Holy Trinity Church, Seaton Carew, Co Durham.

Headstone of Sarah & John at Holy Trinity, Seaton Carew

(photo courtesy of Maureen Anderson)

Daughter Elizabeth married George Craggs, a farmer, in Oct-December 1899 at Hartlepool. At the time of the 1911 census Elizabeth & George were living at The Mill, Castle Eden, Co Durham with a 9 year old daughter, Ethel Waller Craggs.

The 1901 census reveals that sons John & William continued to farm at Owton Grange Farm, & by this time William had married Hannah Kirkham (November 21st,1898) & had a 1 year old daughter Annie.
John was to marry Ellen Seaton, daughter of Richard Seaton, a farmer, 2 years later on January 18th 1903.

In 1911 William & his wife Hannah & their 3 children were living with Hannah’s brother William Kirkham & his wife at Cowpen Bewley, Middlesbrough. William was helping William Kirkham on his farm.

At the time of the 1911 census John was still farming at Owton Grange & he & Ellen had a son John, aged 2. They had 3 farm helpers & a domestic servant.*

The children of Sarah Stephenson & John Waller were:

s.9.7.1 George Waller born April-June 1850 at Egglescliffe; died June 5th, 1920 at 105 Elwick Rd, West Hartlepool, Co Durham
s.9.7.2 Jane Ann Waller born 1852 at Low Worsall & christened February 1st, 1852 at High Worsall; died December 17th, 1930 at 23 Houghton St, West Hartlepool, Co Durham

s.9.7.3 Christopher Waller christened August 21st, 1853 at High Worsall; buried August 23rd 1853 at St John & All Saints, High Worsall
s.9.7.4 Mary Waller christened October 24th 1854 at Stranton
s.9.7.5 Sarah Alice Waller christened December 25th, 1856 at Stranton
s.9.7.6 Elizabeth Waller born Oct-December 1858 at Hartlepool; died Oct-December 1912 at Hartlepool
s.9.7.7 Ellen Waller born Oct-December1860 at Hartlepool; died Oct-December 1957 in Co Durham
s.9.7.8 John Stephenson Waller born Oct-December 1864 at Hartlepool, buried May 14th, 1923 at Holy Trinity Church, Seaton Carew
s.9.7.9 William Waller born July 5th, 1866 at Hartlepool; died March 17th, 1943 at Earls Nook Farm, Cowpen, Bewley, Co Durham

*Two years after the death of his wife Ellen on 9th August, 1921, an article appeared in the Northern Daily Mail, West Hartlepool, May 12th,1923, as follows:


Coroner Newby held an inquest at Greatham, yesterday,
on John Stephenson Waller, a farmer, of Owton Grange
farm. Waller's body was found in a field at Greatham,
and the evidence showed that he had been drinking. The
coroner found that 'death was due to heart failure
following alcoholic coma and accelerated by exposure to
the cold'.

Thanks to Grenville Davies for providing valuable information on the Waller family.


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