Edith Stainsby was the second child of William Stainsby & Jane Stephenson born July 21st, 1878 at Linthorpe & christened August 14th, 1878 at Linthorpe.
In 1881 Edith was living at Benson St, Linthorpe with her parents, older brother Thomas & baby sister Nellie.
In 1891 Edith was still living at home at Newport Rd, Middlesbrough. As well as Thomas & Nellie also at home were children Joseph (8), Mary E (6), George (4) & John (1).
Edith (left) & Mary Emily Stainsby c1910
Edith married Joseph Willey on July 21st, 1900 at St Paul’s, Ryhope. Joseph was born July 2nd, 1878 at Broomfield, Winlaton, the son of Sarah & Joseph Willey, a hind. At the time of the wedding Joseph was living at Grange Farm, Ryhope & Edith was living with her family at 3 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown. Witnesses at the wedding were Thomas Willey & Nellie Stainsby, Edith’s sister. Both Edith & Joseph had themselves been witnesses at the wedding of Joseph’s brother John Willey to Mary Hannah Hall in 1898.
In 1901 Edith (known as Edie) & Joseph were living at Lees Cottages, Ryhope & Joseph was a cartman on a farm.
By 1911 Joseph (known as Joe) & Edith had moved to 1 Royle St, Grangetown (one of the houses built by Edith's father) & Joseph was still a cartman.
Joe enlisted at Sunderland on December 6th, 1915 in the 309th, Road Construction Company of the Royal Engineers. He was 37 years of age & his height was 5ft 7 inches. He gave his occupation as carting contractor & his address as 1 Royle St, Grangetown. Joe’s war record reveals a note, written December 18th, 1916 from the Director General of Military Railways which stated that he was to be involved in road making in France & that he was to report to the R.E Railway Troops at Bordon Camp, Hants. Joe embarked for France on February 4th, 1917 & held the rank of pioneer. He was apparently admitted to hospital on May 8th, 1917 & released on May 25th. In 1922 Joe was awarded the British War Medal & the Victory Medal.
After the 1914-18 war Joe set up a farm in Ryhope, because discharged soldiers could obtain a government grant to purchase farms. As Joe had served in the 1st World War he qualified & rented land from Ryhope Asylum Board.
Around 1920-24 their niece Ada Earnshaw lived with them while Ada’s mother, Mary Emily, was in hospital. Edie died January 27th, 1927, aged 48, at Willow Farm, Ryhope & was buried at St Aidan’s cemetery, Grangetown. Administration of her will was granted on March 7th, 1927 to husband Joseph & her effects were £121.17s.2d.
Later in 1927 Joseph remarried in Sunderland. His second wife was his sister-in-law Elizabeth Agnes Stainsby (nee Geddis), the widow of Joseph Stainsby [sb.6.5.4]. Sadly this marriage was short-lived as Elizabeth died in April-June 1930.
Niece Freda Earnshaw (daughter of Edie's sister Mary Emily) became Joe’s housekeeper for a time & nephew Alan Earnshaw also went to work on the farm after leaving school in c1930. The intent was for Alan to become a farmer. By the early 1930s the land that Joe had rented was needed by the Ryhope Hospital Authority so Joe was forced to sell up his farm. Nephew Alan returned home to become an apprentice joiner at Thompsons timber yard.
The 1939 register shows Joe living at 3 Stockton Terrace, Grangetown & working as a horseman on a farm.
Joseph died April 14th, 1941, aged 62 at 3 Stockton Terrace, Grangetown & was buried alongside his wife at St Aidan’s, Grangetown, Co. Durham. Probate was granted on June 19th, 1941 at Durham to step-daughter Jennie Groundon (daughter of Elizabeth Agnes & Joseph Stainsby). His effects were £1,026.8s.4d.
Joseph & Edith's headstone at St Aidan's, Grangetown