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Mary Emily Stainsby [sb.6.5.5]

Mary Emily Stainsby was the fifth child of William Stainsby & Jane Stephenson born July 22nd, 1884 at 10 Benson St, Linthorpe & christened August 9th, 1884 at Linthorpe.

In 1891 Mary was living at home at Newport Rd, Middlesbrough. Also at home were brothers & sisters Thomas (14), Edith (12), Nellie (10), Joseph (8), George (4) & John (1).

In 1901 Mary was still at home at 3 Leechmere Rd, Ryhope & was working as a pupil teacher.

Left: Mary Emily & class -1907; Right: Mary Emily c1909

Mary was appointed as a teacher at Hudson Road Infants’ School in May 1904.  Whilst working as a teacher she met Frederick Earnshaw a clerk at Thompsons Timber merchants at Hendon. They apparently confirmed ‘date’ times on the back of a blackboard which faced the street which Fred must have passed on his way to and from work.

Mary Emily married Frederick Earnshaw on August 10th, 1909, at St Paul’s, Ryhope. At the time of the wedding Frederick was a commercial clerk of 23 Stockton Terr, Grangetown & Mary Emily was a teacher living at 17 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown. Witnesses at the wedding were Thomas & Jennie Stainsby (Mary’s brother & sister), Ethel E Wright (friend of the Earnshaw & Stainsby families), & George William Earnshaw (Fred’s brother). Fred was the seventh child of Robert Earnshaw and Ann Richardson born October 29th 1881 at Seaham, Co. Durham.

In 1911 Fred & Mary Emily were living at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown with their son William, aged 10 months. Fred was still described as a commercial clerk for a timber merchant.

Mary & Fred lived for most of their married life at 25 Leechmere Rd (later renumbered as 53), Grangetown, a relatively new development between Sunderland & Ryhope. Indeed Mary Emily’s father, William Stainsby, (a builder) had much to do with the building of a number of houses in Grangetown, including those in Leechmere Rd where they lived. Fred was a salesman for Thompsons.

Recollections of Mary’s son Eric describe her as a petite young lady with an 18 inch waist! She had an adventurous streak & joined Fred cycling which was quite unusual at that time. She also had a practical side to her nature e.g Fred made a trip to John O’ Groats, Scotland with some friends & a note on the back of the photograph said that Mary did not go because she was saving for a new hall & stair carpet!

Fred and Mary Emily were devoted Christians. Until 1920 there was no church at Grangetown, the nearest church being St Pauls, Ryhope. To provide a local church, the parishioners made weekly contributions (6d per week) and Fred was their treasurer. St Aidans church, Grangetown was eventually built and Fred continued to act as treasurer until the 1940s. Fred & Mary Emily both sang in the church choir, he had a fine tenor voice & often sang solos. Fred was also a church warden & a keen chess player, & played for the Grangetown Institute.

Fred & Mary Emily raised a family of 5 sons and 3 daughters.

Left: Mary Emily & Fred (centre) with some of their children & grandchildren c1952.

Right: Mary Emily relaxing at Leechmere Rd

In 1954 Fred suffered a severe stroke which destroyed his speech and left him bed-ridden. Mary Emily tried to nurse him but her heart condition proved fatal and she died August 8th, 1954, aged 70, at 53 Leechmere Rd leaving Fred to be nursed at home by the family. Administration of her estate was granted September 6th, 1954 to son Eric, a school teacher, & her effects were £810.10s.5d.

Fred died December 3rd 1956, aged 75, at the General Hospital, Sunderland, and is buried at St Aidans cemetery, Grangetown alongside Mary Emily and son William. Administration of his estate was granted to son Alan, a master builder, & his effects were £2,847.2s.11d.

Mary Emily & Frederick's headstone at St Aidan's, Grangetown

The children of Mary Emily Stainsby & Frederick Earnshaw were:

e. William Earnshaw born May 19th, 1910 at 26 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened June 16th, 1910 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died June1929
e. Freda Mary Earnshaw born December 23rd, 1913 at Leechmere Rd, Grangetown; died October 4th, 1979 at Havelock Hospital, Sunderland
e. Alan Earnshaw born May 10th, 1917 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened May 29th at St Aidan’s, Grangetown;died 1996, Sunderland
e. Joan Earnshaw born June 22nd, 1918 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened July 9th, 1918 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died October 15th, 2007 at Southampton
e. Ada Earnshaw born August 28th 1920 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown, & christened September 28th, 1920 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died 2013 in Wiltshire
e. Eric Earnshaw born January 5th, 1924 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened January 29th, 1924 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown
e. Kenneth Earnshaw born September 7th, 1926 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened September 28th, 1926 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown, died April 2006 at Middlesbrough
e. Denys Earnshaw born April 13th, 1929 at 25 Leechmere Rd, Grangetown & christened May 6th, 1929 at St Aidan’s, Grangetown; died 1993 in Africa


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