Robert Wilson Speed was the first child of John Speed & Mary Foster born Jan-March 1853 & christened January 22nd, 1854 at Bishop Wearmouth, Co Durham.
In 1861 Robert & his parents were living at West Hartlepool & his father John was described as a seaman in the merchant service.
Sadly Robert’s father died in 1866 & the 1871 census shows Robert & his widowed mother living at Back Lower Archer Street, West Hartlepool. Robert was working as a clerk.
Robert married Sarah Stewart on June 6th, 1887 at Southwick, Sunderland, Co Durham. Sarah was born March 25th, 1858 at Southwick, the daughter of Barbara King & James Stewart, a mason.
Robert & Sarah were living at 7 The Terrace, Southwick in 1891 & Robert worked as a steward on a steam ship. They had a 1 year old son Thomas.
In 1901 Robert & Sarah were living at 2 Back Lane, Southwick & Robert was a labourer at the shipyard. They had 4 sons by this time – Tom (11), Robert (9), Harry (7) & James (4). Also living with them was a 65 year old uncle, Tom Stewart, a shipwright.
The family were living at 2 Kings Rd, Southwick in 1911 & Robert was now a general labourer at an engine works. At home were Tom & Robert, both metal moulders, Harry, a ship plate riveter, James, a grocer’s errand boy & William Ernest (9) who was at school.
A report in the Sunderland Daily Echo & Shipping Gazette of October 16th, 1914 stated that while working as a labourer for Thompson & Son shipbuilders, Robert fell 14 feet from some staging injuring his head & breaking his right wrist. The judge found in his favour & he was awarded 7s.6d. a week.
Robert, aged 79, died in Jan-March 1933 at Sunderland.
Widowed Sarah was living on her own at 15C Kings Rd, Southwick at the time of the 1939 register & described as an old age pensioner.
Sarah, aged 83, died on May 20th, 1940 at the Municipal Hospital, Sunderland & was buried at the Southwick Cemetery.
The children of Robert Wilson Speed & Sarah Stewart were:
sp.18.104.22.168.4.1.1 Robert Stewart Speed born at Pembroke St & christened February 21st, 1889 at Holy Trinity, Southwick, Sunderland; died 1890 in Southwick
sp.22.214.171.124.4.1.2 Tom Speed born at 4 Pembroke St & christened January 30th, 1890 at Southwick
sp.126.96.36.199.4.1.3 Robert Speed christened December 5th, 1891 at Southwick
sp.188.8.131.52.4.1.4 Harry Speed born at 2 Back Lane & christened March 14th, 1894 at Holy Trinity, Southwick
sp.184.108.40.206.4.1.5 James Stewart Speed christened October 7th, 1896 at Holy Trinity, Southwick
sp.220.127.116.11.4.1.6 William Ernest Speed christened June 19th, 1902 at Southwick