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Martha Speed [sp.]

Martha Speed was the eighth child of Ralph Speed & Anne Robinson born at Fatfield & christened Aug 26th, 1792 at Chester-le-Street, Co Durham.   Martha’s twin sister, Elizabeth, sadly died in January 1794.

Martha’s father Ralph was a pitman of Fatfield.

Martha married Richard Shields on September 2nd, 1810 at Washington, Co Durham.  Richard was christened October 28th, 1787 at Sunderland, the son of Ann Iveson & Richard Shields.

Martha & Richard, a pitman, had 7 children before Martha’s death at age 34 years.  She died at Harraton Outside, Co Durham shortly after the birth of her seventh child, Robert, & was buried on June 25th, 1827 at Chester-le-Street.

The children of Martha Speed & Richard Shields were:

sp. Ralph Shields born June 19th, 1811 at Portobello, Co Durham & christened July 14th, 1811 at Washington; died January 3rd, buried 1892 at Great Lumley & buried at Gt Lumley Cemetery

sp. Ann Shields born at Wapping, Co Durham & christened July 16th, 1815 at Washington

sp. John Shields christened June 8th, 1817 at Washington; died December 13th, 1891 at Great Lumley, Co. Durham

sp. Mary Shields christened August 8th, 1819 at Washington

sp. Jane Shields christened February 3rd, 1822 at Washington

sp. Richard Shields christened August 2nd, 1824 at Washington; died November 13th, 1896 at Stockton-on-Tees, Co. Durham

sp.  Robert Shields christened June 24th, 1827 at Chester-le-Street; died Oct-December 1907 at Chester-le-Street

Richard married again on December 31st, 1828 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.  He married Ann Thornton who was born April 12th, 1797 at Birtley, Chester-le-Street. 

Richard & his second wife Ann were living at Lumley Seam Pit, Chester-le-Street in 1841 & he was a labourer.  With them were Richard’s children from his first marriage – Ralph, Richard, Ann & Robert.  Richard & Ann now had 4 children of their own – James (7), Henry (6), Elizabeth (5) & Alice (1).   Also listed with the family was Mark Shields (20) who was born in Gateshead the son of Mark & Eleanor Shields. His relationship to the family is unknown.

In 1851 Richard & Ann were living at Great Lumley, Co Durham & Richard was a coal miner.  With them were sons James & Henry, both coal miners, & daughters Elizabeth 7 Alice.

Richard was still working as a coal miner in 1861 & he & Ann were now living at Lumley Fourth Pit.  With them was a granddaughter, Mary Shields, aged 6.

 By 1871 Richard had retired by 1871 & was now living at Front St, Great Lumley with granddaughter Mary (16) who was described as house keeper.

Richard died aged 97 on June 28th, 1877 & was buried next to Ann who had died on January 5th, 1871 (age 74). Richard’s first son Ralph was buried in the same plot at great Lumley Cemetery.




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