Tracing the disparate ancestries of four great families


» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 ... 115» Next»     » Slide Show

John Durrant 1830-1874 - a short history

John Durrant 1830-1874 - a short history

John Durrant was born to William Durrant and his wife Ann Foxley. They moved from Wales to Macclesfield and in the space of only 44 years John Durrant had two wives and an amazing 15 children. It's quite a story, told by Helen Durrant.

The Durrants lived in Turweston, Buckingham and Brackley, Northants (these two places are very close). There is some confusion about what they called themselves: Durant, Durham and Derham have all been used. The story starts with Philip Durrant who married a Susannah Knibb circa 1765. They had sons William and James and each had a son called John. Our focus is on the John Durrant born to William Durrant and his wife Ann Foxley. He was a brickmaker - other members of his family were too. And Ann came from a family of brickmakers - her brother for one who was also a brickmaker like John. William and Ann had two other children - Caroline Elizabeth and Alfred William - these names turn up again - John named two of his own children the same - again possibly more than just coincidence. Ann died quite young and then William married Susannah Parish - she is on the 1841 Census return - later on they married - no more children though.

By the time of John Durrant's birth circa 1822 the family are closely associated with brickmaking. John was a brickmaker all his working life and travelled extensively around England and Wales following the work.  John Durrant married Maria Rowe - from Cornwall and they had a number of children - their births have helped Helen Durrant to follow them around Wales. They lived in Carmarthenshire, Aberystwyth, The South Wales valleys where most of his children were born, but ended up in Macclesfield, Cheshire, where he died and the family remained. 

We don’t as yet have any evidence of John Durrant's marriage to Maria Rowe. Maria was from Cornwall and on the 1851 census is living and working near where she was born. John may well have had another wife - one Sarah Broom - who appears on the 1841 census for Turweston?

John Durrant was born in Turweston, Bucks around 1825. As yet there is no proof that this John from Turweston is the one that married Maria and had Eliza and Leah - the 1861 census doesn't help but the 1871 one is so precise.

He died in 9 Feb 1874. He had become ill and admitted to the workhouse a couple of years earlier (they thought he was drunk). He was then transferred to Parkside Hospital -- the 'insane asylum' in Macclesfield - which ironically he had made the bricks for. He lasted about two years and died of 'general paralysis'.  An elderly aunt of mine told me that it might have been Parkinson’s - others within the family were thought to have had it - his daughter Amelia for one.  I have a copy of his hospital records - a real 'eureka' day that was!  They do note that John looked considerably older than his years.

Eliza Jane, who married John Dobson, was born in Llangunnor near Carmarthen – Helen Durrant has been there and seen what remains of the 'brickyard' –many years ago. This Eliza was not the first - three years earlier John and Maria had another Eliza Jane who died. While in Llangunnor they also had the only son they produced - John Alfred William - he died as an infant and both he and the first Eliza are buried in Llangunnor church yard.

Helen Durrant is descended from his daughter Leah Nora. Leah had my grandfather - Harold - out of wedlock and it was her sister, Eliza who looked after them. Both girls were expecting at the same time and had their sons christened together in Christ Church, Macclesfield. Helen Durrant recalls that her grandfather was always best friends with his Dobson cousins - they went off to war together WW1 and fought together at the Somme.

Four years after Harold was born another of the girls - Kate - was also pregnant out of wedlock. It always puzzled Helen why the family - including Eliza shunned her and didn't rally round as they had with Leah. About 20 years ago Helen met Eliza's then only surviving daughter in law - a lady of 90 - she remembered her and had a number of tales! It seems that Eliza didn't help Kate because it is probable that Eliza's husband was father to the twins Kate subsequently gave birth to - in Macclesfield workhouse. Seemingly Eliza had returned to her house early from work to find her sister Kate in bed with her husband! Kate ended up living in America and her twins died before they ever left the workhouse - rumours had it that she may have smothered them.

Caroline Elizabeth was their first child and she emigrated to America..  She became quite well-to-do and would visit Eliza and co in Macclesfield and could never understand why they still had an outside privy!  She looked after Amelia when Maria died. Amelia seemed to go over quite a lot.

Helen Durrant Nov 2008


Owner/SourceHelen Durrant
DateNov 2008
Linked toSarah Broom; Amelia Durrant; Ann Durrant; Caroline Elizabeth Durrant; Eleanora Durrant; Eliza Jane Durrant; Eliza Jane Durrant; Emily Durrant; John Durrant; John Alfred William Durrant; Leah Nora Durrant; Mary Ann Durrant; Matilda Durrant; Sarah Alice Durrant; Thomas Durrant; Maria Rowe

» Show All     «Prev «1 ... 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 ... 115» Next»     » Slide Show