Robert Crosby was the second child of Mary & Robert Crosby born 1834 at Dawdon Hall, Seaham & christened February 25th, 1834 at St Andrew's, Dalton-le-Dale, Co Durham.
At the time of the 1841 census Robert was living with his mother & sister Jane at New Cassop where his mother was a publican. His father was visiting his aunt Elizabeth Earnshaw (nee Crosby) at Dawdon Hall, Seaham.
In 1851 Robert was an apprentice butcher for John Picken at Blackgate, Coxhoe.
By 1861 Robert had returned to live at home with his parents at Front Row, Cassop. He was now a butcher. In August 1861 Robert gave evidence at the Durham Crown Court in the case of a dispute over the sale of a pig which died shortly after the sale. Robert testified that the pig was diseased as seen in its liver & lungs & must have been so prior to the sale. (Durham County Advertiser, August 9th, 1861)
Robert married Mary Ann Brown in April-June 1866, the marriage being registered at Sunderland. Mary Ann was born c1840 at Sacriston, the daughter of Dorothy & Benjamin Brown, a butcher.
By 1871 Robert & Mary were living at High St, Sherburn, where Robert continued to be a butcher. They had a 4 year old son Benjamin Brown Crosby who they included on the census, but he was in fact visiting his grandparents at Front St, Cassop. Living with them was an apprentice butcher, Thomas Hutchinson.
Robert again had dealings with Durham County Court in 1879 when there was a dispute concerning non-payment of rent to him on a dwelling he owned at Cassop. The occupant was evicted but a quantity of furniture went missing from the house. (Newcastle Courant, November 28th, 1879)
In 1881 Robert & Mary were still at Sherburn, now at 10 Front St. At home were Benjamin, Mary J (9), Dorothy A (5) & Edith (10 months).
Robert & Mary were listed at 9 Front St, Sherburn in 1891 & Robert was now a butcher & farmer. Mary Jane & Dorothy Ann were the only children at home. Daughter Edith had died, aged 7, in 1888. Son Benjamin was living in Shadforth Village, Co Durham & listed as a farmer’s son. Living at the same address were Jane (23) & Agnes (17) Spedding, both general servants. Benjamin was to marry Agnes Stoves in Jan-March 1897 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Daughter Mary Jane was to marry Thomas James Peel in April-June 1891 at Sunderland. Sadly by 1901 Mary Jane was widowed & left to bring up their 2 sons & a daughter on her own.
Daughter Dorothy Ann was to marry William Henry Oliver in Jan-March 1895 at Sunderland. Dorothy Ann was living at 9 South Terrace, Hesleden, Co Durham in 1911with a boarder, Joseph Chadwick, a coal miner. It was noted that she had had 9 children, only 2 of whom were still alive. These 2 surviving daughters, Irene Crosby Oliver & Mary Ann Brown Oliver were with Dorothy’s husband William, a butcher & farmer at Croft House, Shadforth at the time of the 1911 census.
Mary Ann Crosby died on March 15th, 1899 at Wheatley Hill, Co Durham. Probate was granted on May 23rd, 1903 to daughters Mary Jane Peel & Dorothy Ann Oliver (wife of William Henry Oliver). Her effects were £1,103.19s.9d.
Robert died in Oct-December 1900, aged 69, his death being registered at Durham.
The children of Robert Crosby & Mary Ann Brown were:
c.126.96.36.199 Benjamin Brown Crosby born October 26th, 1866 at Cassop, Co Durham; died July 23rd, 1908 at Durham
c.188.8.131.52 Mary Jane Crosby born April-june 1871 at Sherburn Hill, Co Durham
c.184.108.40.206 Dorothy Ann B Crosby born Oct-December 1875 at Sherburn Hill, Co Durham
c.220.127.116.11 Edith Crosby born April-June 1880 at Sherburn Hill; died Jan-March 1888 at Sherburn, Co Durham