Joseph Stephenson was the fifth child of George Stephenson & Jane Wade christened March 3rd, 1822 at Aislaby.
Joseph (aged 15) was living at Trafford Hill, Aislaby in 1841. He was working as a farm servant for James Nightingale. Also working on the same farm was John Waller (15) who was to marry Joseph’s sister Sarah in 1849. Trafford Hill is of historic importance and reputed to be the site where Oliver Cromwell set up his canons to fire across the Tees towards Worsall on the other side. Living nearby in Aislaby were Joseph’s mother Jane and his sister Sarah.
Joseph Stevenson married Jane Carter on Christmas Day 1848 at St John the Baptist, Egglescliffe. They were married by licence & Joseph was a labourer. Both Joseph & Jane were of Trafford Hill, & Joseph signed his name as Stephenson & Jane made her mark on the marriage register. Witnesses at the wedding were Joseph’s sister Sarah Stephenson & her husband-to-be John Waller. Jane was christened November 1821 at Hudswell, Yorks, the daughter of Mary & William Carter, a labourer.
Marriage certificate for Joseph Stephenson & Jane Carter
By 1851 Joseph & Jane were living at Low Worsall where Joseph was an agricultural labourer. They had a 1 year old daughter Mary.
In 1861 their address was given in the census as Low Worsall Hall. Joseph was a farmer of 11 acres by this time & the family had grown to include Mary (11), Ann (9), Jane (7) & Joseph (1). Mother Jane was unable to write as a copy of daughter Jane’s birth certificate shows that she made her mark instead of signing.
Worsall Hall, Low Worsall - 2005
By 1871 the family were living at Low Stone Cottage, Low Worsall & at home were children Joseph (11) & a new arrival George (9). Also living with them was Joseph’s mother Jane (89). Joseph was still working as an agricultural labourer but at the time of daughter Jane’s marriage to William Stainsby in 1876 Joseph’s occupation was given as a fisherman.
In 1881 Joseph & Jane, both described as farm labourers, were still at Low Worsall with son Joseph who was a cartwright. All the other children had left home.
By 1890 Joseph & Jane had moved north to Co Durham since an entry in Kelly's directory of Durham for 1890 shows that Joseph was a farm bailiff at Cleadon Hall Farm, Cleadon.
By 1891 Joseph (70) & Jane (68) were living at Pollards Farm, Cleadon. Joseph was described as being a farm servant & visiting them was grand daughter Jane Foord (19), the child of daughter Mary who had married John Foord.
Jane died on February 2nd, 1893 & was buried at Whitburn Cemetery. Her age on the headstone was given as 70.
Jane's headstone at Whitburn cemetery
Joseph was living with his daughter Mary & husband John Foord & family in 1901 at Running Waters, Shadforth, Durham. He was 80 years old & described as a retired farmer.
Joseph died in September 9th, 1905 aged 84, & was buried at St Cuthberts church, Shadforth. His monumental inscription reads:
In loving memory of Joseph Stephenson of Running Waters, late of Cleadon, who died September 9th 1905 aged 84 years. ‘be ye also ready’
His headstone shows that he was buried in the same plot as his son George,
daughter Mary & her husband John Foord. Administration of Joseph’s estate was granted on October 3rd, 1905 to daughter Mary (Foord) & his effects were £115.1s.
The children of Joseph Stephenson & Jane Carter were:
s.9.5.1 Mary Stephenson born
1849 at Trafford Hill, christened October 10th 1849 at Egglescliffe, died
September 17th, 1924, buried at St Cuthbert’s, Shadforth
s.9.5.2 Ann Stephenson born c1852 at Low Worsall
s.9.5.3 Jane Stephenson born August 31st, 1853 at Low Worsall, died July 14th, 1931 at Grangetown, Co Durham
s.9.5.4 Joseph Stephenson born 1859 at Low Worsall
s.9.5.5 George Stephenson born 1862 at Low Worsal, christened October 19th, 1862 at St Martin’s, Kirklevington, died July 24th, 1917 at Shadforth