Paula Smith's Family History - Theakston(e)

***LAST UPDATED: 3rd May 2004***

  • Francis Theakston (unknown)
  • John Theakston (b.abt 1828-1880)
  • Francis Theakston (1852-1894)
  • Alfred Francis Theakston (1888-1969)
  • Hilda Sybil Theakston (1919-2004)



DIRECT FEMALE LINE ***NEW 22nd   MAY 2004***



  • Francis Theakston

    married Ann in an unknown year. Known children:
    1. Mary Theakston
    2. Elizabeth Theakston
    3. Ann Theakston
    4. John Theakston - Born about 1827-1828. Died Darlingon, 1880.
    5. Francis Theakston
    6. Thomas Theakston - Married Ann. No known children.
    7. Jane Theakston
    8. William Theakston
    9. George Theakston - Married Elizabeth Shutt in an unknown year. Known children:
      1. Annie Theakston
      2. Francis Theakston
      3. Elizabeth Theakston
      4. Matthew Theakston
      5. George Theakston
      6. Mary Ellen Theakston
      7. John Theakston
      8. Jane Theakston
      9. Thomas W. Theakston

In the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census records, the family were living in the same house in Darlington, County Durham. Francis was recorded as being a butcher and having been born in Darlington. Ann was recorded as having been born in Yarm, Yorkshire. in the 1851 census, Thomas was working as an apprentice, although I couldn't read the trade on the census record. Also living with the family was a male butchers servant. In 1861 only one child, George, was still living with Francis and Ann. Living next door was Thomas and his wife - Thomas was working as a joiner. I haven't been able to find a record of Francis or Ann in the 1871 census so presumably they died sometime between 1861 and 1871. In 1871 George and his family were living at the address that Francis used to live at.

Francis is mentioned in the 1829, 1831 and 1848 Pigots Directory as being a butcher in Union Row, Darlington. The 1858 Post Office directory lists Francis as being a butcher in Union Row and John as being a butcher in Northgate, Darlington.

  • John Theakston

    married (1) Ann Hopkinson (d. 1867) in an unknown year. Known children:
    1. Ann Theakston - Born Darlington, 1849.
    2. Francis Theakston - Born 1852, Darlington. Died in Darlington, 1894.
    3. Ellen Theakston
    4. William Theakston - Born Darlington, 1856.
    married (2) Mary Bridgman Nevard at Trinity Church, Darlington, 1870. No children known.

The 1851 census states that John and Ann were living in Darlington (at an address the family were to live in for the next 40-odd years). John was working as a butcher and employed one butchers servant (male) and one house servant (female). The only child at this point was a daughter, Ann, aged 1 years old. She is not mentioned in the 1861 census or in John's will so I presume she died before reaching the age of 10 years. This census, and the 1861 census, has the surname spelt 'Theakstone'. In the 1861 census, John employed three men. Also living with the family were a male butchers assistant and a female house servant. In 1867 Ann died (death registered under Theakstone) of heart disease aged 39.

John and Mary married in 1870, Mary being 16 years younger than John. The marriage was witnessed by Francis and Ellen, John's children. The surname was spelt 'Theakston' at this point and remained so from then on. The 1871 census shows the family living with two male butchers assistants and one female general assistant. Mary Coates, a niece of John's, was also at the address.

John died aged 52 in Darlington, 1880. His causes of death were pneumonia (noted as having it for 2 days) and 'paralysis of the insane' (noted as having it for 2 years & 1 month). Paralysis of the insane is an advanced stage of syphilis where dementia and spastic weakness of the limbs occurs. He left a will - click here to view the will. I have a copy of the original will and I have transcribed it to put it onto the web. The will did not contain any punctuation so I've had to guess where sentences start and finish.

In the 1881 census, Francis was working as a butcher and still living at the same address as in 1861 and 1871. Also living with Francis was his stepmother Mary, his sister Ellen, two male butchers assistants and one female servant. Francis employed three men and one boy.

When Francis and Margaret married they were both recorded as being of 'full age'. Margaret's father - William - was noted as being an upholsterer. William was also one of the witnesses of their marriage.

In 1891, Francis was still living at the same address with his wife and children. One male butchers assistant and two female domestic servants also lived at the address.

Francis died in 1894 of alcoholism (noted as having it for 1 year). He left a will - click here to view the will. I have a copy of the original, but as with John's will, there was no punctuation so I've had to guess where sentences start and finish.

Margaret died in Fulham, 1929. Her causes of death were chronic bronchitis and erysipelas. Erysipelas is an inflammatory disease caused by a bacterial infection. It causes hot, red edema eruptions on the skin. Nowadays it can be cured by pencillin. Margaret was living with Alfred and his family at the time of her death. Click here to view Margaret's will.

Alfred was born in Darlington, 1888. According to the 1901 census he was living in Cleveland with his mother and sister. Margaret was recorded as living off her own means.

Alfred married Grace at Reading Register Office in 1915. Their ages were recorded as 26 and 21 years old respectively at the time of their marriage. Grace's recorded age gives a different year of birth to that on her death certificate - her marriage certificate makes her two years older. It turns out that Graces' year of birth on her death certificate was incorrect. Alfred's occupation is recorded as being a Private A.S.O. mechanical transport (electrician). His residence at time of marriage is Reading. Alfred's father is not recorded on the certificate. Grace was not working when she got married and was living in Chiswick, London. Grace's father - George Albert - was working as an arsenal worker.

Alfred left the family during the 1930's. When his daughter Hilda was married for the first time in 1937, it was recorded that Alfred was deceased and had been an electrical engineer. He actually died at St Helen's Hospital in Hastings, 1969. The cause of death was cancer of the rectum. His address was recorded as being Pinehill, Hastings. Pinehill was a nursing home. His death was registered by a doctor at the hospital. He is buried in Hastings Cemetery. After a few enquiries I found out that his burial plot has no headstone and no next of kin was recorded by the cemetery. Presumably this is because he had completely lost touch with his family.

Grace died in St Stephen's Hospital, Chelsea in 1971 of stomach cancer. Her death was recorded by her daughter Dorothy and her occupation was off-licence manageress (retired).

  • Hilda Sybil Theakston (1919 - 2004)

    Married (1) Jack Lionel Bennett in Hendon, 1937. Children:
    1. Rodney Lionel Bennett - Born 1940. Married Carol Pye. Children:
      1. Katie Bennett
    2. Christine(/a?) Bennett. Born about 1942 and died aged 7 months old.
    3. Paul Antony Bennett. Born 1944. Married (2) Christine. Children:
      1. Julia Bennett
      2. Simeon Bennett
      3. Hannah Bennett

Hilda married Jack when they were 18 and 19 years old respectively. Jack was working in the Royal Navy as a wireless operator. During the war he worked aboard HMS Rodney and named his eldest son after the ship. Jack's father - Valentine George - was a painter and decorator. Hilda was working as a machine hand for an electric company. The wedding was witnessed by LJ Bennett (a brother of Jack?) and VG Bennett (father of Jack?). Hilda and Jack divorced some time after 1944.

Hilda gave birth to twin daughters in 1946, then subsequently a son by the same man, Thomas Newcombe. These three children were given up for adoption.

Hilda married Arthur Billingsley in 1951 and had a further four chilren - click on Arthur's link to see more information.

Hilda passed away on Valentine's Day, 2004. She had been ill for the previous 18 months after suffering a stroke.