Family History Notebook

Joseph Swindale

Illegitimate son of Sarah Swindle and William Williamson born at Smallburn, Ninebanks and baptised 7th January 1821 in Ninebanks, Northumberland.

Married Mary Watson on 6th June 1840 at Ninebanks, Allendale, Northumberland


Anne, born 20th March 1841 in Black Cleugh, West Allendale, Northumberland8
Elizabeth born March 1843, buried 2nd May 1843 at Carrshield, Northumberland (from Dyke Nook)
Elizabeth, baptised 7th May 1844 in Carrshield, Northumberland (from Dyke Nook), buried 2nd November 1846 at Carrshield, Northumberland (from Dyke Nook)
William, born on the 3rd of June 1846 in Dyke Nook, Allendale, Northumberland, baptised on the 29th of June 1846 at Limestone Brae Methodist Chapel
Joseph, born 14th January 1849 in Castleside, County Durham
John, born 29th April 1851 in Castleside, County Durham
Stephen, born in Castleside, baptised on the 20th of October 1852 in the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel at Shotley Bridge, County Durham
Thomas Henry, born 21st April 1855 in Castleside, County Durham

Married Elizabeth Leonard (born 1840) on the 12th of June 1865 in the Register Office in County Durham in 1865 1,4


Robert, born about 17th July, buried 22nd July 1865 at Muggleswick, County Durham7
Jabez, born 24th July 1866  in Castleside, County Durham 4
Sarah, born c. 1867  in Castleside, County Durham
Joseph Charles, born 1870, died 18709

Died 5th May 1869 in Castleside, County Durham, buried on the 8th of May 1869 at St John, Castleside

PersonID 05502 WikiTreeID Swindle-502

When Joseph was born in 1821 (the illegitimate son of William Williamson), his mother Sarah was apparently living at Smallburns. Her father had died eight years earlier when she was 13. By that time the family had moved back to Carrshield from Nenthead and were living at Millhouse. The family appear to have continued to live there until Thomas moved to Roughside somewhere between 1841 and 1851 so Sarah was probably employed as a domestic servant at Smallburns. (There would have been several families living there at this time and it was normal for even a poor family to have a 'general servant' to assist the housewife; from at least 1825 a Peter Swindale was living at Smallburns with his own family).

Smallburns Farm 2002 (NY796473)

After Sarah married Robert Hetherington in 1823 Joseph would have been brought up with his step-brothers and sisters (at the time of the 1851 census he was being visited by his half-sister Elizabeth) and probably worked as a boy on the washing floor at Carrshields lead mine. He married Mary Watson in 1840. In 1841 he was living at 'Moscow' (400m north west of Ninebanks church) 5 close to his uncle Thomas at Chairhead. He then moved to Dyke Nook at Carrshield. Between the birth of their children Ann and William, Joseph and Mary suffered the death of two baby girls, both named Elizabeth.
Moscow, Ninebanks, West Allen, Northumberland
Moscow, March 17, 2003

Dyke Nook, 6 Oct 2017
What decided Joseph to move out of the Allendale region to Castleside is not known - the general decline of the lead industry in West Allendale and Alston was yet to come - but the  Healeyfield mine at Castleside was perhaps wanting more workmen to expand its operations. His uncle Thomas appears to have been working there in 1846 though he later returned to West Allen. Joseph did not move there before late 1846 at the earliest. Possibly there was a connection with unrest leading to the strike at Allenheads in 1849? When his son Joseph was born at Castleside he described himself as 'Engineer', i.e. someone who looked after the pumping engine(s) used to drain the lower levels of the mines. A beam engine was bought for the mine in 1885 but it seems that pumping engines were in service before that.. Two years later he describes himself as a joiner so maybe the pumping engine was not a success! He remained working as a joiner until his death. Joseph and Mary had three more sons, John, Stephen and Thomas, but Mary died four years after the birth of Thomas in 1859. Joseph's daughter Ann who was now 18 would have looked after the family until Joseph remarried in 1865. His new wife was Elizabeth Leonard, a neighbour in Castleside the same age as Ann, and they had two children Jabez and Sarah.

Ann herself first married in 1862  and then again in 1866; she may have continued to provide a home for her younger brothers since, when Ann and her husband Thomas Hutchinson moved from Darlington to Millom on the west coast, William, Joseph, John and Thomas went with them - Stephen had died at 16 years old in Castleside.

Castleside cottages
Castleside (NZ077488)

The Swindales probably lived in one of these terraced cottages. (1851 census)



1 Entry in Register of Births Marriages and Deaths "Swindale Joseph Durham 10a 445". Entry in register not found Jan 2002 by Stanley Register Office (covering Castleside, Muggleswick &tc)

2    Signed marriage register in 1840 as Swindale (despite what is written on the copy of the marriage certificate!)

3    Mary was married from Dyke Nook and it seems that she may have returned to her parents for the birth of her children (as recorded for Elizabeth baptised 1844).

4    Information received in an e-mail from Edward Swindale 10/6/99

5    Early in her researches Joan Shrewsbury had found that Joseph, Mary and Ann were living at 'Moscow' at the time of the 1841 census. Moscow is a farm at Clargill Head on the road from Whitfield to Alston (NY735502). However on checking the 1841 census for Moscow in 2002 we found that Moscow was occupied by the Summers family with no mention of Swindle or Swindale! We then realised that the Moscow shown on the map and which we had checked was in the Alston district whereas Joan's original notes related to Allendale. There was therefore another 'Moscow', no longer shown on the maps, in Allendale. This was supported by a mention of Moscow by Marina Wallace of Farneyshield in a note from her to Joan Shrewsbury as being owned by her family to 1956(?) and confirmed by her during a conversation with Jan Swindale as being on Manor House Farm in Ninebanks. Eventually I found Moscow on the 1865 Ordnance Survey 6" to 1 mile map at grid reference NY78605265

6    Joan Shrewsbury notes (from register of births, marriages and deaths?).

    A John,  born 2/1848 died 3/1848, has been suggested but there is no supporting evidence.

Only two births of a John Swindale / Swindle were registered in Northumberland or County Durham in the years 1846-1850.
The birth of a  John Swindale was registered twice in the Hexham district in the first quarter of 1848 (FreeBMD 25 275 and 278). One (25 278) is John, son of Christopher Swindle and Esther Peart,  baptised on the 18th of June 1848 at Carrshield, the other will be the John Swindle, son of Wallis Swindle and Elizabeth Smith, baptised on the 23rd of January 1848 at Carrshield.

In the same period the birth of a John Swindell was registered at Tynemouth in the first quarter of 1847 (FreeBMD 25 436).

There is thus no evidence for the birth/death of  a son John in 1848.

7    National Burial Index, 2nd Edition

8    Joseph, when he registered the birth, gave his residence as Blackcleugh. By the time of the census at the beginning of June, he was living at Moscow (in Dryderdale) - see note 5

9    Information from Gill Wilson

10    Elizabeth Leonard has links back to the Blackett family - earliest ancestor Richard Blakheved fl before 1345. blackett tree


a)    1841 UK census    A lead ore miner, '20', living at Moscow, Ninebanks with his wife Mary and 2 month old Ann. (Swindle)
        1851 UK census    A joiner (30) in Castleside, with his wife and three children. He is being visited by Elizabeth Hetherington (18), probably his half-sister. (Swindale)
        1861 UK census    Still a joiner in Castleside (40), now a widower with six children. (Swindale)

b)    The marriage of Joseph Swindle and Mary Watson was registered in the second quarter of 1840 in the Hexham district (FreeBMD 25 336)   Marriage certificate

        The death of Joseph Swindale aged 49 was registered in the second quarter of 1869 in the Durham district (FreeBMD 10a 170) Death Certificate

x)    The birth of Joseph Swindale, mother's maiden name Watson, was registered in the first quarter of 1849 in the Durham district (FreeBMD 24 76)