Matthew Wraith and Mary Moody

Whitehaven Cumbria

Matthew Wraith was born in 1808 in Moresby near Whitehaven, Cumberland.

He was baptised on 6 Feb 1808 in Moresby, the daughter of Matthew Wraith (1780-1831) and Isabella Brown (1781-1858).  Matthew was an iron ore miner and pitman. Matthew senior worked in the Moresby Coal Mine near Whitehaven.

Matthew was one of eight children born to Matthew and Isabella. The first three children were born in Whitehaven, Cumberland and then the family moved down to North Shields, nearer to Isabella’s birthplace of Alnwick.

Matthew’s sister Priscilla Wraith (1803-1870) married Andrew Jemson (1798-1864). Priscilla and Andrew were first cousins.

Chart showing how Matthew and Priscilla’s children married each other

Matthew’s brother William Wraith married Hannah Jameson (sister to Andrew above).

St Hildas South Shields, Durham


So in 1831 Matthew was living in Durham, and on 17 December 1831 while working as a miner he married Mary Moody at St Hildas, South Shields, Durham. Given they married in December, it probably was snowing like in this picture.

The marriage was witnessed by Mary’s father George Moody and W Jemson.

Mary Moody was born on 3 November 1804 in Jarrow, Durham and was baptised on 14 April 1805 in Heworth, Durham, 4 miles away. She was the daughter of George Moody (1780-1861) and Mary Johnson (1775-1805).

Matthew and Mary had eight children –

  1. 1830 George b Chirton, d Auckland married Mary Jane Wright
  2. 1832 Isabella b North Shields, d Guisborough married Thomas Elliott
  3. 1834 Matthew b 1834 Cramlington d Kings New York USA marr Mary Ann Wilkinson
  4. 1836 John b Seghill, d Butte, Montana, USA marr Ann Clark
  5. 1839 William b Seghill, d 1907 Ferryhill, Durham marr Hannah Jameson
  6. 1841 Mary b Seghill, d Seghill
  7. 1843 Mary b South Shields, d 1881 Tynemouth
  8. 1846 Priscilla b 1846 White Lea, Brancepath, d Carlin How married William Jemson

In 1841 the family were living in Chapel Square, Earsdon, Tynemouth, Northumberland. Matthew was a coalminer aged 30, Mary aged 30, and their children George a coal miner aged 11, Isabella 9, Matthew 7, John 5 and William 2.

Billy Row Durham

Ten years later the family can be found in North Row Moon Court, Crook and Billy Row.

Matthew has three sons joining him in coalmining – George, Matthew and John.

The girls Isabella, Mary and Priscilla and young William aged 11 are still at home.


Hutton Lowcross Yorkshire

In the 1861 census the family are living at 14 Thomas Street in Hutton Lowcross, Yorkshire, 36 miles away.

Matthew is now described as an ironstone miner, and only his wife and two children remain at home – William and Priscilla.


In 1871 the family have again moved to Skinningrove, Brotton, and only Matthew and his wife Mary remain. Matthew is now an overman in the iron mines, aged 64.

miners cottages Loftus

In 1881 Matthew and Mary are once again on their own living at Lofthouse, Yorkshire and he is a storekeeper at the mines, perhaps an easier job for a 76 year old.

Mary Wraith died in October 1886 aged 84 and was buried at the church of St Leonard, Loftus on 24 October 1886.



In 1891 Matthew, now a widow aged 86, a retired overman in the mines, is living with his widowed daughter Priscilla Jemson and her children in Carlin How.

St Leonard Loftus church and cemetery

Matthew Wraith died in August 1893 in Carlin How, Skinningrove and was buried on 11 August 1893 in the Loftus Cemetery aged 88.

Two of Matthew’s children – Matthew (1834-1919) and John (1836-1895) immigrated to the USA.