Josiah Maddison and Isabella Elrington

Christ Church, Tynemouth, Northumberland

Josiah Maddison was born in North Shields, Northumberland in 1814.

He was baptised on 2 Jan 1814 at Christ Church, Tynemouth, Northumberland to parents William Maddison 1776-1844 and Ann Legetter 1782-1839.

Josiah’s father William’s occupation was given as a Waterman of North Shields.

Josiah was a coalminer, moving around between the Durham and Northumberland coalfields as work became available.

At the age of 22 years, Josiah married Isabella Elrington at the parish church of St Marys in Heworth, Durham by banns. Heworth is just three miles across the river Tyne from Wallsend. Isabella’s father was witness to the marriage and liked both Josiah and Isabella, made their mark ‘X’ as their signature, all being illiterate.  William Clifford was their other witness, possibly a church official, as he was witness to most of the other marriages recorded around that time too.

St Marys, Heworth, Durham

Isabella was born in 1816 in Wallsend, one of nine children, and was baptised on 24 March 1816 in Wallsend.

She was the daughter of coalminer pitman Robert Elrington 1783-1831 and Isabella Soulsby 1788-1836.

Despite making a bare living, Josiah and Isabella had a large family of at least seven children –

  1. Mary b 1837 Wallsend d 1907 Morpeth, marr Francis Ritson, 11 children
  2. Thomas b 1839 Jarrow d 1907 Chester le Street, marr Elizabeth Harker, 8 children
  3. Josiah b 1844 Jarrow d 1844 Jarrow
  4. Dorothy b 1847 Wearmouth d 1851 Flatts, Chester le Street
  5. Isabella b 1849 Jarrow d 1851 Flatts, Chester le Street
  6. *William b 1852 Waldridge Fell, died 1896 Ferry Hill, Durham.
  7. Jane b 1855 Wheatbottom, Crook

*This William did not marry Isabella Turnbull and immigrate to the USA. Both Williams appear in separate baptism and census records. The other William was bap 1850 Pelton and in 1861 census bap Pelton (Durham Records Online) His father was Henry and Jane Maddison per 1851 census.

By 1841 the family were living at Staple Row in Jarrow, and Isabella’s 15 year old sister Ann was living with them.

The family then move to Flatts in the parish of Chester-le-Street, and then to Waldridge Fell, and then to nearby Wheatbottom near Crook. In the space of just six years three of their infant children have died.

By 1851 the remaining family was residing at Harraton, near Chester le Street, Durham. Josiah and Isabella now had Mary, Thomas, Dorothy and Isabella and two coalminer visitors, most likely boarders, staying with them – William Bennets and William Green both from Norfolk.

In 1861 the census tells us the family had moved to Whitworth, and Josiah and Isabella now had just three children living with  – Thomas, William and Jane. No boarders this time.

Another move in the next census in 1871 and this time the family are living in Low Spennymoor, Ferry Hill. As well as 18 year old William and 15 year old Jane, they have also taken on their three year old granddaughter Margaret, their son Thomas’s daughter.

Isabella Maddison, nee Elrington, was living at Mount Pleasant, Tudhoe  when she died in 1876, aged 59 years. She was buried in the Anglican church cemetery of Holy Innocents, Tudhoe.

Her husband Josiah Maddison lived to a good age for a man who had spent his life beneath the ground, and died in June 1878 aged 66 years while he was at living at Croxdale Colliery, probably with one of his many children.

Croxdale Colliery miners housing

Croxdale Colliery Village, where the schools and the Primitive Chapel are situated, is a little beyond the station. It is rather a straggling village, but the houses seem to be well built, and comfortable.  Whellan’s 1894 Directory of County Durham

Josiah was buried at Holy Innocents in the village of Tudhoe with his wife.