William Elrington and Isabel Lowes

William Elrington was born in 1738 in High Fotherley, Durham, England to parents Robert Elrington 1712-1778 and Mary Surtis 1710-1766. Sometimes the surname is recorded as Ellerington.

St Peters, Bywell

William was baptised 3 miles away on 22 February 1738 at St Peters, Bywell, Northumberland, England.

His baptism registration states that he was the son of Robert Elrington of High Fotherley.

High Fotherley is a farmstead/hamlet located 6 miles south east of Hexham. It basically consisted of little more than two farms – High Fotherley and Low Fotherley.  By 1848 it had grown into a small township with 106 inhabitants.

William was most likely an agricultural labourer working around the farms and stables in the area, sometimes working in the coalmines as a pitman.

William married Isabel Lowes on 16 November 1776 at Shotley, Northumberland. Shotley is less than six miles away from High Fotherley. William  married at the older age of 38 years, so perhaps this was his second marriage.

High Fotherley farmland

Isabel Lowes was born around 1758, according to her age at death (59 years in 1817). There are a number of baptisms for Isabel Lowes around the area making it impossible to narrow down the correct one.

William and Isabel had seven children together –

  1. Robert b 1783 Northorn d 1831 Wallsend. Married Isabella Soulsby. 9 children.
  2. Elizabeth b 1786 Northorn married Thomas Davison. 8 children.
  3. William b 1788 Tanfield d 1831 Wallsend.
  4. Joseph b 1791 Red Row Beamish, d 1859. Marr Jane Gordon and Ann Maddox. 6 kids.
  5. Benjamin b 1794 Tanfield d 1826 Wallsend.
  6. Catherine b 1797 & d 1804 Tanfield aged 6 years of Bog House, Tanfield.
  7. Thomas d 1797 Tanfield, son of William Ellerington of Pit Hill.

William and Isabel lived firstly in the tiny pit village of Northorn, (Shield Row) a mile to the south of Tanfield.

Shield Row near Tanfield Durham

From there, following the available work in the coal mines, they moved closer to Tanfield, and possibly to Beamish, before returning to Tanfield. By 1804 they were living in the pit village of Bog House Lane near Kip Hill, close to Tanfield.

William died on 13 October 1800 at Beamish aged 62 years. His burial record on 16 October 1800 at St Margaret of Antioch, Tanfield states he was working as a labourer at the Beamish Stables when he died.

St Margaret of Antioch, Tanfield burial register 1800

William’s wife Isabel lived for another 17 years, and died in May 1817 in Tanfield aged 59. She was buried at St Margaret Antioch, Tanfield on 11 May 1817.

St Margaret of Antioch, Tanfield, Durham