Friday, 21 January 2011

Wilson Mossom 1832 - 1896 and Margaret Horsley 1832 - 1887

Margaret Mossom's parents were Wilson Mossom and Margaret Horsley.

Wilson was born in Darlington, Co Durham, in 1832, the illegitimate son of widow Ellen Mossom and labourer John Heighington. I know very little about John, other than his relationship with Ellen which produced four children. I'd guess he was already married and therefore unable to marry Ellen, as they evidently stayed together for years and appear to have been quite open about their relationship.

Wilson was baptised in St Cuthbert's Church in the centre of Darlington on 10 June 1832. The censuses of 1841 and 1851 show him living with his mother (and father in 1841 only) in Church Row, Darlington, Co Durham. By 1851 Wilson was working as a hostler at a local inn. During the 1850s, Wilson moved to the nearby town of Hartlepool - a town that was booming in that period - along with most of his family. The 1861 census shows him living in his half-sister's house, working as a dock labourer. Mother Ellen was also living with the family.

Margaret Horsley was also born in 1832, in Hartlepool, Co Durham, the daughter of George Horsley and Margaret Hood, both of whom were from old Hartlepool families. She was baptised on 23 September 1832 at St Hilda's Church, the same church her parents and grandparents had been baptised in. Census records in 1841 and 1851 show her living with her fisherman father and mother in Wells Garth, Hartlepool. (Garth is a northern English word for a tight group of houses surrounding a yard - garths were frequently slums.) In 1858 she had her first child, a son whom she named after her father.

Wilson and Margaret met in the early 1860s and had their first child together in 1863 (Ellen Horsley Mossom). Margaret had twins in 1866, who were registered with only her name on the birth certificate. Then on 19 August 1866, a couple of months after the birth of the twins, Wilson and Margaret married in Hartlepool Register Office. Daughter Margaret Mossom was born two years later, and was followed by three more daughters.

The couple continued to live in Hartlepool, with Wilson working as a labourer, or on occasion, a "striker" (assistant to a blacksmith).

Margaret died on 6 December 1887 of heart disease.  Wilson lived for a few more years, before he died on 29 April 1896. Both were buried in Spion Kop Cemetery in Hartlepool.

Their children:
George Horsley b1858
Ellen Horsley Mossom b1863
Thomas Horsley b1866
Mary Elizabeth Horsley 1866 - 1866
Margaret Mossom 1868-1931
Elizabeth Mary Mossom 1870-1953
Dorothy Jane Mossom 1872-1925
Ruth Mossom 1875-1954

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