Friday, 8 July 2011

George Horsley 1770-1851 and Margaret Herring 1776-1855

George Horsley was born in Hartlepool, Co Durham, England in 1770, and baptised at St Hilda's Church on 30 December 1770. He was the sixth of nine children of William Horsley and Margaret Lackenby.

His future wife Margaret Herring was also born in Hartlepool, in 1776 and baptised at St Hilda's on 24 November 1776.  Her parents were George Herring and Margaret Hastings.

I haven't got any records of profession of either set of parents, but Hartlepool at this time was a fishing village, and it's likely that the men were fishermen (and that the families had been fishermen for generations). The Herring family could hardly be anything else!

George and Margaret married on 17 February 1795 at St Hilda's Church in Hartlepool. They had 10 children together:

John Horsley 1795-??
George Horsley 1797-1868
Elizabeth Herring Horsley 1800-1876
Thomas Horsley 1803-1877
Mary Horsley 1805-1814
William Horsley 1807-1845
Ann Horsley 1810-1841
Robert Horsley 1813-1814
Margaret Horsley 1815-1835
Robert Horsley 1819-1885

George probably worked as a fisherman for most of his life. In his later years, he watched the port of Hartlepool change dramatically from a small fishing village in the 1830s to a bustling port and shipbuilding centre by 1850. Like many fishermen, he transferred his knowledge of the local currents to work as a pilot, helping visiting ships in and out of the harbour.

George worked as a pilot right up to his death in 1851 at the age of 80. Margaret survived him by a few years and died in 1855. Both were buried in St Hilda's Churchyard. Margaret left a will dividing her property among her children.

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