Alexander Hindmarsh was one of seven brothers who farmed or worked as shepherds across Northern England and southern Scotland. Himself the son of shepherd William Hindmarsh and his wife Margaret Grieve, he also had two sisters Elizabeth and Jane; Jane is my G-G-G Grandmother.
Alexander was baptised in May 1805 in the Northumberland village Alwinton; his family lived at Carshope [Farm].
The baptism entry reads “Inserted here by desire the Children to William Hindmarsh & Margaret Grieve his wife in Carshope parish of Alwinton… All of whom were baptised upon their respective births by the Rev David Morison Minister of Burgher Congregation Morebattle in Scotland”.
I find this intriguing – is this a different, perhaps non-conformist, religious denomination? Alexander’s older brother Walter lived and worked as a Shepherd across the border in Morebattle. What’s the link here? It’s interesting that Margaret’s surname is always specified – I’ve come across this a lot in Scottish or non-conformist records.
I next come across Alexander when he married Jane Ogle in Alnwick in 1838. By 1841 they are living in Broome Park where he is identified as an agricultural labourer; this village had only 77 people living in it in 1870 and I suspect would not be any larger back in 1841.
Alexander’s father died in 1847 and his mother in 1849; by 1851 he and Jane had moved to Flesh Bush in Glendale, Northumberland, and by 1861 he was working in Glanton, Alnwick, on Barns Farm; at the time of both censuses he was working as a shepherd. They lived in Glanton until Alexander’s death in 1875, aged 70.
After his death Alexander’s goods and effects were put up for auction:
I love that we hear about his donkeys and his dog carts, but how sad that the marital bed had to be sold. And a crib? I’ve not seen any mention of children in any of their census returns; Jane was only 29 when they married so still young enough to have children so I fear there is a human tragedy in there somewhere.
After Alexander’s death Jane lived in Green Batt, in Alnwick. The 1881 census records her as an annuitant, I don’t know who or how her living expenses would have been paid at that time. She died in 1886, aged 77.
I’m writing about Alexander today rather than his brothers as his life story seems relatively straightforward. His older brother Adam owned a farm and also appeared to be childless; I’ve spent the last fortnight trying to untangle the twisting net of cousins, nephews and nieces as they visited each other, or worked on the various brothers’ various farms as servants. Hopefully soon I will be able to share their stories, even though those #52Weeks are now over! How strange… While I’ll keep writing about family I think I’ll miss the discipline of meeting deadlines – albeit voluntary ones.
So with only just over 7 hours left in Scotland in 2014, here’s wishing you a happy and healthy 2015.
© Text copyright Lynne Black 31 December 2014
First published: https://starryblackness.wordpress.com/2014/12/31/alexander-hindmarsh1805/