Brian Richardson – Andrew Hood

Brian wrote:

“I am in the process of researching my family tree. I am trying to trace my great grandfather who I know lived in South Bedburn/Hamsterley in 1881. His name was Andrew Hood and he was employed as a gamekeeper I believe for the Surtees family but am unable to confirm this as yet. He was born in Scotland, lived in Suffolk for a while, where my grandmother Elizabeth was born. I know that he also had a son called Andrew and daughter Alice.“My grandmother married William Richardson from Middleton-in-Teesdale and I can trace ancestors back to the 1780′s all of whom were lead miners or had connections with lead mining.
I shall be very grateful for any information anyone can provide on the Hood or Richardson families.”

Jonathan Peacock, our local historian, replied:

“In the 1881 census return Andrew Hood (born about 1857 in Cowling, Suffolk) was the householder. The address is unspecified, but “The Nest” was the gamekeepers cottage, and I have a photo of that house. His sister Mary (born Cowling about 1861) was his housekeeper, and his parents Andrew and Amy were there as well. They were both born in “Scotland” so, not much help there, in about 1824 and 1825 respectively. Father Andrew was also a gamekeeper.”

Brian replied:

“Thank you very much indeed for this information, it has helped me fill in a few blanks. I am extremely grateful to Jonathan Peacock for his help. It was very kind of you both to take so much trouble.
I was aware that my Great Grandfather, Andrew Hood, had moved to South Bedburn from Cowlinge in Suffolk but had no idea where precisely. I wonder if Jonathan knows if “The Nest” still exists and if so, exactly where it is located? I would like to visit later in the year once the weather improves. Also, does Jonathan know who might have owned the property in 1881? I have an inkling that it was part of the Surtees Estate but am not sure about this. If the property has since been demolished then, if possible, I would really appreciate a copy of the photograph.
So far I have established that my Great Grandfather Andrew Hood, (born 1857) and his wife Ann were born in Leslie, Fifeshire, Scotland. He then moved down to Cowlinge in Suffolk where he was a Farm Bailiff and where my Grandmother, (Elizabeth) was born. My wife and I visited Cowlinge during last summer, (incidentally, established from the vicar there that it is pronounced Coolinge) and that the farm where he was employed, (Bridges Farm) still exists. For some reason he then uprooted and moved with his family to South Bedburn where he and his son, (also Andrew) were employed as gamekeepers. In 1891 and by then a widower, he had moved to West House, Newbiggin, Forest in Frith where he was employed as a Farmer & Gamekeeper. My grandmother, then aged 26 was still living with him at that time but she married, (William Richardson) in 1895 and Andrew died a year later in 1896 aged 67. My grandfather William Richardson was born in Middleton in Teesdale and I have established that his father Thomas Richardson was the Innkeeper of the Bridge Inn in Middleton in 1901.
When I started tracing my family tree I had no idea that people in those days moved around so much. We tend to think they stayed more or less within the locality where they were born.
So far I have managed to trace the Richardsons back to a Samuel Richardson born in 1784 in Middleton in Teesdale but there the trail has gone cold for the time being!!
Once again thank you very much indeed for your help.”

If you can help with any information, please respond via the ‘Leave a Reply‘ box at the foot of the page.

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