The history of the Besfords

George Robert Besford (1909-?)

George Robert Besford emigrated from England to Canada in 1947. He sailed from Southampton to Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the RMS Aquitania, a Cunard-White Star Line ship,  leaving on 13th September 1947.

RMS Aquitania seen in Southampton in 1946 painted in wartime grey, with uniquely painted Cunard funnels.
The vessel was taken out of service in 1949 as the condition of the ship had deteriorated, and it would have been cost-prohibitive to be brought up to new safety standards.
She was scrapped in 1950 after steaming more than 3 million miles.

George (38) was accompanied by his wife Isabella Besford (née Summers) (32), whom he had married in 1937, and their daughter Cynthia Besford (7).  The family’s address before leaving the UK was 32 Park View, Seaton Delaval, Northumberland. The Aquitania‘s passenger list indicates that George was an insurance agent.

George Robert Besford was the son of John Besford who was born in 1872 at Blyth, Northumberland. The 1921 census recorded George Robert Besford aged 12 years 6 months, living at 9 Keelman’s Row, Cowpen Square, Blyth, with his parents, John Besford (49) and Mary A. Besford (née Thompson) (43). John Besford had been working for the Cowpen Coal Company as a hewer at the Straker Pit, but was out of work at the time of the census. This was sadly also true of John’s sons (George Robert’s brothers) William (21) and John (18). William had been laid off as a putter at Straker Pit, and John had been laid off as an apprentice blacksmith from the Cowpen Colliery workshops. Mary’s father William Thompson (73) was living with the family, having retired as a shifter for the Cowpen Coal Company.

George Robert Besford’s father, John Besford, was the son of Alexander Besford, a cousin of David Besford (1863-1954). Alexander was a coal miner who was living with his wife Betsy and their family at 21 Cowpen Square, Cowpen , Blyth, when the 1881 census was taken. Alexander was the son of Ann Besford, sister of John Besford (1826-1914)

George Robert Besford was thus the great-great grandson of Robert Besford (1792-1844),  and his ancestry goes back to the marriage of his 6x great grandparents James Besford and Margaret Robson who were married at Rothbury in 1679.

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