Margaret was the only daughter of John Besford and Margaret Besford (née Patterson). She was born on 21st May 1866 at Cowpen Colliery, Blyth, Northumberland.
Margaret was living with her parents at Broomhill when the 1881 census was taken. She was still living there nine years later, at the age of 24, when she married Alexander Sanderson, a 23-year-old coal miner (also from Broomhill), on 20th December 1890. They were married at Chevington Parish Church.
Just over three months later, Margaret and her husband Alexander were recorded on the 1891 census (taken on 5th of April) living with Margaret’s parents, John and Margaret Besford, at South Broomhill. Interestingly, Alexander’s parents, John and Elizabeth Sanderson, were living only three doors away from them.
Alexander and Margaret had a daughter, Margaret Sanderson, born at some point between 1st April 1893 and 31st March 1894.
Alexander Sanderson sadly died of influenza and peritonitis on 13th December 1899 at Broomhill. He was 32. Margaret was thus left a widow at the age of 33, with her daughter Margaret aged 6.
Alexander Sanderson Besford was named after the late Alexander Sanderson.