The history of the Besfords

William Thomas Besford

William Thomas Besford was born in 1856. His parents were William Besford and Jane Besford (née Reveley).

The 1861 Census records William Thomas Besford aged 5 living with his parents at 132 New Colliery Row, Netherton, Northumberland. William Thomas’s father William Besford is shown as a 37 year old Coal Miner, with a place of birth as Dam Dykes. This means that William was the brother of John Besford (1826-1914), and was the son of Robert Besford (1792-1844) and Mary Besford (née Marshall).

The 1871 Census records William Thomas Besford still at New Colliery Row, Netherton. He was now 15 and was working as a coal miner. He had a brother, Robert, aged 2, and 3 sisters, Mary (22), Margaret (12), and Isabella (9).

The 1881 Census found William Thomas Besford married to Elizabeth, and with a 2 year old son Tom. They were living at 32 Howard Row, Bedlington, Northumberland. William Thomas was still working as a coal miner. He had married Elizabeth Dowie in 1879.

The 1891 Census shows that William Thomas and his wife Elizabeth had moved to North Broomhill, Northumberland. Now 35, William Thomas was still working as a coal miner. As well as Tom (now 11), he and Elizabeth had William (8) and Catherine (2). 

The 1901 census recorded exactly the same details as that of 1891 except that everyone was ten years older.

The Waterloo Hotel, Amble
The Waterloo Hotel had been built in 1837 by the Amble harbour contractors as part of the planned development of the town

The 1911 Census recorded a dramatic change for William Thomas Besford. He was now a Licensed Victualler, and was the landlord of The Waterloo Hotel on Queen Street,  Amble, Northumberland. This was still the case ten years later. The 1921 Census also indicates that whilst his son Tom was working as a coal miner, his son and daughter William and Catherine were then working as a barman and barmaid respectively. 

William Thomas Besford was the grandson of Robert Besford (1792-1844) and his ancestry thus goes back to the marriage of his 4x great-grandparents, James Besford and Margaret Robson (1679). He was also the cousin of David Besford (1863-1954). The latter was a teetotal Methodist lay preacher, in contrast to William Thomas being a pub landlord!

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