The Roberts family

Laurence Roberts [my 6x gt-grandfather]

Married Margaret Medcalf at Carleton-in-Craven, near Skipton, Yorkshire, on 12th June 1759. Father of Isabel (see below).


Isabel Roberts (1760 - ?)

Isabel was christened at Carleton on 9th November 1760. At the age of 19 she had an illegitimate son, who was christened Joseph Padget on 2nd April 1780, at Carleton. It is not clear from the parish register entry whether the name Padget was intended as a surname or a middle name, but he subsequently used his mother's name of Roberts.

Isabel later married Benjamin Cooper, on 9th December 1788, at Carleton.


Joseph Padget Roberts (1780 - 1847)

Joseph was born on 5th March 1780, the illegitimate son of Isabel Roberts of Carleton-in-Craven, Yorkshire. He was christened Joseph Padget at Carleton on 2nd April of the same year. It is likely that Padget was his father's surname, but I have not seen any evidence to support this. His mother married when he was 8 years old, but he continued to use his mother's maiden name as his surname.

He married Rebecca Cockshott at Gargrave on 12th January 1801. Joseph and Rebecca had three children, all baptised at Gargrave:

  1. John Roberts, born 15 May 1801, baptised 7 June
  2. Lawrence Roberts, born 14 Dec 1802, baptised 2 Jan 1803
  3. William Roberts, born 22 July 1805, baptised Aug 1805. Became a carpenter.

Joseph's name appears in the Craven Muster Roll of 1803, which gives his occupation as carpenter.

Rebecca died in 1814 at the age of 33, and Joseph married again on 25th September 1815. His second wife was Ann Wilson, and the marriage took place in Gargrave parish church.

Joseph had two more children by Ann, both baptised at Gargrave:

  1. Joseph Padget Roberts, baptised 1 Sept 1816. Became a carpenter.
  2. Elijah Roberts, baptised 3 May 1818 (see below)

In the 1841 census, Joseph and Ann were living in Main Street, Gargrave, with Joseph still working as a carpenter.

Joseph died at Gargrave on 12 August, 1847, at the age of 67, and was buried at Gargrave on 15th September. Ann died on 16 March, 1858, at Gargrave, and was also buried there.


Elijah Roberts (1818 - 1899)

Elijah was born in Gargrave, and was baptised there on 3rd May, 1818.

By 1841 he was working as a carpenter (as were his father and his older brothers Joseph and William), but still living with his parents in Main Street, Gargrave. He married Mary Ann Gray at Gargrave on 29th April 1844. Mary was the youngest child of William Gray, an agricultural labourer, and his wife Margaret. She already had a young daughter, Margaret Frances, at the time of her marriage to Elijah.

Elijah and Mary had seven children, all born in Gargrave:

  1. Margaret Frances Roberts, born 1839 (Elijah may not have been her father). Married William Milner.
  2. George Roberts, born 31 March, 1845 (see below)
  3. Mary Ann Roberts, born 1847, died 1856
  4. Henry Roberts, born 1849, died 1851
  5. Elizabeth Roberts, born 1852
  6. Frances Roberts, born 1854
  7. Mary Roberts, born 15 May 1859

In 1851, Elijah was still working as a carpenter, but an 1853 directory gives his occupation as 'bookseller & joiner', and the 1857 Post Office directory lists him as 'grocer & druggist', still in Gargrave.

By 1861 the family had moved to Skipton, where Elijah continued his trade as a joiner and carpenter. They lived at Brown's Yard, off Newmarket Street, until some time after 1872. Mary Ann died on 26th August 1872 of tuberculosis, at the age of 55. Following his wife's death, Elijah lived with his daughter Fanny (Frances): in 1881 they were at 6 Woodman Terrace, Skipton; in 1891 they were at 6 Cross Street.

Elijah died of "senile decay" on 6th May 1899 at the age of 81, at 6 Cross Street, Skipton.


George Roberts (1845 - 1890)

George Roberts was born at Gargrave on 31st March 1845, the first son of Elijah and Mary Ann Roberts. As a child he lived in Gargrave, later moving with his parents to Skipton. He was confirmed into the Catholic church at Broughton Hall Chapel, near Skipton, on 8th July, 1858.

On the night of the 1861 census, shortly after his 16th birthday, he was far from home: at Croston Hall in Lancashire, where he was employed as a servant by John Randolphus de Trafford and his wife Lady Adelaide (Cathcart) . The de Trafford family were one of England's most prominent Catholic families, and gave their name to the Trafford Park and Old Trafford districts of Manchester.

George returned to Yorkshire, and married Jane Maudsley Preston on the 21st April 1868, at Broughton Hall Chapel. George and Jane initially lived at School Yard (off what was then Currer Street, now Otley Street) in Skipton, and George worked as a groom.

George and Jane had seven children:

  1. Annie Louisa Roberts, born Skipton 1868. Became a nurse and settled in Hounslow, Middlesex. Married Charles Roberts.
  2. Robert Henry Roberts, born Skipton 1870. Married Jane Hampson.
  3. George Phineas Roberts, born Skipton 30 Oct 1871. Married Violet Melrose
  4. Thomas Preston Roberts, born Skipton 12 Nov 1873. Married Catherine Maguire
  5. Mary Jane Roberts, born Ellel 18 Sep 1876 (see below)
  6. Fanny Maud Roberts, born Lancaster 30 April 1878. Married Walter Thompson.
  7. John James Roberts, born Skerton June 1879. Died December 1879.

By the time Thomas was born, their address was New Street (now Otley Street?), Skipton, and George's occupation was given as Innkeeper. It is said that he ran a public house in Skipton, but lost a lot of money by giving beer away to his friends. He was reputed to be a womaniser as well as being a hard drinker

By 1876 the family had moved to the Lancaster area, in the first place living at Smith Green, Ellel, a few miles south of Lancaster. Here, George was employed as a farm labourer. Later, they moved to 4 Union Street, Lancaster, and in 1881 George was again working as a groom. By 1890 the family had moved to another address in Lancaster, 38 Primrose Street, and George worked as a market gardener prior to his death.

George died on 29th July 1890 at home in Primrose Street - cause of death was 'phthisis' (this usually means tuberculosis).

Jane was still at Primrose Street in 1891, but by 1901 was living with her daughter Mary Jane in Vine Street. She probably moved with her daughter's family to Preston, returning to Lancaster a few years later (she was still living with them, in Avondale Road, in 1911). She died on 3rd January 1914 at 27 Eastham Street, Lancaster, the home of her son Thomas.


Mary Jane Roberts (1876 - 1971)

Mary Jane was born at Smith Green, Ellel, near Lancaster on 18th September 1876. Later, as a child, she lived at 4 Union Street, Lancaster, and then 38 Primrose Street. At the age of 14, she was employed as a cotton weaver.

At the age of 21, she married Edward Price, a joiner. The marriage took place at Christ Church, Lancaster, on 29 June 1898.

Following their marriage, Edward and Mary Jane initially lived at 38 Primrose Street with Mary Jane's mother, but later moved to 1 Vine Street, Lancaster, and then 33 Mersey Street, Preston. By 1910 they had returned to Lancaster, and lived at 28 Avondale Road, and later 18 Avondale Road.

The Roberts family c.1920:
standing:Thomas Preston, Robert Henry, George Phineas
seated: Fanny Maud, Annie Louisa, Mary Jane

Edward and Mary Jane had 6 children. All were born in Lancaster, except for Arthur, who was born in Preston.

  1. Laura Violet Price, born 7 May 1899
  2. Edward Lovell Price ("Ted"), born 9 May 1902
  3. Arthur Price, born 31 August 1904
  4. Catherine Price ("Kitty"), born 5 November 1910
  5. Mary Jane Price ("Molly"), born 25 June 1914
  6. John Price ("Jack"), born 12 June 1917

After Edward's death in 1923, Mary Jane and her children moved into a large terraced house at 91 Dale Street, Lancaster. This house belonged to her sister Annie, who had moved back to Lancaster after her husband had been killed in an accident and she had herself become ill. Mary Jane was the main beneficiary in Annie's will, and she was able to continue living at 91 Dale Street for the rest of her long life, sharing the house with her daughter Molly. She became bedridden in her eighties, but remained at home, cared for by her daughter until her death on 17th January 1971, at the age of 94.


John Armitstead, York, England.  Last update 25 April 2016