3 thoughts on “South Skelton Fatality – John David Cessford – 18 Apr 1904

  1. These posts by Chris give a sometimes vivid picture of the details of the accident but say nothing about the impact within the family or wider community.

    For example: John David Cessford’s death left a widow, Barbara, and six children: David, 13; Emily, 12; Margaret, 10; Polly, 8; Maud, 6 and Gertrude, 4. In 1901 they were living at 23 Pease Street, Lingdale and John was enumerated as a Stationary Engineman at Mines.

    They were a County Durham family. John had been born at Wolviston, Barbara at Lambton and the children at Haswell. Where-ever the family was living at the time of his death (and it may still have been Lingdale), the terms of the tenancy may have meant that Barbara would now be faced with finding a lodger, as well as grieving for her husband and comforting the children, if she wished to keep the roof over her head.

    It was common practice for the widow of a miner to be given two weeks notice of eviction from her home. That worked out at one week to grieve and one week to find a mine worker to share her home. Usually that replacement miner took the form of a lodger. Sometimes the relationship then developed into a second marriage for the widow.

    That may, or may not, have been the case for Barbara. She did re-marry, but not until the second quarter of 1912, and then in the Easington (co. Durham) Registration District. Her second husband was either Joseph Laverick or Edward Smith.

    [A note to Chris: If you would like more of this “social history” about the casualties I’d be happy to oblige. If you could give a “heads up” a week or so before the publication date, I might be able to post as soon as I get the e-mail notification of your posting.]

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