The Melmerby Smiths after 1821

This is a brief summary of the Smiths who lived and farmed in Melmerby, in the Eden Valley of Cumberland, after 1821.  They stayed in Melmerby after my great-great-grandfather Lancelot Smith and most of his children went to farm in Ireland in the early 1850s.

These Smiths are not ancestors of my grandfather William Smith – and therefore not of mine either – although they are distant relatives.

You might think of these Smiths as the ones who stayed at home.  You can get an idea of their lineage from the Smith family tree showing the lines diverging between those who went to Ireland and those who continued on in Melmerby.

After my great-great-great-grandfather John Smith died in 1821, his son William inherited all his Melmerby property.  (As a much younger son, my great-great-grandfather Lancelot Smith did not inherit any land in Melmerby from his father.  Instead, he farmed a small property in Gamblesby; he had moved to Gamblesby before his father died.  He did inherit some freehold land in Melmerby from his uncle Thomas in 1827.)

William Smith of Melmerby, born in 1781, married Mary Longrigg from Kirkoswald in 1812, and they had 11 children.  I believe that William and Mary were living and farming in Hesket when they were first married; while they were there, they had three children.  When William inherited the Smith family’s freehold property in Melmerby in 1821, the family moved to the farm in Melmerby where William and Mary had eight more children.  Two of the children died at about 7 years of age and a third died as an infant.  Their oldest daughter Hannah died at the age of about 25.  A younger son William married Elizabeth Harrison from Gamblesby and they lived in Gamblesby, close to where Lancelot Smith lived.  I know nothing about the other children besides when they born.  William Smith died in 1857 and his wife Mary died in 1868.

John Smith, William’s eldest son, was the next owner of the Melmerby property.  (This John Smith was a first cousin of Lancelot Smith of Corballis.)  John was born in 1815 in Hesket and he married Mary Hardy of Park Head, which is near Kirkoswald.  They had eight children.  (The Hardys of Park Head are an interesting family and I may write a separate page about them later on.)  John and Mary Smith had four sons and four daughters.  Their oldest son William died in July 1884, at the age of 35 – just a few months after his father died.  So the son next in line, George Hardy Smith, inherited the Melmerby property.  Two younger sons, John and Christopher, became farmers in Park Head, where their Hardy grandfather and uncles had lived.  One of the four daughters, Eleanor, died as an infant.  The other three daughters never married and later in life they lived together in Penrith.  The Misses Smith of Penrith are interesting too, mainly because they all made wills and mentioned numerous younger relatives in their wills.  The oldest daughter, Mary Ann, lived most of her life with the Hardys in Park Head and then with her aunt Eleanor Hardy in Gamblesby before going to live in Penrith.  John Smith died in 1884 and his wife Mary died in 1898.

George Hardy Smith – John’s oldest surviving son – was the next owner of the Melmerby property.  (George Hardy Smith was a second cousin of my grandfather William Smith of Blackhall.)  George was born in 1852 in Gamblesby and was married twice.  His first wife Mary Jackson was from Brougham, Cumberland and they had two daughters and one son.  Their daughters were: Eleanor, who married James Beaty, and Sarah Agnes, who married John William Dodd.  Their son, John William Smith, was born in October 1882 in Stainmore, Westmoreland, and I believe his mother died shortly after his birth.  Mary (Jackson) Smith was buried in Melmerby on October 21, 1882; she was only 26 years old.  Later, George Hardy Smith married again, to Catherine Brunskill.  They had no children.  George Hardy Smith died in 1928 and his wife Catherine died in 1937.

John William Smith (called William) was George Hardy Smith’s only son so he was the inheritor of the Melmerby property.  I have no information about him other than his birth in October 1882 and his death in December 1951.  I do not know if he ever married or if he had any descendants.

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