ATKINSON OF GILDERSOME AND WORTLEY

 

Census returns show that Randall Atkinson was born at Gildersome in about 1805. He was evidently a son of William and Susannah (Ball) Atkinson of Gildersome. Randall’s unusual forename seems to have come into the Atkinson family from the Ball family as one of the witnesses at William and Susannah’s marriage in 1802 was Randal Ball. William and Susannah’s son Frank Atkinson also had a son called Randall.

 

No baptism of a Randall Atkinson in the Gildersome area in the period around 1805 has been found. However, the Birstall parish registers show the baptism of a Randolph, son of William and Sarah Hopkinson of Gildersome, on 17 February 1805. The names Randall and Randalph or Randolph are sometimes used as variants in the Birstall registers. There was indeed a William and Sarah Hopkinson in the area. Elizabeth, daughter of William and Sarah Hopkinson of Adwalton was baptised at Birstall in 1800. However, no other trace of a Randolph Hopkinson who could be the individual baptised in 1805 has been found and it may be suspected from the similarity of the names that there is some confusion in the entry and that the baptism was in fact that of Randall, son of William and Susannah Atkinson. The date of February 1805 would be an excellent fit between the baptism of their son James in March 1803 and that of their daughter Margaret in November 1806.

 

As well as the onomastic evidence for the parentage of Randall Atkinson, there is another supporting factor. William and Susannah’s daughter Martha Atkinson married James Hartley in 1832, and one of the witnesses at the wedding was Randle Atkinson. The only person this could plausibly be is the Randall Atkinson who married Grace Stephenson in 1827, and a comparison with his signature at his own marriage (where he also spelt his forename Randle) confirms the identity.

 

Randall Atkinson is recorded with Grace (his wife) and three of their children in the 1841 census returns for Wortley, near Leeds,[1] but he could not be traced again in the English census returns until 1871, when he was living in Leeds with a wife Ann.[2] A notice in The Leeds Mercury of 16 November 1850 stated that Randall Atkinson of Wortley, shopkeeper, was declining business in favour of his son and that he would not be answerable for any debts his wife, Grace Atkinson, may contract. In 1851, Grace was living in Beeston with her brother John Stephenson and his family.[3] In 1861, Grace was recorded in Wortley and was living alone.[4] The certificate for her death in 1862 describes her as the wife of Randal Atkinson, a handle setter. The death was registered by James Gledhill, evidently her son-in-law.

 

The lack of direct appearances of Randall in English records in the period leading up to 1871 is explained by the 1860 and 1870 United States federal censuses. In the earlier of these, Randal Atkinson, aged 55, a farm labourer, born in England, was living in Wyoming, Lee County, Illinois, with Ann Atkinson, aged 38. Ten years later, Randall Atkinson, aged 65, was living in Brooklyn, also in Lee County, with Ann Atkinson, whose age was given as 50. Randall was then stated to be a taxidermist.

 

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ATKINSON

 

1        WILLIAM ATKINSON of Gildersome, Yorkshire, engineman, was born ca 1773 at Gildersome[5] and died on 26 November 1852 at Gildersome.[6] He married on 28 March 1802 at Bradford, SUSANNAH BALL,[7] daughter of Randalph and Ann (Hemmingway) Ball. Susannah was born on 7 October 1777, baptised on 2 November 1777 at Birstall,[8] and died on 4 June 1843 at Leeds.[9]

 

             Children of William and Susannah (Ball) Atkinson:

                                i               JAMES ATKINSON of Gildersome, weaver, b Gildersome, bap 13 Mar 1803, Birstall,[10] bur 6 Feb 1859, Gildersome;[11] m 30 Dec 1822, St Peter, Leeds, RACHEL RIPLEY.[12]

             2                 ii              RANDALL ATKINSON (ca 1805-1894); m(1) GRACE STEPHENSON; m(2) ANN GREAVES.

                                iii             MARGARET ATKINSON, b Gildersome, bap 16 Nov 1806, Birstall,[13] bur 8 Feb 1879, Gildersome;[14] m 20 Aug 1835, Birstall, WILLIAM WHITAKER.[15]

                                iv            MARY ATKINSON, b Gildersome, bap 16 Oct 1808, Birstall,[16] d 23 Dec 1866, Gildersome.[17]

                                v             MARTHA ATKINSON, b Gildersome, bap 27 Jan 1811, Birstall,[18] bur 2 Jun 1880, Beckett Street Cemetery, Leeds;[19] m 16 Aug 1832, Batley, JAMES HARTLEY.[20]

                                vi            WILLIAM ATKINSON of Wortley, clother dresser, b 15 Aug 1813, Gildersome;[21] m(1) 27 Mar 1836, St Peter, Leeds, ELIZABETH GAUNT;[22] m(2) 7 May 1866, St Peter, Leeds, MARTHA (BROOK) BALL.[23]

                                vii           FRANK ATKINSON of Wortley, cloth finisher, b 14 Mar 1816, Gildersome,[24] bur 15 Apr 1852, Wortley;[25] m 25 Dec 1841, St Peter, Leeds, ELIZABETH DIXON.[26]

 

2        RANDALL ATKINSON of Gildersome, of Lee County, Illinois, and of Primitive Street, Leeds, handle setter, was born ca 1805 at Gildersome[27] and died on 28 March 1894 at Leeds.[28] He married first, on 25 February 1827 at St. Peter, Leeds, GRACE STEPHENSON,[29] daughter of Matthew and Sarah (Newsome) Stephenson (see here). Grace was born on 14 June 1805 at Gildersome and died on 6 November 1862 at New Wortley. Randall married second (possibly a bigamous marriage or non-marital relationship), ANN GREAVES,[30] who was born ca 1820 at Harrogate,[31] and buried on 10 October 1898 at Beckett Street Cemetery, Leeds.[32]

 

            Children of Randall and Grace (Stephenson) Atkinson:

                              i              THOMAS ATKINSON of Hunslet, Yorkshire, tailor, b 7 Apr 1826, bap 24 Dec 1826, St. Peter, Leeds,[33] bur 14 Dec 1900, Hunslet Cemetery;[34] m 13 May 1849, St. Peter, Leeds, MARY BARWICK.[35]

                              ii            MARY ATKINSON, b 27 Apr 1828, bap 21 Sep 1828, St. Peter, Leeds;[36] m 19 Jun 1849, St. Peter, Leeds, JAMES GLEDHILL.[37]

                              iii           JOHN ATKINSON of Wortley, woollen cloth dresser, b 15 Apr 1830, Gildersome,[38] bur 23 Oct 1903, New Wortley Cemetery;[39] m 30 Jan 1851, Wakefield, ANN MYERS.[40]

            3                iv            SAMUEL ATKINSON (1832-1891); m ELIZABETH DICKINSON.

                              v             MARTHA ATKINSON, b 4 Jul 1834, bap 14 Sep 1834, St. Peter, Leeds,[41] bur 9 Nov 1834, Gildersome.[42]

 

3        SAMUEL ATKINSON of 4 Ellis Buildings, New Wortley, handle setter, was born on 18 July 1832 at Gildersome,[43] and died on 23 April 1891 at Holbeck.[44] He married on 10 February 1855 at St. Peter, Leeds, ELIZABETH DICKINSON,[45] daughter of John and Mary Ann (Dalmer) Dickinson (see here). Elizabeth was born ca 1835 at Leeds and died on 10 May 1896 at Holbeck.

 

            Children of Samuel and Elizabeth (Dickinson) Atkinson:

            4                 i              JOHN ATKINSON (1856-1912); m SARAH JANE GREENWOOD.

                              ii            THOMAS ATKINSON b 22 Jan 1856, Holbeck.[46]

                              iii           RANDALL ATKINSON, b 4 Aug 1857, Wortley,[47] bur 16 Aug 1868, New Wortley Cemetery.[48]

                                iv            MARY ANN ATKINSON, b 30 Jun 1859, Wortley.[49]

                                v             JAMES STEPHENSON ATKINSON, b 25 Aug 1860, Wortley;[50] m 13 Jan 1883, Holbeck, ALICE HANDLEY.[51]

                              vi           EMMA GRACE ATKINSON, b 1862, Leeds,[52] d 15 Jan 1884, Leeds;[53] m 24 Sep 1883, St. Andrew, Leeds, GEORGE WALKER GUNSTEAD.[54]

                              vii          TOM ATKINSON, b ca Dec 1864, bur 12 Mar 1865, New Wortley Cemetery.[55]

                              viii         RICHARD DALMER ATKINSON, handle setter, b 7 Oct 1866, Wortley,[56] bur 3 May 1887, Holbeck Cemetery.[57]

                              ix            RANDALL ATKINSON of Wellington Road, Wortley, beer retailer, b 7 Apr 1870, New Wortley,[58] d 13 Apr 1931, Wortley;[59] m 30 May 1891, Holbeck, ELIZA BEESTING.[60]

                              x             SAMUEL ATKINSON, bap 15 Sep 1871, New Wortley,[61], bur 22 Sep 1871, New Wortley Cemetery.[62]

                              xi           ELIZABETH HOOPER ATKINSON, b 1872, Leeds,[63] d 11 Aug 1955;[64] m 17 Nov 1894, Holbeck, THOMAS SUGDEN HEAPS.[65]

                              xii          TOM ATKINSON of New Wortley, cloth finisher, b ca 1876, Leeds;[66] m 5 Jul 1902, New Wortley, MARY ANN BATTLE.[67]

 

4        JOHN ATKINSON of 13 Ellis Row, Wortley, teasel setter, was born on 22 January 1856 at Holbeck[68] and died on 13 October 1912 at New Wortley.[69] He married on 8 July 1877 at Hunslet Moor, SARAH JANE GREENWOOD,[70] daughter of James and Ann (Sowden) Greenwood (see here). Sarah Jane was born on 9 March 1859 at Wortley, and died on 22 February 1929 at Leeds. John separated from his wife before 1894[71] when Sarah Jane (Greenwood) Atkinson, “of no occupation”, gave birth to a daughter Gladys Williamson.[72] Sarah Jane married second, on 17 November 1912 at Leeds register office, EDWARD WILLIAMSON,[73] son of John and Emma (Sykes) Williamson (see here). Edward was born on 8 February 1866 at Holbeck and died on 27 December 1936 at Leeds.

 

            Children of John and Sarah Jane (Greenwood) Atkinson:[74]

                              i              FREDERICK ATKINSON of 6 Ashbourne Terrace, Hunslet, worsted twister, b 14 Oct 1877, New Wortley,[75] d 31 May 1952, Hunslet;[76] m 17 Apr 1911, Holbeck, MARY EMMA BROGDEN.[77]

                                ii            JAMES ARTHUR ATKINSON of Wortley, warehouseman, b 18 Nov 1879, New Wortley;[78] m 19 Jul 1902, St. Peter, Leeds, LILY DEAN.[79]

                              iii           FLORENCE ATKINSON, b 4 Apr 1883, Pudsey, Yorkshire,[80] d ca 1958; m 1 Aug 1908, Holbeck, BENJAMIN HENRY ROBINSON.[81]

 

            Child of Sarah Jane (Greenwood) Atkinson:

                                i               WILLIE ATKINSON, b 26 Sep 1887, Holbeck.[82]

 

            Children of Edward Williamson and Sarah Jane (Greenwood) Atkinson:

                              i              NELLIE ATKINSON, alias WILLIAMSON, tailoress, b 4 Sep 1885, New Wortley,[83] d 17 Jul 1978, Leeds;[84] m 23 Apr 1911, Holbeck register office, JAMES DIXON[85] (see here).

                              ii            GLADYS WILLIAMSON ATKINSON, b 17 Aug 1894, Armley,[86] d 1972;[87] m 17 Aug 1914, St. Peter, Leeds, HAROLD SUTTON.[88]



[1] 1841 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, HO 107/1350/3, fol. 19).

[2] 1871 census returns, Leeds (National Archives, RG 10/4564, fol. 139).

[3] 1851 census returns, Beeston (National Archives, HO 107/2317, fol. 106). The relationship of Grace to John Stephenson is given in the returns simply as “relation”.

[4] National Archives, RG 9/3350, fol. 49. Grace was living on the same street as her son Samuel.

[5] 1851 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, HO 107/2314, fol. 186). He was possibly the William who was baptised at Batley on 3 Apr 1774, whose father was given as William Atkinson of Gildersome, clothier. However, further details of the father are unclear and the lack of an obvious marriage or other children for him leads to doubts that his name was correctly recorded. A possibility is that William was a son of James and Susannah (Clayton) Atkinson of Gildersome who were married in Aug 1772 and whose first traced child was born in Sep 1775, leaving a gap around the period when William was born.

[6] Death certificate.

[7] Bradford parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com). One of the witnesses was Randal Ball.

[8] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com). She was baptised as Susy (and married as Susey). There was also a Susy, daughter of Jeremiah Ball, baptised at Birstall on 25 Feb 1776. However, Susy, daughter of Jeremiah Ball, was buried there on 7 Aug 1792.

[9] Death certificate; Gildersome parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[10] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1851 census returns, Gildersome (National Archives, HO 107/2314, fol. 8).

[11] Gildersome parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[12] St Peter, Leeds, parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[13] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1851 census returns, Pudsey (National Archives, HO 107/2313, fol. 484).

[14] Gildersome parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[15] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[16] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1851 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, HO 107/2314, fol. 186)

[17] Death certificate.

[18] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1851 census returns, Leeds (National Archives, HO 107/2320, fol. 1026).

[19] Beckett Street Cemetery registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[20] Batley parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[21] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1851 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, HO 107/2314, fol. 218).

[22] St Peter, Leeds, parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[23] St Peter, Leeds, parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com). William Whitaker and Margaret Whitaker were witnesses.

[24] Birstall parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1851 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, HO 107/2314, fol. 185).

[25] Wortley parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[26] St Peter, Leeds, parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com). Francis Ball was a witness. Frank, son of Randalph Ball, was baptised at Birstall in 1792.

[27] 1871 census returns, Leeds (National Archives, RG 10/4564, fol. 139).

[28] Death certificate.

[29] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers.

[30] She is explicitly described as Randall’s wife in the 1871 census returns (National Archives, RG 10/4564, fol. 139). A comparison of the household of Randall and Ann Atkinson in Wyoming, Lee County, Illinois, at the time of the 1860 census, with the 1851 census returns for Knaresborough (National Archives, HO 107/2283, fol. 86) suggests that Ann was the Ann Greaves who was an unmarried charwoman with four children in the 1851 returns. The 1871 census returns (National Archives, RG 10/4564, fol. 139) show an Alfred Metcalfe, joiner, aged 20 and born at Bradford, described as a son of Randall Atkinson, but his exact connection is unclear.

[31] 1851 census returns for Knaresborough (National Archives, HO 107/2283, fol. 86); 1881 census returns, Leeds (National Archives, RG 11/4533, fol. 60).

[32] Beckett Street Cemetery registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[33] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers. At the time of his baptism, Thomas's parents were stated to have been living at Quarry Hill, but in later census returns (such as 1851, Hunslet, National Archives, HO 107/2318, fol. 39) he is stated to have been born at Gildersome. There is no suggestion of illegitimacy in the baptism entry itself, but Thomas’s parents were not married until two months later.

[34] Hunslet Cemetery registers. The burials of Mary Atkinson (in 1911, aged 82) and a Thomas Barwick in the same grave as the Thomas Atkinson buried in 1900 confirm his identity.

[35] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers.

[36] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers. At the time of her baptism, Mary's family were living at Beeston, though in the 1851 census returns (Wortley, National Archives, HO 107/2314, fol. 287), Mary is stated to have born at Gildersome.

[37] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers (giving his first name as “Jim”).

[38] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers; 1861 census returns, Holbeck (National Archives, RG 9/3364, fol. 104).

[39] New Wortley Cemetery registers. In the same grave were buried his wife Ann in 1894 and their son John Albert Atkinson in 1926.

[40] Wakefield parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1861 census returns, Holbeck (National Archives, RG 9/3364, fol. 104).

[41] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers.

[42] Gildersome parish registers (West Yorkshire Archive Service, WDP26/1/16).

[43] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers; 1861 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 9/3350, 49).

[44] Death certificate.

[45] Marriage certificate.

[46] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers; 1861 census returns, Holbeck (National Archives, RG 9/3364, fol. 76).

[47] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com); 1861 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 9/3350, fol. 49).

[48] New Wortley Cemetery registers.

[49] Birth certificate.

[50] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers; 1861 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 9/3350, fol. 49).

[51] Holbeck parish registers. The name given for the father of James Stephenson Atkinson at his marriage in 1883 appears to be James, but all the other details indicate that this was the marriage of Samuel and Elizabeth (Dickinson) Atkinson's son. The name of Alice Handley's father is also given as James, which could be connected with the apparent mistake in the naming of the bridegroom's father.

[52] 1871 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 10/4534, fol. 70); civil registration indexes.

[53] Death certificate.

[54] St. Andrew, Leeds, parish registers.

[55] New Wortley Cemetery registers.

[56] Birth certificate. The middle name on the birth certificate seems to be “Balmer” but Richard’s middle initial is given as D in the 1871 (National Archives, RG 10/4534, fol. 70) and 1881 (National Archives, RG 11/4505, fol. 107) census returns and it seems clear that he was given the name of his mother’s maternal grandfather.

[57] Holbeck Cemetery registers.

[58] Information from John Kitchen, great-grandson of Randall and Eliza (Beesting) Atkinson, citing the birth certificate of Randall Atkinson.

[59] The Yorkshire Evening Post, 13 Apr 1931.

[60] Holbeck parish registers.

[61] New Wortley parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[62] New Wortley Cemetery registers.

[63] 1881 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 11/4505, fol. 107); civil registration indexes.

[64] National probate calendars.

[65] Holbeck parish registers.

[66] 1881 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 11/4505, fol. 107).

[67] New Wortley parish registers (online at www.ancestry.com).

[68] Birth certificate.

[69] Death certificate. John died at 9 Wortley Lane, which the 1912 ward rolls for Leeds show was occupied by Randall Atkinson. John was also recorded living with his brother Randall in the 1911 census returns (National Archives, RG 14/26891).

[70] Marriage certificate.

[71] They may have already separated by 1891 when Sarah Jane was recorded as a visitor in the household of her brother Albert Greenwood.

[72] Birth certificate.

[73] Marriage certificate. They had lived together as husband and wife for some years before John Atkinson died and Sarah is described as Edward’s wife in the 1901 census returns for Armley (National Archives, RG 13/4212, fol. 99). In the 1911 census returns, Edward and Sarah Jane are said to have been married for twenty years.

[74] The 1911 census returns for Wortley (National Archives, RG 14/26891) show that John Atkinson had had six children “born alive to present Marriage”, of whom two had died. Therefore there may have been a further child in addition to the ones shown here.

[75] Registers of Littlemoor, Pudsey, Wesleyan chapel; 1881 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 11/4505, fol. 107).

[76] Yorkshire Evening Post, 3 Jun 1952.

[77] Marriage certificate. Mary Emma's surname was originally entered as “Brodgen”, but this was corrected to Brogden on 22 Jan 1912. The notice of her death in the Yorkshire Evening Post of 6 Sep 1969 states that Mary Emma was “nee Brodgen”.

[78] Registers of Littlemoor, Pudsey, Wesleyan chapel; 1881 census returns, Wortley (National Archives, RG 11/4505, fol. 107).

[79] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers.

[80] Registers of Littlemoor, Pudsey, Wesleyan chapel; 1891 census returns, Holbeck (National Archives, RG 12/3672, fol. 57).

[81] Marriage certificate.

[82] Birth certificate. John Atkinson is stated to be the father and was the informant when the birth was registered. However, as Sarah Jane had already had a child fathered by Edward Williamson, it seems plausible that Edward was also the actual father of Willie. Willie appears to be one of the two children recorded as having died in the entry for John Atkinson in the 1911 census returns for Wortley (National Archives, RG 14/26891).

[83] Birth certificate. The certificate gives John Atkinson as Nellie’s father, and he was the informant when the birth was registered. However, DNA test results eliminate any reasonable possibility that John was the biological father and they give some support to the true father being Edward Williamson. Indeed, Nellie is shown as a daughter of Edward Williamson in the 1901 census returns for Armley (National Archives, RG 13/4212, fol. 99), and the will of Edward Williamson (proved 15 Jan 1937) also describes Nellie as his daughter. I thank John Kitchen for sharing DNA test results which allowed the identity of Nellie’s father to be established.

[84] Evening Post, 18 Jul 1978; death certificate.

[85] Marriage certificate.

[86] Birth certificate. The birth certificate and the entry for Gladys’s marriage in the St. Peter parish registers do not name her father. However, she is recorded as a daughter of Edward Williamson in the 1901 census returns for Armley (National Archives, RG 13/4212, fol. 99), and given Gladys's middle name, this seems clear. The will of Edward Williamson (proved 15 Jan 1937) also describes Gladys as his daughter.

[87] Civil registration indexes.

[88] St. Peter, Leeds, parish registers.