SEWELL OF CARLISLE

 

John McNeil and Hannah Sewell were married at St. Peter, Liverpool, in 1833. One of the witnesses at the marriage was a James Sewell. The 1841 census returns indicate that Hannah was not born in Lancashire,[1] and when Hannah died in February 1849, her age was given as thirty-six. Later that year, the Liverpool Female Orphan Asylum recorded that John and Hannah’s daughter Hannah McNeil was under the care of “Mary Sewell her Grandmother”.[2] The 1851 census returns record this grandmother, living with her grandson James McNeil. At that time, Mary was stated to be a widow aged sixty-six, an annuitant, and born at Carlisle in Cumberland.[3]

 

A search for Mary Sewell in the 1841 census returns shows a likely match in Liverpool aged fifty-five, not born in Lancashire, living in the same building as Joseph Sewell, a mariner, whose age was given as thirty-five and who was also said to have not been born in Lancashire.[4] From the other individuals living at the same address, and from the entry for the family in the 1851 returns,[5] this Joseph Sewell was evidently the man of that name who married Frances Garner in 1830 at St. Paul, Liverpool. The marriage entry states that Joseph was of the parish of St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.[6]

 

The same Mary Sewell appears to have perhaps been also enumerated in 1841 at Port Carlisle in Bowness, Cumberland, with her granddaughter Alice (daughter of Joseph).[7] As they were living with the harbour master in Bowness, and as Joseph Sewell seems to have been master on a route between Liverpool and Port Carlisle,[8] the double enumeration seems plausible. Joseph Sewell died in January 1842, when his age was given as thirty-seven.

 

A search for the baptisms of the apparent siblings Joseph and Hannah Sewell reveals an entry in the registers of St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, showing that Joseph, son of James Sewell, butcher, and Mary his wife, late Sawyers, was baptised on 27 January 1805. An entry in the parish registers of Beaumont shows that James and Hannah, son and daughter of James Sewell of Sandsfield, officer in the customs, and Mary his wife, late Sawyers, were baptised on 29 November 1812. The mother’s maiden name being given in both registers confirms the identity of the couple.

 

As James Sewell was described in his children’s baptism entries as an “Officer in the Customs” in 1812 and a “Port Officer” in 1821, it was hoped that records at the National Archives might provide information on his origins or what happened to his family after his death, but a search by the National Archives did not locate any relevant information.[9]

 

However, a clue to James’s death is in the entries in the Rockcliffe parish registers for the baptisms of Ann, William and Edward Sewell on 3 January 1821, where they are described as children of “the late James Sewel & of his now Relict Mary (late Sawyers)”. A search of newspapers revealed a report in The Carlisle Patriot of 16 December 1820 stating that “On Saturday evening,         Sewell, a tidewaiter resident at Sandsfield, was drowned by the upsetting of a boat in attempting to cross the river, from Rockliff, where he had attended a funeral,[10] leaving in an unprovided state, a wife and five children”.

 

A search for the parentage of James Sewell initially revealed more than one candidate.

 

One James Sewell, born in Carlisle about 1773, enlisted in the Westmorland Militia at Shap in 1798 and was discharged in 1819. He was a wheelwright by trade.[11]

 

The parish registers of St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, showed one James Sewell was baptised on 10 July 1769, son of Thomas Sewell of Newlands, and another James Sewell baptised on 25 December 1777, son of Joseph Sewell, butcher, and his wife Hannah.[12] An abstract of a monumental inscription shows that a Thomas Sewell, late of Newlands, died in 1836 aged seventy and his brother James Sewell died aged sixty-six (on 30 May but with the year not legible on the inscription),[13] and indeed a newspaper notice showed that James Sewell, aged sixty-six, died at his brother’s house at Newlands in 1835.[14] Therefore it seemed reasonable to rule out James son of Thomas Sewell of Newlands as the James who drowned in 1820.

 

On the other hand, abstracts of monumental inscriptions at St. Cuthbert also show that Hannah wife of Joseph Sewell died in 1791, James their son died in 1821 and that Joseph died aged seventy-four (year not given). It is not clear how closely the abstracts keep to the original inscriptions, for example whether the inscription specified the date of death or the date of interment for James.[15] Although James Sewell, husband of Mary Sawyers, died in December 1820, the St. Cuthbert registers show that James Sewell of Sandsfield was buried on 2 January 1821 aged forty-five, and there is no other burial entry for a James Sewell in the St. Cuthbert parish registers in the period from November 1820 to February 1822.[16] Moreover, it can also be noted that at the baptism of Joseph, son of James and Mary (Sawyers) Sewell in 1805, the father’s occupation is given as butcher, which is the same occupation as given for the father in the 1777 baptism of James Sewell, son of Joseph and Hannah. Therefore it seems fairly secure that the James Sewell who married Mary Sawyers was the James baptised in 1777, son of Joseph and Hannah Sewell.

 

Further information on this Sewell family may be contained in the Carlisle Butchers’ Guild records, which have not yet been searched.

 

An obvious candidate entry for the burial of Joseph Sewell, husband of Hannah Nixon, is that of the Joseph Sewell buried on 29 November 1826 at St. Cuthbert. His age is given as seventy-four, matching the age on Joseph and Hannah’s monumental inscription. The Joseph in the burial entry was presumably the Joseph Sewell, innkeeper, who died on 27 November 1826 and whose will was dated 30 November 1821 and proved in 1827.[17] The testator was clearly the Joseph Sewell who married Mary Chambers at Great Orton in 1811, when he was a widower.[18] The will mentions the testator’s wife Mary, brother-in-law Christopher Chambers of Great Orton, and lists “my said Wife and my four Children by her namely Ann Mary Thomas and John”. The baptism entry for the first of these children confirms that Joseph was a butcher, as the husband of Hannah Nixon had been.[19] However, there is nothing in the will to suggest that the testator was the man who had previously been married to Hannah Nixon. Obviously Hannah had died long before the will was written and it is possible that all of Joseph and Hannah’s children had also died, but in such case the will might have been expected to at least mention the children of Joseph’s deceased son James. Nevertheless, it is possible that the testator was the man who had been married to Hannah and the will was concerned more with his four younger children who were all still under twenty-one when it was written.

 

Joseph Sewell, husband of Hannah Nixon, may have been the Joseph baptised on 28 April 1751 at St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, son of Joseph Sewell.[20] However, due to the uncertainty of the identity of the Joseph buried in November 1826 aged seventy-four, it is not clear whether there was more than one Joseph Sewell of very similar age in the area at the time. Further research in the Great Orton and St. Cuthbert registers may shed some light on the matter.

 

I welcome comments on this page. My e-mail address is on my home page.

 

SEWELL

 

1          JOSEPH SEWELL of Carlisle, butcher, was born ca 1751[21] and died ca 1825.[22] He married on 27 June 1775 at St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, HANNAH NIXON,[23] daughter of James Nixon. Hannah was baptised on 25 August 1751 at St. Mary, Carlisle[24] died on 12 October 1791[25] and was buried on 14 October 1791 at St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.[26]

 

                Children of Joseph and Hannah (Nixon) Sewell:

                                i               ANN SEWELL, bap 12 Apr 1776, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, d 12 Feb 1797, bur 14 Feb 1797, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.[27]

                2              ii              JAMES SEWELL (1777-1820); m MARY SAWYERS.

                                iii             HANNAH SEWELL, bap 28 Jul 1781, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.[28]

                                iv             JOSEPH SEWELL,[29] bap 15 Jun 1788, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.[30]

 

2          JAMES SEWELL of Carlisle and of Sandsfield, Cumberland, customs officer, was baptised on 25 December 1777 at St. Cuthbert, Carlisle,[31] and died on 9 December 1820 between Rockcliffe and Sandsfield.[32] He married on 7 September 1803 at St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, MARY SAWYERS,[33] daughter of John and Hannah (Carlile) Sawyers. Mary was born in Carlisle and baptised on 13 December 1784 at St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.[34]

 

                Children of James and Mary (Sawyers) Sewell:[35]

                                i               JOSEPH SEWELL,[36] mariner, bap 27 Jan 1805, St. Cuthbert, Carlisle,[37] d 3 Jan 1842, Liverpool;[38] m 14 Feb 1830, St. Paul, Liverpool, FRANCES GARNER.[39]

                                ii              JOHN SEWELL,[40] bap 27 Dec 1807, Beaumont.[41]

                                iii             JAMES SEWELL, b ca 1809, bap 29 Nov 1812, Beaumont.[42]

                                iv             HANNAH SEWELL, bap 29 Nov 1812, Beaumont,[43] d 14 Feb 1849, Liverpool;[44] m 24 Sep 1833, St. Peter, Liverpool, JOHN McNEIL[45] (see here).

                                v              ANN SEWELL, bap 3 Jan 1821, Rockcliffe.[46]

                                vi             WILLIAM SEWELL, bap 3 Jan 1821, Rockcliffe.[47]

                                vii            EDWARD SEWELL, bap 3 Jan 1821, Rockcliffe.[48]

 



[1] 1841 census returns, Liverpool (National Archives, HO107/564/16, fol. 9).

[2] Female Orphan Asylum admission papers (Liverpool Record Office, 362 SAL 2).

[3] 1851 census returns, Liverpool (National Archives, HO 107/2176, fol. 312).

[4] 1841 census returns, Liverpool (National Archives, HO 107/563/3, fol. 10).

[5] 1851 census returns, Birkenhead (National Archives, HO 107/2175, fol. 84).

[6] St Paul, Liverpool, parish registers (available online at http://www.ancestry.com).

[7] 1841 census returns, Bowness (National Archives, HO 107/164/8, fol. 3).

[8] Newcastle Courant, 25 Dec 1840.

[9] The records mentioned by TNA as having been consulted in the search, carried out in 2011, were T 2/61, CUST 82/178, CUST 82/182, CUST 39/145, CUST 39/175, CUST 39/182 and CUST 39/190.

[10] This must have been the funeral of Isabel, widow of Edmund Davidson, aged 88, buried on 9 Dec 1820 at Rockcliffe. That is the only burial in the Rockcliffe parish registers in December 1820 (Cumbria Archive Service, JAC 1112).

[11] Royal Hospital Chelsea, soldiers’ service documents (National Archives, WO 97/1108/73).

[12] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 26 and Mf 27).

[13] Margaret J. Ferguson, ed., The Monumental Inscriptions in the Church & Churchyard of S. Cuthbert, Carlisle (Carlisle, 1889), 106.

[14] The Carlisle Journal, 6 Jun 1835.

[15] Margaret J. Ferguson, ed., The Monumental Inscriptions in the Church & Churchyard of S. Cuthbert, Carlisle (Carlisle, 1889), 46.

[16] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 32).

[17] Consistory Court of Carlisle (Cumbria Archive Service).

[18] See W.F. Gilbanks, ed., The Registers of the Parish Church of St. Giles, Great Orton (Kendal, 1915), 130, where Joseph is said to have been of the parish of Wetheral (“Weatherhall”).

[19] W.F. Gilbanks, ed., The Registers of the Parish Church of St. Giles, Great Orton (Kendal, 1915), 67.

[20] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 26).

[21] Age given as 24 in marriage entry in St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 27).

[22] Based on his age at death of 74 given in Margaret J. Ferguson, ed., The Monumental Inscriptions in the Church & Churchyard of S. Cuthbert, Carlisle (Carlisle, 1889), 46.

[23] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 27).

[24] St. Mary, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 37).

[25] Margaret J. Ferguson, ed., The Monumental Inscriptions in the Church & Churchyard of S. Cuthbert, Carlisle (Carlisle, 1889), 46.

[26] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 27).

[27] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 26); Ferguson, Inscriptions in S. Cuthbert, 46.

[28] This is taken from submitted entries in the International Genealogical Index and I have not yet checked the entry in the parish registers.

[29] At http://home.hiwaay.net/~thompson/Sewall.html, this Joseph is said to have married Esther Williamson in 1811 at Caldbeck and migrated to New Brunswick in 1819. However, he may have been the Joseph Sewell of Upperby who was buried on 10 Jul 1821 aged 33 at St. Cuthbert, Carlisle.

[30] This is taken from submitted entries in the International Genealogical Index and I have not yet checked the entry in the parish registers. Margaret J. Ferguson, ed., The Monumental Inscriptions in the Church & Churchyard of S. Cuthbert, Carlisle (Carlisle, 1889), 46, confirms that Joseph and Hannah had a son called Joseph.

[31] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 27).

[32] The Carlisle Patriot, 16 Dec 1820 and 23 Dec 1820.

[33] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 27). The entry notes that Mary was a minor and had the consent of her father John Sawyers.

[34] 1851 census returns, Liverpool (National Archives, HO 107/2176, fol. 312); St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 27). The date of Mary’s baptism within December 1784 was not clear on the microfilm and is taken from the IGI.

[35] It appears from The Carlisle Patriot of 23 Dec 1820 that at least one of the younger children was born on 17 Dec 1820 as James Sewell’s widow is said to have been “brought to bed on Sunday”.

[36] See the post by Rosemary Dixon-Smith at http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/MARINERS/2000-11/0975229735, citing The Carlisle Journal, 20 Feb 1830.

[37] St. Cuthbert, Carlisle, parish registers (Society of Genealogists, Mf 28).

[38] The Carlisle Journal, 8 Jan 1842; death certificate; National Archives, C 14/756/T35. Will dated 20 May 1837, administration granted 1842 and 1852, Consistory Court of Carlisle (Cumbria Archive Service).

[39] St Paul, Liverpool, parish registers (available online at http://www.ancestry.com).

[40] Given his father’s occupation, it would seem likely that John Sewell was the man of that name who is recorded in the 1861 census returns for Liverpool as a customs officer, aged 52 and born at Carlisle, with a wife Lucy (National Archives, RG 9/2676, fol. 88). However, there appears to have been another John Sewell, a customs officer, who married Charlotte Coote in 1840 when his father was given as Robert Sewell, a farmer (St. Peter, Liverpool, parish registers, available online at http://www.ancestry.com).

[41] International Genealogical Index, citing the Beaumont bishops’ transcripts.

[42] Beaumont parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service). James is described in the register as “three years old when Christened”.

[43] Beaumont parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service).

[44] Death certificate; Female Orphan Asylum admission papers (Liverpool Record Office, 362 SAL 2).

[45] St. Peter, Liverpool, parish registers (available online at http://www.ancestry.com).

[46] Rockcliffe parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service).

[47] Rockcliffe parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service).

[48] Rockcliffe parish registers (Cumbria Archive Service).