I have known very little about my Peacock heritage except that my three times great grandmother had the wonderful name of CHRISTIANA PEACOCK but I now have a history of the Peacock line that ventures back to around 1690.
THOMAS PEACOCK,of Appletreethwaite was possibly my seven times great grandfather. I say possibly as there is some question as whether it was him or a JOHN PEACOCK born around the same time.
Either way,Peacock has been in Swaledale for centuries and although the origins have not been confirmed either way, John & Thomas were probably related.
Thomas of Appletreethwaite died January 17, 1753 in Thwaite. It is not known how old he was or what he did for a living. It is not known who his wife was either but between them they managed to have at least six children, one of which was a son, RALPH who was born in 1713 in Muker.
It was unlikely that Ralph was an only child but details of any siblings have yet to be uncovered.
Taking Ralph’s date of birth into account, this would have made his father (John or Thomas) born around 1690 and living to an age of about 65. For those times, that kind of age was a pretty good achievement.
Ralph himself didn’t do quite so well, surviving only another 10 years after his father’s death, dying in 1763 in Harkerside, Swaledale at the age of 50. Ralph worked as a lead miner to feed and clothe his family and this occupation was hard and very dangerous, not least because of lead poisoning. Most lead miners died at a young age and Ralph was no exception.
His wife was DOROTHY BRAMWELL and they married on a cold February day in Muker in 1735. Dorothy, the daughter of Walter Bramwell survived her husband by only 4 years, dying at the age of 52.
Ralph and Dorothy’s children were numerous but, for those times, probably a fairly average sized family.
COUPER PEACOCK was followed by JOHN and then came Mary who died around aged 10.
Couper married Alice Milner and probably remained in Muker because further generations of Cooper Peacocks crop up in that area right through till at least 1861.
Edmund was born in 1741, Christopher, in 1743, as was Walter.
Christopher married an Elizabeth Mason and Edmund married an Isabel Robinson so undoubtedly there were further Peacocks from these lines. What happened to Walter is unknown.
MARK b. 1747 in Muker was child number seven, followed by Thomas, two Annes, Ralph and Richard.
Richard married an Elizabeth Harker and Thomas married another Milner girl, Margaret, possibly a sister or cousin to his brother Couper's wife.
It is known that Ralph died about aged 9 and one of the Anne’s married in 1774 to a JAMES THISTLETHWAITE
MARK PEACOCK, Ralph and Dorothy’s seventh child, was my 5 times great grandfather. Like his father before him, he was a lead miner. Born in 1747 in Muker he also died at young age, not quite making his 40th birthday, possaibly caused by lead poisoning or any of the other causes of premature death in those days. His widow had been born PRISCILLA ROGERS, daughter of a William Rogers and Christian Storey. Mark and Priscilla were married in 1774 at Castle Bolton Cum Redmire and only married twelve years. Their tally of children was only five and all were boys.
WILLIAM PEACOCK the eldest, was born 1775 and clocked up 65 years before he died in March 1840, in Thoresby. He married an ALICE STOREY, possibly a cousin of sorts, on January 1, 1799, in Castle Bolton Cum Redmire.
RALPH was born in 1777 and then came my 4 times great grandfather, JAMES PEACOCK
James was born in Bolton Castle cum Redmire in 1779 and he lived for 62 years, finally dying in the same place in 1847.
James was married to an ELIZABETH WENSLEY when he was 24 and she was about 23. Elizabeth was the daughter of Jeffrey Wensley & Elizabeth Watkin. After James, two boys called THOMAS were born, the first dying soon after birth and the second being born in 1783 and going on to eventually marry a JANE KNOWLES.
JAMES & ELIZABETH had seven children, the eldest being my 3 times great grandmother,
CHRISTIANA PEACOCK who was born in 1804 in Redmire. At some time she met and later married a ROBERT HEBDEN a farmer of over 100 acres in Stalling Busk and that is where she lived until she died and was buried in 1867. Christiana had six other siblings but little is known of them except for two of her brothers.
MARK born in 1806 married firstly a MARTHA MUDD in 1831 in Aysgarth and then in 1838 he married an ANN TURNER also in Aysgarth.
BETTY was born in 1808 and then PRISCILLA in 1812. Priscilla Peacock died in Stalling Busk though why she was there is not known. After Priscilla came MARY in 1815 and then Ralph in 1818. Ralph was born at Castle Bolton, Redmire and he died sometime after 1881. His wife was called Mary in the 1881 census it shows him as a farm labourer in Castle Bolton. Lastly, in 1820, WILLIAM was born.
The 1881 census shows quite a few Peacocks in Castle Bolton and judging by many of the names like Ralph and Edmund most, if not all, are related though how they fit in with my line is unknown to me. Then you only have to look at the 1851 or 1841 census returns for around those areas and in places like Redmire, Muker and Castle Bolton you can see various branches of the same family with the same names coming through...Mark, Edmund, Cooper, Ralph etc.
Time will hopefully iron out some of the puzzles.