BeswiCk Family 

Beswick: locational name from Lancashire and Yorkshire, possibly from the old English ‘boe-wic’ (bee farm) or ‘Beac-wic’ (Beac’s farm) [1]


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The earliest known Beswick was John Beswick who was born c1781 in Lancashire. He was married to Betty (maiden name unknown) and they had four known children: Wright, Thomas, Sarah and Mary. The Beswick name was common around Manchester and this particular branch came from Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, where they worked in the cotton industry. John worked as a cotton wever and latter as a power loom wever. Betty died sometime between 1841 and 1851. John died after 1851.

Wright Beswick was born c1820 and baptised 10 June 1821 at St Michael's Church, Ashton-under-Lyne. He married Louisa Lees 11 December 1843 in Manchester. They had four children: James, Elizabeth, Ann (Annie) and Eliza Annie. Wright had a variety of jobs over the years: cotton weaver, power loom weaver, overlooker in a cotton mill, labourer in a worsted mill and finally a warehouseman. He and Louisa spent their last years in an Almshouse in Halifax. Wright died in 1903 and Louisa c1907.

Annie was born 20 March 1858 in Stanley Street, Dukinfield, Lancashire. A family story says that in the early 1860s, when Annie  was small, her father Wright took the family to the American South for a time. If this was true (and so far no evidence has come to light to support the story!), it would have been during the American Civil War. Cotton had been imported from the United States but the war disrupted supplies to England, causing the ‘Lancashire Cotton Famine’ which led to mass unemployment and poverty.

Annie married James Sutcliffe 21 January 1882 at the Halifax Registry Office. Annie had worked as a weaver before her marriage but it is not known if she worked after her marriage. She and James had a steady procession of eleven children: Alfred, Mary, Sarah, Eliza, Fred, Gibson, Emma, Alice, Albert, George and Annie. Three children died before the age of two and one just before he turned eleven. Family stories say that James drank all the money the family earned so his children frequently went without food, new clothes etc...

The family lived in Sowerby until the mid-1890s then moved to Mirfield. James died in 1915. Annie became a stalwart member of the local church but it is not known when she died.