Article provided courtesy of John Robinson, Canada, 25th January 2018


Joseph Garthwaite was born in Trimdon in 1736, the fourth son (eighth child of 11) of John and Mary (nee Thompson) Garthwaite.  The Land Tax records show that Joseph was both a proprietor and occupier of land and buildings in Trimdon. The Durham Diocese Marriage Allegation 23rd April 1768 shows his occupation as a butcher. He married Margaret Stratford in St. Mary’s Church Monk Heseldon on the 25th April 1768, their ages being 32 and 28 respectively.

The Stratforth family were freehold farmers with several farms in the Monk Heseldon, Sheraton, Hart and the Elwick areas of County Durham.  The family were both prominent and prosperous. As an example, when William Stratford died in 1676 in Hart, his estate was valued at £892. He had 22 oxen, 14 horses and 163 sheep which shows it was a large farm. When Margaret’s father Bryan died in 1783, Margaret inherited the properties he owned in Trimdon.


The Will of Bryan Stratford Late of Sheraton, Millwright.  

This will was proved at Durham on the 31st Day of March, 1784 by William Stratford the sole Exor. within named, to whom admin. Was granted, He having been first Truly sworn well and faithfully to execute by as usual.
W Maxwell
Dep Regr.


This is the Last Will and Testament of me Bryan Stratford of Sheraton in the county of Durham Millwright made the ningth Day of March in the year of our Lord one Thousand seven Hundred and Eighty one, I Give and bequeath To my Daughter Margaret Garthwaite Wife of Joseph Garthwaite her heirs and Assigns for ever all that my Messuage Tenement situate at Trimdon now in the possession of her Husband Joseph Garthwaite with the appurtences theirunto belonging she paying to my son William Stratford his heirs Executor Administrators and Assigns the sum of Sixty pounds within Twelve Calendar Months next after my Decease. I Give desire and Bequeath unto and to the use of My son William Stratford his heirs Executors Administrators and Assigns respectively for ever All my Freehold and Leasehold Messuages Lands Tenements and Hereditameble situate lying and being at Heseldon in the said County od Durham and all other  my real and personal Estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever and of what nature or Tenures  were Subject to and Charged and chargeable with the payments of the several Legacies or sums of Money to the several persons herein after Mentioned (that is to say) To my son John Stratford the sum of thirty pounds, To my Daughter Hannah Clark wife of Thomas Clark the sum of thirty pounds, To my son Henry Stratford the sum of Twenty pounds, All which Legacies shall be paid to them respectively with in twelve Calendar Months next after My Decease, I appoint my said son William Stratford Sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament and I do hereby revoke all former wills by me made In Witness whereof.

I the said Bryan Stratford have to this my last will and Testament set my hand and seal the Day and Year first within written.


Even before receiving this inheritance, the family of Joseph and Margaret were prosperous. One example is that Joseph had a Cock Pit. The following advertisement appearing in 1768, three days of cock fighting with a purse each day of £50, an enormous sum of money at that time.

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