Sunday, March 1, 2015

Matthew Cragg (1810-1878)

The Royal Oak and market cross, Garstang
Recently I took a break from researching my mother's side of the family and had another look at Matthew Cragg (1810 - 1878), my father's great grandfather and the husband of Esther Lambert. Apart from knowing that both his father and his grandfather were also named Matthew Cragg, I didn't know much about him.

Matthew was born in Kirkland, near Garstang, Lancashire, in 1810, the eldest son of Matthew Cragg and Mary Helm. His father's occupation is listed as "labourer" on his baptismal record. Matthew himself was a calico printer by trade, first in Radcliffe and then in Walton le Dale. I haven't found any mention of Matthew in the local newspapers of the time, which suggests that he was too poor to be noteworthy and stayed out of trouble with the law.

He married Esther Lambert in Preston in 1833. I've mentioned before that Esther and Matthew had two sons, Richard and William, who died within weeks of each other in 1847. It seems they also had another son, also named Richard, born in May 1837. He died before his first birthday, in March 1838. Only their daughter Mary Ann survived childhood.

Matthew's father, Matthew Cragg born in 1786, and his grandfather, Matthew Cragg born in 1745, were both associated with St Michael's on Wyre in the parish of Upper Rawcliffe. Several of the Cragg families in this area were Quakers, but I haven't been able to connect 'our' line to theirs. As we'll see in my next post, three of Matthew's nephews became Mormons. Matthew and Esther seem to have been solidly C of E all their lives.

Image © Alan Godfree under a CC license

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