THE SKELTON PIONEERS - OUR AMERICAN COUSINS.
I have received some fascinating emails from Margaret Long of Maryland, USA.
Many of her ancestors lived in Skelton and nearby areas prior to emigrating to the United States in the early 1800's
"I have been reading your web site and I find it most interesting as it tells me more about what life must have been like
when my ancestors were living there in the 1600-1830. Thanks for spending so much time putting this web site on the internet
so that others can learn.
On this page of the website there is an old map showing the Skelton Castle lands in 1773.
Most of the names have disappeared from modern use, but
interestingly Margaret has found on one of her family land deeds "Cliff Close" which today is the land stretching from opposite the Wharton
Arms up over Flowston as far as Trout Hall Lane.
Other names that she has found and which, to date, we have been unable to locate are Low Holm [8 acres], Bellhead Bank [3 acres], Wandale Close [7 acres] and Hopper House at Moorsholm. As I have advised Margaret, from what she has told me, these plots of land could be several miles from Skelton as Skelton Church parish extended some 4 miles from the boundaries of this old map.
If anyone can provide further information on these old place names or may have family links to the surnames mentioned above, please contact
this website and I will put you in touch with Margaret.
The old sandstone farmhouse was demolished illegally by a local property developer called Howard about the 1980s to make way for housing.
It was an example of the Longhouse Farm, the form of which dates back to the Vikings, where the length of the building is much longer than
the width as it had to accommodate the family at one end and the farm animals at the other, often divided off by just a wooden partition.
[Built in central heating with a hint of fresh manure.] William Emmerson was born at Hollybush Farm in 1808 and was married to Elizabeth
Lockwood in 1832 at Skelton old All Saints Church by the Rev William Close. It would appear that William was the second son and the Skelton
farm passed to his elder brother, Stephen. Shortly after marriage William and his new wife emigrated to Dearborn County, Indiana, USA.
Afterwards they appear to have elided an M and called themselves EMERSON.
Margaret has sent the above photograph of their gravestone. She points out that there are others in the same cemetery and particularly in
the nearby West Fork cemetery that record Yorkshire as
the place of birth, but this is the only stone that names Skelton. Elizabeth Lockwood's sister, Ellis, had married a John TAYLOR, also from
the Skelton area and together they had emigrated to Dearborn County two years earlier. [Ellis was Margaret's Great Great Grandmother.]
So these American settlers were often building a new community of old friends and relatives.
The Lawrenceburg Press Newspaper of July 18, 1898 recorded:-
"Death of William Emmerson. He was born at Holly Bush farm, Skelton, Yorkshire, England, May 18, 1808 and died July 7, 1898 at Wright's Corner, aged 90 years, 1 month and 19 days.
....with his wife he started at once to America to travel life's rugged paths together in a new country. He came to Dearborn county, which
at the time was almost a wilderness, and settled on the farm on which he lived until his death."
The first homes that these settlers built were of logs and have long since disappeared.
[A third sister of the Lockwoods, Frances, married in 1836 Joseph Kipling, Great Edstone Wesleyan minister. The Kiplings stayed in England and were to become the grandparents of Rudyard Kipling.]
See also letters to the Judsons at the Royal George, Skelton dated 1937 and 1941 from an American lady, who was a descendant of William Emmerson - here.
2nd September 2014.
What a fantastic site. I'm impressed.
I wonder if I can pick your brains. I've set myself some research on the Emmerson family of Skelton, particularly those who lived at Hollybush Farm.
John Emmerson (b.1827) was my great grandfather. He was raised on Hollybush Farm by his uncle and aunt, brother and sister Stephen and Hannah Emmerson.
Stephen Emmerson (b.1807), as you probably know, supported the miners and was known as The Miner's Friend.
This advert below appeared on the front page of The Northern Echo on 29th September 1875. (Was B Wild photographer the father of our arctic explorer? ):-
for a life-like PHOTOGRAPH of STEPHEN EMMERSON Esq, "The Miners' Friend".
Photographs of the neighbourhood for framing, 1s 6d each. DUKE AND DUCHESS OF EDINBURGH, 2d each.
Yours in hope,
Josie Bland, Skelton-in-Cleveland.
On the 11th June 1656, Tobias HOOPES married in Skelton Phillis LAMB.
Margaret informs me that:-
"This was a civil marriage as there were about 20 years that civil marriages were allowed. Otherwise it seems that all other records of the HOOPES family is in with the Quaker records. (this record was located at the Teesside archives.)"
The HOOPES became members of the Society of Friends or Quakers, the religious group that was started by George Fox in the 1650s.
The page on this website for 1687 records:-
Tobias Hoopes of Skelton is one of four leading Quakers of the area who buy a room in a house in Westgate, Guisborough for a meeting place.
During this century of religious turmoil, Catholics and dissident Protestants were persecuted right up to the Toleration Act of 1689.
Tobias Hoopes and his wife were brought before the North Riding Quarter Sessions in 1677 for having a "worship house" and fined.
A Joshua HOOPES and his wife were at the meeting and received similar punishment.
They emigrated to the USA in 1683.
[Margaret points out that this member of the HOOPES family is probably the ancestor of the correspondent on page 7 of this website's email section who wanted to know the whereabouts close to Skelton of the HOOPES' family homestead.]
Born Skelton in Cleveland in 1799.
Tobias Hoopes lived to the grand age of 89 and Margaret has a copy of his will  which is hard to read and leaves a farm, seemingly
called "Baysdale ?" to his son, John.
I have pointed out to Margaret that the only Baysdale on the map today is some 9 miles from Skelton, close to Kildale.
She says that Tobias HOOPES was buried in Skelton.
If the interment was in the Skelton Quaker Cemetery, his body now lies under consecrated ground that is now ploughed up land on the road from New Skelton to Lingdale. See map "Quakers Cemetery and Fords" on this page Click. .
Why this cemetery was allowed to disappear entirely when others are preserved is not known.
The line from Tobias HOOPES to Margaret's ancestors in the USA reads:-
Tobias HOOPES 1629 TO 1718 had a daughter called Hannah HOOPES