Blackett Richardsons

Submitted by alkirtley on Thu, 11/21/2019 - 13:09

n 1733/4 Robert Richardson married Hannah Hopper in Medomsley, near Ebchester. Their son Robert Richardson married Ann Re(a)dshaw in St. Oswald, Durham City in 1777, where their youngest son, Blackett Richardson, was born in 1801 at Brome (sic) Hall. Blackett Richardson died in 1823 but the Christian name of Blackett was given to several members of the extended Richardson family over the 19th century, including (William) Blackett Richardson (1824-1895), who emigrated to New Zealand in 1859 and subsequently settled in New South Wales, Australia. He was baptised Blackett Richardson and seems to have added the “William” subsequently.

The reason for the original adoption of Blackett as a Christian name is not known, although one family rumour is that it derived from two elderly Blackett ladies living close by the Richardsons, who may have been godparents to Blackett Richardson. However, no godparents are mentioned in his baptismal record and we have come across no other instance of the surname of a godparent being adopted as a sole Christian name. However, in 1841 the family of Joseph Richardson, a farmer and an elder brother of Blackett Richardson 1801-1823, was living with his wife and children, including a son Blackett Richardson, aged 7, in Red Brier (sic), Framwellgate, Durham City, next to Thomas Blackett, an agricultural labourer and his wife and their married daughter Margaret Cook and her children. Thomas Blackett was the grandson of Thomas Blackett and Margaret Carter (see entry for The Blacketts of Houghton-le-Spring, Cox Green, Penshaw and Sunderland). Also living close by was (William) Blackett Richardson mentioned above and his parents and siblings.

Although the circumstances could suggest a family relationship between the Richardsons and the Blacketts, none has yet been found, other than the fact that Barbara Robinson (1804-1871), the aunt of (William) Blackett Richardson mentioned in the first paragraph above married William Blackett (1801-1865) in 1824. This William Blackett was the son of Cuthbert Blackett (see Joseph Blackett of Durham City). It may be no more than coincidence, but William’s brother Henry (1820-1907) emigrated to New Zealand in 1858, one year before (William) Blackett Richardson did likewise, as mentioned above.

Because of the later marriage referred to above, this tree now forms part of the Main Tree, but for a descendancy chart of Robert Richardson and Hannah Hopper please click here.

It is seems possible that George Richardson (1895-1981) may descend from the Blackett Richardsons mentioned above, though no connection has been established. It had been thought that this George had died in 1955 in Southampton, Hants. but that entry shows him as George R. Richardson. That is probably the George Richard Richardson who served in the Durham Light Infantry in WWI, who is shown as having different parents from the George who married Ellen Louisa May Humby in 1920 in Southampton. The father of that George is shown as the son of William Blacket Richardson deceased, a collier, of whom nothing else is known. George was apparently raised in a Salvation Army family who disapproved of his enlisting in the Royal Marines in the First World War. He was demobbed in Portsmouth, Hampshire in 1920 and settled in Southampton. To complicate matters further, the only birth of an Ellen Louisa May Humby we have discovered shows her as being born in South Shields, Co. Durham in 1897, whereas the censuses show her birth as in Southampton, Hants.

A George Edward Blackett Richardson, the (presumably illegitimate) son of Jane Richardson, was baptised in 1868 in Whickham, Co. Durham, but nothing more is known about him.