I’d like to find out more about my an­ces­tors’ links with Jes­mond Gar­dens

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - QUESTIONS & ANSWERS -

QMy an­ces­tor James De­war was born in Ladykirk in about 1759. He was in New­cas­tle by 1790 for the birth of his el­dest son, John, who be­came a sur­geon. James’s oc­cu­pa­tion was al­ways given as gar­dener.

He bought at least five acres of Jes­mond Dene be­tween 1805 and 1809 and built some houses at Jes­mond Place, now Jes­mond Gar­dens.

On the rest of the land he planted more than 1,000 fruit trees and 2,000 goose­berry and cur­rant bushes.

When James died in 1818, James’s son James and his brother Henry (my great great grand­fa­ther) con­tin­ued with the busi­ness, which be­came a plea­sure gar­den.

Do you know of any il­lus­tra­tions of Jes­mond Gar­dens? I’m also in­trigued how James came to have enough money to buy the land and de­velop it in the first place.

Clare Ab­bott, by email

AYou do not say where you have looked for il­lus­tra­tions, but the Lo­cal Stud­ies depart­ment

of New­cas­tle Li­braries has a col­lec­tion of 80,000 pho­to­graphs. A pam­phlet en­ti­tled His­tory of Jes­mond Dene was is­sued by New­cas­tle City Coun­cil sev­eral years ago and there is a copy at New­cas­tle Li­brary. The text was pre­vi­ously avail­able on New­cas­tle City Coun­cil’s web­site, and an archived list of con­tents can be ac­cessed at www.jes­mond. uk.net/Archive_NCC_ Jes­mond_Dene_His­tor­i­cal_

In­for­ma­tion.htm. This lists some pho­to­graphs and also refers to other pub­li­ca­tions that may con­tain rel­e­vant in­for­ma­tion and pos­si­bly sketches or pho­to­graphs.

This his­tory quotes a de­scrip­tion from an ac­count in 1825 that states: “Mr De­war’s new and ex­ten­sive tea and fruit gar­dens... pur­chased with the sav­ings of in­dus­try, af­fords an honourable proof of skill and labour.”

As well as be­ing in­dus­tri­ous, James De­war could also have in­her­ited money. There is no ev­i­dence of any­one named De­war hav­ing left a will in the Ladykirk area (Scot­tish wills are listed on Scot­land­sPeo­ple) or in

the Dio­cese of Durham at that time.

If James had ben­e­fited from any­one else’s will, this could be traced us­ing Per­sonal Names in

Durham Wills, cov­er­ing 1787-1803 and avail­able from the Northum­ber­land and Durham Fam­ily His­tory So­ci­ety. James De­war of New­cas­tle (aged 29) mar­ried Mary Ea­ton (aged 21) by li­cence at Swine in the East Rid­ing of York­shire in 1788.

The mar­riage al­le­ga­tion may in­di­cate James’s oc­cu­pa­tion at that time. Mary Ea­ton was bap­tised at Swine in 1767, daugh­ter of John. Alice Ea­ton, wife of John Ea­ton was buried there in 1800 and left a will.

It was un­usual for a mar­ried woman to leave a will at that time, but as­sum­ing that this was Mary’s mother, Mary may have ben­e­fited from a legacy.

Wills proved at York, as well as mar­riage li­cences and many York­shire parish reg­is­ters, can be searched on Find­my­past.

Copies of wills and mar­riage li­cences can be ob­tained from the Borth­wick In­sti­tute in York.

John Win­trip

Top: A map of Jes­mond Gar­dens; Clare Ab­bott’s great great grand­fa­ther, Henry De­war

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