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Ancestors of Frank Edward Fletcher - 1864 - 1946 (82)

and Elizabeth Stringer Fletcher (Procter) - 1866 - 1953 (87)




Adrian Fletcher comments:  All the basic Fletcher information outside of the name of Frank Edward on this page came from detective work with UK census returns, BMD certificates, cemetery and church records (especially the C of E Parish Records of St Michael & All Angels, Haworth, and also including some Wesleyan Methodist ones), and, on the Procter side, additional valuable and gratefully received help from Bill Harrison and Martin Wolfgang.  In my youth (and later) nobody ever talked to me about the army of never known (West) Yorkshire or Scarborough Fletchers and Procters, until very late in his life my father mentioned that his grandfather Frank Edward had a broad Yorkshire accent!  A good thing he said this or I might have discarded the Yorkshire data emerging from early research - we were after all timid southerners!  Look at how long they lived for - in a community where mal-nutrition - typhus - and even smallpox wreaked a dramatic toll.  And look at how John, then his son Frank Edward, emerged from a sea of Pennine sheep shit through trade qualifications to become a much respected organist and musician.  And finally in the early 1900s the first university graduate - physician Frank Rex Fletcher, Frank Edward's son.


Map of West Yorkshire


A Welsh biased view of the medieval Fletchers



THE FLETCHERS     (jump down to the Procters)



1x great grandparents


2x grt gparents

3x grt gparents



Photos of the Frank Edward Fletcher family 1895-1930



Frank Edward Fletcher (lived to 82)


b 28 February 1864 in Lowertown, Oxenhope, West Yorkshire.  Assisted his Tin & Iron Plate Worker & Gas Fitter father in Oxenhope at the same time as developing an early interest in organ playing - in a church (unrecorded) in a little village in the West Riding of Yorkshire, when he was about 12 or 13 years of age, playing on "a rickety little organ tied together with string".



Later relocated with the rest of his family to Scarborough where he found a seriously good music teacher and by the mid 1880s he had been organist at Scarborough's South Cliff church, followed by the huge Wesleyan Methodist "Chapel" in Queen Street, and had also qualified externally as a Mus Bac (Trinity College, Toronto). 


In 1886 he was invited to become organist and choirmaster at Trinity Church, Folkestone (via his old Scarborough music teacher, Dr Storer, who had a similar position at the Folkestone Parish Church).


Undated Glasgow (why?) studio portrait of

Frank Edward Fletcher 1864-1946 (82)


Three year's later in April 1889 he married Scarborough girl Elizabeth Procter in the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel (built 1839, capacity 1,800) in Queen Street, Scarborough.  She came down to join him in Folkestone and very quickly start a family - Frank Rex was born in January 1890.



Edith Dean?, Elizabeth, Michael, FEF, Ethel

mid 1930s at Dene Court, Christchurch Road, Folkestone


He was still organist and choirmaster at Christchurch, Folkestone, when was destroyed by a German bomb on Sunday 17 May 1942, mercifully before the congregation arrived.


Christchurch, Folketstone

The tower of Christchurch, Folkestone was repaired and the site dedicated as a war memorial garden.


Several census entries



d 1946 (82), Chatham, Kent



Birth Certificate



John Fletcher (lived to 69)


b 13 February 1824 Oxenhope, West Yorkshire.  His brother and 3 sisters were all christened in St Michael and all Angels, Haworth, and John no doubt was as well (by Patrick Bronte) but we can't find his paperwork.


John broke out of the bottom of the food chain woolcomber mode to become a self employed tradesman - Tin & Iron Plate Worker & Gas Fitter, then a "Master Ironmonger". 


He is shown in the Keighley elector Register as owning a house and shop in Lowertown before he moved his large family to Scarborough.


In Scarborough he eventually set up shop at 20 North Street (now demolished).


14 North Marine Drive - the Fletcher residence and ironmonger shop  when they first moved to Scarborough in the 1870s.


Several census entries


d Scarborough 25 January 1894 aged 69 (buried Manor Rd Cemetery, grave P18 - 25) - probate Estate  £771 11s 2d.










Thomas Fletcher (lived to 84)


a Woolcomber who was born and lived with several other Fletcher woolcomber families, in the crofters cottages of Coldwell (Shaw Lane) - on the edge of present day Oxenhope.


Shaw Lane winds from Hawks Bridge Lane / Dunkirk Mill.  On the left are the Brooksmeeting Mill buildings, followed by the hamlet of Coldwell.  On the wooded hill is Upper Town, now part of Oxenhope.


ch Christmas Day 1799 in St Michael & all Angels, Haworth (W Yorkshire) - a two mile plus cold Pennine walk from Coldwell - but this was their only C of E church before 1850 when one was built in Oxenhope.


m Mary Rushworth in Haworth on 24 July 1821.  She died in September 1836.


1841 Census - Widower living at Coldwell (now Oxenhope) (next house to Thomas Snr) - aged 40 - with 5 children aged 6 to 19, including John (17).


1851 Census    1861 Census   - still at Coldwell with daughter Sally then granddaughter Mary (aged 9 and a spinner in a worsted factory) then on his own in 1871 and 1881 - amazing.  Also on the electoral roll as owner of freehold houses - presumably passed on from dad Thomas snr.


d: 1st qtr 1883 aged 84 - no bu record discovered yet - by this time all the other Fletchers of Shaw Lane had long since gone!



2 miles to church - click to enlarge


1847 map of the Coldwell, Brooksmeeting, Lowertown areas showing the 20ish mills


The railway from Keighley arrived in 1867.  The terminus was built near the Oxenhope Mill and named Oxenhope.  It had been hoped to build the station next to the Lower Town mill, but the final slope proved a hill too steep for steam, and coal had to be off-loaded and taken up the hill in horse drawn carts.  Oxenhope became the collective name for all the little hamlets around.  Before the railway, the Coldwell / Shaw Lane area is referred to as "ffar or far Oxenhope" in the Haworth Parish Records.



Thomas Fletcher Snr (lived to 82)


ch: 6 Jul 1769 St Michael and All Angels, Haworth.  Thomas son of James Fletcher of "Far Oxenhope".


m: c1795 - no record found yet


l: Coldwell (Shaw Lane), described as "Far Oxenhope" in the Haworth Church's Register entries.


1841 Census a Stuff Weaver, aged 72


1851 Census "A Proprietor of Houses" aged 82 - Living with wife Grace between sons William and Thomas.  He was on the voters' register as an owner of freehold houses (yep, plural).


bu: 26 April 1851 in St Michael & all Angels, Haworth - Thos Fletcher aged 82 from Far Oxenhope - the slab under which he lies with Grace & others (C191) is now sadly covered with a foot or so of earth.





All called James, all "Far Oxenhope" (Coldwell) crofters, all found in the parish registers of St Michael and all Angels in Haworth.




Thomas Snr was the son of James Fletcher of "far Oxenhope" (from Thomas' Christening record).  James himself was ch 27 January 1746 in Haworth (the son of another James).  James married local girl Sarah Radcliffe in Bradford St Peter on 5 April 1768 (much later to be Bradford Cathedral).  James signed the register, Sarah added her 'X'.  They died young by Fletcher standards, and were buried in adjoining Haworth graves - Sarah on 24 June 1789 (aged 42, slab C-191), and James on 10 January 1795 (aged 49, slab C-192 ).




James was the son of James Fletcher Snr.  In his case we have a 19 May 1768 Haworth burial record (just after his son got married) which records that he was a son of yet another James.  But there is no recorded location.  However, his wife Betty was buried in C-192 in 1776 aged 72.  No birth or marriage records yet.




James Fletcher Snr Snr - was buried in Haworth on the 27 June 1745.  Again, no recorded location.  Also no age stated in the bu record, but would have been born before 1700.  Looks like he was the Fletcher who moved his family to Coldwell / Near Oxenhope from ?.  He was, wait for it, the son of .......



James Fletcher Snr Snr Snr, about whom we know nothing yet!





Grace Fletcher ( ) (lived to 88)


b c1768, Heptonstall according to the 1861 census, but no clue to her maiden name.


m: nothing found yet, so no maiden name. 


l: Coldwell - She & Thomas had at least 8 children there between 1797 and 1814, all ch in Haworth.


bu: with Thomas, 21 November 1855 aged 88, in St Michael & all Angels, Haworth - grave slab C-191 (now rather sunk!)



Mary Fletcher (Rushworth) (lived to only 35)


ch: 20 Oct 1801, in St Michael & all Angels, Haworth (W Yorkshire)


m: Thomas Fletcher on 24 July 1821 in Haworth by banns, with both signing with an X mark.  Witnesses Joseph Booth and James Rushworth. They were married by the Rev Patrick Bronte, father of Charlotte, Emily and Ann and Curate of Haworth for 41 years from 1820.


l: Coldwell and had 5 children


bu: 9 Sep 1836 in St Michael & all Angels, Haworth - Mary Fletcher of "Far Oxenhope" aged 35, cause of death "childbed".  Her grave slab is still there C-213.



Thomas Rushworth



Sally Rushworth ( )



Maria Fletcher (Dixon) (lived to 74)


b 18 June 1837 Stansfield (nr Todmorden, West  Yorkshiire) ch July 21 1837 in Wesleyan Methodist Chapel


Dixon family in 1841 census at Midge Hole Cotton spinning mill (Heptonstall). 


Maria was a young teen cotton power loom weaver in 1851 census, the family living near the Brooksmeeting Mill in Shaw Lane.


Brooksmeeting Cottage

Cottage at Brooksmeeting Mill dated 1826 - maybe the Dixon home for a bit, though in the late 1840s it became the parsonage for a new vicar.


Maria became 14 year old Mrs John Fletcher at the end of the year (John was 27 - twice her age).


They were married on Sunday 29 December 1851 in the new 1,600 seat Wesleyan Methodist “Chapel” in Temple Row, Keighley, on the site of the original Keighley preaching house built in the wake of the first visit of John Wesley to the town in the mid 1700s.



The building is now a mosque.  The journey to Keighley would have been a long one for all involved  in 1851 "pre Worth Valley railway" miles! 


 ► Marriage Certificate


Several census entries with John and their family in Lowertown (Oxenhope) then N Marine Rd, Scarborough.  Then after John dies a 1901 census entry as a widow living with two daughters in Scarborough, and then with just one daughter in 1911.


Had 15 children.


d Scarborough 30 May 1911 aged 73 (buried Manor Rd Cemetery, grave P18 - 25).  Estate  £615 15s.





William Dixon (lived to 76)


A man of several talents (including writing).


b 1810 Shitlington (now Overton), just south of Thornhill by Dewsbury where he was baptised alongside brother John on 1 July 1810


m on 27 Jun 1831 at same church - St Michael and all Angels (we think), Thornhill by Dewsbury (in 2009 a locked church - why crow about the fact that you are one of England's top 1000 churches and then lock the doors?).  


At some stage he and his brother ran Land Mill near Clough.


1841 Census - Living at Lower Mill, Midge Hole (Wadsworth) with wife Susan and 4 young children including Maria (b1837).


Then moved with family (1851 census) to live and work at Brooksmeeting Mill (W Shaw Lane, Oxenhope), some of which is still there building wise (photo left).


Still in the cotton industry in Heywood (Lancashire - near Rochdale) in 1861.  Later opened a clothing (?) shop in Heywood, and was there for the censuses of 1871 and 1881


d 14 February 1887 (77)


bu Christ Church, Todmorden - Row 42, 8 Ledger, with wife Susan and his parents.


probate: worth £605 19s 10d



William Dixon


ch: c1772


bu 13 May 1841, Christ Church, Todmorden - Row 42, 8 Ledger




Mary Dixon (Hepworth)


b: c1776


m: probably 25 May 1807, All Saints, Batley


bu 25 Feb 1847, Christ Church, Todmorden - Row 42, 8 Ledger



Susan Dixon (Sutcliffe) (lived to 82)


Mill owner's daughter


b 5 May 1811 Clough, Stansfield, West Yorkshire


ch: 2 August 1811 - in the Baptist Chapel in Heptonstall



m on 27 Jun 1831 at St Michael and all Angels, Thornhill (above - SW of Dewsbury, Yorkshire and firmly  locked).  9 children between 1833 and 1852.


1841 Census.     1851 census.


At 1861 census visiting dad whilst William and the "kids" are at "new" home in Heywood.  Without this record we would not have been able to identify which of numerous Sutcliffe families Susan came from.


Susan is in Heywood for the censuses of 1871 and 1881 and living with daughter Sarah and family in 1891 after William's death.


d 23 December 1893 (82)


bu Christ Church, Todmorden - Row 42, 8 Ledger with hubbie William and his parents - 25 February 1893.


probate: worth £270 11s 0d



John Sutcliffe (lived to 77)


b c1786 Heptonstall, West Yorkshire.


Cotton Spinner Midge Hole (just N Hebden Bridge), latterly employing c80 people 1841 Census  1851 Census plus 30 acres of farmland.


Then Proprietor, Prospect (Cotton Spinning) Mill, Prospect Place, Ovendon (N of Halifax).  At 1861 census living there as widower (aged 75) with son and two daughters.  Daughter Susan (Dixon) is visiting - which gave us the link between the Dixons and this particular Sutcliffe family.


d 22 December 1863 aged 77 in Ovenden.


probate: worth around £1,000 - not much for a W Yorks mill owner, but he had probably given a lot away!



Elizabeth "Betty" Sutcliffe ( ) (lived to around 65)


b c1791, Stansfield (from census records) - a hamlet later subsumed by Todmorden.


m c1809 - there are 5 or 6 John Sutcliffe m Betty records around this time just for Heptonstall St Thomas.  Sutcliffe was the most common surname in them parts, followed by Greenwood.


At 1841 Census - Living with husband & 6 children (Susan already married) in Midge Hole (Heptonstall / Wadsworth).  1851 Census  Midge Hole - 5 kids & John.


d 1859 29 September in Ovenden



1x great grandparents


2x grt gparents

3x grt gparents


Marriage Certificate, April 1889


Links to the stories of

great great grand-parents











We think that the lady on the right is Elizabeth Procter or Maria Fletcher ..... or a Kingdon!



Thanks to Roger Kingdon for this photo



THE PROCTERS      (back up to the Fletchers)



1x great grandparents


2x grt gparents

3x grt gparents



Elizabeth Stringer Fletcher (Procter)


b 1866, 54 Newborough, Scarborough,

East Yorkshire


Birth Certificate



Mother of 6 (one dying in early childhood).


Frank Rex, Frank Edward Fletcher, Jack, Doris, Elizabeth (Procter), Hugh, Gwen

in Folkestone 1914



Census entry as Procter in 1871


Census entry as Procter 1881  page 2


Census entries as Fletcher from 1891


Farewelling Frank Rex in September 1917 with his wife Ethel and sister Gwen.


She looks to us like a really likeable person in these photos.


3 generations at Folkestone Beach c1928

Elizabeth (Procter) Ethel (Burton) Frank Edward Frank Rex and young Michael


Elizabeth & great grandson Adrian Fletcher

late 1940s


d 1953 (87), Folkestone, Kent


A lovely person, as was her husband.


Joseph Procter


b 7 July 1831

ch 14 August 1831, St Denys, York


Church of St Denys, Walmgate, York


1841 census - with parents at George St, Walmgate, York.


Living in Walmgate and was just 10 when his dad died suddenly in 1842.


No 1851 (aged 20) census entry found yet - where did he learn his draper's trade?


m March 1859, in the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel (built 1839, capacity 1,800 - not the rebuilt ugliness that's there now) in Queen Street, Scarborough.


Marriage Certificate (March 1859)


A master draper - living in and running a large drapers shop (left rear of photo below and building still there today but not a draper) at 108 Westborough - Scarborough's "post-railway main drag". 


Procter Shop, Scarborough


c1900 (above) and 2011 (below)


108 Westborough - the only building in the otherwise very ordinary precinct to have escaped demolition and rebuild.


Business Directory and Census entries from Scarborough in 1861 1871 1881 1891 and 1901


Procter full page ad on page 80 of the

1892 Hagyard Scarborough Directory.


d 17 Nov 1902 (71) in Scarborough


Grave of Elizabeth & Joseph and sons Robert and Benjamin in Manor Rd Cemetery, Scarborough - Grave O 0 - 4


Estate £9,309 19s 1d






Robert Procter


b c1794 Barnard Castle


Druggist / Chemyst - but more the backstreet variety - not in any of your York commercial directories.


m in All Saints Church, North Street, York on 24 January 1819.


Hammerbeam roof with painted angels

All Saints Church, North Street, York


Moved back to Barnard Castle for a while - Children 2 to 4 were christened there between 1822 and 1826.


1841 census - described as Chemyst, home in George St, Walmgate, York (at the Fishergate end), living with Elizabeth, 3 daughters and son Joseph.  Walmgate was one of the poorest urban areas in Britain at the time with "women sitting on the kerbs smoking pipes."


d suddenly "of apoplexy" on 2 August 1842 (48), which would have plunged his already fairly marginal family into financial catastrophe. 


Robert was buried in a public grave in York Cemetery (a five minute walk from his house!) along with 9 other unrelated people (cost 4s 6d each) (grave 8068 co-ord U20). 



At some stage post 1873 a "family headstone" was erected (probably by Joseph, who was his only son and had "made it" by then) commemorating Robert, Elizabeth and three of their daughters.  Of those mentioned on the headstone only Robert is actually buried in this grave, whilst one of the daughters is buried elsewhere in the cemetery (Elizabeth Lazenby, d1865, grave 6733) and wife Elizabeth lies in St Mary, Haxby.





Joseph Procter


Chemyst etc in Barnard Castle - the shop is still there (now an opticians)


ch 21 January 1764 in Rokeby



m1 12 March 1792 Barnard Castle (St Marys)


Parish Church of St Mary, Barnard Castle


Procter Chemyst, Tea etc Shop (white)

Barnard Castle


1827 Parson & White Barnard Castle Directory shows Joseph 3 times - as the Sun Insurance Agent, a Druggist and a Grocer and Tea Dealer  - the directory gives a fascinating insight into the trades that existed in an early 1800s market town - including 3 gingerbread bakers.


1841 Census - retired & living in Barnard Castle


Buried December 1847 (83) in St Marys Barnard Castle - we think in the same grave as his three wives and various infant children.  Link to his will.




Joseph's father was Robert Procter (1730 - 1799 (69)), latterly a farmer in the Barnard Castle area.  He lived in Staindrop, Brignall, and the Rokeby /  Barnard Castle area and married Elizabeth Hall (1737 - 1805 (68)) in Brignall on 15 May 1758.  They were both buried in St Marys, Barnard Castle on either side of the end of the century but no grave survives.




Robert's father was another Robert - Robert Procter (see Robert Procter's Descendants) (Moorside, Staindrop) and his mother was Ann Musgrave (buried in Staindrop, June 1733).  Robert senior remarried in Staindrop in February 1734 (Mary Elizabeth Calvert).  Later in the 1700s Robert and Mary lived in Brignall, near Greta Bridge, where he was Overseer, Constable and Churchwarden in the riverside hamlet-round-a-mill which has all since disappeared.




Joseph had 3 wives:


1. Mary Harrison (1764 - 1797 (33) - Mother of Robert (left) and Harrison Procter.

2. Mary Monkhouse (1770 - 1801 (31)) - no children

3. Alice Procter (Horne) (1769 - 1829 (60)) - 7 children, Wesleyan Methodist christenings.



All were buried in the same grave in St Marys, Barnard Castle, along with a few little children.  We think that Joseph is probably there as well!



Elizabeth Procter (then Kettlewell)  (née Ashton)


ch 6 September 1801 in St Olave, York - youngest of around 6 children.


m in All Saints Church, North Street, York on 24 January 1819



Robert's wife Elizabeth was 40 when he died suddenly in 1842.  Nearly 20 years later (in October 1861) she married George Kettlewell, a widower from Haxby, in St Marys Parish Church, Birkenhead.


d Sept 22 1873 (72) and buried in the Parish Church of St Mary, Haxby (grave 22/09). George died at their home in Haxby in June 1876, aged 78, and was buried alongside Elizabeth.



Also in the Haxby churchyard is the grave of her daughter Martha Britton (d 1867 aged 32 after just 3 year's of marriage - grave 18 / 10)



John Ashton


b ?


m 20 Oct 1783, Bubwith (All Saints Church), Yorkshire (NE of Selby on the River Derwent).


By the end of the 1700s was living in the Parish of St Olave, York.


A labourer and coachman (as per the second marriage record of daughter Elizabeth), residing in the Parish of All Saints in 1819.


All Saints Church, Bubwith



Sarah Ashton (Stubbins)


b Sept 1760 - Bubwith (Yorkshire)


m 20 Oct 1783, Bubwith (All Saints Church)


Link to Bubwith - A One Place Study




Sarah (above) was the daughter of Joseph Stubings (sic) and Saray Stubings (Heels)


m 26 Nov 1745, Bubwith.




Procter Shop, Scarborough

108 Westborough (distant right)



Elizabeth Procter (Dobson)


ch 11 Jul 1832, St Marys, Scarborough




m March 1859, in the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel  in Queen Street, Scarborough.


Pre Marriage Census entries in 1841 and 1851


m March 1859, in the Wesleyan Centenary Chapel (built 1839, capacity 1,800 - not the rebuilt ugliness that's there now) in Queen Street, Scarborough.


d 16 February 1911 (78) in Scarborough (buried with Joseph in Manor Rd Cemetery grave O 0 - 4).


Estate £1,328 14s 4d



Matthew Dobson


b c1804 - no records yet


m 27 December 1827, St Mary's Parish Church, Scarborough (parish record).


Master Mariner (deceased) as per daughter's 1859 wedding certificate; Sailor (alive) as per daughter's 11 July 1832 baptism record.


d before 1851 census (wife a widow), though not around at 1841 census either, and lack of further children after Elizabeth indicates death or disappearance possibly as early as 1833 (ie before government records started).  No grave or ancestors in the records of the Scarborough cemeteries or  church records yet.



Matthew Dobson's parents presently unknown.




Scarborough - St Mary's church on the ridge of the hill leading to the castle - the artillery fire traded between the two in the civil war finished the castle and nearly did the same to the church.  The church's records include Stringer marriages at least back to 1743-44, before which they appear to have been a populous Sussex family group.



Elizabeth Dobson (Stringer)


Christened 19 Oct 1803 at St Marys Parish Church, Scarborough.  We have traced her Stringer ancestors back three generations to the early 1700s in the Scarborough  library held records of St Mary's church.



m 27 December 1827, St Mary's Parish Church, Scarborough (church record).


Seamstress / milliner listed in White's 1840 Directory under "Miscellany of Trades" at 6 Tanner Street. 


Census entries in 1841 1851 1861 & 1871 Mostly living in Wilsons Almshouses (aka hospital).


d 1880 (77) Scarborough - Grave in Dean Road Cemetery - C 15-23 .




William Stringer

b Nov 1777

m 13 Aug 1797 - St Marys, Scarborough

William was a Cordwainer




William's parents were Edmund  Stringer (b1745), a Scarborough Cordwainer, and Elizabeth Irish of Bluntisham cum Earith (Huntingdon) (b1748) - m 31 Oct 1776. (St Mary, Scarborough).  She was the daughter of William & Mary Irish (Bell) of Bluntisham-cum-Earith (m Jul 1744).





Edmond's parents were Francis & Arabella Stringer (Darlington) - m 31 Mar 1743.(St Mary, Scarborough)

It is possible he was a Cordwainer, but so far we don't know where either of them where christened.




Mary Stringer (Short)

m 13 Aug 1797 - St Marys, Scarborough


St Mary, Scarborough


Not sure where she came from either!



1x great grandparents


2x grt gparents

3x grt gparents



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