Rosalind Davies' Family History
© Rosalind Davies 2001
Permission granted to reprint research for non-profit use only

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John RIDING and Alice SINGLETON c. 1828-1916

my great -great grandparents

Click here for their 2 generations Family Tree


Birth: August 1828 Cockerham, Lancashire UK
Christen: 31 August 1828, St Michaels Parish Church, Cockerham i.
Death: 29 May 1916 x
Burial: Christ Church cemetery, Glasson, Lancashire ii
Occupation: farm labourer
Religion: Church of England
Father: John RIDING (1800-1869)
Mother: Sarah (Sally) GARDNER (1799-1861)and his wife:

Birth: July 1830 Cockerham, Lancashire UK
Christen: 25 July 1830 , St Michaels Parish Church, Cockerham iii
Death: 26 September 1902
Burial: Christ Church cemetery, Glasson, Lancashire iv
Occupation: House servant before marriage v
Religion: Church of England
Father: John SINGLETON (1805-1870)
Mother: Margaret STANDING (1804-1876)

Marriage: 2 July 1855 , St. Michaels Parish Church, Cockerham, Lancashire
William Riding 1856-1907
my ancestor
Sarah Riding born January 1858 & died single,1 Jul 1935 xiv
Robert Riding born Oct 1860 & died 1920 xiv
John Riding born Oct 1861, husband of Elizabeth, father of George; died 7 Dec 1943 ii
Noble Riding born 1864 & 16 Nov 1867 ii
Margaret Riding born 1865; married Mr. Gardner xi
James Riding born 1868 XI
Elizabeth Riding born 1870 XI
Annie Riding born 1873 XI
John Riding  born 1828
St. Michaels Church of England, Cockerham John was born in Brades Cottage, Cockerham in 1828. By the age of 12 he was working as a servant on the farm of Mr James Bourne called ' Wrampool'. By 1851, aged 22, he was working as an agricultural labourer at the 104 acre farm of James Harrison called ' Batty Hill' near Cockerham. vi At the age of 26, he married a local girl, Alice Singleton in the local parish church. Alice was the second daughter of John and Margaret Singleton. The Singleton family had lived in Cockerham for many generations. The earliest mention in the parish records is in 1621. Alice worked as a house servant before her marriage at the age of 24. Her brother William Singleton was best man and John's sister Sarah Riding was bridesmaid. Sarah could not write and just signed with an X. Alice didn't list any occupation on her marriage certificate. vii Maybe she had to relinquish her position in order to get married. She and John had eight children. Alice was illiterate; on her son William's birth certificate she signed with an X. viii
St Michaels Parish Church, Cockerham. With the graveyard surrounding, it is reached by a long path from the village. This is where many generations of our ancestors were christened, married and buried.
Main Street, Cockerham
Main Street, Cockerham-
where John and Alice lived after their marriage.


In 1863, in search of work as a farm labourer, John and Alice moved to the nearby town of Thurnham (population 687) where the family lived at Stables Cottage.
Thurnham Hall
This photo (above)shows the stables of Thurnham Hall on the right with Stables Cottage on the left where the family lived. The photo (above) shows Thurnham Hall which was used as a private golf club in 1997 but belonged to the Dalton family when the Ridings worked here. The village of Thurnham was a row of tied cottages on each side of the road from Cockerham to Lancaster, used to house the estate workers
John obtained work looking after the horses and other farm animals. By 1871, their eldest daughter Sarah (aged 13) was working as a general servant at a house called "Crook" near Cockersand Abbey. Mrs Mary Gerrard, an elderly widow, who employed five other servants, owned this property. Sarah never married. In 1881, she was boarding with her aunt Jane Hesmondhalgh (nee Singleton), who was a widow, at 2 Brury Street Lancaster and working as a dressmaker.
Another five children were still living at home with John and Alice.
Miss Sarah Riding b. 1858. Sarah was buried Scotforth Cemetery 4 Jul 1935 at 3pm in section 2 class 3 #220 at a cost of £1.14.6. She was living at 60 Avondale Rd, Lancaster before her death. xiv


Crook Farm near Cockersand Abbey
This farm, called Crook near Cockersand Abbey , was where Sarah Riding worked as a house servant aged 13. The house on the left of the Victoria Hotel was where John Riding (junior) and his wife Elizabeth lived at Glasson Docks in 1891. The large entryway was for coach access to the back of the hotel.

Their eldest son, William (aged 15) was working as a farm servant on a large farm of 100 acres owned by Henry Thornton called 'Thurnham Moss'. By 1881 the family was still living at Stables Cottage in Thurnham and John was working as a general labourer. Five of the children were still at home- Robert, John and James were working and Elizabeth and Annie were still at school. By 1891 John and Alice were in their early sixties and still living in Thurnham but they had moved to Brown Bridge Cottage and were occupying four rooms. John was still working as a general labourer. Their son John lived in nearby Glasson Dock and worked as a shipwright. ix

In 1902, Alice died of bronchitis aged 72 years. She and John were living at Station Row, Glasson Dock and her daughter, Margaret Gardner, was present at her death. Margaret at that stage was living at 11 De Vitre Street, Lancaster.x. Margaret had left home at 16 to work as a domestic servant in Lancaster. XI John died in 1916 aged 87 of heart failure and senile decay. His daughter Margaret Gardner, who lived at 98 Ullswater Road, Lancaster, was caring for him and was present at his death. xii They are both buried in Christ Church Anglican cemetery, Glasson Docks. xiii.



i. International Genealogical Index
ii. Gravestone inscription
iii. International Genealogical Index
iv. Gravestone inscription
v. 1851 Census of Cockerham- Alice still resided at home whilst working.
Vi 1851 Census of Cockerham- James Harrison employed 5 servants. John's surname was written Ryding, thus showing that the spelling was interchangeable.
Vii Marriage certificate
viii. Birth certificate
ix. 1891 Census of Lancashire Death certificate
x. Death certificate
XI 1881 Census of Lancaster; Margaret was working for a Mr Slater in Springfield Street, Lancaster
xii. Death certificate
xiii. Photo available of gravestone- 1998
xiv- Scotforth Cemetery Burial Index & Register


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Ros Davies