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Author Topic: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum  (Read 3215 times)

barnitz01

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Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« on: November 04, 2012, 11:54:02 AM »

For many years I have been searching for Mary Simmonds in 1861 Census. She is crucial to my research because she's the only known relative of my gt.gt.grandparents, both of whom died between 1841 and 1851. She appears in the 1851 Census as the aunt of my gt.grandfather, who was a 14 yr. old coalminer at the time. Mary Ann Beckwith married Wm. Simmonds in 1827 at Newcastle A.S., by 1851 she was a widow and pauper in Windy Nook. She was buried in Windy Nook in Nov. 1870, supposedly 69 yrs. old. This fits the 1841 age, not the 1851 (38) however. I have a death certificate which states simply that she died of old age (senectus) in Windy Nook and the informant was a Margaret Brown, who was present at the death. Margaret Brown appears to have been a resident of Windy Nook, Heworth.
I have not found a baptism (the 1851 Census states born Lanchester) which could be the Mary Ann Beckwith who married Wm. Simmonds, neither have I found Mary Simmonds in 1861 and I have examined a few possibilities, including one in Monkwearmouth. There was an inmate (59 yr. old charwoman born Edenhall, Cumberland) at the Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum with the initials M.S. but I did not think this likely for a number of reasons and I have since discovered that this asylum was contracted to receive inmates from Cumberland and Westmoreland at that time, although inmates from Bensham were transferred there about 1865.
I have recently made a further discovery. The asylum nurse at Dunston Lodge was a Margeret Brown in 1861. Unfortunately, I can't establish whether she was still in that position in 1871.
Would the Death Certificate not have stated that she had died in an Institution of some sort, had that been the case?
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Geoff

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 03:28:36 PM »

Barnitz:

     Yes.

     Death certificates always state where the death took place.  That is what they are for.

     The only thing to watch out for is that the place of death may be given simply as the address, no X, Some Street, but sources such as Trades Directories, censuses and maps might well tell you which street the Asylum was in, even if nt which number.  In the case of the Dunston Asylum, as I remember it wasn't necessarily in a numbered street, however.

                                 Geoff Nicholson
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GenKen

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 10:05:24 PM »

Following on from Geoff.

From Historical Directories http://www.historicaldirectories.org/hd/

Ward’s Northumberland & Durham Directory 1850.
Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum, proprietor John Etridge (also Etterage) WILKINSON.

Hagar & Co’s Directory of County Durham 1851, same information as above.

Post Office Directory of Northumberland & Durham 1858.
Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum and Provisional Asylum for Cumberland & Westmorland was under the management of Cornelius GARBETT and situated in the Lowside area of Whickham Parish.

On the August 1837 Poll Book for County Durham, Dunston Lodge was owned by John Etridge WILKINSON.
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GenKen

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2012, 10:58:09 AM »

Quote
She is crucial to my research because she's the only known relative of my gt.gt.grandparents, both of whom died between 1841 and 1851. She appears in the 1851 Census as the aunt of my gt.grandfather, who was a 14 yr. old coalminer at the time.

Can you please give us details of your Gt, and 2 x Gt. Grandparents which may help us approach this from a different angle.
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barnitz01

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 06:12:31 PM »

I seemed to run out of space last time and as a consequence, had to remove the introduction and an additional question.
I have been chipping away at a brick wall for almost 3 decades, though not continuously and not without some success. I have explored all the angles and they have all seemed to evaporate into the mists of time. I have gathered a lot of evidence, much of it only eliminates possibilities and much of it is circumstantial only. I am short of hard evidence and I suspect it will remain so. To summarise:-
My gt. grandfather Willm. Dixon was baptised Gateshead 1836, an older sister 1835, their parents Thomas and Barbara Dixon. I have looked at 3 possible marriages and I'm satisfied they don't apply. Barbara Dixon was in her mid thirties in 1835 and Thomas Dixon considerably older (he was 63 in 1849). Moreover, William seems to have had an older half brother named Matthew Beckwith who was baptised in 1826 (Gateshead) as Matthew Busfield (Henry & Barbara Busfield, not found a marriage there either). If Barbara Dixon began life as Barbara Beckwith, as seems to be the case, there is a plausible link with a Barbara Robinson Beckwith who married a Thomas Johnson Pyle Holland in 1816 (Billingham). There is evidence (bapt. Ralph Holland, Gateshead,1820) that this couple were possibly in Windy Nook at that time (Thomas Holland a quarryman). There are no further baptisms for Thos/Barbara Holland. Ralph Holland was buried 1829 (Gateshead). Unfortunately, I can't find a baptism for either Barbara Beckwith or Thomas J.P. Holland.
I have looked at other individuals/families who may or may not have been related to Thos/Barbara Dixon. In most cases, I could not find a baptism but some others appear to have been catholics.
Thankyou for your help. My name, incidentally, is Robert Dixon.






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GenKen

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2012, 10:22:50 PM »

Hi Robert,

Is this your William and have you eliminated the marriage?

William DIXON, born 25 Jun1836, bapt 17 Jul 1836, Gateshead, DUR, son of Thomas DIXON & Barbara. Batch No.P000592.

Thomas DIXON & Barbara LAMB, 5 Mar 1826, Jarrow, DUR. Family Search, BT’s, Jarrow, 1816-1830, image 376 of 508. http://tinyurl.com/dx4dajz Thomas was of the parish of Jarrow and Barbara of the parish of St. Nicholas, Newcastle.
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barnitz01

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2012, 08:35:50 PM »

Hi Ken,
Yes, that's my William.
As I recall, I discounted that marriage because I noticed that the Banns Register for N/cle St.Nic. gave his name as William, not Thomas and there were subsequent baptisms at Jarrow for a William & Barbara Dixon. There were some previous however and an overlap (2 baptisms in 1827) which I attributed to Willm. Dixon & Barbara Boag (marriage Heworth May 1817). To be absolutely certain I would need a baptism after 1837 and see if it was registered, but I didn't think it necessary at the time. I seem to recall finding this couple in 1841 but I'd need to check my notes. I was more certain about the Thomas Robson Dixon/Barbara Atkinson marriage because I identified that couple in Longbenton.
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GenKen

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2012, 11:34:23 PM »

Hi Robert,

What I sometimes like to do is scroll through the micro-fiche version of the IGI picking out what you think are the children to that family, then see if they fit the usual naming pattern which will give you a clue to grandparents etc. Slow job but more thorough than an internet search and there are a lot of DIXON’s on there, but it may be worth it.
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barnitz01

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Re: Dunston Lodge Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 05:51:23 PM »

Thanks, it's an angle I've not tried for a long time. I've looked back through my notes and I'm fairly convinced that the Thomas Dixon/Barbara Lamb marriage was more likely William Dixon/Barbara Lamb. But there were no children after 1837 so I don't have absolute proof.
We strayed from the original question and I'd like to make one comment. The question was prompted by a thought:-
1. Dunston Lodge was a private institution with (in 1861 anyway) many (perhaps mostly) private patients, some of them professionals and no doubt their families would prefer not to have stated on the Death Cert. that uncle fred or aunt mary had died in a lunatic asylum. Perhaps Dunston Lodge obliged. Just a thought.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2012, 09:16:27 AM by barnitz01 »
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