John Silversides 1790 to 1857

When John’s grandfather John Charter (1738-1810) died he left John a legacy; the probate document provides some interesting information about both John and his father John Silversides, the elder (1763-1829). It seems that his grandparents John Charter and Mary Horsman (born 1734) had just one daughter, John’s mother, Margaret Charter (1768-1808). In the probate document John Charter was described as a yeoman living in Riccall. I found a record for him showing that, in 1798, he had paid land tax of 12s 1d in Riccall. In addition, the Ouse and Derwent poll book for 1807 recorded that he had freehold land in Wilberfoss.

At the time of his grandfather’s death John was a minor so his father, John Silversides the elder, a farmer in Stillingfleet, applied on behalf of his son to the Prebendal of Riccall for John Charter’s will to be proved. The request dated 3 March 1810 was made jointly with William Boswell of Escrick, gentleman, to the Reverend John Parker. It required them to make a “true and perfect inventory of all and singular the Goods, Chattels and Credits belonging to the said Child” and to provide these to the Registry of the Prebendal of Riccall on or before 3 September 1810. They were also required to pay to John Silversides the younger all the gifts, legacies etc due to him under the will of his grandfather, when he “shall accomplish the Age of one and twenty Years, be Married, or otherwise lawfully Demand the same”. The request was signed by the Reverend John Parker, John Silversides (the elder) and William Boswell “for tuition or curation”. The reverse of the signed request records that, on 24 March 1810, John Silversides the younger, agreed to the appointment of John Silversides the elder as his curator or guardian and that he was duly sworn by the Reverend George Brown.


John is my first cousin six times removed. His father John is my sixth great uncle and his brother Mark Silversides (1755-1833) my fifth great grandfather; Mark’s granddaughter Isabella (1830-1885) is my third great grandmother.

John was born on 4 November 1790 and baptised in St Mary’s Church, Riccall on 5 November 1790. He married Elizabeth Brown (1790-1859) on 13 October 1810 in Wilberfoss, Yorkshire, by licence. He was aged 20 and living in Escrick at the time; Elizabeth was from Wilberfoss. It looks like he was then able to take up the legacy from his grandfather. Baines directory of 1823 for Wilberfoss records john as a farmer and yeoman. He also appeared on the 1834 electoral roll for Wilberfoss which records that he had freehold land and the 1836 poll record for Wilberfoss detailed that John owned a freehold house and land. In the 1841 census John and Elizabeth were still living in Wilberfoss with John described as a yeoman.

Wilberfoss map

Map showing Wilberfoss

John and Elizabeth had at least two daughters: Ann (born 1813) and Elizabeth (1815-1830). Ann married twice. Her first husband was John Saltmarsh (1806-1831) who she married on 22 March 1831 in St John the Baptists Church, Wilberfoss. They probably had just one child: Elizabeth Saltmarsh (1832-1854). Ann’s second marriage to John Shaw (born 1799) took place on 19 February 1833. They had at least three children: William Shaw (1839-1869), Sarah Ann Shaw (born 1841) and Silversides John Shaw (born 1850).

In the 1851 census John, a farmer of 17 acres, and his wife Elizabeth, were living in Wilberfoss with their daughter Ann (now Ann Shaw) and four children from her two marriages: Elizabeth Saltmarsh, William Shaw, Sarah Ann Shaw and Silversides John Shaw.

John died on 7 September 1857 aged 66 and was buried on 9 September in the churchyard of St Catherine’s Church, Barmby Moor. His will, dated 20 May 1854, was proved on 29 September 1857 and in it he left all his household furniture and all his personal estate and effects to his “dear wife Elizabeth”. Then there was a clause for after his wife dies which stated that:

Give and devise all my said estate unto my good friends John Penrose Newton upon Derwent yeoman and John Bulmer of Pocklington chemist and druggist … their heirs and assigns

The will requested that they paid the rents due to his daughter Ann, the wife of John Shaw of the suburbs of the City of York, cattle dealer, until her death. Then the rents should be paid to Ann’s children after her death: William Shaw, Silversides John Shaw and Sarah Ann Shaw and their heirs. John Penrose and John Bulmer were named as trustees in the will and Elizabeth, his wife, as executor. The two witnesses to John’s signature are difficult to read. The cover to the will stated that the value of the estate was less than £100 and it was signed by the magistrate.

Elizabeth died a widow aged 69 and was buried in the same churchyard on 12 October 1859. Both their burial records state that they were from Wilberfoss. Elizabeth left effects of less than £50 to her daughter Ann Shaw (wife of John Shaw).

John had at least two brothers: William (1793-1864) and Thomas (1797-1808), who died aged 11 in Riccall. William and his wife Ann Ryder (1798-1874) had at least four children:

John (1822-1888) married Lucy Rhodes (1840-1887). In the 1881 census John was described as an agricultural labourer and lived in Riccall.

Henry (1823-1881) married Mary Ann Pickering (1827-1885). He was recorded as a farmer of 90 acres in Riccall in the 1881 census. Henry left a personal estate worth £330 1s and his brother John was named as his executor.

Margaret (1828-1869) married Benjamin Lacy (1821-1873), a farmer of 152 acres in Wheldrake. The 1871 census records him and his son Joseph (1856-1891) living at Warren House, Wheldrake. On his death he left an estate of under £600. Joseph did not seem to carry on with the farm and was a coal merchant living in York in the 1881 census with his wife Eleanor Lapish (born 1857). By the 1891 census Eleanor was described as a widow.

William (1830-1880) did not marry. In the 1871 census he was living with his mother Ann in Riccall and she was recorded as a farmer of 86 acres.

It does seem that owning and farming land was a key occupation for this family in the late 18th and 19th centuries. I do wonder what happened to the land John farmed in Wilberfoss and to his daughter Ann’s family; I have only been able to trace some of them. If you know anything about any of the people I’ve mentioned in this story then do please contact me.