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When I completed family research of my children's maternal family, I decided to research their paternal family, 'The Widdowfield Family', originating in Northumberland County and County Durham, England. I started in 1987. At that time, I did not have a computer, but I did have three names, one being George "Big Nose" Parrott. Well, anyone living in Wyoming knew that George was a train robber, killer and all around bad guy, with a lot of history about him...so I was pretty confident that this was going to be easy. Nothing could have been more wrong! This is the story. My children's paternal grandmother had memory of two names, her mother Anne and Robert, who she thought was her grandfather. She said that her grandfather Robert was a Deputy Sheriff in the territory of Wyoming, and that he had been murdered by the George Parrott gang. I went to all the local, and the LDS libraries but could not find the Widdowfield name. The Federal Archives Library in Orange County in California had just opened, so we drove up there from San Diego and after hours of going through Wyoming census, we found two Widdowfield families living in Carbon County in 1880. It didn't help much, but at least I knew that the family did exsist.
After about two years of searching local Wyoming small town libraries and vital records, I was given the name of Virginia Widdowfield Johnson with an address in Colorado. Now I had a direct line to start the research on this family. Then, due to ill health in the family, I was not able to do any research. In 1999, I made contact with Lucinda Widdowfield Dunagan, who with her father had completed a great deal of research on John Widdowfield. About the same time, Marcia Shiver was looking for a Jennie Widdowfield who had married Eugene Skiver. Her Jennie turned out to be our Jane Widdowfield. In 2000 Pru Augustine and I made contact. She had also researced John Widdowfield.
That same year I found the Fisher and Allison Families in Wyoming. With the great help of Virginia, Lucinda, Marcia and Pru, we completed all the research of the Widddowfield families in the United States.
Since I had never researched in the United Kingdom, I was going into this blind. Lucky for me I contacted a Widdowfield listed in the phone book in County Durham. His name was Neville. I was trying to find someone over there who was interested in family history....and he was. He did most of the research looking through vital records and he did such a good job, we found that we were cousins. How lucky can a person be!!

Our story starts about 1775 in Houghton le Springs, County Durham, England with the birth of James-1 Widdowfield, and about 1776 in Hexhad, Northumberland County, England Mary Dixon was born. James-1 and Mary were married on July 28, 1798 in Gateshead, County Durham, and their first child, Elizabeth was born on August 28, 1798. Elizabeth was bapitzed in St. Mary's Parish in Gateshead on October 6,1779. [On June 10, 1820 Elizabeth married Peter Thompson in Houghton le Springs.]

Margaret, their second child was born October 12, 1801, and baptized November 8, 1801. [Margaret married John Thompson on April 20 1823 in Houghton. It is not know if Elizabeth's husband Peter and Margaret's husband John were related].

Robert-1 was born in Newbottle in January 1806 and his brother James-2 was born April 19, 1808 in Stotts Pasture.

James-1 and Mary's third daughter Ann, was born in 1811, baptized April 14, 1811 in Houghton.

Robert-1 [worked in the coal mines, at one time listed as a Pitman. A Pitman is on the crew, usually the man in control of sinking a pit or shaft of a new mine. At another time, he was listed as an Overman. The Overman was what we might call a Forman] and Sarah Craggs were married and may have had ten children, altho' we have record of only four. They were Edward, born about 1837 in Hetton; William, born about 1841 in Wolsingham; Sarah born about 1843 in Tanfield, and Robert-
The Widdowfield Family-From United Kingdom to United States
Updated February 8, 2003

PHYLLIS PASQUAL
phylp1@yahoo.com

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