Thrybergh Ravenfield Dalton

South Yorkshire England

            Pronounced locally Thrybur  Old English Triberg

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Jane Fairhurst Chesworth with children Ruth, Harry, and Margaret.The photo here on the left is of my Grandmother Ellen Chesworth nee Jackson nee Fairhurst and from left to right her children Ruth , Harry, and my Mother Margaret, taken in 1910 outside their home on Doncaster Road.


Ellen's story is fairly typical of a working class  woman of the period, so I will use the story as a portrayal of that time, and also the story of my Mother. The story also depicts the sadness and hardship women and children endured, less than 100 years ago.


The women were often dominated by their husbands, and at the turn of the 20th century still had not been given the right to vote at an election. Tragic deaths , hunger, and poverty were constant companions. Making ends meet was not just a saying it was a very real way of life.


Women back then were great improvisers , making clothes, making meals out of sparse supplies, keeping clean in an atmosphere of grime and soot, and managing the household budget amongst a great many other things. Despite the hardship, the workload, the grimy surroundings, and the heartbreaks the spirit of these women was indomitable.




I would like to thank my cousin Sandra Smith nee Chesworth and her husband Gordon Smith for much of the information in the following story


Ellen Fairhurst, was born 1876 in Wigan Lancashire she was the daughter of William Fairhurst a coalminer and Margaret Fairhurst nee Pendlebury, in 1881the family consisted of
William FAIRHURST Head M Male 34 Ashton, Lancashire, England Coal Miner
Margaret FAIRHURST Wife M Female 28 Wigan, Lancashire, England
Mary Jane FAIRHURST Daur Female 7 Wigan, Lancashire, England Scholar
Ellen FAIRHURST Daur Female 4 Wigan, Lancashire, England Scholar

In 1881 Elizabeth Fairhurst, was born followed by Alice Fairhurst, born 1885, Ruth Fairhurst, born 1888, Henry Fairhurst, born 1890, and Bertha Fairhurst, born 1894 who married Issiah Boone and emigrated to America
Ellen married a Thomas Jackson whom it is presumed died in a Mining accident.

By 1903 Ellen was a widow living at Wigan Road Leigh with her son William Jackson, living across the road at no. 69 at that time was John Chesworth from Prescot Lancashire who had lost his first wife due to childbirth complications. Ellen and John struck up an acquaintanceship and were married on the 25th November 1903, at the Congregational Church Leigh Lancashire.
Two Children were born whilst they were in Leigh. Margaret Jane Chesworth, born 5th August 1905 in Leigh Lancashire; died 25th February 1997 in Rotherham Yorkshire England; married Isaac Doxey. Ruth Chesworth, born December 1906 in Leigh Lancashire; died 9th November 1916 in Rotherham Hospital. Ruth Chesworth died of Appendicitis and Operational shock . In 1906 Ellen and John were living at 33, Selwyn Street Rotherham, by 1908 they were living at 1, Doncaster Road Dalton .

 During this period at Dalton John and Ellen sold confectionery from the back door of their home, and also became the first people in Dalton to sell hot chips, which made them the first Chip Shop in the Village. Apparently the chips were served through the front window of the house. 1910 found the couple living at 30, Doncaster Road Rotherham Both Ellen and John had a tragic history but fate was yet to deal several more tragic losses, in their life's. Three more children were born to John and Ellen, a fourth child died in miscarriage.

Albert Chesworth, born 2 December 1908 in 1, Doncaster Road Rotherham South Yorkshire; died 18 December 1909 in 1, Doncaster Road Rotherham South Yorkshire from Marasmus and Pneumonia
Harry Chesworth, born 30 July 1910 in 30, Doncaster Road Rotherham South Yorkshire; died 21 December 1993 in Rotherham General Hospital; married Lillian Doxey 23 February 1935.
Bertha Chesworth, born March 1913; died 5 January 1917 in Rotherham Hospital South Yorkshire. Bertha Chesworth died from burns received after trying to light a candle from the fire, whereupon her nightdress caught alight. She was taken to Rotherham Hospital and died there.

Ellen Fairhurst Chesworth died 2/3/1914 at the age of 38 from parturition miscarriage 4 months and 10 days haemorrhage and anaemia. Today of course deaths like this or not as likely to occur, but such deaths whilst carrying a child and in actual childbirth back then were fairly commonplace.



Shortly after the death of her Mother, Margaret returned home from School one afternoon to be confronted with her Father.

" Margaret that's it, you won't be going to School anymore you will stay home and look after things. "So at the age of 9 with the sad loss of her Mother to bear Margaret Jane Chesworth was then faced with the daunting task of looking after her father, brother Harry, and also her half brother William Jackson.

Around the age of twelve Margaret was sent to work in service as a maid, at Birkenhead Liverpool. This was occasioned by her Father marrying for the third time and reading between the lines from stories Margaret used to relate, it seems that Johns third wife wanted Margaret removed from the household. Perhaps she saw Margaret as a threat. Perhaps Margaret resented her role being taken from her and this resentment showed to the extent that it portrayed a real threat to her future Step Mother. Perhaps the new Step Mother did not want to share the household with a very determined young girl who was capable of looking after a Family.

At Birkenhead Margaret was employed by the Baxter family, she soon became cook to the household. This move also placed Margaret in the same location as her half brothers and sisters from her Dads first marriage, and perhaps her Father had approached his first wife's family with a view to finding his daughter a position. Later on in life Margaret would often fondly recall those days working for the Baxter's.

Upon her return to Rotherham Margaret was employed by a local family as a servant, and one of her duties was to take an old lady in a wheelchair for a walk. One day on one of the walks Margaret had an accident and slipped falling backwards, as she fell the wheelchair and its occupant overturned and landed on Margaret's legs. She was not sent to a doctor nor was she given any treatment, the result being a lifetime of swellings and pain on her legs.

Sometime around 1936 Margaret was asked to take care of her brother Harry's brother in Law * Isaac Doxey and his family, as Isaac had just lost his wife. Margaret and Isaac were later married and they had five children. We were to enjoy the benefits of the cooking skills our Mother had learned in her time with the Baxter's. Often she would say " Rich people don't eat as much in one meal as you do. "

Margaret used to make toffee and also would make toffee apples, and during the time she lived at School Street she would sell toffee apples to the neighbours.

Although her education was poor by today's standards and Margaret finished her Schooling close to ten years of age, it was said by those that knew her she was a very intelligent woman . Her pastimes were Knitting, reading, writing letters, solving cryptic crosswords, the latter she continued doing, even days before her death at the age of 92.

One of the fondest memories I have of my Mother, is when she visited me here in Australia for six months, I took her to a gold mining town called Hill End in the back of beyond for a week end. There she was at the age of 74 paddling in a stream, gold pan in hand panning for gold with all the enthusiasm of a ten year old, and a happy smile on her face. I was proud I gave her that moment.

* Brother and Sister married Brother and Sister.


Dedicated to our Mothers and Grandmothers, they left behind a memory of proud, thrifty, hardworking women with hearts of solid gold.
God Bless 'em one and all
Text Šopyright John Doxey with additional research material by Sandra and Gordon Smith



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I have no affiliation  with any Trade Union, Political body, or organization regarding the information on this site. All information on this site is Factual and correct to the extent of my knowledge. There is no intent to cause offence to any individual. Should you spot an error please let me know  and that error will be corrected.


This site is the result of over 7 years research, and compilation, should you wish to use any of the content for publication of literature please contact me. The poetry and life of James Ross, the story of St. Leonard's Cross, and other items on this site were compiled, and first published on this site in their present context as a study of Thrybergh. If you use this site as a source, out of courtesy, please give credit where it is due as I have done on this site where appropriate.
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