Images for Barker Family History Article
Descendants of John and Grace BarkerbyShaun L Wilson – February 2017
Barker families have resided in Hampsthwaite since the early seventeenth century and were extensive in the area during the nineteenth century. From the 1881 England Census for Hampsthwaite taken on 3rd April that year, Barker was the most popular name totalling 57 out of 457 people enumerated – 12.5% of those recorded living in Hampsthwaite at the time of that census.
From the registers of Hampsthwaite parish, Barkers were in existence as early as 1610. The earliest Barker mentioned is John Barker, son of Peter who was baptised on 17th March that year.Where Hampsthwaite is mentioned in this article it refers to both village and parish. We will never know exactly where the early Barker’s dwelling houses were as they are not recorded in either the parish registers or on the early census returns, but it is assumed that they lived in the village or within the parish. It was not until the England Census of 1911 that full address details were given together with the total number of children born alive to the present marriage of the head of the family.
As far as I can ascertain there were no Barkers in Hampsthwaite prior to the 18th century. The earliest reference I could find was to the marriage of John Barker, a tailor, to Ann Messenger (daughter of William Messenger) in the parish church sometime near the beginning of the 1700s. I don’t know from whence he originated.They had several children, as did all the Barkers, but I have only recorded my own direct ancestors. They were his son James Barker (1744) & Hannah Dousland; William Barker (1781) & Catherine Swale; John Barker (1810) & Mary Nutter; George Barker (1845) & Sarah ??? who themselves produced Rowland Barker and siblings. He married Eliza Jackson (from an even older family in Birstwith) and they were my maternal Grandparents.(See also and )
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Minutes from Parish Council meetings in 2017
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Beware of Computer Scams
If you receive a phone call purporting to be from Microsoft support or similar, to say that your computer has sent them a critical error message, ignore it even if they have your phone number and name!They will get you to visit a particular web page in your web browser. Something on the web page will enable them to have control of your computer. They can then load spyware, steal passwords or just use your machine to relay other illegal content, for example.If you think it might be genuine (VERY unlikely!), thank the caller, put the phone down, then contact your computer supplier or Microsoft Support yourself - see http://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
Whenever you receive an unexpected email just copy the subject line or part of its text and paste it into Google. You will soon discover if it is a scam. NEVER open links or accept attachments from emails you are unsure of. Remember: if it sounds too good to be true; it probably is!
Check the programme of film screenings by visiting the Hampsthwaite Picture House website. Films screened at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated.
Come along and enjoy an evening with family and friends sat at our convivial, candle-lit tables with refreshments, 'nibbles', food and bar as appropriate to the film being shown.
Tickets available from Hampsthwaite Post Office ( or at the door if available) - why not book a table and come as a group?
(click on photo to enlarge)
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If the date-stone (1755) built into this house is correct then the property is one of the oldest in Church Lane and probably contemporary with The Lamb Inn on the opposite side of the road. However, the several architectural styles evident in the photograph above strongly suggest a series of changes to the accommodation over the centuries. To the left of the picture we see what appears to be a double - fronted building with matching bay windows. Its style is consistent with a construction date early in Victorian times. The pediment over the central ground-floor window suggests the existence of a central doorway there when first built but the position of a chimney-breast above is odd (if both bays were constructed at the same time would not the chimney have been constructed on the right-hand gable wall?). There is a difference of proportion in the further section of building to the right of the second bay albeit it has a continuous roof with the rest of the building on the left. The further section of the house on the extreme right has a different and more antiquated roof altogether! That right-hand section, moreover, appears much older than the rest of the building. It may be that section which is the earliest and that the house has been extended southwards several times over the years.
Jeffrey's Map of 1770 is the earliest map we can presently refer to but it is crudely drawn and unreliable - it shows the parish church standing on this site! The first Ordnance Survey Map of 1853 shows some portion of the present house standing on the site but, again, is of scale difficult to reconcile with the present layout. The strongest evidence for the antiquity of the house (or parts of it) comes from the title deeds (as to which please click on previous owners).
(click photo to enlarge)
This photograph from the early 20th century gives a glimpse of the handsome iron railings which once surmounted the front boundary wall - another victim, no doubt, of the drive for scrap metal material during the second world war! Another old photograph recently to hand gives an even better view of the railings (and a glimpse of an interesting conversation?).
(click photo to enlarge)
The house has had a number of distinguished occupants including several medical practitioners. In "Harrogate and the Forest of Knaresborough" published 1871, William Grainge says that it was the residence "of the late Mr. Bilton Josephus Wilson, who was an extensive landowner in this district, as well as the most munificent benefactor the parish of Hampsthwaite ever had. On the mother's side he was descended from the old and respectable family of Bilton, who have been landowners in the Forest of Knaresborough from a very early period . . . (his mother, Mary, married Joseph Wilson, later Vicar of Hampsthwaite, and Bilton was born in 1778. He married Sarah Simpson in 1836 and died, without issue, in 1866. Sarah died in 1869). . . Mr. Wilson was educated for the medical profession, but never practised, except among his poor neighbours, to whom (before a doctor settled in the village) he freely gave his advice and medicine. During the whole of his life he was remarkably benevolent and kind to the poor. He died somewhat suddenly, though slightly indisposed; he took tea as usual on the day of his death, when a fainting fit came on, from which he never recovered. When the school in Hampsthwaite was built he was the largest subscriber; and on the 25th of January, 1865, he transferred £1,500, new three per cent annuities, to four trustees, to form a perpetual endowment for the said school. By his will he bequeathed £100 to the Leeds Infirmary, £100 to the Harrogate Bath Hospital, £100 to the Church Missionary Society, £100 to the Society of Oddfellows at Hampsthwaite, and directed his executors to distribute his annual gift of £40 to the poor of the village, on the New Year's Day next after his decease" Annie Pawson (see Book One) refers to one of the last medical practitioners when she says . . . "There was a resident doctor in the village, Dr. Ashby, who died in 1913. My brother, born in 1912, was the last baby that he brought into the world. He lived at Thimbleby House, where the Bowen's are now (i.e. in 1981-followed by the Faber's and then the Hudson's), for years and years. He had a family born to him there. The house had a very wide back door and, if anyone went for medicine at night, the housekeeper would answer the door, ask what was wanted and pass the packet through a plate-sized hole in the door, which had a shutter that swivelled round. There were no free prescriptions then and the doctor would do little operations himself. He was marvellous."
Click here for census returns.