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  • BARKER Family History

    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.
  • Tom Wright reflects upon the Barker family in Hampsthwaite

    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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Barton House

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(click on photo to enlarge)
In the land on the south-west of the junction of West Lane with Hollins Lane stands the property known as Barton House, high above Hampsthwaite village. The O.S. Map of 1909 calls it “Throstle Nest” but only one year later, in the Land Tax survey of 1910 it was referred to as “Barton House” and so it has remained to this day.

The survey describes the property as a house and garden covering 25 perches with a gross value of £13 and a rateable value of £9.15s.0d. It says it is a “Stone and slate house standing back from the road. 3 rooms up 2 down. (?) kitchen & cellar fairly good but damp. Coal house at back and good garden”

The survey also tells us that the (Copyhold) owner of the property was George Lewis and the occupier Frederick William Barker a 49 year old Stone Mason paying a rent of £13 a year (to include the use of the yard for poultry). According to the census of 1911, Frederick was a widower sharing the house with his daughter Alice (a dressmaker aged 23) and his sons Frederick William junior (a stonemason aged 19), Tom (a joiner aged 16), Harold (a farm labourer aged 15) and Ernest (aged 12 and at school). Their housekeeper was Hannah a spinster of 52 and the sister of Frederick senior.

The name of Barker is found extensively in Hampsthwaite census records with a number of families of that name occupying many of the village properties [Click here to see the census records]. What is especially interesting about the family at Barton House is the fact that, sadly, two of the sons recorded in the 1911 census were to perish in the first world war.

In the pictures below we see the brothers Harold, Ernest and Tom in their Army uniforms and, to the right, a photograph of Frederick.
Harold, Ernest and Tom Barker
Harold, Ernest and Tom Barker
Frederick Barker
Frederick Barker
Frederick, having emigrated to Canada, enlisted in the Royal Canadian Regiment. He died of wounds on the 9th December 1917 and was buried in France. His brother Harold had also died of wounds in France on the 9th January that year and is also buried in France. Harold had been a member of the York and Lancashire Regiment.

The other brothers, Tom and Benson also served in WW1 and were also wounded but survived.

(Click here to read the Barker Family History, here for the article "Tom Wright reflects upon the Barker family in Hampsthwaite" and here for Shaun Wilson's article on "Descendents of John and Grace Barker")

Returning to Barton House…it will be obvious that the building described in 1910 as “3 up 2 down” could hardly have comprised the large premises we see in the photograph above. Clearly, the home of the Barkers has been enlarged over the years probably by the conversion and incorporation of adjacent agricultural buildings. When the West Riding Deeds records are again available for inspection (2017?) further research may enlighten us on this point. Meanwhile it is noted that the 1901 census shows the Barkers living elsewhere and three different families residing at Throstle Nest indicating that Barton House may indeed be the result of amalgamating three separate dwellings.
Barton House
(click on photo to enlarge)
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