Winifred (Winnie) Bedford (1933-2004)

Winnie was born on 14th November 1933 in Bradshaw, Halifax. She was one of eight children born to James Bedford and Maud Summers Fenton.

Kathleen (1921-2012):

Dorothy (1926-2001);

George R. (1928-1987) pictured with Winnie;

Annie M. (1930-2013)

Elizabeth Anne (1931-1990)

Winifred (1933-2004)

Margaret (1935-

John R. (1939-2019)

Here is a photograph of Winnie when she was about eight (I'm guessing) at Tewitt Farm:

Here is one with some friends, Winnie is on the right with her hand on her hip:

And one when she worked at Swires in Halifax, Winnie is on the front row, second from right:

When she was 22, Winnie married my cousin Tommy at St Johns church, Darwen:

That's Winnie's dad on her right and her sister, Annie, on the far right (I am the one with ringlets).

Here is a photograph taken outside of the Black Horse, my grandma, Bridget, is holding Tommy, Winnie's first child:

This is a holiday snap, aunty May, Tommy,Winnie, Winnie's sister Dorothy's husband and Dorothy:

and here is one of Winnie with her youngest son, Robert:

We'll have a look at Winnie's mother's family background first.


Maud Summers Fenton (1900-1982)

At the moment this is the only photograph I have of Maud, Winnie's mum, she is pictured with her youngest son, John:

Winnie's mum's full name was Maud Summers Fenton; she was born on 28th September 1900 in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.

In the census the following year, six month old Maud was living with her mother, Alice, who was 20 and a domestic servant, as well as her grand-parents, James and Mary A. Fenton. They were living at 1 Rodgers Yard, Gainsborough. Rodgers Yard was between 118 and 124 Church Street.

We don't know who Maud's father was but a good guess would be that he was called Summers as this seems to be a tradition with the names of illegitimate children.

In 1903, Maud's mother married George Rothery, who was from Halifax. In the 1911 census, 10-year-old Maud is living with her mum, Alice, and step-father, George, at Holdsworth Hall Farm, Halifax. George is a dairy farmer.

Holdsworth House (I am assuming this is Holdsworth Hall) appeared in Last Tango in Halifax and is used for weddings.

Maud married James Bedford at St John the Baptist, Halifax on 16th September 1920; this is now Halifax Minster.

She died on 18th May 1982 in Darwen. Actually I remember her being in Queens Park hospital, Blackburn, for a long time, so I'm not sure whether she didn't die there.

Alice Fenton (1881-1932)

Maud's mother, Alice Fenton, was also born in Gainsborough in 1881. She was living with her father, James Fenton 49 who was a malster's labourer (maker of malt used in brewing beer) and born in Walkeringham, Lincolnshire, her mother, Mary (Ann), 40, who was born in Hull, and her siblings William 14, Benjamin 12, Emma 11, George 7, Rose 6, Jane 4 and Frederick, 2.

By the following census the family had moved to Malt Kiln Yard, by which time a further daughter, Annie aged 5, had been added to the family. There was also a nephew, Percy, aged 2, who was living with them.

In 1901 the family have moved back to Rodgers Yard but most of the children have flown the nest, still living at home with their parents are Ben, 32, Alice, who is 20 and a domestic servant, and her daughter Maud, as well as a lodger, John Thornley. Alice's father, James, aged 68, is now a canvas bag mending labourer.

All of James and Mary's eight children had been born in Gainsborough.

Mary Ann Gregory (1844-1918)

Alice's mother, Mary Ann Gregory, was born in Hull; at this point we don't know anything more about Mary Ann; she was 74 when she died.

James Fenton (1834-1913)

Alice's father, Winnies's great grandfather, was James Fenton; he was born in Walkeringham, a parish in Nottinghamshire. In 1853 there were 608 inhabitants.

James and Mary Ann were married on 1st March 1866 in Gainsborough (just over five miles from Walkeringham). They lived in Gainsborough for the rest of their lives. James was a maltser's labourer, in other words, he made beer! James was 79 years old when he died.

Benjamin Fenton (1798-1878) and Catherine Starkey (1799-1875)

James' father is Benjamin Fenton and his mother is Catherine Starkey.

Catherine was baptised on 31st March 1799 at St Mary Magdalene, Walkeringham where she and Benjamin lived for the rest of their lives. Her father was William Starkey; her mother was called Ann.

Here is a photograph of Benjamin which I got from and was donated by a family member.

Benjamin and Catherine were married on 17th May 1821 in Walkeringham, no doubt at St Mary Magdalene.

They lived in Walkeringham all of their lives and had nine children, all of whom were born in Walkeringham. Their first born was Benjamin (1822-1915) and here is a photograph of him which I obtained from which was put up by one of his descendants:

Then came Thomas (1823-1910); George (1829-?); Joseph (1832-?); James (1834-1913); Charles (1836-1926); Ann (1838-1907); Mary (1840-1841); Isacc (1843-1930).

Benjamin senior comes from Sturton le Steeple in Nottinghamshire, which is just over six miles from Walkeringham. Benjamin was a farm labourer and was still working when he was 73!

I will look at Benjamin's family first.

William Fenton (1754-1805)

Benjamin's father was William Fenton and his mother was Ann Nicholson (1765-1821).

William was born in Walkeringham in 1754 and was baptised on 11th October. He married Ann Nicholson on 1st February 1790 at Sturton le Steeple.

Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. Geograph.

William and Ann had nine children: Mary (1790-?); William (1791-?); Isaac 1798-1865); Ann (1795-?); Martha (1797-?); Benjamin (1798-1878); Jane (1801-?); Sarah (1803-?); Catherine (1805-?). All were baptised at Sturton-cum-Fenton.

Fenton is a hamlet within Sturton-le-Steeple. William died on 5th January 1805 at Walkeringham. Here is a photograph of his gravestone from the graveyard which was taken by another descendant and put up on

I have taken this information from and it has been put up by various descendants. I have tried to check where possible about the data but it would need a visit to the local area to confirm all of the details. According to the information on Ancestry, William's father was called Richard Fenton and his mother, Mary. I am unable to go further back than this without a visit. Sturton- le-Steeple is twelve miles from Walkeringham. Without further investigation it is possible some of this information is incorrect.


James Bedford (1899-1957)

Here is Winnie's dad:

He was born in Halifax, possibly at Park Farm No 2, Illingworth, as this is where he lived when he was two years old, with his brother, Edmund (1892-1963) aged 8, Clement (1889-1918) aged 12, his mum, Elizabeth, 31 and his dad, John Richard aged 44 who was a farmer.

In the following census, 1911, James was 12 and still at school; his brothers Edmund 18, and Clement 22, are both working on the farm with their dad. They are at Riding Farm, Ovenden Wood, Halifax. Here is a link to a photograph and information about Riding Farm.

James married Maud Summers Fenton St John the Baptist, Halifax on 16th September 1920.

They had eight children that I know of (see first paragraph above).

James died whilst out in the fields at Far Pastures Farm, Hoddlesden, on 17th June 1957. I met both of Winnie's parents at Far Pastures Farm. I remember the farm cats and wonderful roast beef and tomato sandwiches. The farm was high over Darwen, beyond Hoddlesden. They were a very warm and accepting family. Here is a photograph of him working the fields:

John Richard Bedford (1867-1918)

James' father, John Richard Bedford, was born in 1867, I am guessing he was baptised at Mount Tabor Wesleyan Church but I have yet to access the records.

He was probably born at 3 Riding as this is where he was living in 1871 with his parents, James who was 27 and his mother Jane who was 24; his brother George was 2 years old. Next door, at number 2, lived his uncle, Phineas Bradford who was a greengrocer and his wife, Mary Ann and their children Fred aged 2 and Annie 2 months. They had a lodger, Sarah Scott, who was a domestic servant. Then next to Phineas was John Richard's father, James aged 52 who was a farmer of 18 acres, his wife Harriet, 50 and their two children, Mary Elizabeth, 18, and John, 13.

In 1881 the family are living at 1 Sunny Bank View, Ovenden. John Richard is down as 'farmer's son' which means he is working on the 10 acre farm with his father whilst George H at 12 is still at school. The census tells us his mother, Jane, was born in Middlesborough.

Sunny Bank, Riding and Riding farm are all in the same area: from the Wesleyan church at Mount Tabor, go towards Halifax centre, turn left at Moor End Road, then right into Gibb Lane; Sunny Bank was off Gibb Lane towards Grindlestone Bank - there is nothing there now. Riding Farm is still there and is lower down Gibb Lane, whilst the houses at Riding are no longer there but I think they would have been in Riding Lane, which is just to the right (on the old map) of Riding Farm, i.e. bearing left from the farm - I will have to go up and investigate as it is likely it is just a path now.

On 9th May 1888, John Richard marries Elizabeth Hannah Greenwood at St John the Baptist, Halifax. The church details say that John Richard is 21 years old, a bachelor and a farmer, who lives at Mount Tabor, Ovenden, and that his father is James Bedford, a farmer.

Elizabeth Hannah Greenwood is 19 years old, a spinster and also lives at Mount Tabor. It does not say who her father is. However, in the 1881 census there is a Jeremiah and Bridget Greenwood and their daughter Elizabeth (the right age) are living very near at 1 Delph Hill there is also a Nandy Greenwood, his wife Mary and son Ben living next door but one. So it seems likely that Elizabeth Hannah is one of their relatives. I cannot find her birth details in the records, even though it says on the various census records that she was born in Ovenden.

By 1891 the young married couple have two children, Clement 2 and Bertha who is 10 months old. They are living at Grey Jacobs where John Richard is a farm labourer. Grey Jacobs was just south of Mount Tabor.

Their daughter, Bertha, died the same year. The following year Edmund is born.

In 1901 the family are living at Park Farm No 2, which is not far from the small pox hospital at Belle Vue. Clement is 12, Edmund 8 and James 2.

By 1911 they have moved again, now they are living at Riding Farm. It is the 1911 census that tells us John Richard and his wife Elizabeth Hannah have been married 22 years and it seems there were four other siblings who have died. We know about Martha, but I have yet to find out about the other three.

On 23rd September, 1915, Edmund marries Nellie Catterall at St John the Baptist, Halifax, which is now Halifax Minster. At the moment I cannot find any children for them. Both Edmund and Nellie died in 1963.

Clement joined the Duke of Wellington's West Riding Regiment, 2/7th Batallion. His number was 267305. He was awarded both the British medal and the Victory medal. Clement died of his wounds in France and Flanders on 18th January 1918. Here is a short piece which appeared in the Halifax Courier:

Clement is acknowledged in the Roll of Honour for Mount Tabor Wesleyan Church.

John Richard dies at the age of 51 years on 19th December 1918 at Riding Farm. He left £2433 11s 6d to his wife, and Fred Snowden, farmer, the probate was agreed February 4th 1919.

His son, James, as we know, marries Maud Summers Fenton in 1920.

It looks like his wife, Elizabeth Hannah, died in 1937 at the age of 67, but this needs confirmation.

James Bedford (1843-1898)

James is the eldest of six children born to John Bedford and Harriet Feather. He was born on 11th December 1843 in Warley and baptised on 14th April 1844 at St Mary's, Luddenden:

In 1851 the family lived at Highroadwell, which was an area just behind Halifax Barracks, now Wellesley Park and Halifax High School. James is 7, his brother Phineas is 5, Mary Elizabeth 2, and baby Lydia one month. His mother, Harriet is 31 and his 32-year-old father, John, is a farm labourer. Mary Elizabeth dies the following year and was buried at St Mary's, Luddenden on July 14th, she was three years and seven months old and the records say she came from Lower Warley. St Mary's has a large old graveyard.

The second Mary Elizabeth was born on 3rd February 1853 and baptised at St Mary's on 9th October. This is what the inside of St Mary's looks like now:

By 1861 the family are living at 1 Lower Pond, Warley. James is helping his father on the four and a quarter acre farm and the family has another addition, John, who is now three.

On 5th October 1865 James marries Jane Thompson at St John the Baptist, Halifax. James is down as being 21 and a farmer with Jane 19; her father is Richard Thompson who is a sailor. Neither could sign their names. Their witnesses are George Clark and Sarah Thompson.

As far as I know, they only have two children, John Richard, born in 1867 and George Henry born two years later in 1969.

We learn from the 1871 census that James' wife, Jane, was born in Middlesborough. James, Jane and their two children are now living at 5 Riding; as noted above, his brother Phinias and his family live next door with his parents next door to the them. James is an agricultural labourer.

Ten years later and James is a farmer of 10 acres living at 1 Sunny Bank View with his wife and two children. By 1891 James and his wife and George Henry are living at 1 Park Farm; John Richard has gone off and got married and James' nephew, James E Crossland, 14, is also living there and working on the farm. James Edwin is the son of James' sister, Mary Elizabeth and her husband, William Crossland.

All of the places James and his family live are fairly close to each other in Warley. The exception to this rule is where James dies, he is living at Waterstalls Farm, Sowerby - although even this isn't all that far away. James dies on 2nd September 1898 and his will is probated on 8th September the same year; he leaves £998 10s 1d to his two sons, John Richard and George Henry who is a brewer's labourer. He outlived his wife, Jane, by four years, Jane died on 28th December 1894.

Jane Thompson (1845-1894)

Before marrying James Bedford,in 1861, Jane aged 16 was boarding with the Mann family at 24 Cobden Street, Halifax, she was a worsted spinner. Also boarding were her sisters, Sarah aged 18 and Mary Ann aged 20 who were both woollen weavers. All were born in Middlesborough. Hannah Mann, household head, was born in Whitby, her three daughters were born in Northowram.

The year before, 1851, Jane and her sisters were living with their grandparents, at 3 Range Bank, Northowram. William, 55, was born in Malton, Yorkshire; his wife Ann, 57, comes from Watton in Yorkshire, which is half way between Market Weighton and Skipsea. William is a footman. Also living with them is their son, Peter, who is 28 and a power loom weaver who was born in Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby, a small parish south west of Whitby. The census tells us that Mary Ann, Sarah and Jane are all on parish relief. So it looks like their mother has died. But given that it does not say her father is deceased on the marriage details, it looks like he is still alive and probably at sea.

In 1871 when Jane and John Richard are living at 3 Riding, Jane's sister, Mary Ann and her husband Joseph Carter and their family are living at number 5!

According to the information on the marriage details, Jane Thompson's father was Richard Thompson and a sailor. Other family trees say he was married to Ann Garbutt who was the mother of Jane, Sarah and Mary Ann. However, I am unable to ratify this. The same family tree says that Richard, like Peter, was born in Eskdaleside cum Ugglebarnby.

William Thompson (1792-1861)

William was born in New Malton, North Yorkshire. According to another family tree, the Thompson family goes back a long way and lived in New Malton.

William married Ann Webster on 15th January 1811 at Sherburn-in-Elmet. They had seven children, Richard being the second. They must have moved to Halifax some time between 1826 when their last son, Peter was born and 1841 when they appear in the census in Halifax. William is down as an agricultural labourer and five of their children are living with them in Grove Mill, Northowram.

George Henry Bedford (1869-?)

James and Jane's second son, George Henry married Nelly Jackson on 5th August 1893 at St John the Baptist, Halifax. James was 24 and a carter, living in Luton Street, Halifax; Nelly was 25 and lived in Harrison Road, Halifax. Her father was John Jackson and deceased; he was a butcher.

George Henry and Nelly had six children, all born in Halifax. In 1901, George Henry and Nelly lived at 32 Newstead Road, Halifax with their children Percy Thompson Bedford (1894-1967) and Cyril Constantine (1899-1942). George Henry was a brewery wagon driver, no doubt working for Webster's Brewery; his wife, Nelly, was born in Doncaster.

By 1911 the family had been extended by Lewis Hector (1903-1977), Hilda (1910-1990), and Mable E. (1911-1984). They lived at 32 Newstead Grove, Haliax. George Henry 32 Newstead Grove, Halifax; George Henry was still a drayman working for a local brewery. George Henry and Nelly had been married 18 years and had five children, all of whom were still alive.

The same year, George Henry and Percy left Liverpool for Boston, USA; they arrived on 13th April 1911 on board SS Ivernia:

Nelly and the other children arrived on 24th May 1911, having sailed on RMS Franconia:

Both of these ships were lost during the first world war.

George Henry, Nelly and their children lived in Lincoln, Rhode Island, at first in Cook Street and then Main Street. George Henry and Nelly were still alive in 1940 as they are in the American Federal Census but there doesn't appear to be any more records after that. This is what happened to their children:

Percy Thompson Bedford (1894-1967):

Percy married Lillian Beardwood in about 1923. According to another family tree, they had eight children: Dorothy, Ruth, Kenneth, Edward, Alice William, Barbara and William.

Cyril Constantine Bedford (1899-1942):

Again, according to another family tree, Cyril married Ethel L. Collinge; it doesn't look like they had any children.

Lewis Hector Bedford (1903-1977):

Lewis married Florence Gertrude Abbott, as far as I know they had two children, Donald Furness Bedford and Lewis.

Hilda Bedford (1910-1990):

Hilda married Joseph Entwistle and had at least one child, Marilyn.

Mable E Bedford (1911-1984):

Mable married Walter Milos. I don't know how many children they had.