Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stephen Carr (Birth to 1899)

The Life Story of Stephen and Sarah Jane (Catterall) Carr
By: Julie Marie (Allen) Carr

Part One: Stephen and Sarah Jane (Catterall) Carr and family
Chapter 1:  Stephen Carr (Birth to 1899)

Stephen Carr was born to William and Leah (Ferguson) Carr on
12 April 1878 at High Row, Pelton Fell, {sub-district of Chester le Street}, Durham, England. I received the Certified Copy of an Entry of Birth today 7 May 2010, which gave me the exact date of birth and his parents names of William Carr and Leah Carr, formerly Ferguson. These names let me know that I am following the correct Stephen Carr.

I got the following information on Stephen Carr’s Baptism from the following website. I have not seen the original document -- Baptisms Pelton Holy Trinity: Stephen Carr baptized 7 Aug 1878 son of William and Leah Carr. Someday, my goal is to contact the church and get copies of the baptism -- there is other family members, who were baptized there also. You will know when this goal as been completed because I will post it here.

Baptisms, Chester-le-Street District -
Record Number: 475246.0
Location: Pelton
Church: Holy Trinity
Denomination: Anglican
7 Aug 1878 Stephen Carr, of High Rows, born 12 Apr 1878, son of William (miner) & Leah Carr

Thanks Chris and Ann for telling me about Google Image, I am now able to include picture of the church, where so many of my husband’s relatives attended. I’m sure the times were different and rough, but I can picture in my mind little Stephen being held by his parents and brought up to the altar, where the priest sprinkled water on his head. I wonder what prayer was said over him, and how many relatives attended the service.

The first census Stephen Carr was listed on was the 1881 England census, at the age of 2. They were living at Pelton, Pelton Fell, Chester Le St, Pelton Holy Trinity.

The following transcription is provided at the following website;
1881 census RG11/4981 folios 116 and 117, pages 14 and 15
Pelton Fell, High Rows

William Carr, Head, Mar, 33, Coal Miner, Durham Waldridge
Leah Carr, Wife, Mar, 31, Coal miner wife, Durham Wingate

Next page
William Carr, Son, Unm, 9, Scholar, Durham Edmondsley
Mary Carr, Daur, 4, Scholar, Durham Nettlesworth
Stephen Carr, Son, 2, Durham Pelton Fell
John Carr, Son, 11 MO, Durham Pelton Fell and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1881 England Census
(Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2004),, Database online.
Class: RG11; Piece: 4981; Folio: 116; Page: 14;GSU roll: 1342198.
Record for Stephen Carr. and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1881 England Census
(Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2004),, Database online.
Class: RG11; Piece: 4981; Folio: 117; Page: 15;GSU roll: 1342198.
Record for Stephen Carr.

When I first started looking at the 1881 England Census, I had looked at the following Stephen so many times I can’t count them. However, I didn’t have enough information on him to declare that this was my husband’s Grandpa so I put it in my notes and went on. It was really great to finally be able to say I saw Grandpa Stephen’s name as a 2 year old. I also was able to complete another generation with the parent names of William and Leah Carr, and Stephen’s siblings William, Mary, and John. This was all information that up until I found this census and the 1891 England census, we had no clue of. I feel like so much information as come by way in the last few months, that Stephen must have really wanted to be found. Something I’m going to do is research this part of England to see what it looked like and what it felt like to live there in 1880’s. If you have already done such research and would like to contribute to the blog, please email me at, and I will post it giving you credit and link this part to that entry.

I wonder what happened in the next ten years of Little Stephen’s life. What did he do during those years? Did he go to school? Did he play with his siblings or was he to busy working? As you can see in the 1881 England Census, Stephen’s dad William was a Coal Miner -- How old was Stephen when he started working in the Coal Mines? In the 1891 England census, William Carr and his son William are working in the coal mines. I still wonder how old Stephen was when he started working in the Coal Mines. I know some was as young as 12 year old, if that’s the case then Stephen would be starting to work soon. I couldn’t imagine my son (13 years old) working in a coal mine. So many question, so little time to answer. I really wish I had some stories to go with the time period, but at least we broke the brick wall and found his family.

In the 1891 England Census, Stephen was 12 year old living in Bedlington, Bedlingtonshire, Bedlington, Moreph, St. Cuthbert, Northumberland, England. One of the saddest parts of Stephen’s life is that his mom died by the time he was 12 years old. In fact, Leah (Ferguson) Carr died when Stephen was only 3 years old. I wonder how Stephen felt did he understand when his mommy disappeared. Did he cry? Did he act out like so many kids today do when parents pass away at an early age. With the family research I have done, it is very common for fathers to get remarried -- however, according to the 1891 England Census, it was only William Carr and his 4 children, William, Mary, Stephen, and Albert John living there. Does this mean that William never remarried? Or was there a second wife that also died or left. Sometimes it’s great to find documents with your family, but even when they answer some question -- they leave some unanswered and brings new questions to be answered. Not only the questions and answers, but they bring tears to your eyes. I can feel the pain Grandpa Stephen and his siblings felt without their mother. I have so many memories with my mom, I couldn’t imagine not having her.

The following transcription is provided at the following website;
RG12/4256 ed3 folio23 page 2
Baptist Yard, Bedlington, Northumberland
William Carr head widower 43 coal miner DUR Waldridge Fell
William Carr son s 19 coal miner DUR Edmondsley
Mary Carr daur s 17 DUR Nettlesworth
Stephen Carr son 12 DUR Pelton Fell
Albert John Carr son 9 DUR Garfield, 1891 England Census
(Provo, UT, USA, Operations Inc, 2005),, Database online.
Class: RG12; Piece: 4256; Folio 23; Page 2; GSU roll: 6099366.
Record for Stephen Carr.

Stay tuned to see what happens in the next ten years? What does Stephen Carr do with his life? One can only wonder at this point in time, but little by little we will break down the brick walls. By the way, a little hint is that he gets married on 15 Sept 1900.


This is not only the story of Stephen and Sarah’s life, but also the story behind my research. I hope little by little I will be able to not only find documents that prove their family, but also stories that bring them to life. Please if you have anything you want to add to this blog, email me at

Thank you,
Julie Marie (Allen) Carr

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