THE STAINTON LINE
Various Mewburns have turned up in Stainton from time to time and may not necessarily be linked. A Christopher Muburne was buried there in 1655 and an Ellina in 1668. Christopher may be the one from the turn of the century who had a family of five at Ormesby in the 1630s (see Ormesby page) and Ellina may be the Ellen Lazenbye he married in 1627. His son John from 1633 could then be the Stainton progenitor.
Much later the Marton line established a presence in Stainton at Ingleby Barwick. Members of the original Stainton line had by then migrated a little north into County Durham.
The earliest clear line derives from a John Mewburn and the eight children he had from 1663. Three generations were born at Stainton, though precisely where in the parish is undetermined. Thereafter they moved to Billingham and to Stranton in County Durham where the line died out in the 19th century.
The Stainton tree
What we do know is that a John Mewburn is recorded as the father on eight birth records at Stainton between 1663 and 1679. His wife’s name is not given. There is also no trace of a marriage that might have been for him, nor of a will. There are burials at Stainton of Johns in 1698 and 1703, either of which may be for him.
It seems likely that he is the John recorded in the Hearth Tax returns as having property at Stainton, and possibly also at Thornton and Stainsby (all within a mile and a half of one another).
Only one of John’s four sons is known to have married and had children – Richard, baptised 1668. Richard had three children recorded at Stainton, including two sons Thomas (1695) and John (1698).
John (1698) may have been briefly married to Elizabeth Richardson in 1730 but then married Elizabeth Johnson in 1731 and they had at least 11 children at Stainton between 1733 and 1750 (though one, Dorothy, is known only from her will). There were six sons but later evidence from wills suggests that only three survived into adulthood.
The wills also indicate that John moved some way north of the Tees to Tunstall, in the parish of Stranton, close to Hartlepool.
Of the three sons Robert (1735) was the eldest and, presumably because his father was still alive, he settled and raised his family a little north of the Tees at Billingham. Thomas (1747-1814) lived in Stranton, as did John (1748-1798).
Three wills provide additional evidence for this generation – a John at probate in 1798, Thomas with probate 1815, and a spinster Dorothy in 1822. John was known only from a baptism while Dorothy is unknown except for her will. They are linked through references to Tunstall/Stranton and to properties at Upleatham and Thornaby.
Robert Mewburn 1735
Robert married twice, first at Stainton with Margaret Ridley in 1757 then at Billingham in 1770 with Ann Corps. The first marriage produced three sons, Thomas, Robert and John (of whom there is no further trace, so that line ends here), and the second a daughter, Ann.
Ann (1771) married farmer Thomas Johnson and went off to Wilton by Redcar. On the death of Thomas she then lived with her eldest son Mewburn Johnson at Brompton by Northallerton, where she died in 1853.
Thomas Mewburn 1747-1814
Thomas was a butcher at Stranton. He married twice, firstly with Sarah Cornforth at Stockton (actually in the parish of Yarm) in 1786, by whom he had a son Thomas, then (this time he was of Hart) with Ann Jefferson at Hartlepool in 1792, and they had two daughters Ann and Elizabeth.
His son Thomas (1788-1869) also became a butcher at Stranton and in 1826 married Elizabeth Scott at Boldon. They then lived at Boldon and in the 1850s Thomas branched out to combine being a publican with his butchering and was the host at the Wheat Sheaf, West Boldon – still there today (http://www.wheatsheafwestboldon.co.uk). They had two daughters, Mary Ann and Sarah so this line also ended. Mary Ann did not marry. Sarah married John Baty a farmer and cartman and lived at the Boldon Tavern, next door to the Wheat Sheaf. They had no children.
John Mewburn 1748-1798
The first of the wills, for John a yeoman of Tunstall, refers to lands at Upleatham going eventually to younger son Thomas while John gets Thornaby. The rest, presumably Tunstall, is shared between John and Thomas. Because the same properties are referred to it is assumed that the deceased John is related to Thomas and Dorothy of the later wills. This will is written in 1798 so it seems unlikely to have been for John 1698 (their father), so must be for John 1748. However it mentions a wife Dorothy, previously unknown, and an unknown son, John. There is, though, a Thomas born in 1778 at Stranton to a John. The evidence of that birth helps provide a plausible basis for John, Dorothy and their sons. (There was another birth at Stranton to a John in 1773 of a Robert Johnson Mewburn – presumably named after Elizabeth Johnson’s father – but he died in 1784.)
Thomas appears to have married twice but with no children so the last line from Stainton ended. He first married Prudence Sowerby at Stranton in 1807 but she died two years later. It seems that he then married Elizabeth Unthank at Hart in 1811 and was farming the Field House at Dalton Piercy (which back in the 12th century was part of the manor of Hart, given to Robert de Brus by William the Conqueror). However Thomas himself then died in 1813.
The Other Wills
Thomas’s situation is clear-cut. He has a son Thomas, also a butcher at Stranton, who gets a freehold at Upleatham while daughters Ann and Elizabeth get some income from it. There is mention of money via a trust of the late John and Thomas of Tunstall – they presumably being the sons of John (1748). Then there is money from a nephew Thomas from an estate at Thornaby, and he must be Thomas 1778.
Dorothy’s will was drawn up at Tunstall. It mentions Thomas’s children Ann and Thomas but does not indicate the relationship. However she does have a niece Jane Wood (unidentified so far) and a nephew John Fletcher. John Fletcher is the son of Benjamin Fletcher and Catharine Mewburn (1750) so Dorothy should be Catharine’s sister and therefore a daughter of John Mewburn. The bulk of her estate went to Elizabeth Best wife of William Best of Tunstall. Elizabeth was another niece, sister to Ann and Thomas.
What happened to the various properties of the Stainton line is undetermined. The Ingleby Mewburn’s certainly had land at Upleatham but whether that passed from this line is not known.