She was born 01 Aug 1829 in Wetwang With Fimber, Yorkshire, and died 15 May 1907 in Birks Farm, Buttercrambe.
She married James Midgley 27 Nov 1848 in Westow, North Yorkshire, son of Jane Watson. He was born 1825 in Appleton, Yorkshire, and died 16 Mar 1902 in Birks Farm, Buttercrambe.
The daughter of a Farm Labourer, she married at 18 and had thirteen children in 23 years; a son, five daughters, a son, five daughters and finally a son.
She was brought up in Fimber, a small village on the Sledmere Estate and as a child she remembered knitting stockings for the estate.
According to her grandson Oswald, she first met James when he was ‘leading’ (carting) wood for the York to Scarborough Railway. She was in service at Ferriby when the first train ran on the line and she went out and waved at it. (7th July 1845) They were married at Westow Church.
“Grandmother used to talk about not going away for 20 years and she was “breeding them” for 20 years. A boy 5 girls, a boy, 5 girls and a boy. Grandmother kept bees and had her own honey.
In later years he remembers that she went a bit senile and used to forget where she was.
A Spanish Cavalier, stood in his retreatAnd on his gold top lay the jewel dearThe music was sweet, he'd oft times repeatThe blessings of my country and you dear Say darling say, when I am far awaySometimes you may think of me dearBright sunny days will soon fade wayRemember what I say and be true dear And when the war is o'er to you I'll returnBack to my country and you dearBut if I should fall, in vain I'll recallThe blessings of my country and you dear. Say darling say, when I am far awaySometimes you may think of me dearBright sunny days will soon fade awayRemember what I say and be true dear.
“She would take my hand and say "Come on bairn, we're away to Fimmer." She used to be always setting off across the fields to Stamford and we'd to fetch her back. This is what my grandmother used to sing to us every night. It’s about a Spanish Cavalier saying goodbye to his sweetheart before going to the war;
According to family memories, she never learned to read and write - there was no school in the village of Fimber when she was a child and the one in Wetwang was not built until she was 14.
1841 Census - Fimber
Ruth was shown as an 11 year old child, the oldest of 8 then still at home, the youngest of whom was only 6 months old. Her father William was 48 and an agricultural labourer. Her mother was 43.
1851 Census - Strensall
Now 23 and married to James Midgley, an agricultural labourer, she already had two children, a son of 1 and a daughter of 3 months, both born in Strensall.
1861 Census - Sheriff Hutton
Her age was shown as 32 and her husband was now Hind for William Linton. She now had 5 children at home, the oldest Aaron at 11 and the youngest William at 5 months. (Jane who would have now been 10 is not shown). At the time of the census, her sister Sarah who was 18 and a Farmers Servant was visiting as was John Elliot, a carter aged 19.
1871 Census Sheriff Hutton - Low Roans
Her age was now 43 and her husband had progressed to become the Farm Bailiff. She now had 8 children at home, the oldest Sophia who was 15 and the youngest caroline at 2 months. There were also 2 servants, Thomas Steedon and John Morten, both aged 18
1881 Census Sheriff Hutton - Home Farm
Now given as 54 her husband had progressed to tenancy of the 80 acre Home Farm. There were seven of her children at home, including her eldest Aaron who was now 31 and the youngest was George at 8. Her grandson William was also there, aged 8.
More about her husband James Midgley and their family
The children of Ruth Lockwood and James Midgley were:
- i. Aaron Midgley, born 1850 in Strensall, North Yorkshire. He married Susannah Paley 1872 in Leeds Registration District; born 1853 in Linton Woods, Yorkshire
- ii. Hannah Jane Midgley, born 1851 in Strensall, North Yorkshire; died 1855 in Easingwold. Her niece Carrie Falkingham recalled a family story about her; “When there was a fever on - I don't know what year that was but Hannah Jane & Elizabeth were two of James kiddies & their grandmother who lived with them were sent to Easingwold out of the way of this fever. And they came back and they all 3 got it and they all 3 died.” Hannah Jane Midgley's death is registered in the Jan-Feb-Mar quarter of 1855 in the District of York. Her sister Elizabeth and her Grandmother, Jane Styan's deaths are registered in the previous quarter.
- iii. Elizabeth Midgley, born 11 Mar 1852 in Strensall, North Yorkshire; died 1854 in Strensall, North Yorkshire.
- Elizabeth Midgley's death was registered in the Oct-Nov-Dec Quarter of 1854 in the district of York. She was buried on 08 Dec 1854 at Strensall. Her grandmother, Jane Styan's death is registered in the same quarter and her sister Hannah's in the following quarter.
- iv. Sophia Midgley, born 1856 in Strensall, North Yorkshire; died 18 Aug 1945. She married (1) Henry Woodliffe 25 Nov 1878 in Moreton cum Moxby; born 20 Sep 1855 in Ulceby, Lincolnshire; died 29 Oct 1908 in Primrose Hill Farm. She married (2) Albert Edward Palk 24 Dec 1914 in Register Office, York; born 1862 in Clevedon, , Somerset, England.
- v. Sarah Jane Midgley, born 1857 in Strensall, North Yorkshire; died in . She married James Mawe; born 1850; died 20 Jul 1916 in Elland.
- vi. Anne Elizabeth Midgley, born 1859 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire; died in . She married Mark Blanshard 1889; died Apr 1939 in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
- vii. William Midgley, born 1861 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire; died in . He married Clara; born 1852 in Helmsley Gate
- viii. Mary Midgley, born 1864 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire; died 17 Mar 1942 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire. She married George Hodgeson.
- ix. Selina Midgley, born 1865 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire; died in . She married William Lofthouse 1898.
- x. Harriet Midgley, born 19 Apr 1867 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire; died 05 Sep 1922 in Charles XII Inn, Heslington. She married Joseph William Wallis 02 Oct 1894 in Bossall; born 1867
- xi. Hannah Midgley, born 1869 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire; died in Newcastle. She married Ned Eliot; died 13 May 1955.
- xii. Caroline Midgley, born 1871 in Sheriff Hutton, North Yorkshire; died 03 Dec 1965 in Laburnham Farm, Wistow. She married William Jackson 22 Jun 1904.
- xiii. George Midgley, born 29 Nov 1872 in High Roans, Sheriff Hutton; died 15 Sep 1943 in Crosslands Estate, Stamford Bridge, Yorkshire. He married Elizabeth Rose Humphries 22 Jun 1898 in Birmingham; born 14 Jun 1867 in Newnham On Severn, Gloucestershire; died 15 Sep 1953 in Stamford Bridge, East Yorkshire.