Our Schofield Family History
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Intro Letter


Edward Hudson

John Edward

George Turner

John Edward's
other children

Philip Edward

Richard Frank

Olive Mary

Scotts & Givens's


John Edward Schofield

John Edward Schofield, your great-great-grandfather, was born in 1856. He lived in Farnley (of course) in a house just above the Farnley Chapel. The house was called "Field Side House" in a little area called "Low Fold". A "Fold" is a field that cattle were kept in, but that was before the houses were built there.

John Edward Schofield

He married Elizabeth Ann Bickerdike whose ancestors we follow below.

They were married in 1879

When he was only 54 years old he fell ill with a kidney stone and the Doctor operated on him on their kitchen table as was the custom in 1910. He died under the knife.

Field Side House

John Edward enjoying his garden at Field Side House.

Behind him is a window, to the left of the window is the front door. To the left of that is another window which is used as the backdrop for the photos below. Just to the left again is a short wall jutting out from the house, it can be seen in the 1930 picture 04-09 below.

The house they lived in has been torn down, but had a lovely garden with 17 apple trees and three walnut trees. They used to make pickled walnuts. As a very small boy I visited my Great Grandmother in this house just before she died in 1946. Everyone knew her as "Grandma Schofield". She was rather active, and at 90 years old she was told to slow down a little by the Doctor. Next time he visited he he found her at the top of a ladder picking apples.

John and Elizabeth had seven children:


JE, Eliz

John and Elizabeth with their children

Reading from left to right, top to bottom, we have George Turner (#3), (Ethel) Grace (#1), Harry Bickerdike (#5), John Edward himself, Elizabeth Ann his wife, Cyril Frederick (#2) and in front are Ann (#6), John Eddie (#4) and Reginald (#7). Notice that Reginald is in a dress as was the custom for small children of both sexes.

George Turner, your Great-Grandfather, has a page to himself in the index. The other children are on the page -John Edward's Other Children-.

Here's a picture of the first four children in 1886 or 1887 04-13

In the back are John Edward and his wife "Grandma Schofield"
In front are (Ethel) Grace, George Turner, John Eddie and Cyril

later picture

Here is a later picture of the children 04-08.

From left to right are John Eddie (#4), Harry (#5), Reginald (#7), Cyril (#2), George Turner (#3). In front are "Grandma" and Ann (#6). (Ethel) Grace is not in the picture.

even later picture

...And an even later picture in 1930 04-09.

This was taken in fromt of the kitchen window, to the left of the front door. On the left is Arnold Toothill who married Ann (#6) and Cyril's wife Nellie alongside. Next is John Eddie and his wife Alice Ward. "Grandma" is seated and behind her is Cyril. Next is Reginald's wife Joyce Chase-Carr in the fur coat, Harry's wife Nellie, and finally Reginald.

John Edward and Elizabeth Ann had a daughter Ann (later Toothill) who had a daughter Joyce Newsome. Joyce wrote a "memories" artlicle for the Farnley History Society as follows:
           My mum used to help her mother very often, so I spent a lot of my childhood at my grandma's house. The large living kitchen had stone flags, with large homemade 'list' rugs over them, which had to be taken out and shaken regularly. The large fireplace, which had to be black-leaded, had a large oven at one side of the fire, a hob at the other side, and a shelf running across the top, underneath the mantelshelf, for keeping things warm.

The kettle used to sit on a grid over the fire. Bellows were used to make the fire blaze. At the right side of the fireplace was the set-pot, under which the fire was lit on washday to heat the water. The set pot was filled from the only tap, with a 'lading can'. Near the window was a large flat earthenware sink, with just a cold tap, and everyone had to get washed there. At the side of the sink was a large narrow table, which on baking days was filled with bread and teacakes - the smell was delicious. My mother said when there were nine of them at home, they only had one sweet cake a week. (a feather cake, made with one egg) and cut into nine pieces - her brothers used to try and find a piece which was cut just a bit bigger than the others!

Wash day was a hard day, with clothes in the large tub twisted round and round with a peggy stick or posser, then rubbed on a rubbing board, the whites in the set pot to boil, dolly blued, all rinsed and put through the wringing machine, and then out on the line to dry. When dry, the clothes were taken in from the line, folded and 'mangled' through the big wooden rollers. The ironing was done on the large kitchen table, with two flat irons, heated on the fire one at a time. Then the clothes were all put on a 'clothes horse' to air in front of the fire.

I slept with my grandma quite often, at first she had a four poster mahogany bed, a magnificent affair. We warmed the bed with plates from the oven and a stone bottle, and when we went up to bed we had a candle set in a holder to light the way.

The windows were in two parts - the bottom part lifted up and to clean the outside you used to sit out on the window sill outside - I used to like this.

Having a bath was in front of the kitchen fire in a big tin bath, filled from kettles heated on the fire..

At the weekends the best brass fire irons and fender used to be brought out, and chenille cloths put on the tables. My mother's family can be traced back to 1771 in Farnley and great-great-grandfather William Preston and his wife Betsy farmed at Manor Farm, Chapel Lane (the house is still there and has been beautifullt renovated).

William Preston planted trees on Lawns Lane and Fish Pond sides - the rooks used to nest high in the trees, and you used to have to watch out when walking beneath them - just in case there was an 'accident'.

Mother never wasted anything, and especially was she careful of water, as she remembers HER grandmother having to fetch all her water from a well, when she lived in a little house on Low Fold.

Our daily milk was not delivered in bottles or cartons as it is today, the local milkman came round every morning with his horse and cart and brought the milk in a large can, with a ladle hanging on the side and he ladled the milk into our jug or basin.

The street lamps were gas, and the lamplighter used to come round with a long pole to light the lamps each evening, and then in the morning to turn them off.

These are a few of the childhood memories - I had a happy, loving childhood, and felt privileged to have lived in a lovely little village like Farnley.

When John Edward Schofield died he had the obligatory funeral card. He is buried in the cemetery on Lane Side to the right as you go into the grounds. It's a large obelisk marker and also buried there are his sister, his wife and his daughter-in-law, Turner's first wife - your great grandmother by blood.

"Grandma Schofield", aka Elizabeth Ann Bickerdike can be traced back as follows and we begin to see where the mental instability that I have been accused of comes from - intermarriage of relatives :-)

her father was Thomas Briggs Bickerdike. He told a lot of jokes but didn't seem as though he was able to inspire people to like him.
her father's mother was Ann Popplewell
her father's mother's father was John Popplewell

her mother was Ellen Preston
her mother's mother was Betsy, nee Elizabeth Popplewell (Ann's sister)
her mother's mother's father was John Popplewell!

her mother and father were first cousins!

Here's a picture:

Grandma's Tree

Another curious relationship will develop below where Polly Bickerdike, sister to "Grandma Schofield" (my father's father's mother's sister) was married to John William Givens (my mother's mother's father)

Life in the old village was very complicated.

The detail of Grandma Schofield's ancestors are as follows, we'll follow the men (did I hear Rowena say something???) from left to right and top to bottom:

John Preston was a farmer in Aberford which is a village about ten miles east of Leeds, about 13 miles from Farnley which was a four-hour journey when you walk! We know he was a farmer, but nothing else, not even his wife's name. But his son was William Preston (below).

John Popplewell (1771-1844) was the village blacksmith, he married Mary (1771-1854) and they had quite a time:

It's interesting that we have all this information about births but nothing at all about lives or dates of death. George Turner, my Grandfather, listed these. One day we will find his source if it's a document. BTW, there is often confusion about birth-dates and christening dates - the old Parish registers typically registered church occasions, such as christenings. They were not that interested in birth-dates: that had to wait for hospitals and census takers who were interested in the date of birth.

John Popplewell died 1st June 1844 and has a gravestone in Farnley Church on Lawns Lane.

William Bickerdike was the same generation as Richard Schofield, but we know nothing of his origins except he was a clothier. He married Ann Popplewell (above), so it's likely that he was born in the very late 1700s (she was born in 1798). William and Ann had eight children. We know little about any of them except for Thomas Briggs Bickerdike who was "Grandma Schofield"s father.

William Preston was a farmer. He lived at Manor Farm. It's interesting that when Margaret (my sister) and Chris Dickson were looking for a house in Northern England this is one that they considered buying! He planted a line of trees along Lawns Lane (they are still there) and all the trees around Farnley Fishpond (see the map of Farnley). Eventually he retired to Farnley Hall Farmhouse (now known as The Kellet's). In 1840 he married John Popplewell's daughter Betsy (christened as Elizabeth) above who was born in 1805 so we can assume he was born in the opening years of the 1800's.

There is a gravestone in the Farnley Church on Lawns Lane for William Preston, died 1890 at 89 years and his wife Elizabeth who died in 1884 at 78 years. Clearly this is theirs. The paragraph above can now be changed to "born in 1801 or 1800".

Here is William aged 75 with Betsy, his wife. The picture dates from about 1875. We don't know where it was taken or what the props on the table are. This is the oldest photo we have. 04-50

We have their marriage certificate. Notice that this does not have a postage stamp on it like the later ones. If it had one on it would be worth tens of thousands of dollars because the very first postage stamp in the world, the "penny black" was issued this year.

William and Betsy had only three children as far as we know.

Thomas Briggs Bickerdike was an innkeeper at "The Half-Way Inn" in Stanningley (about 3 miles west of Farnley), although he moved to a "more suitable" residence when the children got older. . He married Ellen Preston in 1854. Click for the certificate. He and Ellen have the record for the number of children in our family - nine. There were six girls and three boys. The third girl died at age two, the other five lived to ripe old ages. They were labelled "the five Bickerdike sisters" but unfortunately we don't know what escapades they got up to.

The five bickerdike sisters 04-14

At the back we have Polly (#1), Elizabeth Ann (#2) (your great great grandmother called "Grandma Schofield") and Francis (#4). At the front we have Ruth (#6) and Alice Amelia

The children were as follows, and even though this is a long list I promise you I haven't used the word "begat" once:

  1. Mary Jane (1854-1944) usually called "Polly". She married Jas. Furness, and later married John Wm. Givens.
  2. Elizabeth Ann (Nov 14th,1855-Mar 12th,1946) She married John Edward Schofield and was called "Grandma Schofield". See the start of this chapter.
  3. Emma (1857-1859)
  4. Frances (1858-1928) (may have been Francis.) Married Denby Hannam who was born in 1864. They had two children, Edith and George (1891-1973). George won the Military Medal in the 1914-18 war. He was cousin to George Turner and the other children of John Edward, and there was quite a close relationship. I remember George Hannam being mentioned quite frequently in conversations in the 1940-50's.
  5. Harry (1860)
  6. Ruth (1862-1941). Ruth was the Matron at a small orphanage of about 20 children near the Armley Hilltop Workhouse a couple of miles away from Farnley. "The Workhouse" was where people were lodged when they had no money - this was before the days of "Welfare". She lived in her own house alongside. Her nephew George Turner (Chapter 6) had twin boys Frank and Philip and his wife died in childbirth. Ruth looked after Philip for the first three years of his life. Philip is Grandfather to most of you, known as "Poppa" or "Schoey" (Chapter 7). Ruth married Gerald Grayson and they had children:
  7. William (1864-) who died in USA and had a daughter Annie
  8. Alice Amelia (1867-). Alice is the fifth sister. She married Herbert Webster.
  9. John (1869-) who married Lizzie Popplewell

John Edward was father to George Turner who is a central figure and to various other children. Continue by clicking these links or clicking on the menu