Frederick Crosby

Meet the Relative

Frederick Crosby was my great great uncle. I never knew him.

He was born in Tunstall in Suffolk in 1845. His parents were James Crosby and Mary Ann Cullingford Smith who were my great great grandparents. Don’t get any idea that the double barrelled surname of Mary Ann implied any kind of high status. It was quite the reverse. Her father was born out of wedlock and was officially a Smith but used the name of his dad (and mum when they married) of Cullingford.

But let’s look at Frederick. By 1851 his parents had moved down the road to Butley and we can find Fred there for both the 1851 and 1861 censuses.

Frederick then became a part of the family exodus from Suffolk and in 1871 we find him working on a farm near Tillingham in Essex. Several members of the Crosby family moved there.

But agriculture was very depressed and Frederick moved to Durham to become a miner. Here he married a girl from East Anglia called Ann Smith. I say a girl, but she was already 41 when they married in 1878. She was a widow and her maiden surname was Buck.  They had a daughter, Mary Ann Crosby who was born in 1880. She died in 1960.

In 1881 Fred, Ann with children from her first marriage and baby Mary were in Consett and Fred was a miner. The 1891 address was lovely – Delight Bank in Collierley, Durham.

Ann died in 1897. There is a memorial card.


In 1901 we find just Fred and daughter Mary Ann in Collierley with Fred now working as a roadman.

Fred remarried in 1904 his wife was Elizabeth Skipper. She was a widow, nearly twenty years younger than Fred. She brought her children to the marriage. The following year they had a son, also Frederick Crosby.

I wonder if this photo of Fred senior dates from around that time.


The 1911 census shows the family in Collierley.

Frederick died in 1929. Elizabeth in 1944.

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