But Richard finally has a family -- or at least the beginnings of one.
The will of Margaret Sands, of Stokesley & Great Broughton, widow of Joseph Sands, names her sister, Mary Cornforth, and several nieces and nephews who match the children of Richard Dobson, specifically:
- nephew Joseph Dobson
- nephew George Dobson
- nephew Richard Dobson
- William Hartforth son of my niece Margaret Hartforth
- Joseph son of Joseph Dobson
- John son of John Dobson
The records of Kirby in Cleveland include a marriage between Mary Dobson and John Cornforth on 5 May 1725. The Stokesley records include the burial of Mary Cornforth, widow of John Cornforth, clockmaker, on 1 Jul 1747, as well as the burials of three children: Eleanor on 6 Sep 1741, John on 16 May 1746, and Mary on 17 Jul 1747.
Finally, the Stokesley records also include reference to several other Dobsons who may or may not be related:
- October 1685 - Robert: Beadnell & Mary: dobson marryed y e 23 d day
- September 1691 - Mary the daughter of John Dobson buried the last day
- October 1691 - John Dobson of litle Broughton buried y e 9 th day
- June 1695 - wee weare Inform d that Thomas Dobson was maried the 18 th day
- September 1698 - Mary Dobson of Stockesley buried 29 th day
- September 1704 - John Dobson of Stokesley buried the fifth day
- May 1705 - George the Son of Elizabeth Dobson of Stockesley buried the 17 th day
- August 1709 - Nicholus Dobson (a Strainger) buried the Thirtieth day
- September 4 th 1711 - Christopher Dowson and Elizabeth Dobson both of Stokesley Marryed
- September 9 1724 - John Carter Barber & Mary Dobson Spinstr both of Stokesley were married by vertue of Banns P'blish'd by J. Lythe
- May 22 1725 Hanah y e daught r of John Dobson of Westerdale aged ab l 4. years bapt.
Could John Dobson of Little Broughton (buried 1691) and Mary Dobson of Stokesley (buried 1698) be the parents of Richard, Margaret and Mary? Could John Dobson (buried 1704) be another brother?
I've searched in vain for more clues online. How long before I stumble upon another lead?
If anyone out there can help, please get in touch.