What a remarkable coincidence! I was looking at my notes on the Brandon and nearby Fishwicks in the past few days whilst planning for a record office visit in a couple of weeks' time.
Most, if not all, of what I know about this particular family is drawn from the 1881 census, when they lived at 25 North Street, Brandon & Byshottles, Co. Durham.
As you say, both William and Ann had been married before. At the time of the 1881 census, there were three children in the family. He had a son, John Fishwick, by his first wife; she had a son, Joseph Cox, by her first husband. These were both six years old. There was also a new daughter, Elizabeth, 6 months old. The chidren had all been born at "Brandon Colliery".
Ann is recorded as having been born in Wolverhampton, Staffordshire; William in Shipley, Yorkshire.
He is described as a coal miner, which would fit with the area in which they lived. For him also to have a small farm would not be unique, and I have a theory (which I can't as yet prove) that most of the Fishwicks in that area are descended from a branch of the family which combined small-scale farming with small-scale mining in the area between Kirkby Lonsdale and Sedbergh (in the 3-counties borderlands of Lancashire, Yorkshire and Westmorland) from the early/mid-18th century onwards. For him to pull out of the deeper mining of the Durham coalfield and go (back?) to (subsistence) agriculture in his later years would not be surprising.
As to the Shipley connection, there were other Fishwicks in that general area of West Yorkshire, some of whom seemed to move in and out, probably as employment prospects changed from year to year. Judith Kettlewell, who also frequents this forum, probably knows more about them than anyone.
I don't know whether that adds much to what you already know. Incidentally, I've added your dates to my database. Would you be willing to let me know where the information on the precise dates of birth and Ann Maria's maiden name came from, as I like to record sources along with data.
- David Murray -
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