Cowl House, West Bransdale, North Riding of Yorkshire

Newark Wilson (b1819, Grange Farm, Howlsyke, NRY) lived in West Bransdale in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England.  He was a farmer and blacksmith. His wife was Hannah (nee Wood, 1819-1896)) and their children were: George (b1846), Ann Elizabeth and Mary Jane (both born in 1857 as they were twins).

Ann Elizabeth married James Green and Mary Jane married William Atkinson. All three Wilson siblings were born at Cowl House.

Bransdale is in the parish of Kirkbymoorside, north of that town and of Helmsley (you can Google it for the exact location). The church (a ‘chapel-of-ease’) where they attended was St. Nicholas, at the head of the dale (Bransdale) at a place called Cockayne.


Looking West across Bransdale to Cowl House.


My Dad’s mother, Alice Annie Green (1890-1976), was the daughter of Ann Elizabeth Wilson and James Green.

James Green (b1857) was the ‘illegitimate’ son of Esther Green and (we think) George Moon.

George farmed at Cowl House before Newark Wilson came to do the same, there. Esther Green (1835-1917), daughter of James Green and Sarah Ward, was likely a ‘servant girl’ with other farm workers (inside and out) and apparently George took a shine to her. And, the rest is – erm, well – history.


On Whitelaw Road

This is where the Greens lived when they came back from Winnipeg to the Guelph area.

The house was on the West side of Whitelaw Road – about half way between Paisley Road and Hwy 24 (Guelph to Hespeler), in Ontario, Canada. (There’s a church there now just to the right of the Green property, taking part of the original farm, I think.)

Arthur Green had his ‘milk business’ here.


Doris Middleton was a close friend of my Dad’s mother Annie (Green) Barber


SS Canada

The Green family came to Canada in 1906, traveling by train from Malton, North Riding of Yorkshire, west to Liverpool and overseas on the Dominion Line’s SS Canada. A British Bonus was given to assist them in financing their emigration.

A short-time beforehand, an auction at Welburn Lane Farm, Huttons Ambo had seen to the Greens divesting themselves of most of their farm and household equipment and goods. (Our family retains possession of a written account and record of all sales made that day.)

A Wee Girl on a Sad Day

Here is my father’s mother – Alice Annie Green standing by the graves of her grandparents, in England in 1896. Annie was born in 1890 at Cowesby, North Riding of Yorkshire, where her father James worked as ‘a hosteler’ (he looked after horses) on the Cowesby Estate.


I think the photo captures a visit back to Bransdale at the time of her grandmother’s funeral and burial. The photo is taken high in the ancient, quiet cemetery grounds of St. Nicholas chapel, Cuckan, Bransdale.

St. Nicholas was a chapelry of Kirkbymoorside parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire. This little church provided a place of meeting and worship, and intermittent sacrament reception, as the remote dale was situated some distance from Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley, towns to the south.

Less than a mile south in West Bransdale was Cowl House where Newark Wilson (1819-1890) and his wife Hannah (Wood)(1819-1896) farmed for many years. Formerly, it belonged to Green relatives, the Moon family. Newark was also a blacksmith and though born in Housyke, NRY and marrying Hannah in Whitby, they had started their life in the dale with his working at the Brandale Mill of Sir William Strickland.

Annie came with her family to Canada, on the SS Canada, in 1906. They settled first in Winnipeg where she worked for a number of years with the T. Easton Company before the family removed to a Whitelaw Road farm in Guelph Township, where she met and married Gordon Barber whose father owned a nearby 100 acre farm, at the corner of Whitelaw and Paisley Roads.