John Harley

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Born: 6 Aug 1790 Died: Married: Dorothy Ward Mother: Anne Dobson Father: John Harley Descendant: Elizabeth Harley
Census 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921

John Harley was born in Long Newton, Durham. He was a school master in Lamesley, and married Dorothy Ward. They were the parents of Elizabeth Harley.


John Harley was born on the 6th August 1790 and was baptised on the 10th October 1790 at Long Newton in Durham. His father was John Harley, and his mother was Anne.


John Harley (Bachelor) married Dorothy Ward (Spinster) in the Parish of Lamesley, Durham on the 18th March 1821.

The witnesses were George Ward, Elizabeth Foreman, and R.Dixon.

In 1822 he (John Harley of Lamesley) was one of four people who wrote in with the correct solution to a trigonometry question in "The Newcastle Magazine". This wasn't a surprise as he was a school master!

In 1823 he applied to be Master of Mathematics at The Royal Free Grammar School in Newcastle. There were 14 other applicants. He made the shortlist of 4 applicants, but did not receive any votes at this stage. It appears that the runner-up was quite a big name in mathematics, which caused a discussion in the newspapers.

In 1828 he was listed in a White's County Directory as being a schoolmaster in Lamesley. A Thomas Harley was listed as "vict. Board, Chapel, clerk and cork maker.". In the same directory there was a Thomas Robson who was listed as living at "Harley Green".


They had at least 9 children:

Baptisms in Lamesley:

  • John Harley, son of John & Dorothy Harley (of Lamesley, School Master), baptised 31 March 1822
  • Thomas Harley, son of John & Dorothy Harley, baptised 7 September 1823
  • William Harley, son of John & Dorothy Harley, baptised 8th May 1825
  • George Harley, son of John & Dorothy Harley (of Lamesley, School Master), baptised 4th November 1827
  • Robert Harley, son of John & Dorothy Harley (of Lamesley, School Master), baptised 12 December 1829
  • Mary Ann Harley, daughter of John & Dorothy Harley (School Master, of Lamesley) baptised 25th December 1831
  • Matthew Ward Harley, son of John & Dorothy Harley (School Master, of Street Gate) baptised 1st June 1834
  • Dorothy Anne Jane Harley, of John and Dorothy Harley (Agent, of Willington Quay) baptised 30 May 1841
  • Elizabeth Harley, of John and Dorothy Harley (Agent, of Willington Quay) baptised 30 May 1841

On the night of 6 June 1841 John and his family was living at Willington Quay, Northumberland. For some reason Elizabeth (who would be three years old at the time) wasn't listed, but her younger sister Dorothy (1) was. Interestingly there is a child called Mary Ward (9) living with them, this is possibly a niece of Dorothy.

On the night of 30 March 1851, John and his family were living at Hardings bank no.2, in Westoe. Elizabeth is now back with them, and her age is given as 13. However, their other daughters Mary Ann (19) and Dorothy (10) are now absent. Dorothy is staying with her brother John Harley at 107 Wapping Street, South Shields. John's place of birth is given as Long Newton, Durham.

On the night of 7 April 1861 John and his family are living at 8 Salem Street, Westoe, his daughter Elizabeth is no longer with them, it is unclear where she is on that night.


One John Harley was buried on the 17th March, 1862 at St. Hilda's, South Shields, Durham. He was 76. This would put his birth year around 1786. However his birth year was 1790 (and the censuses imply 1791).

We know John was alive for the 1861 census, and his wife was a widow by the 1871 census.

Other Records

  • An Elizabeth Harley (~1820) was buried in Lamesley on the 17th August 1841, she was 21 years old.
  • Thomas Harley of Lamesley married Ann Hunter of Lamesley, 1st October 1818 (witnessed by John Harley, John Hunter, Mary Wilson)
  • Thomas Harley, born in Lamesley, Durham in 1823 (presumably John's son), got a Second Masters Certificate in the Merchant Service on the 30th August 1847. His present or last service was mate on the "Ann Stainton", 257 tons, of South Shields.