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Webster Genealogy Welcome

Leeds, San Francisco, Southport, Connecticut
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(Charles) Benjamin Webster 1820-1896

by Colin Webster




Sewing Machines

Benjamin Webster (m. Calam)

Benjamin documents

275 Maple Street, Bridgeport

Letters to William

California timeline


The collaboration

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William Webster ~ Matilda ? Webster

Places named in Webster records:
Parish of Ripley (Yorkshire)/ Village of Killinghall (part of the Ripley Parish) /Bowling, Bradford (West Riding of Yorkshire)/ Bradford (Parker)/ Spofforth (Parker)/ Linton-upon-Ouse (Parker)/ Calverley/ 73 Wakefield Road, Bradford/ Boston, Lincolnshire/Woodhall Spa, Thornton railway station/ village of Thornton Moor/ Armley Hall, Wortley/ 2 Mount Place, Wortley/ Brunell Street in Wortley/ 12 Wallace Street, Wortley/ 25 Danube Grove, Wortley /13 Danube Street, New Wortley

US Places Bridgeport, CT, Shelton, CT, San Franciso, CA, Berkeley, CA

The following was composed/compiled by Colin Webster

WILLIAM WEBSTER, born 1778, died 1848
MATILDA, born 1782, died 1852

(Note: Some of this research is derived only from the I.G.I. database without any supporting evidence to verify William’s descendants and, although the lineage of William is reasonably claimed to be through a father Samuel Webster of Spofforth, absolute certainty cannot be guaranteed.)


William Webster was christened in Spofforth in the West Riding of Yorkshire on 30 August 1778. He appears to be the youngest of 11 children, the son of Samuel Webster and Mary Wood. Extensive searches have been made in an attempt to verify this parentage. That he was born in 1778 in Yorkshire is clear but the specific location and, from that the identification of his father is not available from any census. The 1841 census clearly states that he was born in Yorkshire but this early census does not specify the village/town location. It is believed that he had died before the census of 1851 which does list specific birth locations.

The only Yorkshire birth of 1778 listed on the IGI is of a William Webster born in Spofforth, a village which had a number of family connections, e.g. Eliza Parker, wife of his son Charles Benjamin, was born there. A search of Spofforth Parish records confirm that a William Webster was christened there on 30 August 1778 to parents Samuel and Mary Webster, William being the youngest of their eleven IGI listed children. Furthermore, the IGI shows a marriage between Samuel Webster and Mary Wood at Spofforth on 27 March 1757.

This William Webster therefore is reasonably claimed to be the correct lineage of my Great Grandfather, Charles Benjamin Webster, born in 1820. (See CBW’s biographical notes).


In 1778, when William was born, George the 3rd. was on the throne and Lord North was the Prime Minister. These were troubled times: war was declared on France and a year later Spain declared war on Britain, during which time the American colonists were fighting for independence. But Spofforth, a small and attractive Yorkshire village, really must have seemed a long way off, in all respects.

William’s generation was the last of the Websters to live and work in the countryside because he would, in his lifetime, experience the beginnings of the industrial revolution. He, like so many others, would move, with his family, into one of the fast developing industrialised centres of the West Riding to take advantage of the new work opportunities.

Spofforth Castle

Spofforth Castle had been the home of the famous Percy family (Duke of Northumberland) until they abandoned it to move to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.

The castle was already a dilapidated ruin in William’s time and would have, undoubtedly, provided a great place for play for William and his friends.


William Webster married Matilda (surname not known) who was born around 1782. The couple set up home in Allerton Mauleverer (a small village, with an old castle and a large manor house, close to Knaresborough, on its eastern side, and just off the Great North Road – could this have been where Matilda lived before her marriage?). The first seven of their nine known children were born here as follows:

Isaac Webster, born 30 March 1804 Christened 4 Sept 1804
(Minister: James Neale) George Webster ‘’ 13 January 1807 ‘’ 9 Oct 1807
William Webster ‘’ 7 January 1808 ‘’ 9 Jan 1809 Matilda Lydia ‘’ 14 October 1809 ‘’ 28 May 1810
Frances Elizabeth ‘’ 19 May 1811 ‘’ 31 May 1811
Caroline ‘’ 12 February 1813 ‘’ 15 Feb 1813
Sarah (Joaca ?) ‘’ ‘’ 2 April 1815

(Note: The IGI records the mother of Sarah to be Ann, not Matilda. Therefore she cannot be positively claimed but (a) the 2 year birth interval from Caroline, (b) a father’s name of William and (c) the same village, suggests a possible error in recording the mother’s name of Ann). There is further support for the claim: in 1841 a daughter Sarah, of the right age, appears on the census with parents William and Matilda.


In or before 1820 the family moved to the village of Killinghall in the parish of Ripley, about 1 ¼ miles from Ripley village and just north of Harrogate, where they had two further children:

CHARLES BENJAMIN WEBSTER (my GGrandfather) and, Georgiana Webster.

Both were christened on 28th.August 1825. It has been established that Charles Benjamin was born in 1820 but his christening was delayed and done at the same time as his sister in 1825. A case of ‘’buy one, get one free’’, perhaps! Certainly, the evidence above is that they were not always in a hurry to get their children baptised.

The bishop’s transcript (seen at the West Yorkshire Archive Service in Leeds) records that William was a Cattle Dealer but Piggot’s Directory of professions and trades shows that by 1829 he was the village butcher in Killinghall. The two descriptions may have been compatible.

It is interesting that Horatio Gratton, an uncle of his daughter-in-law Eliza Parker (wife of Charles Benjamin) was, in1841, a farmer in Killinghall and by 1851 the village butcher! William had by this time, moved to pastures new, as recorded below?


The village of Killinghall in the parish of Ripley, Yorkshire


Then came the move into the industrialised and major woollen area of the West Riding, because the 1841 census shows that William and Matilda were living with their son, Charles Benjamin and two of his siblings in Hall Lane, Bowling, Bradford. William was employed as a Wool Buyer. (The date of the move to Bowling was probably before 1834 because Pigot’s Directory of 1834 shows that the village butcher is no longer William but a Charles Greenhow.). The census shows the following, with ages rounded to the nearest 5:

William Webster, father. Age 65, a Wool Buyer
Matilda Webster, mother Age 60.
Sarah Webster, dau. Age 25, a Milliner
Charles (B) Webster, son. Age 20 a Butcher
Georgiana Webster, dau. Age 15

The son, young William, 33, was now married to Sarah with children, including Matilda, named after her grandmother.

Their son George, 35, was also married with a wife, Hannah, and a family and working as a butcher in the family tradition.

Son, Charles Benjamin, was also working elsewhere in Bowling as a Butcher.

Their son Isaac was living in nearby Horton and was, at various times, a Clerk, a Bookkeeper, and later a Commercial Clerk. It is not clear if he married but in the 1861 census his sister Caroline was living with him, together with her husband, Robert Midgeley and their four children.

The Hall. Bowling Hall Road, Bowling, Bradford.

It has been difficult to ascertain the date of William’s death but the date of 3 June 1848 appears to be authentic. The death certificate correctly matches all known facts except for the age which is shown as 77 when, in fact, he would have been around 70. Alternative searches have proved abortive so it is assumed that this is the right one in which the age has been incorrectly declared or recorded. The certificate shows that William died of apoplexy at Wakefield Road, Bowling and that he was a butcher. The informant was Sarah Webster of Hall Lane, Bowling (where William and Matilda lived in 1841).

It is interesting that son, Charles Benjamin lived and worked as a butcher in Wakefield Road in 1841 before moving to Lincolnshire to work on the Railways. I wonder; did father William take over the business and premises, leaving daughter Sarah at Hall Lane?

Matilda died on 6 July 1852 at Goose Hill in Bowling at the age of 71. Present at the death was her daughter, 41 year old Frances Elizabeth Webster.


Colin Webster. Sept. 2007 ( Please note: The certs are not for publication.)



All Saints' Church, Ripley









The castle itself owned by the Ingilby family is set in a 1,700-acre estate, which takes in the entire village

" decimated by the plague in the 1620s that it had to be virtually rebuilt by one of the Ingilby ancestors, Sir William Amcotts Ingilby, who styled the stone terraced cottages on the villages of Alsace-Lorraine"










1832 Cholera epidemic strikes in Leeds and possibly surrounding villages.Records don't show any ill effects to Webster family.








1847 Typhus epidemic in Leeds
1848 Some 2000 die in cholera epidemic



Yes this is fine for you to use the images as long as the copyright information and credits are put on. If you can also put a link through to our website ( that would be great. Good luck with your website!

Best wishes

Rose Gibson
Information Development Librarian
Library and Information Service
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 247 4882
Fax: 0113 247 8268



Colin Webster, January 2006 (updated September 2007)



Colin Webster on Webster Street, San Francisco, 1985!

Household Record 1881 British Census

Name Relation Marital Status Gender Age Birthplace Occupation Disability
Benjamin WEBSTER Head M Male 60 Ripley, York, England Railway Porter
Eliza WEBSTER Wife M Female 58 Spofforth, York, England
William WEBSTER Son U Male 33 Bradford, York, England Gentleman
George WEBSTER Son U Male 28 Bradford, York, England Engineer (E & M)
Clara WEBSTER Daur U Female 20 Leeds, York, England
Edward WEBSTER Son Male 16 Leeds, York, England Engineer (E & M)
Ann E. WEBSTER Daur Female 13 Leeds, York, England Scholar
Emma WEBSTER Sister U Female 29 Leeds, York, England
Mary WEBSTER Daur Female 9 Leeds, York, England Scholar
Emma WEBSTER Daur Female 2 Leeds, York, England

Dwelling 25 Danube Grove
Census Place Wortley In Bramley, York, England