Died 23rd September 1849
John Smith was a 41 year old Quarryman when he died , according to the Newcastle Courant’s obituaries in September 1849. He was hence born about 1808, but not in Alnwick. As Smith is a common name we couldn’t trace where he was born, but John did marry in Alnwick. He married Elizabeth Trobe on 14th May 1836, in St Michael’s Church, and Trobe is not a common name!
Their first child Susannah or Susan was baptised 7th May 1837, when they were living in Pottergate Place and John was then working as a groom. They moved to Clayport before the 1841 census, and had two children by then, Susannah (4) and Thomas Trobe Smith. He was baptised 22/3/1840 when they were living in Union Court, off Clayport. This Thomas died age five on 7/12/1845. Three more sons were born to John and Elizabeth. These were: John baptised 9/10/1842: Samuel on 9/11/1845 and a second Thomas on 2/5/1848. Father John was a labourer on all their baptism records.
John died on the first day of the cholera outbreak on 23rd Sept. 1849. He was one of 12 to die on that first day, including 7 from Clayport Street alone. He was buried together with many of the other poorer victims at the rear of St Michael’s Church.
In 1851, Elizabeth was recorded as a widow, a pauper and a laundress. She was only 42, without prospects, living in Union Court, with four young children to care for. Ten years later on the next census Elizabeth was still a laundress. Her daughter, Susan had left home and married Thomas Simpson from Alnmouth. They had a daughter called Elizabeth Trobe Simpson in 1857 but Susan died in 1858.
In 1861, John Jnr was a tobacconist, Samuel was a skinner, Thomas was still at school, and the above granddaughter, Elizabeth Trobe Simpson (4) was also living with the family in Union Court. By the 1871 census, Elizabeth was a dairywoman, John was a farm labourer, although they were still living in Union Court. Elizabeth Trobe was now 14 and still at school. The 1881 census reveals that mother and son, Elizabeth and John Smith were still together in Union Court, still in the same employment with a different granddaughter, Susan Smith working as a servant. Elizabeth died on Boxing Day 1889 age 80. She had been a widow for just over 40 years.