5x great grandparents: Matthew and Dorothy Brockbank

I have searched hard to find my  5x great grandparents’ marriage, but failed, only gathering my 5x great-grandmother’s Christian name through her burial record.

Dorothy 1759 burial

Matthew and Dorothy had five children, of whom two died in infancy.

Matthew and Dorothy baptisms

So we have a picture of the family starting out at Arnside, moving to Roger Ground before 1758 when Jacob was born, then moving to Keen Ground before Dorothy’s death in 1759. Arnside is 2 miles to the NW but Keen Ground and Roger Ground are close to each other, and to Hannakin, home of later generations.

Keen Ground and Roger Ground map
OS 6 inch map from 1919

The word “Ground” features in many south Lakes place names, and Christopher Taylor in his book A Portrait of Windermere explains that this dates back to the time before the Dissolution of the Monasteries, when much of the land was owned by Furness Abbey. Tenant farmers reared sheep and paid tithes to the Abbott. To increase prosperity, in 1532 some 45 Hawkshead tenants were granted the right to enclose small areas of land and build a farmhouse: “Such smallholdings were referred to locally as ‘grounds’ and often bore the name of the new owner” (page 114).

I’m not aware of a Brockbank Ground, but there is a Brocklebank Ground close to Torver. I expect this will be the closest I get to the origins of the Brockbank family! Many times I have come across the two names used interchangeably.

Brocklebank Ground

Returning to Matthew Brockbank, it looks like he remarried shortly after Dorothy’s death. I can’t pinpoint Matthew or Sarah’s burial record with any certainty, unfortunately.

Matthew 2nd marriage 1760

As I said earlier, Matthew and Dorothy’s eldest son Robert was my 4x great grandfather, and you can follow the family forward here: Robert Brockbank and Sarah Williamson.

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