160-year-old mystery of Brough-born farmer

Date: Tuesday 29th January 2019

FOR more than 30 years, the Stafford family, both here in England and in America, have been trying desperately to solve the mystery of their earliest known ancestor.

Robert Stafford lived most of his life working on his farm, Spring Keld, in Gosforth. His wife, Hannah, and their children lived there until Robert died in very tragic circumstances in 1859.

Robert was discovered by his wife in their field having died from a cut to the throat. Some say he was murdered. The inquest, however, concluded that he took his own life. Today, his family are working hard to build a picture of his whole life. Early on in the process, they quickly discovered when and where he was married.

But where did he come from? When was he born? And who were his parents?

Census records would have us believe that he was born in Brough, Westmorland, in 1791, but no official records can be found to back up that claim. There certainly doesn’t seem to be any baptism record for him.

So what happens next? Well, the family keep up the search, finding new places to look, following up new leads in the hope that someone, somewhere, knows where that missing piece of the jigsaw lies.

If you think you might be able to help in any way, please contact Rob Stafford (Robstaffordmusic< 07872 187543, 01932 660045). That tiny piece of information might just be the missing piece that solves the 160-year-old mystery of Robert Stafford.

ROB STAFFORD

By email