Research: John Hunter

My 3x great grandfather John Hunter was born in 1842 in Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire. He was also baptised there on 19th June 1842. He was was one of 10 known children; Robert (1833-1866), Ann (1834-?), Jane (1835-?), Christiana (1838-?), Mark (1840-?), John (1842-?), Henry (1844-?), James (1846-?), George (1850-?) and William (1851-?). Their parents were Henry and Elizabeth Hunter (nee Norton).

In 1851 John was a 9-year-old scholar. He was living with his parents and 4 of his siblings in Burton Pidsea.

In 1861 John was 18 years old and was working as a waggoner on the farm of William Futon Harland in the Sunk Island area of East Yorkshire.

On 17th October 1863, John Hunter married Elizabeth Duke in Yorkshire. The couple went on to have a total of 10 known children; Jane (1863-1955), Richard (1865-?), Robert (1867-?), George (1869-?), Henry (1870-1950), Betsy Anne (1872-1954), William (1876-?), Ada Elizabeth (1878-?), John Mark (1880-1964) and Thomas Herbert (1882-?).

In 1871, 29-year-old John was living with his wife Elizabeth in Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire. He was working as an Agricultural Labourer.

In 1881, John was 39 years old and was living with his wife and 6 of his children in Burton Pidsea. He was working as an Agricultural Labourer.

John was 40 years old when his mother Elizabeth passed away on 21st March 1882 at the age of 75 years old. Almost 2 years later, on 29th February 1884, John’s father, Henry Hunter, passed away at the age of 77 years old. John was 42 years old at the time. Losing both of his parents within 2 years of each other must have been very hard for John and his family.

In 1891, 49-year-old John was working as an Agricultural Labourer. He was living in Burton Pidsea with his wife and 3 of his children.

In 1901 John was living on Blacksmith’s Row in Burton Pidsea with his wife Elizabeth. He was again working as an Agricultural Labourer.

In 1911 John was 69 years old and was living in Burton Pidsea with his 72-year-old wife, Elizabeth. He was working as a Farm Labourer. The image below shows John’s handwriting.

John Hunter Handwriting
John Hunter’s Handwriting from 1911 Census

This suggests that John most probably went to school at some stage in his early years, as he can obviously read and write. Schools weren’t made compulsory for children under 10 until 1880, which meant that if John attended school in younger years, it was the personal choice of his parents.

Shortly after the 1911 census, John’s wife, Elizabeth passed away on 15th September 1911, at the age of 72 years old in Burton Pidsea. This would have been a very upsetting time for John and his family, especially since John and Elizabeth would have been celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary in the October.

On 14th October 1918, John sadly passed away in Burton Pidsea aged 76 years old. He died the day after what would have been his 55th wedding anniversary to his late wife Elizabeth. He had been without her for 7 years.

John was buried in the churchyard of St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church in Burton Pidsea in the same grave as his late wife. The photograph below shows their gravestone.

Gravestone of John and Elizabeth Hunter in Burton Pidsea.

I do not know a great deal about John, as there aren’t any family members (that I know of) that know any stories that involve him. This is such a shame, but as family history takes us further back in time, it is very hard to find things out about the lives of our ancestors. From what I do know, I believe that John was a hard-working man, as he seems to be always working and he also had a wife and 10 children to look after.

Some facts about John’s lifetime are as follows.

John lived during the reign of Queen Victoria and he was actually __ years old when she died on 22nd January 1901. He saw King Edward VII become king and after he had passed away, George V, meaning that John had seen 3 monarchs in his lifetime.

John was also just 13 years old at the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1853 and was 16 when it ended in 1856. The war was fought between Russia and an alliance of the British, French and Turkish. The Second Boer War broke out on 11th October 1899 when John was 57 years old and he was 60 when it came to an end on 31 May 1902.

John was 72 years old when the First World War broke out on 28th July 1914. He died a month before the war ended on 11 November 1918.

On 27 October 1908, Parliament approved old age pensions, which meant that on John’s 70th birthday in 1912, he would have received a maximum of five shillings every week.

Thank you very much for reading,

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Victoria says:

    This man is my Grandmother’s Uncle.
    Her dad was George Hunter, he too was born in Burton Pidsea, East Yorkshire

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tony Beacock says:

      Hi Victoria that is really amazing. I would love to learn more about what you know about our family! May I speak to you via email please? My email address is

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

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