Crackett / Cracket

Am I a Crackett or a Cracket?

The extra “t” seems to have been added to the surname for most branches of the Cracket line in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s. The change in spelling leads to inconsistencies in registration for several family members who were born Cracket and died Crackett.

The table below shows how the names developed and changed from census to census. The figures were compiled by searching on Cracket and Crackett in findmypast which shows England, Wales and Scotland for 1841 to 1901. The 1911 count from findmypast was supplemented by the count from scotlandspeople. There may be some changes as I delve further into the detail. I know that there are some transcription errors showing Crackel that I need to compensate for and some of these people may turn out to be Crocket or Crockett. It is interesting to see that the extra T seems to have taken precedence between 1881 and 1891, so several of those registered as Cracket up to 1881 appear in the Crackett column from 1891 and onwards.





































Mispellings in the records

Among the various misinterprations I have seen in the records are Crackel, Crachet, Crackitt, Crockett and Cricket.

My Crackett/Cracket ancestors

Following backwards from me we have:

  • Dad – George William Crackett 1916- 1978
  • Granda – George Crackett 1890-1978
  • Great Granda – Leonard Cracket(t) 1847-1829
  • Great great Granda – William Cracket born about 1810
  • and then we hit the brick wall because I am struggling to find a birth record for the correct William Cracket


Irregular marriages

My Cracket line was non-conformist and as they were living within walking distance of the Scottish border several of them took advantage of the opportunity to avoid marriage in the Church of England by using renegade priests on the border crossings to perform the ceremony. In my hunt for marriage records for my 2x great grandparents I have found several Crackets who were married at the border.

Irregular Cross Border marriages Vol II includes the following records extracted from newspaper articles:

Place Marriage
Marriage of
16 Aug 1845 Mordington Toll 10th inst Peter Cracket to Sarah James, both of Morton Square
16 Dec 1848 Coldstream 18th ult. David Cracket, miner of Allerdean to Catherine Brown of the former place
20 Oct 1855 Lamberton Toll 13th inst. George Cracket, pitman to Jane Bruce, both of Shoreswood Colliery
5 Jan 1856 Coldstream Bridge 22 ult. Adam Cracket to Margaret Dodds, both of Shoreswood

Both George and Adam above appear to be my great grand uncles, the sons of the 2x great grandparents that I was hoping to find in this publication. I think it is probable that Peter and David are their cousins.


More irregular marriages

Reviewing Irregular Cross Border marriages Vol I turned up another couple of Cracket marriages. This time the witnesses were also noted and I am wondering if the William who witnessed the 1834 marriage may be my 2x great grandfather. His own marriage is still eluding me as of Easter 2012.

Place Date Marriage of Witnesses
Paxton Toll 19 Mar 1843 John Cracket
Elinor Bell
Robert Simpson
Jane Simpson
Lamberton Toll 27 Sep 1834 Wm. Crackitt of Bamburgh
Margaret Taylor of Burton
Wm. Crackitt,
Margaret Hoggart

Tracking great great grandfather William Cracket through the census

Easter 2010 I obtained a birth certificate for great grandfather Leonard Cracket and confirmed that his parents were William Cracket and Elisabeth Tait. Since then I have been on the hunt for William’s vital records. I started by tracking him to census reports:

  • 1841: Living in Bowsden, Lowick with wife Elisabeth 30 and children George 8, Adam 8, Isabella 3, William 1. Record shows that he was born in Northumberland and gives age as 30 which means that on 6th June 1841 he could have been between 30 and 34 which suggests he was born between 1807 and 1811.
  • 1851: Living at Shoreswood New Winning with wife Elisabeth 46 and children George 18, Adam 16, Isabella 13, William 11, John 9, Thomas 7, Leonard 3, Robert 2 months. Occupation coal miner. Born Kyloe. Age shown as 46, indicating born about 1805.
  • 1861: (transcribed as Crocket) Living at Broomhill Terrace, Colliery, East Chevington with wife Elizabeth 51 and children Thomas 16, Leonard 13, Robert 10. Visitors include a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren plus two others. Age given as 50 which suggests born in 1811. Place of birth transcribed as Hayle, but could be read as Kyloe.
  • 1871: Living at Back Row, Bedlington with son Leonard 23 and Mary Douglass and her 3 children. Occupation coal miner. Age shown as 57 which indicates born about 1814. Place of birth Kyloe.
  • 1881: No record. Assume deceased.

I have therefore looked for birth records 1807 – 1814, marriage records 1823 – 1835 and death records 1871 – 1881.


Death and marriage records for great great grandfather William Cracket

I purchased several potential death certificates for William Cracket and concluded that the correct one was 21 March 1880 at Choppington, Bedlington. Informant was George Douglas, stepson, which ties in with the information from the 1871 census. Age at death is recorded as 70 which suggests he was born about 1810, but due to the uncertainty in previous dates I continued to look for a wider range of baptismal dates.

As of Easter 2012 I have still not tracked a marriage record for William Cracket and Elisabeth Tait, despite having tried many Anglican, non-conformist and cross-border record sources.


Finding birth record and parents for great great grandfather William Cracket

To find a birth/baptismal record for my great great grandfather William Cracket I have looked at parish records for Kyloe, Lowick and many other nearby locations, also looking outside the projected timeframe to get an indication of where there were Cracket families in the parishes. Most of the research below is based on written transcripts and microfiche indexes, not on the microfilm of the actual records. Next step was to tie potential birth records in to subsequent death records and censuses to eliminate candidates.

I found no William Cracket baptisms at:

  • Kyloe St. Nicholas: 1813-1900.
  • Kyloe Dissenters: A Cracket baptism, but no William
  • Belford: 1701-1812.
  • Bamburgh: 1758-1812.
  • Cornhill: 1695 –1812 and 1701-1812, 1813-1900?/18812-1901
  • Tweedmouth: 1711-1812. No Cracket baptisms, several Crockett, but no William.
  • Norham St. Cuthbert: 1714-1801 and 1802-1812.
  • Norham Dissenters: 1752-1854
  • High Meeting House, Hide Hill, Berwick: 1761-1879. Several Crocket, no Cracket baptisms.
  • Branton Presbyterian: 1785 -1809 and 1809-1837.
  • Crookham Presbyterian: 1732-|789 and 1732-1810 and 1811-1833
  • Falstone Presbyterian: 1753-1785
  • Glanton Presbyterian: 1784-1837
  • Ireshopeburn Presybterian: 1783-1822
  • Warenford Presbyterian: 1761-1854. A Crackit baptism but no William.
  • Branxton: 1813-1920
  • Branxton, Carham, Ford, Lowick: 1813-1839. Several Cracket baptisms, including a William, listed below.
  • Associate Congregation of Norham: 1752-1854
  • Associate Burgher Meeting, North Sunderland: 1797-1838 and 1870-1920
  • Spittal Presbyterian: 1785-1837. A couple of Cracket records, but no William.
  • Berwick Walkergate Lane Baptist: 1805-1810
  • Berwick United Presbyterian (RG4 2680):
  • Spittal (RG4 2684): One Cracket, but no William
  • Etal Presbyterian: 1769-1845. Several Cracket baptisms, including a William listed below.
  • Ford St. Michael & All Angels: 1683-1725, 1684-1812. Several Cracket/Crackett baptisms, but no William
  • Wooler Tower Hill Presbyterian: 1786-1818
  • Wooler & Doddington: 1813-1839
  • Berwick Military Entries and Stray Baptisms
  • Berwick-upon-Tweed Methodist Circuit: 1837-1884

Below are the William Cracket baptisms that I have found:

  • Etal Presbyterian: William Cracket, son of Joseph & Ann Cracket of Berrington, born 3 Jan 1811
  • Lowick Presbyterian baptisms: 14 Oct 1811 William Cracket son of David & Margaret (Paterson), Lowick parish, born 2 Oct 1811. Buried 4 Aug 1819 aged 2 years.
  • Lowick Presbyterian baptisms: 7 Sep 1812 William Cracket, son of William & Isabel, Kyloe, born 26 Aug 1812
  • Lowick Presbyterian baptisms: 4 Aug 1817 William Cracket, son of David & Margaret, Lowick parish, born 23 Jul 1817. Buried 23 Dec 1832 aged 15 years.
  • Tynemouth: 4 Jan 1827, William Cracket, son of John & Elizabeth. Too late and wrong location.
  • Lowick baptisms: 16 Nov 1839, William Cracket, son of William & Elizabeth. This William is the 4th child of the great great grandfather William that I am looking for.
  • Lowick Presbyterian baptisms: 21 Mar 1841 William Cracket, son of David & Mary, Dryburn, Lowick parish, born 6 Mar 1841. Too late. Possible nephew of my William.

Whilst I may have missed some potential sources I have not seen any indication in online sources or other Crackett trees that I have missed any potential candidates born in Northumberland in the early 1800s, except a baptismal record for William 1814. Of the 6 baptisms above, two died in childhood and 3 belong to the next generation. This leaves us with William 1811 born in Berrington to Joseph and Ann and William 1812 born in Kyloe to William and Isabel.

The 1841 census has 5 records for William Cracket:

  • Two of these are my great great grandfather William and his son William, living in Bowsden.
  • There is a William born about 1811 living with wife Mary in Cramlington. I believe this is the Etal baptism of the William Cracket born in January 1811 to Joseph and Ann.
  • There is a William born about 1814 living with wife Margaret in Branton. I have not found a baptismal record for him. but the 1861 census indicates he was born about 1813 in Lowick. I believe he may be the William Crackitt who married Margaret Taylor at Lamberton Toll in 1834.
  • The final record is for William Cracket age 45, living with wife Isabel 50 at Hadstone Link House, Hadstone with children Mark and Jane, both shown as 15. This means that William could be 45-49, Isabel could be 50-54 and the children could be 15-19. Since the 1851 census indicates that William was born in 1796 in Lowick and Isabella (changed from Isabel) born in Holborn, which could be Holburn, I believe that these two are probably the parents of William born in 1812 in Kyloe

The evidence above, combined with the preponderance of the names William & Isabella in all lines descending from my great great grandparents William Cracket and Elisabeth Tait leads me to the conclusion that my 3x great grandparents are William Cracket born in Lowick in the 1790s and his wife Isabel/Isabella born in Holburn in the 1790s. Birth dates are uncertain, but it is probable that she is about 5 years older than him. If my theories are correct then I believe that great great grandfather William has several siblings, which will help me to resolve many of the missing links in the Crackets I have listed in my research database. More about that in a future post.

Children of William & Isabel (Isabella) Cracket

In looking for the children of my 3x great grandparents William & Isabel (Isabella) Cracket I have found two potential batches of offspring. My challenges in proving that these are all one family are caused by the timing in relation to census taking. The first batch (my great great grandfather William and twins Adam & David) were born in the early 1800’s and had left home and set up their own families before the 1841 census. Mark & Jane appear with their parents in the 1841 census. Margaret & Mark are with their parents in the 1851 census. Below is a list of potential children I have found for William & Isabel. I am surprised by the 10 year gap between 1814 and 1824, so I intend to research other Cracket births in that period to see if there are more children in this family.

Name Baptism Birth Baptised/Born
William 7 Sep 1812 16 Aug 1812 Lowick Presbterian / Kyloe
David 18 Nov 1814 9 Nov 1814 Lowick Presbterian / Kyloe
Adam 18 Nov 1814 9 Nov 1814 Lowick Presbterian / Kyloe
Margaret 11 Jul 1824   Rock St. Philip & St. James /
Rock South Farm
Mark Gowans 17 Sep 1826   Rock St. Philip & St. James /
Rock South Farm
Jane Bet 1826-1830   ? / ?

Geographical distribution of Cracket

This table analyses how the Cracket name has moved around the UK between 1841 and 1911. The main grouping is in Northumberland throughout the whole period. Since 1841 only has Cracket families in Scotland, Northumberland and Durham this gives more credence to my theory that all of us originated “up North” or just over the border and that the probability that the spread throughout the country and later to other countries has its roots in few families or hopefully even a single family. This makes me feel more comfortable in continuing my efforts to try to tie all branches together.

















































Adam Cracket / Adam Crackett

Adam is one of the less common male Christian names used in the family, but it is there in some of the earliest generations I have found. Strange that it has not been passed down as much as the other early names. I have now looked at census and BMD records and concluded that we have the following:

  Birth place Birth/ Bapt Marriage Wife Death Age Census years Children
Adam Cracket Kyloe 1814 1838 Margaret Glass ? 1874 59 51,61,71 7
Adam Cracket Lowick 1835   Margaret 1907 73 41,51,61,71,91,01 7
Adam Cracket Belford 1849 N/A N/A 1851 2 51 0
Adam Cracket Alnwick 1858 N/A N/A 1859 Infant None 0
Adam Cracket Choppington 1885 1913 Mary L. Gray 1949 63 91,01,11 3
Adam Crackett Scotland Gate 1900 N/A N/A 1917 17 01,11 0

A total of 5 born Adam Cracket and 1 Adam Crackett. Two died in infancy and one as a teenager. Three who married and had children. Their parents, with a couple of question marks where I have still to obtain documentary evidence of the marriage are:

 Son Father Mother
Adam 1814 William Cracket Isabel Gowans ?
Adam 1835 William Cracket Elisabeth Tait
Adam 1849 Adam Cracket Margaret Glass ?
Adam 1858 Adam Cracket Margaret Glass ?
Adam 1885 William Cracket Elizabeth Ellen Dorgan
Adam 1900 Thomas Cracket Ann ?

Earliest Cracket marriage I have found

The earliest Cracket marriage I have tracked down at the Northumberland Archives is in the Lowick Parish register. David Cracket married Jane Jackson (sometimes written as Jaxon) on 24 July 1777. Witnesses were Thomas Jackson and Edward Thompson. I have not yet connected this couple to my line of Crackets, but feel reasonably sure that there must be a link. In the Bishop’s Transcripts the record can be found on this image.

Constructive comments and new relatives are welcome:

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