Thursday, July 31, 2008

Barbara Ascough d.1811 m Charles Nicholson

Ive just received an email fro Michael Turner in Sydney, Aus. He is interested in finding out more information about Barbara Ascough and family, Bedale, Yorks. Barbara went on to marry Charles Nicholson and had 1 son Charles Nicholson. Tragically she died young. Michael is the curator of the Nicholson Museum, named after Barbara's son Charles. If anybody can help please get in touch with either Michael or myself.

On 31 Jul 2008, at 06:05, Michael Turner ( wrote:

Hi Barbara
Can you help me??
I’m the curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney. The Museum is named after Charles Nicholson (1808-1903). There are however several unresolved mysteries about Nicholson and his origins.
Nicholson’s mother was your namesake (nearly) Barbara Ascough. She was married to Charles Nicholson (b. Cockermouth).
Barbara died when Charles was 3 in 1811. Charles senior in 1824. Following the death of his mother, Charles was brought up by his maternal aunt, Mary Ascough, in Bedale.
Nicholson qualified as a doctor from Edinburgh University in 1833 and immediately sets sail for Australia, sponsored by his uncle William Ascough, who was a wealthy trader etc on the Hawkesbury River in NSW. In 1836, William drowned in a boating accident on the Hawkesbury. He left Charles his entire fortune.
Nicholson lived in Australia until 1862 when he returned to England. In 4 successive UK censuses he gave his place of birth variously as Whitby (x2), Sleights, and Bedale.
Can you help me with any background on the various Ascoughs in this story??
2008 is the bicentenary of the birth of Sir Charles Nicholson and we’re planning a large exhibition on him for November this year. He is one of the more famous (and certainly one of the richest) Australians of the 19th century.

With best wishes

Senior Curator
The Nicholson Museum
The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia -

On 31/7/08 5:03 PM, "barbara ainscough" wrote:
Hi Michael
good to hear from you. With your permission I would like to add this to the blog and see if anybody else out there can help. It undoubtedly sounds like this Ascough family stem from the Bedale branch......lots of history there. Do you have a birth date for Barbara A?? Also do you have any info about her parents??
When I get a moment I shall look into it.
best wishes

On 31 Jul 2008, at 08:19, Michael Turner wrote:
Hi Barbara
Thanks for the speedy reply - sensational!
All I know further at this stage about Barbara is that she was the daughter of ‘J. Ascough. Esq., of Bedale’. Do please add to the blog.
I should add that Nicholson was always said to come from Cockermourth, and that Cockermouth are subsequently very disappointed to be about to lose a ‘famous son’. Their loss, Bedale’s gain!

On 1 Aug 2008, at 15:34, Andrew Scarisbrick wrote:
Hi B
Barbara Ascough was the youngest daughter of John Ascough Esq. of Bedale, but I am sorry, I can't track this family for certain. I cannot get a good handle on this family, as all the members involved seems to have either died before the censuses, or emigrated.
It seems apparent that Barbara comes from the Ascough family which were a minor gentry family from the Bedale area. Interesting to note the village called Aiskew by Bedale.
There are, in fact, a number of Ascoughs from the Bedale/Masham area, found in the 1851 census, who are probably all connected. However, that would be a large task to undertake.
There are a few references to the landed Ascough family I have found on the internet, including a William Ascough esq. of Kirby Malzeard (Malzart), which is just south of Masham.
It may be worth finding the Victoria County History volume for North Yorkshire, for the Bedale/masham area, and seeing if this mentions the Ascoughs for any of the local manors.
I am sorry I couldn't be of more help.


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