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George Severn 1851 - 1948

George Severn , the patriarch of one of the Severn families in the Mexborough area was born in Cotmanhay, near Ilkeston in Derbyshire circa 1851. Until recently members of this family suspected that they may have been related to Joseph & Louisa's family but were not certain. The reason for this is that George and Joseph were not on speaking terms. There had been a feud. Will we ever know why? Probably not. I am still not 100% sure that George was Joseph and James' brother, but he was born in the right place, at the right time, and family traditions exist that Joseph with the disabled hand was definitely an uncle. I haven't found George's birth certificate.

George Severn, son of James and Mary Severn was born around 1851 and baptised at Cotmanhay. He and the family drop out of sight until he married Martha Jane Hill who was born in Darfield, Yorkshire 22 October 1854. She was the daughter of the publican who kept the "Sportsman's Inn" on Adwick Road. For more details on the Hill family click here. Martha died 8 December 1901 aged 47 years.


George and Martha had 10 or 11 children. It is a puzzlement to me why so little is known of all the other children mentioned in this section. They were of course a little older than Joseph's children but they all lived in the same town and brought up scarcely a quarter of a mile apart! Even at the inquest and funeral of bother James - there is no mention of George.  I have checked the 1881 and 1891 Census information and discovered that in 1881 George and Martha lived at 80 Church Street, but by 1891 they had moved to number 84. Jim Evans (Sarah Ann's son) told me that George was a coal miner and worked first at Cadeby Colliery and then at Denaby Main. George lived to be 90 years old and died in 1941. His wife, Martha, died when she was 47. Life must have been hard for such a large family without a mother.  But Sirann was like a other to all of the which is why she was so well respected and remembered long after her death. Sadly many of the descendants of George and Martha died quite young - not enough information is known to pinpoint the reasons why,


George and Martha's children I know of the following:

Gen 2.1    Sarah Ann Severn( Aunt Sirann) 5 March 1873 -1 June 1948 married James Evans

Gen 2.2   James Severn 15 November 1875 - disappeared from history

Gen 2.3   Mary Severn 12 June 1877 - disappeared from history

Gem 2.4   William Henry Severn 1 August 1879

Gen 2.5    Ann Elizabeth Severn 7 January 1882 married Dean or Johnson

Gen 2.6   John (called Jack) Severn 1 January 1884

Gen 2.7   Henry (called Harry) Severn 1 January 1886

Gen 2.8   Joseph Severn June 1887 had a daughter Doris then

Gen 2.9   George Severn 29 July 1890

Gen 2.10  Ernest Severn 29 July 1892

Gen 2.1  Sarah-Ann 'Siran" Severn 1873 - 1948

Sarah Ann Severn, the eldest of 12 was born 5 March 1873. On my trip to England, some of the older members of the family recall an old lady called Sirann (Yorkshire/ Lancashire dialect). I believe this is the person they were talking about. I am indebted to Jim Evans, her son (1919-1994) for a wonderful story and some of the facts here. And a huge thanks to his widow Lilian for the photos.

Sirann (Sarah Ann) was born in Darfield the youngest of 16 children, though 8 died young. She married James Evans of Rawmarsh. Jim continues the story:

"James Evans, my father was born in 1868 in Dawlish, Shropshire and he always said Dr Webb (Capt. Webb's father) brought him into the world. He was the son of John Thomas and Hannah Maria Evans who came to Rawmarsh in the 1880s from Dawlish with his four children: James, Jack, Reuben and Charlotte. Both grandparents died within a day of each other at a house in Victoria Road, Parkgate. John was aged 84.

7_Jim Evans & dog 2.jpg
7_Jim Evans 1.jpg
7_Jim Evans & unknown child.jpg

Jim was very fond of his dog.

Donated by Lilian Evans

Jim and the dog

Donated by Lilian Evans

Jim and unknown grandchild

Donated by Lilian Evans

James (Jim) was born 11 March 1870 at Langley Square, Dawley in the Registration District of Madely in Staffordshire. He married Sarah Ann Severn and they started married life in a very small house in Church Street, Rawmarsh and had a very large family of 16, but 7 died of scarlet fever which was deadly in those days. They moved to a larger house in Pottery Street an area well known for fighting and blackclocks, each family having a team of  them. Jim told me that "In 1926 during the strike, my old man used to take me coal picking on Stubbin Tip. I was only eight at the time - we used to go up Haugh Lane and down a track to Bank Cottages which was pretty steep and pulling a barrow of coal up was no Joke. He used to tie me to the barrow for two reasons - one to help him pull, the other so I couldn’t run off."

8_Sarah Ann Evans.jpg
8_SarahAnn & Jim Evans.jpg
7_Jim Evans on horse.jpg

Top left Sirann in the yard at Pottery Street; above Sirann and Jim; Left: Jim on a horse. All photos donated by Lilian Evans

Jim said that "In them days Pottery Street had all the mod cons, ash middins, dry closets, blackclocks and bugs. When it was hot they used to come out - the bugs I mean, and feed on you - sucking blood. If they had a feed off our old man, they’d be drunk for three days. We used to chase them up the bedroom wall with a candle. But you had to watch them - they’d turn around and blow it out.

Jim and Sirann had the following children.

  1. Martha Jane Evans 1892 married Haigh then Riley (a widow at 32)

  2. John Thomas Evans 1893 – 1963. married Barker.

  3. George Evans 1896 -1917

  4. Ernest ‘Cufty’ Evans 1898 – 1967. married Leather

  5. Mary Evans 1902 - 1902 - 1946 . married Gillespie

  6. Sarah Jane Evans 1905 – married Turton & Simpson

  7. Beatrice May Evans 1908  - 1946 . married married

  8. Betsy Mabel Evans 1911

  9. Kathleen ‘Cathy’ Evans 1913 – 1967. married Killeen

  10. James Evans  1918-1996. married Makin

  11. Rose Evans 1923. married Hunt


Jim died in 1951 aged 83. Sarah Ann died 1 June 1948 aged 75

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