Frederick William Caswell

This photograph from the chest is of Esther’s eldest son. He was named Frederick William Caswell (b. 04.11.1903, Pleasant View, Lanchester, Durham). He was called William (or Bill) day to day. I guess that it would have been confusing to have two Fredericks in the household (Esther’s husband was Frederick Caswell).



Margaret Charlton (nee Hedley) d1907

One of the most numerous document types in the chest are Funeral Cards. Sometimes there are more than one copy of the same card, I can only assume that they were made by a member of the family and they had a few spares.

This first one is for Esther’s mother – Margaret Charlton (nee Hedley). Her Funeral card reads as follows.

Front: In Loving Memory

Inside left:

Her toils are o’er, her work is done,
And she is fully blest,
She fought the fight, the victory won,
And entered into rest.

Robert Jackson Printer, Consett

Inside right:


Widow of the late William Charlton, of Station Hotel, Ebchester,

Who died Sept. 30th, 1907,


Interment at Christ Church, Hamsterley,
Oct. 4th at 4 p.m.

Leslie Caswell (My grandfather and Esther’s third son)

This is a photograph of Leslie Caswell (b.1906), the third child of Esther Elizabeth Charlton and Frederick Caswell. He looks a little like ‘Little Lord Fauntleroy’ doesn’t he?

In his butcher's garb

In his butcher’s garb

Family stories say that when he left school he got an apprenticeship to be an electrician at the Consett Iron Works.  However, his father Fred Caswell was regularly drunk. It became impossible to bring friends over, because they never knew how Fred would behave. One day Fred came home rather the worse for drink and Esther locked him out.  Bill and his brother Leslie helped ensure that Fred was put out of the house for good. He ended up at Lanchester Workhouse. This change in events meant that Fred was no longer running the butchers shop and reluctantly Leslie gave up his apprenticeship and took over the shop. That said he was a very good butcher and had the qualification of master butcher.


leslie caswell adult

He sadly died in 1973 in Consett, County Durham.