It is sad that Barnard and Jane Hart’s son, Samuel died so young. His death was registered by his mother and she is recorded as being present at his death in their home in Gateshead, Durham. Samuel was two years old and died of pneumonia. It paints such a vivid picture in my mind, so emotive. The living conditions must have been horrible, no sanitation, no running water and extremely cramped conditions. Jane must have watched helplessly as her toddler son died, most likely in her arms. This was years before the invention of antibiotics and the national health service. It was expensive to call for the services of a doctor so the decision to call for one would have been a last resort. It’s just as well we no longer hear people talk about ‘the good old days’. Good for some maybe but not for all.
Was Samuel their only son, I wonder? There is a five year gap between Martha and Samuel so there is a possibility of children who did not survive. Jane and Barnard had, up until Martha in 1844, produced a child every other year. Samuel was the seventh child. If Samuel was Barnard’s only son then it is possible that this was also his father’s name. Jane’s father was John so it is improbable that the name comes from her side. Interestingly I have recently found a Samuel Hart living in Gateshead, a few streets away from Barnard and Jane but they only appear on one census and then are gone. But it gets me thinking. Ah…. onward and upward, as they say.