Peter Brown Family History

Peter France (1789) & Fanny Green

General History

Peter France & Fanny Green were one of my 5th generation ancestors.

Key Dates:

Peter France was baptised on 26th July 1789 in Snaith, Yorkshire, the son of Hessay France & Elizabeth Laverack. He married Fanny Green in about 1807. He was buried on 19th August 1856 in Cowick, Snaith, Yorkshire.

Fanny Green was born in 1787 in Pollington, Yorkshire. She was buried on 23rd November 1857 in Cowick, Snaith, Yorkshire ('wife of Peter').

Children Returns to 'Top of Page'

Peter & Fanny had eight known children. (note: all baptism dates are from IGI and are unconfirmed)

Mary John Elizabeth Peter Joseph Hannah Anne Fanny
  1. Mary France was baptised on 14th August 1808 in Snaith, Yorkshire. She married John Tuke in 1851.
  2. John France was born on 14th February 1810 in Cowick, Snaith, Yorkshire. He married Elizabeth Bayse on 27th November 1833 possibly in St. Mary Magdalene, Lincolnshire ( Elizabeth was born on 10th January 1812 in Lincolnshire). The family emigrated to the United States in 1842. Elizabeth died on 26th July 1864 in Sodus, Wayne County, New York State, USA and John died on 5th January 1870 age 59 yrs. in Grant City,Worth County, Missouri, USA. John & Elizabeth had eight children (all information on this family proved by source 2).
    1. Peter France was baptised on 5th April 1835 in Snaith, Yorkshire, England (source is IGI).
    2. Thomas Bayse France was baptised on 23rd April  1839  in Cowick, Snaith, Yorkshire, England. He married Martha Featherly on 22nd May 1858 in Sodus, New York State, USA. Thomas died on 6th January 1917 in Long Beach, California, USA.
    3. John Henry France  was born on 8th April 1841 in possibly Essex England.  He married Isabella Gardener. John died on 28th July 1884 in Redding, Iowa, USA.     
    4. Peter Bell France was born on 5th April 1844 in Sodus, New York State, USA. He married Anna Lucas. Peter died on 6th May 1918 in Sapulpa, Oklahoma, USA.
    5. Fanny France was born on 8th June 1845 in Sodus, New York State, USA. She died on 11th August 1846.
    6. Mary A France was born in 1848 in Sodus, New York State, USA.  She married Jacob Henry Houser on 1st October 1868  in Grant City, Missouri, USA She died on 30th September 1870 in Grant City, Missouri, USA. Mary & Jacob had a child, Mary born in 1870. Mary was bought up with her great-aunt Hannah Beckwith (see family ref 7 & details below) in Cowick, England. One of her descendants was Gillian Falck who has provided me with this & associated information. Gillian Falck is one of my 'fourth Cousins'.
    7. Fanny Elizabeth France was born on 16th September 1851 in Sodus, New York State, USA. She married Jacob Henry Houser (widower of sister Mary) on 10th December 1871  in Grant City, Missouri, USA. Fanny died on 5th May 1891 in Grant City, Missouri, USA.       
    8. Hannah France was born in 1854 in Sodus, New York State, USA. She married J.T. Rothwell on 18th April 1871 in Grant City, Missouri, USA.
  3. Elizabeth France was born in 1812 in Cowick, Snaith, Yorkshire. She married Luke Settle on 18th January 1830 in Snaith, Yorkshire.
  4. Peter France was baptised on 22nd July 1814 in Snaith, Yorkshire.
  5. Joseph France was baptised on 24th August 1817 in Snaith, Yorkshire.
  6. Anne France was baptised on 4th April 1819 in Snaith, Yorkshire.
  7. Hannah France was baptised on 21st October 1821 in Snaith, Yorkshire. She married William Beckwith in about 1845.
  8. Fanny France was baptised on 18th April 1824 in Snaith, Yorkshire. She married John Bland. Details of Fanny France & John Bland are shown separately as they are direct ancestors.

Personal History Returns to 'Top of Page'

History of the France Family (as narrated by Gillian Falck)

An obituary: No actual date, clipping from My Grandmother, Mary (Beckwith) Houser.
Death of Mrs. Beckwith (Hannah France) The death took place on Friday of Mrs. Beckwith, relict of the late Mr. William Beckwith of West Cowick after a long and painful illness at the advanced age of 82. The deceased lady was one of five sisters all of whom lived to the age 80........... The mourners were Mr. and Mrs. F.G. Watson, Ida and Willie (my father) ...... Miss Bland, Mr. and Mrs Bland, Misses Thompson, Miss E. Bland etc,

My family background:
John France and his wife, Elizabeth Bayse, with 2 children, emigrated to the States in 1842 on the ship Quebec, landing at New York. They lived in upper NY State at Sodus, there they were joined by William Beckwith, husband of Hannah, John's sister. Both John and William were carpenters.
Sometime later William's wife Hannah came over. John and Elizabeth had 4 boys and three girls. One of them Mary, was my grandmother's mother.
Mary France was in England sometime in 1832!! visiting relations in Cowick there she met Dr Jacob Houser who had been a surgeon in the Civil War and was in England "walking the wards" at Leeds Infirmary for experience.
The two of them met at a party given by William Nicholson, a prosperous builder in Leeds and some relation to the France family (he was later in 1911 Sir Wm Nicholson, Lord Mayor of Leeds but I haven't been able to find out how he is related. His daughter who my grandmother referred to as "my cousin, Bunty" was married to somebody Orr-Ewing.)
Mary and Jacob both returned to the States and were married in Grant City, Missouri . The whole France family moved to Missouri at this point. Mary (France) Houser died of TB when her daughter, my grandmother was 7 months old. In the meantime Hannah France (sister of John) had emigrated to America with  her husband William Beckwith.  Hannah never settled down in America so when Dr.Jacob Houser wanted to marry another daughter of John's (Fanny)  it was decided that the baby would go to Cowick, England with her great-aunt Hannah Beckwith who brought her up.  My grandmother visited her father in the States once or maybe twice, she travelled there with William Beckwith who loved it in America but returned to Cowick with his wife. My father was the oldest son of Mary Houser or Beckwith as she was known in Cowick and Frederick George Watson. . In later years one of my cousins used to be taken by my grandmother to visit all the old dears (Hannah and her sisters) in Cowick. My cousin Ida also talked of visiting the Blands but she didn't remember anything in particular about them - she didn't know how they came to be part of the family .

Verification & Concerns Returns to 'Top of Page'

  1. Snaith is a large parish situated at the western extremity of the West Riding and included the townships of Armin, Balne, Carleton, Cowick,
    Goole, Gowdall, Heck, Hensall, Hooke, Pollington, and Rawcliffe.
  2. Census:
    1. 1841 Cowick census shows Peter France aged 52, Frances aged 52, Mary aged 30, Anna aged 15 and Frances aged 15.
    2. 1851 Cowick census shows Peter France aged 62 (innkeeper), Frances aged 63, Mary (daughter) aged 40, Fanny (visitor) aged 9.
    3. 1881 Cowick census shows Ann (unmarried) aged 58 born in Cowick, Mary Tuke (widow) aged 72 born in Cowick and John Dealtry (Widower) aged 39 born Snaith. (John was husband of Ann Barbara Tuke married Dec 1860)
  3. Peter's & Fanny's dates of death are from the gravestone. Years of birth are from the 1841 census.
Documents Returns to 'Top of Page'

Certificates & Official Records

  1. Peter France 1841 Census


  1. Gravestone of Peter & Fanny France


Sources Returns to 'Top of Page'
  1. IGI (International Genealogical Index: Latter-day Saints) - batches of parish records: see LINKS-Research Web sites
  2. Gillian Falck (Canada) who is a direct descendant of the family (Gillian Falck <>).
  3. Census Records - 1841, 1861, 1871 - British Origins Web site
  4. Census Records - 1881 Family Search CD
  5. Chris Watson <> . Chris is developing a history of Cowick. see,