- The clues to the history of Robert's family lie in the fact that his son John was born in Penrith, as stated in most of the annual census's. This has led to the discovery of Robert's marriage in Appleby, to Ann Wade and the birth of 9 further children, from Anne, in 1798 in Appleby, then 8 in Penrith between 1800 and 1817, until finally, Isabella, in West Witton, Yorkshire, in 1823.
This indicates a journey of migration by a farm labourer following the available work. But where did Robert come from?
His marriage date suggests a birth between 1760-1770 and the only potential Robert within this time frame is
Robert Brenkley who was buried on 29 December 1847, said to be age 88, in West Witton, Yorkshire. This would indicate his last child iIsabell being born when he was age 64. Robert is on the 1841 census with wife Ann age 65 and also there, Robert age 10 and Sarah age 2, presumably grandchildren. Robert is described as a Pauper. Ref Piece 1254; Book 14; Folio 9; Page 12. This nearest baptism record to fit this is, Robert Brenkley bap. 1766 at Hardraw, son of Ann, no father mentioned.
West Witton and Hardraw are 14 miles apart.