NOTE: Colour and number coding helps to distiguish between generations:
~~~ 1 Black indicates birth in the late 1600s (or early 1700s);      ~~  1 Brown = born in early 1700s;
   ~  1 Blue = born in mid-1700s;   1 ~ Purple = born in later 1700s;   1  Gray = born in early 1800s

John Hedley was born Nov. 28, 1773 in Birtley Parish, Northumberland, the eldest child of Thomas and Martha (Weatherley) Hedley. John was married at age 25 to Frances Lawes (Laws), age 21, born Oct. 12, 1777 at Woodside, Ryton Parish, Durham County, England. Witnesses at the marriage in Ovingham Parish on June 9, 1798, were Thomas Humble and Elizabeth Rowland Weatherley, sister of Captain John Dent Weatherley, who sponsored this couple and their children's emigration to Canada in 1819.

John Hedley and Frances Laws settled about nine miles west of Ryton Parish, Durham, in the village of Ovingham, Northumberland, situated on the north side of the Tyne River, opposite Prudoe.

The Lawes (Laws) Family of Ryton Parish, Durham (Five Generations)

Issac Laws married Alice Grenoe in Ryton Parish, Durham on Nov. 28, 1714 (IGI). Alice (Grenoe) Laws died Dec. 20, 1720 at Parkgate, Ryton Parish, shortly after the birth of Alice, her third child. Issac Laws died at Parkgate (date unknown). Issac and Alice Laws had three children:

        1) John Laws, eldest child of Issac Laws and Alice Grenoe, was christened in Ryton Parish,
             Durham, Feb.2, 1716
(IGI); John Lawes died in 1776, about age 50.
John Laws, married (wife unknown) and had five children:

                1/ Elizabeth Laws christened April 1744 at Ryton Parish, Durham (IGI)
                2/ Rebecca Laws
christened March 1746 at Ryton Parish (IGI); died 1746.
3/ John Laws christened May 14, 1749 at Ryton Parish (IGI); died 1749.
4/ Nicholas Laws, the fourth of five children of John Laws of Ryton Parish, (See below)
                5/ Mary Laws, youngest of the five children of John Laws was christened Nov. 1756 at
                    Ryton Parish, Durham
2) George Laws, second of the three children of Isacc Laws and Alice Grenoe was christened March
            1718 in Ryton Parish
        3) Alice Laws, youngest of the three children of Isacc Laws and Alice Grenoe was christened Dec. 3,
           1720 in Ryton Parish

                Nicholas Laws, the fourth of five children of John Laws of Ryton Parish, Durham, was born at
                Shorty Crofts and christened in Ryton Parish in July 1752
(IGI). Nicholas Laws married
Frances James, born abt. 1745;Nicholas Laws died at age 30 in Prudhoe, Northumberland
                in 1782, a year after the birth of his son, Francis James Laws
(Frances Laws, his daughter,
                was five years old.)

                Frances (James) Laws died at age 71 on July 3, 1816 in Prudhoe

                (Ovingham Registry of Burials).
                Nicholas Laws and Frances (James) Laws had three children:
                        1~ Frances Laws, the eldest of the three children of Nicholas and Frances (James) Laws,
christened Oct.12, 1777 at Woodside, Ryton, Durham County (IGI). Frances was
married at age 20 to John Hedley (age 24) in Ovingham Parish, Northumberland on
                            June 9, 1798
(witnesses Elizabeth Rowland Wetherley and Thomas Humble).
                            John Hedley was born at Rouchester Farm, Birtley, Northumberland, and christened
                            Nov. 28, 1773 in Birtley Parish, Northumberland.
He was the eldest child of Thomas
                            Hedley and Martha Weatherley of Rouchester Farm and Dinley Hill.
                            John and Frances emigrated to Canada
with their six children in 1819, establishing the
                            Canadian branch of the Hedley family. John Hedley died in March Twp. Carleton Co.
                            Canada on Jan. 3, 1855 at age 82.
Frances died July 14, 1866 at age 88 in March
                            Township, Carleton County, Canada.
                      2~ Hannah Laws christened Aug.1,1779 at Ryton, Durham (IGI); d. at age 3 in 1782.
3~ Nicholas Laws was christened March 10, 1781 in Washington, Durham (IGI). Nicholas
                           Laws, labourer, a native of Washington, Durham, married
Isabel Stokoe, native of
                           Thockrington, Chollerton Parish, (north side of Tyne River, opposite Hexham)

                           (Chollerton Parish Transcripts, Morpeth, Ntld.)
Nicholas Lawes and Isabel
                           Stokoe were married in Chollerton May 16,
1807 (IGI). Children?
                                 1 (unknown)
2 Thomas Lawes, second son of Nicholas, born Oct. 10, 1809, chris. March 4, 1810,
                                    Chollerton Parish

Ryton Parish, Durham

Ryton is located south of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, about 50 kilometres southwest of Birtley. Although the town of Ryton has grown in size, it has preserved many of the old homes and other important features of its past. Old Ryton attracted the wealthy, seeking escape from the urban sprawl of the industrial revolution. The oldest building in Old Ryton, Holy Cross Church, with its 36 metre spire, was founded in 1220. It was probably in this church that Frances Laws was baptised in 1777. Near the church is the 1795 Town Cross, near which "hirings" were held twice yearly, in November and May. These events brought together employers looking for workers with would-be employees. England's first bank was organized in Ryton by the local coal mine owner for the use of his employees. The building in which it was housed still stands, as do many houses from the 1750's. Ryton Willows Nature Reserve on the banks of the Tyne is designated as a site of special scientific interest.

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this page updated Jan. 17, 2009