Maclean Family Tree
Pickering Rippon

my 4x great grandfather

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The name "Pickering Rippon" appears repeatedly in my family tree, passed down by generation after generation for well over 200 years as either a first and second name, or middle name and surname. It begins in Whitby, North Yorkshire in 1747 with the marriage of William Rippon (b 1722) to Alice Pickering (dates unknown). Both surnames were no doubt themselves derived at some point from the towns of Ripon and Pickering, about 40 miles distant from each other inland in the North Riding. The first Pickering Rippon was William & Alice's second child (and first son), born in Whitby in 1750.

It's not clear from available records what the first Pickering Rippon's trade was, but it may well have been shopkeeping of some form. In 1773, he married Mary Leng, from another well-established Whitby family, and they had at least seven children who survived into maturity. Pickering Rippon appears to have died in 1835, two years after his wife. We know rather more about his children.

Alice Rippon was born in 1774. When she was in her early 20s she married George Lorains, a Frenchman born originally in Moselle, and already a widower with three children. They went on to have a large family of their own, with as many as ten children, several of whom went on to become tradesmen in Whitby. At least one of the boys was baptised as Pickering Rippon Lorains. However George died in 1840 leaving Alice on her own, perhaps without financial means. In 1841 she seems to appear in the Census as Alice Lawrence, living in Church Street. She was still there in 1851, along with her daughter Mary and granddaughter Esther, but described as a pauper and a retired laundress. She died a few years later in 1854.

William Rippon was born at the end of 1776, and married Mary Harrison when he was just 21. They had five children (including one son baptised as Pickering Rippon). In 1823, William was the landlord of the Ship tavern in Church Street (according to Baines' Directory). He later gave this up and set up as a shopkeeper, and was listed as such in Pigot's Directory of 1829 and again in 1834. At some point over the following few years he died, and in 1840, his widow Mary was listed by White's Directory as proprietor of the shop. She died in 1847.

Martha Rippon was born in 1780, one of twins. In 1804 she married James Audas, also from Whitby. In around 1820, they moved to Gateshead in Durham where Audas seems to have become prosperous as a merchant, commissioning the building of several ships in the 1820s and 1830s. He died at some point before 1840, leaving Martha a widow in the 1841 Census. She lived on to the grand old age of 91. There were at least six children, all born in Whitby, and several of them also did well as trade began to boom in Gateshead and West Hartlepool. There were no Pickerings among the children, but the third son was named Rippon Audas.

Mary Rippon was Martha's twin, also born in 1780. When she was 19 she married William Falkingbridge, a Whitby boat builder, listed in each of the Whitby Directories between 1823 and 1840. There were at least five children, of whom the first, a boy, was named Rippon Falkingbridge. He also became a tradesman in Whitby as a joiner. Mary died in 1847, and husband William in 1847.

Thomas Rippon was born in 1783. He married Mary Ann Jane Absolam in 1806, and they had at least six children, including the youngest, Pickering Rippon, born in 1788. Thomas took a slightly different career from his brothers, setting up as one of Whitby's only two ship's riggers, with premises in Church Street, although home was round the corner in Grape Street. He died in 1847, but was very helpful in that he left a will that provides considerable additional information about his family (not least the names of his sisters' husbands). He and Mary Ann Jane had no children, and Thomas left much of his estate to his nephew Thomas, the son of his youngest brother.

Hannah Rippon was born in 1785. She was the last of the children to marry, finally tying the knot in 1818, when she was 33 with George Wilthew, a joiner also with premises in Church Street. (It's possibly she had married before and been widowed). They had no children of their own, but George had been married previously and had one daughter, Jane Wilthew, who seems to have been mentally impaired. (She is described rather bluntly in the 1851 Census as an "idiot"). They are all living together in 1841, but George died six years later. Hannah and Jane continued to share a house for the next 25 years, along with Hannah's nephew, also named Pickering Rippon (son of her youngest brother), who probably took over George's joinery business. Next door were members of the Falkingbridge family, relatives of Hannah's elder sister Mary. Jane died in 1867. Hannah followed four years after.

Pickering Rippon the younger was born in 1788, the last of Pickering the elder and Mary's children. More on him below.


  Do you have any further information on any of the other people mentioned on this page? Please contact me at My full family tree, which contains almost 1500 individuals, is posted at GenesReunited and Ancestry. Contact me for access.