The Castle, the Gatekeeper and the Inn Keeper!...

This story starts back in 1829 in Lancashire (England), but my introduction to it was actually less thanย year ago. When I was over in England in August 2014 with some of my family, one thing that my dad really wanted to do, was to visit Lancaster Castle in Lancashire, as his great great grandpa (William Todd Hayhurst) worked there as a warden. This was a story I’d vaguely heard before, but not followed up. Afterall there’s only so many families that you can trace at once. But on going to the castle, I thought I’d better do some digging. After all, a ancestor who worked at a castle is kinda cool, eh? My first surprise when researching this family was to find out that Lancaster Castle, which is most certainly is a castle, wasn’t actually used as one. Well, not for the past 900 years or so anyway. In fact it’s been used as a jail, housing many thousands of people who were debtors, petty criminals, murderers and witches. The tour of the castle was amazing, even if we weren’t allowed to go in ALL parts. It was incredible to think that this 1000 or so year old mega-structure is even still standing. And that people lived and died in this prison – including many hangings – which by the way, were a public attraction of the day, even in the late 1800s. Now back to 1829. William TODD, born to Margaret TODD was christened ย on 25 October 1829 at Cockerham, Lancashire. Note: no father mentioned. However less than a year after that, I find that Margaret Todd was living at Quernmore in Lancashire … as was Thomas Hayhurst, whose wife had died a little while before, leaving him...