John Jacob Flitch was born on 19 February 1819 to John Jacob Flitch and Elizabeth. He was baptised at St Andrews Church, Brunswick Place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne on 28 March 1819. He may have been baptised again on 12 September 1824 at St John’s Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Research suggests that John may have gone bankrupt working in Newcastle and that the family may have relocated to Leeds to try again.

John married Sarah Workman on 20 May 1841 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and they had the following children:

The 1851 Census shows that the family had moved to Leeds and were living at 30 Cobourg Street (see image from 1951 on Leodis website here – this was demolished in the 1950/60s to make way for the Merrion Centre and Cobourg Street became Merrion Way in 1967.) The household consisted of John (32 working as a Leather Dresser employing 12 hands), Sarah (40), Rosina (9 year old scholar), John Richard (7 year old scholar), Ann Workman (Sarah’s widowed mother aged 66), Ann Workman (43 year old widow who was visiting) and Ann Wildman (20 year old general servant).

By the time of the 1861 Census the family had moved out of the centre of Leeds to 2 Roundhay Terrace. John, now 42 years old, is described as a Leather Manufacturer employing 40 men and 40 boys. Sarah (48), Rosina (19) and John Richard (17) have no occupations listed. They had a visitor, Rudolph Thin (27), a Leather Manufacturer who had been born in Hoffenbach in Germany. We can’t tell if he was visiting from Germany or whether he was now living in England.

John’s wife, Sarah, died on 5 January 1865 of “General Decay” and was buried on 7 January in Leeds General Cemetery (now St George’s Field in the campus of Leeds University). Sarah’s burial record shows that the family were still living on Roundhay Terrace.

John remarried to Hannah Morrow in the summer of 1867. She had been born in Garrigill in Northumberland in about 1815. They were living at Crimbles House in Chapel Allerton at the time of the 1871 Census. John was 52 years old and described as a “Master Leather Manufacturer”.

John and Hannah had moved to 1 Westfield Terrace in Chapel Allerton by the time of the 1881 Census. He was now 62 years old. His occupations are a little difficult to read (see below) but you can make out “Leather Manufr”, “Fellmonger” and “Wesleyan Local Preacher”. I think the bit in the middle reads “Firm JJ Flitch & Son Emp 236 hands”. John’s son, John Richard, was living just along the row at 8 Westfield Terrace.

John Jacob Flitch’s occupation in 1881 Census.

Hannah died on 10 September 1886 but I can find no details of where she was buried.

The 1891 Census shows that John was still living at 1 Westfield Terrace, a widower aged 72, still working as a “Leather Manufacturer” and a “Local Preacher”. He had two servants and was being visited by Joseph Dixon, a 47 year old Wesleyan Minister. It looks like his son’s family were still living at 8 Westfield Terrace though John Richard was not at home at the time of the census.

John died on 4 January 1900 whilst still living at Westfield Terrace, he was 80 years old. He was buried in the graveyard of St Matthew’s Church in Chapel Allerton on 8 January.

Probate reads:

FLITCH John Jacob of Buslingthorpe and of Westfield-terrace Chapel Allerton both in Leeds tanner and leather-merchant died 4 January 1900 at Westfield-terrace Probate Wakefield 2 March to John William Crawford woollen-manufacturer and John Richard Flitch tanner and leather-merchant Effects £84580 5s.