Friday, March 4, 2011

Joseph Castleton

  • Name: Joseph Castleton
  • Born: May 23, 1804 Lowestoff, Suffolk, England
  • Died: March 26, 1860 Lowestoff, Suffolk, England
  • Related through: Dan's grandmother Melva Castleton

Joseph Castleton was born May 23, 1804 to James and Martha Powels Castleton. They lived in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England.

Joseph became a fisherman. Lowestoft ranks next to Yarmounth among the most important fishing stations on the Eastern coast. The city has lovely market places, a seaport and beaches for bathing, beautiful hanging gardens, richly planted with trees and scrubs, with alcoves and summer homes descending to the foot of the hills. The soil is not damp as in many places in England; the air of Lowestoft is clean and wholesome. There are many delightful walks and drives in the adjacent country. Pleasantly situated on the most easterly point of England, Lowestoft when viewed from the sea, has the most picturesque and beautiful appearance of any town on the eastern coast.

Joseph had two brothers James and John, and four sisters, Mary Ann, Hannah, Suanna and Elizabeth. Another little boy, Joseph died before our Joseph was born. They enjoyed music and reading poetry in their home. We have poetry written by their father, James, and know he wrote music and played a musical instrument.

As a boy Joseph probably spent many hours with his father James, who was a cabinetmaker and did fine woodwork on the interior of sailing ships. At that time they spent many hours carving beautiful intricate designs on their woodwork.

Joseph became a fisherman very young. They fished mostly for herring and mackerel, men and young boys were employed on their boats. If they didn't catch enough fish in one night they would continue on the fishing ground for two or three nights salting the fish as they were caught. They worked hard for their living. Worried wives and families were often waiting at home, praying for the safety of their men. Often lives were lost, in fact we know of their sadness when the news was received of a cousin, son of John Castleton, also a fisherman drowned while visiting family in East Lynn.

At 24 years old on February 21, 1828, Joseph, married Mary Smith, who was 21. She was a lovely young girl also of Lowestoft, daughter of Thomas amd Susanna Crane Smith. They worked hard together raising a large family of ten children: James Joseph, Charles, William Joseph, Martha Ann, Charles (who died when 1 year old), Charles, John Samuel, Mary Ann and John Charles. Five of their children were lost when very young.

Their oldest son, James Joseph was our ancestor. He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and sailed to America, where he lived in Salt Lake City and became a gardener to Brigham Young.

Joseph died in Lowestoft, March 26, 1860 at the age of 56. After 25 years as a widow, and at the age of 77 his wife Mary joined him in death on, August 31, 1885 in their home in Lowestoft, England.

Thanks to Grandma Melva for providing this article.


  1. this is my great great great great grandfather. i am so amazed you posted this. my wife did a random search on google images using my name. i decided to look at the findings. i also have a blog on here that sort of summarizes my life. I am so happy that I am able to read about my family. these are stories of their life i have heard very little about. thank you so much! I would also like to receive a copy of Joseph and James Castleton if it's not too much trouble? please contact me at my blog to get a hold of me.

  2. My husband and I currently own the Castleton home on 3rd Avenue. We know a little history about the home and family and were very excited to find this blog. We are hoping to bring it back to it's original glory and would be very interested in any history, photos, etc. We would greatly appreciate any information. Jill