The Craven and Hillam families of Bradford🚎

It has been rather strange not going to Fleamarkets, Car Boots or Antique fairs, but I have had some lovely finds on Ebay and in the process met some really nice sellers, as I have asked for any extra information about the old photos I have bought, this one originally was bought by the seller at a postcard fair in Bedale, Yorkshire. Wouldn’t it be just fabulous to find a family member where it can find a home as it’s such a lovely photo.


So reading the back of the postcard just as a Grandchild has written it, this is a photo of the Craven family, Elizabeth (was Hillan/m) with her husband Ted (Edward) Hillan/m and their two children Emma and Ernest.

So on finding their marriage, I can confirm the surname is HILLAM. So Grandad Hillam could be Henry b1842 or Alfred b1845 or Job b1848 Elizabeth’s brothers. Elizabeth Ann Hillam also had two sisters Emma b1857 and Harriett b1860 who sadly died at just a few months of age in 1861.

22a ebay
Edward Hartley Craven married Elizabeth Ann Hillam on 30 Dec 1883 in Bradford.

Craven m Hillam

The Craven Family. Edward Hartley Craven was born in 1865 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, his parents were Samuel Craven (a Staff Warehouseman) and Hannah Bagshaw (More later) He had six siblings: Sarah J, Annie, Albert A, Harry, Emily and Clara. When he was 18, he married Elizabeth Ann Hillam, one of six children and the daughter of Aaron Hillam (A Worsted Weaver and overlooker) and Sarah Bennett (More on them later), on 30 Dec 1883 in Bradford, St Peter (Bradford Cathedral), Yorkshire, England. At the time of their marriage, she had shaved 5 years of her age and it states 23, but she was 28! So actually almost ten years older than Edward.

Records for Bradford Cathedral (PDF)via the Family History Society: Cathedral Records

What a stunning place to be married! By Michael D Beckwith – Own work, CC0,

Edward Hartley Craven lived in All Saints, Yorkshire, England in 1871 with his family. He lived in Keighley, Yorkshire, England in 1901 with his family, his occupation then was a labourer at the Gasworks. Then he and his family lived in 48 Ward Street, Great Horton, Bradford, Yorkshire in 1911, he has now changed his job to be a Tramway Guard.

Tram in Bradford c1900. From Bradford Old Photos, link below:

More Bradford Old Photos here: Bradford Old Photos

Edward Hartley Craven and Elizabeth Ann Hillam had the following children:

Emma Craven was born in 1884 in Great Horton, Yorkshire (CRAVEN, EMMA HILLAM GRO Reference: 1884 S Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 177 ). She died on 07 Jan 1961 in Bradford. Emma never married nor had any children. She left £585.3s10d
Florence Craven was born in 1886 in Bradford, Yorkshire (CRAVEN, FLORENCE HILLAM GRO Reference: 1886 D Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 157 ). She died in Oct 1892 in Great Horton, Yorkshire aged just six.
Ernest Frederick Craven was born in 1896 in Bradford, Yorkshire (CRAVEN, ERNEST FREDERICK HILLAM GRO Reference: 1896 S Quarter in BRADFORD Volume 09B Page 139 ). He died on 07 Mar 1954 in Bradford, Yorkshire. He had married Catherine Lilian Jarvis on 04 Feb 1922 (Ernest was a Tram Conductor)and I have found one child Kenneth but I wonder if the couple had separated early in their marriage as they were living at different addresses in the 1939 Register…..

I love that Ernest followed his father Edward to work on the Bradford Trams.

There is a book out now about Bradford Tramways that is less than £8 with postage from Ebay if you are interested in finding out more about the Tramways and the history of Edward and Ernest’s jobs:


CRAVEN Samuel Craven (Edward Father) was born in 1829 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.  When he was 24, he married Hannah Bagshaw (Edwards Mum) in Jan 1853 in Bradford, Yorkshire West Riding. He died in Apr 1908 in Bradford, Yorkshire West Riding.

Samuel Craven and his family lived in Little Horton in Bradford, Yorkshire, England in 1861, 1871,1881, 1891 and 1901 (Marital Status: Married; Relationship to Head: Head)Likely from when the couple married as all the children were born in Little Horton. He also stayed in the same job all his life, a Stuff Warehouse Man.

The Craven family were involved in the manufacturing of Worsted as were their neighbours.

Samuel Craven being a Stuff Warehouseman. STUFF Stuff can refer to any manufactured material. Stuffes made by them; Such as Papers, Linnen, Silks, Tissues; dainty Works of Feathers of wonderful Lustre; excellent Dies, and many others (Oxford English Dictionary) In this case because of the information on the census, I think it was WORSTED, the Textile industry. The Craven family had connections and jobs in the Textile industry from previous generations too. Samuel’s father John was a weaver when he married his wife Grace Hartley in 1818.

WORSTED INDUSTRY in Bradford. I found this very interesting article from 2018 that was in the Northern Life Magazine titled ‘Bradford at Work’. “From 1825 wool imported in prodigious quantities for the manufacture of worsted cloth. Worsted was a fine wool fabric used in top-end clothing and refers to a type of yarn and the fabric produced by this yarn. There are two principal types of wool warn: woollen and worsted, using fleeces from different breeds of sheep that are prepared and spun differently“. Full article here: Bradford at Work

Samuel Craven and Hannah Bagshaw had the following children:

Sarah J Craven was born in 1854 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Annie Craven was born in 1858 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Albert A Craven was born in 1863 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Edward Hartley Craven was born in 1865 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Harry Craven was born in 1869 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Emily Craven was born about 1872 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.
Clara Emma Craven was born about 1873 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England.

HILLAM Aaron Hillam was born on 03 Apr 1817 in Horton Yorkshire and was baptized on 24 Aug 1817. When he was 24, he married Sarah Bennett, daughter of James Bennett, on 03 Aug 1841 in St Peter (Bradford Cathedral), Bradford, Yorkshire. He lived in the Horton area of Bradford, Yorkshire, England in 1861 (A Factory Stoker) & in 1871 (A Weaving, Mess? looker, Worsted). He died in Jan 1885 in Bradford, Yorkshire West Riding. Here’s the family in the 1861 census BELOW, the family of Hillam also lived in the same area as the Craven family and strong connections to the Textile Industry.

Aaron Hillam 1861 C
Factory Stoker, Coal Miners, Worsted Spinner, Elizabeth Ann is just five here.

In the later census details for the Hillam family, Henry and Alfred had become Slater’s changing their occupation from Coal Miner’s, there is a wonderfully informative Blog by the Bradford and District Local Studies on loads of subjects, including hundreds of old photos of all subjects and more information about ‘Neglected Bradford Industries’ Coal Mining being one & also information about building “Welsh slate first arrived in Bradford with the railways in 1846 and is blue-grey or purple in colour” Here’s the direct link to their Blog, put Coal into the search box at the top of the page: Bradford Local Studies

Aaron Hillam and Sarah Bennett had the following children:

Henry Hillam was born in Oct 1842 in Horton, Yorkshire, England. He married Emma Wilson on 18 Nov 1865 in Bradford, St Peter (Bradford Cathedral), Yorkshire, England.
Alfred Hillam was born in 1845 in Horton, Yorkshire, England. He died in Jan 1910 in Bradford, Yorkshire West Riding. He married Amanda Waite on 23 Dec 1865 in Bradford, St Peter (Bradford Cathedral), Yorkshire, England.
Job Hillam was born in 1848 in Horton, Yorkshire, England. He died in Jan 1920 in Bradford, Yorkshire West Riding, England. He married Eliza Firth on 30 Dec 1866 in Bradford, St Peter (Bradford Cathedral), Yorkshire, England. In 1871 he was a Weaving Overlooker (Stuff Master)In 1891 he was A Worsted Weaving Overlooker.
Elizabeth Ann Hillam was born on 04 Jul 1855 in Great Horton, Yorkshire, England (HILLAM, ELIZABETH ANN BENNETT GRO Reference: 1855 S Quarter in BRADFORD AND NORTH BIERLEY YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 132 )
Emma Hillam was born in 1857 in Horton Yorkshire England (HILLAM, EMMA BENNETT GRO Reference: 1857 S Quarter in BRADFORD AND NORTH BIERLEY YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 118 ). She married Frederick Robinson on 21 Oct 1874 in Bradford, St Peter (Bradford Cathedral), Yorkshire, England.
Harriott Hillam was born in 1860 in Horton, Yorkshire, England (HILLAM, HARRIET BENNETT GRO Reference: 1860 D Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 93 ). She died in Apr 1861 in Bradford, Yorkshire West Riding (HILLAM, HARRIET 0 GRO Reference: 1861 J Quarter in BRADFORD YORKSHIRE Volume 09B Page 86 )

Here’s the direct link to the family tree on Ancestry: Craven and Hillam

Do you have connections to this family of Craven or Hillam??

Lastly, I couldn’t resist trying out sharing a video (first time!) with you all on my blog after I discovered this! Edward and son Ernest both worked on the Trams so here is a TRAM ride in Bradford by Mitchell and Kenyon on 10 April 1904 it’s been narrated :



Till next time then…………


  1. Hi Lynn, Wonderful photo’s and family history I do so enjoy reading your stories about so many different interesting families. I was particularly interested in the trams because I used them a lot back in the “good old days” as they say, when I was a mere kid. OMG ! that dates me a bit doesn’t it. I can understand that you are missing going to the car boot sales but you seem to be getting along in your own way acquiring information, nice to know of reliable contacts I guess. Looking forward to your next post which I know will be interesting.Take care and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much as always Rita, I’ve found a few gems over the last few months & am researching several other families at the moment, so next blog will not be to long. Take care xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s