My Great Grandfather, Edward Barker Lawson was described as a “man of colour”. He was born illegitimately to Ann Lawson of Startforth, North Yorkshire, England in 1844. He had a sister Margaret born three years earlier who was also illegitimate. She too had coloured skin and became a performer and was billed as a “mullato”.
I have had no luck in tracing their father The only possible coloured connection is their Grandmother Ann Lawson (nee Harris). According to the 1841 UK Census Ann Harris was born in 1791 in Demerara, West Indies (now British Guyana) At some stage she came to England and was baptised on 17 July 1814 aged 23yrs. Ann had three guardians Eliza, John and A Galland. They were witnesses at Ann’s marriage to Edward Lawson (born 1780 in Startforth) 5 April 1817. I cannot find out who Ann’s parents were or anything about her life in the West Indies. Her husband Edward Lawson is described in the census records as a “landed proprietor”. Was this land in the West Indies? Did he have a plantation there? Information about that part of the world in this period have proved illusive. Can you help me?