John Lowis was born about 1811 in Kirkoswald, the son of Joseph Lowis and Dinah Foster. The marriage of Joseph and Dinah is recorded in the parish records of Kirkoswald and took place on the 9th June, 1811. John married Jane Blenkinship at the Parish Church, Kirkoswald, on 6th November, 1852. John was aged 40, and Jane 27. John's father was Joseph Lowis, a farmer, and Jane's father was Isaac Blenkinship, also a farmer, at Haresceugh Castle. Their place of residence was Blunderfield, Kirkoswald and they had 9 children.

  1. May, 1853 Dianah Lowis
  2. Oct.,1854 Joseph Lowis
  3. Jan.,1857 *Mary Ann Lowis
  4. Mar.,1859 John Lowis
  5. Apr.,1861 Isaac Lowis
  6. May, 1863 Sarah Lowis
  7. May, 1865 Jane Lowis
  8. Jan.,1867 Elizabeth Maud Lowis
  9. Apr.,1869 Robert Lowis


Dinah was probably named after her grandmother, Dinah Foster (Lowis). The death of a Dinah Lowis is recorded in the March quarter of 1855. As no age is given it could be either John Lowis' mother or his daughter.


Joseph is on the 1881 census for Blunderfield. He is described as 25 and a farmer's son. There is a death record for a Joseph Lowis recorded in the June quarter of 1884. He was aged 29.


*Mary Ann Lowis married Joseph Robley, July 27th 1878 in the Parish Church at Kirkoswald. Joseph was aged 22 and Mary Ann 21. Joseph was resident at Scarrowmanwick, Kirkoswald, and Mary Ann at Blundersfield, Kirkoswald. Joseph's father was Joseph Robley (deceased), and Mary Ann's father was John Lowis. They began their married life at Scarrowmanwick, before moving to their own farm at Cumwhitton. Joseph and Mary Ann had 7 children: John Robley, b. 19th Sept. 1878; Jane Elizabeth Robley, b. 2nd June, 1880; Maud Mary Robley, b. 4th May, 1882; Joseph Robley, b. 21st. March, 1884; Thomas Robley, b. 26th September, 1886; Mabel Sarah Robley, b. 2nd March, 1889; William Isaac Robley, b. 25th August, 1892. Mary Ann's husband, Joseph died on April 20th, 1904, aged 47 years, and was interred in Cumwhitton church yard on April 23rd. She continued to farm, with the help of her sons, until her own death in 1928.


There is a John Lowis, aged 40, born Kirkoswald, recorded on the 1901 census at Penrith. His occupation was "horseman on farm" and he was unmarried.


At the time of the 1901 census Isaac was still unmarried. He was recorded at Great Salkeld, and is described as aged 40 and a farmer's son. Head of the household was his mother, Jane Lowis, aged 73. Isaac was also a witness at the marriage of his younger brother, Robert. The second witness was Clara Nelson, sister of the bride.


Sarah Lowis married Thomas Robley in the September quarter of 1883. Her elder sister, Mary Ann, had married Joseph Robley, from the same family, five years earlier, and Sarah had been one of the witnesses at their wedding. So it was the case of 2 sisters marrying 2 brothers. As the eldest son, Thomas had inherited Scarrowmanwick from his father, Joseph, and his uncle, Isaac, but he went bankrupt in the 1890s. Sadly, Thomas, Sarah and their young family had to leave Scarrowmanwick, a farm Thomas was much attached to and which had been owned by the Robleys for nearly 2 centuries. Sarah & Thomas had 9 children: Emily Jane, Elizabeth Maude, Ada Mary, Sarah Margaret, Thomas (born Scarrowmanwick); Joseph (born Lazonby); John, William Lowis, Florence Annie (born Soulby, Westmorland). Thomas & Joseph were killed in WW1. In his will, proved on the 14th May, 1937, Thomas is described as "of Hill Top Farm, Winton, near Kirby Stephen in the County of Westmorland, Retired District Council Employee." Sarah was still living at the time of his death.


Nothing is known of Jane Lowis. She is missing from the 1881 census for Blunderfield.


Like her younger brother, Robert, Elizabeth Maud married in Great Salkeld. She married Tom Fisher in the September quarter of 1896. In the 1901 census she is described as Elizabeth Fisher, aged 33, born Blunderfield. Her husband, Tom was 29, born at Great Salkeld, and a stone quarryman. There were some Fisher children recorded at Gt. Salkeld in 1901, but it has not been possible to verify yet if they belonged to Elizabeth and Tom.


Robert Lowis married Hannah Nelson 17th August, 1899 at the Parish Church of Great Salkeld. The Nelsons came from Force Mill, Great Salkeld, and Hannah had been born there on 9th January, 1872. Robert was born at Blunderfield,Kirkoswald but had moved to Cold Keld, Great Salkeld in the 1890s. Robert & Hannah had a daughter, Elizabeth Jane Lowis born 15 May, 1900. Elizabeth Jane Lowis married Robert Redvers Pearson in 1922. Robert & Elizabeth emigrated to New Zealand in 1826 with their daughter, Jean Pearson. They left Southampton on the Ionic at 1.30pm on March 26th 1926 and arrived in Wellington, New Zealand at 5.30pm on May 7th 1926. Robert & Hannah Lowis joined them there about 1928, and set up a boarding house at a coal mining town on the west coast of the South Island called Rewanui (a Maori name). Hannah was a good cook. and a hard worker and made meals for the miners. She died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage, eleven years after their arrival in New Zealand and died on 22 March 1939. When she took ill, they had to take her to a doctor by train. It took 3 hours and she died on the journey. Robert died 17 June, 1942 aged 73 years.

Passport photograph of Robert & Hannah with the date 1928 stamped on it

Hannah & Robert Lowis'grave at Karoro Cemetery, Greymouth, New Zealand with native pahutakawa trees in the background. Jean Pearson (Watts), their granddaughter, and Loretta Watts (Larcombe), their gt. granddaughter, sitting in front of the grave.

Marian Robley, Cambridge, June 2005. Information & photographs about Robert & Hannah Lowis contributed by Brad Pearson and Loretta Larcombe.