Willington in Northumberland was the birth place of members of the Duxfield family, including Elizabeth Sarah Duxfield in 1861. A separate page gives a description of the Willington North Farm and the farm house where the family lived, written in about 1920. Elizabeth's father (John Duxfield b 1818) and his family migrated to New Zealand in 1886.
Today Willington is part of Wallsend, a town in the metropolitan borough of North Tyneside, Tyne and Wear, England. Wallsend derives its name as the location of the end of Hadrian's Wall. Tyne and Wear Metropolitan County had a population of more than a million in 2008.
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At the time the Duxfield family lived in Willington there were fields and farming. The History, Topography, and Directory of Northumberland (Whellan, 1855) gives the following description of the Wallsend parish and Willington township:
"WALLSEND parish comprises the townships of Howden Pans, Wallsend and Willington, whose united area amounts to 2,787 acres. It is bounded on the north and west by Long Benton parish, on the south, by the river Tyne, and on the east by the parish of Tynemouth. The population in 1801, was 3,120; in 1811, 3,584; in 1821, 5,103; in 1831, 5,510; in 1841, 4,758; and in 1851, 5,721 souls. This parish stretches along the north bank of the Tyne, and is intersected by the Newcastle and South Shields Railway. Extensive coal mines exist in the neighbourbood, and the place formerly gave its name to an excellent variety of coal, but now the designation "Wallsend" is applied to all coal which passes over a sieve, whose meshes are five-eights of an inch asunder, without falling through."
"WILLINGTON, a township and village in Wallsend parish, is the property of Captain Bigge, of Linden, and Messrs. Ord, Collingwood, and Dalton. The acreage of the township is returned with the parish, and the ratable value is £7,839. Population in 1841, 1,474; in 1851, 2,284 souls. Matthew Bell, Esq., posses extensive colleries in this township, which afford employment to great numbers of colliers, &c."
George Robson Duxfield is listed as a farmer, at North Farm Willington.
An 1865 map of the Willington area shows numerous fields, farm houses and buildings, the Willington Collery, Willington Stables, church, school and parsonage.
Kelly's Directory of Northumberland and Durham (1873) stated that the parish of Willington St Mary the Virgin had a temporary church in a plain brick building, but a site had been obtained, and efforts were being made to erect a church in the district. The parish register dated from the year 1860.