Haslingden Update and Two New Families

I’ve just done an update to the Haslingden Clan and added two new families in Families 3, called Rotherham and Pheonix. I’ve been doing bits on Haslingden on and off for a while. This year has been full of distractions (holidays, 5 computerless days last week, and life in general) so I have lost track of all the additions. Most recently I have been fleshing out a few people who were merely names up until now. Nevertheless the numbers in the clan seem to have jumped up significantly.

Of particular interest was the marriage of James Henry Warburton to Matilda Ramsbottom, nee Warburton in 1874. I wondered if they were related, and if so how. It’s not the first Warburton-Warburton marriage in the Haslingden clan, and both parties were born in Haslingden.

I had Matilda’s line so the task was to follow up James Henry’s line. His parents are Richard and Ann nee Rawstron (sometimes spelt Rostron). One problem is that Richard’s ages across the censuses and on his death record vary giving a date of birth anywhere between 1811 and 1821. With the exception of a Richard who is said to be born in 1821 in Haslingden and living in Tottington in the 1861 census, but is missing from other censuses, there is only one Richard born in that whole period who appears regularly in census. He also has a matching death record.

The only baptism of a Richard I have found is one born on March 27th 1816 and baptised at the King Street Wesleyan Chapel in Haslingden on May 5th, the child of James and Betty of Grane. There is another baptism of a Mary in 1806 who is also the child of James and Betty of Grane. Unfortunately the father’s occupation is not stated.

The parish church of St James in Haslingden also has a number of baptisms, and burials of children of James and Betty between 1794 and 1822. There is also a grave where James, Betty and three of their children are buried. The parish records also show a family who moved around. Where occupation is mentioned James is a stone cutter or stone mason. The early baptisms refer to Preistintax (Priest’s Intake), and Troy, both of which are in or near Grane and lie to the west of Haslingden town centre. Troy was the site of a large quarry. Later records refer to Sheep’s Green which is east of Haslingden. However the presence of children from both eras in the family grave ties the two halves of the family together.

The only contemporary wedding is that of James and Betty Grimshaw on April 1st 1793. Their ages at death imply they married very young. The big question is can the two Wesleyan baptisms be included in this family? The first reference to Sheep Green is in 1817, the year after Richard’s baptism, so the move may have occurred between the two events.

More worrying is that a Mary Ann was baptised at the parish church in 1814 and I have not found evidence of the burial of the first Mary. However Mary Ann’s baptism is the only one at the parish church between the two Wesleyan baptisms. There is an apparently childless gap of 8 years between Mary and Mary Ann. The gap is even greater if only parish church baptisms are counted. So the question arises as to whether other unrecorded baptisms occurred during this period.

This is a problem I find typical of research before the advent of civil registration. Parish records of the period are pretty basic, though improving. At least mother’s name is included on baptisms, and age at death on burial records is being introduced. However marriage records are particularly cryptic. Further problems arise as the Industrial Revolution increases mobility, and the rise in non-conformism means many baptisms occur away from the parish church where records are either missing, or yet to be digitised. Life is not aided by the use of a fairly limited set of christian names.

So I can’t be sure Richard is the son of James and Betty nee Grimshaw. On balance he probably is. There is certainly no alternative set of parents for him, and he was certainly from Haslingden. In these cases I tend to accept the link, but document the caveats. In this case it would mean that Matilda and James Henry are 5th cousins.

The Rotherham family comes from information provided to me by Robin Hunt, and it too was originally a branch of the Haslingden clan. In this case however, I found the link too tenuous and decided to make them a separate family. In fact, on balance they are more likely to link to the Tottington clan.

The family consists largely of the descendants of John Warburton and Mary nee Crowder. This family moved to Yorkshire where their descendants subsequently lived, particularly around Rotherham, hence my name for the family.

There is an IGI submission that names John’s parents as James, and Ann nee Smith who were married at Bury St Mary on April 23rd 1792.  James was described as a widower.

John declared his father to be James, a machine maker, on his second marriage. He also declared his age on that marriage, and on 3 censuses and on his death certificate. If his age was accurate in all cases he was born between 3rd September 1793 and late March 1794. His declared place of birth was Tottington.

I can find no record of a John son of James and Ann born in this timeframe at Tottington or elsewhere. The nearest was born on July 27th 1795, and baptised on October 4th at Stand Unitarian Chapel, which is actually in Whitefield,  part of the Radcliffe parish. As this is a nonconformist baptism it is perhaps understandable that they may need to travel 6 miles to go to the church they want.
Another child, James was baptised in 1794, son of James and Ann, so although John’s mother is not named she is probably Ann.The chapel’s baptism records do not give the parent’s abode so James and Ann can’t be shown to have lived in Tottington. On the other hand there is no other James and Ann marriage in the period 1784-94 in the area.
James is a weaver on his marriage, a carter on John’s baptism, and a machine maker, like son John on John’s second wedding declaration. Ages were not always well known, but birthdays should be. If he was born in July then his age is 2 years out on the censuses and date of death, but only one year out on his second marriage.
Despite the discrepancies I have described John as the son of James and Ann based on the IGI submission and the lack of alternatives. However it cannot be certain given that there may be unrecorded baptisms given the proliferation of non-conformist churches in the area.
James was then linked with the son of Thomas and Susan[nah] Barlow of Haslingden but I can find no evidence to support this. The main problem is there are several Jameses baptised at Bury or Haslingden (about 10 between 1755 and 1773; two of them from Tottington). Any of these could be the husband of Ann Smith, though the fact James was already a widow when he married Ann suggests the later ones can be discounted.
The second family I have added is from Houghton, though I cannot connect it to the Houghton clan. It is called the Pheonix family because it is based on information from Barbara Pheonix. I discussed this and a second family in the same area in a post last December. Documenting the other one is on my to do list.

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