Note: Click on a photo to enlarge it.

This story, and the pictures, will appear in Issue 20 of The Button Files.

Some years ago Rosalyn Warburton sent me transcripts from a bible that originally belonged to James Warburton of Partington. It was inherited by her husband, who was James’s grandson. I was able to use these to flesh out a number of entries in the Warburton Village clan.

A recent communication from Phil Ratcliffe gave me a different view of the Bible’s history. Phil is descended from another of James’s sons. Although Phil was not aware of the bible, what he did know filled in the story of the bible. Rosalyn has now sent me images of the Bible entries, as well as other interesting items. The Bible entries are shown below.

The earliest entries refer to Samuel Warburton, born in 1807, and his wife Millicent Walton, but it then focuses on their son James, and his second wife Charlotte Burgess. Rosalyn surmised that the bible was probably given to Charlotte and James when they were married, as there are several Burgess events recorded, but nothing relating to Sarah Collins, James’s first wife.

James and Charlotte had 8 children, six of whom (5 sons and a daughter) grew to adulthood. In 1896, when Charlotte died, the family occupied, and possibly owned, Bridge Farm in Partington. In 1899 James married Emma Barlow, who is believed to have been their housekeeper.

Emma already had a son Richard who was born in 1897, and she was pregnant with James’s child when James died in September 1900. Probate was granted to Emma in December 1900, and James’s effects were valued at £730 10s.

Richard subsequently used the Warburton name, but whether this was because James was his father, or simply to hide his illegitimacy is unknown.

In the 1901 census, which was taken on March 31st, Emma is still living at Bridge Farm with the 6 surviving children of James and Charlotte, and her 2 sons, including Frederick Stanley, aged 1 month. However it is believed she left fairly soon afterwards taking her 2 sons, a fair quantity of goods and chattels from the farm, and the family bible. She remarried in 1906, to Henry Pearson, a publican, and had a daughter. Rosalyn married Emma’s grandson.

The 6 children of James and Charlotte remained on the farm. In 1901 the eldest, also James, was just 18 years old. Nevertheless they continued to run the farm and the 1911 census shows the 5 boys still living there. Their sister Annie married in 1909. James is a farmer, and three of his brothers are working on the farm. The fifth boy, Percy, is a potato salesman. Maybe he was the one detailed to sell the farm’s produce. Phil Ratcliffe is Percy’s grandson.

The bible entries don’t always agree exactly with parish records. I have documented these instances in the Warburton Village tree. 
Below are the entries that Rosalyn transcribed for me:

  •  Samuel was born 5th January 1807 
  •  Millicent wife of Samuel was born December 29th 1808
  •  James was born 7th November 1839 and died 24th September 1900
  • Charlotte was born 5th August 1859 and died 27th September 1896
  •  James and Charlotte Burgess were married December 22nd 1880
  •  James and Charlottes 8 children: 
    • Elizabeth born 31/10/1881 died 22/02/1897
    •  James born 25/02/1883
    • Percy born 20/09/1884
    • Walter born 18/10/1886
    • Arthur born 28/01/1888
    • Herbert born 12/06/1890
    •  Annie Florence born 16/06/1891
    •  Edward born 12/11/1895  died 23/01/1896       

Rosalyn still has all the original birth certificates except Elizabeth’s and Percy’s. She has sent me images of the Certificates of Rgistration for 6 of the children, plus Emma’s son Frederick Stanley).

  •  James married Emma Barlow at Holy Trinity Church,Southport 19/10/1899  James was 59 years old and Emma 25 but on the wedding certificate (in Rosalyn’s possession), they gave their ages as 55 and 35.  An image of their marriage certificate is shown below.
  • Richard William Barlow was born 11/06/1896 . This doesn’t match his  birth registration which was in 1897, or his baptism which implies 1898. His age on censuses etc. matches the registration date. It is not until later years, after James died and Emma remarried, that he was known as Richard Warburton.  Richard did marry but had no children and  died in his 50’s.
  • Emma was born 04/03/1874 and died 19/02/1932 
  • Frederick Stanley was born 27/02/1901 and died 31/07/1988. He married Irene Starkey on 15/07/1933 at St Paul’s Church,Bradford. Irene was born 13/11/1909 and died 28/09/1995. They had one son, John Keith Warburton born 10/01/1937. John has 2 sons by his first marriage, and a son and a daughter with Rosalyn who he married on 22/12/1978.  All 3 sons are married and each has a son. 

Rosalyn has also sent some additional images, shown below, including 2 of a number of pages from an old ledger in her possession.