Wigan Family & Local History Society


Sign the messagebook with your comments, help required, suggestions etc...


This message board is an open forum for anyone to ask for information.
Enquiries may not necessarily be answered by members of WF&LHS, who will not take responsibility for any incorrect information posted in reply by members of the public.

There are currently 2,863 entries in 144 pages.

Posted by LEP1950 on 18th December 2018  

1841 census:

Have now found John Rigby with his parents Thomas and Margaret in the 1841 census. They are at Sandy Lane, where John Rigby and new wife Elizabeth Taylor lived in 1851. Pemberton, district 12, page 6.

Thomas and Margaret are both listed as being 35, but since ages were rounded down to the nearest 5 in this census, they are between 35 and 39.

John is 10,
Margaret 8,
James 6,
Thomas 4,
William 1.

They are listed as Rigbey. John at the age of 10 is already a "nailmaker".


Posted by LEP1950 on 18th December 2018  

Rigbys contd.:

I said I couldn't identify John definitively in 1841. Perhaps I've not looked hard enough.
But I think I have his baptism at St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland on April 30th 1830.
His parents were MARGARET and THOMAS.
Very possibly Margaret's name was FAIRHURST. I am not 100% sure as there is another possibility (Unsworth).
But what is really interesting is that Elizabeth Taylor (seems to have been christened on December 18th 1831 at St Thomas the Martyr, parents WILLIAM and ELLEN) probably had a mother called Ellen Fairhurst. I wonder whether they were sisters (???)
You will notice that the first four children of John Rigby and Elizabeth Taylor were Ellen, William, Margaret and Thomas. This was a very common practice at the time to name the first children after the grandparents. Perhaps Elizabeth's parents were the first to give their names as they were already dead. Wiliam probably died in 1835. I haven't found a death for Ellen yet, but Elizabeth Taylor and her younger sister Mary (chr. on November 1833 at All Saints, Wigan) were alone with a certain Thomas Barton in the 1841 census and his wife Ellen. At first I wondered whether Ellen Taylor had remarried. Funnily enough Thomas Barton married an Ellen Taylor in 1831, but she must have been a relative of William's, sister perhaps.


Posted by LEP 1950 on 17th December 2018  


Following the Rigby family back to the 1861 census, John (31) and Elizabeth (29) were living in Wigan with the children :

ELLEN (10), born Pemberton in 1851
WLLIAM (8), born Billinge in 1853
MARGARET (6), born Orrell in 1854
THOMAS (4), born Orrell in 1857
MARY A. (7 months), born Wigan in 1860

A Margaret Rigby died in Pemberton aged 9 in 1864. We know from son Davidís birth that the family was back in Pemberton by then. So this would fit. At any rate Margaret doesnít appear with the family in the later censuses.
There was a baptism of an Ellen Rigby at St Thomas the Martyr, Upholland, on September 7th 1851. She was born on April 6th. This fits as the civil registration was 04/1851. Her parents were John and Elizabeth Rigby from Orrell. This was their first child. The others do not seem to have been christened in a CofE church.

In the 1851 census, John and Elizabeth S. are living in Sandy Lane, Orrell.

I have been looking or John in 1841, but no definitive ideas yet.


Posted by LEP1950 on 17th December 2018  

3rd piece of information for Deen:


We now know where Thomas Rigby was in 1881 and 1891, where he was born and how old he was.(I am taking the age at the time of his marriage and the age on the 1881 census. 1891 makes him ever so slightly older, but this is not unusual.) The marriage certificate shows that his father's name was JOHN. So I looked up Thomas in 1871, which wasn't so easy as RIGBY had been transcribed as LEIGH!! It isn't so easy for the volunteers sometimes. But the original definitely says Rigby and several people have already corrected this.

Here is John Rigby in 1871:

John (41), born Orrell
Elizabeth (39), born Orell
William (18), born Billinge
Thomas (14), born Orrell
Mary (10), born Wigan
Jame (8), born Wigan
David (6), born Pemberton
Angelia (??) (2), born Pemberton
John (2 months), born Pemberton

Again I looked at the birth registers and the maiden names of the mother and the one that fit all the children was TAYLOR.
The younger ones born after the 1861 census were
JAMES (1862)
DAVID (1864)
Amelia/Angelia/registered as PAMELA (1868)
JOHN (1871)

PAMELA is the Permelia in the 1891 census. In 1881 she is Amelia. More about that later.

JOHN RIGBY, a 20 year-old coke burner from Orrell had married 19 year-old spinster ELIZABETH TAYLOR from Orrell on September 8th 1850 at All Saints' WIGAN.

The name of the groom's father was THOMAS, also a coke-burner.

Elizabeth's father's name was WILLIAM. He was already dead.

So it looks like your David's heritage was Father THOMAS/grandfather JOHN, great-grandfather THOMAS.

More later. I want to watch something on television.


Posted by LEP 1950 on 16th December 2018  

For Deen:

Sorry! Albert was born in 1867, the accident was in 1879, but Mary Lester would have been too young to give birth to him.

My next step was to try and find Thomas and (Mary) Jane with baby William in the 1881 census. At first I had no luck, but then I decided to try the name Jane. (If daughter Permelia/Amelia married who I think she did, then she called her first daughter Jane. After her mother? Since son William had been born in Pemberton, I put in that as place of abode and found:

Thomas Rigby, a coal miner born Orrell aged 23

Jane Rigby, wife, born Orrell aged 22

William, son born Pemberton, a few months.

(They are in Pemberton, district 7, page 48).

I also discovered a marriage finally and that it was Jane's second marriage. But you know that. With John Jackson she had a daughter named Ann born in Pemberton in 1879. A baby Ann Jackson died in Pemberton in 1880. Was this their baby??

So, it's late where I live. I'm no longer in England but I grew up in Wigan. You've probably enough to think about for now. I will write some more tomorrow.


Posted by LEP1950 on 16th December 2018  

Hello Deen,

I don't have any personal interest in the Rigbys, but I do like a "case" and trying to help people. And this case is/was certainly tricky.

I started with the names of David's siblings and was at first surprised to find no trace of baptisms.Then I looked at the birth registers for Lancashire and first put in the maiden name "Lester". There was a strange name "Permelia" with a mother called Lester in Atherton. I thought this was a transcripion error and was Amelia. Actually the name Permelia exists and proved to be a big help, as you will see. Then I found an Elizabeth, born in Wigan in 1895 with a mother called Lester and, of course, David. But where were the others? I decided to look for "Permelia" in the 1891 census for Atherton, and what did I find? A Thomas Rigby and a Mary J Rigby, both supposedly around 35 and born in Orrell, Wigan with a whole list of children. I looked at the birth registers for the maiden name of the mother and found the variation "Leicester". So here they are:

William Rigby (Leicester), born 1881 in Pemberton, Wigan.

John E. Rigby, (Jack?), (Leicester), born ATHERTON supposedly in census, but the birth registers say Westhoughton.

James Rigby (Leicester), born Atherton.

Thomas Rigby (1888/89), born Darwen.

Permelia Rigby (Lester), born Atherton.

I don't yet know what happened to William and James, or who Albert is or was. There are quite a few Albert Rigbys around, but maiden names have not been added for every area. As far as son Thomas is concerned, I have not found the Darwen birth registers.It might be that one of these sons also had the name Albert, which he was called by.

A girl called Margaret was born in Atherton (maiden name of mother Lester) in 1886, but presumably she must have died. tHere is a death of a one-year-old Margaret in 1888 in Atherton. This would fit.

At this point I could have saved myself a lot of work as Thomas's parents are on the same page as well as his sister Permelia and her husband Henry Matthews. Interestingly, this name must have had a short form since Permelia married as Amelia in 1887.

But I went the long way round and found myself eventually on the same census page.

I couldn't find the couple in 1901 and presumed that something had happened to split the family up. But between 1891 and 1901 there were these children:

Ellen Rigby (1892), born Atherton.

Elizabeth Rigby (Lester), born Wigan

David Rigby (1897)

Elizabeth died at the age of 16 months and was buried as a non-Conformist. This is interesting as it explains the lack of baptisms of the Rigbys. Also it might mean that the following death was Thomas:

On February 10th 1900, a Thomas Rigby aged 44 was buried from Wigan workhouse.

This was before the 1901 census. Whether (Mary) Jane was already dead, I don't yet know, but more about 1901 later.

In the meantime I have seen that you have a tree on ancestry. I want to ask you about Helen Rigby. Have you seen her birth certificate with the name "Lester/Leicester" on it? There were no births of a "Helen" in 1892, but the usual spelling was Ellen anyway. The only Ellen with a mother called Lester was in Atherton. The Hindley one had the maiden name Johnson and the Wigan one was Rigby.
I don't think the Hindley birth is correct.

My other question concerns Albert who died in a coal mining accident. I could only find one in 1867. His "mother" would have only been 8 or 9 years old. Do you have details of a later accident?

I'll finish this first message as sometimes they get lost, especially if you copy and paste, which I haven't done.


Posted by Deen Salleyman on 16th December 2018  deensalleyman@sky.com 

Yes Linda
I am still trying to find info about David Rigby

Posted by LEP1950 on 9th December 2018  

To Deen Salleyman:

Are you still interested in finding out more about David Rigby's parents? If so, I think I can help you, but I don't want to spend ages writing messages on here if you never look again. It happens!


Posted by Amanda on 16th November 2018  Evian12345@sky.com 

Does anyone have any information on the Higson family , they lived in the Kay houses at ince , then in Ormandy street ince

Posted by Edmund Birchall on 4th November 2018  tynyfelin@tinternet.com 

Any information on the Birchall family lived in Edwards st and Caroline st Wigan

Posted by Val Winpenny on 18th September 2018  

Hi.My 2x Gt Grandmother Elizabeth Webster is listed on the 1851 census as being a servant at the Rising Sun Inn Wigan. I have just googled it to try and find out if it still exists and it brought up the Anvil. It looks like an old building. Does anyone know if this is the same place.I live in West Yorks and have yet to visit Wigan.Many Thanks.

Posted by Claire Loftus on 7th September 2018  loftus_claire@hotmail.com 

LOFTUS - My Great-grandfather Peter Loftus was born in Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland in 1843 and his family moved to Wigan around 1846 to live with an Uncle called 'Toohey' or similar sounding name. Searching for Peter's parents christian names.There was another son called Francis Loftus, he supposedly joined the East India Company then moved to America.

Posted by Giles Morris on 24th August 2018  haslammorris@live.co.uk 

To Lyn Harrison
Re your message about your dining table....my Grandfather, John Plumpton and his brother Harry operated their furniture business from the late 60's up until the very early 80's. its all closed down now and sadly, both brothers have passed on. Hope this helps.

Posted by Deen Salleyman on 23rd August 2018  deensalleyman@sky.com 

I am still trying to find out about my grandfather David rigby he was registered as living at 22 spring gardens wigan when he was born in 1897.His father`s name was Thomas Rigby ,his mother`s name was Mary Jane Rigby (formerly Lester) Thomas Rigby lived at this address when David was born.
My mum told me that David had 2 brothers and 2 sisters named Albert, Amelia,Helen and Jack ,i have not been able to find any info about any of them .
I do know my grandfather David was living in 27 Broom road Southport when he was 13
with someone called Richard Rigby ,other than that i have no other information about him any help would be greatly appreciated
Thanks Deen

Posted by Bill Chapman on 21st August 2018  patbillchapman@gmail.com 

Esperanto in Wigan.

I am intereste in finding traces of the international language Esperanto in Wigan before the First World War. I am happy to share what I know. Are there early minute books of the Wigan Esperanto Groupís activities still in existence? Did any of the early enthusiasts pass on letters or postcards in the language to later generations?

Posted by Gary Dainton on 23rd June 2018  gary.dainton1@icloud.com 

Hello Everyone,
I am still trying to date Marsh Brook House, Castle Hill and I am really struggling. The house seems to have been but in 1872, however I have found it on much earlier maps surveyed 1845/46. Any information would be gratefully appreciated as I am about to carry out a comprehensive renovation of the property. If anyone can help please feel free to email me directly.

Thank you


Posted by Teunis Schuurman on 20th June 2018  teun.pats@gmail.com 

Search for relatives of Sgt. Harold ROTHWELL who was KIA over Holland - 13 Jun 1944 -
His nephew was John A. Rothwell (born 1935, Pemberton) and in 1944 living at 712 Ormskik Road, Pemberton
John is an option to get in touch with Harold's family.

The Liverpool Echo of June 30th 1944 carried the following short snippet:

R E P O R T E D - M I S S I N G
Mrs. Jessie Rothwell, of 712 Ormskirk Road, Pemberton, Wigan, has received news that her brother,
Sergeant Harold Rothwell, R.A.F., aged 28, is posted missing after recent air operations.

2206323 - Sergeant - Mid Upper Air Gunner - Harold Rothwell - RAFVR - Age 28 - KIA
- of UK - Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 611 - Epe General Cemetery - CWGC ref. 2647969
Son of Mr. John Rothwell and Mrs. Georgene Rothwell née Stubbs, Pemberton, Lancashire, UK
Sibling: Jessie Rothwell (sister)


Hopeful on of the ROTHWELL's can help me further.

Posted by Teunis Schuurman on 17th June 2018  teun.pats@gmail.com  http://www.teunispats.nl/t3773.htm

Search for relatives of Sgt. Harold ROTHWELL who was KIA over Holland - 13 Jun 1944 -
His nephew: John A. Rothwell (born 1935, Pemberton)

The Liverpool Echo of June 30th 1944 carried the following short snippet:

R E P O R T E D - M I S S I N G
Mrs. Jessie Rothwell, of 712 Ormskirk Road, Pemberton, Wigan, has received news that her brother,
Sergeant Harold Rothwell, R.A.F., aged 28, is posted missing after recent air operations.

2206323 - Sergeant - Mid Upper Air Gunner - Harold Rothwell - RAFVR - Age 28 - KIA
- of UK - Plot 2. Row 10. Grave 611 - Epe General Cemetery - CWGC ref. 2647969
Son of Mr. John Rothwell and Mrs. Georgene Rothwell née Stubbs, Pemberton, Lancashire, UK
Sibling: Jessie Rothwell (sister)


Marriage 3rd Qtr. 1904 - John Rothwell with Ms. Georgene Stubbs - district: Wigan, Lancashire - Vol 8c Page 77
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Birth 3rd Qtr. 1906 - Jessie Rothwell - district: Wigan, Lancashire - Vol 8c Page 147
Birth 1st Qtr. 1916 - Harold Rothwell - mother's surname: Stubbs - district: Wigan, Lancashire - Vol 8c Page 229
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Death 3rd Qtr. 1934 - Georgina Rothwell - Age 60 - born abt. 1874 - district: Wigan, Lancashire - Vol 8c Page 51
Death 4th Qtr. 1937 - John Rothwell - Age 60 - born abt. 1877 - district: Wigan. Lancashire - Vol 8c Page 55
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Marriage 4th Qtr. 1933 - Jessie Rothwell with John Rothwell - district: Wigan - Vol 8c Page 220
Birth 3rd Qtr. 1935 - John A. Rothwell - mother's surname: Rothwell - district: Wigan - Vol 8c Page 80
Death 2nd Qtr. 1978 - Jessie Rothwell - Age 71 - Oct 1906 - district: Wigan - Vol 39 Page 2333


. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
John Rothwell - Head - M-35 - abt. 1876, Pemberton, Lancashire - Occupation: COLLIER'S LABOURER
Georgine Rothwell - Wife - F-37 - abt. 1874, Pemberton, Lancashire
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Jessie Rothwell - Daughter - F-4 - abt. 1907, Pemberton, Lancashire
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Posted by Gary Dainton on 9th May 2018  gary.dainton1@icloud.com 

I am looking for the history of Marsh Brook Mill (Cotton) and Marsh Brook House, both Castle Hill, Hindley.
Thank You

Posted by michael armitage on 8th April 2018  abbazbt@aol.com 

Hi All,I am researching my paternal great grandfather line.William Sim, a collier who died in Hyde in 1964,aged 83. His family moved ,possibly via mining communities in Wigan to Hyde from Cumbria.Any help/advice would be appreciated. Best Wishes,Mike Armitage