Wigan Family & Local History Society


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Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 12th May 2017  

For Linda.
The 1767 return gives William's age as 33. There is no baptism at Brindle for 1733/4. I'll have to revisit the registers for Ann Brindle. I suspect that 'my' William may be from the Croston Worsleys (Jennet Worsley registered her property in 1717 as a papist and she had a son Thomas who might just be William's father if one follows what seems to be the usual naming pattern) but have no way of proving it. The delights of family history!

Posted by Wigan Family & Local History Society on 12th May 2017  

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Posted by LEP1950 on 11th May 2017  

For Elizabeth:

What a crazy coincidence! Bamber Bridge is only around 4 miles from Brindle. Do you know whether Bamber Bridge William is the son of William and Isabella of Brindle? If so, it's highly likely that the named godmother Helena Worsick is William's sister and therefore cannot be Margie's Helen as she would have been Bonney by then. On the other hand, if this William had different parents, perhaps Brindle Helen Worsick is a possibility. After all if William and Ann's son Roger died in Wigan, then there must have been some movement from the Brindle/Bamber Bridge area to Wigan. Yes, names did sometimes change over time. Makes it very complicated.


PS My brother worked for years at a bank in Bamber Bridge!

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 11th May 2017  

To anyone interested,the Worsicks at Bamber Bridge are mine. It is confusing but by the time William and Ann (nee Brindle) died and their grand-children were being baptised the name had morphed into Worsley. My connection is through their son Roger who died in 1831 in Wigan and his youngest daughter Isabella who married John Hesketh in 1848.

Posted by JBrown86 on 11th May 2017  

Hi Linda,

thank you for the continued effort re the Unsworths, Boardmans and Dixons. It really is a pain that Catholic families are so much harder to look up. At present I also have no solid leads but am looking at the generations that you and ELizabeth provided re Peter Boardman and Richard Unsworth.


Posted by LEP1950 on 10th May 2017  


You probably know this, but the Catholic Family History Society has published a series of data discs. The one "Lancashire registers Vol I" has the registers of Wrightington Hall (now St Joseph's) and of Standish Hall (now St Marie's). I mention this because Wrightington Hall is mentioned as the seat of the Dicconson family, and you seemed to be interested in this name. I don't know whether a Vol. II has been published. The discs cost 7 pounds 50 (Don't know where the signs are on my computer!), which seems fairly reasonable. You can pay more than that for one record on some sites and then it turns out to be the wrong one.


Posted by LEP1950 on 10th May 2017  

I've just been looking at the Catholic records for Southworth Hall, which was in the parish of Winwick. Loads of Unsworths and Boardmans!! There was a birth of a Margaret Dixon to John and Mary in 1816. These may be the same John and Mary (nee Blackburn) who were having children between 1803 and 1810 (I didn't look further) in Culcheth, occasionally with an Unsworth as godparent! I couldn't find an Ann, but at least we know that there was a Catholic Dixon family in the area around this time.

I've just spent a couple of hours reading Catholic records that have been digitalisd by the University of Michigan. No real help for the present searches, but interesting all the same.


Posted by LEP1950 on 10th May 2017  

Families actually travelled a lot further in those days than one thinks. Twenty miles was nothing! And Brindle is under 20 miles from Wigan. The village was also very much associated with Catholicism. The Helen I found would be about the correct age, I think. On the other hand, there was a Worsick family having children christened from the 1760s onwards -lots of them - at a RC church in Bamber Bridge and I think the father may have been Helen's brother William. All her siblings' names were used for the children and at one or two of the baptisms Helena Worswick was the godmother. This would have been after the Helen you are looking for married Thomas Bonney. So I am having some doubts. especially having noticed that there were Worsicks in Standishgate, but strangely no baptisms at St John's!! I think the baptisms at Ince Hall were recorded only after 1787 (off the top of my head!)It is difficult with Catholic records, but a lot of my ancestors were not only Catholics, but also Irish Catholics, which makes searching even more difficult.
I'll have another browse around tonight.


Posted by LEP1950 on 10th May 2017  


You're right about the Quakers. I shouldn't write things I vaguely remember without checking. So thank you for putting that right. I do know that the 1754 act had to do with preventing clandestine marriages, but I just wanted to point out to Jon that there should be a CofE marriage even for Catholics in this period. Some, of course, married twice, but some (including a couple of my own ancestors) just had an Anglican ceremony despite being Roman Catholics.


Posted by margie on 10th May 2017  

To Lynda,
Really appreciate your help its a nightmare with both names as the RC baptisms don't go that far back for Wigan other areas have been put forward like Preston but I have my doubts families didn't really travel very far in the timescale I am looking at.

Posted by JMW on 10th May 2017  

On a point of detail, I believe it was Jews and Quakers, in addition to the Royal Family, who were exempted from having to be married in an Anglican church at the time. The intention being more to ensure complete and accurate record keeping than to impose a religious conformity. I think it was because by some definition the Society of Friends were not considered "Christian".

Posted by Margie on 10th May 2017  

For Elizabeth,
Thank you so much apparently the area I want is not available only in London at the parliamentary archives so have sent them an email waiting there response.

Posted by LEP 1950 on 9th May 2017  

My message still hasn't appeared after almost 4 hours. Just quickly, between 1754 and 1837 compulsory to marry in an Anglican church. No marriages in Ashton between 1754 and 1845 - only at mother church St Oswald's in Winwick.
Most likely marriage of Peter Boardman to Margaret Marsh of Deane on 30 Sept 1760. She was possibly baptised in Deane on 8 Oct 1738, daughter of John Marsh, abode Rumford. The date would fit with her age on Elizabeth's document of 1767 (i.e. 30), but she doesn't seem to be a Papist at this point. Although I've read that sometimes Catholics had their children christened in Anglican churches "pro forma", so I don't know. But can Peter really have a Thomas with Ellen and another with Margaret? (Little Thomas's age would fit in with a marriage in 1760). It seems strange. Or is one a relative who has been taken in and "adopted"??


Posted by LEP1950 on 9th May 2017  


I really have a lot going on at the moment and so I haven't really been following what you have been discussing with Elizabeth. I just noticed your remark about Catholic marriages. It was actually a legal requirement in England for all marriages (except Puritans and Jews and the Royal family, I think) to take place in an Anglican church between 1754 and 1837. So if a Peter Boardman married a Margaret after his first wife's death in 1754, then there should be a marriage somewhere. Also I remembered from my own ancestry research that no marriages took place at St Thomas, Ashton between 1754 and 1845, but at St Oswald's in Winwick. Since men tended to remarry quickly in those days look at the marriage to a Margaret Marsh on 30 Sep 1760. There was a later one in 1777 to a Margaret Lowe. Unfortunately status such as "widower" is not given in records at this time at this church.

I'll get back to you when I've done helping Margie.


Posted by JBrown86 on 9th May 2017  

Hi Elizabeth,

I found what I assume must be Peter Boardman's first wife:

Burial: 7 Feb 1754 St Thomas, Ashton in Makerfield, Lancashire, England
Ellen Boardman - Wife of Peter Boardman
Performed at: Ashton Chapel
Register: Burials 1746 - 1809, Page 5, Entry 14
Source: LDS Film 1885662

being Catholic I can't find his remarriage to a Margaret. I agree with the 1779 burial of him as well - interesting that burials of non-CoE are on the registers such as Lancs OPC but not the baptisms or marriages (for the most part). I can't find any definitive burial for Margaret - being so much younger than him, perhaps she even remarried, but being Catholic this wouldn't be on Lancs OPC anyway.

I used a couple other sites to scan limited Catholic records for the Boardmans and Unsworths in question, with no luck :(

On Richard Unsworth, he seems to have had a son who was buried about 5 months after Richard himself:

Burial: 1 Nov 1771 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Joseph Unsworth - Son of Richd. Unsworth
Abode: Haigh
Source: LDS Film 1885699

This is the only child I can find for this couple (Richard & Betty) at this stage. Perhaps he was their only infant death hence the burial record. It doesn't indicate how old Joseph was though. Richard is not indicated as deceased in the record.

Hope your day goes well


Posted by LEP1950 on 8th May 2017  


I'm now having second thoughts about Helen Worsake/Worsick. I discovered a burial at All Saints of a Sarah Worswick, daughter of Dr Worswick of Standishgate on 25 Feb 1741/42. She is noted as being "Rom.", i.e. a Roman Catholic. A year later a Mary Worswick, the wife of Richard of Standishgate was also buried at All Saints. Perhaps Helen was a daughter of this family. On the other hand, I suppose she could have been a niece, cousin or whatever and through these relatives found herself in Wigan. A lot of guesswork involved at this stage!


Posted by lEP1950 on 8th May 2017  

There was another William, chr. on 27 December 1741. The first William must have died. Missed that at first glance.


Posted by LEP1950 on 8th May 2017  

For Margie:

I'm a bit pressed for time at the moment, but I have so far managed to find a baptism of a HELENA WORSICK at St Joseph's RC church, Brindle (Chorley, so quite close) on 9 June, 1730. It is quite possible/likely that this is "your" Helen. Her parents were William (Gulielmus)and Isabella. Siblings:

ANNA (23 Sept 1726)
ELIZABETH (7 June 1728)
(HELENA, herself)
MARIA (3 Mar 1732)
MARIA (16 Feb 1734)
THOMAS (14 Fb 1736)
JOANNES (JOHN, 15 Jun 1738)

I found these on familysearch.org, but they will also be on ancestry as they are from the record "England select births and christenings 1538 - 1975)

Interestingly, there is a baptism somewhat later at this church of a
MARGARET BONNEY, bapt. 20 Feb 1788 to John Bonney and Margaret. Don't know whether this is a descendant.


Posted by JBrown86 on 8th May 2017  

Oops... I see now where that 1809 date came from. Mind blank... my apologies.

Posted by JBrown86 on 8th May 2017  

Also Linda,
an Ancestry family tree shows Ann Dixon born 18 Jan 1809 Billinge, daur of a William Dixon. There is no evidence given to back that information up, and Ann's age at death in 1867 makes it hard to believe. Wonder where it came from - I've found nothing yet. Hope your weekend is going well.