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Posted by JBrown86 on 8th May 2017  

Hi Linda,
I see 1803 as being way out with regards to the age Thomas is listed at on Censuses; however, his death in mid-1885 recorded at age 80 would make it only two or even just one year out - if the 1803 one is still worth considering.

I haven't found any of the children's baptisms yet - the children as per BMDs are as follows:

Mary (1827-1858)
Wm (1829-1859)
Margaret (b 1832)
Sarah (1834-1901)
Jane (1837-1903) (my ancestor)
Elizabeth (1839-1840)
Elizabeth (b 1841)
John (1844-1906)
Ann (b 1846)

Billinge seems to be the most common birthplace amongst the children. Upholland and Wigan also mentioned for some, though these could easily also be Billinge. Interesting to think perhaps the Fairhursts were Catholics.

I ran a LancsOPC search for surname Fairhurst bringing all results. Searching for the letters "RC," to find events in RC chapels brings 147 results; all of these are in St John RC in Wigan, save for one burial in Bedford Leigh and a 1904 marriage in Blackburn. They range from 1742 to 1904; nothing that would be Thomas & Ann's children however. Unfortunately.


Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 7th May 2017  

There are no Allens in the areas you mention.
The Bonney entries are in Walton le Dale,Westby, Medlar with Wesham,Warton (Kirkham parish)& Clifton with Salwick.
The only Bonny in the right area is Ellen, a spinner, age 40 who has lived in Ashton for 16 years.
The Dickinson (and variants) in the right areas are
Ann Dickenson age 81 a linen weaver living in Orrell.
Samuel Dickinson age 20 a farm servant living in Ashton for two years.
Ann Dickson age 18 a servant living in Arbury (Culcheth quarter)resident 6 months.
The other Dickinson entries range from Formby to Ribchester to Warton (Kirkham parish)
There are no Worsicks, a spelling that seems more common further north in Lancashire, but there are
Mary Worsup age 32 living in Hindley ousekeeper to Mr John Eastman the priest; she is 8 years a resident.
In Ashton there are the following Worsleys:-
Isabell age 64 a widow and farmer resident 16 years
Dolley (sic) her daughter age 30 also resident 16 years. I wonder if she is the same person as the Dorothy Worsick who stood godmother to Thomas son of Thomas & Ann Berry 26 September 1765 at St John's Wigan.
Thomas age 36 a weaver resident 36 years
Elizabeth age 32 his wife resident 32 years
Their children Richard (14),Mary (11, William (9) and Elizabeth (4)
William age 28 a carpenter resident 16 years and his son John age 6.
I hope this is of some help.

Posted by Margie on 7th May 2017  

Around the Winwick area including Lowton Golbourne Bryn & Ashton.
Yes various spellings also for Dickonson which does not help.

The other names also within the same area plus Wigan.

Thanks Margie

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 6th May 2017  

Hi Margie,
Is there any particular area? I've had a quick look at the separate index and there is no Dickonson but there are Dicconsons, Diceonsons,Dickensons and Dickinson. The spellings do vary.

Posted by Margie on 6th May 2017  

For Elizabeth Prior,
Would you mind looking for the following names in the 1767 Return of Papists.

Bonney (various spellings)
Worswick : :

Thank you so much Margie.

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 5th May 2017  

Hi Jon,
The document to which you refer is a marriage bond and is on-line at Findmypast.
John Unsworth is the groom and John Boardman the bondsman.
In August 1767 (Return of Papists)John Unsworth (18)is listed in Haigh with his father Richard(58),mother Betty(58) and sister Betty(21). Richard is described as a farmer and the family has lived in Haigh for 22 years. It is highly likely that the Richard who died in 1771 and was buried at Wigan is the same person. He left a will and I would say that it is well worth applying for a copy from Lancashire Archives.
John Boardman, the bondsman, is almost certainly the same person as the John Boardman(38) in the 1767 Return who was living in Southworth & Croft with his wife and children. His occupation is farmer.
Margaret Boardman(18) is in Ashton quarter listed with her father Peter(50),stepmother Margaret(30) and siblings John(20),Thomas(12)and confusingly another Thomas(6). Her father is described as a farmer. The family has always lived in Ashton.
I suspect that John the bondsman is a younger brother of Peter.
I hope this is of some help/use.

Posted by LEP1950 on 5th May 2017  

Have you found any baptisms for Thomas and Ann's children? I haven't. There are a few baptisms of children to a Thomas and Ann Fairhurst in the 1830s, but I think these are the children of Thomas and Ann nee Pilkington. It's just that I found a burial of a William Fairhurst at St Aidan's, Billinge, who could be the right age, and he is noted as a "papist". Possibly Thomas and Ann were also baptised as Catholics. Billinge also had a Catholic church and baptisms from 1792 to 1900 are available on microfilm at Wigan library. What a pity that I've just come back from Wigan. I was only there for three days as I was in Liverpool before that, but if I'd had something concrete to look up, I would have popped to the library. Anyway, it's a thought.


Posted by LEP1950 on 5th May 2017  

Hi Jon,
I had also favoured William Fairhurst and Peggy Hill as the parents of Thomas, particularly since they married at St Aidan's in Billinge. But 1803 is certainly way out as far as Thomas's age in the censuses is concerned. Among Thomas and Ann's children was also a Sarah (Margaret's mother). It could be just chance that Ann's parents were also William and Margaret, but then why was the first daughter called Mary?? And where is Randle? This was a name that had been used for generations in Margaret Hill's family. I couldn't find evidence of a baptism of a Randle Fairhurst or an infant death of one. This makes me think that William and John must have been the names of the fathers, but perhaps Thomas just didn't like the name Randle. Naming conventions were unfortunately not written in stone, although at this particular time it was common to name the first two sons after the respective fathers and the first two daughters after the respective mothers.But one can't rely on this. I'm still trying to crosscheck all the Thomas Fairhursts. Will get back to you when I have something more concrete to say.


Posted by JBrown86 on 5th May 2017  

Hi Linda,
I neglected to mention that Ann nee Dixon dies as Ann Fairhurst in early 1867, recorded age 63, in Wigan (Upholland). A comparison of LancsBMD (wigan & leigh entries) and FreeBMD (Wigan) deaths shows that this is the only death between 1861 and 1871 in the area that comes remotely close to corresponding with the age she would have been. Upholland is their district of residence thru multiple censuses so it all makes sense. Wonder why the varying census reports of her birth year are all after what it would have been in this case (1804?).


Posted by JBrown86 on 5th May 2017  

Hi Linda,
interesting you mentioned that -
I had previously considered the most likely parents of Thomas Fairhurst to be William Fairhurst and Margaret Hill - their son Thomas born 1803 - as I've always understood the naming conventions to mean that the father's parents' names were given to the first son and second daughter - in this case Wm & Margaret.

I wasn't sure how likely this is - the birth/baptism time of July 1803 would mean he should have been 81 at death (recorded as 80) - but I have started to construct a little tree using Margaret's parentage (Randle and Sarah) in case anything stands out.

Have I mistaken about the naming conventions? Based on that, I was favouring the second son and first daur as the names of Ann's parents - John and Mary in this case.

Thanks for the pointer re Newton le Willows - It's one name I'm not too familiar despite so much of my father's side of the family coming from Ashton in Makerfield which I understand sometimes to be called Newton in Makerfield and am not sure if that is the same thing as NLW.

Thanks again


Posted by LEP1950 on 4th May 2017  

For Jon,

Ann Dixon could be the daughter of WILLIAM and MARGARET DIXON (note children's names). She was born on January 18th 1809 and christened on the 29th of the same month at St Peter's, Newton-le-Willows, about 7 miles south of Wigan. A scan of the entry is on ancestry under "Wigan, CofE Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths 1580-1812". The period between 1769 and 1835 is missing for this church on lan-opc.org.uk. I've been crosschecking a lot of Thomas Fairhursts, but have reached no definitive decision. Need to do more, but will let you know.


PS Margie, will get back to you. Have been away and not much time at the moment.

Posted by JBrown86 on 4th May 2017  

Sorry Linda that my post didn't go thru.
My 4x great-grandparents Thomas Fairhurst and Ann nee Dixon - I am trying to find their parentage but they're hard to pin down via Lancs OPC - they're very Wigan-based so I thought to try my luck here :)

The .pdf I sent you contains links to them on all censuses on which they appear. Summarised, their birth years and residences on each are as follows:

1841 (born abt 1811 Lancashire). living Upholland Wigan
1851 born abt 1808 Billinge. living Upholland Wigan
1861 born 1806 Wigan. living Upholland Wigan
1871 born abt 1807 Billinge. living Upholland Wigan
1881 born abt 1805 Billinge. living Wigan Hindley as a boarder

died April-June 1885, aged 80, Hindley.

1841 (born abt 1811 Lancashire). living Upholland Wigan.
1851 born abt 1808 Billinge. living Upholland Wigan.
1861 born abt 1806 Wigan. living Upholland Wigan

Some other family lines of mine are very Billinge-based; I've found Billinge events to generally be recorded under Upholland/District Wigan & Leigh in BMD records; however this time period of Thomas & Ann's births is obviously not on Lancs OPC.
There are no baptisms with Billinge (either as the chapel or the abode) on Lancs OPC to help me pin down Thomas or Ann; however, there are Pemberton and Orrell ones, which I understand to be quite close, I'm just not sure which to favour over the other. Any help (at your leisure obviously :) )would be appreciated and am happy to continue digging and sharing whatever I find also to help us get to the bottom of it. Hope all is well :)



Posted by JBrown86 on 4th May 2017  

Hi Elizabeth,
that sounds interesting!
I wrote that post a while ago, but am still interested in furthering my research on those lines. John Unsworth and Margaret nee Boardman are in my direct line of ancestors. They are my 6x great-grandparents.

I have a document (computer image of it) that I can't remember what it's called. but that reads like a Banns (or the proceedings that could be paid for if couples wanted to skip the Banns process).

At the top it reads "John Unsworth of Abraham in the parish of Wigan and the County of Lancaster, Farmer & John Boardman of Ashton in the Parish of Winwick & the said county of Lancaster, Farmer"

then goes on to say the sum they paid. It would seem to me these are the fathers of John Unsworth and Margaret Boardman. Seeing John Unsworth's father to be John, I favour Sarah nee Edwardson as his mother, but would be grateful for any info you have :)

I have done a bit to pin down which of the James Pierpoints on Lancs OPC are my James (who married Elizbeth Unsworth, the daur of John & Margaret). Unsworths seem to have been Catholics, Pierpoints not necessarily, so if my James is on the Lancs OPC site at all I favour this baptism:

Baptism: 11 Feb 1776 St Oswald, Winwick, Lancashire, England
James Parpoint - son of John Parpoint
Born: 22 Jan
Abode: Winwick
Register: Baptisms 1756 - 1776, Page 28, Entry 19
Source: LDS Film 1655876

Thanks for the post and hope to hear from you; have a great day.


Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 3rd May 2017  

I have a copy of the 1767 Return of Papists for the Diocese of Chester published by the Catholic Record Society and am happy to do look-ups. I think I may have found the John Unsworth and Margaret Boardman referred to in an earlier message. There is one Pierpoint entry - name of John an innkeeper age 40 living in Sankey resident for 15 years.

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 3rd May 2017  

Is anyone researching the Catholic Heskeths (with various spellings)of Wigan parish, in particular the families of George who married Esther Holt in 1791 and a John who married Ann Platt in 1792? The fathers' names in the baptismal register of St John's are given as George & John but both with wives called Esther whose maiden name (Holt)is given only twice and that where the father is John. George Hesketh married Esther Holt 16 July 1791 at Upholland & St John's. They had tried a year earlier at Billinge but the banns had been forbidden. A John Hesketh married Ann Platt 18 May 1792 at Billinge & St John's. They had one child, Peter, who died of smallpox in 1794. Ann may be the Ann buried later the same year & described as wife of John weaver of Standishgate. Logic dictates that the baptismal entries for John's children should have George as the father but logic may not have anything to do with it. Has anyone come across other inconsistencies like this in the St John's registers?
I have been unable to find burials for George and Esther despite trawling through a very poor quality microfilm.
I have also been searching for the burial of Isabella (or Bella)Worsley, wife of Roger Worsley of Hardibutts, who died circa 1825/6. Roger remarried in 1827, died in 1831 and, according to the St John's register was buried at St Mary's.
Thank you.

Posted by JBrown86 on 2nd May 2017  

Hi Linda,

I have a very Wigan-based one :)
My 4x great grandfather Thomas Fairhurst and his wife Ann who I'm 99% sure is neé Dixon.

I have sent a .pdf to your email with links for the censuses they appear on.
Thomas's info on the censuses summarised here tho:

1841 (born abt 1811 Lancashire). living Upholland Wigan
1851 born abt 1808 Billinge. living Upholland Wigan
1861 born 1806 Wigan. living Upholland Wigan
1871 born abt 1807 Billinge. living Upholland Wigan
1881 born abt 1805 Billinge. living Wigan Hindley as a boarder

died April-June 1885, aged 80, Hindley.

I'm descended thru his daughter Jane who married a Thomas Green.

No Billinge chapel baptisms or Billinge abodes in Thomas Fairhurst baptisms (OPC) in 1807 (+/- 5).
My prior research in the Green and Fairhurst lines shows that events happening in Billinge usually are recorded as Upholland in BMDs. Pemberton and Orrell would seem to also be relatively close but I'm not sure which ones to favour - in the parish records - for a Billinge event.

Trying to find Thomas' parentage and anything else I can learn, at your leisure, if you wouldn't mind having a quick squiz? :) As always I am happy to join the hunt.

Posted by clive Roper on 28th April 2017  cliver@netspace.net.au 

Thanks fro adding me to the group. I live in Tasmania Australia and the My Grandfather Thomas Roper was first found in Australia when he enlisted in WW1 His pay book listed his next of kin as Sister, Margaret Roper 33 New Market Street Wigan, Lancashire England. I love to find some relatives. We know Thomas was in South Africa some time between the 1891 UK census and 1916 Thanks Clive Roper

Posted by Wigan Family & Local History Society on 25th April 2017  

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Posted by Margie on 22nd April 2017  

Hello Lynda,
This is what we have May 4th 1753 Thomas Bonney married Helen Worsake (various spellings)in St John RC Wigan, we have not found any Baptism records as of now that is if the couple did have children.
We are not entirely sure these are the couples children but taking the ages from the marriages they could be.
1781 All Saints Cof E
John Cubbin m Nancy / Ann Bonney

William Wilson 16.10.1785 St Benedict Rc Hindley to Jane Bonney

John Middlehurst to Ellen Bonney 30.9.1777 St Thomas the Martyr.

There are others but don't want to send you too much as I know how busy people can be.

Thanks Margie

Posted by LEP1950 on 17th April 2017  

No problem!