Wigan Family & Local History Society


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

There are currently 2,799 entries in 140 pages.

Posted by geraldine long on 21st November 2015  

FAO JBrowm86
Baptism 27 Apr 1856 at StJames Haslingdon Sarah Jane Isherwood daughter of john Isherwood and Sarah abode Haslingdon fathers occupation blacksmith
Baptism 18/6/1887 St John the Divine Holme-in-Cliviger John Crowther son of Thomas and Ellen
Marriage 1883 Hyndburn register office or registrar attended John Crowther and Sarah jane Isherwood
The two children Ellen Crowther (b)1884 Albert Isherwood Crowther (b) 1887 mothers maiden name Isherwood both place of birth Haslingdon.
Burial at St John the Divine Holme-in-Cliviger 20/2/1890 John Crowther age 52yrs
Address 92 Oxford Rd Burnley Wood.
obviously not sure if these are the two children you mentioned it was just the link with Sarah Jane and the children being born in Haslingdon that caught my attention.

Posted by JBrown86 on 21st November 2015  jbrown.toros@gmail.com 

SARAH JANE ISHERWOOD has been the hardest to track in my entire Family Tree in the years I've worked on it. Dad's tried too and he's stumped. She's my great-great-grandmother and what I'm after are solid details re. her birth date and place, and parents' names.

so far:
b.1856-1861 (probably Bury, Lancashire)
Father: possibly John Isherwood (marriage cert)
m. John Crowther in 1883, but by 1891 was living with William Brown (my g-g-gfather), with her two Crowther children and one Brown child (all listed as Brown on census, however). She had at least two more with William, who she never actually married as far as I can tell.

Ancestry links to an 1861 Census Sarah Jane Hollins (also Hollons in 1871), unsure if this is the same person (birth year/place match well).

Any help on finding solid info re. Sarah J's birth date, place, and parents' names would knock down a huge barrier :)


Posted by Jennifer Smith on 15th November 2015  jslash831@yahoo.com 

Selina Holland and Andrew Dougherty/Dockerty were my 2nd great grandparents. I see that someone else has commented on trying to find more information out about these individuals. Please contact me. I would love to know how we may help each other.

Posted by LEP1950 on 31st October 2015  

I don't know what happened to my messages.The first one was long and contained internet sources. It didn't get through. So I split the content into three messages and typed everything in by hand. I've no idea what happened. Of course you won't understand the two that appeared without the first ones. I'll try to post them on the wigaworld.co.uk site under home -messages-people. If this doesn't work, could you post your email here and I'll send you the information privately? I think it will interest you.


Posted by LEP1950 on 31st October 2015  

I have only just discovered something to corroborate my theory. Thomas Crawford (the grandfather of yours) is in the 1881 census in Hindley with wife Elizabeth and his unmarried 30 year old daughter Elizabeth. Here Thomas and his wife say they were born in MONAGHAN. With them is a WILLIAM BIDWELL, listed as an uncle from URMAGH. I don't know whether this should be ARMAGH, which is about 17 miles from County Monaghan. But he's oviously an uncle on Elizabeth's side. He died at Wigan Union (workhouse) in 1885.

So, that's it for now. I've been wondering whether the Methodist religion, despite Clones being a bastion, only came into the family with John Crawford's (your Thomas's father's) marriage. William Bedwell is registered as belonging to the Church of England.


Posted by LEP1950 on 31st October 2015  

More info for Yvonne:

I've just been looking at what I scribbled down a couple of weeks ago and discovered that I think Elizabeth Bedwell was the daughter of John Bedwell and Isabella Gallagher, who married in Clones, Monaghan on June 2nd, 1801. John is here listed as "Bedwir". There are two baptisms of children for this couple - JOHN, b. Sept. 21st, 1817 to JOHN BEDWELL and ISABELLA GALLAGHER in Clones, Monaghan and of PELINA JANE BEDWILL on May 14th, 1820 to JON (sic) BEDWILL and ISABELLA PELINA GALLAGHER.I don't suppose these two were their only chidren considering that the'd been married for 16 years when John arrived, BUT what is interesting is that there is a burial at All Saints, Wigan of an ISABELLA POLYNER BEEDWELL(sic) on December 9th, 1847. She lived in the Scholes area of Wigan and died a month after MARIA BEEDWELL, aged 27 (her daughter?) at the same address. Pelina or Polyner?? Phonetically the same, and Pelina is a strange name anyway. I'm convinced that this Isabella is Elizabeth's mother and that she came over to Wigan with her daughter and family. Perhaps John was already dead.

Something for you to think about.


Posted by LEP1950 on 31st October 2015  

Posted by LEP1950 on 31st October 2015  

Posted by LEP1950 on 31st October 2015  

Posted by LEP1950 on 31st October 2015  

Posted by Yvonne Lyon on 31st October 2015  

Hi Linda,

I rang Nigel and we chatted for an hour about the two families and he has boxes full of photos and letters saved by his gran (daughter of Thomas Crawford) he's not looked at. Yet.

I have no information as to why Thomas was buried with his first wife. I think his second wife possibly had little control over events. Lilian Crawford didn't die until the 1980s, but Gladys died as baby.

I know Thomas' father and grandfather were born in County Louth. Is this where you placed them? And I have a list of sibling names (probably incomplete) but not the name of actual towns they came from. Do you have more than this?

Thanks again and for the Methodist link. Yvonne

Posted by Anne Ince on 25th October 2015  parkroadding@gmail.com 

Hope you enjoyed your break. Thank you for looking re Baden Arnold. I have also drawn a blank with Baden and there are too many William Charles to follow.My Grandmother Martha never married Charles until 1930 when my Dad was 20yrs old!! Wondering if William died round about that time.Hope Baden had a happy life if he survived. Now back to AndertonThank you for all your help

Posted by susan on 22nd October 2015  

Hi Linda,
Thanks for all the information. I especially found your relative living nearby interesting also that most Irish from certain areas lived near each other. I have seen the Michael Rafferty as a soldier and chelsea pensioner but on Josephs marriage it says he is a weaver so do not think this is him at all. I have also followed the Joseph born to Denis but again we know his father was Michael. I have assumed his mother could be Mary as his sister was Mary as was his daughter and it carried on through the family but also know being catholic could be religous. Im going to start looking at the new records online for Ireland and assume they might have been from Drogheda. Where the parents were I dont know as like you say on the 1851 census all three children are lodgers and quite young. I know all my family down from him and also visited where they are all buried. Grandad was Thomas Beetham who played rugby for wigan in the 1920,s.

Thanks for your information I shall start looking more into all of it.


Posted by LEP1950 on 21st October 2015  


Just before I go to bed, I wanted to mention the fact that a certain Michael Rafferty, born 1799 in Drogheda, Louth served in the 28th foot regiment as a soldier and was discharged in 1833 aged 34. I have no idea whether this is of any signficance and you may already know about it. The record is at the National Archives in Kew and apparently on "findmypast.co.uk".
On "ancestry" there are several mentions of the same Michael Rafferty in the Chelsea Pensioners Records, but these are only lists. On one it does say that Michael was wounded and in the General Hospital. But there are no personal details. If you are a member of findmypast or know someone who is, there may be more information on the record there. I'm sure he wasn't the only Michael Raferty in Louth, but you never know...

Looking again at the 1851 census, I noticed that Joseph Rafferty was next door to a Bernard Doran in John Street. I have a direct ancestor called Michael Doran and I thought that Bernard may have been a brother or cousin when I was researching the Doran family a few years ago. I know that for some reason which I can't remember now I linked them with Drogheda and even bought a book about the plight of the weavers in Drogheda around 1800. I've heard that people from the same area of Ireland tended to congregate in the same streets of Wigan. I also remember that the main destinations of the Drogheda weavers were Wigan, Manchester and Barnsley. So maybe a Drogheda link here (?)

I know that Joseph and siblings were listed as boarders, but perhaps they were in some way related to the family they were living with. After all James and Mary were quite young.


Posted by LEP1950 on 21st October 2015  

For Susan,

Well, your ancestor is pretty consistent saying that he was born in Wigan. It does not necessarily have to be true. Many Irish people said they were from the place they were living in. My great-great-grandmother alternates. Sometimes she's born in Wigan and sometimes she's born in Ireland (I think this is true). Of course, it isn't impossible that Joseph was born in Wigan and that the family went back to Ireland temporarily. Anyway if James is telling the truth and he is from Drogheda, then you might like to search the Catholic records that still exist for this area. Have a look at http://registers.nli.ie/ .
There are two Drogheda parishes online. Unfortunately you have to go through the whole microfilm yourself as there is no index, but the records are free of charge. I don't have time at the moment as I'm away until Monday. You might be lucky and be able to find something.

Have you searched the reords of St John and those of St Mary in the History Shop in Wigan? I don't know when baptisms at St Patrick's started. The Raffertys were Catholics. I thought I'd discovered Michael Rafferty, listed as Michael Rafter, in 1841, but he was far too old and there were no children with him.

There are some crazy things on ancestry. Some people have Michael Rafferty having children in New Zealand, Ireland, Wigan and the US - moreorless all at the same time!! I'm really wary regarding public trees on ancestry. Oh, somone has also apparently found Joseph's baptism. It doesn't matter that the father's name was Denis and that it took place in Liverpool. At least the child was called Joseph!!!

A big difficulty is that we also presume everything is true that we read in the records of this time, but many people were living under pseudonyms and covering their tracks by giving false information. I've found quite a few bigamists, but thankfully not in my direct line!

Good luck! Please let me know how you get on. If you're no further I'll browse around again on Monday.


Posted by susan on 21st October 2015  

I have a Joseph Rafferty born about 1834 who says he was born in wigan on every census, i cannot find him on the 1841 census he just appears on the 1851 one, I have suspisions that he might have been born in Ireland as later on his brother James does say he was born in Drogheda? Joseph married a Jane Dandy I have all the details in my tree on ancestry its just I cannot find births for any of them, Joseph is in wigan with his sister mary and brother james but no parents, although his father is named as Michael on his marriage. Any ideas as to how I can find out where he was born would be much appreciated.

Posted by JBrown86 on 21st October 2015  

Hi again Linda,

you're right that there are a number of baptisms in the Ashton area to Joseph, with Jane's name getting thrown into the records in some of the later ones. I originally found the numbering of the later children, and those small gaps of months between some, to be quite useful in establishing who belonged to Joseph and Jane and who did not (did this using their marriage date of 1799 also, though under the common assumption that all children were born after marriage, and the more genealogy I do, the more I see that children born outside wedlock were not altogether uncommon even back then). That said, children to single mothers in my research have always seemed to have the mother's surname and mother listed at their baptism, which is not the case for the children listed under "Joseph" when the search is run.

Originally (and I'm still leaning towards it) I had always been happy with the Joseph and Jane Jameson marriage as my Ellen's parents. Interesting that you threw in the family trees influencing each other, as it was seeing another's family tree containing Ellen (becomes Pimblett) and most if not all of the children we see when we search for baptisms of Joseph's kids that caused me any initial doubt to begin with. Ruling Ellen Pimblett nee Birchall out as a child of Joseph and Jane by establishing her parents and place of origin would be great as it would really confirm for me I have found the right parents for my Ellen (clearly both were not from Joseph and Jane Jameson - as the family tree I found had recorded - as they both reached full age, so no early deaths of an Ellen here).

Some searches that I perform turn up an Ellen Birchall b. 20 Dec 1805 to Joseph and Jane nee Jenkinson. I have found nothing to corroborate these details.

Thanks for the point on the Dennis', I had noticed the name twice but never thought to make the connection that maybe Ellen Pimblett named her son after a deceased brother - if I follow then that might mean Jane Jameson is definitely NOT my Ellen's mother, as I am certain that my Ellen marries a Joseph Lambert not a Wm Pimblett.

Re. baptisms etc., once I've moved into Parish records I've only ever really used LOPC as I'm extremely unfamiliar with resources beyond this point, am not familiar with the idea that LOPC only contains baptisms for certain denominations of Christianity, etc. Though I am picking up on some of that from my perusing of this site in recent weeks, seeing your responses to others. I had always thought all baptisms performed in Lancashire were on that site. I guess my amateur-ness is starting to show and this likely explains why once I get to anything before about 1820, I hit nothing but brick walls - like now - where I want to go futher on Ellen's line but it's especially important I get it right (it's my direct line).

Thank you again for the information and points in your posts


Posted by LEP1950 on 21st October 2015  

Hi JBrown86,

I've been looking at the baptism records at St Thomas the Martyr. Actually there were about three Joseph Birchalls having children christened around the same time. I also looked at some trees on ancestry. It's quite funny. Some seem to have all the children associated with the same Joseph despite the fact that there were no more than a few months between the births (birth dates were often given). I presume that Ellen's parents were Joseph Birchall and Jane Jameson. At some christenings they are both mentioned and the number of the child. For Alice it says "eighth child and fourth daughter". Counting back, Jane must have been the third daughter, Ellen the second and Mary the first. With the sons it's more difficult to decide who belonged to who. There are definitely more than four with a father called Joseph. I could only find one Ellen, born around 1805. Most people on ancestry, perhaps under the influence of each other, have this Ellen marrying William Pimblett. Interesting is that Joseph and Jane definitely had a son named Dennis who died in 1820 aged 19. Ellen and William Pimblett also had a "Dennis". I don't think the name was so common around this time.

On the other hand, you know that Ellen Pimblett died in Ashton in 1829 aged 24, but you don't know whether she was born there. She could have come into the area at some time before her marriage.

What I also want to ask is whether you have found baptisms of the children of your Ellen and Joseph? Have you considered the possibility that they may have been non-Conformists or Catholics? They would in these cases have had to marry in a CofE church in the 1830s and often they were buried in the church graveyard, but the children were usually baptised in their own church. I wondered why Ellen had called her illegitimate child Teresa. This is a name I associate more, especially at that time, with Roman Catholics. Also Teresa's marriage registration code in 1851 seems to indicate that she didn't marry in a CoE church. If your Ellen Birchall had been baptised outside the Church of England, then you're unlikely to find the baptism on LOPC or on familysearch or on ancestry as there are not many Catholic records online.

Perhaps it's a path you might want to pursue.


Posted by LEP1950 on 20th October 2015  

Teresa Roberts nee Birchall is in the 1861 census with her husband Henry, a carpenter born in Blackburn and family. For some reason she has become "Tereson" (!). As well as four children with Henry (later there are another two daughters listed in the 1871 census), daughter Elizabeth from the 1851 census with Ellen Lambert is with her. She is now using Henry's name, which does not necessarily mean that Henry was her father. But she married under the name Elizabeth Roberts on June 22nd 1870 at St Mary, St Denys and St George in Manchester. Husband was William Davies, a 21-year-old labourer. There is a scan of the marriage registration on ancestry.

Teresa or Theresa was already widowed by 1871 and was now keeping a beerhouse in Cheetham, Manchester.

All this doesn't answer your original query, but it might still be of interest.


Posted by LEP1950 on 20th October 2015  

I don't think I had really taken in your message as I was just browsing the site to see whether Yvonne had answered. I was due to go out and did a quick search with a death date of 1823 for one of the Ellens in my head. Of course it's difficult to prove anything that's not in black and white. Indications are sometimes the names of the children. Is one named after the grandfather? But this doesn't really seem to be of much use here since the potential grandfather and the father are both Josephs. Of course it isn't "proof" anyway. I'll have a really good think to see whether I can come up with anything.