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Posted by Peter Thompson on 30th August 2013  

Hi Linda,
Thanks for all that info,idid know that Thomas married Elizabeth Churchouse.They were my mums grandparents.What i find interesting is the fact that Benjamins mother was again called Elizabeth Eckersley and he took her surname.I assume again that Thomas Marsh was Benjamins biological father.Ithink i need to buy a couple of birth certificates to find out for sure.Will do that next week when i come back of holiday.Thanks again Linda.

Posted by Linda on 30th August 2013  

For Peter Thompson

Hi Peter,
Yes, I also think that Richard was the biological father of Thomas, but Richard and Elizabeth were not married at the time of his birth. That's why Thomas's legal name was Eckersley. He uses this name in every census after 1881 (1891, 1901, 1911)and also at his marriage:

Marriage: 31 Oct 1896 St Elizabeth of Hungary, Aspull, Lancs.
Thomas Eckersley - 24, Collier, Bachelor, 59 Scot Lane, Aspull
Elizabeth Churchhouse - 24, House Keeper, Spinster, 6 Harold St. Aspull
Groom's Father: Richard Ball, Coachman
Bride's Father: Richard Churchhouse, Joiner
Witness: Edward Cannon; Ellen Ball
Married by Banns by: George F. Grundy M.A. Vicar
Register: Marriages 1883 - 1907, Page 128, Entry 256
Source: LDS Film 1885720

Thomas married in a CofE church although he had been baptised at the Catholic church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. But I don't think that it was only the Ball family who were Catholics. Elizabeth Eckersley's parents Benjamin Eckersley and his wife Ellen (nee Peters) had two children John (1861) and Paul (1866) baptised at this church. I have checked John and Paul in the birth registers. the maiden name of the mother was Peters.

What is interesting is that Benjamin Eckersley's father's name was Thomas Marsh (!) Benjamin married at All Saints, Wigan as Benjamin Eckersley Marsh in 1842:

Marriage: 31 Oct 1842 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Benjamin Eckersley Marsh - (X), 22 Collier Bachelor of Aspull
Ellen Peters - (X), 21 Spinster of Aspull
Groom's Father: Thomas Marsh, Labourer
Bride's Father: James Peters, Labourer
Witness: Joseph Eckersley, (X); Margaret Seddon, (X)
Married by Banns by: John Lomas Curate
Register: Marriages 1842 - 1844, Page 56, Entry 112
Source: LDS Film 1885694

If he really was 22 years old in 1842, then he must have been born in 1820. But the marriage of his parents took place in 1821:

Marriage: 25 Jun 1821 All Saints, Wigan, Lancs.
Thomas Marsh - (X), Wigan Parish
Elizabeth Eckersley - (X), Wigan Parish
Witness: Hugh Hickox; Saml. Vizard
Married by Banns by: Edwd. Hill, Curate
Register: Marriages 1820 - 1824, Page 127, Entry 387
Source: LDS film 1885691

I can't find a baptism of a Benjamin Eckersley or a Benjamin Marsh around 1820 yet. So that's another mystery. What was Benjamin's real name?

By the way, Thomas Marsh and Elizabeth Eckersley married on the same day as William Marsh and Martha Eckersley. Two brothers and two sisters??


PS You could buy your ancestor Thomas Eckersley's birth certificate to see what details are given there if you doubt that Richard Ball and Elizabeth Eckersley were not married at the time of Thomas's birth.

Posted by Peter Thompson on 29th August 2013  

For Linda
Thanks for the info,i dont think that the Eckersleys were catholic but Elizabeth married one.Thomas was born 20th Sept 1872 and baptised 29th Sept 1872 so he was 9days old.Iam thinking that Richard Ball was his biological father,but for some reason was registered as Eckersley.

Posted by Beth on 29th August 2013  michaelboast123@btinternet.com 

PENDER family. I am trying to find out about my family, some of whom moved from Wigan to Durham as they were mostly miners. Patrick Pender b1794 Ireland was living in or near Standishgate Wigan in 1861 I believe - wife Margaret and children Margaret, Thomas, John (my ancestor), Sarah, Mathew and William. They then disappear and I can only find John in Durham 20 years later. Can anyone help to point me in the right direction? Thanks, Beth

Posted by Linda on 29th August 2013  

For Peter

It's not strange that people married after the birth of a child and not before, but what intrigues me in your ancestor's case is that Elizabeth's sister Mary Ann married Richard's brother John in 1870. Mary Ann Ball was Thomas Eckersley/Ball's godmother in 1872. In the 1871 census she and John were living next door to Benjamin Eckersley and the rest of the family including 17 year old Elizabeth. Richard was lodging with another family in this census. It's easy to imagine how Richard and Elizabeth met, but why didn't they marry, at the latest when Elizabeth was pregnant, when their families were already intertwined? And especially considering that they were Catholics? Why wait six years? Is there a story behind it?


Posted by Linda on 28th August 2013  

Hi Peter,
It was not unusual to find illegitimate children using two names, i.e. the maiden name of the mother and then the name of the father or the name of the man the mother later married even if he wasn't the biological father. I have come across several such cases in my own family. In one census a person uses their legal name, then the name of their mother's husband and the person might get married using either of the names! Confusing. My great-great-grandmother's sister was born illegitimately as "Banks", became "Gaskell" when her mother married and in the birth registers of her own children, her maiden name is sometimes given as "Banks" and sometimes as "Gaskell". It takes some detective work, but don't worry! It looks like your relation was born illegitimately, but his biological parents later married. Of course, his legal name would still be his mother's maiden name unless his biological father adopted him.


Posted by Peter Thompson on 23rd August 2013  petetherover@talktalk.net 

Ihave found some info on my great grandfather,Thomas Eckersley.Born in 1872,mother Elizabeth Eckersley.He was registered as Eckersley,but baptised as Ball in 1872.The father was named as Richard Ball mother Elizabeth formely Eckersley.Ihave found a marriage for them,but in 1878.On the 1881 census he is named as Ball,but in 1891 census he is Eckersley.Ifind this very confusing.Can anyone help with any info.Thanks

Posted by alison smith on 22nd August 2013  alifaith23@hotmail.co.uk 

I am trying to trace mothers family her father was called Alfred marsh born on 07/04/1895 he was married before meeting my grandmother and had two sons , my mothers name was althea marsh last heard my grandfather was going to marry a lady from isle of man

Posted by hilary thomas on 22nd August 2013  hiltone@talktalk.net 

I am currently researching the Wigan Jewish community. I know it is many years since there was a synagogue in the town. The community appeared to be at its height from about 1890 to 1920,but there were Jewish businesses in the town for many years after that . I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has anyone who has any memories/information.

Posted by sue munro on 19th August 2013  

I am trying to find my maternal grandmother relatives. She was Emma Laithwaite died 1919 months after giving birth to my mother Margaret. Emma had a brother William who I vaguely remember visiting as small child. He was living in Pemberton I think City Road, that would be arounf 1956-57

Posted by james riding on 10th August 2013  

Re marriage of Henry Hamilton Holland, married Ann Godbear 1838 at St James church Didsbury

Posted by Linda on 9th August 2013  


FORGET Hamilton Henry and co. I found some records on ancestry. It's no wonder the family couldn't be found. They had emigrated to America. There is a photo of a tombstone with the names of Hamilton Henry, wife Ann, son George b. 1847 and daughter Selena Ann and husband. Well, at least we now know that your Selena was born in 1846. I should finish researching before I put things on here.


Posted by Linda on 9th August 2013  

Familysearch.org has the following details for Hamilton Henry Holland:

Christened 14 May 1815 in Ashton under Lyne,
son of Richard Holland and Mary

Sister Bridget christened 11 October 1818

Hamilton Henry married Ann Godbear at St James, Didsbury on 16 December 1838

Two children known so far:

Mary Anne ch. 7th June 1840
Selina, ch. 29 December 1844

The two Selina births (1841 and 1846) were from ancestry.co.uk.

I can't find any death of Selina no. 1 and I can't so far find any trace of this family in the censuses of 1851 and 1861.

If your Andrew moved to Northumberland and from there to Yorkshire and had the children:


then he was widowed in the 1891 census (for Hunslet, Leeds). Selina died in Yorkshire in 1889, as you probably know. Andrew was born in Co. Mayo, Ireland.

Have to do something else now. Hope I've helped.


Posted by Linda on 9th August 2013  

Hi again,

I was a bit too quick with Selina. The one born in Rochdale died aged "0". I have since found two births of a Selina Holland in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire. One in July 1841 and the other in April 1846. I wondered whether these Selinas belonged to different families or whether they indicate two attempts to have a child named Selina. Haven't found a death of the first one yet, though. If they are children of the same parents, then the parents are Hamilton Henry and Anne according to the christening record of the first Selina. But, of course, she may have survived and the second Selina (I presume your Selina from the age) belonged to a different family.

Name: Selina Holland
Gender: Female
Birth Date: 22 Jul 1841
Christening Date: 29 Dec 1844
Christening Place: Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire, England
Age at Christening: 3
Father's Name: Hamilton Henry Holland
Mother's Name: Anne

Posted by Linda on 9th August 2013  

Hi Silvi,

Marriage of Andrew DOUHERTY:

Lancashire Marriage indexes for the years: 1865

HOLLAND Selina DOUHERTY Andrew Wigan, Register Office or Registrar Attended

Reference: Wigan & Leigh ROW/20/166

The reference indicates a Catholic marriage. The only birth of a Selina Holland that I could find was one in Heyworth, Rochdale in 1845. The maiden name of the mother was also Holland. So perhaps Selina was illegitimate. Sometimes they say in the censuses that they were born in the place they grew up in. Perhaps they moved to Ashton.

Birth of JOHN is registered in Wigan in 1865 as John Dogherty. Can't find THOMAS yet.

Will write again later as I am working on something that might take you further.


Posted by silvi on 6th August 2013  hughsiwright@gmail.com 

my research has hit a brick wall? great great grandad Andrew Dockerty/docherty came from Ireland and was recorded as living in wigan in 1865 when his first son was born then till 1867 when his second son was born on the 1881 census. His wife who I cannot find a marriage for, Selina was born in Ashton in 1845, they moved to Northumberland before 1875 as their third son was born in Durham. I l have searched for may days now and would be most greatful if you could help

Posted by Graham Pemberton on 29th July 2013  

To Linda

Hi Linda - thanks for getting back to me. Hope the wedding goes (has gone) well. I've been playing around with the details you sent me. I forgot to mention to you that 'my' Thurstan who married Elizabeth Johnson was born (I'm pretty sure in 1695.
However, to stop boring everyone using this site who isn't interested in Pembertons of Wigan, I'll give you my Email address - perhaps you could send me yours - and we'll communicate further that way.



Posted by Linda on 23rd July 2013  

To Graham,

I'd almost given up on you! I got quite involved with Thurston, but since then I've helped someone else in America with another family and so I would have to get back into things again. I'm a bit busy at the moment as my son is getting married soon, but I will take up the chase again as soon as possible. So keep looking every now and then.


Posted by Graham Pemberton on 21st July 2013  

To Linda
You super super SUPERSTAR!!!
I've been out of the country since I posted my 'hopeless' query and have only just picked up the postings you made as a response. So - sorry for the delay in acknowledgement. You have wporked so hard for me - you really are a superstar and I am so grateful.
I think I need to get up to Wigan at some point(I was born in Bolton)and start some real 'footslogging' research in the records office. If I make any real progress I will let you know but you have seriously set my interest alight again. Thank you so much.

Posted by Heather Dowrick on 14th July 2013  the5thtwig@gmail.com 

I am trying to find some information on an Alice Jackson who married Alan Higson in 1927 at the register office in Wign and their son Alfred born 1928