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 2,892 entries in 145 pages.

Posted by Dave Gaskell on 3rd January 2018  dave@gaskellfamily.plus.com 

Hi Sharon Oliver (re Seddons)
I just tried to send you an email with some baptism and census details on but the email address you gave alongside your name didn't work. Can you email me at the address next to my name above and I'll resend to the right email address.

Posted by Karon McBride on 2nd January 2018  karonmcbride@astrantium.co.uk  https://fifefhs.org

SAFHS2018 - the 29th Annual SAFHS Conference & Family History Fair - is on 21 April in Glenrothes hosted by FifeFHS. Early bird tickets are available until noon on 3rd January - that's tomorrow! Hurry!
Delegate Tickets cover all four talks, a goody bag, free refreshments at registration and other benefits. The Fair is open to the public.
The theme of this year's conference is "Was Your Ancestor a Convict?" and the talks explore criminal records and archives - rich sources of insights into the lives of ordinary people, sometimes including photographs.
One such photograph, taken from The Kalendar of Convicts 1790 - 1880, a FifeFHS publication that will be launched at the conference, is that of Ebenezer Millar. Read his fascinating story and other gripping tales on the SAFHS2018 website.


Posted by sharon oliver on 2nd January 2018  sharonoliver45@google.com 

I am just starting to research my ancestry and see that some comments on your pages seem to link to that. I'd love to get more information. My grandmother was Harriet Alice Seddon born on 6 October 1880 in Aspull Lancashire. She married William Ainscough (born 26.11.1880) on 12.11.1904 at St Elizabeth's Aspull. Her sister was Dorothy Seddon who married a Wilcox. They all emigrated to NZ. I am trying to trace Harriet's and Dorothy's parents, John Seddon (born in France) and Caroline Baldwin (born in Birkenhead Cheshire, I think), but no luck so far. I think her maiden name was Tibble. I'm hoping that someone may be able to help me get some information about them. Really happy to share the stingy amount I have apart from the above, with anyone - maybe even locate some relations!

Posted by LEP1950 on 7th December 2017  


Thanks for your good wishes. I can remember that I found Caroline with her family in the 1851 census for Birkenhead on ancestry. Her father's name was William Baldwin, mother's name Emily. Listed in this census were also her siblings Emma (9), Charles (5), Harriet (1) and Mary (5 months). In the 1861 census, Caroline was a servant in Liverpool with Robert (37) and Mary (32) Roberts. I can also remember finding her parents in the 1841 census. They had only recently married. The details must be in one of the messages below, along with what I found out about her siblings' further fates. William and Emily also spent some time in France in the 1840s, but I haven't been able to find a registration of the births of Caroline or Charles at overseas British consulates.

Is there anything concrete you wanted to know? Do you have access to ancestry? Otherwise I can try to send you the census pages.

Best wishes,

Posted by Carol McEwen on 5th December 2017  carolmcewen@slingshot.co.nz 

Hi Linda, sorry to hear you have been unwell. Just had total replacement knee surgery 6 weeks ago so have been limited in searching. I have been trying to find Caroline Baldwins family, found once on a site that I was transcribing but now not able to find that site. If you have a chance could you perhaps have a look, Charles her brother and her were born in france the others were born in England. Hope you have a happy Christmas and a Safe New Year. Carol

Posted by Helen B on 30th November 2017  

Hi Linda,
Thanks for more info. I haven't had time to do much more searching since Monday, but I did find a JAMES WALSH on the 1841 census, living in Chapel Lane, with daughter Rachel. Only thing is, it gives his age as 70, which would indicate that he was just 16 when he married.
As you say, I will most likely never know for sure.
Regards Helen

Posted by LEP1950 on 29th November 2017  

For Helen:

Hi Helen,
Thank you for letting me know about your visit to Wigan. I am sure we have the right parents. Godparents and witnesses are often a good indication, especially when supported by other evidence. I am so glad to have been able to help.

I can't find out much about Rachel, but she may have been born in Lostock in 1761, the illegitimate daughter of Jane Aspinall. However, this is a CofE baptism and I think it may have been Rachel who was originally a Catholic. So I'm not at all sure about this.

I think James Walsh (Rachel's husband)
died in 1824:

Burial: 11 Jul 1824 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
James Welsh -
Age: 66
Abode: Scholes
Cause of Death: Decay
Buried by: George Bridgeman, Rector
Register: Burials 1818 - 1824, Page 299, Entry 2385
Source: LDS Film 1885701

The family lived in Scholes. Burials of Catholics often took place at All Saints, too.

There is a baptism of a James Walsh at All Saints that would fit:

Baptism: 13 May 1759 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
James Walsh - Son of Joseph Walsh & Margery
Abode: Haigh
Register: Baptisms 1754 - 1778, Page 39
Source: Original register at Wigan Archives

As you know, Lostock and Haigh are not far apart. But I'm not really happy about this. I think it more likely that his father's name was James:

Burial: 31 Jan 1787 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
James Walsh -
Age: 53
Abode: Scoles
Occupation: Weaver
Cause of Death: Fever
Register: Burials 1779 - 1809, Page 93, Entry 12
Source: LDS Film 1885700

In 1787 at the time of James and Rachel's marriage, they were in Scholes and I think "weaver" was the correct profession.

Was this the elder James's marriage?:

Marriage: 12 Nov 1758 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Jams. Walsh - (X), Ince
Ann Lithgoe - (X), Ince
Witness: Gerd. Bancks; Michael Lea
Married by Banns by: Thos. Edge
Register: Marriages 1754 - 1775, Page 73
Source: LDS Film 1885674

Interestingly,I can't find any baptisms for children of this couple at All Saints. This could indicate that the children were baptised as Catholics. At this time, it was quite dangerous to have a Catholic baptism and records were often not kept. I think there is a really good chance that James and Ann were the parents of James Walsh, husband of Rachel. They married in 1758 and that is about the time of his birth. However, I don't think you will ever find any definite proof of this.

Happy hunting! I'll keep my eyes open.


Posted by Helen B on 28th November 2017  

Message for LEP1950,
Hi Linda,
I just wanted to tell you that I managed to get to MoL today, and as a result of some research of Catholic Baptisms I am very confident that your JAMES WALSH & RACHEL ASPINALL were the parents of my ROBERT WALSH.I found a Number of additional Baptisms for children of Robert & Ellen, who died before the 1841 census. Although I didn't find a Rachel, I did find a Rachel Walsh as a sponsor/godparent for 1 of their children, and a couple of Aspinall's as sponsors/godparents also.
I would like to thank you again for your help and advice. I haven't had any luck with my own Irish branches, but I hope to move forward (or back!) with the WALSH family now.
kind regards Helen

Posted by Jean on 22nd November 2017  

Looking for any information at all about the HENDY'S FROM ASPULL, eventually moving to Chorley.

Posted by Helen B on 21st November 2017  

Hello again Linda,
I live just outside Bolton, so not far from Wigan, in fact I used to live in Wigan and work in Bolton for many years! So travel to Wigan is not a problem, especially with use of the 'pass'!
I had noticed the lack of a GRACIE amongst the children of JOHN & BRIDGET, in fact Catherine is the 1st born, and named again later. So the waters are well muddied, and it's 'back to the drawing board'!
I will update you on the results of my visit to MoL.
Regards Helen

Posted by LEP1950 on 21st November 2017  


I saw that baptism of John Critchlow and I looked at the list of children born to John Critchley and Bridget. There was no Grace amongst them. Ok, this doesn't have to be the case, but it was common. I had this baptism down as a possibility, but of course, it's guesswork.
Grace died a spinster in 1801, aged 77. A Grace I take to be her mother died in Standishgate in 1783 aged 82. But I found the following really interesting:

Baptism: 19 Apr 1795 St John RC, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Grace Critchley - Daughter of Thos. Critchley & Alice (formerly Walsh)
Godparents: Samuel Hill; Cath. Hodgon
Baptised by: Jno. Chamberlain
Register: Baptisms 1782 - 1805, Page 113
Source: Original register at Lancashire Archives

A Catholic baptism of a later Grace Critchley to a mother called Walsh. An indication of links between the two families?

A problem is that I have found the deaths of two John Critchleys in Wigan, one in February 1809 aged 60 (residence Scholes, which fits) and the other in 1819 agd 70. Both entries indicate a birth in 1749 (if the ages are to be believed), so which one is the son of Gracie? A bit of a problem.

I have looked again at the 1841, 1851 and 1861 censuses. Robert Walsh says he was born in Wigan in all of them. This does not necessarily have to be true. Sometimes people who came to Wigan as small children claimed to have been born there, but if we believe it, then the Robert Walsh christened at St John's seems to be the only possibility. I put in all Robert Walshes/Welches born between 1790 and 1810 (very generous!) and only one came up in the censuses.

It's good that you can get to Wigan. I wish you luck scouring the Catholic records.Let me know how you get on.


Posted by Helen B on 21st November 2017  

Do you think JOHN CRITCHLEY could have been illegitimate? I found this Baptism, and the date ties in with his death age, 60.
Baptism 1 Nov 1949 All Saints Wigan, Lancs
John Critchlow -(child) of Grace Critchlow
Abode Standishgate
Notes Base
It sounds like him?
Regards H

Posted by Helen B on 21st November 2017  

Hello Linda,
Thanks for the Irish website. I will check that out later. I plan to visit MoL either Thursday or Friday.
I did notice BRIDGET WOODWORTH & JOHN CRITCHLEY. The name WOODWORTH is interesting, as my husband has WADSWORTH, also from Billinge, in one of his branches, and I wonder if there could be some connection, although they were using WADSWORTH back around 1750.
More hard work needed from me. Something to fill in the dark nights!
Thanks again, will let you know if I turn up any info about the WALSH family.
Regards Helen

Posted by LEP1950 on 20th November 2017  


The Irish reference is:


Ellen's ancestors:

Marriage: 4 Jun 1769 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
John Critchley - (X), Wigan
Bridget Woodworth - (X), Wigan
Witness: Gerd. Bancks; Gilbt. Liddell
Married by Banns by: S. Ellis
Register: Marriages 1754 - 1775, Page 302
Source: LDS Film 1885674

Baptism: 9 Dec 1749 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Brichet Woodworth - Daughter of Jams. Woodworth & Catherine
Abode: Scoles
Source: Original register at Wigan Archives

Marriage: 28 Oct 1736 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Jam. Woodworth - Billinge in this Parish
Catherin Ashurst - Pemberton in this Parish
Married by Banns by: Mr Baldwin Curate
Source: Original Register at Wigan Archives

I'm not an expert. Ancestry is just a hobby. I find it fun and started helping others when I couldn't get any further with my own lines.


Posted by LEP1950 on 20th November 2017  

Hello again Helen,

Join the club! I have a lot of Irish ancestors. In fact of my four grandparents, there is really only one English line that I can follow back until the early 17th century. For most of the others, it's "curtains" at the beginning of the 19th century. It's difficult when you don't know where your ancestors actually come from. Often there is only "Ireland" in the censuses. A year or so ago, the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht had all their records put online. You do not have to pay for this site, but you have to look through all the microfiches yourself. I'll put the website in in another message as sometimes the message disappears if you put in internet references!!

But you can get back even further with Catherine Critchley's ancestry. Her parents married at All Saints in 1769 and mother Bridget's name was WOODWORTH. She was christened in 1749, the daughter of James Woodworth and Catherine. I think this couple married in 1736 and the mother's name was Catherine Ashurst, but I want to look at that again.

Happy hunting!

PS I will now copy (or rather type) in the references in another message.

Posted by Helen B on 20th November 2017  

Hi Linda,
Thanks for the info. I will pay a visit to Wigan MOL as soon as I can. Hope I can find out something about the WALSH/WELCH line.
Thanks, also, for your assistance with the Holland's. I still can't believe how I missed that Baptism!
You are obviously very well versed with Genealogy, so I would like,to pose another question: "What is the best way to research Irish Ancestors born there around 1800?" I suspect that there is no way,, and I have 2 branches in my tree which both grind to a halt around that date!

Posted by LEP1950 on 19th November 2017  


I haven't lived in Wigan since 1972 and so I can't look anything up for you there as I only get back about twice a year. If you can easily get there, I know that they have records from St John's and St Mary's from the early 19th century and earlier ones from Ince Hall. These three churches would be the ones that could be most interesting for you, I think. There are also later records from St Patrick's and St Joseph's.


Posted by LEP1950 on 19th November 2017  


Sometimes one's blind!! I've just looked again at the 1841 census and have now noticed that the weaver James Holland and wife Catherine (both listed as 65 in this census, where ages were possibly rounded down) were living in the same house as Robert, Ellen and family!! So I think you definitely now have Ellen's parents.

And here is Catherine Critchley's baptism:

Baptism: 15 Dec 1776 All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Catharine Critchley - Daughter of John Critchley & Bridget
Abode: Scholes
Register: Baptisms 1754 - 1778, Page 213
Source: Original register at Wigan Archives


(Sorry the last message went twice. Sometimes they don't go through and then double)

Posted by Helen B on 19th November 2017  

Hi Linda,
Thank you for your quick reply. I don't know how I missed ELLEN's Baptism on Lancashire OPC. That record would certainly seem to be her, so now I have parents and grandparents for her.
You could well be right about ROBERT's parents being RC., and I may be wrong with his year of birth. Do you think there would be any RC records available at the Museum of Life? I can get there easily.
Small world, you having lived at the same address as my husband's G/Grandparents. I can understand how odd that must have felt, when you realised that. It is so amazing what comes to light when doing research. My husband and I share 4x G/Grandparents. That was a strange feeling too!
Thanks again for your help,
Regards Helen

Posted by LEP1950 on 19th November 2017  

Hello Helen,

Perhaps you've been looking at CofE christenings? It would seem that Robert Welsh/Walsh was a Roman Catholic from birth and Ellen at least at her death. Anyway, they were both buried as Roman Catholics. The idea came to me when I couldn't find baptisms for their children although the censuses from 1841 to 1861 show that they were living in Wigan at this time. (By the way, daughter Ann was living with her husband Peter Baldwin in 1861 at my old address!!! I lived there from the age of 2 to 9. It was quite a weird feeling). Unfortunately, there are not so many transcribed RC records online. For example, the baptism records from St John's, Wigan, finish at the moment in 1822 and you would need later ones.

I studied the names of Robert and Ellen's children looking for clues. Often the eldest son is named after the grandfather, but I couldn't find an Andrew. I think there must have been a couple of other children between Andrew and Thomas, whose names might have helped, as eight years without a child was unusual in those days. But I discovered other Andrew Walshes in the Scholes area, and Andrew was not as common a name in those days as John or Thomas. Betweeen 1787 and 1804 a couple called James and Rachel Walsh (nee Aspindale at St John's, but noted as Aspinal at All Saint's Cof E in 1787. They married twice - in a Catholic ceremony and,as was demanded, also in the Church of England) had 9 children baptised at St John's RC church including a ROBERT, born in 1800. Three older siblings were called ANDREW, THOMAS and ANN, just like Robert's own children. Some of Robert's siblings gave the name Andrew to one of their children and so it must have had some significance for the family. It does bother me that there was no child called after the grandparents, but they may have been in those eight "childless" years. Robert's age would be a little out, but this really wasn't unusual at the end of the 18th century/early 19th century. The other possibility is, of course, that Robert came over from Ireland at the beginning of the 19th century.

As for Ellen, she may also have arrived in Wigan shortly before her marriage. Or she may be in some Catholic records that are not online. Another possibility is that she was christened in a CofE church either because her parents were Anglicans or because some Catholics did this after having the child baptised as a Catholic in order to avoid trouble. In this case she may be the fourth daughter of JAMES HOLLAND and CATHERINE (a name given to one of her daughters) CRITCHLEY, who in turn was the daughter of JOHN and BRIDGET CRITCHLEY. "Bridget" sounds Irish, too. The family were weavers and lived in Scholes. Ellen was christened at All Saints in February 1803.

I need to do some more thinking and more crosschecking, but those are my ideas so far and they might help you. If you have access to ancestry, I don't think it is correct that Robert was born in Padiham or Ellen in Chorley.