The Bootle area played an important part in my mum’s early years. It’s situated in the north west of England, close to Liverpool, and other nearby places include Seaforth, Litherland, Thornton and Crosby, as you can see from the map.
Donald Lewis, the son of Joseph Lewis and Esther Simpson, was born on the 21st July 1925.
He married Susan Waters, the daughter of John Henry Waters and Mary Brown at the registry office in Bootle on the 7th June 1947.
Donald and Susan adopted mum in 1953 and lived at 18 Browne Street, Bootle with people the adoption papers describe as “two adult female cousins of the female applicant” (Mum remembers them by the surname of Kelly, as “aunties”) however, the marriage didn’t last, and mum apparently lived at Bailey Drive with Donald, and his parents, Joseph and Esther until about 1957.
Mum can remember living with the Lewis family at Bailey Drive, and walking to school. We think it was probably “Roberts School” that she would have gone to while living there.
Joseph, Esther and Donald are listed living at 18 Bailey Drive, Bootle on the 1939 National Register. Joseph was a linotype operator, Esther’s occupation is listed as “unpaid domestic duties”.
There is some sort of note with the adoption papers which looks like it shows that Donald was seeking custody of mum in the October of 1956. Mum’s birth mother, Beatrice (or Betty) Maddern (nee Chapman) had only died that January.
Beatrice/Betty lived at 31 Pembroke Road, Bootle for a short time between about 1952 and 1953, with a Catherine Healy, and lots of other people.
On the 1939 National register at 16 Pembroke Road, Bootle are James (a dock labourer), Catherine and Mary Healy (notes that she went on to marry someone called Lamb), George E Flynn (hammerman in shipyard), James O’Brien (builder’s labourer), Thomas Duffy (ARP shelter erector), John Hughes (dock labourer) and George (ship’s steward) and Ada Prentice. A few of those other names seem familiar to the ones who were living at 31 Pembroke Road, Bootle in the early 1950s.
There’s always been a bit of a mystery as to why Beatrice headed for Liverpool, and Bootle. Was there other family in the area? Mum’s adopted mother knew about things that happened after the adoption, is that unusual? There doesn’t seem to be any obvious link between the Chapman, Waters and/or Lewis families looking at the family tree. Could it be the case that mum’s adopted mother knew about Beatrice’s death as they’d been keeping in contact?
If you remember Donald, Joseph and Esther, the Kelly sisters who lived at Browne Street, or Beatrice then please do get in touch if you’d like to via this link.
Interesting/Useful links related to the Bootle area (Some relate to the wider area) include :