Which Walter Fordham?

This morning, while wondering once again about who the father of Walter Fordham Cox (previously discussed here) might be, the thought struck me about another illegitimate child born on another branch of the family tree.

That other child being William Owen Bibby, the son of William Owen and Ruth Glover.  You will note from the names, that the younger William appears to have been named after his dad.

Could this also be the case with Walter Fordham Cox?  It’s certainly possible.

I decided first to do a search for anyone called Walter Fordham born within about 2 years of Louisa Cox (mother of Walter Fordham Cox), assuming that the father would be a similar age to Louisa of course, it might not be the case.

The results:

As you can see, there were surprisingly few of them, 3 in total.

I also did a search for the deaths of any of these to check whether any had died at a young age.  It seems that one of them did, Walter Charles Fordham’s death was registered in the Hendon registration district in the September quarter of 1875.

So, that leaves me with 2 possibilities, Walter Harry Fordham, who would have been about 14 years old at the birth of Walter Fordham Cox, or Walter James, who would have been approximately the same age as Louisa Cox (about 16 years old).

I decided to look a bit more at Walter James, if similar ages are a factor as to who the dad is, then he looked like a  definite possibility.

It seems that this Walter was the son of a Charles Fordham and Eliza Howell.  I found him on each of the 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 census.  Also, his marriage in London to a Clara Elverstone in 1899.

I then also traced Charles Fordham born about 1853 in Hadstock, Essex back through the census, his parents were William Fordham and Martha Casbolt.  Some family trees on Ancestry show this family.

I thought  Casbolt might be a unique enough name to do a surname search of my dna matches.  A search for “Fordham” doesn’t show up anything particularly inspiring at the moment.

However, a search for Casbolt brought up only one result.  A Mary Ann Casbolt shows up in a DNA match’s family tree, born 1812 in Linton, Cambridgeshire.

Interesting, considering Martha Casbolt, mentioned above, wife of William Fordham was also born in Linton, Cambridgeshire (in about 1833).  Was there a link between the 2?  If so, then this distant dna match (sharing just 10.5 centimorgans across 1 dna segment) could have provided the key to resolving who is Walter Fordham Cox’s dad?

After a lot of searching I discovered a link.

It seems their common ancestors are the great grandparents of Martha Casbolt – John Casbolt and Mary Webb, through John and Mary’s son, John.  While Mary Ann is the grand daughter of John and Mary’s son, William.

So, what about Walter Harry Fordham, the 2nd possible dad of Walter Fordham Cox?  His mother’s maiden name was apparently Pledger.

I searched for the marriage of a Fordham and a Pledger and found a William Henry Fordham married an Emma Pledger in Cambridge in 1858, so now I had a family to look out for in the census.

Following this Walter through the census, he doesn’t appear to leave the Cambridge area.

Doing a search of my DNA matches for the surname Pledger, there are Pledgers in the family trees of about 6 DNA matches, 2 of them with Pledgers from Cambridgeshire.  At present it cannot be confirmed whether those link to Emma Pledger who married William Henry Fordham.

Conclusions from the above – 2 Walter Fordhams have been identified who are potential partners of Louisa Cox, and father of Walter Fordham Cox, based on similar age to Louisa.

The 2 Walter Fordhams were both born in Cambridgeshire, one would have been about 16 at the time of the birth of Walter Fordham Cox, while the other would have been about 14.

Walter James Fordham can be shown to have moved away from the Cambridgeshire area, and into London, while it cannot be shown that Walter Harry did so, he appeared to remain in Cambridgeshire.

A DNA match has been identified who links in to the grandmother of Walter James Fordham, Martha Casbolt.

DNA matches have also been identified to Pledgers in Cambridgeshire (maiden name of Walter Harry Fordham’s mum), but with no link as yet proven to Emma Pledger.

If there are other descendants out there somewhere of the likely father, then I believe that them doing a dna test will prove more helpful in identifying who that father may be.















The Glover/Bibby/Owen family

My 4 times great grandmother, Ruth Glover was baptised at Upholland, Lancashire, of Dalton, Wigan on the 6th May 1804, she was the daughter of Hugh Glover and Mary Gregson.

Ruth had a number of children with partners she was not married to.

The first was Mary Ann Glover, she was baptised at Upholland on the 12th September 1824 to a single Ruth, of Rainford, Lancashire.  Mary Ann went on to marry a George Webster at St Helens in 1841.

Then, in about 1830, a son called Hugh Glover was born to Ruth.  He went on to marry a Mary Pye at St Wilfred, Farnworth, near Widnes in 1852.

On the 30th January 1832, Ruth went on to marry a Jonathan Bibby at All Saints, Wigan, Lancashire.

2 children were born to Jonathan and Ruth;  Michael (1832 – 1910) and Jessie (1836 – 1890), both born in Rainford.

However, Jonathan Bibby appears to have died before 1841, as he does not appear on that census in Rainford alongside Ruth and children up to that point.  Ruth is listed as an agricultural labourer in 1841.

Moving ahead to the 1851 census, which gives more detail than the 1841 census, Ruth shows up as a widowed housekeeper, with an extra 2 children, Ann Bibby, who went on to marry a John Bridge (About 1843 – 1915), and William Bibby, my great great great grandfather.

William Owen Bibby was born on the 11th March 1845 at Scotch Row, Eccleston in Prescot, Lancashire (now part of St Helens).  The Owen part is quite important here as it gives a clue as to who the father was.

Also on the 1851 census with this family is a William Owen, an agricultural labourer, lodger, unmarried aged 41, born in Kirby, Lancashire.

At his first marriage at Rainford on the 6th June 1869, to Ellen Cullen (nee Mousdel), William Owen Bibby gives his father’s name as William Bibby.  However, on the 16th February 1889, William remarries as a widower, to an Elizabeth Hart at St Peter’s, Parr.  Here the truth is revealed, his father’s name is William Owen.

William and Ellen (nee Mousdel) had 3 children (Ellen having had 8 children with her first husband, Edward Cullen);  James Bibby (1870 – 1940) married a Margaret Hewitt, and had 2 daughters, Ethel and Lydia;  William Bibby (1872 – 1895) sadly died aged only 23 and my great great grandfather, Francis Bibby (1874 – 1952)

Francis’s son, William Bibby (1901 – 1987) was my great grandfather, his daughter, Eva, my nan.

Going back to William Owen, the lodger in the 1851 census, I managed to find him in the 1861 census, he was living with his mum, Elizabeth Owen (nee Moorcroft), his father was George Owen, 1769 – 1836.

A descendant of a sibling of George Owen has been found and has done a DNA test, and shows up as a DNA match, which links to the wider Owen family, therefore confirming my suspicions that William Owen, the 1851 lodger, born on the 14th December 1811 to George and Elizabeth, baptised at St Mary the Virgin, Prescot on the 12th January 1812 is my great great great great grandfather.



Thomas Chapman (1860 – 1947) and family

Thomas Chapman

Thomas Chapman, brother of my great great grandfather, Henry Chapman, was born to John Walter and Betsy (nee Pimm/Pym) on the 22nd November 1860 in Blackburn, Lancashire.

On the 28th October 1883, Thomas married an Elizabeth Ann Baxter (daughter of William Baxter) at St Mary’s, Lancaster.  The couple had 7 children, cousins of Frances Eleanor Chapman, Reuben and John Edward Chapman;  They were Mary Ann, Elizabeth, William, Helen, John, Thomas and Lillian.

John Chapman (1893 – 1917)


Sadly, 2 sons of Thomas – John and Thomas lost their lives in world war one. John died  in Ypres, Belgium on the 9th October 1917, while Thomas junior lost his life in Somme, France on the 9th August 1916.

Thomas Chapman (1897 – 1916)



Thomas appears to have worked as a stoker according to the 1891, 1901 and 1911 census.



He died on the 26th November 1947 of West Road, Lancaster, and was buried at Lancaster cemetery on the 29th November 1947.



James Burrow (1820 – 1882)

James Burrow (1820 – 1882)

James Burrow, son of James and Isabella (nee Fleming) was baptised at St Mary, Crosthwaite, Westmorland on the 3rd February 1820.

The elder James was the brother of my 5th great grandmother, Agnes Burrow, who went on to marry a John Holme at Crosthwaite in 1805.

James (the younger) was listed in the Oxford University alumni, and was the vicar of Hampton, Middlesex from 1862 to 1882.

The above photo was a copy kindy sent to me by the church at Hampton.

John Edward Chapman (1898 – 1974)

John Edward Chapman 1898 – 1974

John Edward Chapman, son of Reuben and Jane (nee Sandham) was born  in Leeds, Yorkshire on the 4th September 1898.

He was the brother of Reuben, nephew of my great great grandfather, Henry Chapman, first cousin to my maternal  great grandmother, Frances Eleanor Chapman.

(Also first cousin to John and Thomas Chapman)

Reuben, Jane and family family moved to Burnley, Lancashire from Leeds at some point in the early 20th century.

This photo of him, from the Burnley Express in an article about John being missing during world war 1.  There is another article about John returning home in a later edition.

John Edward went on to live until he was 75, and died in Burnley



Reuben Chapman (1895 – 1918)

Reuben Chapman (1895 – 1918)

It is rare that I have any photos linked to my Chapman relatives (mum’s maternal grandmother’s family).  This is one copy of a photo I have from the 20th April 1918 edition of the Burnley Express.

Reuben son of Reuben (brother of my great great grandfather, Henry/Harry) and Jane (nee Sandham) was brother to John Edward and a first cousin to my great grandmother, Frances Eleanor Chapman, (also cousin to John and Thomas Chapman) born in Lancaster, Lancashire, England on the 22nd January 1895.

The photo goes alongside a report on the death of Burnley man, Reuben Chapman  in France during World War 1.

Reuben was born on the 22nd January 1895 in Lancaster, Lancashire, England, and was killed on the 1st April 1918 in France.

He was sadly one of an estimated 37 million people (both civilians and military) killed during that war.


Eleanor Holmes (1854 – 1927)

Eleanor Salisbury nee Holmes

Eleanor/”Ellen”, sister of my 3 times great grandmother, Mary Holmes, daughter of Robert (a huntsman) and Eleanor (nee Benson) was baptised at Cartmel on the 30th April 1854.

Eleanor Salisbury

At some point, the family moved from Canny Hill (just to the south of Lake Windermere) to Kirkham in Lancashire.

Ellen married a Thomas Salisbury in Kirkham, Lancashire, on the 22nd May 1879.

Thomas Salisbury (1854 – 1927) and Eleanor “Ellen” Salisbury nee Holmes (1854 – 1927)

Thomas and Ellen had 5 children, born between 1880 and 1892;  Robert, John, Sarah Eleanor, Henry and May.

The family moved to Bury, Lancashire at some point, and Eleanor died there in February 1927, being buried at Bury cemetery on the 1st March 1927.




Louisa Pointon (1899 – 1995)

Louisa Pointon (1899 – 1995)

Louisa, daughter of Thomas and Abigail (nee Stockton), and sister of my great grandfather, Frederick Pointon, was born in Wrinehill, Staffordshire on the 4th November 1899.

Louisa Pointon (1899 – 1995)

She went on to marry a John/”Jack” Webb in Sutton, St Helens in 1941.

Louisa Pointon (1899 – 1995)

Louisa died in Cheshire in 1995.

Fred and Ann Pointon with Jack and Louisa Web, and daughter
Jack, Louisa Webb and daughter


Elizabeth Thrush Wright (1889- 1974)


Lizzie and Ann in fancy dress

Elizabeth/”Lizzie”, daughter of Charles and Elizabeth, sister to my great grandmother, Ann Wright, was born on the 13th December 1889 in St Helens.

Florence Lavinia Wright, Elizabeth Thrush Ryan (nee Wright), Elizabeth Wright (nee Francis) seated with unknown child and Joseph Ryan

Lizzie went on to marry a Joseph Ryan in 1912 in St Helens.

She died in St Helens in 1974.