Featherstone, Yorkshire

Featherstone, as you can see from the map above, lies in Yorkshire.  Nearby places include Pontefract, Wakefield, Normanton, Ackworth, Wragby, Crofton and Brotherton.

The most recent ancestor in the family tree from Featherstone is one of my 5 times great grandfathers, John Thresh, who was baptised at Featherstone on the 4th March 1759.

John married Sarah Senior in 1781, and the couple had 10 children;  Ann, Mary, Elisabeth, Sarah, Joseph, Charlotte, Thomas, William, Martha and Elmira.  At some point after the baptism of Elmira in 1802, Sarah must have died, as my 4th great grandfather, Charles Thresh was born to John and Ann Thresh at Wragby on the 22nd October 1805.

However no possible marriage as yet beeen found between John Thresh and someone called Ann/Hannah or any obvious variant between 1802 and 1805.

By the 1830s Charles had moved to the Manchester area, appearing in documents as Charles Thrush, and married Eliza Burrows, daughter of Henry and Elizabeth at Eccles on the 4th March 1832.

On the 1851 census, at Russell Street, Eccleston in Prescot, a William Banks appears with Charles (a joiner/carpenter), Eliza Thresh and family, aged 45, brother in law to Charles, born in Brotherton in Yorkshire.  William was the husband of Elmira Thresh, they’d married at St. Michael, Wragby on the 26th September 1825.  This would be the clue that I needed that would eventually tie Charles in with the other Thresh family members from Yorkshire.

Charles and Eliza’s daughter, Sarah, baptised in Manchester in 1833 is my line, she went on to marry Nicholas Wright, son of John Wright and Sarah Robinson in 1853 at Farnworth near Prescot, then to Thomas Johnson in 1874 at Holy Trinity, Parr Mount, St. Helens.  Thomas had previously been married to the sister of Nicholas, Jane Wright.

Interesting and useful websites related to the Featherstone area (some relate to the wider area) :

GENUKI: Featherstone

History of Featherstone – A Vision of Britain Through Time

Featherstone Town Council – History of Featherstone


Pontefract and District Family History Society

Wakefield Historical Society

Wakefield and District Family History Society

West Yorkshire Archive Service

Yorkshire BMD


Audley, Staffordshire

Several of my Pointon/Poynton ancestors and related families lived in and around the Audley area.

Audley, as you can see from the map above, is situated in northern Staffordshire, with Betley, Wrinehill,  Miles Green, Halmer End, Chesterton, Talke and Betley in Staffordshire, and Barthomley, and Alsager in Cheshire close by.  The area historically had lots of coal mines, so if you have ancestors from the area, you’ll possibly have a miner among them.

My 7 times great grandfather, Randle Poynton, was baptised at Talke to Randle and Hannah on the 3rd April 1726.  He went on to marry Sarah Whiteall at Audley in 1744.

Abel Dale, a husbandman, and Sarah Booker, one set of my 7th great grandparents married at Audley in 1756.

Another set of my 7th great grandparents, Oldcot Eardley and Cisley Ryley married at Audley in 1744.

So, there are quite a few of my ancestors from the area.

Interesting and useful websites about the area (some cover the wider region) include:

Audley and District Family History Society

Audley, Staffordshire at GENUKI

History of Audley on A Vision of Britain Through Time

Staffordshire BMD

Staffordshire Archives

The Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry

Wishful Thinking Staffordshire Local History includes MI collection, photograph index and Lichfield wills index

Talke Info

Sources for Betley History

Betley Local History Society

North Staffs Mines History


Bootle (Near Liverpool)

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 :

History of Bootle from Historic Liverpool

Bootle Times

The City of Liverpool Online Parish Clerks

Liverpool Archives

Lancashire Archives

HistoPic – Historic pictures of Liverpool



St. Just in Penwith

St. Just in Penwith, as you can see from the map above, is towards the western end of the county of Cornwall, with nearby places including Sennen, Pendeen, Morvah, St. Buryan and Sancreed.

My most recent ancestor from St. Just in Penwith is mum’s birth father, my grandfather, born in the area in 1926 to Robert Maddern and Harriet Elizabeth (Hettie) Thomas, who married in 1913 at the United Methodist Church at Tregerest, Sancreed.  Non Conformists seemed to be pretty strong throughout Cornwall.

In the past, the area, and, indeed Cornwall as a whole, was known for fishing, tin and copper mining in particular.  With many Cornish families throughout the years moving to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other countries for work.

Hettie and son
Hettie Maddern nee Thomas and son

Robert Maddern appears on the 1911 census aged 19 as a “stamp tin dresser”, his dad, Matthias being a farmer, and married to Eliza Jane Hocking, daughter of Richard Henry Hocking and Amelia Ann Eddy.

On Hettie’s side, her dad, John Thomas, had been a fisherman, born in Sennen in about 1866, married Jane Dungey, daughter of William Henry Allen Dungey and Peggy (or Margaret) Richards on the 3rd May 1892 at St. Just in Penwith.

Sadly, it seems life was too much for John, of Kenidjack, who apparently ended his own life on the 14th July 1925.  There is quite a lengthy report of an inquest from the Cornishman newspaper from the time.

Interesting and useful websites related to St. Just in Penwith and the local areas (some relate more widely to Cornwall) include:

The parish of St. Just in Penwith from the Cornwall Online Parish Clerk website.

Cornish Mining World Heritage

St. Just in Penwith Town Council

GENUKI:  St. Just in Penwith, Cornwall

A Vision of Britain Through Time:  St. Just

West Penwith Resources – St. Just in Penwith

Hattam Family Genealogy – Also includes lots of galleries and gravestone images.

Cornwall Record Office

Crosthwaite and Lyth

The area known as Crosthwaite and Lyth shown in the map above.

As you can see from the map, it lies between Windermere in the Lake District national park and Kendal.  It is now commonly assumed to be in the county of Cumbria, however, like many administrative post 1974 changes in England and Wales, the historic country of Westmorland continues to exist alongside the administrative area of Cumbria.Tarnsidefarmcrosthwaite

Crosthwaite is a beautiful area.   There is some great walking to be done around the area, and some good photo opportunities to be had in the region as a whole.

My most recent direct ancestor who lived in Crosthwaite at any point was Robert Holme.

Robert Holme was baptised at St. Mary, Crosthwaite on the 29th March 1816 to John and Agnes. (nee Burrow)  By 1841, he’d moved on and was a servant at Newby Bridge.  In 1849 he married Eleanor Benson, the daughter of William (a farmer, like Robert’s dad) at stmarycrosthwaite2Whicham, near Millom.

Two of Robert and Eleanor’s daughters survived, Mary, and Eleanor.  I’m descended from Mary, who was baptised at Cartmel in 1852, and who married John Coxhead in 1876 in Penwortham, near Preston, Lancashire.  The family moved to Kirkham in Lancashire, and Robert Holmes, formerly a huntsman, was buried at Kirkham parish church in 1892.

Direct line ancestors of Robert who lived in and around the Crosthwaite and Lyth area include:

John Holme and Agnes Burrow who married in 1805.

James Burrow and Elizabeth Atkinson who married in 1782.

Robert Jackson and Elizabeth Story who married in 1722.

James Burrough/Burrow and Agnes Cartmell who married in 1750.

William Burrow and Mary Garnett who married in 1727.

Isaac Cartmell and Agnes Barrow who married in 1720.

And the family of Leonard Townson (buried at Crosthwaite in 1667) and his wife Jenett

Some of the place names mentioned in documents such as wills, and baptism records from the area include “Broad Oak”, “Moss Side”, “Nook”, “Tarnside”, “Cartmel Fold”, “Birks” and “Green”.

Here are a few sites of interest for the Crosthwaite and Lyth area:

The Parish of Crosthwaite and Lyth – includes lots of historical information, and individuals’ names.

GENUKI Crosthwaite & Lyth page

History of Crosthwaite in South Lakeland and Westmorland

Westmorland Damson Association

Crosthwaite and Lyth – British History Online

Cumbria Family History Society

Cumbria Archive Service



St. Helens

The place where my ancestral lines converge, where I was brought up.

I thought it might be an idea to make posts every now and again about places in the family tree, so, this is the first one – St. Helens, Lancashire, England.  I might occasionally update, and edit these posts.

Commonly thought of now as being in Merseyside, due to 1974 local authority reorganisation, however, there was no reorganisation of the historical counties, only to government administrative areas.  Something the government has acknowledged.

Thomas and Abigail Pointon (nee Stockton) travelled to St Helens from Wrinehill, Staffordshire with their family in about 1902.  Thomas was a coal miner, and there were certainly plenty of coal mines in the St. Helens area.  The Pointons settled in the Sutton area of St. Helens, living at Francis Street and Boscow Crescent.

My great great grandfather, Francis Bibby, and his wife Ellen (nee Cundliffe) lived in Tickle Street, Parr.

Elizabeth Harrison (my great grandmother) was living in Sandon Street, Sutton in the 1911 census with her parents, Frederick (born in Peter Street, off Boundary Road) and Theresa (nee Travis/Traverse) (born in Baxters Lane, Sutton)

Mum’s birth father was registered living at the miner’s hostel in Mill Lane, Sutton in 1951.

The Ormrod family, who became mum’s adopted family, lived in the Mersey Street area of Parr.

St Helens is probably a bigger place than some may think.  There are roughly 175,000 people who live in the area.

However, it is in relatively recent times that St. Helens became a town in its own right.  If you have ancestors from St. Helens, you’ll probably have noticed either”Eccleston in Prescot”, “Sutton”, “Parr”, “Rainford” or “Windle” as the place listed on the 1881 census.

Useful St. Helens links:

St. Helens Rolls of Honour

St. Helens Townships Family History Society

St. Helens Connect

Sutton Beauty and Heritage

St. Helens Local History and Archives

Lancashire Online Parish Clerks – Parish of St. Helens

St. Helens Council Deceased Search

Liverpool and South West Lancashire Family History Society

Lancashire Archives