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HenryJ

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  1. Hi Alan, Sorry I have only just picked up your Query. Plonker is correct regarding the Richard Evans H Q, which became the offices of the NCB West Lanc's Division on Nationalisation, and their old Workshops were also included. The Clerks [ presumably your Father], were situated in the large two storey Brick building on the Rt Hd side of Clipsey Lane, 50 yards from the Railway Crossing/Conservative Club/ now Tesco area, and other services such as Engineers, Draughtsmen, Personnel, Medical, were on the opposite side of the road.
  2. Hi Bill, My we are swinging all over the place on this one, and in doing so I think are not working on previous findings that do have some positive aspects. Your concluding sentence states Mary Leicester is your favourite for being James's Mother, yet his Mother in previous posts was suggested as being the Windle Mary. In all the records we have explored there isn't one that records a Mary of that approximate birth year with a James Birchall that also fits, and as such I don't have much confidence in this logic. So let me again try to answer your last thoughts/concerns. 1. Mary as James's Mother I cannot explain, but can think of many [as I said previously], reasons why this might be recorded this way. I repeat, the Census taker were in part only appointed because they knew the district and could write, and in the early days of first Census's it has been proven to be much less quality than desired. The Census Taker would not I think by choice,be wondering around at night because of the security situation, and inability to see adequately for recording. Who knows who might have been in the house when he called, it could have been only a child, and here is a 75 year old woman asleep in a chair, or he asks a neighbour the details. All I am saying is that we know for a fact that that it wasn't perfect at that time and we have to make allowances for this, using all the ' cross checking' information. 2. I suggested the Farmer James in 1861 as a 'possibility' because of, a. his 1801 birth at Whiston, b. James Birchall who married Margaret Ackers [ I think your previous favourite], was a Husbandman which as you may know was a Tenant Farmer. In those early days many people who were only Agricultural Labourers would be recorded purely as a Lab by these not highly educated Census Takers, and this even covered some 'casual' Tenant Farmers. I have covered hundreds of people in my searches who have been also recorded for example,as a Coal Miner & Farmer, where they have been living on one/two Acres. You didn't tell me if this James in the Census was a Widow and what relationship Jane was to him. 3. Mary might be a possibility somewhere in the big picture, but it is straying from the highly indicative known's. The only known relativity with this is the Church, and the name James, which we have already said many times , that there are a large number. This Mary is recorded as being of Sutton, one of the very large early Townships that formed the later St Helens, and within this she could have lived at Sutton itself, quite a distance from Prescot ,but as many others did, used this Church for BMD. 4. It is conceivable that the correct James married Mary Leicester, but I [ probably as you would expect ], do not think it is highly likely for the reasons above. I have seen no births or Census records that match the criteria, with the 1871 one being questionable anyway, even as recorded. I am however possibly prepared to accept that the James Birchall/Mary Leicester are the couple at Windleshaw Abbey in 1841/1851 on the grounds that his birth is consistently recorded as Whiston, his Census age birth matches, and you have now stated in this last post, that the name Leicester was entered below Mary Birchall in the Transcript, this being in spite of my doubts regarding the RC religion aspect. Sorry, but again be careful as Ancestry do put in some records the results of searchers connections, which don't always show their sources. My relaxing on the RC consideration is based on the fact that James could well have been Sexton in the C of E part of the Cemetery, which was adjacent, sorry ! 5. Again you have to be careful with the Witness's at Marriages in those days, as the people getting married very often did not have their own witness friends who were available to take time off etc. The Church catered for this by having church officials such as Church Wardens, to carry out this role. If you study St Luke, or St Mary Prescot, or indeed any Church at this time, you will see similar names repeating themselves as a Witness, and I happen to know that the Shaws were very prominent landowners/ Church people in the St Luke Parish. In the case of the Witness's I quoted I always check this Official aspect out. 6. I will add my latest finding for your confirmed James Birchall. James and Alice had a Son James in the 1871 Census at Peacock Row who was baptised on the 23rd of April 1865 at St Mary Prescot, James being a Collier Abode Prescot, which was correct at the time. James Junior is recorded as being Buried at St Mary Prescot on the 21st of July 1886 aged 20 years, with Abode Prescot, which would also be correct as his parents had gone to Durham. Interestingly his name was recorded as James Hulme Birchall. This I again believe makes the previous connection with Pheobe, her Husband Thomas Hulme, and of course the Thomas Hulme witness for the James Marriage in 1820 to Susannah O'Neil. I have to say Bill for all the years you have been searching this Family with the Brick Walls you have had, I am amazed that you have not tried another approach by looking into your family connections for example the Brownbills that you revealed when I referenced their name twice as witness to different Birchall Marriages. It seem logical to me that the reason you have them in your Tree is perhaps because they are indeed linked, and you are the common denominator. I realise it might be a new connection I have given to you but you have also said they are/ were, a much easier traceable Family, so it shouldn't take too long, why not have a 'crack'. I honestly believe I cannot advance your search very much more, and in fact because of my persistent approach to genealogy over many years, I might actually be part of the problem of clouding issues. Apart from the Brownbill route, my suggestion is that you have to cover all the information found on a single name aspect over all the 'BMD''s/ Census's, and then move on to the next one. All this should be then arranged in potential Tree's, which I know will overlap, and then come down on the weight of evidence for the most likely. In other words narrow your thinking/recording before moving to the next one, which you might be doing at home, but it doesn't come across this way on the Forum, I am not sure what other Forum members think ! As I said a number of times, your main 'Block' is this Mary aged 75 in the Census, and your efforts to prove this, one way are another, whilst admirable, is not bearing any 'fruit' simply because the information is not there. Just to give one final point on this particular aspect, I searched a Leicester Family in a nearby district not too long ago, and Two of the daughters had no children in their lifetime, with another two siblings only having one child each. Now please don't conclude that Leicester Families have child bearing problems, but I was trying to illustrate with a same name family, that it does happen, and in this case there is no record of any children to this couple that I could find, with young Mary just being a siblings child. I think it will finally come down to the two options you started out with, and you know my opinion for what its worth of the most likely one. You have been a great example of what it takes with difficult searches, but remember Bill, people who say they have gone back to the early 1500's with their Family Tree are having themselves on in regard to accuracy, it is all speculative, but I do hope the Brownbill's might just confirm that link you need. Best regards, H.
  3. Hello Bill, After the confusion clear up I had a look for any new detail that might help break down the wall, and managed to find a couple of records that for me, do just that. Importantly I found the baptism record for a James Birchall [ you may have this], that I strongly believe is the first born son of James and Margaret, nee Burrows. My confidence fits in with the similar record descriptions for Pheobe, John, and also a Thomas, all being Prescot abode. As I have said previously the James/Mary Ackers marriage in 1793 strangely didn't appear to show any children in the OPC records until 1797, and as you said primarily when they do, have I think,the Whiston Abode. James was born on the 23rd of December 1801, so I searched for possible marriages for him which I am sure you have also found many records. The one that jumped out for me was on the 4th of April 1820 at St Luke Farnworth to a Susannah O'Neil, with both signing with a x, James a Lab, Susannah a Spinster. The key features of this are the Groom and Bridesmaid Witness's, James Hulme with Catharine Brownbill. Thomas Hulme you will recall was the Farmer [ much older than her],who married Pheobe Birchall in 1841, and the Brownbill Surname comes into play in another record. Susannah born in 1800, was the daughter of Thomas & Rachael O'Neil, a Weaver with abode at Prescot. The problem with this is that I cannot find any James from this marriage nor any burial record for Susannah who I suspect may have died early, probably in childbirth. However, of significance with her name is that your confirmed James had one of his daughters with the same name ! Interestingly I found an 1861 Census record for a James that fitted the 1801 birth at Prescot [ as above], being a Farmer at Whiston Cross [about 1 mile from Prescot town], and he was recorded with a Jane Birchall aged 46, suggesting a second marriage. Again my Census records are incomplete as I said, and you can determine the status of this partnership. There were two Servants, one of which was an Elizabeth Brownbill aged 14, suggesting to me a connection to the first marriage as its a not too common name. I realise that none of these records directly bring in your confirmed James [ the Susan link being some support], and to be honest I have not totally dismissed the option of him being the son of Pheobe. The outstanding question mark though for you is the Mary born about 1800 living with James, and although I have had unusual exposure to similar records over a number of years that could provide a possible answer, it would be speculation without too much support. I know that the Census takers were for example not always the educated people they are now, and were purely locals who knew the district but importantly selected because they could write. Without the full available Census records it is difficult for my eye's to quickly cover likely options, but I do however think that these are relevant to your family and hopefully after your consideration, are worthy of further checks. Regards, H.
  4. Hello Bill, It couldn't have been too excellent of a reply as I seem to have still created some confusion, so let's see if we can at least clear that up. 1. Yes I was assuming that the Margaret Birchall aged 60, with James Birchall aged 17, at Prescot Hall in the 1841 Census was Nee Margaret Burrows and speculatively, his Mother [ with a late life birth] or his Grandmother. 2. 'Your' second point was a repeat of the previous post which confused me then and therefore still does. Could you please show the 1841 Census detail for James, Mary his wife, and Granddaughter Mary at ''Prescot Hall .'' Remember I do not have access to the Full Census records you obviously have. I stated that in 1841, a family with these members was at Windleshaw Abbey Cottage which was in Hard Lane. Again in answer to your query you have to understand the significance of this location particularly to St Helens. It has been the location for hundreds of years of among other things, the RC burial ground, and which continued on for many years again after 1841. In 1841 I believe James Birchall was recorded as the Sexton, and any Sexton in a large significant cemetery like this, would have a responsible job even though it could be looked upon as a labouring occupation. My knowledge over many years of life in the area, was there was a fair bit of prejudice between the Cof E and the RC religions. As such I believe a paid job such as this [ actually contributing to a sacred act of burial ], the appropriate church would see it as a job for a believer in their faith. The term Sexton really is not the point, it was a large cemetary, and not a tidy up job. I might be wrong on this and Forum members might have alternative opinions, but where there are 'brick wall' I suppose nothing is off limits so to speak. All this particular aspect might be irrelevant when your information on the James/Mary/ Mary at Prescot Hall is considered. 3. I know I am repeating myself in respect of your next point, the connecting of James/Margaret Burrows via Pheobe, thenJohn Birchall and his Daughter Pheobe. Pheobe is not necessarily an uncommon name, but it is less common than say Mary or Elizabeth, and in difficult searches for me anyway, these type of names repeat, but very often repeat with a younger sibling because they probably have for example, happy times with them In this case I believe Peobe born 1804 and John born 1806, both baptised at St Mary Prescot are children of James Birchall /Margaret Burrows. We also know a John Birchall had a daughter named Pheobe [ I believe after his Sister], who was 21 years old in 1850 when James Birchall married Alice Mather, and at which marriage a John and a Pheobe Birchall were witness, in effect the Best Man /Bridesmaid. I previously said that John's sister Pheobe had married prior to James's marriage, and therefore could not be the Pheobe recorded in this. We also firmly know that in the 1851 Census John with this daughter in the family, was living at Shuttle Alley Prescot, neighbours to James Birchall and wife Alice who was a Loom Operator at the adjacent Mill. With respect, your assumption about the relationship between church weddings and church baptisms is not correct. The Bride nearly always marries in the church nearest to where she and her parents reside, with the abode record location again suiting the church Parish, ie Of This Parish. When it comes to children the common feature is that the wife goes home for the first born [ sometimes second], but baptises the child at her new residential parish, and the baptism's above would match this. I am not sure Bill what more I can say to show the link you seek, but I personally am very confident that the James/Alice at Shuttle Alley in 1851 are directly connected to James/ Margaret Burrows. 4. I only presented the James, child of Pheobe, as a 'possibility', because of your inability to find a pre marriage James to match. I agree if the 1871 Census record is incorrect and it is his true Mother, then this James is obviously not your James, but I am certain would still be Sister Pheobe's child, brought up by Margaret. This aspect however has in my opinion, no bearing on the link outlined above. I thought you had covered all the James's possibilities over the years you have been searching, but I realise now you have been basing them on a false premise regarding the Marriage/Baptism relationship. I will have a search myself and get back to you. Cheers, H.
  5. Bill, My apologies for your confusion but my eyes are not what they used to be. I have no trouble typing my findings and thoughts, but I have significant problems reading my presentation for clarity etc. I will try and be a bit more specific within the same structure to avoid further confusion. 1. I am sorry I am confused myself with this one as it seem's to mix up a couple of my details ! What I was stating was purely that the James and Mary Birchall, being just together in the 1841Census, with Grandaughter Mary aged 8 in the 1851 Census, and just Mary as a Widow with Mary 19 in the 1871 Census at Hard Lane, were not in my opinion your Direct ancestors. I believe this primarily because of the RC connection, and I am not sure where the Prescot Hall ref' you quoted, come into this particular family. 2. I agree that James b 1801 would be a logical consideration for your confirmed James's father. However there is a James also born in 1824 that appears to have married a Mary Dagnall in 1858, and as Ratty said previously there are quite a few Birchalls with the same children's names right across this area. 3. The occupation of the James Birchall at his 1798 Marriage was of course recorded as a Cooper, which you are correct in saying was a skilled occupation. However there could readily have been a number of reasons why he had to forgo that occupation, and I also know many recordings where the occupation at the Marriage was falsely entered [ it happened in my line]. Note that throughout the Birchall line covered, many of the entries were marked with an x, as was this marriage, so there was certainly a lack of basic education. The James/Mary Ackers marriage was in 1793, yet I cannot find many children possibly from that line, at least up to the James/Margaret Burrows marriage in 1798. On a general note where there are a number of family's such as this with siblings of the same Christian name, it is important to try and concentrate on one [ or more if available], child with a less common name to get a link. In this search I did this with Phebe/Pheobe, which I think gives a connection through a few records as I presented. Pheobe first presents as a highly probable daughter of James/Margaret Burrows, and also Pheobe presents as a daughter of John Birchall, a highly probable son of James/Margaret Burrows, and therefore a link to your James. 4. Pheobe born 1804, married Thomas Hulme in 1841 as I said, and therefore would be recorded as Pheobe Hulme at James's marriage in 1850 if a witness. I agree it is confusing where I have stated Pheobe as a Witness to this marriage appearing to be only 12 years old. What I was trying to say was that I found the 1851 Census record of the same John with daughter Pheobe that you found in 1841 when she was 12. She was clearly recorded as being 22 in 1851, so my apologies for that. 5. If it is accepted that your confirmed James came through from this 1798 marriage, the question remains, who was the Father ? Is it sibling James with Mary Leicester as Tony J brought up, or was it a late birth with Margaret Burrows herself with the 1841 Census showing them together. Note in regard to records I do 'Not' have the actual census record access, relying purely on the Family Search records which don't always give the complete record. In this case I do Not know the relationship shown with James on the 1841 census at Prescot Hall,or if she was a Widow, but assume it was his Mother. There is a Burial record for a Margaret Birchall at St Mary Prescot for the 26th of August 1847, aged 69 which gives an approximate birth year of 1778 which I would consider a realistic variation tolerance to the census based birth of about 1781. My opinion for what it is worth is that James being the direct son of Margaret is a feasible possibility, but less probability. 6. There is one final consideration for you to ponder over. There is a baptism record at St Mary Prescot for a James Birchall on the 15th of June 1828 showing an illegitimate birth to a Pheobe Birchall, who I believe was the 1804 born Pheobe. Under many similar situations without a shortly, 'after marriage, ' the child is usually brought up in the family by the Grandparents as the Mother has to go out to work until she can perhaps support the child herself. Note it is a Baptism record and it could certainly be a birth of some years earlier, although I agree 4 years difference is about the upper limit for this. I forgot to mention in my first response, that you should look up the 1850 Ord Survey Map for Lancashire, using individual sheets of Zoomable maps covering Prescot [ if you havn't already done so], where you will clearly see all the reference locations quoted. Your confirmed James obviously went to St Helens after the 1861 census, to give his wife/family a better opportunity [ as did thousands of others], at the Pilkington Sheet glass works. I hope this at least clears up the confusion, but again if you have further questions just 'ring the bell'. Regards, H.
  6. Hi billbir, Thanks for being so precise about your results/requirements on this subject. I just took your confirmed connection as per the marriage, and independently searched backwards with the following results. 1. For the forums benefit, 'Peacock Nook' was in the Thatto Heath area of Sutton Township around Crossley Rd, Alexandra Vaults, Brittania Vaults location. 2. I am quite sure the 1851 James and Mary with Grandaughter Mary, are not the parents of your James, not having any 'children' with them also in the 1841 Census. Although as you said it is 'reasonably' close to Prescot where they were in Hard Lane, it is still a relatively long way for these early days without transport when there was more job availability at Whiston/Prescot Area. Interestingly for the forum, this James in 1841 was the Sexton living at Windleshaw Abbey Cottage, the Grade11 listed ruins of the Chantry built in 1415, marking the site of the RC Cemetry, and he would highly likely have been RC, as opposed to the alternatives. 3. Just one small point, James at his Marriage in 1850 recorded his age as 28 years which of course approximates his birth at 1822, not 1824, but this doesn't in this case, change much. I also agree the Mother in Law recording is incorrect in the 1871 Census. 4. I too found the two options for James' Parents, and looking at all the related details combined with local knowledge, I am confident that your ancestor came from the union of the 24th December 1798 Marriage of James Birchall and Margaret Burrows for the following reasons. Going back from the 1871 Census which found James/Alice with Mother Mary in Peacock Nook, the previous Census of 1861 had them at Hillock St Prescot, with James aged 36, a Coal Mine Labourer. Hillock St was a main Street leading from the Prescot Town Hall and St Mary's Church, meeting up with the main Turnpike of Warrington Road. The significance of this is numerous for this family, because in this street was a reasonably large Cotton Mill, and branching off was Shaw Lane, with Prescot Colliery very close as was Prescot Hall. It is likely that James was employed at this Colliery although there were others within a short walking time at Whiston via Shaw Lane. 5. In the 1851Census [as you found], James and Alice are recorded at Shuttle Alley which I believe is a side lane off the Hillock St Mill. James aged 27 born in Whiston, is a Lab,but Alice is a Power Loom Weaver, no doubt at the Mill, prior to her first child William. 6. In 1841 we find a James Birchall aged 17 a Lab, living at 'Prescot Hall' with a Margaret Birchall aged 60 therefore born approximately 1781, indicating she was about 43 years old when he was born. Prescot Hall goes back many Hundreds of years, being well recorded on the Internet. Also in 1841 I found the marriage of Pheobe Birchall at St Mary Prescot on the 6th of March, to a Thomas Hulme, a Farmer, with them both recording their abode also as Prescot Hall, but no age given, this being the Sister of James. In Shaw Lane I found the same John Birchall you found in 1851 with James in Shuttle Alley, and having his Daughter Pheobe aged 12, who jointly I agree, were Witness at the Marriage of James /Alice in 1850. 7. James Birchall Senior appears to have died prior to the 1841 Census, but a quick search only finds one burial within the general age grouping, being on the 29th of January 1837 aged 61 [ 1776], but it was at St Mary, later St Helen, the Parish Church in St Helens, with his abode Eccleston Township. Eccleston Township was closely mixed in with Prescot area's, and Margaret obviously was 'living in' at the Hall so the record could fit in with a nearby James's residence. This appears to be a little speculative, but as a Cooper he could have been employed at one of the many Breweries in the St Helens Townships on a short duration at the time of his death. However travelling down either the Warrington Turnpike or Shaw Lane, the short distance to Dragon Lane, there were a number of Breweries employing many Coopers in this period, so the burial itself is a little strange if the correct one. In Summary I generally concur with your findings, and hope the additional information helps to progress your Family tree ! Regards, HJ
  7. HenryJ

    Streets

    Hi, Sorry to come in at the back end on this one which looks like the relative's had the answer all along. However there are a couple of issues which probably influenced the start of the posts. 1. The Baptism records for St Nicholas and All Saints Sutton both recorded 38 Grafton St, 'St Helens' and not Sutton for the address of John William Foster, so it wasn't a wrong transcription. It is understandable though that you could assume a Baptism in a local church would have a corresponding parents local address. To create a bit more confusion, at one the children, John's, baptism in 1897, John William's address was given as 99 Milton St Southport, which if missed, could be taken as at Sutton Manor. 2. There were two John William Foster in St Helens in the late1890's/ 1900, five years age difference, and both had the same occupation' an Insurance Agent. This was obviously why one of the address's was at Southport, which at the time had a big Insurance office base. J W's wife Ann [ nee Highcock from Baxters Lane ], I feel pretty sure from researching this line in Sutton over many years, would strongly want the baptism back in Sutton even though her son John was born in Southport ! With this background info Ratty and your good detective work you should be able to confirm which one of the two is your John William. The two J W could in fact be Cousins as its a bit unusual to have exactly the same name, occupation, same district, at the same time, but it might be a fluke. Hope this helps.
  8. Hi again Astracan, Further to the above, exactly what is it you specifically are looking for ? In 1841 there was quite a little community in the Lane [ dead end], where your ancestors were, and it certainly was [ and still is], very agricultural. On the main road at the other end of the Lane was the Raven Inn which is still operating[ and on the net], as well as 600 yards further up towards the Liverpool Manchester Railway,was the George & Dragon [ also still operating ]. Between the two was a Corn Mill, and just across the Railway Station [ half a mile away], was a Cotton Mill. The very close Glaze Brook system was known in the 1840's as Glazebrook River after a merging of two Brooks, and this being prone to flooding, would have required frequent mitigation. All in all there was some variety of employment from the railway and these other subjects, and you can relate this to the employment details you have in the 1841 Census. Cheers, HenryJ.
  9. Hi, You have the correct location with Fowley Common Lane at Glazebrook. In the 1840's the Lane had No name, but went up from the then Lion Lane [ now Warrington Rd ], into the " General Area' of Fowley Common. Cheers, HenryJ
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