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Crank from Ashton in Makerfield


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I have an ancestor named Jane Crank. She is listed on the birth certificate of my great-great grandfather, John Sudworth. She was married to James Sudworth (b. 1806).


I'm trying to figure out who her parents are. See, many things point to her having been born in 1806 and baptized in 1809, born to William and Mary Crank. HOWEVER..


One of her descendants told me that she was listed as "Jenny" in her baptism record, which I found. It would mean that her parents were Richard Crank and (possibly) Susannah Adamson.


And this is where I get ridiculously confused. Her marriage record says she married James Southworth. "Sud" means south, so I think these must be my ancestors. No parents are mentioned.


Her birth record says she was born in 1809 and her parents were Richard Crank and Susanna. Here: http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Search/indexp.html. I don't think that will come up, but it will if you search "Jenny Crank." Where I got Susannah Adamson was from the woman who told me that my ancestor was listed as "Jenny" in the records. She said her mother remembered them and that some of their descendants still live in Downall Green.


So this is where I'm getting confused--how can I tell whether my Jane Crank is this one that was listed as "Jenny" in her baptism record and born in 1809 to Richard and Susannah Crank, or whether mine is the one who was born in 1806 to William and Mary Crank?


Just to add to the confusion (because Why Not? at this point), I can only find record of Susannah Adamson marrying a Richard Birchall. Which I have seen before, but then it had the name Crank come out of nowhere (this was on another Ancestry tree). So obviously I'm not the only one who's confused.


Help.. :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm going to reply to my own post for the benefit (hopefully) of any other researcher who might come across this. There's a Facebook group called "The Original Lancashire Genealogy Group," which I joined recently. The purpose of it seems to be to help people solve mysteries such as this. So I posted asking about it, and one of the other members (I thought, but now I think she might be an admin) solved this single-handedly! I'm going to try to explain it, but I get a bit mixed up with these lines sometimes, so please bear with me. I think it's pretty solid, though.


One man on that group suggested geographical proximity was the best indicator that 1809-born Jenny is "my" Jane Crank. He is a local and said that where she was baptized (St Thomas, A in M, Lancashire) is closer to where the rest of my family is from, I guess? The other 1806-born Jane Crank was baptized in St. Elphin, Warrington, Lancashire, which I'm told is further away. I had no idea because I'm from Canada and I don't know the geography of Lancashire at all.


I was prepared to just accept that was all the proof I was going to get, but then! My Facebook heroine came to the rescue. smile.png


Susannah Crank died in 1852, which means she was on the 1841 and 1851 censuses. In 1841, she was living with her sons, Thomas and Henry, as well as her daughter, Jane (now Sudworth) and her family. All in Downall Green.


Actually, before I go any further, Susannah and Richard's children seem to have been:


John b. 1795

Richard b. 1797

Peter b. 1800

Thomas b. 1802

Henry b. 1804

Sally b. 1805

Joseph b. 1807

Jenny/Jane b. 1809 (my direct ancestor)


Now that that's out of the way..


Susannah was widowed in 1827. As mentioned above, on the 1841 census she was living with a few of her children, including Jane and her family. On the 1851 census, we find her still in Downall Green as head of household, living with her sons, Thomas, Henry, and Peter, and her granddaughter, Susannah (not sure yet whose daughter this was). Henry is listed as a corn miller, which is going to come up again later.


So, based on the names of Susanna's children/Jane's siblings, and her living with them at various times, I think the censuses prove a connection between Susanna and Jane, and I don't think it's a stretch to assume the connection was her as their mother (the censuses are a bit hard to read, but I think one of them actually says she was the mother).


I think this post is long enough, so I'm going to give the explanation of the 'Richard-Crank or Birchall?' mystery in my next post.

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Ah ha! I found a bastardy order for Richard Crank, born to John Birchall and Dorothy Crank.


Scandalously (maybe), there was a John Birchall married to an Alice Crank in 1764..could this have been Dorothy's sister? shocked.gif


I can't find any records that seem to fit either an Alice or a Dorothy Crank anywhere, unfortunately, so I haven't been able to find a connection yet.

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Lainey


I haven't done much fam tree for a few years


my Crank side starts with a Peter Crank born cir 1777 who married a Mary Litler Aug 1802 they had a Dorothy 13 Apr 1804

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Hello Lainey and Kingo

Peter Crank and his wife Mary nee Littler had a daughter Isabella. She married James Littler at St Oswolds Winwick in 1825. ( possible cousins)

The Cranks, Littlers and Birchalls seem to have inter married frequently.

A Peter Burchall is on the 1861 census ( spelled as Berkhall age 79 ) shown as visiting Peter & Margaret Littler at old Fold Haydock. He died 1866 aged 83 and is buried St Thomas Ashton in Makerfield.

Lancashire online- parish clerks project.

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