Wigan Family & Local History Society


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There are currently 2,930 entries in 147 pages.

Posted by Eileen on 17th June 2017  

The British Newspaper Archive has finally added some coverage for Wigan. https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/titles/wigan-observer-and-district-advertiser

Posted by Albert Smith on 4th June 2017  asmith68@bell.net 

I believe that ANN GRUNDY who died during the period Jan-Mar 1927 in Wigan may be my great-grandmother.

My great-grandmother was born Ann Bethell in Salford (Manchester?) about December 1849. She married Henry Smith in Accrington (Haslingden) about 1867. In the 1901 census her mother was listed living with them in Bolton and her name was written as Ellen Birthell(?) born in Wigan.

Henry Smith and Ann Bethell had seven children:
Mary Ellen b.1868, married Joseph Henry Selkirk.
Agnes b.1870, married Henry Sanderson.
Betsy Jane b.1876, married a man with the surname Clarke.
William b.1878, married Mary Elizabeth Madows.
Henry b.1880. I have no record of a marriage.
Eliza b.1882. I have no record of a marriage but she did have a daughter Lizzie.
Albert (my grandfather) b.1891, married Florence Smith daughter of James Smith and Mary Piercy (my other great-grandparents). James Smith was a policeman in Bolton.

Henry Smith died in 1908. Ann (Bethell) Smith married Joseph Grundy about August 1913 in Barton upon Irwell. I have no other information about Joseph, such as date and place of his birth and death, nor any of his family members.

Ann Smith and her daughter Eliza travelled to Canada in 1910. Ann (Smith) Grundy travelled to Canada in 1920. Her Son William emigrated to Canada in 1910, and her son Albert (my grandfather) and his family emigrated to Canada in 1920.

I would like to somehow confirm whether or not that Ann Grundy who died in Wigan in 1927 is my great-grandmother born Ann Bethell.

Any information about any of the other persons listed here would truly be appreciated.

Albert Raymond Smith
133 Lea Crescent
Welland, Ontario L3C 7J7
Email: asmith68@bell.net
Phone: 1-950-788-4097
Fax: 1-360-234-5391

Posted by LEP1950 on 19th May 2017  

Jon, I think it's quite possible. From my own family I have the bride's father in one case listed as "deceased" (he was), but at the marriage of her sister two years later he is listed as "father" with a profession. So things like this were not so unusual.

Posted by JBrown86 on 19th May 2017  

just a quick yes or no for anyone who might know:
is it possible that burial records (on Lancs OPC) for a woman whose husband died before her might say "Wife of" instead of "widow" or "widow of", as if the husband were still alive?

Thanks in advance


Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 18th May 2017  

It must be 'my' William in 1761 and I am inclined to agree that the Hoghton William is probably the father of Isabella. Thank you for the information.

Posted by LEP1950 on 16th May 2017  

For Elizabeth:
In the Register of Duties for Apprentices' Indentures 1710-1811, a Will. Worsick, joiner of Woolton le dale (sic) made a payment for his apprentice Richard Wilson on 23 April, 1761. Your William? It would seem so.
Interesting is also the payment for a James Unsworth on June 12, 1731 by Will. Worsecke, carpenter of Hoghton. Today Brindle and Hoghton are the same ward. Was this Isabella's William? Or perhaps your William's line? He had the same profession anyway.


Posted by margie on 16th May 2017  

For Elizabeth & Lynda,
Will get back to you later in the week with my Thomas Bonney, but late last night I came across these might help I don't know.

1698 Wm son of Henry Worswick de Walton
1699 Roger son of above
1702 Ellen d of Henry Worswick
1704 Thomas s of Henry Worswick poor.

1704 Ann d of Wm Worswick poor

These are all baptisms from the registers of the Parish Church Brindle.


Posted by Elizabeth on 15th May 2017  

Message for Linda,
When the 1797 Return refers to time resident I think it may well mean in Walton rather than the parish of Blackburn. Apart from Henry Worsick in Walton the other local Worsicks moved into a place. Given that most Catholic records start well after the 1730s, the chances of finding a baptism for 'my' William are about zero. The interesting thing is that William was a joiner, Henry was too and also a Robert Worsick in Brindle.
Yes the possibility that both fathers were called John had occurred to me - in the wee small hours when my brain cell is supposed to be asleep! Which is when, having read in the introduction to the Standish Chapel registers that they were written up from memory (don't ask why I was doing that past midnight)the penny dropped about the Heskeths. The mother's name is consistently given as Esther with her maiden name also supplied on a couple of occasions so logically the father should, in every case be George. It would have been handy if Charles Hesketh had named one of his daughters Esther but search as I may it is not a name given to any of his daughters.

Posted by LEP1950 on 14th May 2017  

Thank you for all that information. I'm really interested in learning more, both generally and specifically.Looking at the baptism records of Brindle, there must have been quite a few Worsicks around as plenty are listed as godparents. As far as the children of Henry Worsick from 1698 to 1704 are concerned, there are copies of the Bishop's Transcripts for 1702 (Ellen) and 1704 (Thomas) for BRINDLE on ancestry. I don't know where in Brindle as they are not registered at St James and also not at St Leonard's in Walton.
So, "your" William only came to Walton aound 1759? So you are looking for a baptism elsewhere around 1733? I agree that it's likely his father's name was Thomas, but I suppose there is the possiblity that both fathers were called John.

I looked at your Heskeths at St John's church. The confusion with the fathers' names is very strange, but perhaps the priest entered details into the register from memory and mixed up the two brothers. It happened!


Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 14th May 2017  

For Linda
I think Margie is on the trail of another Thomas Bonney.
Different Worsicks/Worsleys. Unlike the census the people listed did not have the option of adjusting their age!
William & Ann had three children before Thomas, Elizabeth in 1758,Margaret in 1760 and John in 1764 (the 1767 Return gives their ages as 8,7 and 3 respectively) Thomas's age is given as 6 months. I am almost certain that Ann's parents were John and Elizabeth nee Rigby so if the naming pattern theory holds good then 'my' William's parents were Thomas and Margaret.
It is quite possible that the Brindle William was uncle to 'my William' but in the absence of any wills it will be impossible to prove; likewise any connection with Henry and Richard Worsick living in Walton le Dale in 1767. These two are the ones for whom you found the marriages. Henry, a carpenter age 38, was born in Walton le Dale. His wife Jane, age 30, came into Walton 20 years before. Richard, a tailor, was 28 in 1767, his wife Margaret 29; he had come into Walton le Dale 8 years before, interestingly a year after 'my' William.
The Brindle Catholic registers start in the early 1720s so the entries you found on Family Search will almost certainly be from St Leonard's and may records of births rather than baptisms. In the late 1600s and early 1700s there seems to have been a requirement that the births of Catholic children be noted in the Anglican registers - I will try to find out. I know from a note in the Gillmoss (St Swithun)record that the priest had been informed, in the 1780s, he need no longer pass details of the Catholic baptisms to the Anglican parish clerk for entry in the CoE register - which explains why you will sometimes find a child apparently baptised both Catholic and Anglican! However, the only positively identified Catholic in the early 1700s is in the 1705 Return namely Thomas Worseley (sic), husbandman with a family of three living in Croston. He is also recorded in 1716. So I suspect that the Henry you found was, if not Anglican, then what was known as a Church papist i.e. he put in appearances at the parish church sufficient to avoid trouble with the authorities.

Posted by LEP1950 on 13th May 2017  

For Eizabeth/Margie:

Didn't Thomas Bonney marry Helen Worsake/Worsick in 1753? This was before Edward's Thomas was born. Or are you trying to trace a different one?

I've spent some hours looking at Catholic records and am surprised at what is now available on the internet. Looked this afternoon at a list of Leyland recusants from 1628. A couple of Worsicks and some Heskeths in there!

Obviously William Worsick with Isabella wasn't born in 1733 and his son William was supposedly born in 1740/41. So a different branch of perhaps the same family. Or William has made himself older in the list of Papists of 1767. In the transcriptions of the Bamber Bridge William and Ann (nee Brindle) it says their address is Walton. I'm thinking that that should be Walton-le-Dale!
I looked at the records of St Leonard's in Walton. There were no Worsick baptisms (apart from the entry for Thomas in 1766, son of William and Ann nee Brindle with the note Papist) as it isn't a RC church, but there were some marriages and burials, mostly after 1750. However, there was one interesting marriage of a HENRY WORSICK of Walton to ANN FARRINGTON of Brindle on March 6th 1698. In Brindle were the following baptisms:
WILLIAM (3 May 1698) - father Henry Worsick
ROGER(5 Nov 1689) - father Henry Worsick
ELLEN (18 Mar 1703) - father Henry Worsick
THOMAS (17 Dec 1704)- father Henry Worswick

These baptisms didn't take place at the CofE church in Brindle as these are online and can be searched. I found them on familysearch and presume they are also from St Joseph's RC church.

The above William could be the one who married Isabella, but where is the child named after the father? The couple could have been elsewhere before the birth of daughter Ann in 1726 and had children there. Who knows? A Henry Worsick married Jane Abbot in 1761 at St Leonard's, Walton. Where did he come from?

Notice that there is a Thomas, b. 1704. Could he be "your" William's father? William married Ann in 1758. At the same church a Henry married Jane Abbot in 1761 and Richard married Margaret Worthington in 1763. Could they have all been brothers? Speculation, speculation....


PS Don't you think William and Ann Brindle would have had children between 1758 and 1764 when the baptisms in Brindle start? I've just noticed that their first son seems to have been John (baptised 1764) and not Thomas!

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 13th May 2017  

For Margie.
No joy with the Allen names unless they are the unnamed children (3 boys, 4 girls) living with their father William Allan in Wensley & Leyburn, Yorkshire. The eldest is said to be under 15.
The Thomas Bonney who fits the bill is in Lytham with his widower father Edward, a blacksmith, and siblings James, Jennet, Robert, Mary, Elizabeth and Ellen. His age is given as 12. I checked the Lytham register for his baptism which took place on 8 September 1755 - the godparents were Thomas Booth (who very possibly was the brother of the Jane who married Robert Fairclough my 3 x great grandfather as his first wife)and Ann Walmsley. His mother was Margaret (maiden name unknown); she was buried at Lytham 1 January 1767.
Thomas married Clementina (or Clemence born
1752/3) Bennet on 9 Feb 1777. They had five children - 4 girls and one son Thomas who died as an infant. Clementina was buried in Liverpool in 1826 (thank you Ancestry!)
Now the Dickinsons. The surname of the Samuel I found is spelt Dickinson and I would question whether he married in 1762 when he would have been 15. There is no wife listed with him. There are no Dickonsons but there are four entries for Dicconson. William, esquire & his lady in Culcheth; Thomas (27), a sawyer with his wife Jane (31)and sons David (8), Peter (6) & Richard (3) in Parbold where they have lived for 8 years; Richard(21), husbandman, David (49), husbandman, with his wife Ann (45),John (18)husbandman and James (9). The relationship is not given for John & James but I would surmise they are the sons of David & Ann which may also be the case with Richard.They have lived in Wrightington all their lives. The last Dicconson is Edward junior (39) gentleman living in the chapelry of Aston, parish of Runcorn. In total there are over 40 entries for the name in its various forms - Dicconson, Diceonson, Dickenson, Dickinson, Dickson and Dixon.

Posted by margie on 13th May 2017  

To Lynda
Managed to borrow copies of the discs you mentioned so will have a good look over the weekend.
The Worswick as a name carried on to later generations as we have found them as Sponsors for various children but not made any connections as yet.
Thanks Margie

Posted by margie on 13th May 2017  

To Elizabeth,
Thanks for the explanation re 1767 I honestly thought they were all separate books
good job I didn't order the relevant papers.

I think the Samuel Dickonson you mentioned married Elizabeth Allens in 1762 right age.

But where are the Allens differents spellings again

Would you mind looking for these please:
Elizabeth 1756
Ann 1756/1758
James 1763
Alice 1767 ??

All Dickonson somewhere

Thomas Bonney 1756 Father could be Thomas also

Thank you so much Margie

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 12th May 2017  

For Margie,
Reference your email 10/5.Not sure why you need to contact the Parliamentary Archives as the 1767 Return covers the whole of the old diocese of Chester and the CRS publication is a transcript of the entire Return. I have a separate index which makes life a lot easier. I also have the other volume, not indexed and not always as detailed, which is a transcript of the other diocesan returns if that helps.

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 12th May 2017  

For Linda.
The 1767 return gives William's age as 33. There is no baptism at Brindle for 1733/4. I'll have to revisit the registers for Ann Brindle. I suspect that 'my' William may be from the Croston Worsleys (Jennet Worsley registered her property in 1717 as a papist and she had a son Thomas who might just be William's father if one follows what seems to be the usual naming pattern) but have no way of proving it. The delights of family history!

Posted by Wigan Family & Local History Society on 12th May 2017  

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Posted by LEP1950 on 11th May 2017  

For Elizabeth:

What a crazy coincidence! Bamber Bridge is only around 4 miles from Brindle. Do you know whether Bamber Bridge William is the son of William and Isabella of Brindle? If so, it's highly likely that the named godmother Helena Worsick is William's sister and therefore cannot be Margie's Helen as she would have been Bonney by then. On the other hand, if this William had different parents, perhaps Brindle Helen Worsick is a possibility. After all if William and Ann's son Roger died in Wigan, then there must have been some movement from the Brindle/Bamber Bridge area to Wigan. Yes, names did sometimes change over time. Makes it very complicated.


PS My brother worked for years at a bank in Bamber Bridge!

Posted by Elizabeth Prior on 11th May 2017  

To anyone interested,the Worsicks at Bamber Bridge are mine. It is confusing but by the time William and Ann (nee Brindle) died and their grand-children were being baptised the name had morphed into Worsley. My connection is through their son Roger who died in 1831 in Wigan and his youngest daughter Isabella who married John Hesketh in 1848.

Posted by JBrown86 on 11th May 2017  

Hi Linda,

thank you for the continued effort re the Unsworths, Boardmans and Dixons. It really is a pain that Catholic families are so much harder to look up. At present I also have no solid leads but am looking at the generations that you and ELizabeth provided re Peter Boardman and Richard Unsworth.