Wigan Family & Local History Society


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Posted by Fran on 9th February 2019  

Hi Linda, Thanks for your help in this matter. I have have tried familysearch but have never had any luck. I believe Ancestry and now Findmypast are also owned by the Mormon Church. Its been several years since I was on Ancestry so maybe it's time tottery again in case something new has appeared. Unfortunately on both sides of my family I have hit that famous brick wall!!!

Perhaps I will see if I can find the legitimate children of Mr . Stanford/Stamford. Like you I have't been able to trace him anywhere in the Wigan. Perhaps I could see if the Trencherfield Mill has an archive with manager/staff names.

Happy Searching ; ) Fran

Posted by LEP1950 on 8th February 2019  


I have had a subscription to ancestry for years, but I don't really know why I keep it going as I think I have discovered all I can about my family (with some brick walls). It has its advantages, but you have to be careful with the trees on there. Occasionally they might be helpful, but there is an awful lot of nonsense out there. Findmypast does have some records that are not on ancestry, but if I am sure I need it, then I ask someone on wiganworld to look it up or I pay to view (not sure whether they still have that option). Before you join ancestry again and not find anything, I would look for you if you give me something to go on. You go into the card catalogue and see what baptism records they have. Some are for the whole of England, but if you know the county, then there are often records like "Norfolk baptisms". As I said below, you could always go onto familysearch.org (the Mormon website) and register for FREE. They have a lot of early records. I used to use this site a lot. Up to a couple of years ago, you didn't need to register at all. Some counties have parish clerk projects, but hardly any are as good as the Lancashire one. Although Dorset has an excellent one. I remember helping someone with ancestors there once. Perhaps if you are lucky, you might find some clues. I you have no age for your ancestor at the time of the marriage, estimate 25 with a give and take of five years.

I have asked about Jack/John Stamford/Stanford on the other site and about the Trencherfield Mill brochure. No luck so far, but who knows.

It seems to me that this "Jack" wasn't in Wigan in 1911. He may have come to the area later to work as the mill manager. But I can find no baptism records of possible children and no death records. The only Stamford in 1911 is David, the son of the Jacob Stamford I mentioned. There were several children, but only David and his brother Abraham survived. Abraham isn't in Wigan in 1911, but he dies in Wigan in 1936 aged 53. What was he doing in the meantime?? I wonder whether Jack could have been a nickname. Jacob's children had Jewish names, but they were christened and buried in CofE churches , and David married in one. Perhaps Abraham used a different name. It was not so uncommon and not illegal.

My head is still trying to get round this problem, but good night for now!


Posted by Fran on 7th February 2019  

Hi Linda where do I find the baptism records for England? I have over the years use Findmypast, Ancestry and another. I am going to register again. Would you suggest anyone or shall I just stick with Ancestry?

Regaeds Fran

Posted by LEP1950 on 7th February 2019  

I often had disappearing messages until I realised that it often happened if I copied something from the internet and pasted it in. I always type things in myself now.
I hope you manage to make contact with one of Violet's children. It should not be so difficult, but not everyone is so interested in the past. My brothers don't understand my 'passion'.
So your other problem has a different scenario than I imagined. The person was from the parish in 1792, but obviously didn't live there at the time a child is usually baptised. Have you tried looking for his name in baptism records for England?


Posted by Fran on 7th February 2019  

Hi Linda - sent you a message yesterday but has not been printed. I did get the mill name wrong and its is Trencherfield. I have been aware of the four daughters but haven't been able to make contact. I found one of them on facebook and waiting for her to get back to me. I am also trying to make contact with her son.

Re my other puzzle I have a marriage for the parents - by Banns/licence (archdeacons marriage bonds 1792) on Parish records, plus the births for the children. The records state the father was from the parish. Going back they are no longer in the parish he was the first person. Not on wills either but they were ag labs so I think they wouldn't have made one.

Thanks for your time and effort

Posted by LEP1950 on 6th February 2019  

I'm browsing the internet in bed!! And I've just discovered that Violet had four daughters, and I found her obituary. She only died in 2013. I don't want to put anything on here as these daughters were all alive in 2013. Do you know this already? Was wondering whether Violet mentioned her father to the girls.


Posted by LEP1950 on 6th February 2019  

Fran, Trencherfield Mill existed before 1907, but around this time it became a Public Limited Company.


Posted by LEP1950 on 6th February 2019  

For Fran,

Sorry I couldn't reply straight away, but I've been busy with other things over the last few days. I wasn't completely idle and have been trying to follow up this Jack Sta(n)ford clue. I was quite excited when I found a Jacob Stamford until I realised that he would have been around 70 in 1920!!
I don't know any Trencher Mill in Wigan, but the one that is very well-known is Trencherfield Mill. It was built in 1907, I think. They celebrated 110 years recently and a brochure was published. I will ask on the wiganworld site whether anyone has this brochure and whether there is a list of the managers of the mill in it. (I know who the owners were, but not who the manager was!!) I will also ask whether anyone knows anything about Violet and Barbara, if that is ok with you. I'll wait for your reply before I post it. Perhaps you want something else putting in it (?)

As to your second query: I presume you know the name of the family, say Brown, and you know that they moved to Village X, but you don't know where they came from. Is that the scenario? Well, if I were looking, I'd try to find the marriage records of Village X and see how many Brown marriages I could find with the same father, or others with a second father. I'd then take these names and try to find them in the christening records on ancestry or on family search. If you're lucky, you might find the birthplace. Unfortunately, you now have to register on family search, and I've ben reluctant to do so so far. But it is still free, and for early records they are good. Of course, if your family were Catholic or non-Conformist, then it's going to be very difficult. But that's what I'd try first.

Good hunting!


Posted by Fran on 4th February 2019  

Hi Linda - thanks you for the information. I have tried to register with the other web site but to no avail. The only other bit of information I have to go on was the gentleman was called Jack Stanford/Stamford and was the mill manger of the Trencher Mill (but this could just be gossip)!

Can you make any suggestions on how I can locate a family who moved into a village in, say the 1800's but didn't live there before?


Posted by Tom Metcalfe on 4th February 2019  

Thanks for taking the time to look at my query Linda, and I am pleased that you support my theory on the available evidence. I thought that Gerald might have changed his surname becaude of trouble with the law or similar reasons, but maybe just losing his Irish ties was the real reason.
Take care.

Posted by LEP1950 on 3rd February 2019  

For Fran:

Sounds like the usual case of married mill manager. You could go through the 1911 census looking for all the mill managers in Ince, but I don't know whether you'd be any the wiser. There were so many mills and 1911 is a good few years before 1920 and 1923.

There is a 1925 directory of Ince on wiganworld. I don't know whether it helps at all, but there was a Mrs Jane Davis (sic) living at 14 Lisbon Street, and a Mrs Lee living at 3 Hook Street two years after this address was noted in the baptism registers for Barbara.
Have you been able to register on wiganworld? The other site is better for asking questions about cases like this, although it's almost a hundred years ago.
I you can't put a message on there, I would do it for you.

Since Violet's marriage took place in Wigan, it is possible that the certificate may show a different name for the father than her sister's. But it would mean more expense.


Posted by For Tom on 3rd February 2019  

Yes, I think that is all very probable. I did a lot of crosschecking and couldn't find a trace of a Gerald Melling or variations of the surname in the birth registers for Wigan between 1884 and 1886. Brother James's birth in 1889 was actually registered as James Mellin. I have a lot of Irish ancestors myself, but let's face it, they weren't exactly popular at the time. It wasn't unusual to anglicise a name, i.e. Gerald instead of Jarrett. I looked up marriages of a couple of the other children. James married as Melling in 1913 with his brother Peter Melling as a witness, but brother Peter married at the same church six years later as Mallin with brother James and his wife Emily also going by the name Mallin!!!
The wrong name of the father on Gerald's marriage certificate might seem like one coincidence too many, but that also happened. Mary Ann Mallin only seems to have married once according to the 1911 census and the number of children she had. One had already died by 1911. Possibly this was the eldest William. We don't really know how the question was posed. It could have been misleading. In my own ancestry, I also have a case where a child was supposedly baptised with the name "Elizabeth". Not true as she already had a living sister called Elizabeth who was also her godmother. And the mother's name was Elizabeth. It was my mother's sister and so I know the name of the child born that year. The baptism record is incorrect.
I would back your deductions on present evidence.


Posted by Tom Metcalfe on 3rd February 2019  

Hi Linda, yes you have pieced together the first part of Jerratt/Gerald Mallin and found the same as me. Here's the interesting bit .. I believe Gerald Mallin from the 1901 census becomes Gerald Melling who marries Olive Julia Williams in Leicester in 1909.
He appears again on the 1911 census in Leicester, and later his death is recorded in Fleetwood 01.10.1931 having been estranged from his family who lived in Hull at the time. The death certificate confirms the ages are the same. I have his war years confirmed, and entry on the absentee voters register in Hull.
The glaring error in my assumption of a name change is that the marriage certificate shows Gerald's father as William Melling .. but as his wife's father was called William Williams maybe this was just confusion on the day. Gerald's father's occupation is shown as "foreman on railway".
I can find no trace of Gerald Mallin after 1901 and no trace of Gerald Melling before 1909.
What do you think .. they are the same person?
If so, why the name change?
Regards, Tom

Posted by Fran on 3rd February 2019  

Hi - Linda, Thank you. The birth certificate for Barbara has no name on it for the father, so I imagine Violet will be the same. Barbara's marriage certificate states her father was Peter James Dunn deceased.

I thought (hoped) that someone may know/remember what exactly happened. I believe that the gentleman concerned was a mill manager. Fingers X.

Posted by For Fran on 2nd February 2019  

Are we talking about the two girls Violet Dunn, b. 1920, and Barbara Dunn, b. 1923???

I have found their baptisms, but they are only noted as being the daughters of Annie Dunn. I wouldn't have much hope that the father is listed on the birth certificate, but if you haven't already done so, you might invest in a birth certificate of one of them.

I had more hope that the father's name might be on the marriage certificate of one of the daughters. I found Violet's marriage to John Meller in 1940, but unfortunately it wasn't a CofE marriage but one where the registrar attended. So the marriage registration can't be viewed online. Here again, you would have to buy a marriage certificate.

Or you have to wait until the 1921 census comes out. I think it likely that the two girls had the same father with the births being so close together. It's more than likely that Annie and the father lived together some time after Violet's birth. What is interesting is that the address at this time was 14 Lisbon Street. At Barbara's birth it was 3 Hook Street, but when Annie married Herbert Alker in 1933, she was back at 14 Lisbon Street. This marriage is online and gives Annie's father's name as Thomas, deceased.

Sorry not to have been of more help.

Posted by For Tom on 1st February 2019  

Hello Tom,

I don't know what you wanted to ask me, but I have been looking at the censuses for your family. Obviously 1901 and 1911 are easy and the address 28, Silver Street is given. I found the births of all the children born in Wigan with variations of the surname Mallen/Mellin/Mullen and Mullin/Mullen/Mullan for the maiden name of the mother. Strange! They probably had the same name!! The "Gerald" of 1901 is registered in the birth registers as Jerratt.
Father Patrick Mallin had died at 28 Silver Street in 1894 aged 46.
The family are difficult to find in 1891 as they are listed under the name MALLACE. Here we also learn that the eldest son Patrick from 1901, born in Ireland, wasn't actually the eldest. There is another son William, also born in Ireland, and 11 years old in the 1891 census. Father Patrick was a railway goods labourer at this time, and son "Gerald/Jerratt" is here listed as "Jarrett", which is probably the correct version, I think.

So, perhaps I've just written down things you already know. If I can help you further, please let me know.


Posted by Fran on 1st February 2019  

Annie Davies daughter of Sarah Jane Charnock nee Davies

Annie Davies married a James Peter Dunn who died 1915 in Turkey during the war. By James Dunn, Annie had two children Thomas (birth/death 1913) and Margaret (1914-2008). Annie went on to give birth to two girls and I am trying to find out the name of the father of these daughters. Annie married a Herbert Alker in 1933. Any help or advice would be appreciated.

Posted by LEP1950 on 1st February 2019  

I have had no luck on the other site, but I found out that the first mixed junior class was in 1956/7. Before this classes were segregated. At the turn of the 19th/20th century they would most probably have had single-sex classes. If you go onto wiganworld and put "wigan map 1900" in the search box, you should be able to see how close Silver Street is to St Patrick's in Hardybutts.
Also try putting St Patrick's Boys School into the search box. Among the few photogaph there is one from the early 1900s. Who knows - maybe you ancestor is on it. He would certainly have known the boys.
I don't really like putting my email on here as I get enough spam as it is. You could get in touch via the administrator on wiganworld, you could put your email in a message on wiganworld (where you can delete it after I have read it) or if you are on ancestry, you could get in touch via LEP1950 or Linpa_1
(member list).

Happy hunting!

Posted by Tom Metcalfe on 1st February 2019  

Thanks Linda .. is there a way to contact you directly to run a genealogy problem past you?

Posted by Christine Mackay on 31st January 2019  andyandchrismackay@yahoo.co.uk 

I am trying to find information about my great grandmother's family from Wigan. Their family name is Wood and they lived in Monument House, Wigan Lane. My greatgarandmother Annie Wood ended up living at 122 Wigan Lane, where she died.They are all buried in Wigan cemetery.