Posts Tagged ‘Cheshire’

A recipe book

June 10, 2016

I was looking for a recipe the other day and I came across a book on the shelf which I didn’t know we had. It comes from Cheshire and must have belonged to my wife’s mother for she was raised in Cheshire. Actually, I, too, have Cheshire ancestry but from longer ago.

Anyway here is the cover of this book which looks to have been well used.


This is the Cheshire Federation of Women’s Institutes Jubilee Book of Recipes. It was published in 1935 so I assume the Jubilee was the Silver Jubilee of King George V.


I’ve just picked one recipe from the book to show – a recipe with a royal past.


As you can see this was spread over two pages so I have had to stitch them together. I wonder how true the ‘Royal’ story is.

As is often the case it is adverts that add interest.


Geo Fowler, Lee and Co Ltd must have heard that the WI members were into jam and associated cooking. And back in the thirties they probably were and probably had to be.

Fascinating stuff!

A lost turn in family history

April 18, 2016

Actually, rather than a lost turn, we reached the wrong end of the lane. Back in 2002 we took my wife’s aunt on a jaunt in Cheshire, trying to find Lane Ends Farm where her dad and grandad had lived – grandad and great grandad for my wife. We all believed it was at Gawsworth but studies on detailed maps had not located us a Lane Ends Farm there but we did find one at Sutton nearby. In fact the village is even called Sutton Lane Ends. We went and took a look.

And here was a delightful Lane Ends Farm.


Now it has to be said straight away that our aunt felt sure this was not what she remembered and of course she was right. There is a Lane Ends Farm in Gawsworth which we found later. But there was a plaque at this Lane Ends and it caught my eye.

image004I’m a fan of Tunnicliffe, the bird artist and we have his sketch book of birds.


And there we have a long tailed tit – one of my favourites.

You might note that the year of publication of the book was the year the artist died. Apparently he saw the proofs, but not the completed book.

This picture, of spotted flycatchers was sketched out in Gawsworth in 1944.

image008The mallard sketches were also created in Gawsworth but back in 1935.

image010So Charles T. knew Gawsworth – hardly surprising as it is very close to his Sutton Lane Ends home.

I discovered a home of an artist I admire and ‘our’ Lane Ends Farm was found as well so all ended splendidly.

Ride with Caution

April 1, 2016

Cast iron signs! I love ‘em! I love them particularly if they state the obvious. This one is at North Rode in Cheshire.


I took this in 2003 and whilst I remember the sign, I can’t now say why it was there. However, it looks as though there is a steep descent ahead – steep enough for the National Cyclists Union to invest money in a sign. One hopes, of course, that cyclists exercise caution all of the time – along with all other road users, whether a Rode road or elsewhere.

We were in North Rode seeking out family history. Various distant and some not so distant relatives of my wife were born there and lived there.

So we looked around the churchyard and came across this grave.

image004My wife’s direct ancestors include Fishers from this area, but search as we might we have never linked Thomas Fisher and his wife Fanny into our family.

In fact we recorded several graves and none of them led to a family link. But like so many of our family history places, it was a lovely location and a delightful visit.

Poc Wom

June 15, 2015

Now here’s a silly thing. I have always had a bit of a propensity for saying words backwards and back in the 1980s this was accentuated by a TV programme called the Adventure Game. This rather bizarre programme made use of lots of anagrams of the word dragon and one character spoke backwards. When a competitor did well, he’d say ‘doog yrev’. I liked the programme and caught some of the habits.

But for some reason the habit of mine that lasted longest (still does) was to reverse the letters of a hill on the Staffordshire/Cheshire boundary. The hill is Mow Cop. If I see it I call it Poc Wom.

And perchance I was passing when we (my wife and I) returned south from Cumbria recently. We stopped off and took a look at Little Moreton Hall and whilst picnicking I spotted the ‘castle’ on Poc Wom. It wasn’t close and it wasn’t ideal for a photo, but here it is.


Hmm! The computer has a bit of work to do to make much of that!


Computers are cunning things!

Now this is no castle ruin at all although it looks like it. This is a folly originally built as a summer house for the local landowner. After a rather chequered history it was given to the National Trust in 1937.

So that’s Poc Wom and I say, ‘doog yrev’.

William Lanceley

May 22, 2015

In reply to a blog comment, the other day, I suggested that genealogy which is a list of names and dates is just a tad uninteresting. I like censuses because they give just a bit of information. Gravestones can, as well and I know my great great uncle, William Lanceley, via census and gravestone only. Let’s start with the gravestone which I snapped (with the camera) back in 2003. I knew I was related to people called Lanceley back then, but at the time I had not identified William. So as ever, I broke that rule of genealogy which says ‘start from the known and work towards the unknown’.  This was an unknown and I was able, very easily, to work towards the known.

In terms of technology, 2003 was almost the dark ages. We didn’t have mobile access to the internet back then and so research to identify William had to wait until I was home from a family history hunt in Cheshire. So, my raw data was a grave photo.


This was in Timperley churchyard and straight away stories appear. Freddy, infant son of William and Emma died in 1891. One can imagine the sadness. And William himself was no great age when he died. Emma had nearly twenty years as a widow.

Something else that was not available in 2003 was the 1911 census.


Had I seen that we might have searched out 89 Oakfield Street in Altrincham where William and Emma lived.

One of the aspects I like about the 1911 census is that it asked the fertility questions – how many children have you had and how many are still alive? It means we know that after 28 years of marriage William and Emma had had just two children, one of whom was Freddy. The other was Alice who was born in 1883.

We also know from the censuses that William was a blacksmith. This wouldn’t have been a romanticised rural blacksmith. Quite probably William worked in a factory for he was listed (in 1901) as a worker.

Alice married Joseph Ashley, a waterman working on the River Weaver Navigation in 1909. They had had no children by the time of the 1911 census.

Timperley church is not, in my judgement, the prettiest structure. I took this photo on the same 2003 visit.


The value of a will

May 18, 2015

Of course, I’m not talking about the cash value but the family history value. Having said that, in my family wills are almost as rare as hen’s teeth. But in my wife’s slightly more prosperous family, they have been a wonder in finding and tracing relatives. The will transcribed below is that of my wife’s five greats grandfather, Josiah Rathbone and was proved in 1802. That’s before the era of useful (to genealogists) censuses and it does a grand job in  helping to tie families together and let’s those interested find new lines and new stories to tell.

Sorry folks. It is quite a long read.

I Josiah Rathbone of Gawsworth in the County of Chester carpenter being of sound mind memory and understanding do make and publish this my last will and testament in manner and form following that is to say I will and direct that all my just debts funeral expenses and the charges of proving this my will be paid and discharged with all convenient speed after my decease out of my personal estate

I give and devise all that my freehold estate of inheritance situate and being within Macclesfield in the said County of Chester at a place there called the Park Lane now in the occupation of Samuel Worthington with the gardens lands buildings plot of common ground and hereditaments thereunto belonging with their and every of their appurtenances except the cottage or small dwelling house now in the occupation of Samuel Ryder cooper during the life of my wife in manner hereinafter mentioned unto John Fisher of Gawsworth aforesaid husbandman and John Jackson of Gawsworth aforesaid farmer ——————————————————-their heirs and assigns upon the trusts following that is to say upon trust that they the said John Fisher and John Jackson or the survivor of them or the heirs or assigns of such survivor do and shall by and out of the rents ????? and profits of all or any part of the said receiver or to raise therefrom levy and take the sum of two hundred and seventy pounds and pay and apply the same unto my younger sons and daughters Abel Rathbone Olive the wife of John Thompston Edna the wife of the Reverend James Crabtree Lois Rathbone Etchells Rathbone Henrietta Rathbone and Rhode Rathbone to whom I give and bequeath the same at the times by the instalments and in the proportions manner and form hereinafter expressed

To my son Abel the sum of forty pounds To my daughter Olive the sum of forty pounds To my daughter Edna the sum of thirty pounds To my daughter Lois the sum of forty pounds To my son Etchells the like sum of forty pounds to my daughter Henrietta the like sum of forty pounds and the remaining sum of forty pounds unto my daughter Rhode and I do direct that they the said John Fisher and John Jackson or the survivors of them his heirs or assigns shall raise and pay the said sum of two hundred and seventy pounds out of the said rents and profits unto my said younger children by annual or yearly sums of twenty pounds and no more and without any interest for the same or any part thereof and pay to each of them twenty pounds at one payment as the same shall become due according to the instalments aforesaid and in the rotation or order I have before placed them or their monies and not as they shall be in seniority of age or priority of birth and that when each of them shall have received twenty pounds then I direct that each of them shall be paid the remainder of their respective legacies with the like order until the whole shall be paid but in and by the instalments aforesaid and after the payment of the said sum of two hundred and seventy pounds by the instalments aforesaid but subject thereto I give and devise the said hereditaments and premises unto my son Noah Rathbone and his assigns for and during the term of his natural life and from and after his decease I give and devise the same premises subject as aforesaid to the first and every other son and sons of the said Noah rathbone severally successively and in remainder one after another as they and every of them shall be in seniority of age and priority of birth the elder of such sons the heirs made of his body always to be preferred and to take before the younger of them and the heirs male of his and their body and bodies issuings and for the default of such issue male then I give and devise the said last mentioned premises subject as aforesaid unto my son Etchells Rathbone and his assigns for and during the term of his natural life and from and after his decease I give and devise the same premises subject as aforesaid to the firsat and every other son and sons of the said Etchells Rathbone severally successively and in remainder one after another as they and every of them shall be in seniority of age and priority of birth the elder of such son and sons and the heirs male of his body always to take always to take and be preferred before the younger of them and the heirs male of his and their body and bodies issuings and for default of such male issue then I give and devise the same premises subject as aforesaid unto my son Abel Rathbone and his heirs and assigns for ever provided that if either or any of my said younger sons or daughters shall happen to die before his her or their respective legacy or legacies shall become due without having lawful issue then I give and bequeath the legacy or legacies of him her or them so dying unto and amongst the survivors and survivor of them equally share and share alike to be paid them at the times aforesaid and by the instalments before aforesaid and if any of them my said younger children shall happen to die before the said legacy or legacies shall become due leaving lawful issue then I give and bequeath the share or shares of such of them so dying unto and amongst each of their issue equally if more than one share and share alike such issue to take their parents share only

I give and devise unto my wife Elizabeth Rathbone all that cottage or small dwelling house situate and being in Park Lane within Macclesfield aforesaid being part of my said freehold estate now in the occupation of the said Samuel Ryder to hold to her my said wife and her assigns during her natural life and from and immediately after the decease of my said wife then I will and direct that the said cottage and premises shall be again annexed to and be part of my said freehold estate in Park Lane aforesaid and I give and devise the same cottage and premises to such person and persons said for such estates and interests and with such remainders conditions and charges as are hereinbefore expressed concerning my said freehold estate and to or for no other use intent or purpose whatsoever I give and bequeath all and singular my household goods and furniture implements stock in trade monies securities for money and all other my personal estate and effects whatsoever or of what nature or kind so ever or in whose hands the same may be which be possessed of or entitled unto at the time of my decease unto my said wife Elizabeth Rathbone her executors administrators and assigns absolutely for ever subject nevertheless to the payment of all my just debts funeral expenses and the charges of proving this my will and I do hereby nominate constitute and appoint my said wife executrix and my said son Noah Rathbone and John Fisher of Gawsworth aforesaid husbandman executors of this my last will and testament and hereby revoking and making void all former and other wills by me at any time heretofore made  ???? publish and declare this to be my last will and testament only in writings whereof I the said Josiah Rathbone the testator have to this my will written on three sheets of paper set my hand and seal to whit my hand at the bottom of the two first sheets and my hand and seal to this last sheet and published and declared it to be my last will and testament the sixteenth day of March one thousand eight hundred and two.

Josiah Rathbone


The writing contained in this and the two preceding pages of paper was signed and sealed by the above named Josiah Rathbone and by him published and declared as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who have hereunto subscribed our names ??????? in his presence of the said testator and of each other. The word ????? on the second sheet being first inter??????


John Warrington of Gawsworth Baker

William Warington of the same place Blacksmith

Philip Hall? Of Macclesfield attorney

The twelfth day of October 1802 Elizabeth Rathbone Noah Rathbone and John Fisher the executors within named were sworn in common form before me

L Healy Surrogate

Under one hundred pounds

Probate proved

Dated 12th October 1802

If we look for a story then why did most of the children get £40 but Edna, the wife of Rev James Crabtree got only £30. The Crabtrees were certainly not well off for the reverend gentleman was a put upon curate, not a Vicar living off the fat of the land and labours of others as many were in times past.

The Allman family

February 18, 2015

One of my great grandmothers was born Ada Louise Allman. I never knew her and neither did my mother who was her granddaughter. For Ada, by then Ada Jones and the mother of eight children died back in 1915.

At that time she lived in Hildenborough close by Tonbridge in Kent. But when she was born, in 1869, it had been in Hale in Cheshire. Indeed, when her daughter who was my grandmother was born in 1900 the Jones family still lived in Cheshire, at Ashton on Mersey.

Ada Louise was the daughter of John Allman and Mary Bateman who were both Cheshire born. So, too, was John’s father, William Allman who was born back in 1805.

I have but one small photograph of any member of the family. This is, I suppose, an appeal for any more. My one photo is of a young man called Arthur Allman. He was a cousin of Ada’s born in 1881 in Bowden in Cheshire which, by one of those quirks of fate was where my wife was born as well. My little head shot of Arthur dates from about 1900 and was taken in Hale.


As far as I know Arthur married Annie Hinkingbottom in 1905 and I believe they had a daughter called Jessie.

I’d dearly love a photo of Ada. In fact I’d like to know more about the Allman family generally.

Harold (Bob) Jones

October 21, 2014

Harold was the fifth child of my great grandparents, Robert Jones and Ada (nee) Allman). He was born 27 5 1905 in Sale, Cheshire and moved to 5 Gresham Villas, Hildenborough Kent, with his family before 1908. His siblings were Mabel, Harry, Ernest, Jessie (who was my grandmother), Stan and Lily. His half brother was Frederick Jones

Bob, as he was always known (perhaps there was too much confusion with his brother, Harry) married Rose Peacock who came from East Peckham, Kent. The marriage took place on 18th December 1937 at East Peckham Church.

Harold was a member of the Home Farm Cricket Team. he is seen here, standing 2nd from right.



Harold (Bob) and Rose Peacock on their wedding day – 18th December 1937. The couple lived at Forge Square, Leigh. Bob was a forester or gardener. Harold and Rose had a daughter, called Mary. Mary was buried on 25th September 1940. She had lived for just three hours.


The 1939 /1945 Leigh Special Constabulary. Harold is standing at the back 2nd from the left. Below is Harold’s Special Constable Duty Card.


Harold at 5 Forge Square, Leigh where he and Rose lived during their married life.


Harold’s death, was on 26 6 1983.  Rose lived until after 1987.

It saddens me that I never actually knew Harold and Rose.

Harold Lanceley

October 9, 2014

Harold was not a close relative – a cousin three time removed which means he was a cousin of my great grandfather. My great grandfather was twenty years older than Harold but they lived in much the same part of Cheshire so they may have known each other from 1891 when Harold was born until about 1905 when great grandfather moved south.

I had managed to beg little bits of the life of Harold from other researchers.

8 June 1891 at (Thompson Villas) Stockport Road, Timperley.
1901 with parent
30 March 1918 at St John’s Church, Altrincham. Age 27, occupation: Lieutenant, residence 8 Byrom Street, Altrincham. Married after banns. Witnesses Emily Lanceley and Charles Sowerbutts.
Was posted missing for a day after going over the top at Gommecourt – returning from noman’ s land with injured comrade. A bullet hit him in the nose and it wasn’t reset properly.  Also had a piece of shrapnel lodged behind the ear which stayed as a lump.
Had a brother Ernie, both in A Company 5th Battalion Cheshire. Ernie was captured by Germans and spent time in prisoner of war camps.
1919 living at 8 Byrom Street, Altrincham; occupation Nurseryman’s Salesman (ex-Army)
1930 registered father’s death, living at Wood Lane, Timperley.
1939 living at Birkin Farm, Ashley; occupation Nurseryman (at Clibran’s nursery?).
1947 registered mother’s death, living at Birkin Farm.
After he lost his job at Clibran’s, he and Ginnie (Jane) had to move in with his son Eric and his wife, as they lost their home with the job.
d 18 February 1971 at Wythenshawe Hospital aged 79 of bronchopneumonia and carcinoma apical segment right lower lobe bronchus (lung cancer) certified by R.Kean L.R.C.P., municipal gardener retired of 16 Hough Green, Ashley. Informant Alfred Edward Sant, son in law, of 23 Park Ro ad, Hale. Registered 19 February 1971.

All good and interesting stuff, no doubt but just recently I found that somebody had put some photos on a WW1 web site at . So from that site here we see the marriage of Henry, in military uniform, to Jayne Royle back in 1918.


And from a little earlier we see the two brothers, Ernie and Henry in uniform.


I’d love to hear from others who might know more about these relatives of mine, particularly, of course, the person who posted them.

A genealogy problem

September 11, 2014

Mostly we can zap through finding relatives who lived in the 1841 to 1911 period. The presence of the censuses clumps families together and, from 1851 on, tells you the relationship. We are fortunate to have most of our ancestors from fairly rural areas. There are just less people with the same names to add confusion.

But sometimes you hit a brick wall and we have with ancestors called Robinson who hailed from Cheshire.

Mary Ann (known as Polly) Robinson married Abraham Fisher. They are great grandparents and easy enough to find. Mary Ann was born in 1869 in Mottram St Andrew and we know her parents were John and Emily Jane. It’s these two that cause us problems.

Emily Jane was born a Robinson so her name didn’t change with marriage and we can trace her through censuses – but only after her marriage. She seemed doubtful about her origins for in 1871 she said she was born in Ollerton. In 1881 and 91 she said Warford or Great Warford and in 1901 she gave Mobberly as her place of birth.

Meanness is a family trait, but eventually, we bit the financial bullet and purchased a marriage certificate for John and Emily Jane. Marriage certificates, of course, give a father’s name and surely that would help us trace a previous generation. So here it is.


They married at Prestbury on 23rd November 1868. Both said they were 25 and they lived at Siddington. Neither were able to name a father


The witnesses were Job and Jane Lea. They haven’t helped us sort out ancestors for Emily.

We think we have ancestors for John – but that’s not 100% certain.

Has anyone out there any ideas?