Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 July 2014

Sunday July 6th, 2014 | Geoff

In the available time during the past month I have focussed my research on my Culshaw and Hewitt families. I had not updated my records to include the material I found when we visited Preston last September, so I rectified that oversight by updating my Culshaws. When we next upload the tree to Geoffs Geneaolgy you will be able to see that after the death of hsi first wife on 24 February 1897 James did not waste any time in finding a replacement for her. On 1 August 1898 at Holy Trinity, Tarleton, he married Betty Iddon (b 1832), a widow of Tarleton. I have found a death entry in the Lancashire Civil Registration database on the Lancashire BMD website that suggests that Betty porobably died in 1914, but I cannot be certain that this was “our” Betty. Certainly she was not buried in the same grave as James, at St Paul, Farington.

James Culshaw (1834-1923)  lived most of his life in Farington, just a few miles south of Preston, in Lancashire. His first marriage Рto Margaret Bradshaw (c1831-1897) produced no less than thirteen children, including my great grandfather, John Culshaw (1855-1924). John was a staunch Roman Catholic, and lived all his live in the Farington area.

The development of Farington as a small town was based on two industries that were thriving in the mid nineteenth century – the cotton mill and the railway, and when we look at the wictorian censuses we cans ee that most of the working people in the locality worked in one of these industries. The local cotton mill – owned by Bashall & Boardman – was the biggest employer in Farington, and the dependancy of the local people on the mill owners is emphasised by the fact that many of them lived in houses that were built by the mill owners for their employees to live in. Mill Street is probably the best example of this.

Census entries over the period 1881 – 1901 show that James Culshaw was employed as a Platelayer on the railway which, as I mentioned in my post of 4 July 2014 in relation to Charles Hewitt, was a very responsible job. He had retired by the time of the 1911 census.

About twenty years ago I made many research trips to Preston, to investigate my Lancashire roots. I visited a number of the graveyards in which my forebears were buried, and photographed their gravestones whenever possible. Of course, in those days we were not using digital cameras such as are available today; the photographs had to be developed and printed, whereas these days we can store the images on a computer or memory stick, and only print the ones that we particularly want.

Last year I decided to obtain digital images of these photographs wherever I can, and to that end when I went to Preston last September I re-photographed the relevant  graves at St Paul, Farington and at St Mary (RC), Bamber Bridge. I was able to add to the collection of digital images a couple of weeks ago, when travelling home after a holiday in Cumbria. We stopped off en route at St Andrew, Leyland, and spent a couple of hours in the graveyard.  I managed to obtain new images for most of the graves we had visited all those years ago, but there was one notable exception. To my immense disappointment the grass has covered the grave of my 4 x great grandfather Thomas Culshaw the wheelwright (1788 Р1864), and we could not remember its location precisely enough to enable us to find and uncover it. I recall that when we found it all those years ago it was almost entirely covered by grass, and it was found by our eagle-eyed daughter, who spotted the few letters on the stone that were exposed. We had to clear the grass off the stone to reveal the inscription. Since our last visit nature has taken its course, and we need to find the precise location of the grave to enable us to expose it again. In the meantime, I shall have to dig out the old photograph, and scan it for posterity.

3 responses to “Geoffs Genealogy Update 5 July 2014”

  1. John Wassell says:

    I found your website as I am trying to identify the property in Harpenden that John Munn left to Sophia Jones in his will proved in 1806 – the same will that you mention.
    I wonder if by any chance you have any relevant information?
    I know that John Munn insured his Harpenden property in 1790 when it was occupied by John Mercier, schoolmaster.

    John Wassell

    • Geoff says:

      Hi John. Thanks for your message. I assume that you have seen the will of Thomas Munn (1806). If not, I can let you have a copy.I haven’t done any research into Sophia Jones, and all I know is that the property you mention was in Harpenden, Herts. Have you tried asking at Hertfordshire Archives?

      Sorry I can’t help you more.

      Regards Geoff Culshaw

  2. John Wassell says:

    Thanks for the reply – I have a copy of John Munn’s will.
    I think that he owned a property once called Blakesleys, which was until earlier this year the Harpenden House Hotel. I am hoping to get a look at their title deeds!
    There is a reference in a deed of 1868 for an adjacent propert that abutted on land once in the possession of John Munn.
    Also I have recently found that Mrs Mercier (John Mercier’s wife) ran a ladies academy in a large house in Kinsbourne Green (north of Harpenden) for many years up to 1834.
    I don’t think that this was John Mercier’s school.
    John Wassell

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