james & hannah aldred

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James Aldred was born in 1838 in Ashton upon Mersey to James & Hannah Aldred nee Hamnett. Unfortunately his birth does not appear to have been registered but he was baptised in St Martin's Church on Sunday 14 October 1838. The register recorded the family's abode as Ashton and James senior's occupation as that of a labourer (parish register page 2, entry no. 14).

 

 

 

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James joined an elder sister, Hannah Aldred, who had been born in 1830 and baptised on Sunday 26 September 1830 in St Martin's Church (parish register page 134, entry no. 1072). There had also been two elder brothers, John Aldred, who had been born in 1826 and baptised with their sister Hannah on Sunday 26 September 1830 (parish register page 135, entry no. 1073) and Thomas Aldred who was born in 1833 and baptised on Sunday 25 August 1833 (parish register page 160, entry no. 1276). Unfortunately both brothers had died in November 1835 - John at the age of nine, who was buried on Sunday 22 November 1835 (parish reigster page 155, entry no. 1237) and Thomas at the age of two, who was buried on Sunday 08 November 1835 (parish register page 155, entry no. 1233). Both brothers were buried in St Martin's Churchyard but it is not known what claimed their young lives.

A little over two months after James' baptism, his father, James Aldred senior, died on Saturday 29 December 1838 from inflammation of the chest. He was 51 years old (certificate Altrincham 19 1). James senior was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Monday 31 December 1838 (parish register page 181, entry no. 1448).

At best James junior would have been a few months old. James’s mother, 45 year old Hannah, did not remarry & James’ and his eight year old sister, Hannah's childhoods must have been extremely difficult without a father figure to provide for them.

On Monday 10 February 1840, 21 year old Queen Victoria married her first cousin Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Their marriage was widely reported in the press, although James' mother would have been unable to read the papers, there would also have been much talk about the royal wedding.

In the 1841 census on Sunday 06 June 1841, two year old James was recorded with his mother Hannah, a 40 year old agricultural labourer, and his sister, ten year old Hannah in Ashton upon Mersey (ref HO107/91/1/6/9). In the 1841 census the ages of all adults were rounded down to the nearest five, which partially explains Hannah senior then apparently being younger than when she lost her husband; in reality she was 48, so her age should have been rounded down to 45. However, Hannah was illiterate and in all likelihood also did not know exactly how old she was.

In 1842, a commission investigating sanitary conditions and the means of improving them, published a lengthy report condemning what the commission saw as the utterly unnescessary loss of life that was occuring in the country, purely due to the unsanitary condidtions in which many of the working class were living. A version of that report can be found at http://www.victorianweb.org/history/chadwick2.html. What were living conditions like for four year old James and his family? Was it unsanitary conditions that had caused the demise of James' two elder brothers and father?

In 1849, a new coin was minted and distributed in Britain - the florin. Two years previously, an idea to decimalise the pound had been put forward with a view to producing a coin which had the value of one tenth of a pound and another with a value of one hundredth of a pound. The florin, worth two shillings or one tenth of a pound, was the first step in that direction (http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/florn.html). What did 11 year old James and his family make of the new coin. In today's money it would be worth about £75, so I suspect that James and his family would not have seen or had use of too many of these coins.

By the time of the 1851 census, on Sunday 30 March 1851, 12 year old James was a scholar and was still in Ashton upon Mersey, but only his mother, 56 year old Hannah, a field labourer, was listed with him (ref HO107/2162/240/9). His sister, 20 year old Hannah was at Roaring Gate Farm in Hale as a farmer’s servant (ref HO107/2162/559/9).

James' sister, Hannah Aldred, married Samuel Brocklehurst on Sunday 28 September 1851 in Manchester Cathedral. Hannah was 21 and Samuel was the 22 year old labourer son of Samuel Brocklehurst from Withington. Hannah was recorded as living in Hale at the time of her marriage which fits with her census entry from six months earlier (parish register page 31, entry no. 62).

Modern day style cigarettes were first mass manufactured in England in the 1850s making them accessible to the general public. Although at first they were primarily the choice of the military soldier, the 'fashion' soon caught on. Did James or any of his family smoke?

On Saturday 15 December 1860, James’ mother, Hannah Aldred, died in Ashton upon Mersey aged 67 years. Her cause of death was simply recorded as her having suffered from diarrhoea for two weeks. Hannah was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Monday 17 December 1860 (parish register page 143, entry no. 1144). James registered her death two days later on Wednesday 19 December 1860, having been with her when she died (certificate Altrincham 8a 116). Both of James’ parents were now dead; he was just 22 years of age.

The 1861 census, which was taken on the night of Sunday 07 April 1861, found 22 year old James living with his future parents in law, John & Elizabeth Brownhill, at Macum Road in Ashton upon Mersey. He was an agricultural labourer (ref RG09/2590/20/12).

 

Hannah Aldred was born on Sunday 15 October 1843 at Back Lane in Ashton upon Mersey to John & Elizabeth Brownhill nee Renshaw. She was to be known as Ann. Hannah was John & Elizabeth’s fifth child and second daughter, joining elder siblings: Mary Renshaw who was born on 10 October 1835 in Sale (parish register dated 28 May 1883 page 32, entry no. 255); George Brownhill who was born in 1837 in Sale (Altrincham 19 7) and baptised on Sunday 28 January 1838 (parish register page 197, entry no. 1571); and John Brownhill who was born in 1841 in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 19 2) and baptised on Sunday 02 January 1842 (parish register page 24, entry no. 191). There had also been another brother, William Brownhill, who had been born in 1839 (Altrincham 19 6) and baptised on Sunday 31 May 1840 (parish register page 13, entry no. 101) but who had died in January 1841 in Ashton at the age of a year (Altrincham 19 3) and who was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Sunday 24 January 1841 (parish register page 198, entry no. 1579).

Her father, John Brownhill, registered Hannah's birth on Thursday 09 November 1843, giving his own occupation as that of a labourer, and giving wife Elizabeth’s name as Betty, suggesting that that was what she was known as. He confirmed her maiden name as being Renshaw. John signed the register with an 'X' revealing himself to be illiterate (certificate Altrincham 19 5).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Hannah Brownhill does not appear to have been baptised, certainly not in St Martin's Church where all of her brothers were baptised. Why?

Hannah's elder brother, John Brownhill, died at the end of May 1844 at the age of two (Altrincham 19 5). He was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Sunday 02 June 1844 (parish register page 19, entry no. 150).

In the June ¼ of 1846 (Altrincham 19 3) Hannah's first younger sibling, James Brownhill, was born in Ashton upon Mersey. He was baptised in St Martin's Church on Sunday 24 May 1846 (parish register page 53, entry no. 421).

In 1848, the first Public Health Act was passed following campaigning by Edwin Chadwick who had been instrumental in the publication of the sanitary conditions report of 1842. The Act was a starting point to improve the living conditions of the population but fell short of making improvements compulsory. Primarily it was seeking to introduce clean drinking water for all, this was particularly topical following the chlorea outbreak earlier in the year; mains sewerage disposal; the removal of waste and the appointment of medical officers to oversee the population's health (http://www.parliament.uk/about/living-heritage/transformingsociety/towncountry/towns/tyne-and-wear-case-study/about-the-group/public-administration/the-1848-public-health-act/). What were living conditions like for five year old Hannah and her family? Did the conditions start to improve for them? Did they have clean drinking water?

Hannah's first younger sister, Ellen Brownhill, followed in the December ¼ of 1848 (Altrincham 19 4). Ellen was baptised in St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey on Sunday 12 November 1848 (parish register page 68, entry no. 541).

The 1851 census was taken on the night of Sunday 30 March 1851. Seven year old scholar, Ann Brownhill, was listed in Ashton upon Mersey with her parents - 45 year old brick labourer John & 34 year old Elizabeth - in Back Lane. Also with them were Ann's siblings - 15 year old Mary Brownhill; 12 year old George Brownhill; five year old scholar James Brownhill; and three year old scholar Ellen Brownhill (ref HO107/2162/248/24). Note that Ann's eldest sister Mary, was listed as a Brownhill opposed to Renshaw. Did that mean that John Brownhill was her father and that she had simply been born prior to her parents' marriage?

Ann's younger sister Emma Brownhill joined the family in the June ¼ of 1853 (Altrincham 8a 181); she too does not appear to have been baptised. Why?

The Vaccination Act of 1853 made the vaccination against smallpox of all infants up to the age three months compulsory. However, it was widely unpopular as many were suspicious of the 'new medicine' and objected to the compulsory nature of the vaccination demanding the right to control what was introduced to their bodies and particularly those of their infants. Was infant Emma vaccinated against smallpox?

On Monday 22 December 1856, Ann's elder brother, George Brownhill, married Julia Slingsby in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. George was recorded as the 20 year old labourer son of John Brownhill although in actual fact he was only 19 years old. Julia, the daughter of joiner Joseph Slingsby, was recorded as being of full age, ie 21 or older, meaning that she did not require parental consent to marry. Both George & Julia were able to sign their names in the register. Their marriage was witnessed by John Heaney and John Davies, who would appear to be the parish clerk in view of how many marriages he witnessed (parish register page 63, entry no. 125).

Hannah's youngest sibling, Elizabeth Brownhill was born in the March ¼ of 1857 (Altrincham 8a 167). She was baptised in St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey on Sunday 12 April 1857 (parish register page 116, entry no. 921). Did she receive a smallpox vaccination?

Sunday 07 April 1861 was again census night and '20 year old' house servant, Ann Brownhill was then listed at Macum Lane in Ashton upon Mersey, working for Manchester trade clerk, Joseph J Aspinall & his wife Maria (ref RG09/2590/20/12). She was about three doors down from her parents and soon to be husband, James Aldred.

Two months later, on Wednesday 05 June 1861, James Aldred married Hannah Brownhill in St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Both were given as being of ‘full’ age, but in fact Hannah was only 17 and also at least three months pregnant with their first child. Their witnesses were Joseph Howarth & Thomas Aldred. Thomas Aldred was a cousin of James’, being the son of Samuel Aldred, James senior's youngest brother. Both James & Ann signed the marriage register with an ‘X’ indicating that despite earlier schooling they were both illiterate (parish register page 84, entry no. 167 and certificate Altrincham 8a 211).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Thursday 28 November 1861, James & Ann’s first child, John Alfred Aldred was born in Ashton upon Mersey. Just under two weeks later, on Wednesday 11 December 1861, Hannah registered the birth of their son. She recorded her maiden name as Brownhill and James' occupation as that of a farm labourer; she also confirmed herself as being illiterate, as once again she signed the register with an 'X' (certificate Altrincham 8a 159).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

On Saturday 14 December 1861, Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, died from typhoid. Thereafter, Victoria became a reclusive monacrch and was little seen or known by her subjects. Whilst James & Hannah were unable to read about his death in the newspapers, they must have heard it being discussed by friends and neighbours.

John Alfred, who may have been known as Alfred, was baptised in St Martin's Church on Sunday 23 February 1862; James was recorded as being a labourer with the family living in Ashton (parish register page 141, entry no. 1124). Ann was 18 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ann's eldest sister, Mary Renshaw married Richard Aldcroft in Manchester Cathedral on Saturday 27 September 1862. Mary was recorded as being the 27 year old daughter of John 'Renshaw', as presumably she did not wish to advertise the fact that she had been born prior to her parents' marriage; she was also 13 days shy of her 27th birthday. Richard was recorded as the 21 year old son of labourer John Aldcroft. Ann Aldred witnessed her sister's marriage along with Thomas Buthenton, who does not appear to be related. Richard, Mary & Ann all signed the register with an 'X'. Both Mary & Richard gave their address as 25 Gould Street in Manchester, the home of Mary's maternal uncle, John Renshaw and his wife Julia, in order to be able to wed in the Cathedral; at best this would have been a temporary address, if they ever actually lived / boarded there (parish register page 95, entr no. 189).

In 1863 the Football Association was founded. Was this of interest to James? Certainly, his future grandchildren would be become invoved with local football.

On Sunday 10 May 1863, James & Ann’s second child and eldest daughter, Margaret Hannah was born in Ashton upon Mersey. She was privately baptised on the day of her birth. Private baptisms were usually only conducted when the child was not expected to live. If, as in this case, the child did survive, a second ceremony was conducted known as being ‘received into the church’. Margaret Hannah was recieved into St Martin's Church on the Sunday 16 August 1863 when she was three months old. James' occupation was again recorded as a labourer with the family living in Ashton (parish register page 150, entry no. 1193). Ann was 19 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Between her birth and the registration of her birth, which her mother Ann did on Friday 12 June 1863, James & Ann changed their daughter's name to Elizabeth opposed to Margaret. Ann gave James’ occupation as that of a farm labourer and again signed the register with an ‘X’. She also confirmed her maiden name as Brownhill (certificate Altrincham 8a 177). Despite her name having been changed prior to Elizabeth Hannah being received into the Church, no amendment was made in the baptism register to reflect this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Ann's elder brother, George Brownhill, died in October 1864 in Ashton upon Mersey. He was just 27 years old and was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Wednesday 19 October 1864 (parish register page 171, entry no. 1362). It is not known what became of his wife Julia nor is it known where in the Churchyard George was buried, but he would have had one of the last available plots, as the Churchyard was almost full.

James & Ann’s son, George Aldred, was born two months later, on Tuesday 20 December 1864, again in Ashton upon Mersey. Was he named in favour of Ann's elder brother who had recently died? Ann registered the birth of their son a little over a month later on Friday 27 January 1865; she recorded her own name as Ann Aldred formerly Brownhill and James' occupation as a farm labourer (certificate Altrincham 8a 161).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

George was baptised in St Martin's Church on Sunday 12 March 1865, when James was recorded as a labourer with the family living in Ashton (parish register page 161, entry no. 1281). Ann was 21 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James & Ann's son, James Aldred junior, was born on Wednesday 15 August 1866 in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 152). He was baptised in St Martin's Church a little over two months later on Sunday 21 October 1866 when the family were recorded as living in Ashton and James senior was noted as still being a labourer (parish register page 171, entry no. 1366). Ann was 22 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In 1866, the Sanitary Act was passed which compelled local authorities to improve local conditions. This necessitiated the provision of sewers, with all houses being connected to a new main sewer, clean water and street cleaning. Every town was required to appoint a Sanitary inspector to oversee the implementation of the new Act. It is not known how long Ashton upon Mersey took to bring the local sanitation up to the new standards but water closets were in wide use across England by 1870.

Ann’s younger sister, Ellen Brownhill, married Samuel Penney on Wednesday 08 May 1867 in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Ellen was 18, although she was recorded as being just 17, and Samuel, the bricklayer son of Samuel & Mary Ann Penny, was 12 years her senior. Ellen ‘inherited’ a ready made family of seven year old Joseph; four year old John & two year old Martha Jane from Samuel’s first marriage to Elizabeth - Elizabeth having died aged 29 just six months earlier in December 1866 (Altrincham 8a 131). Elizabeth had been buried on Sunday 23 December 1866 in St Martin's Churchyard (parish register page 186, entry no 1485); a week later, on 30 December, their ten month old son, Samuel Penny, had also been buried (parish register page 186, entry no. 1488). Ellen & Samuel's marriage was witnessed by Richard Aldcroft, Ellen's brother in law, and John Davies who was the parish clerk. Ellen & Richard were both unable to sign their names in the register, instead making their marks with an 'X' (parish register page 128, entry no. 255).

The Vaccination Act of 1853 had made the vaccination of all infants up to the age three months against smallpox compulsory. However, it had been widely unpopular as many were suspicious of the 'new medicine' and objected to the compulsory nature of the vaccination demanding the right to control what was introduced to their bodies and particularly those of their infants. At that time the Act may have had little impact of either James or Hannah as neither of them were under three months of age, so it is unlikely that they were compulsorily vaccinated. Hannah may, however, have been aware of her younger sisters, Emma & Elizabeth being vaccinated in 1853 and 1857 respectively. By 1867, the death toll of various diseases, such as smallpox were regularly reported in the local papers and as such it cannot have been too much of a surprise when the same year the Act was extended to include the compulsory vaccination of all children up to the age of 14 against smallpox, with fines for those refused to vacinate their children (http://www.historyofvaccines.org/content/articles/history-anti-vaccination-movements). This would have included James & Hannah's four children - five year old John Alfred; four year old Elizabeth Hannah, three year old George and year old James junior, all of whom should have been vaccinated as infants - as well as all their future children. Did they willingly vaccinate their children against smallpox?

A year later, James & Ann's fourth son, William Aldred, was born on Saturday 11 April 1868 (Altrincham 8a 165); he was baptised two months later in St Martin's Church on Sunday 07 June 1868. The family were again noted as living in Ashton with James still working as a labourer (parish register page 186, entry no. 1484). Ann was 24 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometime in 1869, James & Hannah's eldest son, seven year old, John Alfred Aldred, started school at the parish school (school admissions register entry no. 2).

On Friday 03 December 1869, James & Ann's fifth son, Charles Aldred, was born in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 152). Like his siblings, he was baptised at the age of two months on Sunday 06 February 1870. The baptism register again recorded the family as living in Ashton and James' occupation as that of a labourer. Note that Ann's name was changed to her proper name of Hannah in the register (parish register page 197, entry no. 1572). Ann was 26 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In 1870, Forester's Education Act was implemented to complement existing education provision across the country, with the provision of further grants to two religious organisations that ran schools. However this Act still did not make education compulsory and neither was it free. The result of the Act appears to have been the establishment / formalisation of St Martin's Church of England Primary School in Ashton upon Mersey. Some time in the same year, James & Hannah's second eldst son, five year old George Aldred started school at the parish school (school admissions register entry no. 3).

In January 1871, three of James & Ann's children transferred or started at St Martin's Church of England Primary School in Ashton upon Mersey - nine year old John Alfred; and six year old George, both of whom transferred from the parish school, and four year old James who was just staring school. Their residence was recorded as Carrington Lane and James senior was noted as a brickmaker (school admissions register entries no. 2, 3 & 4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 1871 census, taken on the night of Sunday 02 April 1871, found 32 year old James, now a brick maker’s labourer, living at Marsh Lane in Ashton upon Mersey with his wife, 30 year old Hannah. Also with them were their six children - nine year old John Alfred; seven year old Elizabeth Hannah; five year old George & four year old James, all of whom were recorded as scholars, and infants three year old William & one year old Charles (ref RG10/3683/102/1). Despite being recorded as a scholar, there are no records to indicate that Elizabeth Hannah did attend the village / parish school. Marsh Lane is believed to have been area of Carrington Lane, close to / around Marsh Farm.

Four and a half months after starting at St Martin's Church of England School, James & Ann withdrew their eldest son, John Alfred Aldred, on Friday 19 May 1871 on the grounds that he was required at home. He had been in education for just two and a half years (school admissions register entry no 2).

In 1871, Sir John Lubbock introduced the Bank Holidays Act, it introduced the concept of holidays with pay and designated four holidays in England. These were Easter Monday, the first Monday in August, the 26 December, and Whit Monday. Good Friday and Christmas Day were already considered as traditional days of rest along with Sundays and they therefore were not included the Act. The move was such a popular one that there were even suggestions that the August Bank Holiday should be called St Lubbock's day!

James & Ann's second daughter, Mary Aldred was born on Thursday 14 December 1871 (Altrincham 8a 169). She was baptised in St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey on Sunday 19 May 1872, at the age of five months, older than her elder siblings. The family was once again recorded as living in Ashton with James still working as a labourer (parish register page 221, entry no. 1762). Mary would be known as Polly. Ann was 28 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In 1872, the Public Health Act introduced Health Authorities who were each to have their own Medical Officer of Health. However the duties of these Health Authorities were not specified in the Act and most were unwilling or unable to spend enough money to make any radical difference to the provision of 'healthcare' or living conditions for their populations. As such the vast majority of the population would continue to be unable to afford the services of a doctor and many continued to live without adequate clean water supplies.

Also in 1872, Gladstone introduced a Licensing Act to regulate the opening hours and adulterations of beer as he believed that drink was the downfall of the working man and that a sober, hard working man should be able to save for the time when he was beyond work. The Act gave magistrates the power to issue licenses to public houses and without the issue of a license, said public houses would have to close. It also required public houses to close by 11pm in the rural areas (or midnight in towns) with the belief being that such closing times would give agricultural labourers time to walk home before midnight and hence allow them to sleep off any excesses prior to rising with the sun for work the following day. The Act also made it illegal for salt to be added to beer which was common practice at the time as it made drinkers thirsty hence making them drink and spend more. I wonder what 34 year old James made of this Act?

The following year, on Saturday 20 September 1873, James & Ann's eighth child and sixth son, Thomas Aldred, was born in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 163). He was baptised in St Martin's Church on Sunday 01 February the following year as a four month old infant. As with his elder siblings, the family's abode was recorded as simply Ashton and James' occupation was still that of a labourer (parish register page 237, entry no. 1894). Ann was 29 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In May 1874, James & Ann's son, Charles Aldred, started school at St Martin's Church of England Primary School in Ashton upon Mersey. He was four years old despite being recorded as only three (school admissions register entry no. 411). In 1874, their son George Aldred had been presented under education standard III, having completed standards I and II in 1872 and 1873 respectively. Unfortunately the log book, did not record when he left the school or if he was presented for any further standards. Their son James was simply recorded as an infant in the years 1872, 1873 and 1874 (school admissions register entry nos. 3 & 4).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ann’s brother James Brownhill married Martha Sherlock nee Greaves on Saturday 12 September 1874 in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. James was a 29 labourer and ‘inherited’ a son, Henry Sherlock, from Martha’s first marriage to Samuel Sherlock. Martha had been a widow for less than two years when she married James, her first husband having died in December 1872 aged 31 (Altrincham 8a 116). Their marriage was witnessed by Thomas Aldred and Emma Brownhill, James' sister and her future husband. Neither James nor Emma were able to sign their names in the register - both made their mark by way of an 'X' (parish register page 159, entry no. 317).

Such was the unpopularity of the 1872 Licensing Act, that in 1874, it was amended to allow for longer opening hours of public houses.

Equally the 1872 Public Health Act, another piece of legislation that had missed it mark, was amended in 1875, following the Tories coming to power under Disraeli, the previous year, in the form of a further Public Health Act. This Act rectified the omissions of the earlier Act in that it specified very clearly the duties of the Health and Local Authorites. For the improvement of public health, these authorities were now required to ensure that every household had access to an adequate clean water supply along with drainage and sewage disposal. In addition, health hazards had to be removed including contaminated food and 'offensive trades'. The Act also introduced the reporting of infectious diseases to the Medical Officers who were then duty bound to take appropriate action to reduce the spread of such diseases. The Act also sought to regulate markets, street lighting and burials. This was a major piece of legislation aimed at improving the quality of life for the whole population - how long was it before Ashton upon Mersey complied with this Act? Especially in view of the state of St Martin's Churchyard?

James & Ann's third daughter and ninth child, Ada Aldred was born on Thursday 21 January 1875 in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 187). She was baptised on Sunday 30 May 1875 in St Martin’s Church at the age of four months, along with her cousin, Ernest John Brownhill, the son of Ann's brother James Brownhill. The family were still in Ashton and James was still a labourer (parish register page 251, entry no. 2001). Ann was 31 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ann’s sister, Emma Brownhill, married Thomas Aldred on Monday 24 April 1876 in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Emma was 22 & Thomas was the 37 year old farmer son of Samuel & Elizabeth Aldred. Their marriage was witnessed by James & Hannah Aldred. Hannah & Emma were both unable to sign their names in the register and instead made their marks by way of an 'X' (parish register page 232, entry no. 464).

In 1876, Sandon's Education Act was passed to establish attendance committees to encourage as many children as possible to attend school. It also made parents responisble for ensuring that their children received at least a basic education, although education was still not free. Note that this Act spoke in terms of children, making no differentiation between sons and daughters. This would be quite a change for James & Hannah, as although their sons had received some education, there are no records to indicate that their eldest daughter, 13 year old Elizabeth Hannah ever went to school. Their second daughter, Mary Aldred, was four years old; would she go to school?

On Friday 28 July 1876, James & Ann’s seventh son, Arthur Aldred, was born in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 200). Arthur was baptied in St Martin's Church on Sunday 10 September 1876 when he was six weeks old. Again James was recorded as a labourer with the family living in Ashton (parish register page 262, entry no. 2091). Ann was 32 years old. Was there a reason for Arthur being baptised so much younger than his elder siblings?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A little over three months later, on Friday 22 December 1876, James & Ann's infant son, Arthur Aldred, started to suffer from convulsions but is is not known what the cause of the convulsions was. Unfortunately two days later on Sunday 24 December 1876, Arthur Aldred died at the age of five months in Ashton upon Mersey. On Tuesday 26 December 1876, James registered the death of their infant son, recording his own occupation as that of a hay cutter and their address as Field Terrace in Ashton, which I believe to have been a small group of houses off Carrington Lane. James also noted that Arthur had been seen by a doctor (W Alfred Renshaw), which was quite unusual for the time, especially for a farm labourer; unfortunately his cause of death was still only recorded in terms of the witnessed symptoms not the underlying cause. James signed the register with an 'X' indicating that he was still illiterate (certificate Altrincham 8a 144).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Arthur was the first of their children to die and he was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on Wednesday 27 December 1876 (parish register page 244, entry no. 1951). It is not recorded where in the Churchyard Arthur was buried, but as the Churchyard was full by that time, he would have gone into a family grave that was not yet full and that in all probability had no headstone on it. In all of 1876, only 54 interments, including Arthur's, took place in the Churchyard with those who had no pre-existing family grave in the Churchyard being refused burial in the parish. Whose grave did Arthur go into?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Tuesday 18 January 1877, a significant article appeared in the Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, reporting the proceedings at a vestry meeting held at St Martin's Church, which was attended by about 20 people, regarding the sad state of the Churchyard. The Rev Joseph Ray presided over the meeting and P H Holland from the Home Office also visited with the purpose of inspecting the Churchyard to report back to the Government. The article laid bare the stark reality that burials in the Chuchyard had reached the point where only those with pre-existing family graves, could be buried there, as despite earlier attempts to purchase new land, the Churchyard was completely full.

Ann’s youngest sister Elizabeth Brownhill married John Greaves on Saturday 21 July 1877 in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Elizabeth was 20 years old, despite being recorded as being of full age (ie over 21) & John was the 25 year old labourer son of James Greaves, the brother of Martha, Elizabeth's elder brother James’ wife. Their marriage was witnessed by Annie Jones and William Milliatt, neither of whom appear to be related to them. Despite the rest of her family being illiterate, Elizabeth was able to sign her own name in the register, but John signed with an 'X' (parish register page 177, entry no. 354).

James & Ann’s fourth and youngest daughter, Lily Aldred, was born on Sunday 30 September 1877 in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 182). She was baptised at the age of five weeks on Sunday 04 November 1877 in St Martin's Church. Again the family was recorded as living in Ashton and James' was still working as a labourer (parish register page 274, entry no. 2185). Again, Lily was significantly younger than her elder siblings at the time of her baptism. Was there a reason for this? Ann was 34 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Friday 26 April 1878, James witnessed the last will and testament of his cousin, Thomas Aldred (will). Three weeks later, his cousin and Ann's brother in law, Thomas Aldred, husband of her younger sister Emma, died on Thursday 16 May 1878 aged 39 (Altrincham 8a 127 and probate calendar). He was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Sunday 19 May 1878 (parish register page 250, entry no. 1993). As the Churchyard was still full and no new ground had been secured to increase its capacity, Thomas was interred in the grave containing his infant sisters - Mary who had died in May 1839 at the age of two and Sarah who had died in June 1841 aged eight months - and his younger brother Samuel who had died in September 1870 at the age of 22 (headstone 5B.5). Emma & Thomas had been married for just over four years but had had no children in that time.

On Tuesday 25 February 1879, James & Ann's five year old son, Thomas Aldred, fell ill with pneumonia and like his younger brother Arthur, he was seen by Dr Renshaw. With Ann heavily pregnant at the time, would Thomas' care have fallen to 15 year old Elizabeth Hannah?

Two days later, Ann delivered their eighth son, Harry Aldred, on Thursday 27 February 1879 in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 175).

Four days later, James & Ann’s five year old son, Thomas Aldred, died on Monday 03 March 1879 in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of the pneumonia with which he had been ill for the last week. It would be another 66 years before medical practioners would have penicillin available to them to treat illnesses such as pneumonia and as a result, a diagnosis of pneumonia was effectively a death sentence. The following day, James registered the death of their son, recording his own occupation as that of a farm labourer and their address simply as Ashton. James signed the register with an 'X', indicating that he was still illiterate (certificate Altrincham 8a 153).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Thomas was buried in St Martin's Church on Thursday 06 March 1879 (parish register page 253, enyty no. 2024); he was the second of their children to die. Again, it is not known where in the Churchyard that Thomas was buried, other than it must have been in a pre-existing family grave, as Thomas' interment was one of only 41 in all of 1879. Was he placed with his infant brother Arthur?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Six week old Harry Aldred was baptised on Sunday 13 April 1879 in St Martin's Church. James was still a labourer and the family were still living in Ashton (parish register page 285, entry no. 2276). Ann was 35 years old.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greenwich Mean Time was officially adopted throughout the country on Monday 02 August 1880 following the passing of the Statutues (Definition of Time) Act. Although GMT had been widely used in the UK, following the adoption of it by the railyways back in 1847, the country's legal system had up until this point steadfastly used local time, time that was set by the position of the sun in the sky in a particularly locality. This Act forced them to change to Greenwich Mean Time in consistency with the rest of the country. I suspect that the passing of this Act had little impact on James and Hannah and their family, although 19 year old John Alfred may have read about it in the newspapers.

On Sunday 28 November 1880, James & Ann's thirteenth child, Ernest Aldred, was born in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 163). Ann was 37 years old. He was baptised a little under two months later on Sunday 16 January 1881 in St Martin's Church. As with his elder siblings, the family were recorded as still living in Ashton and James was still working as a labourer (parish register page 10, entry no.74).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 1881 census was taken on the night of Sunday 03 April 1881; it listed 42 year old James as having reverted to being an agricultural labourer, living at Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey with his 40 year old wife, Hannah, who was now a laundress. Also with James & Hannah were nine of their ten surviving children - 17 year old Elizabeth Hannah who was also a laundress; 15 year old George who was an agricultural labourer; 12 year old scholar William; ten year old scholar Charles; eight year old scholar Mary; six year old scholar Ada; three year old scholar Lily & infants two year old Harry & five month old Ernest (ref RG11/3504/122/27). Their eldest son, 19 year old, John Alfred Aldred, was at Dunham Massey working as a farm servant (ref RG11/3505/115/15).

It is my understanding that Whitegate Farm was on Carrington Lane, so I wonder whether this was where they now were. Certainly details which Bernard Okell gave me indicated that there was a laundry area within the farm buildings, which would tie in with Hannah’s occupation. In later life, Bernard Okell, drew from memory a number of sketches of Whitegate Farm, some of which are below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image of the end view of Whitegate Farm drawn from memory by Bernard Okell around 1982

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image of the rear of Whitegate Farm viewed from the stables; drawn from memory by Bernard Okell around 1982

Later that year, Mundella's Education Act, made attendance at school compulsory for all children aged between five and ten. However, their education was still not free and cost about three pence (approximately £6 in today's money) per child per week; a cost that many could not readily afford. This meant that James & Hannah had to educate nine year old Mary and six year old Ada and in due course would need to find the money to educate four year old Lily, two year old Harry and infant Ernest. This would be quite a financial commitment for James & Hannah.

In 1882, The Married Women's Property Act was passed. This allowed all married women to retain ownership of their own property; a significant change from previous legislation that had conferred ownership of all married women's property to their husbands on their marriage. Did this legislation evoke any comment from James and particularly his eldest daughter, 19 year old Elizabeth Hannah, who was soon to marry?

On Saturday 23 December 1882, James & Ann’s eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah Aldred married John Henry Hayman in St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Elizabeth was 20 years old and living in Ashton upon Mersey; John Henry Hayman was the 22 year old son of Samuel Hayman, a labourer living in Ashton upon Mersey and his wife Alice. Their marriage was witnessed by Thomas Royle and Jane Gresty, neither of whom appear to be related to them. All except Elizabeth Hannah were able to sign their names in the register (parish register page 215, entry no. 430).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hannah’s mother, Elizabeth Brownhill, died on Tuesday 20 March 1883 in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of ulceration of her right leg and gangrene in her right foot, from which she had suffered for three weeks. She was 66 years old (certificate Altrincham 8a 145). Elizabeth was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Saturday 24 March 1883 (parish register page 269, entry no. 2152). Hannah was 39 years old. It is not known where in the Churchyard Elizabeth was interred, but as the Churchyard had still not been extended, she must have been placed in a pre-exisitng family grave; I suspect that she was probably buried in the same plot as her infant sons (and Hannah's infant brothers) - eight month old William Brownhill and two year old John Brownhill - who had perished back in January 1841 and June 1844 respectively.

Just over two months later, on Friday 01 June 1883, James & Ann's first grandchild, James Henry Hayman, was born to their daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry, in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 202). Was he named after James?

Unfortunately, at least one of the school admissions books for St Martin's Church of England Priamry School in Ashton upon Mersey appears to be missing, resulting in the next of James & Ann's children being recorded in a school admissions book being their second to youngest son, Ernest Aldred, when he started St Martin's school on Wednesday 10 October 1883 just before his third birthday. The family's address was again recorded as Carrington Lane (school admissions register entry no. 79).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Images © images reproduced by courtesy of the Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service, Chester, England

Sometime in 1884, the third Reform Act was passed resulting in the franchise being extended to most adult men, particularly agricultural workers. This Act would have given 46 year old James the right to vote for the first time in his life, although for some reason he would not appear on the electoral roll for another six years?

On Wednesday 23 July 1884, James & Ann's five year old son, Harry Aldred, died at Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of acute laryngitis. This would have been a most unpleasant death as his throat became more and more inflamed and swollen eventually suffocating him. At some point James & Ann must have been sufficiently concerned about Harry's wellbeing to pay the local doctor - I J E Renshaw - to see him; unfortunately it would appear that nothing could be done to save Harry. James registered his son's death the same day recording his own occupation as a farm labourer and their address as Carrington Lane in Ashton. James again signed the register with an 'X' (certificate Altrincham 8a 122). Did Harry's death at the age of five bring back memories of Harry's birth when his five year old elder brother, Thomas Aldred, died?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Harry was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on Saturday 26 July 1884 (parish register page 277, entry no. 2210). He was third son of James & Ann to die. Again, it is not known where in the Churchyard Harry was interred. By this time, the Churchyard was almost completely full - new plots had not been available for over 17 years - so Harry must have been placed in a pre-exisitng family grave. His was one of only 42 burials in the Churchyard in all of 1884. Was he laid to rest with either or both of his brothers, Arthur and Thomas?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Three months later, James & Ann’s final and fourteenth child, Horace Aldred, was born on Tuesday 07 October 1884 in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 8a 185). He was baptised at just under six weeks of age in St Martin's Church on Sunday 16 November 1884. For the final time, the baptism register recorded the family as living in Ashton with James now working as a market gardener (parish register page 47, entry no. 371). James was 46 years old and Ann was just short of turning 41.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ann’s widowed sister, Emma Aldred, remarried on Saturday 02 January 1886 when she wed widower Henry Greaves, the brother of Martha (brother James’ wife) & John (sister Elizabeth’s husband) in St Martin's Church. Their marriage was witnessed by Philip Darbyshire, who does not appear to be related to either of them and Elizabeth Greaves, who was Ann & Emma's youngest sister. All except Emma were able to sign their names in the register; Emma made her mark by way of an 'X' (parish register page 232, entry no. 464). As well as having her own two daughters, five year old Mary Elizabeth Aldred (Altrincham 8a 171) & three year old Lilly Aldred (Altrincham 8a 201), Emma ‘inherited’ Henry’s two children - eight year old James Greaves (Altrincham 8a 183) & four year old Martha Jane Greaves (Altrincham 8a 175) from Henry’s first marriage to Martha nee Sherlock (who just happened to be the sister of Samuel Sherlock, who was Emma’s brother James’ wife Martha’s first husband!). Henry had been a widower for less than two years following the death of his first wife Martha in April 1884 at the age of just 37 (Altrincham 8a 25). By the time of their marriage, Emma was also heavily pregnant with their first child, son John Henry Greaves, who was born on Wednesday 03 March 1886 (parish register page 62, entry no. 496).

Later, the same year, on Saturday 30 October 1886, James & Ann’s eldest son John Alfred Aldred married Elizabeth Darbyshire in St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Alfred was a 25 year old labourer, living in Ashton & Elizabeth was the 23 year old daughter of Philip Darbyshire deceased, also living in Ashton. Their marriage was witnessed by James Darbyshire & Sarah Darbyshire, Elizabeth's elder brother and younger sister. Both John Alfred and Elizabeth, along with both of their witnesses were able to sign their names in the register (parish register page 239, entry no. 478).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee was celebrated all over Britain and the Empire on Tuesday 22 June 1887; it marked a limited return of the Queen to public view following her reclusion 26 years earlier after the death of her husband. The Jubilee was widely reported in the national and local papers. Did any of James & Hannah's sons read about it or did they and their unmarried children - 22 year old George; 20 year old James junior; 19 year old William; 17 year old Charles; 15 year old Mary; 12 year old Ada; nine year old Lily; six year old Ernest and two year old Horace joined in some local event to mark the celebration?

The following year, on Sunday 07 August 1887, James & Ann's second grandchild and first granddaughter, Nellie Hayman, was born to their eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry Hayman, in Ashton (certificate Altrincham 8a 183).

On Friday 03 February 1888, James & Ann's third grandchild and second granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Aldred, was born in Ashton upon Mersey to their eldest son John Alfred and his wife Elizabeth (Altrincham 8a 184).

James & Ann's youngest son, Horace Aldred, started school in St Martin's Church of England School in Ashton upon Mersey on Tuesday 01 May 1888. He was a little over three and a half years old. The family's address was again recorded as Carrington Lane (school admissions register entry no. 210).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For some reason, their son Horace, only stayed in school for 11 weeks, the school admissions register (entry no. 210) recording that he left on Thursday 19 July 1888. Why did Horace leave after so little schooling? Was it because he was still only three years old?

On Saturday 08 September 1888, the first English football league matches were played across the country. Did 50 year old James Aldred and his six unmarried sons, go to watch football matches?

James & Hannah's fourth grandchild and second grandson, James Harry Aldred, was born on Monday 13 January 1890 to their eldest son John Alfred Aldred and his wife Elizabeth (Altrincham 8a 168). Unfortunately, any celebrations around James Harry's birth were short lived as six days later, on Sunday 19 January 1890, James’ & Hannah’s daughter in law, Elizabeth Aldred, died aged just 26, leaving their eldest son Alfred a widower with a two year old daughter, Mary Elizabeth Aldred, and infant son, James Harry Aldred. Elizabeth's death was sudden and as a result of her contracting puerperal fever following the birth of their son (certificate Altrincham 8a 156). At a time before antibiotics were known and available, there would have been nothing that could have been done to save Elizabeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

The following day, on Monday 20 January 1890, James & Hannah's youngest son, Horace Aldred, returned to St Martin's Church of England School after an absence of 17 months; he was then five years old (school admission register entry no. 210).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daughter in law, Elizabeth Aldred was buried the next day, on Tuesday 21 January 1890 in St Martin's Churchyard (parish register page 300, entry no. 2397). Elizabeth's burial was one of only 34 that would be interred in St Martin's Churchyard in all of 1890 as the Churchyard had still not been extended despite efforts to do so as much as 13 years ago. In view of new plots being unavailable, Elizabeth must have been laid to rest in a pre-existing family plot, unfortunately it is not known whose plot and nor would it be revealed who else was in the plot, when a headstone was place on the grave 28 years later (headstone 6A.21).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two weeks later, on Tuesday 04 February 1890, Hannah’s father, John Brownhill, died in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of heart disease. He was 84 years old (certificate Altrincham 8a 158). John was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Saturday 08 February 1890 (parish register page 300, entry no. 2400). Unsurprisingly, the Churchyard was still full, so as with Elizabeth Aldred, John Brownhill must have been interred in a pre-existing family grave. Was he laid to rest with his wife and infant children?

James & Ann’s son, James Aldred, married Alice Potts in St Martin’s Church in Ashton upon Mersey on Saturday 12 July 1890. James was a 24 year old gardener and Alice was the 22 year old daughter of farmers James & Hannah Potts. Both were living in Ashton at the time of their marriage, which was witnessed by George Aldred, James' elder brother and Sarah Ann Higson, who does not appear to be related to either of them. All were able to sign their names in the register (parish register page 14, entry no. 27).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In 1890, James Aldred appeared on the 'Occupation Voters (other than lodgers)' electoral roll for Ashton upon Mersey, meaning that he was eligible to vote. As the tenant occupier for the 12 months preceding 15 July 1890, of a dwelling on Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey, James gained the right to vote in Parliamentary elections. The Parliamentary Franchaise defined a "dwelling-house" as including, for the purposes of the franchise, any "part of a house which was separately occupied as a dwelling," and where the landlord let out the whole of the house in apartments, retaining no control. A single room may thus be considered a dwelling-house. James was recorded as living at Carrington Lane with the qualifying property being Carrington Lane. James would remain on the electoral roll with the same place of abode and qualifying property until at least 1900, the extent for which records are currently available, and most probably until his death. He was 51 years old and would be able to vote for the first time in his life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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James & Ann's fifth grandchild and third granddaughter, Ethel Hayman, was born in Ashton upon Mersey on Tuesday 05 August 1890 to their daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry (Altrincham 8a 184).

The 1891 census was taken on the night of Sunday 05 April 1891. 52 year old James, a labourer, was listed as still being at Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey. However, his wife Ann Aldred was obviously away that night, as she was listed at Queens Road in Ashton upon Mersey as a laundress to warehouseman Frederick Dewhurst and his wife Clara (ref RG12/2823/113/12). Listed with James at Carrington Lane were eight of their 11 surviving children - widowed, 29 year old labourer John Alfred and his three year old daughter Mary Elizabeth Aldred; 26 year old labourer George; 22 year old labourer William; 21 year old railway porter Charles; 16 year old Ada; 13 year old Lily; ten year old Ernest; and six year old Horace (ref RG12/2824/19/32). Eldest daughter 27 year old Elizabeth Hannah Hayman was nearby at Fiddlers Green with her husband and family & her younger sister 19 year old Mary Aldred (ref RG12/2824/14/21); 24 year old son, James junior, a labourer, was also close by with his parents in law at Church Road with his wife and one year old James Harry Aldred, John Alfred's son (ref RG12/2824/6/6).

1891 saw the addition of at least one and possibly two further grandchildren for James & Ann - the eldest of these was William Renshaw who was born on Saturday 20 June 1891 in Ashton to single woman Annie Renshaw (Altrincham 8a 166). Annie would marry James & Ann's son, William Aldred, some ten years later, so it is not known if their son was the biological father of William Renshaw, however William junior would, 24 years later, describe William Aldred as his father. Three days later, on Tuesday 23 June 1891, grandson James Harry Aldred was born in Ashton to James & Ann's son James junior and his wife Alice (Altrincham 8a 163). Note that the name was an exact copy of their second grandson's name, James Harry Aldred who had been born to their eldest son John Alfred and his late wife Elizabeth, 17 months earlier. This may have been a result of James & Alice raising the elder James Harry, following the death of his mother, but surely this must have caused huge confusion with two boys of similar ages and identical names in the same household - presumably they were known by pet names?

On Wednesday 05 August 1891, The Elementary Education Act made elementary education free and compulsory. James & Hannah would no longer need to find the three pence (just under £19 in today's money) each week for their youngest child - six year old Horace to attend St Martin's Church of England Priamry School.

On Friday 20 May 1892, two further grandchildren followed - Sarah Ellen Buckley and her twin John Buckley, both of whom were born in West Gorton to single woman Hannah Buckley, the partner of their eldest son, John Alfred Aldred (Chorlton 8c 836). As John Alfred was widowed and Hannah was a single woman, it is not known why they had not married prior to the twins being born. Unfortunately, only Sarah Ellen survived; John Buckley was James & Ann's first grandchild to die (Chorlton 8c 486).

James & Ann’s daughter, Mary Aldred, married William Hoskinson on Saturday 18 February 1893 in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey; both were 21 years old and living in Ashton. William was the labourer son of Robert and Alice Hoskinson. Their marriage was witnessed by George Aldred, Mary's elder brother and Catherine Hoskinson, William's younger sister; all were able to sign their names in the register (parish register page 33, entry no. 66).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In February 1893, single woman, Annie Renshaw, James & Ann's son, William Aldred's future wife, gave birth to a daughter, Lily Renshaw (Altrincham 8a 179). Again it is not known if their son William was Lily's biological father; if he was the father of William Renshaw, then he was almost certainly Lily's father as well, but if that was so, why had William Aldred and Annie not married as both were single? Unfortunately, Lily did not survive beyond a few months (Altrincham 8a 133); she was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Sunday 30 July 1893 (parish register page 18, entry no. 141), one of only 38 burials in the Churchyard in all of 1893, as the Churchyard remained subbornly unextended. As a result, she must have been placed in a pre-existing family grave - it is just unknown whose grave and where within the Churchyard.

A few weeks later, on Friday 07 April 1893, James & Ann's grandson, Charles Frederick Aldred, was born to their son James and his wife Alice in Ashton (Altrincham 8a 192). Less than five months later, on Thursday 14 September 1893, granddaughter, Eliza Hoskinson, was born to their daughter Mary and her husband William, also in Ashton (Altrincham 8a 154). Just two months later, two year old granddaughter, Ethel Hayman, died on Wednesday 15 November 1893 (certificate Altrincham 8a 142). Ethel was also buried in St Martin's Churchyard (one of the 38 burials in 1893), on Saturday 18 November 1893; it is also unknown whose grave Ethel was interred in (parish register page 20, entry no. 154) as no grave register was maintained at this time.

On Monday 01 January 1894, after six years of construction, the Manchester Ship Canal was opened. 50,000 free tickets were made available to the general public for view points along the dock premises at Old Trafford. Despite the fact that New Year's Day was not a bank holiday, the tickets were in great demand. Did James, Hannah and any of their children attend the opening or try to get tickets? The Canal was later officially opened by Queen Victoria on 21 May, the same year.

In July 1894, James & Ann's son, Ernest Aldred, left St Martin's School having completed Standards I & II. He had been in education for just under 11 years and was 13 years old (school admissions register entry no. 79).

James & Ann’s eldest widowed son, John Alfred Aldred, remarried on Saturday 25 August 1894 when he wed spinster Hannah Buckley in Gorton Parish Church. Alfred was 32 & Hannah, the daughter of labourer Mark Buckley and his wife Ellen nee Royle, was 35. John Alfred was noted as a platelayer whilst Hannah was recorded as a servant, which tied in with her 1891 census entry as the domestic servant of John Wood and Lucy Smith living at 105 King Street in Stretford. Their marriage was witnessed by James Roberts, who appears to be unrelated to them and Ada Aldred, John Alfred's younger sister. Both were recorded as living at 53 Lord Street in Gorton (certificate Chorlton 8c 1045 / 1095). John Alfred & Sarah Ellen already had one daughter together, so why had they not married sooner?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

1895 would turn into a year of mixed emotions for James & Ann with five births and two deaths in the family. The first new arrival was Ada Renshaw (later known as Ada Aldred) who was born to single woman Annie Renshaw in Ashton on Saturday 19 January 1895 (Altrincham 8a 189). She was quickly followed, two weeks later, by the arrival of granddaughter, Alice Hayman on Saturday 02 February to James & Ann's eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah & her husband John Henry (Altrincham 8a 184). Unfortunately, the following day, infant Alice Hayman died as a result of her malformed liver (certificate Altrincham 8a 150). Alice was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on Wednesday 06 February 1895 (parish register page 25, entry no. 193), one of only 29 burials in the Churchyard in all of 1895 as there were still no new plots available. As a result Alice was interred with her paternal great great uncle and aunt, John & Mary Oakes (headstone 6B.97).

The following month, on Thursday 14 March 1895, James & Ann's daughter Mary gave birth to her second child, Robert Hoskinson (Altrincham 8a 173). Two months later, Samuel Brocklehurst, James' brother in law, husband of his only sister Hannah, died in May 1895 in Radcliffe (Bury 8c 338). He was 67 years old. Samuel was laid to rest in Radcliffe on Tuesday 21 May 1895 (parish register page 140, entry no. 1116). It is not known if James & Hannah travelled to Radcliffe for his funeral. Shortly thereafter, in the September ¼ of 1895, grandson Alfred Aldred was born to their son James and his wife Alice in Ashton (Altrincham 8a 178). Finally, 1895 had one more bitter sweet surprise, on Friday 04 October 1895, grandson John Alfred Aldred was born to James & Ann's eldest son John Alfred and his wife Hannah in Salford (Salforfd 8d 152). At some point, it became obvious that all was not well with John Alfred junior - he was 'deaf and dumb'.

On Monday 10 August 1896, James & Ann's granddaughter, Elsie Hayman, was born in Ashton to their eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry (Altrincham 8a 180). Elsie was the only addition to the family in 1896.

1897 started off well enough with the arrival of granddaughter, Florence Hoskinson, on Friday 19 March 1897 to their daughter Mary and her husband William in Ashton (Altrincham 8a 179). However, it quickly descended into a year that they would wish to forget. A little over a month after the arrival of Florence, eight month old granddaughter, Elsie Hayman died from pneumonia on 27 April 1897 (certificate Altrincham 8a 127). She was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Monday 26 April 1897 (parish register page 34, entry no. 269 and grave register 483). The following month also saw the death of 22 month old grandson, Robert Hoskinson (Altrincham 8a 132 and grave register entry 485); he too was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Tuesday 18 May 1897 (parish register page 35, entry no. 277).

On Tuesday 22 June 1897, the country celebrated Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. In honour of the jubilee, marking Queen Victoria as the longest serving British monarch of all time, a special bank holiday was declared. Did James & Hannah celebrate?

Two weeks later, James & Ann’s son, 27 year old Charles Aldred, died on Thursday 08 July 1897 at Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey having contracted an inflammation of his spinal chord (spinal meningitis) four days earlier. The advent of penicillin was still 48 years away, so little if anything could have been done to save Charles. The same day, James registered the death of his son, recording Charles' occupation as that of a farm labourer (certificate Altrincham 8a 126).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Charles Aldred was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on Saturday 10 July 1897 (parish register page 36, entry no. 283). Charles was James & Hannah's fourth son to die. Whilst Charles was definitely not married, it is not known if he had a girlfriend or if he was soon to marry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Unfortunately, 1897 was not yet finished with James & Ann, as three months after the death of their son Charles, the family was again mourning a loss, this time of two year old grandson, Alfred Aldred who died on Wednesday 27 October 1897 (Altrincham 8a 129 and grave register 492). He was the fourth member of the family to perish that year and was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Saturday 30 October 1897 (parish register page 52, entry no. 412). The only positive news was that the Churchyard had finally been extended and all four of the lost family members were interred in St Martin's Churchyard - the three infant grandchildren in new plots in block 3 of the new Churchyard and their son Charles in a pre-existing family grave in the old Churchyard.

Six weeks later, the year finished as it had started, with the birth of a granddaughter, Elsie Renshaw, on Saturday 11 December 1897 in Ashton (Altrincham 8a 170) to single woman Annie Renshaw, the future wife of their son William.

On Saturday 26 February 1898, James & Ann's daughter, Ada Aldred, married James Hoskinson in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Ada was 23 & James was the 27 year old labourer son of Robert & Alice Hoskinson and elder brother to William Hoskinson, who had married Ada's elder sister Mary five years earlier. Their marriage was witnessed by William Wallwork and Lily Aldred, Ann & Ada's youngest sister; William Wallwork was Lily's future husband. All were able to sign the register with their names (parish register page 54, entry no. 108).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A couple of days later, James' only sister, widowed Hannah Brocklehurst, died at the very beginning of March 1898 in Radcliffe (Bury 8c 366). She was 67 years old and was buried in Radcliffe on Thursday 03 March 1898 (parish register page 219, entry no. 1750). Again it is not known if James & Hannah travelled to Radcliffe for her funeral. In fact, as James & Hannah and Samuel & Hannah Brocklehurst were all illiterate, had they maintained contact?

Two months later, James & Ann's granddaughter, May Hayman was born in Ashton on Saturday 07 May 1898 to their eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry (Altrincham 8a 177). Unfortunately, their joy was short lived as just nine days later she died (certificate Altrincham 8a 118). May was buried in block 3 of the newly extended Churchyard around St Martin's Church on Wednesday 18 May 1898 (parish register page 39, enry no. 305).

On Tuesday 29 November 1898, James & Hannah's youngest son, Horace Aldred, left St Martin's Church of England Priamry School. He was 14 years old and had attended the school for nearly nine years; unfortunately, the register does not record how far he progressed in that time (school admission register entry no. 210).

On Saturday 10 December of the same year, James & Ann's second son, George Aldred, married Mary Randle in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. George was a 33 year old labourer & Mary was the 30 daughter of spinster Sarah Randle, a fact she clearly did not wish to advertise as instead she declared her father to be deceased and left him un-named. Their marriage was witnessed by Thomas Randle, whom I believe to have been Mary's grandfather, who raised her, and Bessie Clough, who was Mary's half sister. All were able to sign their names in the register (parish register page 56, entry no. 111).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Monday 06 March 1899, Aspirin was marketed by Bayer following its successful application to patent the drug earlier in the year. However, it was only made available to physicians to administer one gram at a time for the relief of pain and fever; it would be another 16 years, following the expiry of the patent, before it became available to the general public to purchase in tablet form without the need for a physician to prescribe it. It would have been the 'wonder drug' of its time.

During the course of 1899, five more grandchildren arrived in James & Ann's family, although unfortunately one of them did not survive the year. The first new addition, in the June ¼, was grandson, Harold Aldred, who was born in Ashton to their son James and his wife Alice (Bucklow 8a 143). A little later, grandson Sydney Aldred, arrived on Monday 01 May 1899 in Ashton to their son George and his wife Mary (Bucklow 8a 186); two months later, Sydney was followed on Thursday 06 July 1899, by the birth of daughter Ada and her husband James' first child, Hilda Hoskinson, in Ashton (Bucklow 8a 171).

Unfortunately, on Sunday 27 August 1899, Harold Aldred died at the age of five months (Bucklow 8a 143); he was buried in the extended St Martin's Churchyard with his two year old brother Arthur Aldred (parish register page 41, entry no. 327, grave register entry no. 492 and headstone 3.62).

Seven weeks later, granddaughter, Gladys Hayman, was born in Ashton on Monday 16 October 1899 to their eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry (Bucklow 8a 176). Two months later, James & Ann's second daughter, Mary Hoskinson, gave birth to her fourth child, Lily, on Tuesday 05 December 1899 in Salford (Salford 8d 144).

On Monday 27 February 1900, the Labour party was founded in the UK. Was James politically minded? He is known to have been on the electoral role for the past ten years.

Ann's eldest sister, Mary Aldcroft, died in September 1900 in Ashton upon Mersey at the age of 65 (Bucklow 8a 124). She was buried on Monday 01 October 1900 in St Martin's Churchyard (parish register page 44, entry no. 352, grave register entry no. 499 and headstone 3.66).

Queen Victoria died at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight on Tuesday 22 January 1901. The news was relaid to the entire country and was the main topic of news for many days. Queen Victoria was suceeded by her eldest son King Edward VII. The news of the passing of Queen Victoria, may have been 'big news' for 62 year old James & 57 year old Hannah, as neither would have known any other monarch.

There were no additions to the family in 1900, but on Wednesday 20 February 1901, single woman Annie Renshaw, had her fourth child - Annie Renshaw (later Annie Aldred) - in Ashton upon Mersey. Annie junior is belived to have been the biological daughter of James & Ann's, son William Aldred. A month later, on Wednesday 20 March 1901, grandson, Charles Hayman, was born in Ashton to their daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry (certificate Bucklow 8a 168).

Sunday 31 March 1901 was census night again; 62 year old James Aldred, was by then a market gardener, but was still at Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey; with him was his wife, 59 year old Hannah, their four unmarried children and 13 year old granddaughter Mary Elizabeth Aldred, daughter of their eldest son John Alfred. 31 year old son, William Aldred was recorded as a non domestic gardener; 24 year old daughter Lily Aldred had no occupation recorded; 21 year old son Ernest Aldred was recorded as a railway porter, and 16 year old son Horace Aldred was noted as a milk lad on a farm (ref RG13/3323/93/35).

Two months later, on Saturday 01 June 1901, James & Ann's youngest daughter, Lily Aldred, married William Wallwork in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Lily was 24 years old and William was the 28 year old son of Thomas & Martha Wallwork, a gardener living in Ashton upon Mersey. Their marriage was witnessed by Ernest Aldred, Ann & Lily's younger brother and Mary Jane Wallwork, William's elder sister. As was becoming the norm, all parties were able to sign their names in the register (parish register page 66, entry no. 132).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Around the same time, James & Ann's daughter in law, Alice Aldred, wife of their son James, gave birth to their fifth son, Philip Aldred, in June 1901 in Ashton (Buckow 8a 153). Unfortunately, Philip did not thrive and died the following month (Bucklow 8a 119); he was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Monday 08 July 1901 (parish register page 47, entry no. 372). Around the same time, James and Ann's daughter, Ada Hoskinson, was diagnosed with phthsis, she was four months pregnant with her second child.

James & Ann's grandson, James Hoskinson, was born in Ashton, on Sunday 16 February 1902, to their daughter Ada and her husband James (Bucklow 8a 181). Ada's health was deteriorating; it is not known what effect her illness had on her infant son.

A month later, on Monday 31 March 1902, James & Ann's son, William Aldred, married Annie Renshaw in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. William was recorded as a 31 year old gardener, although he was actually 33 years old; Annie was the 33 year old daughter of Samuel & Hannah Renshaw, her father having died in November 1884 when she was 16. Their marriage was witnessed by John Renshaw, who may have been Annie's elder brother and Eliza Hayman, the daughter of Samuel and Alice Hayman, whose family James & Ann's eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah had married into. All except John Renshaw were able to sign their names in the register (parish register page 60, entry no. 137). Why did William & Annie marry on a Monday opposed to a Saturday like the vast majority of the family? Could it have been a quiet / private wedding, as Annie, despite being previously unmarried, already had four children, at least one of whom is believed to have been William's?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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On Monday 21 July 1902, James & Ann's youngest daughter Lily Wallwork, gave birth to her only child, Hannah Wallwork, in Ashton (Bucklow 8a 175). Less than two weeks later, grandson, Ernest Aldred, was born on Sunday 03 August 1902 to their son James junior and his wife Alice (Bucklow 8a 174) and just six days later, eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah gave birth to her ninth child, Edward Hayman, on Saturday 09 August (certificate Bucklow 8a 178). Unfortunately, less than a week later, on Friday 15 August 1902, grandson, Ernest Aldred, died at the age of 12 days (Bucklow 8a 107). Ernest was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Monday 18 August 1902 (grave register entry no. 492 and headstone 3.62).

Five weeks later, on Saturday 20 September 1902, James & Ann’s daughter, Ada Hoskinson, died as a result of the pulmonary tuberculcosis with which she had been diagnosed a year earlier when she was four months pregnant; she was just 27 years old (certificate Bucklow 8a 113) and left her husband, James, a widower with two year old daughter, Hilda Hoskinson and seven month old son James Hoskinson junior.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accoradance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of occicial certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Ada was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Wednesday 24 September 1902 (parish register page 67, entry no. 533, grave register 613 and headstone 3.175). She was James & Ann's fifth child and first daughter to die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A month later, James & Ann's daughter Mary Hoskinson, gave birth to her fifth child, Elsie Hoskinson, on Sunday 19 October 1902 in Salford (Salford 8d 171).

The reference to page 70 and entry number 557 which was later added to Ada's burial entry (see above), related to the untimely death of her infant son, James junior, in November 1902 at the age of nine months (Bucklow 8a 124). He too was buried in St Martin's Churchyard, with his mother on Saturday 29 November 1902 (parish register page 70, entry no. 557, grave register 613 and headstone 3.175).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Granddaughter, Lily Aldred, arrived on Monday 09 February 1903 in Ashton upon Mersey (Bucklow 8a 184). She was the only child of James & Ann's son, William Aldred and his wife Annie, to be born following their marriage. She was also the only addition to the family in 1903.

In March 1904, James & Ann's granddaughter, Hannah Aldred, was born to their son James Aldred and his wife Alice (Bucklow 8a 195). Five months later, on Thursday 18 August 1904, their daughter Elizabeth Hannah Hayman, gave birth to her youngest son, Harold Hayman, in Ashton (Bucklow 8a 182). Ten days later, on Sunday 28 August 1904, five month old granddaughter, Hannah Aldred, died (Bucklow 8a 139). Hannah was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on Tuesday 30 August 1904 (grave register 492 and headstone 3.66). Two months later, James & Hannah's son George Aldred and his wife Mary, had their second and final child, Ruth Aldred, on Wednesday 26 October 1904 in Ashton (Bucklow 8a 174).

A little over a month later, on Monday 05 December 1904, Ada's widower, 34 year old farm labourer James Hoskinson also died, this time in the Withington Workhouse in Didsbury. James too had contracted pulmonary tuberculosis and it would appear he had become too ill to work (certificate Chorlton 8c 475 and workhouse death register).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accoradance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of occicial certificates.
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From James death certificate it would appear that he did not remain in Ashton following the death of his wife, as he was recorded as being from Hulme. As a result it appears that James & Ada's only surviving child, Hilda Hoskinson, was taken in by her grandparents - 66 year old James & 61 year old Ann Aldred. Did James maintain contact with James & Hannah Aldred and his daughter? James Hoskinson's body was retrieved by his brother Robert Hoskinson (workhouse burial register), who also registered his death two days later on Wednesday 07 December. He was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard in Ashton upon Mersey on Friday 09 December 1904 with his wife and infant son (parish register page 75, enry no. 599, grave register entry no. 613 and headstone 3.175). In the space of 28 months, three members of Ada's family, including Ada herself had died and been laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard. Did tuberculosis claim them all? If so, how did Hilda escape?

 

 

 

 

 

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In 1905, three further grandchildren were born in James & Ann's family, unfortunately only one of them survived their infancy. The first to arrive was a sixth child, Emma Hoskinson, for their daughter Mary and her husabnd William who was born in Ashton on Friday 10 March 1905 (Bucklow 8a 177). Seven months later, Jessie Hayman, was born to daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry on Saturday 14 October 1905 (Bucklow 8a 167); unfortunately, two days later she died (certificate Altrincham 8a 126). Jessie was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Wednesday 18 October 1905 (parish register page 77, entry no. 610). The same month, grandson, Arthur Aldred, was born to their son James and his wife Alice (Bucklow 8a 169); unfortunately in January 1906, he too perished; he was just threee months old (Bucklow 8a 132). Arthur was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Tuesday 09 January 1906 (parish register page 78, entry no. 617).

A month later, on Wednesday 06 February 1907, grandson, William Hoskinson, was born in Ashton, to James & Ann's daughter Mary and her husband William (Bucklow 8a 192).

Three months later, James & Ann’s youngest son, Horace Aldred, died on Friday 17 May 1907 at Whitegate Farm on Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of pulmonary & laryngeal phthisis (TB). He was just 22 years old. The following day, James registered the death of their son, recording Horace's occupation as that of a farm labourer and noting that he had been present when Horace died. James signed the register with an 'X', indicating that he was still illiterate (certificate Bucklow 8a 124). Horace's death occurred less than five years after the same disease had claimed the life of their daughter Ada; had Horace contracted phthisis as a result of contact with Ada and if so, how many other members of the family also contracted phthisis?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accoradance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of occicial certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Horace was laid to rest in St Martin’s Churchyard on Monday 20 May 1907 with his sister in law Elizabeth Aldred, the first wife of his eldest brother, John Alfred Aldred (parish register page 82, entry no. 650).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A little under six months later, on Friday 08 November 1907, James & Ann's son James Aldred and his wife Alice, had their ninth and final child, Ada Aldred (Bucklow 8a 181).

On Thursday 07 May 1908, the British Government passed the Old Age Pension Bill granting a weekly payment of five shillings (a little over £150 in today's money) to men and women over the age of 70 who had an annual income of less than £26 (around £16,000 in today's money). The first payments were to be made on 01 January 1909. James would turn 70 later that year, did he have an annual income of less than £26 and so would benefit from this payment in the new year?

Ann's widowed brother in law, Richard Aldcroft, widower of her eldest sister Mary, died in September 1908 aged 66 (Bucklow 8a 128). He was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on Saturday 19 September 1908 (parish register page 85, entry 676, grave register 499 and headstone 3.66). There were no additions to James & Ann's family that year. However, the new year brought Ann's final grandchild, Phillis Hoskinson, on Wednesday 06 January 1909. She was born in Ashton to their daughter Mary and her husband William (Bucklow 8a 180).

Hannah's last granddaughter to be born in her lifetime, Phillis Hoskinson, arrived on 06 January 1909 to daughter Mary & her husband William (Bucklow 8a 180).

On Saturday 17 April 1909, James & Ann's youngest surviving son, Ernest Aldred, married Mary Ellen Potts in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Ernest was a 28 year old station porter and Mary Ellen was the 26 year old daughter of James & Hannah Potts and younger sister of Alice Potts who had married Ernest's elder brother James 19 years earlier. Their marriage was witnessed by James Henry Hayman, Ernest's nephew, although in reality there was only three and a half years between them, and Mary Watson, who appears to be unrelated to either of them (parish register page 96, entry no. 191). Ernest was the last of their children to marry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Seven months later, James & Hannah's eldest grandchild, James Henry Hayman (son of their eldest daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry), married Ethel Kelsall in St Martin's Church on Saturday 20 November 1909 (parish register page 98, entry no. 196). James Henry was 26 years old and his bride was two years younger. Did James & Hannah attend the Church to see their first grandchild married?

King Edward VII died on Friday 06 May 1910 and George V acceded the British throne. Again there was much of the media taken over with the news of his passing, although he had only been on the throne for a little over nine years.

A few weeks later on Wednesday 22 June 1910, James & Hannah's third grandchild and second eldest granddaughter, Mary Elizabeth Aldred (eldest daughter of their son John Alfred and his late wife Elizabeth) married William Ledger in Knutsford Register Office (Bucklow 8a 382). Mary Elizabeth was 22 years old and her husband was two years younger. Did James & Hannah witness her wedding?

The 1911 census was taken on the night of Sunday 02 April 1911. 72 year old domestic gardener, James Aldred appears to have completed and signed his own household schedule, recording his address as Whitegate Farm in Ashton upon Mersey. However, less than four years previously, James was still signing with an 'X' due to his illiteracy, it is therefore highly unlikely that James Aldred actually completed and signed his household schedule; I would guess that it was most likely to have been one of James & Hannah's children who completed and 'forged' James' signature prior to the schedule being collected by the enumerator. With James was 67 year old midwife Hannah and 11 year old granddaughter Hilda Hoskinson who was in school (it is possible that Hilda completed the schedule, although I would not guess that it was a child's handwriting). James and Hannah also had a lodger - 71 year old widower William Gloster. Additionally, James reorded that he and Hannah had been married for 49 years, having had 14 children in that time, of whom eight were still alive (ref RG14PN21566 RG78PN1284 RD445 SD3 ED10 SN33). At what point had Hannah become a local midwife? The laundry business that Hannah had previously worked in appears to have been taken over by her eldest daughter, Elizabeth Hannah Hayman, who was in the neighbouring property, Whitegate Cottage on Carrington Lane.

A couple of months later, James & Hannah's eighth grandchild and fourth granddaughter, Sarah Ellen Buckley (daughter of their son John Alfred and his wife Hannah) married Alfred Turner in the June ¼ of 1911 (Bucklow 8a 435). Sarah Ellen was 19 years old and Alfred was three years older. A short time later, James & Hannah's eldest granddaughter, Nellie Hayman (eldest daughter of their daughter Elizabeth Hannah and her husband John Henry) married her second cousin Fred Hayman in Bucklow register office on Saturday 17 June 1911 (certificate Bucklow 8a 436). Nellie was 23 years old and her husband was a year younger. Did James & Hannah make the journey to Bucklow to witness Nellie's marriage or see Sarah Ellen married?

Soon afterwards, James & Hannah's first great grandchild, William Henry Turner, was born in the September ¼ 1911, to granddaughter Sarah Ellen & her husband Alfred Turner (Bucklow 8a 343).

Hannah Aldred died a couple of months later, on Monday 16 October 1911 from acute vomiting, diarrhoea & exhaustion at Whitegate Farm, Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey. The previous day she had turned 68. Her son John Alfred registered her death the same day, having been present when she died. He gave her occupation as that of the wife of James Aldred, a non domestic gardener and his own address as 5 Lawton Street in Stretford, signing the register ‘J A Aldred’ (certificate Bucklow 8a 240). The fact that Alfred was with her, suggests that her death may not have been unexpected.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

Hannah was outlived by her 73 year old husband, James Aldred; eight of her 14 children - 49 year old John Alfred Aldred; 48 year old Elizabeth Hannah Hayman; 46 year old George Aldred; 44 year old James Aldred; 42 year old William Aldred; 39 year old Mary Hoskinson; 34 year old Lily Wallwork; and 30 year old Ernest Aldred; and four of her siblings - 65 year old James Brownhill; 63 year old Ellen Penny; 58 year old Emma Greaves; and 54 year old Elizabeth Greaves. There had also been 44 grandchildren born in Hannah's lifetime, although only 28 of them were still alive and one great grandson.

Hannah was laid to rest in St Martin’s Churchyard on Thursday 19 October 1911, with her daughter in law Elizabeth Aldred & son Horace Aldred (parish register page 91, entry no. 726 and headstone 6A.21).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two months later, James' second great grandchild, Percy Hayman, was born on Tuesday 19 December 1911 in Ashton upon Mersey to his granddaughter Nellie and her husband Fred Hayman (certificate Bucklow 8a 348).

In April 1912, James' granddaughter, Nora Hoskinson, was born in Ashton to his daughter Mary and her husband William (Bucklow 8a 351). She was their ninth child.

On Sunday 14 April 1912, the unsinkable Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage with the loss of 1513 lives. The sinking was widely reported in the press and James is almost bound to have heard about it. Fortunately, he had no known family on board.

Four months later, Ann's brother in law, Henry Greaves, the husband of her younger sister Emma, died on Saturday 31 August 1912 aged 58 (Bucklow 8a 207). He was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard (headstone 6B.136).

In March 1913, James' youngest grandchild, granddaughter Nora Hoskinson, died in Ashton at the age of 11 months (Bucklow 8a 280). She was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on Wednesday 26 March 1913 (grave register 485). Six months later, James' third great grandson, John Alfred Turner, was born to his granddaughter, Sarah Ellen & her husband Alfred on Thursday 26 September 1912 (Bucklow 8a 324).

James' daughter, Mary Hoskinson, gave birth to another daughter, Dorothy Mabel Hoskinson, in Ashton on Wednesday 13 May 1914 (Bucklow 8a 361).

Less than three months later, on Tuesday 04 August 1914, Britain declared war on Germany, following its invasion of Belguim. It was to be the start of a long and brutal war, later known as World War I. By early 1916, British losses were so great that conscription was introduced, initially calling up all unmarried men between the ages of 18 and 41. Fortunately this did not include any of James' sons, but did include six of his grandsons, although at least two of them had already joined up - 25 year old James Harry Aldred, the eldest son of John Alfred Aldred who signed up on Monday 10 May 1915 and William Renshaw, the eldest son of William Aldred who joined up on Wednesday 15 September 1915. Did 33 year old James Henry Hayman (eldest son of Elizabeth Hannah & John Henry); 25 year old James Harry Aldred (eldest son of James & Alice); and 23 year old Charles Frederick Aldred (second son of James & Alice) also go to war? 20 year old John Alfred Aldred, the youngest son of John Alfred and Hannah Aldred, would not have gone to war due to his disability. James' grandson in law, Fred Hayman, had also signed up on Monday 16 November 1914, just weeks after the birth of his and Nellie's second child, Dorothy Hayman, who had been born on Saturday 17 October 1914 (Bucklow 8a 328).

By May 1916, married men were also called up which would have meant that James' youngest surviving son, Ernest Aldred, also became liable to be conscripted into the British military; it is not known if Ernest did go to war. However, it was at this point that James' grandson in law, William Ledger was conscripted into the British Army when he signed up on Saturday 14 October 1916 (service records), leaving behind his wife Mary Elizabeth and one year old son, William Harold Ledger, who had been born on Sunday 24 January 1915 (Bucklow 8a 306).

James' sixth great grandchild, Doris May Hayman was born in June 1916 to his eldest grandson, James Henry Hayman and his wife Ethel (Bucklow 8a 293).

James' granddaughter, Ada Renshaw / Aldred (daughter of Annie Hayman nee Renshaw and raised (if not the biological father of) by his son William) married Ernest Moore in the December ¼ of 1916 (Bucklow 8a 269). Ada was 21 years old and Ernest was three years older. Did James celebrate with his granddaughter?

In the June ¼ of 1917 James' last grandchild to be born in his lifetime, Sheila B Hoskinson, was born in Ashton upon Mersey to his daughter Mary and her husband William Hoskinson (Bucklow 8a 266). Around the same time, on Friday 25 May 1917, James' seventh great grandchild, George William Moore, was born to his recently married granddaughter Ada Moore and her husband Ernest (Bucklow 8a 241).

Around six months later, James’ son, 50 year old James Aldred junior, died on Sunday 18 November 1917 at Chapel Lane in Ashton upon Mersey; he had been ill with pneumonia and pleursey for ten days. The discovery of pencillin and its use in medicine was still 28 years away, so there would avae been little that could have been done to help James junior. His widow, 48 year old Alice Aldred, registered his death the following day, recording James junior's occupation as that of a railway platelayer (certificate Bucklow 8a 194). His youngest child, Ada Aldred, had just turned ten, in fact James had fallen ill on her birthday. He was the seventh of James senior's children to die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

James junior was laid to rest in grave number 492 in St Martin’s Churchyard in Ashton upon Mersey with four of his infant children on Wednesday 21 November 1917 (grave register entry no. 492).

A little under four months later, James senior died on Tuesday 12 March 1918 from gastro enteritis & cardiac failure at Whitegate Farm, Carrington Lane in Ashton upon Mersey. He was 79 years old. Son Ernest Aldred registered his death on Wednesday 13 March 1918 having been present at his father’s death. He gave James’ occupation as that of a market gardener and gave his own address as 7 Leonards Terrace, Church Lane in Ashton upon Mersey (certificate Bucklow 8a 247); this would possibly indicate that Ernest did not go to war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Certificate reproduced in accordance with the General Register Office approved guidance on the use of certified copies of official certificates.
© Crown copyright.

James was laid to rest in St Martin’s Churchyard in Ashton upon Mersey on Saturday 16 March 1918 with his wife Hannah, daughter in law Elizabeth Aldred & son Horace Aldred (parish register page 6, entry no. 41 and headstone 6A.21).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image/article reproduced with kind permission Findmypast.
Images © images reproduced by courtesy of the Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service, Chester, England

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The gravestone for James & Hannah Aldred, Horace Aldred and John Alfred & Elizabeth Aldred in St Martin's Churchyard in Ashton upon Mersey. Photograph taken 25 August 2015.

James had outlived his wife Hannah by just under six and a half years; he was survived by only seven of his 14 children - 56 year old John Alfred Aldred; 54 year old Elizabeth Hannah Hayman; 53 year old George Aldred; 49 year old William Aldred; 46 year old Mary Hoskinson; 40 year old Lily Wallwork; and 37 year old Ernest Aldred - but was the last of his siblings to die. During his lifetime 47 grandchildren had been born but only 30 were still alive, although all of his children who had married, apart from youngest son Ernest, had surviving children. A further generation of seven great grandchildren had been born in James' lifetime to continue his and Hannah's legacy, all of whom were still living when James' died.

Their son Ernest would also go on to have children, but not with his wife Mary Ellen as by 1921, Ernest and Mary Ellen's marriage was in trouble. Was it in trouble before James died or did he go to his grave unaware of the difficulties in his youngest son's marriage?

Likewise, The Great War was still raging and at least two of James' grandsons and at least two of his grandson's in law, were still fighting for their King and Country; James died not having seen their safe return. How had he felt about the war?

Some time after Jame's death, a headstone was placed on the family grave. The inscription reads:

In
Loving Memory
Of
James Aldred
who died March 12th 1918.
Aged 79 years.
Also Hannah. wife of the above
who died October 16th 1911.
Aged 66 years.
Also Horace. Son of the above
who died May 17th 1907.
Aged 22 years.
"Until the day dawns"
Also John Alfred. Son of the above
who died June 24th 1930
Aged 68 years
Also Elizabeth, wife of John Alfred.
Who died January 19th 1890.
Aged 26 years.

 

 

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