thomas and ann oakes aka alcock

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Thomas Oaks was born in late 1801 or early 1802 in Ashton upon Mersey to John & Alice Oaks nee Hamnett. He was their ninth child and fourth son, joining elder siblings - James Alcock who was 19; William Oaks who was 17; Ellen Oaks who was 14; Mary Oaks who was 12; Martha Oaks who was nine; Betty Oaks who was six; and John Oaks who was four. There had also been another sister - Eliabeth Oaks who had died as an infant in February 1799. Note that Thomas' eldest brother had been baptised as an Alcock and not an Oaks.

This was the first indication that this family used more than one surname as earlier in 1782, John senior had married Alice Hamnett as John Oaks; in fact the baptism of their first son, James, as an Alcock was out of sync with the wider family, who had started to use the surname of Oaks around the middle of the 1770's with the first recorded use of the Oakes surname in the family being the burial of John's grandfather, Robert, who was recorded as 'Robert Oakes otherwise Alcock of Ashton' on 12 February 1773.

Thomas Oaks was baptised in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey on 14 February 1802 (parish register).

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Thomas' first younger sibling, Samuel Oaks, was born on 25 September 1804 in Ashton upon Mersey. He was baptised on 21 October 1804 in St Martin's Church (parish register); Samuel was just under four weeks old. Thomas was two years old.

On 06 April 1807, Thomas' younger sister, Alice Oaks, was born in Ashton upon Mersey. She was baptised in St Martin's Church on 03 May 1807 (parish register), Alice was also just under four weeks old. Thomas was five years old.

Thomas's youngest sibling, Sarah Oaks, was born on 17 June 1811 in Ashton upon Mersey. She was baptised on 21 July 1811 in St Martin's Church (parish register); Sarah was just under five weeks old. Thomas was nine years old.

If the age of Thomas' younger siblings when they were baptised is indicative of the age of all of John & Alice's children at baptism, then Thomas would have been born between 10 and 17 January 1802.

Around the middle of the 1810's and consistently from 1817, the wider family, including all of John & Alice's children, reverted to using the surname of Alcock. Why?

Accordingly, four years later, Thomas' elder brother, John Alcock, married Mary Woodall in Ashton upon Mersey on 06 May 1821 (parish register). John was 23 years old.

Thomas' mother, Alice Alcock, died on 27 August 1829 in Ashton upon Mersey. She was 64 years old and was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 30 August 1829 (parish register). Thomas was 27 years old.

A few months later in December 1829, Thomas' eldest brother, James Alcock, died in Ashton upon Mersey at the age of 48. At the moment, I do not know if he was married with a family or still single. James was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 06 December 1829 (parish register).

A little under two years later, on 21 September 1831, Thomas' elder brother, John Alcock, died in Ashton upon Mersey at the age of 33. He left his wife, Mary, widowed with six children ranging in age from Thomas aged 10 to six month old Ellen. John was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on 24 September 1831 (parish register). Thomas was 29 years old.

Thomas' youngest brother, Samuel Oaks, married Hannah Marsland on 17 June 1832 in Bowdon Parish Church. Samuel was a 27 year old agricultural labourer and Hannah was the 22 year daughter of Edward & Martha Marsland of Sale (parish register). Why did Samuel marry as an Oaks, when this surname had not been used by the entire family for 17 years?

Thomas' father, John Alcock, died on 21 March 1836 in Ashton upon Mersey. He was 75 years old and was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 24 March 1836 (parish register). He was recorded in the surname in which he had been baptised. Why had he and his wider family started to use the surname of Oakes back in the mid 1770's? Thomas was 34 years old.

 

Ann Darbyshire was born on 10 May 1806 in Ashton upon Mersey to James & Sarah Darbyshire nee Hamnett. She was their first child.

A little under a month later, on 08 June 1806, Ann was baptised in St Martin's Church in Ashton (parish register).

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On 17 March 1808, Ann's first sibling, Mary Darbyshire was born in Ashton upon Mersey; she was baptised in St Martin's Church on 10 April 1808 (parish register); Mary was just under four weeks old. Ann was 23 months old.

19 months later, on 19 October 1809, Ann's second sibling, Martha Darbyshire was born in Ashton upon Mersey. She was baptised on 03 December 1809 in St Martin's Church (parish register); Martha was just under seven weeks old. Ann was three and a half years old.

Around the end of 1810 or the very beginning of 1811, Ann's first brother, John Darbyshire, was born in Ashton upon Mersey. He was baptised in St Martin's Church on 03 February 1811 (parish register). Ann was a little under five years old.

In 1813, Ann's fourth sibling, Elizabeth Darbyshire, was born in Ashton upon Mersey; she was baptised on 23 May 1813 in St Martin's Church (parish register). Ann had just turned seven.

Ann's fifth sibling and fourth sister, Lucy Darbyshire, was born in 1815 in Ashton upon Mersey; on 11 June 1815, she was baptised in St Martin's Church (parish register). Ann was nine years old.

In 1818, Ann's second brother, James Darbyshire, was born in Ashton upon Mersey; he was baptised on 02 August 1818 in St Martin's Church (parish register). Ann was 12 years old.

Ann's seventh sibling and third brother, William Darbyshire, was born in 1821 in Ashton upon Mersey; he was baptised in St Martin's Church on 05 August 1821 (parish register). Ann was 15 years old.

Sarah Darbyshire, Ann's sixth sister, was born in Ashton upon Mersey in 1823; she was baptised on 03 August 1823 in St Martin's Church (parish register). Ann was 17 years old.

In 1829, Ann's youngest sister, Eliza Darbyshire, was born in Ashton upon Mersey; she was baptised on 18 October 1829 in St Martin's Church (parish register). Ann was 23 years old.

Sometime in early 1830, Ann gave birth to her first child, a daughter that she named Betty. Ann was 23 years old and unmarried. It is not known who the father of her daughter was.

Ann had Betty baptised on 04 April 1830 in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey; she was simply recorded as a spinster living in Ashton (parish register).

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On 28 August 1831, Ann's younger sister, Martha Darbyshire, married Joseph Royle in St John's Church in Manchester (parish register). Martha was 21 years old.

Ann's fourth brother, Samuel Darbyshire, was born in 1832 in Ashton upon Mersey; he was baptised in St Martin's Church on 22 July 1832 (parish register). Ann was 26 years old.

On 18 May 1834, Ann's eldest brother, John Darbyshire, married Ellen Aldred in Bowdon Parish Church. John was a 23 year old weaver and Ellen was the 28 year old daughter of John & Hannah Aldred of Ashton upon Mersey (parish register).

In 1834, Ann's youngest and eleventh sibling, George Darbyshire, was born in Ashton upon Mersey; he was baptised on 15 June 1834 in St Martin's Church (parish register). Ann was 28 years old.

Ann's younger sister, Elizabeth Darbyshire died in June 1835 at the age of 22. She was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 19 June 1835 (parish register). Ann was 29 years old.

On 11 September 1837, Ann witnessed the marriage of her younger sister, Lucy Darbyshire, to Thomas Wallis in the Collegiate Church in Manchester. Lucy was 22 years old and Thomas, a brick maker, was the same age. Their marriage was one of 23 celebrated in the Church that day.

The following day, on 12 September 1837, a further eight marriages took place in the Collegiate Church in Manchester, one of which was that of Thomas Allcock and Ann Darbyshire. Thomas was a 35 year old labourer and Ann was 31 years old. Both had left marrying until later than was the norm for their era; why? Their marriage was witnessed by Ann's sister Lucy and her new husband Thomas Wallace who had married the day before. Note that Lucy's name was recorded in her maiden name? Only Ann was apparently sufficiently literate to sign her own name in the register (parish register). Why had Thomas married in the name of Allcock, like his elder brother John? Note that despite Thomas' father having died the previous year, he was not recorded as deceased.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Despite both of their mothers sharing the same maiden name of Hamnett, I have yet to find a connection between them as the Hamnett family was an extensive family in and around Ashton and Bowdon.

On 19 August 1838, Thomas & Ann's first child, daughter Alice Allcock, was born in Ashton upon Mersey. Ann registered the birth of their daughter a month later, on 19 September 1838, recording Thomas' occupation as that of a labourer and confirming her own maiden name as Darbyshire. Curiously Ann signed the register with an 'X' suggesting that she was actually illiterate (certificate). Ann was 32 years old.

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Thomas & Ann had their seven week old daughter, Alice Alcock, baptised in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey on 30 September 1838. Thomas was again recorded as a labourer (parish register).

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In July 1839, Ann's younger sister, Martha Royle, died in Cheetham at the age of 29. She left her husband, Joseph Royle, widowed with two young sons - John Royle and infant Joseph Royle. Martha was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 30 July 1839 (parish register).

On 30 December 1839, Ann's younger brother, James Darbyshire, married Jane Pollit in Bowdon Parish Church. James was a 21 year old labourer and Jane was the 21 year old daughter of labourer John Pollit of Partington (parish register).

The 1841 census was taken on the night of 06 June 1841 and recorded 40 year old, agricultural labourer, Thomas Allcock as living in Ashton upon Mersey with 35 year old Ann Allcock. With them were 12 year old Betty Allcock and two year old Alice Allcock. Sharing with them was Thomas's younger sister, 30 year old charwoman Alice Allcock, and her two sons, 12 year old William Allcock and four year old John Allcock. Note that Ann's daughter, Betty Darbyshire, was also recorded as an Allcock, although it is almost certain that Thomas was not her father (ref HO107/91/2/9/12). The entire, traceable wider family were also still using the surname of Allcock, including Thomas' younger brother Samuel, who nine years earlier had temporarily slipped into using the surname of Oaks for his marriage.

Thomas & Ann's second child was a son that they named Thomas Alcock; he was born towards the end of 1841 but his birth does not appear to have been registered. Why?

On 07 November 1841, Thomas & Ann had their son baptised in St Martin's Church in Ashton upon Mersey. Thomas again recorded as a labourer (parish register). If Thomas junior was much the same age as his elder sister when he was baptised he would have been born around the end of September. Ann was 35 years old.

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Two and a half years later, Thomas & Ann had a third son, James Alcock, who was born at the very beginning of June 1844 (Altrincham 19 10). Unfortunately, James was never baptised as just three weeks later he died as a result of emaciation, suggesting that either he wasn't able to feed properly or Ann was too ill-nourished herself to feed him properly (certificate).

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He was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 25 June 1844 (parish register). On the day he was buried, James' grandmother, Sarah Darbyshire, registered his death revealing that she had been been present when James died and that she was still illiterate (certificate).

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Thomas' elder spinster sister, Mary Alcock, died in September 1849 at the age of 60; she was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 25 September 1849 (parish register). Thomas was 47 years old.

Ann's younger sister, Eliza Darbyshire, married John Robinson in late October / early November 1850. However the marriage did not take place in St Martin's in Ashton upon Mersey (Altrincham 19 15) nor Bowdon, despite the banns being published in Bowdon (parish register). Eliza was 21 years old and John, a carter, was four years older.

Around 1851, various members of the extended family reverted to using the surname of Oakes; the first to do so in the Ashton registers was James Oakes, Thomas' nephew, son of Thomas' late elder brother John and his wife Mary, who appeared in the Ashton registers on 06 June 1851 as James Oaks of Sale (although he had also married as an Oakes in three years earlier in 1848 in Manchester). As a result, some of the family appeared in the next census as Oakes and some as Alcock. Why had the family started to use the Oakes surname again?

The 1851 census was taken on the night of 30 March 1851 and recorded 48 year old, bricklayer's labourer, Thomas Oakes as living at Finger Post in Ashton upon Mersey with 46 year old Ann Oakes. With them were their two children - 12 year old scholar Alice Oakes and nine year old scholar Thomas Oakes - and Thomas' younger sister, 42 year old, labourer, Alice Oakes and her son 14 year old John Oakes (ref HO107/2162/269/20). Finger Post is believed to have been a group of cottages on Harboro Road. Ann's eldest daughter, 22 year old Betty Darbyshire, was working as a female servant for farmer Richard Newton at Ackers Farm in Carrington.

Towards the end of 1853, Ann's eldest daughter, Betty Darbyshire, gave birth to a daughter of her own whom she named Ann Darbyshire, presumably in favour of her mother Ann. Ann junior, was baptised in St Martin's Church on 01 January 1854, when 23 year old Betty was recorded as spinster, Elizabeth Darbyshire of Ashton (parish register). It is not known who the father of Betty's daughter was.

Just under 18 months later, Ann's eldest daughter, Betty Darbyshire, married John Jepson in Manchester Cathedral on 27 May 1855. 23 year old Betty was again recorded as Elizabeth and John was the 25 year old labourer son of John & Ann Jepson of Sale. Both John & Betty were recorded as living in Silver Street in Hulme, but I suspect that this was at best a temporary address to allow them to be married in the Cathedral. Their marriage was one of 30 conducted that day in the Cathedral and was witnessed by William Moore and Ellen Jepson, John's younger sister; all signed the register with 'X's' indicating that they were all illiterate (parish register).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By 1854, the entire wider family appear to have reverted to using the surname of Oakes, a trend which continues to the end of the available Ashton parish registers in 1910; during those 56 years, there are only three exceptions across the entire family.

Ann's mother, Sarah Darbyshire, died on 24 April 1856 in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of general debility from which she had suffered for three years (certificate Altrincham 8a 114); she was 68 years old and was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 27 April 1856 (parish register). Ann was 49 years old.

In June 1860, Ann's younger sister, Eliza Robinson, died at the age of 30 in Ashton upon Mersey. She left her husband John Robinson widowed with two young children - nine year old Elizabeth and four year old John. Eliza was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 06 June 1860 (parish register).

On 16 September 1860, Thomas & Ann's daughter, Alice Oakes, married Samuel Hayman in Manchester Cathedral. As with Ann's eldest daughter's marriage in the Cathedral, their marriage was a mass wedding with them being one of 20 couples married that day. Alice was 22 years old and Samuel was the 24 year old son of John & Mary Hayman from Ashton upon Mersey. Both gave addresses in Pine Street in Hulme, but I suspect that they never truely lived there as 9 Pine Street was Samuel's brother James' home; and 14 Pine street was the home of John & Mary Dunn nee Sherlock, sister in law of Samuel's elder brother James Hayman; it is more likely that the addresses were simply used to satisfy the residency requirement for marriage in the Cathedral. Their marriage was witnessed by Samuel's elder brother James and his wife Ann. Only Samuel was able to sign his name in the register. Thomas Oakes was recorded as a labourer (parish register). Note that despite Samuel signing his name as Hayman, his surname was written into the register as Hamer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The 1861 census was taken on the night of 07 April 1861 and recorded 58 year old labourer, Thomas Oakes living at Lane End in Ashton upon Mersey with 54 year old Ann Oakes. Also with them was their unmarried son, 19 year old agricultural labourer Thomas Oakes and their married daugther, 22 year old Alice Hayman and her husband and infant son (ref RG09/2590/48/22). By the time of this census, the whole of the traceable wider family had also reverted to using the surname of Oakes, with the exception of Thomas' widowed sister in law, Mary Alcock and her illegitimate daughter Hannah. Why?

Ann's father, 78 year old James Darbyshire, died on 28 January 1862 in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of debility of age (certificate Altrincham 8a 138). Ann registered the death of her father the following day when she recorded his occupation as that of a hand loom weaver and revealed that she had been present when her father died.

He was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 31 January 1862 (parish register). Ann was 55 years old.

Thomas's youngest brother, Samuel Oakes, died in August 1870 in Ashton upon Mersey. He was 65 years old and was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 10 August 1870 (parish register). Thomas was 68 years old.

A few months later on 10 November 1870, Thomas' sister in law, Mary Alcock, widow of his elder brother John, died in Ashton upon Mersey. She was 73 years old and was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 15 November 1870 (parish register). Why had Mary continued to use the Alcock surname, when this surname had not been used by the wider the family for 26 years? Although in fairness to Mary, it was the surname that she had acquired on her marriage 49 years earlier.

The 1871 census was taken on the night of 02 April 1871 and recorded 69 year old farm labourer, Thomas Oakes at Buck Lane in Ashton upon Mersey with 64 year old Ann Oakes. Also with them was their unmarried son, 29 year old farm labourer, Thomas Oakes (ref RG10/3683/69/5). Close by was Thomas' widowed sister in law Hannah Oakes, widow of his younger brother Samuel, and her son John Oakes, both of whom were then also using the surname of Oakes opposed to Alcock.

Thomas Oakes died on 15 May 1879 in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of senile degeneration of his arteries which for the last three months had caused the mortification (gangrene) of his feet. He was 77 years old. The following day, on 16 May, Ann registered the death of her husband, recording his occupation as that of a bricklayer's labourer and the fact that she had been with Thomas when he died. Thomas' death was also certified by W Alf Renshaw MRCS, indicating that he had been attended by a doctor (certificate).

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Thomas was survived by his wife of 41 years, 73 year old Ann, two of his three children - 40 year old Alice Hayman and 37 year old Thomas Oakes; and his youngest sister, 72 year old Alice Oakes.

Thomas was buried in St Martin's Churchyard on 17 May 1879 (parish register).

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The 1881 census was taken on the night of 03 April 1881 and recorded widowed 75 year old Ann Oakes living at Buck Lane in Ashton upon Mersey with her unmarried son, 39 year old agricultural labourer, Thomas Oakes. Ann had been recorded as 'past work' although this record of her occupation had been scored through (ref RG11/3504/120/23).

Five days later, Ann Allcock died on 08 April 1881 in Ashton upon Mersey as a result of mitral heart disease, from which she had suffered for the last three months. The following day, her only son Thomas Allcock alias Oakes regsitered her death, recording her occupation as simply the widow of Thomas Allcock, a bricklayer's labourer; that he had been in attendance when his mother had died; and that her death was certified by C J Renshaw MD, indicating that she had been seen by a doctor (certificate). Why had Thomas junior reverted to using the name of Allcock, when five days earlier he and his mother had been recorded as Oakes? Equally, the surname of Allcock had not been used in the wider family for 29 years? Had Thomas junior, had to provide details of his parents marriage from 1837, when the surname of Allcock was being used by the family?

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Ann was laid to rest in St Martin's Churchyard on 12 April 1881 (parish register).

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Ann had outlived her husband, Thomas Oakes, by a little under two years. She was survived by two of her four children - Alice Hayman and Thomas Allcock alias Oakes; and at least two of her 11 siblings - 70 year old John Darbyshire and 48 year old Samuel Darbyshire.

On 05 May 1881, administration of Ann's estate was granted to her two surviving children, Thomas Allcock of Buck Lane and Alice Hayman of Harboro Road in Ashton upon Mersey. The wording of this administration is the final proof of the alias used by this family, as Alice married as an Oakes yet was named as the daughter of Ann Allcock.

Why this family used two apparently unrelated surnames is currently unknown and I suspect will remain so, as other than the various occasions when the alias was actually recorded in the Ashton regsiters, there appears to be no legal documentation to explain its existence.

Equally why the alias was used across the entire wider family, which consisted of at least 22 individual families, and changed across the entire wider family at much the same time is unknown and probably will remain so!

 

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