The earliest information I have is of James
Harrop, born in Dinting in the Parish of Glossop,
Derbyshire. He married Mary, but unfortunately, there
were three James Harrops who married Marys about this
time. There was Mary RIDGWAY in June 1814 at Glossop;
Mary DEWSNAP in November 1822, also at Glossop and Mary
OGDEN in in January 1825 at Mottram.
According to the 1851 Census, Mary gave
Hollingworth as her place of birth which would make Mary
Ogden the most likely candidate, but according to the
IGI, she was baptised in 1799, five years later than expected
from her given age. Both Mary Dewsnap and Mary Ridgway
were baptised in 1794, the latter at Mottram and the former
at an independent church in Tintwistle. Given that their
eldest child appears to be Joseph
born in 1818, the only marriage that really fits is that
of James and Mary
Ridgway, daughter of John
Ridgway and Hannah
Their youngest son, Samuel
Harrop was baptised on 18 May, 1828. He married Martha
Booth in 1852 in Glossop. She was the daughter of
John Booth and Lydia
Turner and had been born in Jackson
Bridge in the Holmfirth area of Yorkshire. Although
she was living there at the time of the 1841
Census, she had moved by 1851, the year before they
married. They had five children they were living on Mossley
Road, Ashton-under-Lyne, by the time of the 1881
Census. Samuel and Martha's son, George
Henry Booth Harrop was born in 1858 at Hill Top, Dinting,
Glossop, Derbyshire. (There is more about the Booths here)
Samuel died suddenly in
1900 and even though he was 70, there was an inquest held.
He was still working and had enjoyed relatively good health,
apart from being treated for rheumatism two years previously.
He had suffered from dizziness and head pains for some
time following a fall from which he had apparently recovered.
However, he died seated in the water closet of natural
causes, probably from sudden heart failure. (See the inquest
report here) Martha
died in October 1909 and both are buried at Christ Church,
living in Audenshaw when he married Hannah
Thorpe at St Stephen's Church in 1878. She was born
in 1857 in Bootle, Lancashire, the daughter of Ben
Thorpe, a journeyman stonemason, and Sarah
Turner. Everton View, her birthplace, still exists
today and is close to the docks. There is more information
on the Thorpes here.
I have been unable to locate George's
family on the 1881 Census, although their entry for 1891
gives George's eldest daughter's birth place as Tintwistle
in 1880, while three other children were born in Mottram.
Spoken family history has it that George,
who was a joiner, worked with his brother in an undertaker's
business in Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne, but that he could
never get used to washing down the corpses. So he left
the business and returned to the Mottram area.
This is at least partly correct. It seems that Samuel
Harrop established a business manufacturing venetian
blinds, presumably an extension of his joinery skills.
At least that was the name of the business according to
the trade directories which extended into undertaking
and continued under Samuel's
name into the 20th century under his son, John,
later joined by his widow at 123 Old Street and 40 Booth
Street, Ashton. There is more information under John's
My dad also has a story that George
had a leg amputated on the kitchen table. This is borne
out by the report of
his death that refers to the amputation.
was born in 1896 at 31 New Street in Mottram, Cheshire.
She married James Rhodes
at St Michael's Church and moved with him, first to Hyde
and later to Dukinfield, both in Cheshire.
George Henry Booth Harrop's Children
Martha Ann Harrop
Martha married Dennis
William Downs in 1906 at St Michael's, Mottram. He
was originally from Fairfield, Droylsden and in 1891
he lived with his exotically named step-father, Alphonso
Austin who is mother, Agnes, married in 1886. The
couple lived in Broadbottom and had two daughters, Winifred
and Neta. Martha
and Dennis died in Hyde
in 1963 and 1955 respectively.
It is understood that Frank
served with the Cheshire Regiment in WWI. There were at
least two men of that name in the medal records, but neither
can be verified as many of the records have since been
lost. He married Clara Birchall
in 1907 at St Mary's in Newton where the couple were living
in 1911 with his in-laws.
They had one daughter, Jessie,
who married Harold Robinson
Sarah married Walter
Cotterill in 1920 at St Michael's, Mottram, at the
age of 36. She died two years later in Mottram.
Arthur is also thought to
have served in WWI, but again there are no surviving records
to support this. He married Alice
Marshall in 1910 at St Michael's. She was originally
near Winsford, Cheshire, and was living in Mottram because
her father, George,
was the local police sergeant. They had one daughter,
Norah, who married Norman
Malpas in 1952 when in her forties.
Mary Ann and Samuel Harrop
I haven't yet been able to trace Mary
Ann beyond 1901 other than a possible marriage to
Francis Standring. Samuel
died aged five weeks in 1889 and is buried with other
infants at Mottram Cemetery. (K1125)
Again there is no definitive record of service in WWI.
As far as I'm aware, Harold did not marry and died in
Mossley in 1950.
George Henry Booth Harrop's Brothers
The eldest son was Joseph
born 1852 at Dinting, Hadfield, Glossop, but the detail
here comes with something of a health warning, but more
of that later. Joseph does
not appear on a census return with his parents as in 1861
he was living with his widower grandfather, John
Booth, at Queen
Street, Ashton, along with his sister, Mary
There is no sign of him in 1871, but he reappears in 1881
Walmsley Street, Dukinfield with his wife Betsy and
family living with his widowed mother-in-law, Alice Woodhouse.
In fact, Alice had been married twice and her daughter's
father was David Shaw born at Lane End, Cheshire.
At that time, Joseph was
described as a 'railway servant' and it was his railway
career that led him to different parts of the area. By
1891 he was a locomotive fireman living in Openshaw and
in 1901 he was a fully-fledged engine driver and living
in Glossop. He and Betsy
had nine children and of these I have traced Samuel
and David and their wives
in 1901 census living in Droylsden and Openshaw respectively.
Daughter Ellen gave birth to an illegitimate son, Fred,
in 1900. She died shortly afterwards and he was left to
be raised by his grandparents. Fred
married Florence Jarman in
1923 and they had two children, Irene and Leslie.
The health warning mentioned above is because I cannot
be 100% sure that this Joseph
is the son of Samuel and
Martha. As yet I have to
find a marriage record to confirm it and what I have is
circumstantial. Obviously there is his age and place of
birth, also that he cites Oldham in the 1891 census where
his family had lived around that time. Also the names
given to his two eldest sons apparently named after the
couple's respective fathers, but as I said, nothing absolutely
Mary Ann Harrop
Unlike Samuel's other children,
Mary Ann was born in Oldham
early in 1855, rather than in Hadfield. She and her brother,
Joseph, were living with their grandfather in 1861 as
noted above. By 1891 she had married Daniel
Williams who was originally from Towednack,
a village near St Ives in Cornwall, but had travelled
north sometime in the early 1870s as the couple married
at St John the Apostle, Godley, Hyde, in 1874, although
this needs confirmation.
There is something of a mystery about Mary
Ann's eldest son, Ernest.
In 1881 he was living with his grandparents in Ashton
aged five when he was listed as Earnest W Harrop and I
had assumed that he was Mary
Ann's illegitimate child, but if the marriage date
is correct, that seems a false assumption. Perhaps it
was misunderstanding and the initial W was thought to
be William instead of Williams.
In any event, Ernest
was living with his father in Glossop in 1891. Mary
Ann had died in 1885 and Daniel
had remarried in 1887 to Sarah
Jane Potts. Daniel
died himself in 1892, leaving Sarah
to raise his three children by Mary
Ann — Ernest,
Ann Alice and Beatrice.
Ernest married Emma
Smith in 1901 and the couple was last seen in 1911 in
Broughton, Salford where Ernest
was a house painter like his father.
John is the source of the undertaker
story mentioned above. He was born in Hadfield in 1862
and followed his father's profession as a cabinet maker
according to the 1881 census. The report
on his funeral in 1922 says that he came to Ashton
from Hadfield at the age of seven and that he was apprenticed
to Mr Woodcock, cabinet-maker of Stamford-street. Also
that he entered the undertaking business around 1883 and
that he was a member of the Foresters'
He married Ellen Bruce at St
Michael and All Angels, Ashton, in 1886, daughter of Thomas
who originally came from Scotland. By 1901 the family
were at 123
Old Street, Ashton, (his parents lived there in 1891)
where they were to remain until at least 1913. John
made the natural progression from cabinet maker to become
a maker of venetian blinds. However, by 1901 he described
himself as an undertaker, but reverted to venetian blinds
by 1911. However, from entries in the local trade directories,
it seems he combined both trades in a business apparently
established by Samuel. (See
His daughter, Clara, married
Ernest Dewsnap, at St Michael's,
Mottram, in 1913 when she referred to her father as an
undertaker. She died in 1936 and Ernest
survived her by almost thirty years, dying in October
1965. Both are buried in the same grave in the Ashton
section of Dukinfield Cemetery. They had two daughters,
Mildred and Irene,
and both married at St Michael's.
Thomas married Beatrice,
daughter of Harry Hall and Annie Platt, and they were
listed among the mourners at his father's funeral in 1922.
His mother took over the running of the business and 'Mr
T Harrop, Old-street, Ashton' was responsible for her
funeral arrangements in 1935. Thomas
lived at 123 Old Street until at least 1961 and died in
Ashton in 1968 aged 77.
The youngest of the siblings was Arthur
born in 1864 in Hadfield. In 1881 he was working as a
bookbinder when he was sixteen, but this mustn't have
worked out as in 1891 he was a light porter when he was
living at 123
Old Street with his parents.
He married Mary Ann Cooper
by civil marriage in 1896. She had been born in Ashton,
but her family were originally from Chester. By 1901,
Arthur was a 'street cleaner
for the corporation' and living at Wych
Street, Ashton, with George
who I believe was their only child. Arthur
died in 1909 aged 44.
George Henry Booth Harrop's Aunts and Uncles
Returning to Samuel's
older brother James, he stayed
in Hadfield working in the cotton industry. He married
Alice Heathcote of Saddleworth
in 1845 and by the time of the 1871 census, the couple
had returned to Hill Top where James farmed 5½
acres. James died there in
1881, as did Alice in 1891.
At that time, the head of the household was James
Harrop, the youngest son, although it was his sister,
Mary Ann, who was described
as the farmer. James had added
the letter H to his name for Heathcote, presumably in
memory of his mother, at least there is no sign of it
prior to this and it was a name that was to recur a generation
later. Also living with James
and Mary were their 'sister'
Sarah and nephew Morville,
but more of them later.
Wood Baptist College
James took up
the reins of the farm and married Isabella
Ellen Cator in 1892. She was originally from Stibbington
in Huntingdonshire, now Peterborough. She was the daughter
of George Cator from Norfolk who was a gamekeeper. Just
prior to their wedding in the Rotherham district, she
had been a laundress at Cragg
Wood Baptist College in Rawdon, Leeds.
By 1901, James had been joined
on the farm by his enfeebled mother-in-law, Betty Cator,
and her son, George. Also at Hill Top were the older of
James' three children, Norman
and Alice. I have no record
of the family beyond 1911, other than possible marriages,
and more research is needed.
Back to Sarah Ellen Harrop.
The censuses up to 1881 consistently refer to her as the
youngest daughter of James
and Alice and in 1891, the
younger James says that she
is his sister, and he may well have believed that given
that he was only five when she was born.
The reality only becomes clear at the 1891 census when
Sarah was living at Marlow
Street, Glossop when Mary
Ann acknowledges her as her daughter. Sarah
married Herbert Jackson of
Mottram in 1901. He was almost ten years her junior and
a fireman with the Great
Central Railway. By 1911, Sarah
was a music teacher and she and Herbert
had a daughter, Alice
Heathcote Jackson, commemorating her great-grandmother.
Of Samuel's other nephews
and nieces, Martha married
cotton spinner John William Rose
and the couple had four children, although the youngest,
Fred, died in infancy.
Martha herself died in 1891
at the age of 37 and John
remarried to Emily Bradley
shortly afterwards and the couple moved to Minto
Martha's brothers, Samuel
and Alfred, had moved to
Liverpool by the time of the 1881. Both were insurance
agents and lived nextdoor to each other at Sutherland
Street, West Derby. Each had married, Samuel
to Sarah Eyre, who was also
originally from Glossop, and Alfred
to Eliza Birkinshaw who had
been born at Greenside, Yorkshire.
stay in Liverpool and died back in Glossop in 1889 at
the age of 31. Alfred remained
in Liverpool in the same line of work. He and Eliza
had a son in 1881, James Alfred
Harrop, but Eliza died
a few years later in 1884. Alfred
remarried in 1886 to Emily
Lee at the Wirral by civil ceremony. They remained
Nuttall Street, just off Wavertree Road. James
married Emily Hampson in early1910 at Fairfield Chapel,
Road, and they had at least one son, Leslie
Alfred George Harrop, later the same year.
Harrop's medal card
daughter, Ruth, was born in
1859. Sadly she died unmarried in 1890 at the age of thirty,
however, she had an illegitimate son, Morville,
born at the home of her brother Alfred in Liverpool in
1882. He is the Morville Harrop
mentioned above living with his uncle James
in 1891. I haven't traced him in 1901, but by 1911 he
was in Normanton, Derbyshire, married to Mary
Eliza Keeling Bonshor. There is some confusion as
to whether she was a Keeling or a Bonshor as the earlier
censuses returns are confusing.
Morville continued with
his uncles' occupation as an insurance agent. It also
seems that he served in WWI with the Royal Engineers as
his medal card (right) suggests, at least I cannot imagine
that there were two men by the name of Morville
James' youngest child was
James Heathcote Harrop described
above who completed the circle by farming Hill Top into
the 20th century.
Samuel's sister, Hannah,
married Anyon Walsh at St
Michael and All Angels, Ashton, in 1847. Anyon
was originally from Over Darwen,
near Blackburn in Lancashire, although I haven't yet found
reference to him in the 1841 census. The couple lived
in Hadfield, Derbyshire, throughout the rest of their
lives, Anyon working in the
cotton industry, and had five children.
Mary Walsh married
James Swindells of
Hadfield and they had two daughters, Ethel
I know little more about the family other than they were
last of heard of in 1891 at 18
Sarah Butterworth Street, Castleton, Rochdale.
James Walsh married
Sarah Ellen Dearnaley
in 1873 at Godley St John, although they continued to
live in Hadfield. Of their five children, Herbert
married Matilda Nelson,
originally of Rawtenstall, in 1906. His brother Albert
had been born in Hollingworth and married Martha
Ellen Poole in 1904. Elizabeth Hannah
Walsh married Fred
Baker Roberts in 1909 while the youngest, James
Walsh, was living with his widowed mother in 1911.
Emma Walsh married
Enoch Cowdell of Hollingworth
in 1887 at Godley St John. As far as I'm aware, the had
one son, Albert, who married Fanny Elliott in 1912.
Finally, John Walsh
married Peggy Harrison
Nuttall which connects two branches of my family.
Peggy was the
daughter of John Nuttall
and Fanny Goddard
and granddaughter of my gggg-grandfather, Miles Goddard,
making Peggy and
John my first
cousins, the former four times removed and the latter
three times. As far as I'm aware, the had only one child,
James Walsh, born
in 1885. Strangely, he did not live with his parents,
at least not at census time, They were found in Salford
in 1901, while James lived with his grandparents in 1891
and 1901 before he died in 1903.
Little is known about John.
He married Elizabeth Wyld
in 1847 at Glossop. As far as I am aware, they remained
childless and were last seen living at Market Avenue,
Ashton, in 1861.
The sibling I know least about is Joseph
other than an apparent baptism and I can only assume that
he died in infancy.