No father is given for Mary
on her birth certificate dated 28
August 1860, about three weeks after her birth on 9 August.
However, when she married John
in 1884, her marriage certificate gave
the name of Thomas Stanley (deceased), occupation Minder,
as her father. By this time, her mother, Elizabeth
had married Jonathan Walker
and had bore him a son of the same name. So the question
is; did Thomas Stanley exist or not?
I originally worked on the theory
the child was illegitimate, but that a father was 'invented'
in the intervening years and that Mary gave this information
when she married believing it to be true. There are certainly
other examples in my research of illegitimate children giving
a father's name when they married. However, when I finally
tracked down Elizabeth's marriage to Jonathan in 1866 at
St John the Evangelist Church in Hurst, Ashton-under-Lyne,
she is described as a 38 year old widow, daughter of Thomas
HILAND. On checking The 1871
Census, I found this Thomas
in Ashton with his wife, two married daughters, their husbands
and his grandchildren living with them.
The Cross Keys today
This seemed to confirm that
Elizabeth had indeed married someone called Stanley, but
the mystery deepened further through a search of the IGI
which gives the marriage of Elizabeth HIGHLAND to James
Stanley at Manchester Cathedral on 30 June 1850. On checking
the marriage records
at Manchester Central Library I discovered that this was
indeed the elusive wedding. Elizabeth gives her father's
name as Thomas and hatter as his occupation which match
the later census information. James was a brewer and his
father's name was also Thomas. Interestingly, the address
James gave, 97 Jersey Street, Manchester, was the Cross
Keys pub. He may have been staying there to avoid paying
for two lots of banns to be read, he may have been working
there as a brewer, or possibly there may have been a family
connection as is discussed later on.
I was initially unable to locate
the couple on the 1851 Census in Manchester. Fortunately,
a kind soul on the LANCSGEN
list was able to provide the details. The couple had already
moved to Great Bolton
and were lodging with fellow brewer, John Nuttall and
his family, who had also been the witness
to his marriage. They also had a two month old son called
Thomas. Assuming later dates given are correct, this was
not the same Thomas living with Elizabeth later in life.
The assumption at this stage is that the child must have
died and their second son was also christened Thomas.
Elizabeth's birth certificate, no father's name is
recorded and the assumption is that he had died, leaving
Elizabeth as a young widow. On the Cheshire BMD site,
there is a James Stanley who died in Audenshaw in 1857
at the age of 29 which fits the known facts, so technically
speaking I am not directly related to the Stanley family.
James' father, Thomas,
appears on the 1841 Census at the Bull's Head in Audenshaw,
and Pigot's Trade Directory lists him as Hat Manufacturer
and Victualler. He had the pub for about three years,
although it would later be run by his son, John,
who was partner with his brother-in-law in the brewing
company, Stanley and Bayley.
Living with Thomas
were his wife Elizabeth and children John,
Fanny, Thomas and Hannah. I initially had difficulties
in tracking down church records because I made the elementary
mistake of assuming that Elizabeth was their mother. In
fact, Thomas married twice, first to Hannah
Ryder in 1822. She died in 1837, presumably in childbirth
since her daughter was baptised a few days after her burial.
Thomas married Elizabeth Wright
a few months later. They married at Manchester Cathedral
and Thomas gave his address as 97 Jersey Street, the same
address his son James was to give 13 years later.
Stanley was born in Droylsden, but I have been unable
to find any record of her in that area in 1841 when he
would have been about 12 years old. There is a Stanley
family which originated in that area around 1600. About
1700, some of the family moved to Dukinfield and began
to worship at the Old Chapel. One John Stanley became
one of the chief elders of Jonathan WROE's Christian Israelites
and funded the building their 'sanctuary' on Church Street
in Ashton-under-Lyne, the chosen centre for the 'new Israel'.
More research to do, but not
helped by the fact that many of the baptism and marriage
records for the Christian Israelites between 1825 and
1850 are missing.
Those interested in the Stanley
name should visit Ian
Stanley's website. Ian is conducting a one-name study
that you may find useful. Also Gay Oliver's Stanley
Website which has excellent information about the
Stanley family in the Tameside area.