My earliest reference is to Thomas Booth whose son, Richard
was born in 1775 at Thornhill, Yorkshire. Richard
married Sarah Sowerby
1799 at Kirkheaton and their son, John
was born in 1803 at Linfit
, Kirkburton. Richard
was living at the same address in 1841
aged 65 and apparently widowed, giving his occupation as
a wool teaser. Also there were his son William, daughter
Sarah and what looks to be his grand daughter, Amelia, who
was possibly illegitimate.
John married Lydia
Turner in 1928 at Kirkburton. She was the daughter
of John Turner and was baptised at the Upper Chapel Shelley
Independent, Kirburton in October 1804. John
had a somewhat varied working career. In 1831, when his
was born, he was a cordwainer. By the time of the 1841
census he was a shoemaker in Jackson
Bridge, Holmfirth. By 1851, he was still in Holmfirth,
but was a grocer. Between then and 1861, John
had crossed Pennines and was a life assurance agent in
Jackson Bridge in 1874
The Booth family was quite dispersed at various times,
but particularly at the time of the 1851 census. John
was in Jackson Bridge with four of his eight children.
in Huddersfield with confectioners, John and Sarah Priestley,
to whom her daughter Ann
apprenticed. Their youngest child, Catherine
was three years old and was being cared for by William
and Ann Lawson at Victoria Street, Upperthong. I've been
unable to track down their two eldest children in the
1851 census. I suspect that George
either died or had left the country as he does not appear
on future censuses, but Martha
appears a year later when she married Samuel
in Hayfield in 1852.
As mentioned above, the Booth family crossed the Pennines
to Ashton-under-Lyne in the 1850s, presumably after the
death of Lydia, although I
have still to pinpoint when that was. By 1871, John
had retired at the age of 69 and he was to die of old
age paralysis just before the next census in January 1881.
His only surving son, John,
married Sarah Schofield I
believe at St Barnabas, Openshaw in 1871, while Ellen
married William Jackson in
The younger John Booth was
widowed by the time of the 1891
census when he and his children were living in Glossop.
He was still there in 1901 boarding with widow Elizabeth
Shepley. Presumably it was difficult for a single working
man (he was a joiner) to care for his children and by
1901 his two youngest, George
and John, had been adopted
by their aunt Ellen.
In the 1871
the elder John
has his grandson
living with him. James
was the illegitimate son of Ann Booth and an example of
the mood of the times that education should be open to
all regardless of background or religious belief. In 1881
was 16 and a student
. The college was founded in Manchester by
the industrialist, John
, who held strong views on education and religion.
He died at his house in Chorlton-upon-Medlock on 29 July,
1846. In his will he left £96,654 for the establishment
of the college for the education of males on non-sectarian
lines. Owens College was established and granted a Royal
Charter in 1880 to become England's first civic university,
The Victoria University of Manchester.
James clearly had intellectual
potential despite his humble beginnings and background
and he went on to work for the civil
service in London, as a 2nd Division Clerk in 1891
and a clerk in 1901.
He was living in Hammersmith with his mother, Ann,
and Aunt Catherine, who
he knew as Kate. James married
Caroline Norah Piercy in 1902
and the couple were living in Kingston on Thames in 1911
with their son, John Edwin Piercy
Booth. James presumably
married after the death of his mother. There was an Ann
Booth who died in Fulham in the September quarter of 1902,
but she was aged 68 which doesn't fit even closely. However,
the Booth women were somewhat random with their ages.
The prime example was his aunt Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was born in
about 1837 and lived with her parents until the 1871 census.
By 1881 she was living in Wolstanton, near Stoke, as housekeeper
for Herbert Mellor. Herbert was born in Ashton, the son
of George Mellor, magistrate and cotton manufacturer employing
823 hands. At the age of 26, Herbert was a colliery proprietor.
At that time, Elizabeth
claimed to be 38, although she would have been in her
I can't trace her in 1891, but by 1901 she was at 45
Phillimore Gardens in Kensington as cook for Hector
Mackenzie, a retired colonel of the Bengal Staff Corps.
She then claimed to be 55 when she would have been nearer
to 65. I can only assume it is her as in each case, she
gives Jackson Bridge as her place of birth, but the clincher
is the 1911 census when she was living with her sister
Catherine at 26
Godolphin Road West, Fulham giving her correct age
of 74. She died later that year at the age of 73!
One other aspect of James
worth mentioning is that he was born in Hadfield as were
many of the Booths even though they lived in Ashton. The
assumption is that they went there to give birth to be
close to a releative, possibly my great-great-grandmother,