a Chatterton Family

Chatterton History

    1. Introduction
    2. Peter Chatterton
    3. Sarah Chatterton
    4. Kissing Cousins
    5. Earlier History
    6. Chattertons Abroad
    7. Lure of the Yankee Dollar
    8. Cottonopolis, USA
    9. Abroad at Home
    10. Lincoln Green

One of the dilemmas of family history is just how far should you cast your net? Should you record each and every person you come across, no matter how distantly related and risk not being able to see the wood for the family trees? Or do you focus on direct relatives only? Someone I know uses the Christmas card test and asks himself who individuals might send them to as a way narrowing his search. On the other hand, I tend to include everyone I find on the basis that you never know when a seemingly 'extra' might have a more significant role to play and so it was with the Chattertons.

It started when I was tying up some loose ends and ordered a birth certificate for my wife's great-grandmother, Emily Cooke, in 1864. It told me that her mother's maiden name was Chatterton, and not Crabtree as I'd previously thought. I did some digging and discovered that Margaret's father was Peter Chatterton and the name rang a bell. I had a Peter Chatterton born 1802 as the brother of Sarah Chatterton, my wife's great-grandmother, but knew no more about him until this link came to light. As his story unraveled, it became clear that that my wife's maternal grandparents were related as second cousins.

The sections below elaborate on the two Chatterton links:

Peter Chatterton
St Mary's Independent Chruch
St Mary's Independent Church where Peter was baptised
It gets complicated, so I shall start at the beginning with Edward Chatterton. I know very little about him other than that he died in Gorton in December 1834 aged 64 and was buried at St Peter's Church, Ashton.

I do know that he married Martha Wild at the Glossop Parish Church. She was born in 1780 and the couple had seven children born in the New York area of Charlesworth, Derbyshire. Peter was the eldest son, born in 1802 and by 1841 he was living in Ashton with his wife Ann and family. He died of typhus in September that same year and his widow Ann was living at Flowery Field, Hyde at the time of the 1851 census.

The most likely marriage for Peter was to Ann Andrew in May 1826 at Manchester Cathedral. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth, was born in October the same year in Gorton, Manchester. Elizabeth is the only one of the children that I have a baptism record for in February 1827. Where the other children were baptised isn't yet known, but all gave Gorton as their place of birth at later censuses. All except Margaret who said she had been born in Ashton, although that could be because she lived there from an early age, but it is through her that the link continues.

Margaret was the second youngest daughter and was born in 1837, just prior to the introduction of the registration system, however the birth certificate for her sister, Hannah, confirms their mother's identity as Ann Andrew. Interestingly, Margaret confirmed her date of birth as 11 March 1837 when she was re-baptised into the Church of England at Hyde St George in April 1882 at the age of 45. She married Robert Cooke in 1857 at Christ Church, Heaton Norris. Why this should be isn't clear as for three censuses running from 1871 they gave 11 Catherine Street, Hyde, as their address, although I've still to track them down on the 1861 census.

Their eldest daughter was Emily Cooke born at the same address in June 1864. She married Jessie Walker at All Saints Church, Marple, in 1883 and my wife's grandmother, Lena Walker, was born in March 1884, the great-great-granddaughter of Edward Chatterton.

Sarah Chatterton

Sarah was Edward Chatterton's middle child born at New York, Derbyshire, in 1808. I haven't found her definitively in 1841, but there was a John and Sarah Chatterton living in Heavily, Stockport, who may have been brother and sister, rather than husband and wife. By the time of the 1851 census, she was at Portland Street, Ashton, where brother Peter had also been living in 1841. She was then the second wife of Isaiah Molesdale who had three children from his first marriage to Jane Whittaker, although one had died in infancy. She had married quite late in life at the age of 38 (though she claimed to be 35 at the wedding) and was ten years older than Isaiah. They had one child, William Edward Molesdale, in 1848, but in 1857, Isaiah left for a new life in America, taking the children from his first marriage with him and leaving Sarah and William behind. This episode is explored in more detail on the Molesdale page.

Canal Street

After Isaiah left, Sarah and William lived in Dukinfield with Sarah's mother, Martha. By 1871, they were in Hyde, William with the first of his three wives, Elizabeth Nuttall, and their children, Fred and Clara. Elizabeth died in 1875 and William married Annie Maria Cramond in 1878 at St Mary's Church, Stockport. (See the Cramond and Pearce page for more information) Their second son, Edward Molesdale, was born in 1882, the great-grandson of Edward Chatterton.

Kissing Cousins
Edward Molesdale and Lena Walker married in 1917 at St Thomas' Church, Stockport, both descendants of Edward Chatterton making them second cousins once removed, though whether they knew this is debatable. The suspicion is that they did. In any event, it means that the original Edward Chatterton is both my wife's ggg-grandfather and gggg-grandfather, something that my genealogy software has struggled to come to terms with!

Earlier History
As mentioned above, little is known of Edward Chatterton other than through references in his children's records and his marriage to Martha Wild in the IGI at the parish church in Glossop in 1799 and his will. From these clues, I know he was born around 1770 and I believe he was the youngest child of Peter and Hannah Chatterton and baptised in February 1771 at St Thomas Church in Mellor.

It isn't clear exactly where his family lived, although it may have been Chisworth from Peter's burial record in 1775. It appears that Peter and Hannah had seven or eight children, the eldest born in 1754. There is a record of the banns being read for the marriage of Peter Chatterton and Anne Ashton "but no account of ye Marriages, which are yet supposed to have been celebrated here." If this took place after the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1754 it would have been technically invalid as Mellor was not the parish church.

What is known of Edward and Martha is that they lived in the hamlet of New York, on the Cheshire/Derbyshire border between Charlesworth and Broadbottom. It isn't marked on modern maps but was on Long Lane. And also that that they were non-conformist worshippers.

Their two eldest children, Ann and Peter, were baptised at St Mary's Independent Church one mile away in Charlesworth, but their third and fourth children, James and John, were baptised at Tiviot Dale Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, Heaton Norris, now in Cheshire, then in Lancashire, when the family were recorded as living in Mottram-in-Longdendale. This suggests that the family became Methodists about this time.

Two years later they were back in New York which both Sarah and Mary give as their place of birth in the 1851 census. Sarah and the other three remaining children were were baptised at the Wesleyan Chapel in New Mills, This non-conformism is supported by Sarah's marriage to Isaiah Molesdale at the Stamford Street Wesleyan Chapel in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1846 and the baptism there of their only son, William Edward in 1849. As an aside, Isaiah's three children by his first marriage to Jane Whittaker were also baptised there suggesting that she too was a Methodist and perhaps the possibility that he and Sarah met through the church.

The 1841 census confirmed that the family had been living in the Gorton area of what is now in Manchester, for some time. Edward had died there in 1834, as confirmed by his will, although he had left a number of properties in Dukinfield to his wife and children suggesting a connection with the town and also that he was reasonably prosperous through the cotton industry.

The widow Martha was living with her daughter Mary, then married to Joseph Waterhouse. As mentioned above, at the time of the 1851 census Martha was living at 43 Canal Street, Dukinfield, although this is now in Stalybridge. Only a vestige of Canal Street remains today, but there was much more of it then as can be seen from the 1897 map. Martha died there in 1862 reported by her daughter Mary who was living at nearby Cross Leech Street.

Chattertons Abroad
Quite a few Chattertons left these shores in the 19th and 20th centuries and one of the first was Thomas, third son on the original Edward Chatterton. He has originally made his way to Eccles where he married Hannah Smedley around 1832, although the record has still to be found. The couple then moved to Failsworth where Thomas was the publican at the Bull's Head on Dob Lane where Bonnie Prince Charlie is reputed to have stayed in 1745.

Thomas sold the pub in 1849 and a newspaper advertisement stated "...The house is replete with every convenience for the trade, contains five entertaining rooms, on the ground floor, exclusive of bar and pantry; large club room, containing nearly 100 square yards of flooring; four bedrooms; brewhouse, fitted up on best principle; with a never-failing supply of water, good wash-house, detached stables, piggerles, garden, etc. There are three clubs attached to the house, one of which is held fortnightly; and a Manchester Omnibus runs to and from the house sixteen times a day..."

Hannah died in 1850 and Thomas remarried in 1855 to Mary Dean at Deansgate St John and the couple had a son, William Francis Nightingale Chatterton, born the same year. However, two years later Thomas sailed for Australia on board the Sarah Dixon, accompanied by his sons, Charles and David, arriving in September 1857. Whether he intended that his family should follow him isn't known, but they didn't and neither Thomas nor his sons returned to England. Thomas died in April 1887, asd reported in the Melbourne Argus. (Information and map coutesy of Chris Glass)

Thomas' son, Robert, in turn emigrated to America and Rhode Island, along with his wife, family and mother-in-law. He died in Cranston in 1911. According to Robert's grandson, Clifford, the move to Rhode Island had been because of the menfolk's work with textile machinery:

"My father was born in England where his father and brothers were machinists working for Howard & Bullough Machine Co which made textile machinery. The company opened an American branch called H. & B. American Machine Works in Pawtucket, Rhode Island at the Mass. line just off No. Main St., so the family came over for the men to work there.

"At that time New England was the center of the American textile industry. My father was the youngest of four boys, thirteen years old when he came over, and was a draftsman at H & B. when I was born. He must have immigrated about 1894." (April 23, 1890)

The Lure of the Yankee Dollar
In 1907, Joseph Chatterton and Annie, his American born wife (my 2nd cousin by the way), and their two sons also emigrated to the US. Annie Slater was born in Fall River, Massachusetts about 1876 when presumably her father was taking advantage of the sudden growth in the cotton industry in the city. (See below) When she and Joseph returned to the US, they settled first in Danbury, Connecticut, with their sons, George and Owen. In 1910, Joseph had abandoned his hairdressing profession and was working in a plate works.

By 1920, the family was in Providence, Rhode Island, although minus George. As yet it is unclear what happened to him, possibly a casualty of World War One. Joseph was still working as a grinder in a machine shop, but by 1930 he was an insurance agent.

Owen had married Susan and left home, but was still living in Providence, Owen working as a salesman for a ticket agency in 1930. There is evidence that they travelled, for example they are listed as passenger on the Monarch of Bermuda, sailing from Hamilton to New York in 1938, plus what appear to be visits to the UK in 1951/52.

As far as I am aware, they had just one son, Arnold, born in 1928 and as yet I know little more about him, other that he was enlisted on 22 February 1946 at Fort Devens, Mass, for the Panama Canal Development. He died in 1991 in Pearl City, Hawaii, eleven days before his father passed away in Providence.

Cottonopolis, USA
As mentioned above, Annie Slater, wife of Joseph Chatterton, was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the 1870s when her parents had spent time there before returning to the UK and Glossop. However, this was not the end of the Chatterton link with the city that came to rival Manchester as a cottonopolis. But first some background.

Border City Mill, Fall River

Fall River City developed as a textile centre and by 1868, it was the leading city in America with over 500,000 spindles. There was a major expansion in 1871 and 1872 when 22 new mills were built and the older mills enlarged. Many of them were built of red brick, like the Border City Mill left. and would have looked at home in any cotton town of north west England. (See Wikipedia entry for more information, the Ashton Reporter article on conditions there in 1876 and this report from the Boston Sunday Herald in 1879 from Joe Powers' website)

Production capacity increased to one million spindles and this brought with it a massive increase in the population, up 20,000 in two years, compared to a total population of just 12,000 in 1854. Most of these were Irish and French Canadian migrants, but others were to transfer their weaving skills from England. Among them were some Chattertons.

First to try his luck appears to have been George Chatterton, son of James and grandson of Peter. He had married Maria Blakeley in Hyde in 1882 and in 1887 he crossed the Atlantic to work in the US. He was joined a year later by Maria and their English born children. George and Maria had a further six children born in Fall River.

SS cephalonia
Scene on board the SS Cephalonia painted by Sears Gallagher in 1895
Things must have been going well because George was joined by his parents. James was then a retired overlooker in his early 60s and he and Emmeline sailed on the SS Cephalonia in April 1893, along with their daughters, Alice and Sarah. They were joined two months later by their other son, Thomas, who also sailed on the Cephalonia in June. He had married Minerva Booth at St Mary's Church, Stockport, in 1875 and she was almost 15 years his senior. According to the 1900 census, they had had three children, but only the eldest, Sarah, survived and lived with them in Fall River.

Emeline Chatterton (née Healy) died in Massachusetts in 1909, but I have not yet found a record of James' death. Maria, George and their children appear on the 1920 census still working in the cotton industry, but by 1930, George was a 69 year old widower living in Somerset Township in Bristol County, Massachusetts, with Mabel and Percival, where they were poultry farmers.

George Chatterton II (as he styled himself) had married Eleanor and they lived in Detroit with their son, Paul. By 1930 they had another son, Norman, but had divorced. George was working as a civil engineer and I know little more about them, other that Eleanor died in 1977.

According to his obituary, their son Paul tested torpedoes during World War Two and was active in the local community in Fall River. He also married, had children, grandchildren and great- grandchildren, but little more is known at this stage. His younger brother, Norman, served as a sergeant with the US Army Air Force during the war and died in 2003.

George's brother Edward married Gertrude and they had at least three children, all girls. He worked as a newspaper typesetter and died in 1979 at Lexington, Massachusetts.

If anyone can add to this information, it would be appreciated.

Abroad at Home
Other Chattertons didn't leave the country, but left the area and did quite well for themselves. Edward's daughter Mary, who married Joseph Waterhouse, retired to Southport 'living on her own means' by 1891 after she was widowed, living with her daughter, Martha Ann and her husband, Thomas Harrison, and son Thomas. Thomas had been an iron founder and ironmonger in his home town of Belper, Derbyshire employing five men and four boys in 1871 and 1881. However, by 1891 he had had a career change and was an estate agent. He added accountancy to his portfolio by 1901 when the couple were at the same address.

Also to be found in Southport was Edward's third son, John. He had married Janw Wharmby in 1828 and the couple had lived in Gorton in the 1830s, confirmed by the baptisms of their children. However, by 1841 they were in Crumpsall, north Manchester, where John was a baker.

By 1861, John was a widower and living in Crumpsall with his daughter, Sarah, who was also widowed. She had married John Thomas Dodd in 1853 at a registrar attended ceremony, suggesting a non-conformist service. I believe they had a son, John, in 1859 who presumably died in infancy.

But returning to her father, John Chatterton was now a baker and provision dealer on Waterloo Street, Crumpsall. By the time of the 1871 census, he appears to be a 'retired grocer' living in Hyde with a new wife, Hannah. However, although the details given fit John, there are major inconsistencies, in particular, his daughter is now Sarah Jane, not plain Sarah, and she is 21, not 38, unmarried rather than widowed and born in Hyde, not Gorton.

The probable explanation is that this was a different Sarah that John had adopted when marrying Hannah. There are several possible marriages, but this assumption points to Hannah Lavin who appears to have an illegitimate daughter, Sarah Jane, born in Hyde. They were living in Dukinfield in 1851 with Hannah's mother, Mary.

It was in the early 1870s that John retired to Southport and where it seems Hannah died in 1874 aged 51. John married for a third time in 1875, this time to Sarah Ann Barlow who was more than 25 years younger than John. He died in 1884 aged 77 and I believe that Sarah remarried to Joseph Tomlinson and returned to Harpurhey in north Manchester.

Lincoln Green
Edward's grandson, Edward Waterhouse, son of Mary Chatterton, found himself in Lincoln at the age of twenty in 1861. He was at 234 High Street, the home of George Bainbridge who was a draper. As well as the Bainbridge family, there were 16 drapers, assistants, apprentices and servants in the house, including Eliza Battle, Edward's future wife. By 1871, he was at Lucy Tower Street working as a commercial traveler, presumably in the drapery trade. In 1891 he was at 1 Carholme Road with neighbours that included a solicitor, a gas works manager, a tailor and other 'professionals'. Edward was a draper and employed two domestic servants.

There is no sign of Edward and Eliza in 1891, but his 21 year old son, Arthur, and his siblings were still at 1 Carholme Road and the assumption is that their parents had both died. Arthur was a draper and the family employed a housekeeper, a cook and a housemaid. I haven't been able to trace Arthur and his brother, William, beyond 1891, so perhaps they joined the exodus overseas.

Their sister Lucy married John William Pattinson in Lincoln in 1893. He was a builder and contractor and the couple clearly moved around as their eldest son, William, was born in Harringay, London, around 1894, while their daughter, Frieda, was born in Reading which is where the family were in 1901 at Craven Street next to what is now the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Lucy's brother Frederick lived with the family and was John's 'pupil'. The couple were wealthy enough to employ a nurse, a cook and a housemaid.

And that is about the limit of my Chatterton knowledge, but for an aside that a number of them went on to become hairdressers — Peter, James, Joseph, Willie, James and lastly James Edward who served in the King's Liverpool Regiment in World War One. (See his records)

Also see Chris Glass' Chatterton pages

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