- Peter Chatterton
- Sarah Chatterton
- Kissing Cousins
- Earlier History
- Chattertons Abroad
- Lure of the Yankee Dollar
- Cottonopolis, USA
- Abroad at Home
- 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:
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
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 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
behind. This episode is explored in more detail on the
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
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!
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
Lane. And also that that they were non-conformist worshippers.
Their two eldest children, Ann
and Peter, were baptised
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
sailed on the SS
in April 1893, along with their daughters,
They were joined two months later by their other son, Thomas,
who also sailed on the Cephalonia
in June. He had married Minerva
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.
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,
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.
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.
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.
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,
and lastly James Edward who
served in the King's
Liverpool Regiment in World War One. (See his
Also see Chris
Glass' Chatterton pages