a Harrop Family
St Stephen's Audenshaw St Stephen's Audenshaw

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 Braddock.

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, Ashton.

George was 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.

Jane HarropJane Harrop

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 entry below.

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.

Jane Harrop 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.

Frank Harrop
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 in 1935.

Sarah Harrop
Sarah married Walter Cotterill in 1920 at St Michael's, Mottram, at the age of 36. She died two years later in Mottram.

Arthur Harrop
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 from Norley, 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)

Harold Harrop
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 and Sisters

Joseph Harrop
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 Ann.

There is no sign of him in 1871, but he reappears in 1881 at 25 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 conclusive.

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 AnnErnest, 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 Harrop
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' Order.

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 trade directories)

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.

Arthur Harrop
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

James Harrop

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.

Cragg 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 Street, Ashton.

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.

Samuel didn't 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 at 35 Nuttall Street, just off Wavertree Road. James married Emily Hampson in early1910 at Fairfield Chapel, Laurel Road, and they had at least one son, Leslie Alfred George Harrop, later the same year.

Morville Harrop's medal card

James' youngest 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 Harrop.

James' youngest child was James Heathcote Harrop described above who completed the circle by farming Hill Top into the 20th century.

Hannah Harrop
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 and Eva. 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.

John Harrop
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.

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