My Rhodes family originated in Flockton,
near Wakefield in West Yorkshire. The first reference
is to Joshua Rhodes. I can't be certain when he was born as there were several Joshuas born in the surrounding area at the right sort of time, but the most likely is the one baptised at St Peter's in Huddersfield in 1727.
Whether he is the right one or not, Joshua married Mary Hirst in the neighbouring parish of Wragby in 1760 when he was described as 'Joshua Rhodes of Wakefield'.
Their eldest son Thomas married Mary
Crosland in 1783. I don't know much about Thomas
except that he was a hawker living at Lane End, Flockton
on the 1841 census
and died in 1848 aged 88 and is buried at St James the
His son, John Rhodes was baptised
on 2 April 1786 at Flockton Chapel. He married Tabitha
Ingham and their eight children were all born in Yorkshire.
However, at some point this branch of the family moved
to Mottram in north-east Cheshire, a distance of 33 miles
by today's road system, sometime around the mid-1830s.
It can only be assumed that
the reason for this migration was economic. The men of
the Rhodes family were miners and there were several coal seams close to the surface in Flockton, the manorial
court records showing that coal was being mined there at least since
In 1778 James Milnes leased
two coal seams in the Flockton area from Mary Wortley,
Countess of Bute. Plans of some of these coal workings
came to light some years ago on the closure of Greaves,
Childe and Rowland when their mining records were handed
to the National
Coal Board. Workings in the Flockton Thick Seam appear
to have been exhausted or abandoned in 1803.
The Rhodes family
The construction of the New
past the site probably led to Sir
John Lister Lister-Kaye taking the lease to mine the
Flockton Thin Seam in 1827 and eight shafts were open
and closed between then and 1837. This seam too was exhausted
by 1850. Deeper and deeper shafts were dug and it became
Caphouse Colliery which is now home to the National
Coal Mining Museum. The men of the Rhodes family were
surface miners, the fashion still being practised in Mottram.
Colliery - A Brief Mining History by John Schofield
New History of Caphouse Colliery by John Goodchild.)
To return to the story, John Rhodes had died and was buried in Flockton on 16 November 1835.
His son George was already
in Mottram and had married Margaret
Goddard there four months earlier. Whether the others
followed him to the 'new land' is speculation, but Tabitha
and six of her children are recorded there in the 1841
census, while her eldest son Thomas
appears in the 1851 census
with his wife and children, apparently having been living
died 13 years later in 1848, she too was buried at St
James the Great in Flockton, her family having taken her
there three days after her death. In any event, their
youngest son, Levi, was baptised
in Flockton in 1833, indicating a fairly tight timeframe
for the move.
Most of the children stayed in and around Mottram, except
for the eldest son, Thomas,
who moved into Derbyshire, having married Nancy Collier,
daughter of Samuel
Collier and their fourth son, Richard,
who didn't move to Cheshire but went north to be a collier
Green, County Durham.
second eldest son, George
was listed in the 1841 census,
married to his first wife, Margaret
Goddard who had been born locally. Like his brothers,
he was a collier and there was a considerable amount of
coal mining in the Mottram area at that time. (See Coal
Mining in Mottram)
Hare and Hounds Inn about 1900 with St Michael's
Church in the background
was the daughter of Miles
Goddard and Peggy
SHEPLEY. Miles was landlord of the Hare
and Hounds pub from at least 1824
until he died in the late 1840s. The pub stood on the
corner of Broadbottom Road and Church Brow in Mottram
and is now cottages. It stayed in the Goddard family until
the late 1800s, first run by Peggy,
then her son. John,
his widow Ellen
and finally by her son, Miles.
Much of this information has been gleaned from various
Goddard died in the summer of 1848, giving birth to
her seventh child, Margaret
Goddard Rhodes. The child apparently never lived with
her father, found in 1851 with her aunt, Fanny
Nuttall (nee Goddard), with her grandmother, Peggy,
in 1861 and her brother John
As an aside, Fanny
Goddard was married to John
Nuttall, sexton of Mottram church in the 1880s. Their
and her husband, Charles
Ervin Booth feature in a book of old
photos of Mottram, where there is also mention of
their eldest daughter, Margaret
Ann, who was the last landlady of the Black
Bull Inn which stood adjacent to the church.
married his sister-in-law, Charlotte Goddard,
within a few months of Margaret's death, a marriage that was technically illegal (as mentioned by the judge at his later insolvency hearing) since at the time a man was not allowed to marry his dead wife's sister which did not change until the Dead Wife's Sister's Marriage Act of 1907. In any event, their first child, Charlotte,
was born within a year and George was to have sixteen children between the two sisters..
had a public house in Mottram according to the 1845 tithe
map, In 1853 when his daughter Elizabeth was baptised
at St Michael's Church,
he gave his occupation as innkeeper and his residence
as 'Woodhead in the township of Padfield.' This is confirmed
in the 1851 Census for
Glossop, although it does not name the pub. George obviously
had an eye for the main chance, opening the beerhouse
to quench the thirst of the navvies building the second
Woodhead Tunnel. He also had an interest in a stone quarry
in Woodhead which he ran on behalf of the railway company.
Work on the tunnel began in 1847 and it finally opened
on 2 February 1852.
Conditions for the 'navvies'
were somewhat better than they had been during the building
of the first tunnel a few years earlier when working
on the project was officially declared more perilous than
serving at the Battle of Waterloo! The bleak surroundings
of the moors were not pleasant and the houses that the
men lived in were little more than stone-piled hovels.
A school was opened shortly after the start of work on
the second tunnel and a clergyman was given free travel
to the site to provide spiritual guidance. Even so, there
were deaths, including 28 men working on the Woodhead
Reservoir who died in an outbreak of Cholera.
was back in Mottram by the mid-1850s and in 1858, he was
when it was stated that he had recently been a coal proprietor.
He gave his occupation as a miner and innkeeper in the
1861 census. The mine
referred to was Mottram Colliery which was past Mottram
Church at an area known as The Hague. It was owned by
the related Braddock
family. It was a fairly small concern, employing about
20 men. It closed in 1874 and there is no trace of it
today. By the 1871 census,
George was landlord of the Star Inn which is variously
described as being on Stalybridge Road and at Alma
Place. He was also listed in the 1878
trade directory. In the 1881
census, at the age of 67, he described himself as
a farmer, having been made bankrupt
married another of the Goddard sisters. He
and Jane were living in Woodhead, Tintwistle in 1851.
In 1871 they were living at 5 Moss Cottage, Mottram and
he was working as a miner. However, by the 1881
, he was at Lower Mudd, Mottram and was a farmer
of twenty acres, employing Herbert
of Australia as a 'farm servant indoor'. Interestingly,
in the 1871 census, John
was at Market Place and also living there
was Ellen Yallott
aged 14, described as his niece and her birthplace was
Australia. Clearly a connection, and one I am still working
on. Although they are not my direct relations, their
is an interesting one.
Goddard Rhodes was George and Margaret
Goddard's eldest surviving son, born in 1837. He married
his cousin Mary Braddock. Her
mother, Betty Goddard was Margaret's sister, while her
father was Joseph
Braddock, a coal proprietor employing 23 men and boys
in the 1871 census and living next door to Mary. It seems
that the Braddock family were also 'recent' arrivals,
come to exploit the mining industry. Mary's brother, George
Braddock, also entered the pub trade and was landlord
of the King William IV Hotel in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1881,
and later the Church Inn on Scotland Street in 1891.
In an 1878 trade directory,
Miles was described as a 'confectioner
and provision dealer' at Church Brow. In the 1896 Kelly's
Directory, he had two entries - one in Mottram as proprietor
of the White Hart
which exists today, and as a carter in Broadbottom which
was also his private residence. By 1891, Miles
had established his cab and carriage business, later continued
by his son, Joseph. This is referred to in Longdendale
in Retrospect by Joyce Powell which describes how Miles
would take local people for a day out at Belle Vue for
6d which for many was their annual holiday.
son, also called George
was born in 1843. He continued the family tradition by
working as a coal miner. He married Emily
of Glossop, the daughter of William
who was originally from Accrington, Lancashire,
and they had five children. Emily died in 1879 aged just
33 and George married Charlotte
three years later, for some reason at Old
, Dukinfield, and had three further children.
His eldest son, Jeremiah
was born in 1865. He worked as a general labourer in his
early life, but later gave his occupation as 'fireman'.
This was in a factory and in his obituary
there was mention of colleagues from the Etherow Bleach
Company. He married Susannah
when he was 18 and they went on to have
13 children, although two apparently died quite young.
Suzannah proved something of a puzzle - read on 'Ratcliffe
My grandfather, James
eldest son, born in 1895. Jeremiah
and the family moved to Hadfield in 1922 and James
worked at the same factory as his father from the age
of 12 until he got a job working on the railway.
It was this job which took the family away from Mottram.
After marrying Jane HARROP
he moved first to nearby Hyde and later to Dukinfield.
Of their five children, My father, Jeremiah
continues to live in the town, as did his brother George
until his death in 2002. Their sister, Doris
emigrated to America in the mid-1950s and lived in California
with husband Bert Lockett
until her death in 2001. Their other brother, Ronnie
died in 1999 but had lived in Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire
after the war.
Please note that there were
other Rhodes families living in Mottram in the 1800s.
There were quite a few from the Saddleworth branch, plus
one or two from Staffordshire. As yet, I can demonstrate
Meanwhile, other descendants
of Joshua Rhodes continue to
live in Flockton and other parts of Yorkshire and I am
grateful for the help they have given me in piecing together
A number of people have contributed greatly to the information
in the Rhodes section. My cousin Christine LOCKETT started
the research while a student at Oxford University. This
was continued by her mother, Doris
Rhodes and my mum, Jean
Binnie. Also my late uncle Ronnie
And my late third cousin once removed,
John Rhodes, who added
so much detail to my research before he died in 2013. Ironically, when we first discovered each other we lived but
a mile apart, as the crow flies, but knew nothing of each
other and but for the intervention of an Aussie, this
might have remained the case. Our common ancestor is the George
Rhodes who first crossed the hills to Mottram. Thanks,
Next, a closer relative, distant
in other ways, especially by geography Roy
Edmundson has contributed greatly to my Uncle
Ronnie's Booth family. Now living in New Zealand,
his Dukinfield memories are crisper than mine!
Last, and by no means least,
Tina Charlesworth who was my first internet colleague
and has been a key contributor to this site. My grateful