Ridgway married Rebecca
Higginbotham at Stockport St Mary in April 1843, he
gave his father's name as Cornelius.
A search of the IGI
threw up Cornelius Ridgeway
who had two children baptised at at New Mills Wesleyan
Church in the Glossop parish. The timeframe is right for
Jonathan, assuming the
family moved about 1816.
I've included those details here,
but it is notoriously easy to be misled by the IGI.
For example, also on the IGI
is a Cornelius Ridgway baptised in 1819 at Saint Mary's
Church in Disley. The location is far more promising,
given that Jonathan gave
his birthplace in the 1851
Census as Compstall Bridge.
and her sister, Alice, were
baptised at St George's, Hyde in 1879, Charles
described himself as a collier. Just over a year later,
at the baptism of Maggie,
he was a labourer and in 1889, Mary
Ann's record has him as a 'scavenger' living at 6 Edward
Street. Basically, this was a street cleaner employed by
the parish. Again a year later when Lily
was baptised, he was a labourer, living at Holt's Passage.
They finally settled at 10 Howard Street, Godley, Hyde.
The timeframe is wrong, but at least there are Ridgways
(spelt correctly) who could look upon a baby boy and think,
"Hmm. He looks like a Cornelius to me." Had
they seen Roddy MacDowell in the Planet of the Apes, they
might have had a point!
But if I'm uncertain about Cornelius,
I'm less so about his son. As mentioned above, Jonathan
was born in Compstall Bridge about 1818. By the time of
the 1841 cenus he
was living in Newton, Hyde, a collier and presumably a
lodger with John Cotterill
and his wife Matilda.
Jonathan and Rebecca
had five children — others suspected. Rebecca's
parents were John
Higginbotham and Rebecca
Lees of Denton. This couple had ten children and all
but one was a girl. Rebecca
was widowed in October 1827, a few months after the birth
of their youngest child, Eliza.
She did not remarry and was found with her younger children
at Granby Row, Newton in 1841.
She was the same address in 1851,
living with Jonathan and
her daughter, Rebecca.
she was living with Eliza
and family at Castle Street, Godley cum Newton.
Charles RIDGWAY, was born
in 1851 at Granby Row, Flowery Field, Newton. He was a
labourer and married
Emma Howard. They had eight
children, the eldest girl being Rebecca
who was born in 1876. She married Edward
One point I find difficult to explain is that in the 1891
Census, Charles is recorded
as Thomas. I can only assume
that it was a mistake by the enumerator as all the other
details fit Charles to a
T — the right age, right job, right address and the
right family. It's a mystery!
Charles and Emma
appear to have taken on the waifs and strays of the district.
In 1891, John WHARMBY
is their adopted son, and by the time of the 1901
census, Gertrude Doxey
had joined the family as an adopted daughter. Her birth
certificate gives her mother's name as Elizabeth DOXEY,
but no father. However, the entry was amended by the registrar
six weeks later to show that Elizabeth was "formerly
Gunnell." An Elizabeth Gunnell married one Vernon Stanley
Doxey in the March ¼ of1890 in Stockport. What became
of the couple is not yet known.
Emma HOWARD's father, Joseph,
had three other children that I know of, and then apparently
died some time after 1865 as his wife, Rebecca,
remarried to William
Whitehead in 1876 at St
Mark's, Bredbury. However, Joseph
reappeared on the 1911 census living with Emma, and possibly
in 1901 as well. There is more information on the Howard
An interesting link between Emma
and her father is to be found on her birth certificate —
both had first names that they didn't use. She was registered
as Margaret Emma Ann Howard,
while her father gave his name as Squire
Joseph. Okay, so it's not that interesting!