Margaret Leeming (1849-1887)

Margaret was the seventh child of Richard Leeming and Nancy Leeming (nee Catterall) and was born in Blackburn in 1849. Looking at the Lancashire BMDs, many of Margaret's siblings died in childhood (5 out of 11 children). Another Margaret was born and died in 1845.

In the 1851 census, Margaret is 2 years old and is living at 11 Sedgewick Street, Preston, with her parents Richard, aged 34, who is a mechanic; his wife Ann, 33, their daughter Ann, 16 who is a power loom weaver; John 10, James 4, and Richard 1 month. According to the census all were born in Preston apart from Richard and Margaret who were born in Blackburn. It seems likely to me that Ann is actually Mary Ann who was born in 1835.

Whilst Richard's wife is called Ann and not Nancy, I think it is likely that this is Nancy because in the next census in 1861, there is a Richard Leeming aged 45 who is also a mechanic, along with his wife, Nancy, 45 and children James 14 who is working in a cotton mill, Margaret 12 who is a cotton weaver, Betty who is 6 and Nancy who is 2. The census says that all were born in Blackburn, which is where the family are currently living at 38 Lyon Street, except Nancy who was born in Preston.

It is possible this is not the same family but often the places of birth are wrong and I think there are too many similarities i.e. names, birth dates, occupations which suggests they are the same family.

Margaret married Robert Taylor on 14th August 1868 at St Pauls in Bury. It was difficult to find the marriage certificate because it has Margaret down as Leeman. I am 99% sure this is our Margaret, because she could not read or write her name is spelt Leeman in other places like the census, for example in the 1881 census when her daughter Betsy is staying with her grandma who is down as Nancy Leman. It says Margaret was 21 and Robert 20. Her father, Richard Leeman, was an Iron Turner whilst Robert's father, Samuel, was an engine driver; Robert had the same occupation - this is not an engine driver as in a train driver but probably a steam engine in a factory. Robert lived at what looks like Ducit Street whilst Margaret lived Walker Terrace.

In 1871 the census says that Margaret is 21 and is living with her new husband, Robert Taylor who is also 21, and their first born, Betsy who is 1 year old and was born in Tottington, Bury. The family are living at Kays Row, Woolford, Tottington Lower End, Bury. Robert is a labourer at an iron foundry.

By 1881 I cannot find a Robert and Margaret Taylor in this area apart from two who are in Bury Workshouse, Birtle cum Bamford, with their two sons, Samuel who is 8 and Robert who is 2 years old. I am hoping to acquire more information from Bury Archives Service.

It seems likely that this is our Margaret and Robert because their daughter, Betsy, is living with her her grandmother, Nancy Leman who was 66 years old, a licensed broker, living at 6 William Street, Bury. Despite only being 11 years old, Betsy was working as a domestic servant. Her grandmother, Nancy, was born in Preston, whilst her aunt, Mary A Gregson, was also born in Preston; she is 45 years old, Mary's sister-in-law, Mary A. Leman, aged 32, is also living there, they are both working as smallware hawkers; the latter's daughter, Nancy, who is 6 years old, is also living with them. This is clearly a mistake in the spelling of the name as the following census, 1891, Nancy Leeming, aged 76 years, is still living at the same address, 6 William Street. I have also found the marriage date of Mary Ann Leeming to George Gregson.

Margaret, dies in on 31st October 1887 at 1 North Back o'th' Square, Bury. She is 38 years old. The death certificate says she is the wife of Robert Taylor, a Stoker in a Cotton Mill. She dies of bronchitis and her sister, Betsy, was in attendance.

Robert remarries Elizabeth Haynes in 1890. This is probably why Betsy calls herself Betsy Leeming Taylor, as she is Betsy Taylor on her birth certificate but Betsy Leeming Taylor on her marriage certificate to Christopher Foster. This is where our father, Harry, got his middle name of Leeming from.