Richard Ward and Jane Berry (1776-?)

At the moment I don't know who Richard's parents are or where he was born - a good guess would be that it was Over Darwen and that he would have been baptised at Lower Chapel but the records for that non-conformist church are very sporadic.

Richard married twice. I'm not sure who his first wife was. His second wife was Jane Berry (1776-?) and they got married at St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn, in 1806. He was a widower, Jane was a spinster.

This image was provided by Gordon Hartley for use in the Cotton Town digitisation project.

All I can find out about Jane is that she was baptised on 21st November 1776 by the Rev. Robert Smalley at Lower Chapel, Darwen. Her parents are James and Peggy Berry and they lived up Bury Fold in Darwen.

Richard and Jane also lived up Bury Fold at Dogshaw and had five children, James (1806-1858), who was my great, great, grandfather; William (1808-1858), more of whom later; Andrew (1810-1814); a female (1812-1814); and Peggy (1815-?).

The first three children were born at Dogshaw, the fourth at Lords Hall and the fifth at Old England Buildings. Dogshaw, Lords Hall and Old England Buildings area all in the same are of Darwen, up Bury Fold and onto the moors.

thanks to Cotton Town.

Two of the children, Andrew and a girl (we do not know her name) died in infancy, Andrew on 12 April 1814 and the girl on 22nd March the same year. I do not know what happened to their youngest, Peggy.

I look at James' story under his own page James Ward, here is his brother's story.

William (1808-1858)

William was born on 15th August 1808 at Dogshaw, he was baptised at Lower Chapel on 3rd October 1808.

Lower Chapel is still standing.

William marries Mary Grimshaw on 1st January 1832 at St Mary the Virgin in Blackburn when he is 23 years old.

Mary is probably the twin sister of Elizabeth Grimshaw, who married William's brother, James!

I made this discovery whilst tracing Mary Grimshaw: Mary and Elizabeth were both baptised on the same day: 1st August 1813 at St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn; both were daughters of John and Ann Grimshaw, both have Blackburn as their abode, the occupation of John was weaver.

Both women get married to Wards and both marriages take place at St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn. Elizabeth is the first to marry James Ward, on 14th August 1831. Mary marries William Ward, who is the brother of James, on 1st January 1832. Both couples have amongst their children, a John and an Ann, the names of Mary and Elizabeth's parents. I think there are too many coincidences for this not to be the case.

William and Mary probably had ten children; I say probably because there might possibly be a mix up with the children of their siblings; Kitty,(1833-1836); John (1834-1860); Jane (1836-1854); Thomas (1837-1846); Margaret (1840-1840); Ann (1841-c.1905); Andrew (1842-1842); James (1844-1878); Preston (1846-1846); and Elizabeth (1847-1848). As you can see, four of these died in infancy and of the rest, only Ann and James made it beyond 30 years. To make it worse, William's wife, Mary, died in 1849 at 36. How very sad.

I cannot find them in the 1841 census, I assume they are either missing or the spelling of their names is wrong. In 1850 William marries Betty Shorrock at St Mary the Virgin in Blackburn.

Betty was called Marsden before she married James Shorrock in 1836. She had an illegitimate daughter, Ann Marsden, in 1824 then had another daughter, Ellen Shorrock, in 1837.

On the parish records it states that William was a quarry man when he got married. In 1851 census William, now aged 42, is still a quarryman and is living with his wife, Betty, 47, and their children John, 16 and Jane 15, both of whom are power loom weavers; Ann 9, James 7, and Ann Marsden, aged 27, Betty's illegitimate daughter, as well as Ellen Shorrock, 14, from Betty's previous marriage. Both Ann and Ellen are power loom weavers. The family are living at 190 Bolton Street (I am assuming this was renamed Bolton Road and this number is no longer there).

William dies in 1858, whilst his second wife, Betty, had died three years earlier. The following is what I have been able to find out about William's children.

John married Mary Anne Longworth and they had at least two children, Mary Ann and John William; John probably died in 1860,aged 26, his widow is boarding with relatives in 1861 with their daughter, Mary Alice, who dies in 1864 - their son, John had died in 1860. Mary Ann went on to marry Thomas Fish.

James married Susannah Townley and they had at least five children: William (1865-1870); Mary (1867-1872); Earnest Jones (1869-1943); Elizabeth Jane (1871-1873); and Mary Jane (1873-1937). James dies in about 1878 aged 34 and his wife, Susannah, two years later.

Only two of their children, Earnest and Mary Jane, survive childhood. Earnest marries Betsy Aspin in 1891, they do not have any children. In 1911 Earnest and Betsy are living at 5 Queen Street, Darwen (the house is no longer there), Earnest is a caretaker for the Church of England; his niece, Mary Jane, is living with him and his wife. Earnest dies when he is 74 in 1943, his wife Betsy had died in 1932. Earnest was living at 18 Vale Street (also no longer there) when he died; he left £539 12s 1d to Joseph Aspin, his brother in law, who was a general labourer and Entwistle Cockshoot, a night watchman.

After her parents died, Mary Jane was adopted by her mother's sister, Sarah Townley, aged 19 years and they lived with Fanny Ramsbottom, 16, in Sunnyhurst.

Image from Darwen Days

When she was 18 years old, Mary Jane was living with Martha Ramsbottom who was down as her aunt; they were living at Top o-the Low, Tockholes just outside of Blackburn (many years later my brother built his house just higher up).

Image from Darwen Days

It looks like Mary Jane never married; she died aged 64 in 1937.

What a very sad story. But we are left with one other of William and Mary's children, Ann.

Ann Holden (1841-about 1905)

In 1861 Ann and her brother James are boarding with the Chadwick family at 4 Ellersley, Darwen, she is a cotton loom weaver. I cannot find Ellersley in Darwen but the census tells us it is near Astley which is close to Bury Fold which is where her uncle James and family live.

Ann marries John Holden in 1867 at the Registry Office in Blackburn. In 1871 they are living at 15 Elizabeth Street, Darwen.

Image from Darwen Days

They make probably the most important decision of their lives: they decide to emigrate to America and take their three children, William, born 1868, Ewart Gladstone, 1870 and Sarah Jane, 1873 with them.

The family sail on SS Parthia, here is an illustration:

They arrive in New York on 24th May 1873:

John becomes a farmer and the family settle in Tidioute,

John and Ann go on to have a further four children: Charles Edwin, born, 1875; Bertha Alice, 1877; Frederick Albert, 1879; and Isabella M. 1881. They were all born in Tidioute, Warren, Pennsylvania. Further research is needed to find out what happened to their children.