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 for most of their married life and had five children that were born there, two of these - possibly twins - died within a few months of each other in 1814, we don't know their ages nor their names. A sixth child was born at Old England Buildings - I'm not sure whether Old England Buildings wasn't up Bury Fold. Their children were:

James Ward (1806-1858), my great, great, grandfather
William (1808-1858)
Andrew (1810-?)
Peggy (1815-?)

William (1808-?) In 1851 William, 42, is a quarryman and is living with his wife, Betty, 47, and their children John, 16; Jane 15, both are power loom weavers; Ann 9, James 7, Ann Marsden, aged 27, who is the daughter of Betty either born out of wedlock or from a previous marriage and Ellen Shorrock, aged 14, who is also Betty's daughter but from another previous marriage! Betty's tale is really interesting and a bit bizarre - I will return to her later.

William married Mary Grimshaw on 1st January 1832 at St Mary the Virgin in Blackburn. They had four children, John (1834), Jane (1836), Ann (1841) and James (1844). Mary is possibly the twin sister of Elizabeth Grimshaw, who married William's brother, James!

I made this discover 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 the daughter 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. Joseph Fairbrother is one of the witnesses at both marriages. I think there are too many coincidences for this not to be the case.

Mary died in 1849 and William married Betty Shorrock at St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn, William was a quarryman and widower; Betty was a widow, her father's name is John Marsden.

In 1851, William is 42 and a quarryman and living with his new wife, Betty, who is 41 or 47 (it is hard to read); they are living in Bolton Street. His son, John is also living there; he is 16 and a plater? drawer; Jane is 15 and a power loom weaver. Ann is 9 and James 7. There is also an Ann Marsden who is down as a daughter (presumably Betty's), she is 27 is unmarried and a power loom weaver. Betty had clearly been married before as her other daughter, Ellen Shorrock, aged 14, is also living there. Ellen is also a power loom weaver.

William dies in 1858, whilst his second wife, Betty, died three years earlier.

Andrew (1810-?) and Peggy (1815-?) I cannot find any more information about Andrew or Peggy at this point in time. Nor can I find the burial details for either Richard or Jane; they are not included in the Parish records. It is likely they were buried at Lower Chapel and the records are not wonderful for this church as there are years when there were no records kept, or they have gone missing. Brief history of non-conformism in Darwen