with Paul Simpson
IF anyone has a question connected with a family
tree, the man to ask is Paul Simpson, the
Chairman and Leader
Nantwich Group of the Family History Society of Cheshire. Here he
questions from visitors to "A Dabber's Nantwich". Whether you have drawn a
blank, or come to a stop, in compiling your family tree, or don't know how to go
about a task in genealogy, consult Paul. Send your question to
Please note that any question that is
sent directly to Family Lines, or "A Dabber's Nantwich", together with the
subsequent replies will be used on these pages for the benefit of website users
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In October, Paul was
elected Chairman of the Family History Society
of Cheshire at the AGM at Mobberley.
Family Lines items 2 |
Family Lines items 3 | Tanneries and my grandfather
The Nantwich Group of the Family History Society of Cheshire
Search led back to the
A Board of Health
map of 1851, on display in Nantwich Museum, features Pepper Street
running from top to bottom. The Blue Bell Inn (also in the smaller
picture below) is by the letters "REE" in Street. Note the trees and
greenery in the town centre.
Back in September 2012, you were kind
enough to respond to my request for
information about my fourth great
grandfather, Thomas Edwards. You
inspired me to pursue more research
through the Cheshire Parish Records
website and as a result I was able to
follow the Edwards line back as far as
the late 1500s in Wybunbury Parish.
Thanks again for your help.
Steve Totheroh, California, USA.
began with this letter:
MY fourth great grandfather Thomas Edwardsí will (dated
April 2, 1827) indicates that he owned a pub named the Blue
Bell Inn located on Pepper Street in
Nantwich. Could you please tell me if this building still
exists? Pigotís Directory for 1822-23 also lists this inn as
being owned by Thomas Edwards.
Thomas Edwardís date of death was November 13, 1828. The
date and place of his birth are unknown.
His will lists a daughter, Ann, and a son, Thomas, as well
as a niece, Sarah Cooke (age under 21). His wife, Sarah, is
Thomas Edwards, son of Thomas, was christened on October 28,
1804, at Nantwich.
Ann - my third great grandmother - was born on August 13,
1808, and christened on August 16, 1808, at Nantwich. Her
parents were Thomas and Sarah Edwards. Ann married John
Ruffley on December 7, 1829, at Nantwich. After residing in
Northwich and then Manchester, they emigrated with their
children to San Francisco in 1859 after first living a few
years in Australia.
I would be grateful for any suggestions for sources which
might give me more information about Thomas Edwards senior
and his pub as well as about his family.
Thank you very much.
Paul Simpson's reply to
say the inn is no longer
standing as the entire
side of the street was
demolished in the 1960s
but you can see it on
the map from 1851 in the
middle on the left-hand
I will do
some more digging as I
know a book is in the
local library on the
inns and inn keepers of
Nantwich that should
have some information
and I may be able to get
you a picture of the
you have got the baptism
of Thomas in 1841 from
the Cheshire parish
records as the
information is a very
ANDREW Lamberton (local
that Dr A.J MacGregor,
in his booklet "Inns and
Innkeepers of Nantwich", has a Thomas
Edwards listed as
licensee of the Blue
Bell from 1808 to 1841.
Given that Edward Thomas
senior died in 1827 his
son, also Thomas, must
have succeeded him. The
1841 census lists Ann
Butler as the publican
This was Pepper Street in 1964
(looking towards The Square) when buildings were demolished to
enable street widening. The building on the right is believed to
have been the Bell Inn and the wall-fronted gap between the two
buildings on the left the site of the Wheatsheaf.
Photograph used with the permission
of The Nantwich Chronicle. Probably taken by Clifford V. Kendal, the
Nantwich photographer and published in "Memory Lane: Nantwich"
compiled by Gordon Davies.
FOOTNOTE: The book "Lost
Houses in Nantwich"
by Andrew Lamberton and
Robin Gray refers to The
Blue Bell: "No 9
Pillory Street (was) a
This (public house) was
. . . much older than
its opposite neighbour
(the Wheatsheaf). The
Bluebell started as an
alehouse, the licence of
ran continuously from
1769 to 1861.
"In 1913, No 9 Pepper
Street had become James
shop. In 1939, Albert
Joinson lived there and
in 1953 it had become
Snape's, the haulage
contractor. This became
Snape's taxi service in
1955 (which) then
operated until 1964 when
the premises were
Tracking down a Prince
A SEARCH for an ancestor, via e-mails to
Paul Simpson, is outlined in this item. It proves that obtaining as
much information as possible makes for a successful search.
Part of one page of the 1881 English
Census showing the entries for the Prince family of Millstone Lane,
starting with 59-year-old John Prince the head of the family. Below:
the full page.
Census page copyright
Archives. Search service:
Paul Simpson replied:
hope you can cast my net a little further than I have done so
far. Iím trying to trace records before 1875 for my great,
great, great grandfather. His name was John Prince. He was a cordwainer by trade and lived in Welsh Row, Nantwich. The census
record of 1875 is the earliest I am able to find.
Andy Prince, Nantwich
Can you give me a bit more to work
on than a name please? Do you know when he was born and where?
You say census of 1875 but that isn't possible. It would have to
be 1881 or in 10 years jumps from there.
Over to Andy:
I now have the details. Attached
are two certificates. One a marriage certificate and the
other a certificate containing an extract of the birth
details of Frank Prince.
Robert Prince and
Rosie senior were my grandparents. I intimated John Prince
was born in 1875 - clearly that was wrong. It was Frank who
was born in 1875. Therefore it is John Prince who Iím trying
to find records for.
Armed with that information,
Paul was able to say:
John Prince was born c1823 in
Nantwich and married Ann Dutton on September 4, 1849, at St
Mary's Church, Nantwich. He was 26 at the time of the
marriage and educated as he signed his name and his
occupation of, as you said, cordwainer.
Ann was 18 at the
time of the marriage and not educated as she only made a
mark, not a signature. Her occupation is listed as boot
The witnesses at
the marriage were William Hall and Sarah Wright. The
bridegroom's father is listed as William and the bride's
father as John. Both have the occupation of cordwainer.
all is listed as the Vauxhall Road area of Nantwich which is off
Barony Road near to the River Weaver.
interesting that the ceremony was conducted by the Rev
A.F.Chater, a well-known and respected Rector who opened All
Saints' burial ground on the corner of Barony Road and
Middlewich Road following the cholera epidemic. He is also
All of the above
information is available on the Cheshire Parish Registers
project found at
I found a long list of children
for John and Ann as follows: Eliza b (born) 1851, Mary Jane
b1852, Elizabeth b1855, John b1856, Ann b1859, Isabella
b1860, Albert b 1863, Louisa b1866, Emily b1868, Walter
b1869, Edward b1870, Alice b1871, Ada b1872, Frank b 18
November, 1875, and Harry b1881. A total of 15.
All are shown on
the census as being born in Nantwich but
www.cheshirebmd.org.uk has no record of any of
the births and that is a bit unusual.
But you now have
plenty of branches to look into and another step back for
To which Andy replied:
Wow, that is amazing. Thank
you so much for your help. Iím now on a mission!!
Who was Emma Burgess?
The sampler embroidered by Emma Burgess
in 1822. The verse reads: "Next unto God, dear Parents, I address
Myself to you, in humble thankfulness, For all the care, and pains
on me bestow The means of learning, unto me allow'd. Go on, I pray,
and let me still pursue That golden rule the vulgar never knew."
Nantwich Museum has two similar samplers
in its collection, stitched by the Tunstall sisters (it is presumed)
of Nantwich. They were Maria (1824) and Caroline (1825).
HELLO and thank you for offering this service. My husband
and I have a beautiful sampler and the name stitched is "Emma
Burgess, Nantwich 1822.". We are trying to find out a bit of
history about Emma. Any information you could provide would
be most useful. I'm attaching a photo of the sampler.
Marilyn Taylor McDowell
However, Paul replied:
have to admit defeat on this one as I just donít have enough
information to go on.
did find two items in parish registers for an Emma Burgess, one
baptised on 17/3/1812, and daughter of James and Alice resident in Stapeley under Wybunbury parish and the other was baptised
18/11/1811, and the daughter of Alice and John, a farmer.
One entry was also in the 1841 census of an Emma, aged 25, living
with another family and could possibly be a servant.
Sorry I canít help any more on this one.
Grandfather may have lied about age
MY name is
Jan and I now live in Perth, Australia, but originally come
from the Nantwich/Shavington area. Your name has come up in
my search as a person who might be able to help me trace my
grandad's war history.
that my grandad, Richard Thomas Flisher (Flischer) Bussell,
born 1901, served in the First World War and believe he may
have used the name Thomas Bussell to enlist. It is also
thought that he lied about his age and possibly made himself
out to be two years older in order to be accepted. We don't
know where or with whom he served.
We have also been told that he was injured and sent to The
Cliffe (formerly Cliffe Nursing Home) in Wybunbury, which
operated as a convalescent home (from 1915?) and this is how
he met my grandmother. He was not sent back to the front and
made his home is Crewe.
What I am
hoping to do is trace him and his war records back from his
time at The Cliffe but I can't seem to pinpoint just where
the records for this hospital would be kept. I am really
hoping that you may have a better idea than me and am
keeping everything crossed!
Thank you so much for any help you can give me.
Jan Warhurst, Perth, Australia
of yours is not an easy man to trace. I canít find any military
World War 1 records for him, such as enlistment, but only about
45% of the non-officer records survived a fire during World War
Changing his name and age causes a problem as well. I found only
one World War 1 medal record card for a T. Bussell, Private
36728, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, but I cannot be certain it
for the nursing home, it closed down in the 1960s after being a
maternity home. Most of the building still exists and is now a
listed building that you can see here with a photo:
the records from that time went anywhere it would have been to
the Records Office in Chester, but nothing is coming up in the
catalogue listing. You can ask them to do a search for you, for
a fee. See this page:
did find the 1911 census record, with him aged 10, living with
his mother, aged 30, who was single at that time and she stated
that she had three children and one had died. So at the time,
Richard had a brother or sister.
The home is a two-room at 11 Granvilla Street, St Mary,
Hampshire, and she has signed as Lucy Kate Fisher Bussell, but
on the name line the Fisher is crossed out.
birth record shows the father as Richard Thomas Fisher.
I hope this is
of some help to you.
Helping to trace an
ancestor . . .
The gravestone of John Cheyney, a
Nantwich carpenter, and his wife, Catharine, at St Mary's Church,
Below: gravestones, including that of the Cheyneys,
make up a path to a door at the church.
Pictures: Paul Simpson
THE following e-mail correspondence started with a request for help
from Australia. It shows the work involved when Paul sets out to
find details about a person or family. The person seeking help also
plays her part. The correspondence has been edited, but Paul sent
the full details he discovered to the lady.
hoping you may be able to help with a family history problem. I have
been in touch with Andrew Lamberton about the Cheney family from
Nantwich who, he has found out for me, were quite wealthy timber
James Cheney, the owner of the yard, had many children, most of
whom passed away as infants or young children. I know he had a son,
John, who is listed in his Nantwich 1801 will and inherits most of
found a birth and death for a John Cheney in Nantwich in 1766/67,
but there must be another birth for another John in the early 1770s,
I just canít seem to find it!! I also know this John had a son and
daughters (also listed in will, although not by name), so if I can
find and name these children, I will be able to totally confirm the
connection to James, the timber merchant.
help would be greatly appreciated.
Kristy Bailes, New South Wales,
The following is
from the Cheshire Parish registers on-line project. Four entries in
the Nantwich Parish Registers for baptisms: 2/1/1765, Elizabeth,
father James Cheney, a carpenter; 10/3/1766, John, father James
Cheney, a carpenter; 9/7/1769, Peter, father James Cheney, a joiner;
father James Cheney, a joiner.
Elizabeth married Thomas Cartwright, 29/11/1756; James Cheney
married Mary Bebbington, 17/10/1764; Eliza Cheney married Josiah
Beddeley, 15/4/1813; Mary Cheney married John Speed, 1/11/1857. This
one has James Cheney, a farmer, deceased, as the father of the
two: John Cheney, 7/2/1769, an infant. Ralph Cheney,19/4/1779, father
James, mother Mary.
If you do a
search without entering a parish you will find Johannes baptised on
10/01/1733 in Macclesfield.
"I, too, have trawled the Cheshire
database but, unfortunately, the parishes I seem to need are not
on-line yet. The John I need to find was a son of James but the
original John (born 1766) died in 1767 in Nantwich, so I am guessing
that they had another son in the late 1760s or early 1770s.
"I have been able to find some
burial records that match James and Mary in Acton, so maybe the
birth records might be there. They seem to have had land around
Henhull as well, so maybe they shuffled between the parishes?
Anyway, any help would be greatly appreciated."
Back to Paul, who e-mailed:
have the following memorial inscriptions for you from Acton St.
Maryís Church, Acton, which should be of some help."
lists the graves by plot numbers and the inscriptions, and adds: ďI
will go up and see if I can take a picture for you.Ē
While he is doing that, Kristy has been hard at work, too. She
e-mailed Paul to say:
"Thanks so much for that, Paul. I have since found two more Cheneys
buried at Acton of the same family. They are James, died 1801, and
his wife, Mary, died 1816. I think he will be the son of the John
you have listed.
"Any photos would be totally fantastic. Thank you."
After a visit by Paul to St Maryís Parish Church in Acton he sends
Kristy some photographs (including the two in this item). These are ďa full shot of the body stoneĒ,
ďa shot of the inscriptionĒ, the location of the grave in the
churchyard, and the location of a second stone that is overgrown.
you really want it cleared off for a photo it would be best to leave
it covered and the grass and moss will give it some protection. If
ever you come over let me know and I will put a marker in so you can
"Thanks so much Paul for doing that for me. The photos are
Hopefully one day I might be able to get over there to see them for
Did my ancestor live on the bridge?
This map of the
"Welch Bridge" shows the bridge bottom centre, with the salt works
just north of it on the town-side bank of the river.
Board of Health (1851)
THIS ITEM INCLUDES INPUT FROM A LOCAL AUTHOR
I WONDERED if you could shed any light on my great, great,
great grandfather Matthew Boyer who, the census states in
1841, lived on "Welch Row bridge". Was there any
buildings at all on the bridge at the time or do you suppose
it was a building at one side?
you know anywhere that I can get hold of any photos of the
bridge and Welsh Row itself, dating back to the 1800s? I am
interested in Welch / Welsh Row as a number of my relatives
lived there, around numbers 19, 20 and 22 in the 1800s.
also have another great great great grandfather called James
Gibson who was an innkeeper on High Street. Am I right in
thinking the George and Dragon was the only inn in the mid
1800s on High Street?
have done a bit of searching and found that the current bridge
was built in 1803, replacing an older stone one that had shops
on it. The current one is just a bridge. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nantwich_Bridge for the
Looking at the census, I would say your
great great great grandfather
was in the first building off the bridge and as the census moves
on it enters First Wood Street so this would point to the left
side when approaching the bridge.
The building that was there is sadly no more but it shows on the
image of the 1851 board of health map (above).
Now for some good news . . . I had a look at the book "Lost
Houses in Nantwich" (by
Andrew Lamberton and the late Robin
and the following is the transcript on
19 Welsh Row
The present retail premises of Mia Stanza at the above address
were at one time the site of Matthew Boyerís bake house and an
advert in Johnson's Almanac in the early 1900s claims that it
has been in use for upwards of 200 years. John Boyer was the
occupier in 1792, followed by Richard Boyer in 1833 and Matthew
in 1850 until at least 1896. In 1912, Joseph has taken over
until at least 1939 after which time it appears that the family
left. It later became a garage before its present recent owners.
text is accompanied by a picture of the building with Matthew
and his wife and daughter outside.
On the map this would have been on the first
turning at the bottom of the map, left side.
Andrew is also better placed to tell you
about the inn keepers of Nantwich.
I agree with everything that
would have been at the end of Welsh Row next to the
bridge on the north side.
Gibson, I need more information as I can find no trace
of him in the mid 1880s in Nantwich. There were just two
inns in High Street then, the Crown and the Union
The George and Dragon was of
course at 5 Pillory Street.
My apologies. I omitted to
say James Gibson was an Innkeeper on High Street,
Budworth. He was also an engineer which I believe was to
do with boats, possibly on the Weaver.
I have been
looking on the Internet to buy your book, "Lost Houses
In Nantwich" but it seems no longer available anywhere.
Or, do you know of anywhere I could buy
one ? I am most interested in the photo of Matthew Boyer
and his wife (probably his second wife, Harriet, as I
think his first wife died prior to him becoming a baker)
outside the then bakery at 19 Welsh Row.
Robert, married James' daughter, Margaret, who had a
daughter, Jessie, my great grandmother.
A further reply from
Sorry you can't get hold of
a copy of "Lost Houses in Nantwich". However, I attach
the photo in question (right).
A further comment from
I have had an e-mail from local author Don
Tomkinson correcting the identity of the Boyer
family in the photograph (see footnote below).
Iíve no doubt he is correct as he has done a lot
of research on the family.
Don says that the members of the family pictured
are Joseph Boyer (1866-1947), his wife Harriet
Grace, nee Samways, born 1866, and their
daughter, Grace, born 1907. Grace later married
The photograph was taken in 1911 or 1912.
An e-mail from Steve to Paul:
Many thanks for your time and effort regarding the information on
Matthew Boyer. It turns out he was quite a character, He was
a shoemaker and was involved with some other shoemakers in
Nantwich in the stealing of pheasants from the Darnhall
Riots took place in Nantwich, apparently (maybe due
to the harsh sentences) and soldiers from Chester were sent to
restore order. There is a
book about it which I am currently trying to obtain.
Here are some details from the Internet:
"Matthew and twenty four others, including his
brother Joseph, took part in the Darnhall 'Great Poaching Affray' on the 17th
of December, 1828. They were tried at Chester on the 9th of April, 1829, Matthew
being the first on
trial, and six, including Matthew, were sentenced to be
transported to Botany Bay for a
term of fourteen years. The remainder were given short
terms of imprisonment.
"A lawyer, W. T. Jones of the Hough, found a technical flaw
in the indictment and they were all released after spending some months on
board the convict hulk 'Justicia' at Woolwich, London.
On his return he became a baker, hence the information you
have supplied. His father was Richard Boyer who died
in 1840 aged 68. I'm not sure who John Boyer was
as Richard's father was a Matthew. Maybe Richard's Uncle. I
will look into it.
Matthew Boyer (as per the Darnhall business) died in
1871 from 'paralysis'. He had a son, Matthew, who
must have taken over until at least 1896. They seem to like
the name Matthew! I'm not sure what relation Joseph was.
look into it.
was able to tell Steve that he had
a copy of "The Darnhall
Poaching Affray" by Don Tomkinson and thought that Steve
would be able to get a copy from the
Society of Cheshire who published it. Mr Tomkinson
was also able to supply information about the Boyer
Eaton family in Nantwich |
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