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Halsall 2 years 4 months ago #191

  • Judy Molesworth
  • Judy Molesworth's Avatar Topic Author
My 3 x great grandmother was Mary Halsall baptized at St Peter & St Paul on 7 May 1809, the last child of James & Nanny. I believe James to be the son of Henry Halsall (1703 - 1774) and Ann Darbyshire,(1709-1757) born in Lathom and baptized at SP&SP 21 Dec 1746. James married Margaret Lowe at SP & SP on 11 Oct, 1769. This would make James 22 when he married and Margaret around 20 or so. What happened over the next 20 years, I have no idea, because the next thing I find is the baptism of daughter, Elizabeth, on 27 May 1789. Margaret's burial is recorded at SP & SP on 16 May 1791. James re-married sometime between 1791 and 1796 (when daughter, Alice was baptized). James' 2nd wife was Ann -- and herein lies the problem! Ann Heaton, born Winwick in 1792 seems to fit, but she seems to have been married to every James Halsall around at that time!! I know that the James who married Margaret and the James who married Ann is the same one, as, according to the 1851 census she was staying with my 3x gt grandparents. I can find no death for James, though I believe Ann to have died in 1855.
If anyone knows ANYTHING about James and Ann I would really appreciate hearing from them. I am getting nowhere at all with my research. Thanks. .

Halsall 2 years 2 months ago #215

The first thing that struck me is that Halsall and Heaton are names that come up in a lot of the local Catholic records, and I am wondering whether this explains why no obvious baptisms for the children of James Halsall and Margaret Lowe are coming up for you?

The law at the time said that you had to marry in an Anglican church in order for your marriage to be recognised, so many Catholics did exactly that, then went back to their “usual” chapel to have their babies baptised. It could be that James and Margaret were linked to St. Anne’s RC Church at Ormskirk (or, St. Oswald’s, as it was then); a lot of baptisms for children from Lathom come up in those records, but unfortunately they are not very widely available. (I think they are on microfilm at Ormskirk Library, but are also available at the Lancashire Archives in Preston.)

From my own research, I have seen quite a few Lowes in the registers for St. Anne’s, and (in cases where an Anglican married a Catholic) it wasn’t unusual for the children to be baptised as Catholics.

I see from the Online Parish Clerks website that James and Nanny were living in Ormskirk itself when their children were baptised (with the eldest being born c.1802?), which makes me think that someone had got Ann’s age wrong on the 1851 census.

Do you happen to have an address for Ann in 1851, to use as a cross reference?

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