Middlehurst family History
In tracing my family tree, the earliest ancestral facts I have so far found have been that my family, MIDDLEHURST were Catholics and lived as Tenants of one of the largest farms in the area at Bamfurlong Hall Farm, Abram, near Ashton in Makerfield, Lancashire, UK, at 210 acres, according to the 1841 Census. We do not, as yet, know the date they arrived there, or from where.
William Middlehurst b1781 married 29th September 1808, Jane Rawlinson b1786 in Sephton (Sefton) and is listed as a farmer, they had at least 12 children we know of. These were;- John?1805, James?1807, Ann?1808, William 1811abt, Peter 1816abt, Mary 1816abt, John 1816abt, Jane?1822, Francis?1822abt, Thomas 1825 (my line),Margaret 1826abt, Elizabeth 1828abt most dates approx due to rounding, those with question marks as yet not confirmed.
Thomas Middlehurst b1825/6, married 18 October 1847, Elizabeth Adamson birth date stated as 1826 (I recently found that she was in fact born in 1828 and must have fibbed for the marriage!), her father was John Adamson, a blacksmith from Town Green, Ashton in Makerfield. They married in St Johns Chapel Wigan.
In 1849 they emigrated to New Orleans in America with son Henry 3, Thomas’s sister Jane and brother? Francis (they may not have travelled together and Francis is still conjecture).
We have only been able to trace Elizabeth, Jane and Henry immigrating into America in New Orleans July 12 1849 from Liverpool on the Blake (a Barque) NA No M259-31. No trace of any other family members.
Then they appear in the 1850 Census, Jane as a Nun 4th District 7th Ward Louisville Jefferson County, dwelling 287, Magdallen Asylum for Destitute Females.
Francis, Elizabeth and Henry, are shown at dwelling 1055, but again no trace of Thomas. (Francis does not appear again).
In 1852 Thomas is listed in the Louisville City Directory as a Cartman, in the 1855/6 Directory as a Teamster and in the 1859 Directory as a Canalman (this would have been on the Louisville-Portland Canal that by-passes the Ohio river falls/rapids) and they lived “front, between Tobacco and Jackson” which is on the Island in the river bounded by the Canal.
In the 1859-61 Directory he is shown as a Labourer and was living in the Portland and Shippingport area of the city, which is on the river shore opposite the Island next to the canal.
In 1853 he appeared before the Jefferson County Court to begin his Naturalisation Citizenship of the US. He became a Citizen in 1855.
In 1860 they are again recorded, this time Thomas, Elizabeth, sons Thomas and John, but no Henry, dwelling 838, Louisville 8th Ward page no 125 -669. Henry was buried on 24th April 1858 aged 10 at Our Lady of the Port Catholic Church. John Henry was born abt 2nd July 1858 and baptised on the 4th July.
We have recently learned from the “shadyladies” researching graveyards that two unnamed children, of the family, were buried in St John Cemetery at 26th and Duncan close to Shippingport on 4th September 1852 and 24th August 1854 we know nothing else about them.
The last record of the family was the 1862 Jefferson County Property Tax List for the Western District of Louisville.
Then NOTHING! The family story has it that sometime between 1862 and the 1871 Census, they were on a Wagon Train and were attacked by Indians. The three sons born in America survived, subsequently finding their way to England where they stayed initially with a family Cunliffe who had lived next door in earlier times and were related to Elizabeth.
Thomas, John and James were recorded in the English Census in 1871 as boarders. And we have traced their history from then on.
Can anyone help with the history of my family in America? We are not having much luck, it seems like it was a very turbulent time and if they were on a Wagon Train they could have been far away from Kentucky when their fate befell them, in fact they must have been in the (wild) West at this time, to have become involved with Indians, but would the events have been recorded? Where? And how can we pursue our quest to find out what happened? The only suggestions we have that make sense is to look through all the Newspapers of the time, a mammoth task even if we could afford (which we cannot) the trip to the States!
Their history in America is patchy until 1862 when they vanish, except Jane who is recorded as being ‘of feeble health’, the Nun who was 10th in the Order in America! Taking her vows on 24th October 1853. She died in a Convent on Bank St, Cincinnati, on 1st January 1869 aged 47.
With such an uncommon name you would think that it would be easy to trace the family, but that has not been the case, I do hope you can help us. Many thanks in anticipation.
Middlehurst Family History
When the three boys Thomas, John and James arrived from America after the Massacre, they are recorded on the 1871 census with relatives, the Cunliff’s, Martha the wife born in Hindley being Elizabeth’s sister b1816, at Lower Lane in Ashton in Makerfield. In 1841 Robert and Martha Cunliffe had lived just two doors from Elizabeth’s family on Smithy Brow.
Thomas married Alice WORSWICK 28th September 1876 at St Oswald’s Chapel, Wigan. Thomas was then living at Brynn Street and Alice at Heath Lane both Ashton in Makerfield, Thomas was a Coalminer and Alice a Cotton Factory Worker, Alice’s Father John was a Colliery Labourer, their witnesses were John Henry Middlehurst and Mary Dowd.
In 1881 Thomas was boarding with Samual Plant at Nelson Bank Madeley, Staffordshire (FHL 1341647 PRO RG11/2701/105/page 3) Alice working as a Jack Frame Tenter in a Cotton Mill, was with their son James 9 months old born in Tyldesley cum Shakerley, boarding at Back Blossom Street home of David and Elizabeth Hayes (RG11/3810/136/page 51).
James was 19 also a coal miner, still with the Cunliff’s in Lower Lane.(RG11/3784/14/page 23)
John Henry age 22 then a Shifter/blacksmith, was boarding at 20 Liverpool Road Ashton in Makerfield at the house of widow Elizabeth FOY aged 42.(RG11/3785/87/page24).
John Henry and Elizabeth FOY were married 2nd qtr 1881 ref Wigan 8c 158.
We believe Elizabeth was a WORSWICK before her marriage to FOY but proving this has so far elluded us.
James died March qtr 1883 Wigan vol 8c page 99 aged 22.
Thomas’s daughter Alice’s birth 21st September 1889 is registered at their home at 12 Cliffe, Great Harwood.
In the 1891 census Thomas is at 6 Cliffe, Great Harwood, still a coal miner age 35 with Alice 34, retired card room head, James b1881, an errand boy, Elizabeth b 1883, a scholar, Mary b1887 and Alice b1890.
John Henry 32 was recorded as a widower, still a blacksmith and with his Sister in law, Mary, Mrs Aliser a widow aged 62, listed as housekeeper. Both at 20 Liverpool Road, Ashton in Makerfield.
In 1901, the census reads, Thomas 45 coal hewer above ground, Alice 44, James 20, cotton weaver, Elizabeth 17, cotton weaver, Mary Ellen 14, cotton weaver, Alice 12, cotton weaver half timer, William Henry 7 b1894 and Ann 3 b1898.
William Henry is my line, to be added.
I have just contacted Alice's line and will add this in due course. Help on the others welcomed.
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