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The Gill Family of the Fylde

Myerscough, Carleton, Fleetwood and Blackpool

Updated February 2016

A very important note!
These webpages are occasionally updated with new information, sometimes with a complex re-organisation, but most importantly perhaps, with corrections to mistakes. Don't accept every little bit of information as 'evidence' unless there is a given source which can be checked. Unfortunately one or two items from this page have been copied uncritically onto another website. with the assumption, long since corrected , that James Armour (2) and his wife, Ann, were first cousins. Ann McLaughlin was born in 1816 in Derry, Northern Ireland, was married to James on 1 June 1838, (perhaps in Derry), and died in Fleetwood on 7 Dec 1879. Although the Armours came from Derry (and by tradition from the banks of the Clyde before that) there is no evidence whatever that they were cousins. This was my mistake initially, for which I apologise, but at least it serves as a warning - we are all fallible! Armours were and still are, very numerous around Glasgow but this doesn't 'prove' the family connection even if I think it probable!

An extended family tree showing the complicated inter-relationships between several families can be seen on the Family Tree page. It would be useful to make a printed copy for easy reference while reading these pages.

The story of the Gill family begins in 1794 when both John Gill and his wife Jane Waddington were born, John in Myerscough and Jane, known as Jenny, in the parish of Broughton just to the north of Preston. Although the two villages are a few miles apart the parish boundaries are much nearer so their two families - so far both unknown - were not necessarily living a great distance apart. The Gills were probably attending the Catholic church of St Mary's at Newhouse in Barton while the Waddingtons were apparently members of the parish of St John the Baptist at Broughton where their daughter was baptised. They married about 1815 and set up home in the same area, John being a blacksmith. Whatever the difference of religion - if there was one - it can only be conjectured at present.

Names Two points are important to bear in mind with this family. Though there is no obvious naming pattern the same Christian names recur with monotonous regularity in all branches and generations in the 19th century, John, James and Joseph, Elizabeth, Jenny, and Ann or Margaret. This makes it quite difficult to keep track of each family. The tree below provides a brief outline and identification is repeated with each listing. Links named as Gill Family tree are provided throughout the text and return to that point.

The second point concerns places given for births. At this time the only Catholic church in this part of the Fylde serving the villages along the coast and inland to Poulton was St John's. St Mary's, Fleetwood was not begun until about 1844. Moreover the registration district for Fleetwood was (and still is, technically) Thornton. On the 1881 census therefore all Fleetwood records are listed under 'Thornton le Fylde'(= 'in the Field', occasionally mis-spelt as 'Flyde' which is meaningless). Births between Fleetwood and Poulton are frequently listed as 'Thornton'. Carleton has been substituted here where there seems to be some evidence in the records of Catholic baptisms which suggest that area in particular. As 'Blackpool' like Fleetwood was late in developing its own local government organisation it appears as 'Layton with Warbreck' being the collection of villages now comprising Blackpool Central and north Blackpool.

'On the move'
The whole of this period was one of tremendous growth along the Fylde coast as three major developments took place. Fleetwood was designed as a seaside resort and as early as 1844 with a population of only a few thousand it had 60,000 visitors who came on outings by train during the summer. It was also partly intended to provide an easy link for travellers from London to Scotland. A steamer would take them to Ardrossan, thus avoiding the hills which it was said railways would not be able to climb. Ferry and freight services were also of great importance, with regular sailings to Northern Ireland, including Londonderry in the early years (of special importance to the Armour family!)

At first the main fishing fleet was made up of shrimpers and trawlers which sailed in Morecambe Bay. Later larger trawlers went further afield fetching cod and haddock from the rich seas around Iceland. Trade grew to such an extent, especially with the opening of the new docks area, with its huge grain elevator and timber pond (with timber from the Baltic) in the eighties that Fleetwood began to rival Liverpool as a port. This continued until the opening of Preston dock and the construction of the Manchester Ship Canal.

Meanwhile, Blackpool which had seen fishing on a much smaller scale, also became a major centre for the holiday trade, especially with the coming of the railways. The hotels and boarding houses that sprang up in the second half of the 19th century still extend for some ten miles along the coast.

Notes on members of the families below are shown for the 'main' line in red in the headings and in capitals in the text. The earlier history of the Kirkham family can be found on the Kirkham page For Elizabeth Gill in the 3rd generation the link is to notes on this page. Follow the link from her husband James Armour to continue directly on the second page for the Armour family. Notes follow for each family in order of age with plenty of optional navigation points, or simply scroll through. If you think one of these families could be yours it would be worth printing out this tree initially.

Gill Family Tree


Armour Family top Kirkham Family

Family of John Gill & Jane Waddington

(1794-1875) & (1794-1867)

of Newhouse, Poulton and Fleetwood

The 1851 census gives the birthplace of John and Jenny as Preston, but this is slightly misleading as Broughton usually appears 'under' Preston although not physically part of it. John may have been born in Preston - or nearby - as the censuses are consistent about this although by 1841 he had already moved to Poulton, a move which can be dated fairly precisely to about 1821. In fact they had probably moved at least once earlier as they seem to have been married in St Mary's parish church in Lancaster in Apr 1816. [Boyd's Marriage Index] It is more likely that they had moved to Myerscough rather than Lancaster as most of their family were born there. The anomaly here is rather like Broughton appearing as 'under' Preston; Myerscough could have 'belonged' to Poulton or Lancaster, but this is a question which requires further research backwards to the Middle Ages and monastic times! It is thought that the Poulton address included Carleton, bordering Poulton then and now wedged between Poulton and Blackpool. . Their three sons all became blacksmiths like their father - this was a rapidly developing area, especially after the development of Fleetwood, a model town, carefully planned in the 1830s with a new port, and built in the 1840s (mainly because the ships were getting so much bigger they couldn't go upriver to Poulton). Eventually Joseph went south to Blackpool and into 'ironmongery' but the new town of Fleetwood was planned and built from about 1836 and it was here that the rest of the family moved, probably during the 1840s, taking advantage of all the new opportunities opening up. Their trade was undergoing a fundamental change, from that of the traditional village blacksmith to boilermakers and ship-building.

Jenny died on 8 Jul 1867, her husband then being a widower for nearly 8 years. In May 1875 "he met a tragic death. He fell into the fire and was burnt so badly he died a few days after." That was on 13 May 1875 and he was buried a few days later in Fleetwood Cemetery. James Armour does not say whether this was a domestic fire but there might still have been a workshop attached to their house, with a forge at that time. He could easily have been doing odd jobs at the age of 81, or perhaps he had a stroke - a slight one would not have been diagnosed at the time, or even a major one if he was alone.

  1. JAMES GILL b.17 Jan 1817 chr.18 Jan 1817 St Mary's, Newhouse sps. James Walmsley, Mary Gill; .m. Elizabeth Kirkham; d.19 Jul 1888
  2. Anne Gill b. 31 Dec 1818 chr. 1 Jan 1819 at St Mary's, Newhouse sps. James & Catherine Gill; d. 30 Apr 1872 Fleetwood
  3. Joseph Gill b.& chr.20 Mar 1820 at St Mary's, Newhouse sps. John & Dorothy Edsforth, m. 1. Ann Brown 2. Fanny Barnett;
  4. Mary Gill b. 17 Jun chr. 18 Jun 1822 at St John's RC chapel, Poulton, sps.James Gill, Catherine Gill, m. Thomas Atkinson Drummond, d. 6 Apr 1892 Fleetwood
  5. John Gill b. 27 Apr 1826 chr. 30 Apr 1826 at St John's RC Poulton, sps.John Horrocks, ... Walmsley; m. Elizabeth Moorhouse 1856, d. Fleetwood

There is a mystery about some of the details given here. The birth and baptism dates for James Gill are taken from the day-book of his grandson, James Armour (see the Armour family) The dates given in Volume 15 of the Catholic Record Society transcriptions of the records for St Mary's Newhouse give James as born on the 9th of January and baptised on the 10th. If this was written at the time is it perhaps more reliable than the family's memory of the event?

The names of the sponsors (sps), godparents, are useful as they give the only clues to the previous generation of Gills, James, Catherine (perhaps James' wife) and Mary.

Follow the link for James Gill to go to the next generation on the 'main' line. The notes that follow are on the other children above:

2. The baptism of Anne Gill, dau of John Gill and Jane (Waddington) gives a clue to other unknown - and earlier- members of the Gill family for her godparents were 'James Gill and Catherine Gill'. Whether these two were brother and sister of husband and wife is not known as they have not been traced. Anne was living with her brother James in 1841, both ages being rounded down to 20, though James was actually 23 and Ann 21. By 1851 Ann(e) had returned to live with her parents at 42 Church St, Thornton. After her mother died she moved with her father to no. 7 Church St and were joined by John's granddaughter (her niece) Elizabeth Gill aged 18, b. in Blackpool, who acted as a servant (a common arrangement). Ann never married and died on 30 Apr 1872 at the age of 54. Elizabeth appears again below, being the daughter of Joseph, 2nd son of John and Jenny Gill..

3. Joseph Gill, second son of John Gill and Jane Waddington married twice, his first wife being Anne Brown, known as Nanny, who he married in the Dec Q 1845 in the Fylde Reg.District (probably Blackpool) [Vol.21 p.325]. He had perhaps already opened his ironmongery business there and in 1851 he was in Bonny St, Blackpool according to a local directory though whether this was just a shop or had living quarters as well is not known. His ironmongery business continued to appear in directories for 1866-1881 when he was living at 46 Chapel St, Layton. He and Nanny had eight children the last, Mary, being baptised on 2 Dec 1861. 1. It seems likely that Nanny died in childbirth, as she died in that December quarter.

Joseph married for a second time, on 26 Oct 1862 in Blackpool. His wife Fanny Barnett, born in 1827 at Hassall Green in Cheshire, was herself a widow, now Fanny Bateman. Joseph and Fanny had only one child, (called Mary like the two earlier girls) who was born in 1864. Joseph died in 1884 in Blackpool.

Children of Joseph Gill and Ann Brown -all baptised in Blackpool. (see Gill Family Tree)

      i. John Gill, chr.29 Jul 1846, blacksmith; m. Jane Higham; dau. of John Higham of Warton
      ii Jane Gill chr.17 Oct 1847 m. Peter John Hulme 12 May 1873 [Fylde Vol.8e p.927]
      iii Margaret Gill chr. 25 Feb 1849 m. Peel Hutchinson Jun Q 1868 Manchester [Vol no.8c p.669?]
      iv Jenny Ann Gill chr. 26 May 1850
      v Mary Gill chr. 22 Jun 1851 d. Sep Q 1851
      vi Elizabeth Gill b.& chr. 19 Jun 1852 m. Thomas Ronson 7 Sep 1876 in Blackpool. Thomas was a joiner, born in Preesall about 1850. They settled in Fleetwood at 57 Kemp St, next door to Elizabeth's uncle, John Gill (3rd son of John and Jenny) [details on request]
      vii James Gill chr.4 May 1856 m. Edith Fletcher(b.1862) on 3 Oct 1887 in Blackpool
      viii Mary Gill chr. 2 Dec 1861 d. Dec Q 1861 )
      ix Mary Gill b. 1864 in Blackpool

Joseph was still living at 46 Chapel St in 1881. At home still were his daughter Jenny Ann, 30, who never married, and Mary, 17, the youngest, Fanny's daughter. Also at home was Joseph's only son James, 25 and unmarried, another blacksmith, presumably working with his father.


i. John Gill, the eldest son and his wife Jane (Higham, b.Warton 1855) were living at 48 Chapel St Layton in 1881, next door to his father Joseph. Their children were:
          • Ann (Nanny) chr. 27 Dec 1868, m. Alexander Danks Coulton on 17 Nov 1897
          • Joseph chr. 30 Oct 1870 m. Betty Harrison, 18, dau of Richard, on 18 Jul 1894
          • William chr. 27 Oct 1872 m. Mary Ellen Davenport, 20, dau. of Egbert on 2 Apr 1895
          • John Henry (not John S. as given in the 1881 census) chr. 10 May 1874
          • Margaret Ann chr. 10 Jun 1877
          • Jane chr. 20 Feb 1881
          • Fanny chr. 10 Jun 1883

      These dates are given in the IGI and agree with the ages in the census.

    ii. Jane Gill married Peter John Hulme on the 12 May 1873 in Blackpool. Peter was born in the Jun Q 1850 in Macclesfield, son of James Hulme a silk manufacturer, and Charlotte (née Hutchinson) As Charlotte was a 'silk warper' it seems the term 'manufacturer' could be quite misleading!
    Jane and Peter married in the Jun Q 1873, and then the mystery begins. It appears that they had a son John b. 1875 in Macclesfield Jane (Gill) Hulme seems to have died in 1879 and around that time Peter 'disappears' from the records.

    This left only the son John to find, in 1881 living with his father, John Hulme, a widower and a warder in H.M.Prison, Gorton, Manchester, and his grandmother Charlotte. This must be the right family, though without 'Peter', the first name. No match has been found of a death for a 'Peter' or a 'Peter John' right up to 1940. Instead it looks as though 'Peter John' called himself plain 'John' from about the time of Jane's death (1879) and that he was the prison warder living in or near the prison. Perhaps in 1891 he can be identified with a widower aged 38 lodging in Stockport but this is very speculative. A much better match is a John Hulme in1901 (b. 1851 Macclesfield)as a boarder in a large lodging house in Cross St, Manchester (the description of him as 'single' could easily be a mistake). 1911 finds a John Hulme b.Macclesfield 1848 in the workhouse at Disbury, Manchester. Finally the only matching death record is for a John Hulme aged 80 dying in the Fylde district in the Dec Q 1932 [Vol.8e p.698] Hopefully he had 'retired; to live with his son in Blackpool at a later stage rather than ending his days in the Workhouse.

    John junior hasn't been found in 1891 but his age is given correctly in 1881 (6) and in 1901 (26) - with no others of that name and age - where he is listed as a 'painter and decorator', living with Jenny Ann Gill and her stepmother Fanny who was a lodging house keeper (more on them below!) John is identified as Fanny's 'grandson' He was then easily found in 1911 married to a Margaret Ann (they had had one child who died but were childless by then) and was a 'bookkeeper'.

iii. Margaret Gill married Peel Hutchinson in the Jun Q 1868 in Chorlton, Manchester. They had two daughters, Ann, b.1869 is probably the one who died in the Jun Q 1873; Jane was born in 1871, her father died in the Jun Q 1872, and her mother, Margaret, seems to have died in the Sep Q 1873 aged 25, which tallies with her given age. Jane then went to live with her grandfather Joseph Gill at 46 Chapel St, Blackpool (d. 1884) and his 2nd wife Fanny (1891 and 1901) and then married James Todd,(b. 1878 Blackpool) in the Dec Q 1906 in Blackpool. In 1911 Jane and James were still childless but living in a house with ten rooms, Jane being described as a 'Company House Keeper'. James was a stoker at the 'Destructor Works' in Blackpool.
Blackpool Land ladies at 46 Chapel St
iv Jenny Ann Gill (always with both names) never married and by 1891 she and her stepmother Fanny, along with her sister Mary (who never married) and niece Jane Hutchinson were all living in Joseph's house at 46 Chapel St, Blackpool, the 11 rooms now a lodging house. Jenny Ann's nephew John Hulme was there working as a painter and decorator (a very appropriate occupation!) in 1901 and nephew Joseph Gill aged 13 (son of no. vii James Gill) had also joined this busy household. (Next door at no.48 was of course, John Gill, Jenny Ann's older brother, and his family -7 children - until after 1891). No death record has been found for Fanny except perhaps Totnes in Devon in 1909 (!) but Jenny Ann had taken over no.46 in 1911 and was running it with the help of her sister Mary. She also had an 'adopted' daughter Jenny, born in 1906. (In 1911 Jenny's brother James was the head of the household, his brother John having died in 1900. This was another houseful with 7 children still occupying the 8 rooms. John and his wife Edith had had 11 children, but 3 had died and one had left home. Interestingly Edith is described as a 'Company House Keeper' .)
vi. Elizabeth Gill was born in Blackpool on 19 Jun 1852 (then given as 'Layton Warbreck) but by the time she was 18, in 1871, she had moved to be a domestic servant in her (widowed) grandfather's house at 7 Church St in Fleetwood, her grandmother Anne having died ten years earlier. On 7 Sep 1876 she married Thomas Ronson, a joiner (born in Preesall, Pilling, or as he wrote, 'Knot End') across the R.Wyre and they had five children, Annie Jane b. 1878, John b.1879, Fanny b.1882, Minnie b.1884 and Joseph b.1894. Elizabeth had died the previous year (Sep Q 1910) aged 58. The family must have still been in the same house as in 1901, (7 Windsor Place in 1901, Terrace in 1911). It was still a full house in 1911, with the addition of Fanny's husband, Albert Shem Jones from Northop, Flint who she married in 1908, and their daughter Zillah born in 1909 in Garston.
vii. James Gill, baptised on the 4 May 1856 in Blackpool followed in the family footsteps in becoming a blacksmith and presumably worked alongside his brother John, their father, and for a while, their grandfather. By 1911 he is listed as a 'Blacksmith Master' which presumably meant that he could take on apprentices. On 3 Oct 1887 he married Edith Fletcher b.1862 in Blackpool, and they had 9 children. They are given below with details from the 1911 census:

After the death of his father and then his marriage James moved with his growing family to 31 Oddfellow St (1891) until the 1900s when he moved back to Chapel St, but at no.48, next door to the old family home, no.46, which was being run as a boarding house by his sisters (details above). So Jenny Ann born in 1904 must have been named after her aunt at no.46. It was a fairly large house with 8 rooms. Seven children are listed in 1911 but they had had 11 altogether, three having died, (George being one). Joseph had married Marion Fidler in the Dec Q 1910 and in 1911 they were living at 4 Frederick St, Blackpool in a 4-roomed (inc. the kitchen) house. So two more children are not accounted for but probably died in infancy.

ix Mary3, referred to here as Mary3 as the only survivor in the three attempts of Joseph Gill to name one of his daughters as 'Mary' - possibly because of the growing devotion to the Virgin Mary among Catholics over Joseph's lifetime. Her immediate predecessor, Mary2 probably died at or soon after her birth, her mother, Anne (née Brown) dying about the same time. Mary was of course half-sister to the rest of the family as she was the only child of Joseph's 2nd marriage, to Fanny Barnett (née Bateman). She never married and at the age of 47 in 1911.was still helping Jenny Ann to run the boarding house at 46 Chapel St, 'assisting in the business'. Jenny Ann died in 1926 aged 76 [Fylde Vol 8e p.802] and it seems very likely that Mary took over the business herself in the end - perhaps it's her death recorded in 1945 at the age of 83 (2 years out) in Blackpool. [Vol 8e p.663] (No other death for a Mary is recorded in Blackpool for that period)


Children of John Gill and Jane Waddington continued

4. Mary Gill 2nd daughter of John and Jenny Gill was born on 17 Jun 1822 in Poulton (Carleton?) and baptised the following day at St John's Catholic chapel in Poulton (though it seems more likely that the priest visited rather than that a one-day old baby was taken to church!) This is the birth that dates the move from the Myerscough/Newhouse area, and the godparents who give a clue to an earlier generation, James and Catherine Gill as they were surely related.

In the March Q 1846 Mary married Thomas Atkinson Drummond, a master builder, from Sunderland or Newcastle (the censuses vary) born about 1809 and was some 14 years older than Mary. He had been working in Manchester on projects connected with the railway but decided in 1837 to see Fleetwood for himself, going by train to Garstang and then walking to Knott End - quite a distance! He caught the ferry across and was so taken by what he saw of Fleetwood, formerly nothing more than a rabbit warren, but then being planned from scratch as a 'new town' that he decided to set up his business there. By 1841 he was lodging with John and Jenny Gill, listed as a 'bricklayer' .He refused to buy his materials locally, perhaps regarding prices asked by Kemp, agent for Peter Hesketh-Fleetwood as inflated and instead walked the eight miles to Poulton for better prices, teaming up with a builder and decorator, Joseph Walmsley who himself decided to move to Fleetwood.. One interesting footnote to this story is that Joseph Walmsley's grandson was later related to the Lupton family through his marriage to a Hull.

The town took a little time to be on everyone's map! Their address in 1851 is given as 8 Preston St Thornton but was already Fleetwood. It's quite erratic as to whether you find any of these Fleetwood residents before about 1900 as born or living in Fleetwood or Thornton, more often the latter - although the two places were quite separate and it was very much later that they 'merged' into each other on the seaward side.

In the Mar Q 1846 Thomas and Mary were married and lived in a house and offices on Preston St - no.8 in 1851, no.5 in 1861 and no.15 from 1881 onwards, which he built himself. (The house numbers seem to be 'elastic' - did they move to no.5 by 1861 and to no. 15 by 1881- or were the houses sometimes renumbered?) He is in fact reputed to be responsible for nearly all the early streets and buildings and figures largely in the history of town.. Besides the house-building he was also employed on such projects as building a church for the Congregationalists in West St (now Lord St) in 1847. (It was demolished in 1936 to make way for Marks & Spencers) His own former offices eventually became those of a firm of solicitors. By 1881 he was employing 18 men and 8 boys

Mary and Thomas had seven children, all born in Fleetwood:

Their sons followed in their father's footsteps, Christopher as a house builder at 32 London St, then 29 (later 39) Preston St, Thomas as a builder and contractor at 15 Preston St by 1911, and John as a housebuilder, at 48 London St , Queen's Terrace and then a house 'Hilly Laid' in Poulton by 1911.

Thomas died in the Dec Q 1882. Mary survived him by over 9 years. In 1891 she is shown still living,at the same address, with her daughter Rachel, both 'on their own means', and with a maid servant. Mary died there on 6 April 1892.
1901 and 1911 found Rachel living alone with, as she put it, 'private means' but now moved to 58 London St, quite a large house with its eight rooms, though of course with many of her own family and cousins within easy walking distance.

More details on Mary's descendants are available on request


5. John Gill b. 27 Apr 1826, chr. 30 Apr; m. Elizabeth Moorhouse in the Dec Q 1856; John was like the rest of the Gill sons in every branch, a blacksmith. By 1881 he was employing one man and had an apprentice as well.

It is said that there were only 4 blacksmiths in Fleetwood in 1866 and 8 by 1900 or so. The term 'blacksmith' of course covers a variety of skills, all basically working in metal and needing a forge. Presumably this remark is intended only to refer to traditional blacksmiths who shoe horses. It is difficult however to see how this calculation was made when the term 'blacksmith' was then used indiscriminately. There were six working in 1866 in the Gill family alone including John Gill, senior who fell in the fire in 1875, 3 Johns, two James and one Joseph - with more to follow!

John and Elizabeth had 5 children and in 1881 they were living at 35 Kemp St

In 1871 Emma J. Moorhouse is listed as a milliner's apprentice. (It is not known whether or not she was John's daughter) She has not yet been traced further.
John was employing one man and one apprentice in 1881. Joseph is simply listed as a 'blacksmith's son' but he was perhaps the apprentice, for he was himself a blacksmith by 1891.
Jenny at 20 was a dressmaker but married Thomas Albert Parkinson in the Dec Q 1885. In 1911, after a short spell in Lancaster, they were living at 41 London St with their 4 daughters.
Eliza,a pupil teacher aged 15, married at the age of 19 and had 5 children by the end of 1901. Her husband Richard Cowell was a Harbour Worker and Building Inspector; they were living in Hesketh Place.
Susan, a monitress at 13, married Henry Robert Moss from Stoke on Trent in the Jun Q 1891. In 1911 they were living on the Esplanade with their three children.

Eliza and Susan did not then carry on to be teachers but this was how training began in the early days, especially after the passing of the Education Acts of the seventies which made schooling compulsory. The two girls would have been at St Mary's, then an all-age school, Susan probably in charge of a class of younger children. The school was large and it was likely there were several classes, not just two as in a village school for example, although class sizes were frequently any number up to 60 or more! The leaving age was then between 10 and 12 but attendance was still erratic at times.Return
Gill Family Tree top Kirkham-Armour connection

Family of James Gill & Elizabeth Kirkham

(1817-1888) & (1817-1899)

of Carleton and Fleetwood

For the maternal line see the page on the Kirkham Family

James is first found in 1841 living at 'Wilcocks' in Poulton as a blacksmith, with his sister Anne, both given as 20 owing to the rounding down of ages to the nearest 5. Thomas 'Wadington' aged 15, living with them and also a blacksmith was presumably their cousin. (He hasn't been found later, so perhaps he died young). James and Elizabeth lived at 29 West St, (now Lord St) Fleetwood, soon the main shopping street in the town. By 1851 Anne had returned to live with her parents. James and Elizabeth lived at 29 West St, (now Lord St) Fleetwood, soon the main shopping street in the town.

  1. John Gill b. 30 Aug 1843 Carleton d. 21 Nov 1914, blacksmith, lived at 31 West St, 1885 directory-Adelaide St; 1898 directory-37 West St.; m. Mary Unsworth (b. 1839 Brindle); no children of his; d. 21 Nov 1914
  2. ELIZABETH GILL b.18 Nov 1845 in Carleton, d. 9 Apr 1895 m. JAMES ARMOUR
  3. Jane Gill b. 3 Mar 1847, m. John Taylor d. Preston 31 May 1911; 4 children; d. 31 May 1911
  4. Mary Anne Gill b.18 Mar 1851 d. 15 Jul 1851 at 4 months old
  5. James Gill b. 23 Jun 1852 in Carleton, d.14 Feb 1897 James Armour (3) wrote in his diary, "He was a cripple all his life but he worked in the smithy as a blacksmith when he was fit."
  6. Joseph Gill b. 2 Dec 1854; m. Margaret Inch; 5 children b. Fleetwood; went to Falls River, Mass.USA
  7. Mary Anne Gill b. 2 Aug 1857 d. 22 Oct 1865

James Gill senior died on 19 Jul 1888 and was buried in Fleetwood cemetery. After her husband died Elizabeth (Kirkham) Gill moved in with their eldest son John at no.31 West St. This was next to the pub the Royal Oak. There is a puzzle about the numbering, including a mistake on the 1881 census which shows two houses numbered as 31, one on each side of no.29. The shop must have extended across the ground floor of both addresses and this could account for the confusion. One of them is between no.29 and the pub the Royal Oak but this could perhaps be a missing no.27? This was the one occupied by John Gill, whereas the other is listed as being 'unoccupied'. The workshop is said by granddaughters of James Gill to have been behind the shop, and many of the Gill men must have worked here over the years.

The confusion is increased by the 1891 census. John Gill was living at no.39, listed straight after the Royal Oak and the Board Schools (the latter being unoccupied of course) so the numbers must have changed, though not consistently. Elizabeth (Kirkham) was living with her unmarried son James and her younger sister Mary at no.37. A family called Whalley were at no.35 and then nos 31-33 were occupied by Joseph Gill with his wife Margaret (Inch) and their 5 children. No more houses are listed after these.

John Gill m. Mary Hodkinson who was born in 1836 in Brindle, south of Preston. She was 7 years older and had been married before, having three children by her previous marriage, Jane, Alice and Peter who were all born in Oldham. In 1881 Peter was an engine driver aged 23, living in 'Breightmet', Bolton. (Peter's wife was 10 years older than him and he too had three step-children.) It is not known whether John and Mary had any children and at present it seems unlikely as she was already 45 in 1881 with none living at home. Return

The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married James Armour at St Mary's RC church in Fleetwood on 2 Jan 1868. To continue this line see the Armour family


Taylor family
Jane Gill b.1847 married John Taylor who was born in Lancaster in 1849. The 1881 census (transcript) gives Jane as born in 'Cleveley', now known as Thornton Cleveleys. John at this time was an unemployed lath sender though it looks as though his return to Lancaster - and his period of unemployment - was temporary. They were then living in 6 Mill St with three children, Agnes Ellen 6, Elizabeth 4, and Mary Margaret 2, the last two having been born in Preston. The family returned to Preston later.
Agnes married Thomas Swarbrick (see below),
Elizabeth married William Henry Murphy who ran the Eldon Hotel in Eldon St. there and had three children, Richard, Francis and Winifride Murphy.
Margaret married Thomas Hayes, another cousin of James (3) and had a son George..
A 4th child, John Stanley Taylor born 5 Sep 1881 became headmaster of St Ignatius' School in Preston.
Swarbrick family
Thomas Swarbrick was a cousin of Agnes Taylor's but at one generation removed. The slip of a generation is shown in the tree below. His uncle, James Swarbrick, was lodging with James Gill and Elizabeth [formerly Kirkham] in 1881 at 29 West St. For more details see the Kirkham family

In 1881 Joseph Gill, then aged 26, was lodging with his elder brother John at 31 West St. Joseph could not long have been married, his wife being Margaret Inch, 29, born in Chorley. Like the rest of the menfolk in the Gill family, he was a blacksmith. Perhaps the competition between the various Johns, James and Josephs of the Gill family was becoming rather fierce. He saw an opportunity probably through an advertisement placed in Lancashire newspapers for new cotton mills being started up in the industrial areas of the Falls River, Massachusetts and took it. All his 5 children were born in Fleetwood:

They were all still in Fleetwood, at nos 31 & 33 West St Southside in 1891, Joseph being listed as a 'General Dealer', and the idea that the children were all born in the USA is mistaken. They must in fact have left during the next few years after Margaret's birth and returned, not in 1902 but perhaps rather later, if at all, as they did not appear on either the 1901 or 1911 censuses.

Family Tree showing the related families of Armour, Kirkham, Taylor and Swarbrick

Kirkham family tree


Gill Family Tree Armour Family Taylor-Swarbrick-connection