Poulton, Carleton, and Fleetwood
updated with corrections and extra information 9 Jan 2015
The first known member of this family is James Kirkham who was born, perhaps in Carleton, in or near Poulton-le-Fylde, on 2 Dec 1784. For this information we are indebted to his great-grandson. See James Armour's day-book
On 5 Nov 1811 James married Elizabeth Ball at St Chad's, Poulton, a date obtained through the IGI. James and Elizabeth were both Catholics but Hardwick's Marriage Act of 1754 had not yet been repealed and by law they had to marry first in the parish church.
Elizabeth Ball was the daughter of John and Jane Ball of Rossall Grange Farm which is between Thornton and Fleetwood. At that time Fleetwood did not exist, being then no more than a rabbit warren with an occasional cottage, and was technically part of Thornton-le-Fylde. John Ball and his wife, Jane, née Cornthwaite, came from the Lune Valley and Lancaster and their lines have been traced back several generations further. They arrived in the Fylde with their eight children about the turn of the century. It must have been quite a shock for them coming from the more sheltered dales to experience the fierce westerly winds sweeping across the sand hills.
The plans for the 'new town' of Fleetwood were not even drawn up until some forty years later. The name of the farm is perpetuated in Rossall Grange Road. It was at that time only sandy farmland and rabbit warrens, subject to flooding. Jane died in 1829 and John remarried in old age. By the time he died in 1847 at the age of 84, a William Ball had taken over and William's son Richard is listed as the farmer in 1851.
The godparents of the first Elizabeth Kirkham (who died in infancy), daughter of James Kirkham and Elizabeth (nee Ball) were Richard and Jane Ball, this earlier Richard presumably being John and Jane Ball's 5th child and the baby's uncle, aged 26. It appears from the censuses that they were living in Carleton, James being a farmer there in 1841, with Mary the last to be born there in 1829. Ellen born in 1831 was born at Whitesides in Thornton, presumably a larger farm - or at least a larger farmhouse for their growing family.
James and Elizabeth Kirkham had eleven children and were living at Whitesides, a farm in Thornton by 1841, Elizabeth was not at home at the time and died on 30 Nov 1842. Their children were Jane, Elizabeth, Elizabeth, John, Ellen, George, Thomas, William, Mary, Ellen and Agnes. Three did not survive infancy and are not listed on the 1841 Census, the first Elizabeth and Ellen, and also Jane who died in 1839. The 2nd Elizabeth was the ancestor of the Armour family.
* James Kirkham died at Whitesides on 30 Aug 1851, and Thomas died on 24 Sep. aged 26. All that remains now of the farm is the name of the road - and this pond, which is marked on the old maps. Most of the farmland is now covered by houses.
* On the next page of the 1841 census to Whitesides is another farm, this time occupied by a Thomas Whiteside, and his wife Rebecca, both in their sixties and not identified. Also living on the farm were (with ages rounded down to the nearest 5) James Gill, 20, blacksmith, Anne Gill, 20, and.Thomas Waddington, 15, blacksmith's apprentice. The three names show that the Gills were the James b.1817 who married Elizabeth Kirkham on 20 Nov the same year, and Anne Gill, James's sister. b.1818. As James and Anne's father had married Jane Waddington, Thomas was presumably a cousin, not at present otherwise traced.
The nearest church for both families, Kirkhams and Balls, was the Catholic church of St John's at Poulton, frequently a very difficult journey along muddy lanes, being several miles away. John and Jane's grave can be seen and the inscription is still quite clear though it lies flat, half covered with ivy, in a corner next to the old chapel which is now used as the parish centre. It is possibly the oldest grave there.
As the Armour family descended through three generations with a son called James they have been numbered on the Armour pages, from the earliest known as I, II or III. James Armour III recorded the births of the children and most of them are also entered in the baptismal records for the Catholic church of St John the Evangelist. The two shown here are James I and II.
The following tree shows the relationship of the Swarbrick family. (Numbers refer to their position in the family, which helps to explain the leap across one generation with the Taylor/Swarbrick marriage, first cousins once removed)
The children were of James Kirkham and Elizabeth [Ball] were::
Christening dates are given by the IGI which originally used the church records. The birth and death dates along with the names of the children and their relationships to him or to his wife are all given in James Armour's daybook.
- Jane Kirkham, b. 19 Feb 1813, d. 23 Mar 1839
- Elizabeth Kirkham, b. 18 May 1815, chr. 19 May 1815
- *Elizabeth Kirkham, b. 7 May 1817, chr. 11 May 1817, d. 1 Mar 1899, m. James Gill
- John Kirkham chr. 13 Oct, 1819
- Ellen Kirkham b. & chr. 22 Oct 1821, d. 18 Jul 1823
- George Kirkham b. 13 Feb 1823
- Thomas Kirkham b. 9 Jul 1825, chr. 10 Jul 1825, d. 24 Sep 1851
- William Kirkham b & chr. 3 Oct 1827
- Mary Kirkham b. 5 Dec 1829, chr. 6 Dec. 1829
- Agnes Kirkham
- 3. Elizabeth Kirkham married James Gill, a blacksmith from a family of blacksmiths. He was born in Myerscough, north of Preston, but moved to the Fylde coast with his brother when new opportunities arose with the building of the new town of Fleetwood (named after one of its founders), and with the rapidly expanding ship-building trade. See the Gill family for further information.
- 4. John Kirkham left Whitesides after 1851, has not been found in 1861 but in 1871 was living in Hambleton in the Fylde. In the March Q 1876 in Ulverston he married Dorothy (née Cornthwaite) who was already twice widowed. In 1881 he was living in Guy St, Padiham aged 62 with Dorothy, 60, working as a greengrocer. Dorothy's two grandchildren, Dorothy Park 18, cotton winder, born in Ulverston, and Lawrence Park, 17, cotton weaver, born in Barrow in Furness were living with them. (footnotes on Dorothy's marriages replace the former notes on this couple)
- 6. George Kirkham married Dorothy Holmes, daughter of Mark Holmes and Jane (nee Marsden) of Salwick and had 9 children. James was born in Preston and Dorothy in Blackpool, the rest were born in Carleton (confusingly often rendered as 'Corlton' or 'Corlston' in the census transcription). In 1881 a granddaughter, Mary Kirkham, b.1878 was living with George and his family. It's not known at present whose daughter she was.
i. Jane 1851-1868
ii. James b. 1854 Preston, apprentice in 1871, painter in 1881; married and widowed, by 1891 when he was lodging in Manchester with brother Richard (iv)
iii. Mark b.1856 a painter, and William (vii) b. 1865 'hatter's labourer', were lodging with their sister Elizabeth (vi) in 1891. Mark m. Aileen Wallace (b.1865 Ireland) in 1892 and by 1901 had 4 children, Olivia 1893, Dorothy 1895, George 1897 and Ann 1899.
iv. Richard b.1859, a grocer. m. Annie Wheeler (b.1862 Birmingham) in 1883; had 5 children; Mary 1878, Thomas 1883, Eliza 1885, George 1897 and Richard 1890; in 1901 he was listed as a widower with the 4 younger children at home with him, and was working as a slater.
v. Thomas b.1860 m. in 1851,Elizabeth Holmes (b. Carleton 1861) [not, as far is known, related or closely related to his mother], 2 daughters, Dorothy 1892, Agnes 1896,
vi. Elizabeth b. 1862, m. John Swarbrick of Singleton 1887; children: Alice 1890, John 1893, Dorothy 1895, Richard 1896, Margaret 1898, and Mark Edward 1901
vii. William, a slater, was lodging with his sister Elizabeth and her husband John Swarbrick in 1891. In 1901 he and his sister Dorothy (ix) b.1869 in Blackpool, were lodging with their brother Richard (iv) in Manchester; William was also listed as married though he had no wife with him, but there was [*Mary] Frances aged 3, a niece of Richard's listed after William so it seems quite likely that she was William's daughter.
viii. Mary b.1867 was a cotton weaver still living 'at home' in Blackburn in 1881. A granddaughter, Mary Kirkham aged 3, b. Blackpool, was living with them.
ix. Dorothy, b.1869 was housekeeper for Richard and his family in 1901.
(More details of this and the next generation are available if required. *It was quite common among Catholics to give several of their daughters the name Mary in honour of the Virgin and to use the 2nd name as the personal one;
- 8. William Kirkham b. 1827 had moved from Whitesides farm to Rossall Smithy by 1851 and was working as a 'joinerman blacksmith' for his brother-in-law James Gill, who had married Elizabeth Kirkham (#3) in 1841. He hasn't been found in later censuses and may have died or emigrated.
- 9. Mary Kirkham never married and in 1891, aged 60, was living with her sister Elizabeth and the Gill family in West St (now Poulton Rd) Fleetwood but Mary was listed as 'servant' and not as 'sister'. Elizabeth was recently widowed, James Gill having died on 19 Jul 1888. Elizabeth's son James, 39, is described by James Armour III as a 'cripple' - perhaps something like club foot as he was still working as a blacksmith.
- 11. Agnes Kirkham married Thomas Swarbrick, a blacksmith, and had 8 children. In 1881 they were living in Mill Rd, Thornton with Elizabeth, 23 who was working as a general servant of the family, Mary 15, John 14, Alice 12, Margaret Ellen 10, and Thomas, 8. Another son, William, b. 1860, was a tailor boarding in Grt Eccleston in 1881 who later married an Elizabeth. It's not known if they had any children. James was 18 and and a railway stoker, lodging with the Gill family in 1881. Thomas Swarbrick junior married Agnes [Taylor], his first cousin once removed and they had three children, Hilda 1901, Thomas 1906, and William Stanley 1907 who were of course cousins to themselves!
|The Armour family||The Gill family|
*Footnote on the three marriages of Dorothy Cornthwaite
Dorothy Cornthwaite was born in Ulverston in 1821. A search for her in the 1841 census, i.e.before she married, failed to find any results, but girls in service at that time who receive a 'not known or NK' return seem to be rather numerous! In the Sep Q of that year she married in Preston to Anthony Lucas, who was born in Wray with Botton. They had four children, Mary in Preston [Sep Q 1843 Vol.21, p.533] Elizabeth [1849 Burnley], William [1850 Burnley] and Thomas [1852 in Ulverston]. In 1861 Dorothy claimed to be a widow - the only death for an Anthony Lucas appears to be an Anthony James Lucas who died in Shoreditch in the Jun Q 1860 [Shoreditch Vol1c p.128] As he was a hat dealer he could have travelled the country perhaps. He is hard to track
On 5 Jun 1860 at the age of 17 Mary Lucas married George Park, son of Lawrence Park of Pennington, then in the Sep Q of 1861 Dorothy herself married again, this time to a John Heron, a ship rigger. They had no children, but Dorothy was now looking after her daughter Mary's two Park children, Dorothy b.Ulverston 1862 and Lawrence b.Barrow 1864. A search for Mary in the 1871 census failed and it seems likely that she was the Mary Park who died in 'Ulverstone' in the Mar Q 1865. [Ulverston Vol 8e, p.506] Dorothy then became a widow for the seond time when John Heron died aged 46 in the Sep Q of 1872 [Ulverston Vol.8e p.452]
In the Mar Q 1876 Dorothy married for the 3rd time, to John Kirkham. John's maternal grandmother was a Cornthwaite but nothing is known of Dorothy's family at present so no connections can be made and there may be none. John outlived his wife who died in 1884 in Ulverston. John has not been easy to track but is possibly the John Kirkham who died in Preston aged 76 in the Mar Q 1894. [Preston Vol.8e p.433], the nearest to the right age.