My ancestor Mary Brown from Lancashire--I don't know how to find her parents?

+8 votes
452 views

Unfortunately for me, there were tons of Mary Browns born in Lancashire around that time period. 

Here's what I know:

  • She was born between 1790 and 1800 or so in Lancashire, I think around the Haydock area (I've seen Windle, St Helens, and Ashton mentioned, too). 
  • She married Joseph Twiss or Twist in 1814. They were married by banns by the minister John Kirby in St Mary the Virgin, Prescot, Lancashire, England.
  • The witnesses at her and Joseph's wedding were Benjamin Greenall and Sarah Birchall.
  • They lived in Haydock for all of their married lives, as far as I can tell.
  • She and Joseph had 13 kids--Sarah, Ann, James, Mary, Hannah, Ellen, Emma, Eliza (my direct ancestor), Joseph, Thomas, Jane, David, and John.
  • Joseph Twiss was a witness at the wedding of Joseph Hart and Jane Brown in 1815. His signature matches the signature on his own wedding document. I had thought this Jane might be a sister of Mary's, but I'm not sure.
  • There was also a Joseph Twiss who was a witness at the wedding of George Brown (another relative?) and Mary Greenal in 1818. I can only find the Bishop's transcripts which are entirely written in the same hand (I assume the Bishop's hand), so I don't know if the signature matches on the original (if there is one) or not. 
  • The names Greenal, Greenall, Greenough, and Greenhough seem to pop up often in connection with this family, as witnesses at weddings and things like that. Other names that seem to be connected somehow are Birchall, Rigby, and Ackers. 

I just don't know how to figure out who Mary's parents were. Please help, if you can. I don't know the area at all, which also makes it difficult when looking for records.

WikiTree profile: Mary Twiss
in Genealogy Help by Tanya McLauchlan G2G3 (3.3k points)
edited by Maria Maxwell
Would you happen to know what cemetery Joseph, Mary or Eliza are buried? Sometimes cemetery information can help lead to an earlier generation.
No, I'm afraid I don't. I know that both Joseph and Mary died in August 1866 of a cholera epidemic, within a few days of each other. Some other members of their family died, too, but not Eliza. I have the record but I don't know if it mentions the cemetery. I'll go look.

I believe Eliza died sometime around 1903, but I actually haven't been able to find a death record for her at all, which is another thing I'd like to find. I want to know when she died.

ETA: Okay, I think they are buried in St Thomas in Ashton in Makerfield. I'm still not sure if that's a cemetery, or...just a parish? I'm not sure how that works.

Did not find them at Ashton in Makerfield St T... 
Ashton-In-Makerfield
Metropolitan Borough of Wigan
Greater Manchester
England

Here is the record: England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007 https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:2V9N-7P5
Some Lancashire parishes were very big then.  Haydock was one of 11 townships in Winwick parish.  For most purposes it was served by a more local chapel, St Thomas at Ashton-in-Makerfield, but weddings were at Winwick.

Since your wedding was at Prescot, that would suggest that one of the parties was then living a bit further west, over the boundary.  Prescot was an even bigger parish, 15 townships including the towns of Widnes and St Helens, which was served by a chapel of that name.

Usually the marriage register will say "of this parish" or "of the parish of ___".

1851 census Joseph 61 Haydock; Mary 55 Haydock

1861 census Joseph 71 Haydock, Mary 67 Ashton.

I'd be looking for a baptism at St Thomas 1793-4.  Unfortunately, the LDS people haven't indexed the St Thomas baptism registers.  It looks like you can print from the microfilms, but I don't know how that works - hopefully you don't have to print off all 7 reels.
This is excellent--this is exactly the kind of information I need! Is there a place where I can find out which townships belong to which parish?

I think there was some record that said they were both of Windle, but I can't remember for sure. It may have been their marriage record.

I've been relying heavily on the Lancashire Online Parish Clerk website. The ONLY Mary Brown I can find for St Thomas in Ashton in Makerfield is one born in 1797 to Mary Brown, along with her twin brother Peter (who I think later died).

Is there a place online where I can find/see the microfilms? Because I've tried ordering Italian records to look at at my local center and they just keep saying it's "processing." Since last spring.
The GENUKI website is a good place to find the relationship between townships and parishes - and also to find what records exist, and where they are. I suggest starting at: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/LAN/Parishes.html for Lancashire.
Thanks!
Hi Tanya, have you tried Family Search.org, its a free site, its brilliant.I use it all the time heres the URL; [https;//www.familysearch.org/ Family Search]

                             Healey-268 Susan
Hi Tanya Have found wedding source for Mary Brown and Joseph Twist in 1814 they were married in Prescot Lancaster, England found Family Search .org will put source up for you if it fits.

Healey-268 Susan

2 Answers

+3 votes
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NXLQ-RP2

Joseph Twist married Mary Brown, 22 Nov 1814 at St. Helens, Prescot, Lancashire, England
by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
Yes, it's Mary Brown's parents I'm looking for. Joseph Twiss/Twist is spelled all sorts of ways, if that's what you meant.
+2 votes

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKVX-NZS2

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:J3YV-K6X  One possibility.

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JQS9-R58   Another

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JWJG-V9B  and a third posibility

You may want to contact the church were Mary Brown married:

Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project - Parish of Prescot

www.lan-opc.org.uk/Prescot/

  •  
  •  

Online Parish Clerks

The town of PRESCOT OS grid ref SJ 465928 Lat 53'25N Lon 2'48W About 8 miles (13km) east of Liverpool ... StMary the Virgin, Market Place/Church Street  ...

Burials - Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project

www.lan-opc.org.uk/Prescot/stmary/burials.html

  •  
  •  

Online Parish Clerks

Burials at St Mary the Virgin in the Parish of Prescot. The Register for Burials at St Mary the Virgin 1665 - 1695 with Surname Index. The Register for 1665 - 1695  ...

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.2m points)
edited by Frank Gill
Yep, that first one--the census return--that is indeed my Mary.

I actually have a spreadsheet that lists every possibility for my Mary that I could find. There are like 85 of them. :/  But then again, like I said, I don't know the area at all. If I did, perhaps I could narrow them down some more.

ETA: I'm not sure how to contact the church or what exactly to ask them...suggestions?
If you click on the bold lettering above, it should take you to a list of names, but I did not find Joseph Twist or Mary Brown in the record, so I assume that they were buried at some other location. There were a lot of Mary Browns. Here are some with parents named.

Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
birth:        Killis Lane
christening:    28 September 1796    Horsley, Derbyshire, England
residence:        Horsley, Derbyshire, England    
father:    Exuperius Brown
mother:    Eliz. Brown        

Mary Fenlison Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    18 April 1797    Liverpool, Lancashire, England
residence:        Liverpool, Lancashire, England    
father:    George Brown
mother:    Diana Brown        

Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    7 May 1797    Prestwich, Lancashire, England
residence:        Prestwich, Lancashire, England    
father:    Benjamin Brown
mother:    Esther Brown        

Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    4 June 1797    Prestwich, Lancashire, England    
father:    Joseph Brown
mother:    Isabella Brown        

Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    4 June 1797    Prestwich, Lancashire, England
residence:        Prestwich, Lancashire, England    
father:    Joseph Brown
mother:    Isabella Brown        

Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    24 December 1797    Prestwich, Lancashire, England
residence:        Prestwich, Lancashire, England    
father:    Matthew Brown
mother:    Mary Brown        

Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    15 October 1797    Leigh, Lancashire, England
residence:        Leigh, Lancashire, England    
father:    John Brown
mother:    Alice Brown        

Mary Fonlison Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    18 June 1797    ST NICHOLAS, LIVERPOOL, LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND    
father:    George Brown
mother:    Diana Brown        

Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    24 December 1797    Prestwich, Lancashire, England    
father:    Matthew Brown
mother:    Mary Brown        

Mary Brown
England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977
christening:    8 June 1797    Liverpool, Lancashire    
father:    William Brown
mother:    Ann Brown        
 
Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    5 October 1817    Manchester, Openshaw, Lancashire, England    
father:    Thomas Brown
mother:    Mary Brown        

Mary Ann Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    2 February 1845    Manchester, Lancashire, England    
father:    William Brown
mother:    Mary Brown        

Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    16 March 1846    Manchester, Lancashire, England    
father:    John Brown
mother:    Ann Brown        

Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    25 March 1827    Middleton (Near Manchester), Lancashire, England    
father:    Robert Brown
mother:    Mary Brown        

Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    10 January 1818    Middleton, Lancashire, England    
father:    George Brown
mother:    Jane Brown        

Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    6 May 1806    Hrist Church, Salford (Near Manchester), Lancashire, England    
father:    Thomas Brown
mother:    Alice Brown        

Mary
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    19 November 1813    Chapel Of Upholland, Wigan, Lancaster, England    
father:    Henry Brown
mother:    Jane Brown        

Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    17 December 1806    Ardwick, Lancashire, England    
father:    Jonas Brown
mother:    Ann Brown        

Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    9 October 1809    Openshaw, Lancashire, England    
father:    Francis Brown
mother:    Ellen Brown        

Mary Brown
England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991
burial:    5 May 1832    Manchester Collegiate Church, Lancashire, England    
father:    Thomas Brown
mother:    Elizabeth Brown
Could they be in a mass grave of some sort for cholera victims?

www.lep.co.uk/news/local/preston-cholera-grave-site-uncovered-1-92085

Preston cholera grave site uncovered

Oh, that's really interesting, thank you! I have been having trouble finding info about the cholera outbreaks. But my Mary and Joseph died in 1866, and that one says it was for the one in 1849. Also, it was for Catholics. I don't know if my Mary and Joseph were Catholics or not. ???

How far is Preston from Haydock? They lived on Clipsley Lane in Haydock for most of their married lives, I think. And died there.

ETA: According to this: http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Ashton-in-Makerfield/stthomas/burials_1861-1874indx.html  they were buried at St. Thomas.
Here's what I've got: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2LKLnMZy_wgbmtFRW91Q29yS1k/view?usp=sharing

 

I don't know how to link it directly but it's the "possible Mary Browns as per FamilySearch" spreadsheet.
Here's the familysearch.org Mary Brown you mentioned and another very similar one:

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NJ72-KJM
Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    1 April 1793    Wigan, Lancashire, England
residence:        Wigan, Lancashire, England    
father:    John Brown
mother:    Ellen Bolton        

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N6NZ-VD9
Mary Brown
England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
christening:    2 February 1793    Wigan, Lancashire, England
residence:        Wigan, Lancashire, England    
father:    John Brown
mother:    Betty

familysearch.org is a free service with extensive information. Just go to the familysearch.org site and fill in the blanks with the information that you have, then click on Search or press Enter on your computer.   You may need to register and get a password.
I did...that's where I got all the info in my spreadsheet that I linked to above.
Looks like Mary was still 67 in 1866, although she was already 67 in 1861.  And the death certificate agrees.  Not helpful.  But with Joseph dead already, probably nobody else knew.

Looking at the picture, the old graveyard at St Thomas's has been landscaped for easy maintenance.  Usually they keep a selection of the bigger and better stones, laid flat, and remove the rest.  They may or may not have recorded the inscriptions first.  But not everybody had a headstone anyway.

No use contacting churches - the Vicars charge hefty fees for recent registers, and they don't have the old ones.  The old ones are photographed and locked away in vaults.  Nobody will get them out unless the microfilm is unreadable.

You could try to look for possible relatives.  If you're lucky, one of Mary's parents died after 1837 and there's a death certificate signed by Joseph or Mary as the informant.  Any likely brothers living nearby could also help to pin down the right birth.
What? Really? I didn't notice that about her age. *sigh* This is going to be impossible, isn't it?

I don't know who her parents were, though, to know whether they died after 1837 or not. I wish they had put the parents in the marriage record.

The only possible clues I have to any siblings she may have had is that there was a Jane Brown who married a Joseph Hart in 1815, and Joseph Twiss (mine) was a witness. And there was a Joseph Twiss who was a witness at the wedding of a George Brown, but I don't know if it was my Joseph Twiss or not, because it was Bishop's transcripts and not in his own hand.
Hi Tanya

you´ve probably seen these but its my best guess is near loacations around st helens

http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Search/indexp.html

 

Baptism: 8 May 1791 St Helen, Garstang, Lancashire, England
Mary Brown - Dau of James Brown
    Abode: Garstang
    Occupation: Rope-maker
    Performed at: Garstang Chapel
    Register: Baptisms 1780 - 1800, Page 107, Entry 3
    Source: LDS Film 1278886

Baptism: 12 Jun 1796 St Mary the Virgin, Prescot, Lancashire, England
Mary Brown - Daur. of Thomas Brown & Mary
    Born: 13 May
    Abode: Prescot
    Occupation: Weaver
    Register: Baptisms 1766 - 1809, Page 137, Entry 4
    Source: LDS Film 1657583

Baptism: 27 Oct 1797 St Thomas, Ashton in Makerfield, Lancashire, England
Mary Brown - Base daughter of Mary Brown
    Born: 26 Oct 1797
    Notes: [baptised with her twin brother Peter]
    Register: Baptisms 1765-1809, Page 95, Entry 18
    Source: FHL British Film 1885657

Baptism: 10 Feb 1793 St Helen, Sefton, Lancashire, England
Jane Brown - Daughter of William Brown & Emey
    Abode: Thornton
    Register: Baptisms 1783 - 1812, Page 38, Entry 4
    Source: LDS Film 1657555
Yes, I did see those...maybe not the last one.

I suspect she was the daughter of Thomas Brown and Mary, born 1796, but I wish I could figure it out for sure.

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