Elizabeth (also Betty, also Eliza) Preston was born on or before the 19th September 1807, in Alverthorpe, Wakefield, Yorkshire, the daughter of James Preston and Mary Crowther.
Elizabeth was christened on the 19th September 1807 in All Saints, Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.
Elizabeth, spinster (marital situation, not occupation), married John Crewe, bachelor, a shoemaker by trade, by Banns, on the 22nd December 1828, at the Manchester Collegiate Church, Lancashire, England. Elizabeth made her Mark, while John signed his name. The officiant was R. Remington, Chaplain, with witnesses Robert Sprat (or Spral) and Thomas Parry (this latter seems to have been quite the busy little beaver, acting as the witness to every marriage that day, so he may have been brought along by the chaplain, leaving the couples being married to only need to bring along a single witness, rather than two).
Over the next twenty-three years Elizabeth and John had twelve children, eight daughters and four sons, losing six of them in infancy or early childhood:
On the 30th May 1831 Elizabeth, John and daughters Mary (18 months 3 weeks) and Ann (4 months 1 day) were living in Oldham, Lancashire.
In 1832 the family welcomed another daughter, Sarah Ann, on the 14th October, and almost immediately afterwards suffered its first loss when baby Ann died just five days later, on the 19th, just three months ten days before her second birthday.
In 1834 there was another loss, when baby son Thomas (who had been born on the 11th December 1833) died at ten months of age, and was buried on the 7th October in the Parish Of Oldham.
In 1835 the family experienced yet another loss when, on the 13th April, they buried eldest daughter (and sister) Mary who had died at the age of five years six months. Three of her babies gone, in just three years, how her mother's heart must have ached.
Between April 1835 and 1841 Betty's husband, John, continued to ply his trade as a shoemaker, and three more children made their appearances: with Thomas (the second) in August of 1835, Mary (the second) in 1837, and Elizabeth in 1839.
On the 6th June 1841 Elizabeth (aged 33, listed as "wife" (no occupation outside the home)), John (aged 38), and children, Sarah Ann (8), Thomas (6), Mary (4), and Elizabeth (1), were living in Priory Street, Oldham, Lancashire.
Later that month the family suffered yet another loss (their fourth in nine years) when baby Elizabeth died and was buried on the 25th June 1841, not even two years old.
Between Elizabeth's death in June 1841 and March of 1851 the family simply exploded with new life, as firstly Joseph (1842), then Eliza (1843), Nancy (1846), John (1848), and, lastly, Harriet (1851) made their appearances into the world.
Sadly, however, two of the four new babies died—Joseph within a couple of months after he was christened (which had been in March 1842), and Nancy not much past her first birthday in 1847.
On the 30th March 1851 the family—Elizabeth, now 42 (still listed as "wife" with no occupation outside the home), John, now 48 (still a shoe maker), and their children—was still living in Priory Street, Oldham, Lancashire. In this census Elizabeth's birthplace is given as "Ulverthrop", Yorkshire (a total mangling of Alverthorpe, Wakefield, West Riding) and John's as Wrekin, Pembrokeshire. Sarah Ann is now 18 and a throstle piecer in the cotton mill, Thomas is 15 and a piecer in the cotton mill, Mary is 13 and also a piecer in the cotton mill, Eliza is 7 and listed as a scholar, John is almost 3 (although he is listed as being 2 weeks), and the baby Harriet is 2 weeks (although she is listed as 2 years).
In March of 1852, Elizabeth and the children, still living at Priory Street, Oldham, suffered their greatest loss yet, when husband and father John passed away relatively young—in the 50th year of his age—on the 15th of the month. They buried him six days later at Oldham St Mary.
On the 7th April 1861 those in the household on Priory Street with Elizabeth (listed as Betty) were daughters Eliza (aged 17), Harriet (aged 10), and Sarah Ann (aged 28 and incorrectly listed as single (and missing the Sarah of her forename)), and Sarah Ann's husband Thomas Bardsley (a Lancashire-born lad aged 36), and 1-year-old granddaughter, Emma Bardsley. (Sarah Ann and Thomas had already suffered the deaths of their eldest son, John Thomas, and eldest daughter, Mary.)
Elizabeth's eldest (surviving) son, Thomas, had married the year before and was living with his wife, Sarah Ann née Taylor, a Lancashire-born lass, in a separate household.
In June 1863 Elizabeth said farewell (forever, as it was to be) to her eldest surviving son Thomas, and his wife Sarah Ann, when the two of them packed up whatever they could take and emigrated to Queensland, Australia on the ship Rockhampton, hoping for a better life than was now the case in work-starved (so far as the cotton industry was concerned, at least) Lancashire.
On the 2nd April 1871 Elizabeth, listed as head of the household and a housekeeper, is living in with son John (now aged 21 years), a Self-actor Winder (in the cotton mill), and an 18-year-old lodger from Sheffield, Yorkshire, Emily Jackson, a Reeler in the cotton mill.
Daughter Sarah Ann is now living with her husband, Thomas Bardsley, and their four surviving children (John Thomas, Fred, Elizabeth, and Ada), in a separate household; daughter Mary is also married and living with her husband, George Travis, a Lancashire-born lad, and their two eldest children (John William, and Elizabeth), in a separate household. Even youngest daughter Harriet is off and living with her husband, William Henry Fitton, in their own home.
Depending on the speed of communication, if, indeed, there was any at the time, sometime after the 20th June 1874 Elizabeth would have received word that her eldest son had died in Townsville, Queensland, Australia, aged only 38 years, leaving a widow and three young children. This must have brought back the memory of her own husband's death twenty-two years prior, leaving her a young-ish widow with very young children.
Elizabeth "Betty" (also "Eliza") Crewe née Preston passed away on the 5th July 1880, at Pembroke Street, Oldham, Lancashire, England, in the 73rd year of her age.
Elizabeth was buried at the Chadderton Cemetery, Oldham, on the 10th July.
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