Much debate has occurred over many years on numerous genealogy site about the origins of the Sutton/Ellison family of Utah.
Much of this debate is caused by confusion regarding the locations given in sources online for members of the family potentially born in Welch Whittle, Lancashire, and whether this fits with sources and claims of births marriages and deaths in Prescott, Chorley, Standish, Orrell, Rivington, Charnock Richards, Coppull and Sefton.
Hopefully this page will help clarify these locations and why it can be difficult to ascertain the correct record for the correct individual.
Welch Whittle was NOT a village. It was a township with a Manor House that dates back to the 1200’s and the Welch Family. According to British History online:
The western boundary is formed by the Syd Brook, which flows north. The surface rises eastward from this brook, with many undulations, heights of 275 ft. being attained on the southern border and 250 ft. in the centre. There is no village; the hamlet of Whittle Green is near the north-west corner” “ The road from Wigan to Preston cuts through the edge of the township; from it Mill Lane leads west to the green, the brook and the mill.
Google maps is now our best friend! Whittle Green cannot be found on today’s maps (there is one in Preston today, this is not the correct Whittle Green). If you search for Whittle Green Farm the map instantly takes you to the location described above, You can see it is on Mill Lane and you can see Syd brook and the A49 road, which is the old Preston to Wigan road. The location today is described as Charnock Richards.
From the mid 1800’s Welsh Whittle became part of the mining community attached to Coppull. Records are easier to find via census documents etc. When researching in the 1700’s though it’s important to understand there was no local church. It’s also important to note that when records in surrounding areas have been digitised some use modern registration districts which didn’t come into effect until 1974. So being married in Sefton would mean nothing to someone born in the 1700’s as it didn’t exist.
You can see from the attached map detail provided by Genuki that although Welch Whittle is historically the Parish of Standish that Standish is slightly further away than Coppull, and that the main urbanised area is slightly to the north in Chorley. Therefore is is likely Baptisms, marriages and burials would have taken place in one of these three locations. On the second tab on the website you can see the number of possible churches within 3 miles of Welch Whittle; expand that to 10 miles (a reasonable distance) and you start to see the number of possibilities for not only churches but Parishes in which you may find records for people from Welch Whittle.
- ↑ 'Townships: Welch Whittle', in A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 6, ed. William Farrer and J Brownbill (London, 1911), pp. 203-204. British History Online [accessed 17 December 2021]
- ↑ Welch Whittle on GENUKI [accessed 17 December 2021]
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