Moore and Walmsley
Family myths and legends
My Gran has always told the story that her family (the Walmsley family) were descended from the Walmsley family who had once lived at the Dunkenhalgh, and intrigued to find out how far I could go back, started to see what I could find. Using the usual approach of putting down everything that I could remember, talking to Gran about her memories, and then using the 1901 census as a starting point.
One of the great things about doing family research is that just when you think you have gone as far as you can go – you discover another lead on another branch of the family that keeps your enthusiasm going! The 1911 census recently revealed some information about my Granddad Moore's family, he was born in 1909, and one of a set of twins; his mother died giving birth to him and his sister. His twin sister died 10 months later. As a family we were always told that when his mother died, his eldest sister (at 16) brought him up - but the 1911 census has shown that there was another member of the family – a widow listed as stepmother to the head of the household – my Great Granddad! At a guess, I am assuming the widowed stepmother – at 23- was brought in to help bring up the children and my granddad who was a toddler. She has never been mentioned before!
Another family myth/ legend, that I wanted to find out, related to a link with the Weavers Arms in Crossgate. My three times Great Granddad, William Walmsley, was the landlord with his wife Mary in the 1870s. The family story went that when William died Mary had to sell the pub as women were not allowed to be innkeepers at that time, and she then used the money to build houses on Walmsley and Hesketh Street. However, further searches showed that she was still living there several years later but I don't believe she built them because she had to sell the pub - she just did it later on.
I get so excited (sad really!!) when I discover something, but I'm really the only one in my family who is interested, and when I expect an enthusiastic response to my latest finding – it falls on a not very interested set of ears! - I'm sure that is not just my experience - one of the good things about the Arrodgen group is we all share a passion for family history!
(Helen later made contacts through ‘arrodgen that led to mutual research and proving descent from Lawrence Walmsley, innkeeper of the Queen's Head during the mid-eighteenth century.)
Map showing building plots 268 and 272 leased by William and Mary on Walmsley Street and Hesketh Street
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