Ancestry and the Walkers of Avenham Tower

Avenham Tower, near Preston

Managed to persuade my brother to subscribe to Ancestry.co.uk, and have already managed to find out more about my Walkers of Avenham Tower ancestors. Mary Agnes (Polly) Walker was my maternal grandmother’s mother.

In the 1881 England Census the following Walkers are listed as living at 1 Avenham Tower:

Mary H. Walker 51 head Windower born abt 1830 Preston
Charles Walker 25 son Joiner & Builder born abt 1856 Preston
Mary A. Walker 24 daughter born abt 1857 Preston
Wilfred Walker 13 son Scholar born abt 1868 Preston

Haven’t seen Wilfred mentioned before, and there are no servants by this time. I also found a possible death of James Walker in Sep 1877, Preston. Unfortunately, it doesn’t include any more detail but it’s a possible fit.

In the 1871 England Census the following Walkers are listed as living at 1 Avenham Tower:

James Walker Head 42 abt 1829 Male Preston, Lancashire
Mary H Walker Wife 41 abt 1830 Female Preston
Mary G Walker Daughter 16 abt 1855 Female Preston
Charles A Walker Son 15 abt 1856 Male Preston
Mary A Walker Daughter 14 abt 1857 Female Preston
Alice W Walker Daughter 12 abt 1859 Female Preston
James L Walker Son 9 abt 1862 Male Preston
Stanislaus Walker Son 7 abt 1864 Male Preston
John H W Walker Son 3 abt 1868 Male Preston
Ellen Kabrick Servant
Mary Veeny Servant

James is shown as builder employing about 13/15 men and 7 boys

In the 1861 England Census the following Walkers are listed as living at 1 Avenham Tower:

James Walker Head 31 abt 1830 Male Preston Lancashire
Mary Hannah Walker Wife 30 abt 1831 Female Preston
Mary Georgina Walker Daughter 6 abt 1855 Female Preston
Charles A Walker Son 5 abt 1856 Male Preston
Mary A Walker Daughter 4 abt 1857 Female Preston
Alice W Walker Daughter 2 abt 1859 Female Preston
Sarah Worrall Servant

This time James and family are living in what I think is number 28 Chaddock Street, Preston, Lancashire. James is listed as a builder and joiner journeyman, and they had one servant. Interestingly, thegenealogist.co.uk had James listed as Thomas and Mary as Mary Humson rather Mary Hannah. So transcription can be misleading.

Given that the oldest daughter Mary Georgina is listed as being born about 1855, I would guess that James and Mary married a year or two before this and I’m guessing the marriage would have been in Preston. I can’t find any as yet that match, but then there’s a lot of James and Mary Walkers to wade through. Anyway, I have the following list of children now.

Mary Georgina borb abt 1855 Preston
Charles A Walker Son born abt 1856 Preston
Mary A Walker Daughter born abt 1857 Preston
Alice W Walker Daughter born abt 1859 Preston
James L Walker born abt 1862 Preston
Stanislaus Walker born abt 1864 Preston
John H W Walker born abt 1868 Preston
Wilfred Walker born abt 1868 Preston

I’m guessing that Mary Georgina would have been married by the 1881 census, but it’s not clear what’s happened to Alice W Walker Daughter, James L, Stanislaus and John H W. Also Wilfred is not mentioned in the 1871 census but he seems like he’s born in the same year as John W H, which is strange.

There’s also no mention of a Leo that my mother seemed to think was a brother of her grandmother. That said there is a James Leo Walker born in 1961 (close to the 1862 listed for James L) in Preston, so maybe James L Walker in the Census is the same person and he was called Leo because his father was called James. Anyway, the Charles and Stanley/Stanislaus my mother also mentioned do seem to fit.

Interestingly, I have found someone who has saved documents about Mary Hannah Walker has also saved documents for a Mary Hannah Smith married in 1851. I’m not sure how this works because there’s also a James Walker mentioned on the same page James Walker, but it doesn’t say whether they married each other. It’s also about 4 years before there first child, which seems a fair gap in those days.

If it Mary Hannah Walker was formerly Marry Hannah Smith, then it seems from the 1851 Census that her parents family were as follows:

Henry Smith Head 64 abt 1787 Goosnargh, Lancashire
Mary Smith Wife 59 abt 1792 Blackburn, , Lancashire
Henry Smith Son 23 abt 1828 Preston, Lancashire
M H Smith Daughter 21 abt 1830 Preston, Lancashire
Alice Smith Daughter 19 abt 1832 Preston, Lancashire
Betsy Maudsley Servant 18

They lived at Springfield House, Marsh Lane, Preston and Henry senior was a waste dealer and his son was a corn dealer. Guess it’s a possibility.

I also found a Mary H Walker in in the 1891 census. It has being born about 1827 which doesn’t quite match with the earlier census returns. However, she’s living with her son John H W (Banker Clerk) who was born abt 1868 and that does fit. I think they are living at 88 Fishergate Hill, with one servant.

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3 thoughts on “Ancestry and the Walkers of Avenham Tower

  1. I think you will find that John H W Walker and Wilfred Walker are one and the same person. Often children were called by middle names rather than their first christian name.

    With regards to a marriage date assuming that they married a couple of years prior to the birth of their first child can be misleading. I would do a search starting the year of the birth of their first child and ask it to search 2 to 5 years either side of that date.

  2. I hope this will be third time lucky! Please contact me Justin about Mary Hannah Smith and the Peel connection.
    Thank you
    Chris

    1. Chris or Martha, I haven’t responded because your comment looks like you are phishing. You don’t explain who you are, how you might know something, whether information is something you are selling, etc. Most people who come here who know something, simply mention it in the comments or at least start conversation with some explanation of their connection to the ancestor we’re researching in common. That’s because I have a published a huge amount of information to help them with their research, so there’s some form of reciprocation. If you know something then happy to hear, but I don’t pay for genealogy services. Hope you understand.

      Justin

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