From Walkers to Parkinsons

Steve Robinson has been in touch in response to my Walker Pereira De Freitas British. Guiana Connection post. According to Steve, John Walker (joiner) and Margaret Parkinson were the parents of James Walker of Avenham Tower who married Mary Hannah Smith (the parents of Mary Agnes Walker aka Polly). This makes John and Margaret my great great great grandparents.

Margaret Parkinson parents were James Parkinson, corn dealer in Preston (died Southport June 1840), and Deborah Salthouse. Their son John is Steve’s ancestor, and John and Margaret also had a brother called George. Steve’s ancestor John Parkinson, married Ann Gornall.  Her mother was a member of the Catholic recusant Gillow family. Steve has copies of letters from Ann Parkinson neé Gornall and one from my ancestor James Walker. Although not related to the Walkers Ann apparently remained close to them after the death of John Parkinson.

Ann’s grandparents were Richard Gillow and Isabel Brewer – Isabel was the first cousin of John Bede Brewer, President of the English Benedictines and the founder of Ampleforth. His nephew and first cousin once removed of Isabel was Archbishop John Bede Polding OSB.

Steve has not been able to find out much about the Parkinson and Salthouse families although the Parkinson, Gillow, Gornall and Walker families were well acquainted in the early 1800s.

It’s interesting to hear about these Catholic connections, which I have on both sides of my family. On my mother’s side it was her mother’s Marwood family who were Catholic, but we are not sure how far back that goes and think that it may have been when my great great grandfather Edward Marwood (cork cutter in Blackburn) married Mary McKenna in 1848 at the Roman Catholic church of St Patrick in Manchester (see here). Certainly, my great grandfather Fred Thomas Marwood and his brother Edward were educated by the Xaverian Brothers in Bruge. Their half brother Thomas was the first to be educated at Ampleforth though. All my mother’s Marwood uncles were educated there and her uncle Reginald Steven was a sub-prior there. My mother’s brothers also all went to Ampleforth, despite their father not being catholic. A number of my cousins and my two brothers also went, but I didn’t make it there.


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