Following on from my James Parkinson & Deborah Salthouse post, I’m moving on to look at the information on my great great great grandfather John Walker that Steve and Bernadette Robinson have sent me. The profile on John I’ve seen explains that he was the third son of John Walker and Mary Arrowsmith, although this isn’t shown on the family tree I’ve been sent. The profile doesn’t have anything else on John and Mary, but says their son John was born at Ambrose Hall, Woodplumpton, near Preston on 15 June 1795. Interestingly, the Institute of local and family history at the University of Central Lancashire has a John Walker (Husbandman) on their probate index listed at Ambrose Hall, Woodplumpton in 28 Feb 1820.
The profile explains that the younger John is listed in the Lancashire General Directory in 1818 as having his own joinery business at Blackburn’s Yard, Preston, by the time he’s 23. As mentioned, in earlier posts he married Margaret Parkinson (born on 8 March 1801). It was believed this Margaret’s brother was the husband of John’s sister Elizabeth. Steve thinks instead it may have been Margaret’s cousin Nicholas Parkinson who took over James Parkinson’s corn merchant business.
The profile has some more information on the 8 children I listed in my previous James Parkinson & Deborah Salthouse post, with the oldest being raised in their first home in Butler Street.
Anne the eldest child was born on 12 May 1826, and two years later the eldest son, James (my great great grandfather) was born on 12 September 1828.
Mary, born on 7 November 1830, joined the Order of the Good Shepherd nuns in Finchley, London, where she was known as Sister Mary of St Bonaventure.
Margaret Deborah, who was born three years later on 8 September 1833, married a wine merchant, Thomas Nathaniel Thornton in 1859.
Alice, born on 28 January 1836, also intended to join the Good Shepherd nuns, but died in Preston of ‘Consumption’- (tuberculosis) – at the age of twenty four on 12 June 1860.
The family tree I’ve been sent doesn’t show John (b. 26 November 1838) as having married. The profile suggests he may possibly have been the ‘John Walker’ listed in a directory of households in 1851 living at 95 Fishergate, Preston, whose wife’s name was Anne. According to the profile, he was still at this address thirty years later, described as a ‘Gent’ ( ie ‘Retired’ ) in the Parliamentary Voting List for 1882. There are no references to him in the 1885 edition.
Ellen, the third of John and Margaret’s daughters destined to become a nun, was born on 24 November 1840.
In 1841 John’s business was listed in the Preston Commercial Directory as ‘Joiner, Builder and Cabinet Maker’ with workshops in Charnley Street. Seems like he must have been doing well, because in the profile it explains that the family moved to 5 Avenham Colonnade about this time, “a terrace of substantial houses adjacent to Avenham Park”, and this is where the youngest son, George Joseph was born on 28 October 1843.
The profile also describes the a tragic death of John’s wife Margaret on 31 January 1849. She fell down a flight of stairs, fractured her skull and died five hours later without regaining consciousness. Apparently, there was an inquest held early the following month which confirmed a verdict of accidental death. The official records were destroyed some years later, so the only sources are some newspapers reports from the time that only cover the Coroner’s findings rather than any details of the proceedings.
The 1851 Census shows John was still living at Avenham Colonnade with five of his children. He move shortly after to 6 Walton’s Parade not far from the first family home in Butler Street. The profile explains that this was after his eldest son’s marriage later that year and his daughter Mary’s departure to the Good Shepherd Convent in Hammersmith. Apparently, John lived here with his daughters Anne and Ellen and their brother George for more than ten years. In 1862, Ellen left home to become a novice at a Convent in Hammersmith, where she became Sister Mary of St Mechtilde. She died on 27 May 1875, leaving her sister Mary (Sister Mary of St Bonaventure) as the sole beneficiary of the property she had inherited from her father and her grandmother.
By 1871 John was retired; the grandfather of James’ seven children; and living at 18 Winkley Square with Anne (42), George Joseph (26)and two domestic servants. He died here on 14 February 1873 aged 77, after suffering a pulmonary haemorrhage.