Sunday, September 11, 2011

Backward Glance - John Hargreaves

Ellen Hargreaves, daughter of John
It has been difficult to determine the parentage of John Hargreaves of Burnley, Lancashire, England. Using census records, John was born about 1811. There is a John Hargreaves who was the son of James and Bennet (Yates) Hargreaves who was born January 14, 1810, in Burnley. Many people believe he was the John Hargreaves who is the subject of this 'glance.' Partially based on the fact that John's first daughter was named Bennet, I am inclined to agree, though I haven't yet seen any documentation to substantiate it.

John married Elizabeth Dobson, presumably around 1834. However, there is a record of a marriage bond for a John Hargreaves and an Elizabeth Dobson dated April 8, 1845. If this is the correct couple, it would mean that John was probably married before, as his daughter Bennet was born about 1835. John had at least nine children, all of whom were born in Burnley. It is certain that Elizabeth Dobson was the mother of at least the youngest six.
  • Bennet Ann, abt. 1835. md. Luty.
  • Elizabeth, abt. 1837
  • John, abt. 1840
  • James, abt. 1845
  • Robert, Apr. 12, 1847. md. Dewhurst.
  • Sarah, abt. 1850
  • Ellen, Jun. 2, 1853. md. Pratt.
  • Isabella, Jul. 22, 1854. md. Hoyle.
  • William, abt. 1856. md. Knox.
This family lived on Church Street in 1841 and on Godly Lane in 1851. Both Ellen and Isabella emigrated to Canada with their husbands.
Church Street, Burnley, Lancashire, England - 1841
 John's occupation was recorded as a tailor on the census. The Hargreaves family in general was connected with the cotton industry. A James Hargreaves of the same area is recognized as the inventor of the spinning jenny.

John Hargreaves seems to have died between 1856 and 1861, as Elizabeth is found on the next three censuses (1861, 1871, 1881) listed as a widow. She died in 1885. 

Obviously, there is a great deal more to be learned about John and his family, but we do get a glimpse into John's life with the details we do have.

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