John Barnett
Abt. 1762 - 1846

John was probably born in Manchester if the 1841 census is to be believed.  (See correspondence.)  At that time he was living with his son Thomas and his wife Martha.  He was a cotton weaver by trade.  He is buried in Eccles Parish Churchyard, along with his baby daughter Mary, although the gravestones have been removed.  His death was registered by his son James, the cause being given as fever.


Thomas Barnett
1789 1864

In the 1841 census Thomas was living at 49, Whackers Lane, Worsley, a cotton weaver aged 50, with wife, Martha (50) and children Elizabeth (25), David (25) both dressers in cotton factory, Ann (20), Charles (15) and Martha (15) all cotton loom weavers and James (14). Father, John (80) was living with them, a  retired cotton weaver.

By the 1851 census Thomas was widowed, aged 61, occupied as a handloom weaver, still living at 49 Whackers Lane with his daughter Elizabeth (36) a cotton weaver.

He is buried in Tyldesley Churchyard alongside his brother Charles.


Charles Barnett
1796 - 1882

Charles was born in Worsley and baptised in Astley Chapel (near Boothstown, but no longer standing) on 21 May, 1796. Original entry can be seen in Leigh Parish Church. Record held in Leigh Town Hall archives.

He was listed in the 1841 census living in Ellenbrook, Worsley aged 45 with wife Ellen (nee Ley) (40) and children John (15), James (14) both farm labourers, William (10), George (7), Thomas (5), David (2) and Betty (2 months).

In 1851 he is again listed as farm labourer but widower (55) living at 25 Cooke Lane, Worsley with sons George (17) carpenter, Thomas (14) student and daughter Elizabeth (9).

By 1881 he is living at 502 Abbots Fold, Worsley aged 84, retired, with his daughter Elizabeth (39) a cotton weaver.

He is buried in Tyldesley Parish Churchyard, almost in front of the main entrance, with his son David,
aged 7. 

The engraving reads:

"And thus we see in young and old
"How soon the tale of life is told
"How quickly months and years have passed
"Yes, Reader, what if this thy last?"


Ellen Ley
Abt. 1796 - 1842

Ellen's marriage certificate records her surname as Ellen Ley, but she only marked, so spelling could be dubious.  Her age on her death certificate (she died at the early age of 45)  accords with the birth of Ellen Lea to George Lea and Mary in Hulton-Ellenbrook (christened 13 November 1796 in Eccles, Manchester). Other siblings of Ellen were:

John Lea Chr: 13 July 1794 Hulton-Ellenbrook
Sally Lea Chr: 13 March 1799 Eccles, Manchester
James Lea Chr. February 1802 Ellenbrook d: 30 March 1802
Betty Lea Chr: 20 March 1803 Ellenbrook 
William Lea Chr: 24 February 1805 Ellenbrook
George Lea Chr: 15 January 1809 Eccles, Manchester

This is conjecture only based on the IGI because Lea is a common name, but it seems very likely since she was christened in Eccles and apparently buried in Eccles Parish Churchyard too according to her great-nephew, Thomas Barnett, but the gravestones have been removed and no record seems to be preserved recording her burial. Also, the names of her siblings accord with the names she gave her own children. 


David Barnett
Abt. 1816 - 1893

In the 1851 census David is listed as a cotton mill draper living at 121 Tinsley Mount No. 37, Worsley aged 35 with wife Jane (30) and children William (7), Betsy (5) and Joseph (2).
In 1881 census was widowed, formerly a cotton dresser aged 65 living at 64 Moorside Lane, Worsley with his unmarried children, Martha Jane (29), a weaver cotton Mill, Walter (26) book keeper and Emily Ann (16) Weaver cotton mill.


William Barnett
Abt 1843 - 1920

(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline  M. Walter nee Barnett)

William is listed in the 1881 census, married to Alice (37) with three daughters, Mary Jane (9), Beatrice A. (4), Gertrude (1) and a son, Joseph A. (6). His occupation is given as a salesman (Grey Cotton Cloth). 

He is listed aged 57 living with his wife, Alice (57) in Swinton in the 1901 census, still a cotton cloth salesman.  He still has three children living at home, Joseph A. (26), manager of a cotton yard export house, Beatrice A. (24) of no occupation and Gertrude (23) a draper's assistant.

In the 1911 census, William was living at 54 Stanwell Road, Swinton, aged 67, with his wife Alice, also 67.  He was still a cotton cloth salesman.  His two unmarried daughters, Beatrice Alice and Gertrude, were living with him, having no occupation.


Alice Lee
1843 -

(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline M. Walter nee Barnett)


Mary Jane Barnett
1872 -

Mary Jane was still living at home in Swinton with her parents in the 1891 census occupied as a student teacher.  By the 1901 census she was married and living at 368 Great Clowes Street, Broughton, Salford with her husband, Henry Marsh and son, Frank Barnett Marsh, aged 1.  Henry was 'sub-manager of weighing apparatus'.  She may well have gone on to have further children, but I couldn't find her in the 1911 census.


Joseph Albert Barnett
1874 - 1959

(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline M. Walter nee Barnett)

Joseph Albert was living at home with his parents at 54 Stanwell Road, Swinton, Barton upon Irwell in the 1901 census.  Aged 26, he was manager of a cotton yarn export house.

By the 1911 census he was married to Alice Maud and living at 19 Ellesmere Road, Chorlton cum Hardy, Manchester.  Now aged 36 he was a cotton yarn salesman.  He was clearly fairly affluent as he had a live-in 17-year old servant.  He later ran a cotton singeing company, Richard Powell Ltd. in Salford, which his son, Herman, took over, but it closed down in the 1960s.

Joseph Albert with his father William holding his grandson, Herman
(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline M. Walter nee Barnett)

Wedding of Joseph Albert Barnett and Alice Maud Mander
Luton, Beds., 1903
(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline M. Walter, nee Barnett)

Joseph's sister Gertrude is the first lady standing on the left.

Herman William Mander Barnett
1912 -1998

Mander and Margaret Barnett
(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline M. Walter née Barnett)


Patricia Elizabeth Barnett
1946 - 2004

Patricia Elizabeth Potter née Barnett and Patrick Potter
on their wedding day, 1972

(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline M. Walter, née Barnett)


John Barnett
1825 - 1916

John and Agnes 

John Barnett married Agnes Alston in West Calder Scotland in 1855 but spent all his married life in Shifnal, Shropshire. He is listed in the 1881 census living at Decker Hill, Shifnal, aged 56, a gardener. Also wife Agnes (nee Alston) (50) and children James (21), clerk G.W. Railway, John (18) pupil teacher, Sarah (14), Charles (13), William (9) and Archibald (5). His other daughters, Ellen, Agnes, Mary and Grace were living together in Leek & Lowe. 

Listed in the 1901 census, John is still living at Decker Hill Cottages aged 76 with Agnes (70) and two younger children William (30), manufacturer of screws (employer) and Grace (25) a laundress. All the other children had left home, even though only Archie was married by that time.

The following are extracts from the reminiscences of two of John Barnett's grandchildren:

'My first recollection of our grandparents was at Decker Hill. Having spent most of my early years in Suburban London, the somewhat primitive country features there made a profound impression on me. I recall the enormous garbage cum compost heap near the house where the chamber pots were emptied. Grand-father must have been over eighty at the time but he was quite active and when my father and he were walking round the gardens with me, he caught an unfortunate bird which had got caught in the netting covering some fruit bushes and wrung its neck. Later when they retired to Albrighton we used to holiday there in order to visit them. I remember the sitting room in their cottage there with the oil lamps, the harmonium, and the portrait on the wall of the Decker Hill "Lord of the Manor" Mr. Botfield. There was also the shed at the end of the garden with its characteristic "night soil" smell. I had completely forgotten this until some fifty years later when on holiday in France in the loo of an old manor house I got a whiff of the same smell and a vision of the shed flashed before me. A lasting impression of the village was the obvious terror of the sheep in the slaughterhouse which I had wandered into. I only remember grandmother as an elderly lady dressed entirely down to her shoes in black including her bonnet, sitting quietly in her chair. I would be about ten at the time and she died soon after in 1913, and I saw neither of the grandparents again....' John Barnett 1903-1992 

" often crossed my mind how little we knew of the grandparents, especially grandfather. Mother said he told her he only had one day's schooling in his life and he was taught to pass a pin properly. He was undoubtedly a clever man with excellent English. Father said that James was always trying to catch grandfather out spelling or the meaning of unusual words and never succeeded. His family may have been too poor to send him to school but he surely must have had some access to books. I believe he had at least two brothers, the builder - father of the girls in Liverpool and one who was an optician of some sort a bachelor and also extremely clever, but would only go to work when he wanted to if the works (or whoever he worked for) sent a cab for him and he lived at Harrow..."

"... I remember Decker Hill vaguely and had been near it a few times years ago, but after receiving your letter...we took a trip to look around. We knew that the place had turned into a golf club. It had been very much renovated and the lodge was quite unrecognisable, even the chimneys modernized and the outside walls 'white-washed', so we proceeded across the course to the house, splendidly brought up to date and of no interest; so we proceeded towards the farm, which was marked 'private' and went alongside a high wall at the back of the house, which was fairly substantial (the house, I mean) of a much older date as far as we could see with old Victorian chimneys etc. There were several farm outbuildings around and no one about (Sunday afternoon), but I feel sure this was the house, chiefly because I remember that wall - although we were on the wrong side of it. We then proceeded to Allbrighton Churchyard as I seemed to remember vaguely where grandfather and also grandmother were buried, but we could not find it [the grave]. Unfortunately, there were a number of stones half buried and some were broken and had been used to repair the churchyard wall...  I do not think that we visited the old people as much as you did, no doubt there were too many of us and father would make journeys on his own to see his parents and return the same day. Albrighton is only six miles from Wolverhampton..." Letter written by Queenie Rew to her cousin John Barnett dated 11 May 1984

John and Agnes with seven of their ten children
Standing: William, Sarah, James and Charles
Seated: John, Grace and Archibald

John and Agnes Barnett on the occasion of their Golden Wedding in 1895.
Children, standing: John, Grace, James, Sarah, William
seated: Charles, Mary, Ellen, Archibald
Floor: Mary's children, Allan, Grace and Agnes Young


Ellen Barnett
Abt. 1856 - 1931

Ellen was very religious, becoming a missionary and traveling as far as China. She never married. She was instrumental in blocking the marriage of her brother Charles to Betty Jenks, who was a nurse, but by all accounts not at all religious. Ellen put about the story that Betty was a consumptive thus putting the family against her. Consumption was abhorred at that time. (

In the 1881 census she was 25, a schoolmistress, living with sisters Agnes (23), dressmaker, Mary(22), schoolteacher and Grace(8) at 12 Alsop Street, Leek and Lowe, Staffordshire. She died in Italy.

The following are extracts of memories of Ellen by two of her nephews and a niece:


'...I saw Ellen on several occasions when she was home from her missionary work; she left China at the time of the Boxer rising and I recall her showing us a pair of horn -rimmed spectacles which were unknown here at the time and also a tiny boot which fitted adult women in the days when they bound up their feet from birth. She was a very devout member of the Plymouth Brethren and tried to convert my parents. They were also religious and at the time I think I would describe them as bible students and their discussions with Ellen usually ended with the latter in tears. Incidentally the family covers a fairly broad spectrum of beliefs with C of E, Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, Christadelphian (Sarah I think, and perhaps Grace) and agnostics. On one of the Ellen visits when we were living in Southall near the Northholt aerodrome she looked up at a plane in the sky and said sadly "If God had meant us to fly he would have given us wings". Unfortunately I was too young to think of the obvious rejoinder that had he intended us to cross the sea to China he would have given us fins or ducks' feet. The last time I saw her was when she came to stay with us in about 1928 when she was suffering from the shock of the marriage of her lifelong spinster missionary companion (Miss Lott?) to their spiritual leader...' John Barnett 1903-1992, nephew.

"...Although rarely seen I retain a very clear impression of Aunt Ellen due to an episode which occurred when she visited us in the 1920s. When asked if he was 'saved', my young brother Norman, who was about 10 years of age, replied, "Saved, what from? We are all descended from monkeys."
Whether her utter consternation was due to Norman's complete disregard for his chances in the next world, or to his obvious acceptance of the Darwinian philosophy at such a tender age never came to light but she probably had to console herself with the thought that he was a chip off the old block...." Letter written by Roland Barnett, nephew, to his cousin John Barnett dated 12th July 1984.

'...It would have taken a lot more time for us to get to know Ellen than the periods of her visits to us and at our ages then, we were not interested in her. She did show us the small shoe etc., she brought back [from China]. Also I have a Coolie jacket she gave to mother....' Grace (Queenie) Rew (née Barnett), niece

Agnes Barnett
1858 - 1883

Sadly Agnes died at the early age of 25 of heart disease.  She was living with her sisters Ellen and Mary in Leek and Lowe in the 1881 census occupied as a dressmaker. 


Mary Barnett
1859 - 1943

Mary was a teacher and living with Ellen and Agnes in Staffordshire in the 1881 census. She lived in Elgin Scotland after marrying Alexander Young.

there was Mary and when she stayed with us at St.Mark's Road everyone pressed her to stay longer. When she was over 80 she still used to play the organ in the church and when Alan (her son) asked her if they knew how old she was, she replied "No and they are not going to."... ' Reminiscences of Grace (Queenie) Rew (née Barnett 1902)

Alexander Young 

'...I think I saw Mary once but I cannot recall anything about her;  her son Alan called on us when on leave from the 1914-18 war and what he told us was probably our first knowledge of the horrors of it....' John Barnett b. 1903


James Barnett
1860 - 1954

James is listed in the 1901 census as a railway goods agent aged 41 living at 6 Cranmore Road, Wolverhampton. He could afford to employ a housekeeper, Eleanor Randall a widow aged 24.  He seems to have been regarded as something of a financial expert by his siblings though, since both his brother John, and his brother in -law Alexander Young wrote to him for financial help and/or advice. 

These are some reminiscences of James by his nephews and niece:

'...I saw James and his family only infrequently when visiting Albrighton, but I remember him pulling me up for using the word "umpteen"; however he did this pleasantly and humourously, and I have the impression of all my uncles having a sense of humour...  I recall my mother [Elizabeth Mackie Barnett née Wright] telling me that when she had just come to England for the first time after her marriage and was unaware of [the town of] Barnet; your father [James Barnett] told her that there was also East Barnet, High Barnet and New Barnett, and then added, with a twinkle in his eye, 'you are new Barnett!' ...' John Barnett 1903-1992

Glad you found James at least tolerable, as unfortunately I did not. Mostly for his habit of asking questions of things that were none of his business and which you had no intention of answering truthfully or telling him to mind his own business, which was not acceptable in those days.
'I think father and James worked together sometime when they were both on the railway, but although we lived near, I cannot remember father even going to their house. We children didn't mix either. I could not understand this at the time, because we were friendly children. Perhaps James thought that Willie's awful family would corrupt his little darlings. She [Queenie's mother?] said that he treated Amy shamefully and was intolerably selfish and spent all his money on himself. I do know Amy paid for their childrens' education, as Flora told me so. (Amy came of a fairly well-to-do family and owned some property.) James was supposed to be something of a drinker. Well, they say Whisky prolongs life, so perhaps it paid off. Mildred gave me the impression she liked James but I never asked why. She did say he was an intellectual
...' Grace (Queenie) Rew (née Barnett) born 1902

According to John Alston Barnett, his nephew, James drank more than was good for him. He thought he worked as some sort of railway official. He confirmed Queenie's statement that his family were not too fond of James. 

James Barnett's children, from the left: 
Joyce, Norman, Flora, Hilda and Roland (circa 1920)


Flora Irene Barnett
1904 - 1996

Photo of Flora taken in 1992

"...I can explain some of the oddities about our Christian names. I was christened  Irene Flora but as Irene was normally corrupted to Rene, Flora came to be preferred. Mildred, likewise, was Mildred Alston. Alston ... was the surname of grandmother Barnett, but why she was known as a child by a surname I do not know..." Letter written by Flora Barnett to her cousin John Barnett dated 16 December 1977
Despite this, according to the BMD records, Flora was registered as Flora Irene Barnett. 


Roland Barnett
1910 - 200o

Roland moved to Guernsey with his wife Wilma.  He supplied much information on the early Barnetts from letters written by his father to other family members.  

"...I agree that a marked sense of humour was common to most of the family and I particularly recollect that of William and dear old Grace, and our respective fathers were not without wit, I believe..." Letter written by Roland Barnett to his cousin John Barnett dated 12 July 1984


Wilma Ozanne


John Barnett
1862 - 1939


John with wife Charlotte

John and Charlotte with nephew John Barnett and his future wife, Freda Tilbury


John was a teacher by profession, but did much public work, temperance work, trustee of a college etc after retiring. He spent most of his adult life in Colchester.  The following are reminiscences of John by his nephews and niece: 

'...John we liked with reservation, I thought he was smug in some ways. No doubt he was fortunate in getting a better education than most of his brothers and sisters but that was all, as I think your father at least would have been his equal or even superior if he had received equal opportunities...'
Grace (Queenie) Barnett born 1902.

John Alston Barnett quite liked John too. He related the story to me of how they were all made to dress up in their best Sunday clothes because Uncle John was coming to visit. The visit passed off well enough, but after John had left to walk round to see his brother James, who lived nearby, the children all rushed to change their clothes. However, it turned out that James wasn't at home, so John returned to William's house unexpectedly. Much to their surprise, he took their dishevelled state in his stride and proceeded to get down on the floor and play games with them! 

'...I saw quite a lot of John and Lottie (née Charlotte Mace) as we used to spend a short holiday with them over a number of years. He had been a teacher and was an insurance agent; during World War I he was Food Controller of Colchester. They were comfortably off, certainly more than we were at the time. Their elder daughter Joan was a few months older than I and there was a younger one, Marjorie who died of peritonitis at the age of seven (?). This was rather ironic as they were so fastidious about food -apples had to be cored and peeled before being eaten, and you had grape nuts to ensure that you chewed your porridge! They were zealous non-smokers and teetotalers; John was Secretary of the North Essex Band of Hope Union; when Joan's fiancé stayed with them he was not allowed to smoke in the house. Nevertheless I think they were very worthy people in the best possible sense of the term, but to my taste rather inclined to overdo the Uplift; I suppose Lottie could be described as somewhat toffee-nosed. I liked them and spent an occasional weekend with them when they had built a house in about an acre of ground just outside Colchester with a croquet lawn and tennis court. Berrell understandably hated Lottie like poison since when we were there as young children if any mishap happened in which she and Joan were concerned Berrell always got the blame for leading her young cousin astray. When Freda and I were engaged they invited us to stay there for a weekend. At that time Joan was also there; she was a Physical Training teacher and really looked the part being very good looking and with a fine figure. John who had a croquet lawn in his gardens for many decades had a real male chauvinist pig's view of women playing the game and had an invariable joke about how infuriated they became when he knocked their ball away from an advantageous position for going through a hoop. He took Freda out to show her how to play the game; she had never had a mallet in her hand before but she was very good at most ball games and she beat him while he was teaching her, - I don't think that he ever quite got over the shock. Freda's forte was tennis and she followed the croquet game up by trouncing Joan by something like 6:1 6:2. At athletics and swimming Joan could probably have got her own back. ....'
John Barnett 1903-1992

Obituary in the UKAPIAN Journal of the UK Provident Institution October 1939

'Mr. John Barnett of Colchester
Obit September 12th, 1939

'We regret to record the death of one of the Institution's most valued Agents, Mr. John Barnett, of Colchester. He was seventy six years of age.

'Mr. Barnett was well known in the Colchester district as a prominent temperance worker. Trained at Saltby College, Mr. Barnett was, for some years, a member of the teaching profession, but he resigned his post as a schoolmaster in order to become a lecturer for the Band of Hope Union, which position he held for about thirteen years. Later, he became a lecturer on hygiene under the Essex County Council. He had been secretary of the North Essex Band of Hope Union since 1913.

'During the Great War he was Food Control Officer for Colchester. In 1927 he became Pensions Officer, and in the Coal Strike of 1925 was Food and Fuel Officer. In this way Mr. Barnett rendered much valuable public service.

'Mr. N. S. G. Allen, our Resident Inspector at Ipswich, writes, "Mr. Barnett, who for some forty years had represented the Institution in the Eastern Counties, has, I should think, been one of the best Agents the Institution has known.

'Apart from sending us a steady volume of new business throughout these many years, Mr. Barnett was at pains only to introduce the type of business that was in keeping with the Institution's high ideals, and during the all too short time that I had been acquainted with him, I never received an introduction except to business of this type.

'In conclusion, I can say with all sincerity that the Institution has lost a good friend and a connection which it will be impossible ever to replace.

'To Mrs. Barnett, her daughter, Mrs. R. Saxby, and Mr. Barnett's many friends, we send our sincere condolences.'

In the Country Telegraph his funeral is reported and the minister, the rev. L. J. Tizard paid tribute to John Barnett saying "he had passed his day in useful service, being animated by a sincere desire to make the world cleaner and more sincere. He was a fine type of Christian gentleman in his bearing and character."


Charlotte Mace

'...In 1950  a relative of my grandmother's from USA, Mrs. Grace Wolfe, was over here as a delegate to a temperance conference and stayed with my mother in Ealing; I took them to Wallington to see Lottie who was living with her daughter Joan there. Part of her memory had gone and she couldn't recall me at all. She was alone and invited us in to her room which was not "arty crafty" like the rest of the house, and had a divan on which she slept and a gas stove curtained off in one corner which shocked my mother greatly. We had gone there at Mrs.Wolfe's request as she had corresponded with Lottie. ..'  Letter written to Grace Rew by her cousin John Barnett 1903-1992

..Lottie I met once but heard about, which was quite enough. I had, and still have , no patience for this type of person, for one thing I have found is that really superior people either by birth or ability can always come down to my level when we have to be in close proximity....I take it the room was in Joan's house.  I can understand your mother's consternation as I suppose from her point of view Lotte was neglected, but this may not have been so. She might have preferred living in one room rather than as part of the family. She could at least please herself and feel independent if she was this way inclined...' Grace (Queenie) Rew (née Barnett) in letter in reply to her cousin John Barnett dated 11 Mar 1984) 


Joan Marion Barnett
1903 - 1973

Joan Marion Barnett

According to Grace Wolfe, her father spent a great deal of money on an expensive education for Joan.  She was a very competent sportswoman - see above under John Barnett.  She taught in a private school for girls in London before she married Ronald Saxby.  '...They lived in a big house in Wallington. They later moved to a lovely house in Shalfleet, Isle of Wight, in five acres overlooking the Solent.  Joan and her husband both died in 1973....' John Barnett 1903-1992

  Joan and Freda Tilbury


Sarah Barnett
1866 - 1943

Sarah and Albert Pugh

Wedding of Sarah Barnett and Albert Pugh
On Sarah's left are her brother John and sister Grace;
Seated:  second from left, sister Ellen; right, parents John and Agnes

Sarah lived in Birmingham after her marriage fairly late in life.  Albert was a phrenologist. 

Sarah was one of our favourites, she was most entertaining and had a marvelous sense of humour... [She] worked in a shoe shop for a time, in Shifnal but whether she owned the business or was an employee, I do not remember....' In letter written to John Barnett by his cousin Grace (Queenie) Rew (née Barnett) Sarah's niece in 1984. 


Charles Barnett
Abt. 1867 - 1914

Charles as a young man
(Photo courtesy of John Wilson Penn)

Charles was engaged to Betty Jenks, before marrying Annie Passmore, see below. He is listed in the 1901 census boarding, aged 33, at High Street Wombourn, Stafford, which is where he must have met Annie since she was born in Wombourn.  His occupation was gardener, domestic.  He became a nursery gardener and moved back to the Oaklands in Albrighton.  He is listed as a market gardener in the 1911 census living in Albrighton with his wife and three eldest children.

Charles and Annie at Oaklands, Albrighton
(Photo courtesy of John Wilson Penn)

'...I remember Charles and his family well as we used to see quite a lot of them when we stayed at Albrighton. In 1913 I had developed an interest in gardening and found the nursery a fascinating place. Later Charles sent me a parcel of herbaceous plants for our small garden in Southall which I had taken over, and I still have a clump of phlox in my garden descended from these plants. This visit was at about the time when Mr. Passmore, Annie's father was drowned in the lake, and I recall that there was considerable discussion as to how it had happened; there had been some evidence of prior eccentric behaviour but I think the verdict was accidental death. I wonder if any other of my generation ever met Betty Jenks. She was a nurse at "The Hydro" Leicester run by a "Professor" Timson. She was very friendly with my parents, and judging by her 'photo was a beautiful young woman who was an old flame of Charles who was given the "thumbs down" by the family because she was not a professing Christian. ( I understand that Sarah's proposed husband was also met with disapproval by the family, but she was strong enough to retort "hard luck".) I remember my parents being very grieved by Charles' early death; they felt that he had worked much too hard, with the nursery being open at all hours he would often interrupt his meals to attend to customers...' 
John Barnett (1903-1992)

Betty Jenks  

'...Charlie died of pernicious anaemia. He certainly worked hard but I do not think that had anything to do with his death. Father had the same complaint in about 1920 and most certainly would have gone the same way if it had not been for mother insisting that he had it. This anaemia is hereditary carried through the female line to males, as you probably know. Father had monthly injections for the rest of his life, over 30 years. I heard of Betty Jenks - mother's version of the affair was that Ellen broke up the romance by saying the Jenks family were affected with consumption, which proved totally untrue. I should not think that Charlie would have been so easily persuaded to give up his girlfriend on religious grounds only, but consumption would be a different matter and quite a sound reason for changing his mind in those days when consumption was rife and a deadly disease....'

Queenie Rew (née Barnett)

'When we were small our visits to Albrighton were few and far between for in those days a day out was quite an occasion, for it meant a train journey, not just getting in the car.  I remember your mother (Mildred Barnett) meeting us at the station and the long walk, or so it seemed then, to the Nursery.  I don't think there were any shops, but on one side of the main street were cottages and on the other some fine houses.  Your great grand parents (John and Agnes Barnett) and Aunts Sarah and Grace lived in one of the cottages.  Everyday grandfather visited to inspect the Nursery until he died aged 92.  He and his wife are buried in the churchyard...
My sisters and I regarded the Nursery as a wonderland and spent lovely afternoons exploring it, gazing at the pond where your mother just escaped drowning, when she was about six years old.  Then we would sneak into one of the glasshouses and gorge ourselves with forbidden tomatoes.
All their meals were taken outside during the warm weather and I remember tea on a lawn in a small enclosed garden at the side of the house.  We sat on a long bench at a trestle table - very Saprtan.
We did not see much of Howard for he hid himself away in a tree.  What with three sisters and three girl cousins, who can blame him?
I remember your grandfather (Charles Barnett) as a striking looking man with a beard and a serious rather sad face.  According to your mother he was very gentle, very religious and quite unmercenary.  One Sunday some villagers called to buy flowers for a grave, but he refused to sell them because he thought it wicked to trade on the Sabbath, so he gave them some.  Next Sunday quite a number turned up for 'free' flowers.  He worked hard to provide a living for a wife and family - there were no quick fortunes made in horticulture in those days - and died at 49...
Village life was typical of the time, very clear demarcation between the classes.  First 'the Country' some of whom had to live in genteel poverty, while keeping up appearances.  Then the farming community to which your mother belonged and at the bottom of the social scale, 'the cottagers'...'

(Reproduced from a letter written by Flora Barnett by kind permission of John Wilson Penn.)


Annie Passmore
1881 - Abt. 1950

'...Annie's father drowned in the lake just after Charlie's death. I think it was the day after the funeral. Here the days and times are confused, but I know Mr. P. was found by Albert Pugh, or it could have been John, but I go for Albert. Mr P. had a beard, but Albert found a cut throat razor in his pocket and took it out, as they realised the death was suicide and they wished to save the children from distress. Also the coroner happened to be someone well-known to the family and didn't enquire too searchingly into the matter. ...' Queenie Rew 1984


Mildred Barnett
1907 - 1974

Mildred as a young woman
(Photo courtesy of John Wilson Penn)

"...I am sorry to tell you of Mildred's very sudden death nearly three years ago. It was a great shock for me for I had been having tea with her a few days previously. The post-mortem diagnosed lumber pneumonia. She had been gardening and came indoors to rest. Shortly afterwards she was discovered lying on the sofa quite dead. There are seven grandchildren, six of them boys.
"I had seen a great deal of her, especially after the death of her husband and we had spent several holidays on the continent together...." Letter written by Flora Barnett to her cousin John Barnett dated 16 December 1977.

Mildred in 1925
(Photo courtesy of John Wilson Penn)


Muriel Barnett
1909 - ?

Muriel Barnett as a young child

Mildred, Sylvia and Muriel in 1925
(Photo courtesy of John Wilson Penn)


Howard Barnett
1913 - 1982

Photo taken of Howard in 1935 in India
(Photo courtesy of John Wilson Penn)

Howard spent some time as a young man in either the army or the RAF in India.  His experiences retrieving casualties from the Quetta earthquake in 1935 (in which 35,00 - 60,000 people perished) may well have contributed to his later mental breakdown.  He entered Shelton hospital after his return to the UK and remained there until his death in 1982.


Sylvia Barnett
1911 -   1970


'...On one of my motor bike trips I stayed a few days at Albrighton and taught the three girls [Muriel, Mildred and Sylvia] to ride the machine. In the early sixties I had to go to somewhere near Wolverhampton in connection with my job. On returning through the city I found I had got some unexpected spare time and regretted that I had no addresses with me. However I recalled that Sylvia was connected with a newspaper and had no difficulty in locating her office and luckily she was there and she took me to see Mildred. I am glad that I met them again after so many years, before they died.'   John Barnett 1903-1992


William Barnett
1870 - 1955

William and Estella 

William with his cousin Alice Atkinson (née Barnett)

William had an implement store in Wolverhampton, according to Grace Wolfe. He quit his job as a clerk for Great Western, around 1911, and went into business in Shrewsbury with a man who later committed suicide. His wife asked William to sell the machinery, and he made such a good profit that he decided to go into the machinery business. His son John helped until he had to work in the Power Station in 1943 for eighteen months as a fitter during the war. Queenie also helped out in the business.

Redhill Lodge, where he lived was subsequently destroyed to make way for a housing estate. He bought it for £3,800 and sold it later for £18,000. 

'...It would be difficult to imagine a more complete antithesis of John's home than William's. I remember an occasion when the large dining table clean cloth had an almost complete edging of the twins' finger marks; William and Estella were tickled pink, whereas Lottie would have had a fit. My parents were obviously amused but I think my mother, being very house-proud, would perhaps not have been so amused had it happened at our place. A family with one child is a vastly different proposition from one with six, with the latter a sense of humour is a prime essential. My overall impression was of a very happy hospitable place.
I still have tools which William gave me on a visit there. Later when the family became mobile with a car Geoffrey and Queenie visited on occasions at Ealing and later when I had a motor bike and then a car we had some pleasant reunions including camping at Cressage....' John Barnett (1903-1992) 

William & Estella and their children
From the left: Joan, Grace (Queenie), John, Estella, William (Geoffrey),
William, Frank and Lilian


Grace (Queenie) Barnett
1902 - 1990

Queenie, brother Geoffrey and her daughter 

When times were hard in the 1920s and '30s, Queenie contributed most to the family income by working for W.E. Jones, Timber Importer.

Thanks to Queenie, who corresponded with her cousins, her memories of her grandparents and various aunts and uncles have provided valuable insights into the lives of the earlier generation.  


Lillian Barnett
1903 - 1989

Grace and Lillian Barnett as young children

Lillian, on the right, with Queenie and Geoffrey


William Tempest (Geoffrey) Barnett
1907 - 1995


  Geoffrey top, 2nd from right, Frank bottom, left


Frank Percival Barnett
Abt. 1908 - 1989


Joan Mary Barnett
1911 - 1984

Joan Barnett as a young girl

Joan was the twin sister of John Alston Barnett, below.  

Joan has been retired a few years, but she, like you, still goes to work at times to do special confidential jobs she used to do. She has quite a good pension, still drives a car. She gave a lot of help with the sale etc., of my house, for which I was glad..."  Letter written by Queenie Rew to her cousin John Barnett dated 11 May 1984.


John Alston Barnett
1911 - 2003


John and twin sister Joan

John Alston Barnett in later life


John was a great character.  He was an engineer who worked in engineering all his life. He never married and was a bit of a recluse in later years making the proud boast that he never spent a single night in a hotel. 

He was cremated at Shrewsbury Crematorium on 24th February, 2003. 


Grace Barnett
Abt. 1872 - 1953

Reminiscences of Grace by her niece and nephew:

'...Grace was a frequent visitor to us - uninvited and not liked by anyone. I do not think she did so badly when compared with many women of her generation. When grandfather died what money he left was given to Grace by the united consent of the rest of the family, in recognition of the years she had given to looking after the old people. This was practically £1000, quite an appreciable sum in those days. I know this as a fact since I typed some records for her.

'Father always said Sarah dominated Grace and persuaded her to join the Christadelphians. I feel this was after Grandfather died. There is a bit of a gap in my memory about her here, but after a time she had a job with some people in Bourneville as a Companion help. This I know as I visited her there. Don't know why but it must have been on father's behalf, as I would not have gone on my own. It was rather a superior house but Grace was out so I had to wait and was entertained by the occupier, who explained the set-up to me. Apparently he was subject to slight and only occasional epileptic fits, that mostly occurred at night, so it was not considered advisable for his wife to be alone in the house with him at night - hence Grace. Unfortunately the wife hated Grace - not Grace's fault but rather jealousy I would say, but not a happy relationship.

'For years I used to send her a Christmas present. Probably I felt she had no family of her own and was a lone soul. It got to be something of a trial trying to find something suitable and then one year I received an astonishing letter from her stating Geoffrey "had put me up" to sending her a present and we were neither of us going to get any of her money and a lot of rubbish I have forgotten. I just burned it and was just glad not to bother about presents any more. Don't think I even mentioned it to Geoffrey. Anyway, a few days later I received another letter gushing with thanks for the present I had sent her. Later she went into a Christadelphian home (or she might have been there when this letter came). The next thing was father had a telephone message from the home asking him to go and see them about her. Apparently she was being very awkward and when this happened the home asked the relations to remove the patient. In fact the charitable institution became not so charitable. I had to sort this little lot out. I did make the suggestion that they could have tried James as he was the head of the family, but this was not well received... She must have had some sort of brainstorm but was alright when I arrived, except for complaints about the Matron, for which the Matron gave satisfactory answers. I told the Matron that she would have to contact the people who had put Grace into the home, if she needed assistance. I think she died shortly afterwards but I had no further contact since father sent flowers to the funeral. I visited her three times in that home, as I can quite well remember, she was in a different room each time. I don't think we so much disliked her, as just found her tiresome....'
Grace (Queenie) Rew (nee Barnett) 1984

'...The death of grandfather left poor Grace in the unfortunate position of many women left alone after spending their best years looking after their ageing parents. My impression of her is of a very pleasant inoffensive soul....' John Barnett 1903-1992


Archibald Barnett
1875 - 1933



Archibald as a boy


Archibald as a young man


Archibald is listed in the 1881 census age 5 living with his parents and siblings in Shifnal, Shropshire.

We got on with your father alright and I am sure that you got on with yours. Although we were a large family and must have been very tiresome at times, we could always put our point of view to father and very often got it accepted. We all took your father on the same terms..." Letter written by Queenie Rew to her cousin John Barnett, dated 11 May 1984 

"...Archie was also in the employ of the railroad..." Indeed, he was listed in the 1901 census as a railway clerk aged 25 living with wife Elizabeth M. (29) at 24 Hughes Street in Wolverhampton.


Archibald Barnett

Archibald with wife Elizabeth and
children Berrell & John



Margaret Birrell Barnett
1901 - 1981

"...Birrell told me at times about the mischievous (sic) you used to get up to together; who was the ringleader? She fascinated me, she was always so straight and direct and how she hated Catholics! I remember once in France we went into a church and she began discoursing none too kindly about them. She went into the Confessional and came out wearing the priest's gon (or whatever it is called). She marched up and down the church and left nothing unsaid about what she thought of them. I was terrified someone would come in. Then on another occasion, again when on holiday, she fell down and hurt her knee rather badly. No trouble! Into a chemists she went and came out with a bottle of iodine. Stuff of which I knew nothing at the time. She did nothing with it until night when we were going to bed, when she poured some of the iodine neat directly on to her knee and promptly fainted. I had to raise the household as I had no idea how to fetch her round, not having seen anyone in a faint before..." Grace (Queenie) Rew (née Barnett in letter to her cousin John Barnett dated 11 May 1984.

"...I note you have the photograph of Berrell's wedding; it is a pity father came out looking so poorly. The small girl standing beside you in the group is "Professor" Timson's grand-daughter, a friend of Betty Jenks...." Letter written by John Barnett to Queenie Rew dated 11 March 1984

I remember my aunt as a very friendly woman and a great cook, who did a lot of baking for cricket teas. We didn't visit very often, but we always had an enjoyable time when we did. She was named after her maternal grandmother, a Scottish tradition, but was known by everyone as Beryl because the minister who baptised her couldn't understand my grandmother's Scottish burr when she said 'Birrell!'


Berrell as a child

Berrell and brother John


Berrell and brother John

Berrell and husband Glyn Gavies


John Barnett
1903 - 1992

John as a child

John and his sister Berrell


John graduated from Queen Mary College London with first class honours in Chemistry in 1923 and went briefly to work in Leeds before returning to London to work for the rest of his life for Thorn Electrical Industries.  Most of this time he was a factory works manager.  He worked on his Ph. D. later, receiving it in 1947.


John as a young man

John and future wife, Freda Tilbury


During the second world war, which he was too old to fight in, he was very active as an ARP officer and also gas identification officer.  After the war he received a letter of thanks for his war contribution from the mayor of Walthamstow, Ross Wylde.

He was a great lover of music. He took his children from an early age to concerts at the S.W. Essex Concert Hall and to Salder's Wells opera. He had a vast collection of almost every opera ever recorded on tapes.  I think it must have been a great disappointment to him that although Freda, his wife, showed a great interest in music too, before their marriage, she never really got the pleasure from it that he did. My father enjoyed recounting the story of how my mother was playing for her mother and himself, and he detected a wrong note. He mentioned this, but my grandmother would have nothing of it. So, my father had my mother go through the piece again and stopped at the point where he considered the note was in error. Sure enough it was, but my mother could not tell! 

Despite this, they were a very compatible couple enjoying going together to watch Tottenham Hotspur play football until they were well into their eighties. They also enjoyed playing bridge, my mother particularly.

 John looked after Freda for many years before she died, as her arthritis stopped her from doing much in the house, or getting about as much as she might have liked.

He was also a meticulous record keeper, particularly of financial matters.  Below is the record he kept of his expenditure on one of our annual holidays:

Minehead 1937

Hire of cot                                                                                7  6
Mr Vowles, Balmerino, Irnham Rd., Minehead                            
F. 3 wks J. 2 wks 4 days@ £2.12.6/wk                         14 12  6
P. 3wks @ £1.5.0                                                               3  15  0 
Meals out,
Lynnton         3 0
Malsmead (2) 8 0
Cloutsham      4 0
Nr. Kingston  2 6
Porlock (2)      8 0
Exford              2 6
out Frome        4 0
Wells                 3 9
                                    rtn Reading      3 0                       1 1  8  9
Fruit ices & drinks                                                                 10  0
Cream sent                                                                              10  6
PCs & stamps                                                                            5  0
Cinema etc.                                                                               7 6
1420 miles Garage (Bradbeer)                                                14 0
54 galls. petrol                                                                     4  0  0
Oil                                                                                              7  6
                                                                                          £ 27  8  3 


John and Freda in their eighties


Phyllis Barnett
1935 - 1986

In memoriam to my sister


Sylvia Barnett
1941 - 2018

My other lovely sister who emigrated to the U.S.A. and died there of motor neurone disease.



Dorothy Barnett
1945 - 1948

My third sister of whom I have no recollection!


James Barnett
1827 - 1874

James Barnett bought eight cottages - 1-15 Erith Street, Liverpool. He borrowed £800 from his brother William to finance the purchase. These houses were left to his widow who converted one into a store to support the family. James Alice was born in No. 1. The sisters operated the property after the death of their mother. James died of pneumonia in Liverpool.

The information for all descendants of James Barnett below was obtained from Alice Atkinson senior by John Pierce who married Alice's daughter Alice.


Clara Barnett
1863 - 1941

"... I know nothing of the Manchester branch of the family, but recall paying a visit with my father to three sisters (spinsters I believe) one of whom was blind, who lived somewhere in the Birkenhead/Liverpool area..." John Barnett in letter written on 12th March 1984 to his cousin Roland Barnett.

Clara became blind at the age of 35. She was living with her two sisters at 21 Parkhill Road, Toxteth in the 1901 census, aged 37.  In the 1911 census she was living at 22 Kelvin Grove, Liverpool with her two sisters (Alice had emigrated to the USA) and was a boarding house keeper.  Her sister Hannah was a manageress of a bread and flour dealership and Sarah was a shorthand writer and typist. She died in bombing during World War II in Liverpool. 


Hannah Maria Barnett
1865 - 1941

Hannah was also known as 'Sis'. She died of pneumonia in Wales in 1941. She never married and lived with her two sisters most of her life.  Her occupation in the 1901 census was given as just 'worker'.  See above under Clara in the 1911 census.


Sarah Ellen Barnett
1866 - 1954

Sarah married her employer late in life for whom she had worked as secretary for more than 50 years. She was also known as 'Sallie'. She lived for a long time with her two elder sisters, all of whom, being unmarried at the time, were left legacies in their aunt Elizabeth's will in 1925.  See also under Thomas Barnett below and Clara Barnett above.


Alice Barnett
1872 - 1955

Alice married Ralph Atkinson and emigrated to America.  Information on her descendants, most of whom are now living on the West Coast of America, was collected by her son-in-law John Pierce, husband of Alice Atkinson, Alice's daughter.

Ralph Atkinson was a doctor of medicine, but clearly also very religious judging from the poem that he wrote on the ship, Majestic, departing Liverpool for New York on 19th September 1984, emigrating to America:

"All is well"

The night is dark, the waves are high
No moon or stars in yonder sky
What cheer above the stormy swell
The lookout's answer "All is well"

Upon life's billows is my soul
Tossed to and fro without control
Trust thou in Jesus, "All is well"
Rings true the lookouts cheering bell

I sleep upon the billows crest
Like John upon the masters breast
For he my troubled soul does qwell
With His sweet message "All is well"

When grief and sin thy soul oppress
And all around thee is unrest
How blest to hear the lookouts call
And hear him whisper "All is well"

No sleep ere denies our Pilots eyes
He's ever attentive to our cries
He'll save them from a Seamans hell
And answer sweetly "All is well"

All is well, All is well
What cheer to know that "All is well"

by Dr. Ralph Atkinson
born Oct. 1, 1871 Liverpool, Eng
died April 21, 1945 South Pasadena, Calif. USA


William Barnett
Abt. 1830 -

This is almost certainly the William described in the 1881 census as living at 11 Radnor Place, Paddington, London and working as a butler. Aged 50, is listed with wife, Sarah (57) and sons James C. (20) an engineering apprentice and William (19) optician. There was also a general servant, Helen Green (19). William must have been fairly well off because he loaned his brother James £800 to purchase eight cottages, 1-15 Erith Street, Liverpool. See under James Barnett above.


James Arthur Charles Barnett
1860 -

James was an engineering apprentice in 1881 aged 20.

He was living in Rowley Park, Staffordshire in the 1901 census, aged 40 married to Harriett and still an engineer. He employed a servant, Sarah Chambers (16) but had no children.  In the 1911 census he is an engineer surveyor for the Vulcan Boiler and General Insurance Co. living at 'Whitcliffe' Rowley Park, Stafford with Harriet Elizabeth.  At both aged 50 they had no children. They had 8 rooms for themselves and a servant, so were clearly fairly affluent.


George Barnett
1834 -

George was living at 151 Moorside Lane, Worsley in the 1881 census. His occupation was that of carpenter as in 1851 census. Now aged 46 he was living with wife Jane (46) and children William Henry (17), coal miner, Ellen (15) cotton weaver, Agnes (13), cotton weaver, Sarah (10), Thomas (7) and George Charles (5). 

In the 1901 census, George was still living in Worsley but at 18 Hazlehurst Rd. age 66 with wife, Jane (65).  George was now a colliery carpenter.  There were also two young children listed, Elsie Barnett(9) and William Barnett(5), but judging from their ages they were presumably his grand-children.  (They were in fact Elsie and William Hardman, children of his daughter Ellen  who had married John Hardman.)


Agnes Barnett
1868 - 1930

(Thanks to Carolyn Robertson for this photo of Agnes.)


Joseph Cooke
1868 - 1939

Joseph was a journalist working for an Irlam newspaper, also contributing to the Manchester Guardian.  He was also clerk to Irlam District Council.   Joseph and Agnes had nine children, but three of them died in infancy and two sons died in their twenties.  Of the remaining four, three married but had only one child each.
(Thanks to Carolyn Robertson for the photo and for this information.)


Charles Reginald Cooke
1892 - 1919

Charles Reginald Cooke survived the First World War only to die of influenza in 1919.  His wife died just a week later.  They had been married for fewer than four years and were both only in their late twenties.


Agnes Evelyn Cooke
1896 - 1983


Agnes Evelyn as a young girl

Agnes Evelyn (known as Evelyn) was an industrious woman who set up her own workshop making men's overcoats with her younger sister Winnie.  She married relatively late and then taught dressmaking and tailoring for City and Guilds examinations, continuing into her 70s.
(Thanks to Carolyn Robertson for this information and for the photos.)

Wedding of Agnes Evelyn Cooke and Harry Derbyshire
Front row, from the left:  Harry's father, John Derbyshire and sisters Amy and May, Harry, Agnes Evelyn, Evelyn's sisters, Beatrice May and Enid Winifred and brother Joseph Ernest Cooke.  Back row, from the left:  Harry's mother, Elizabeth Ann Derbyshire, best man (unknown),  Joseph and Agnes Cooke, Bertha May Longworth.


Harry Derbyshire
1889 - 1982

From the left: Harry and Agnes Evelyn Derbyshire, Joseph Ernest and Bertha May Cooke, Enid Winifred Cooke

Harry was a teacher and amateur water colour painter.  He did not speak much about his experiences in WW1:  he volunteered early on in the Royal Fusiliers and was injured by shrapnel from shells in the first battle of the Somme.  After his convalescence, he did his officer training and returned to France with the King's Liverpool Regiment and was promoted to Captain in the field.   During the second battle of the Somme in 1918 his company was wiped out and he himself was injured again.  He awoke in German hands and finished the war in a PoW camp.  Meanwhile, his family were informed that he had been 'killed in action'.  A memorial service was held at St.Luke's, Great Crosby, where he had previously been teaching and an account of the service was printed in the local paper.

(Thanks to Carolyn Robertson for this information and for the photo.)


Reginald Harry Derbyshire
1926 - 2013

Reginald Harry Derbyshire

   Reginald with his mother Agnes Evelyn               Reginald as a teenager

Reg graduated in History from Westminster College, London, where he met his future wife, also from Manchester.  He returned to Lancashire to follow his father into teaching, for which he had a natural gift.  He became Headmaster at only 34 years old and went on to become Inspector of Schools in Bristol and later, Chief Inspector of Schools in Croydon.  But an inspector's advisory role did not really fit with his hands-on style and he returned to the field as head of a large comprehensive school in Bexleyheath until early retirement on health grounds, aged 56.  He remained in Croydon for most of his retirement and continued to give coaching in Maths, in which he was self-taught, when asked by neighbours.  He also became a keen linguist putting his skills into practice on the many foreign holidays organised by his wife.

(Information and photos courtesy of Carolyn Robertson)


Thomas Barnett
1874 -

Thomas lived in Manchester - several of his letters to his cousin James Barnett are included under the other family members to whom they refer. He was executor of his aunt's estate in 1925. (see under Elizabeth Barnett) 

He was living with his cousins, Clara, Hannah and Sarah Barnett in Toxteth in the 1901 census, and working as a commercial shorthand clerk, aged 27.  However, by the 1911 census he was married to Minnie Leese Steele and living at 31 Poplar Road, Moorside, Swinton, Lancs. still occupied as a shorthand correspondence clerk for a heating and ventilation company.  The couple had had one child who had died.


Thomas Barnett
1836 -

Thomas is listed in the 1851 census as a scholar aged 14 living at home with his widowed father , brother gGorge, 17, and sister, Elizabeth, 9.  In the 1881 census he is  living at 302 Boro Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire aged 44, a joiner with wife Catherine (39) and children Grace (15), Emma (13), Ellen (6), David (3) and  twins Elizabeth and Catherine both 2. 

In the 1901 census he is still in Birkenhead but at 94 Willmer Road. Aged 64 with wife Catherine (59) and three of their children all still single, Emma (33) a dressmaker working from home, David (23) an electrical fan builder and Catherine (22), no occupation given. Two slate quarry men, Owen Davies (21) and Griffith Jones (28) were boarding with them.  By the 1911 census he is a widower, but still has Emma (43) and Katherine (31) at home with him at 20 Maple Street, Birkenhead, neither of whom seemed to be employed.


Elizabeth Barnett
Abt. 1841 - 1925

Elizabeth appears first in the 1851 census, aged 9, living at home, 25 Cooke Lane, Worsley with her widowed father and two elder brothers, George, 17 and Thomas 14.  In the 1881 census she is still living with her father, now retired, but at 502 Abbot's Fold, Worsley.  Aged 39, her occupation  was given as cotton weaver. By 1891, she is living alone, still a cotton weaver, living in Chaddock Road, Boothstown. She was buried in Tyldesley Churchyard, Lancs. but no gravestone can be found.  Elizabeth never married.  The following are letters written by her nephew, Thomas, to his cousin, James during her terminal illness and subsequent death: 

"64 Nelson Drive,
Nr Manchester
Apl 30/25

Dear Cousin,
You will be sorry to hear that Aunt Elizabeth has met with an accident having had an awkward fall in the home. This happened a fortnight ago & she has since been confined to bed, as her ribs are staved in. Someone has to be with her night & day & the neighbours naturally enough have got tired of this, as she is not disposed to pay for anything done for her.
My sisters, Helen & Agnes, at much inconvenience to themselves considering the distance to Boothstown, have been staying up at night alternately, but this of course cannot go on indefinitely.
Aunt is much better now, but she will be in bed for a few weeks still. It is quite impossible for my sisters to be attending to her in the day time, and the neighours as I have previously said are not disposed to attend on her without payment.
It would be a serious position if she were to die through inattention in the day time, and I may mention that this is written at her request. 
You will see the position. Both my sisters are absolutely tired out as Helen is over 60 & Agnes getting on that way.
What do you suggest?
Agnes, who lives at Cadishead, close to my home, joins me in the hope that you are well.
Your affectionate cousin,
Thomas Barnett"

"183 Ellesmere Terrace,
May 28/25

Dear Cousin James,
You will be sorry to learn that Aunt Elizabeth died early this morning (Thursday).
The interment is fixed for 3 o'clock next Monday at Tyldesley Parish Church.
In haste.
Your affectionate Cousin
Thomas Barnett"

Curiously, she bequeathed thirty pounds each to the three elder daughters of her brother James living in Liverpool. (The fourth daughter, Alice, had emigrated to the USA.) The remainder of her estate was divided between the children of her eldest brother John. This, despite the fact that it was her brother George's two daughters, Helen and Agnes who came to her assistance when she fell and was terminally ill.

Elizabeth made some attempt to trace the origins of the Barnetts from Nantwich, Cheshire to Boothstown, Lancs. by writing to the parish priest in Nantwich, but appears to have made little progress.  See origins of the Barnett family.


page updated January 2017