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.
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.
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.
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:
Lea Chr: 13 July 1794 Hulton-Ellenbrook
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.
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).
(Photo courtesy of Jacqueline M. Walter nee Barnett)
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).
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.
John with wife Charlotte
John and Charlotte with nephew John Barnett and his future wife, Freda Tilbury
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
Joan Marion Barnett
Joan Marion Barnett
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 and Albert Pugh
of Sarah Barnett and Albert Pugh
Sarah lived in Birmingham after her marriage fairly late in
life. Albert was a phrenologist.
as a young man
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.
and Annie at Oaklands, Albrighton
'...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...'
'...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....'
'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...
as a young woman
"...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.
Muriel Barnett as a young child
Sylvia and Muriel in 1925
taken of Howard in 1935 in India
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.
'...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
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
Queenie, brother Geoffrey and her daughter
times were hard in the 1920s and '30s, Queenie contributed most to the family
income by working for W.E. Jones, Timber Importer.
Grace and Lillian Barnett as young children
Lillian, on the right, with Queenie and Geoffrey
William Tempest (Geoffrey) Barnett
Geoffrey top, 2nd from right, Frank bottom, left
Joan Mary Barnett
Joan Barnett as a young girl
was the twin sister of John Alston Barnett, below.
John and twin sister Joan
John Alston Barnett in later life
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.
Archibald as a boy
Archibald as a young man
with wife Elizabeth and
Margaret Birrell Barnett
"...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.
Berrell as a child
Berrell and brother John
Berrell and brother John
Berrell and husband Glyn Gavies
1903 - 1992
John as a child
John and his sister Berrell
John as a young man
John and future wife, Freda Tilbury
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:
John and Freda in their eighties
1935 - 1986
In memoriam to my sister
1941 - 2018
My other lovely sister who emigrated to the U.S.A. and died there of motor neurone disease.
1945 - 1948
My third sister of whom I have no recollection!
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.
"... 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.
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
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 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"
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.
Arthur Charles Barnett
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).
(Thanks to Carolyn Robertson for this photo of Agnes.)
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
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
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.
From the left: Harry and Agnes Evelyn Derbyshire, Joseph Ernest and Bertha May Cooke, Enid Winifred Cooke
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.
Reginald Harry Derbyshire
his mother Agnes
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 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
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.
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:
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