1895 Annie Musgrove was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire. She is my grand aunt and was the daughter of Thomas Musgrove and Ellen Stowell.
Catherine Ainsworth is my 2 x great grandmother and she was born on this day (13th January) in 1837. She comes from a small market town in Lancashire called Darwen which is near to it’s larger neighbour Blackburn.
My first record of Catherine is in the 1841 UK census when she is living with her parents Joseph Ainsworth and Jane Ainsworth (nee Cottam). Also recorded in the census are her siblings
Mary – born about 1826
Thomas – born about 1829
Betty – born about 1831
Jas (James) – born about 1835
Ana (Hannah) – born about 1839
Joseph – born about 1841
Ten years later and Catherine is still living with her parents at 19 Bolton Street, Over Darwen, Blackburn. By this time another sister has been born – Sarah Jane in 1843. Catherine is working as a “power loom weaver”.
Sometime during the next four years Catherine met John Musgrove and they married on 6th October 1855 at the Parish Church of Blackburn. The witnesses at the marriage were Robert Day and Mary Anne Day – I have no information about these people and assume that they were friends.
In the 1861 UK census Catherine and John are living at an address in Moor Lane, Clitheroe, Lancashire. Also recorded in the census are two children
Susannah – born about 1857
Thomas – born about 1861
Another child, George, was born and died on 2oth August 1857.
The census shows John working as a “carter” and Catherine working as a “power loom cotton weaver”.
The 1871 UK census is a bit of a mystery for me. First of all the census entry records her name as Catherina Mosgrove and her occupation as “cotton weaver”. She is living at 18 Ellen Street, Over Darwen. Also with her are two sons Thomas (10) and Joseph (6). Thomas is shown as a “cotton weaver” and Joseph as a “scholar”. The one other person at the address is Joseph Ainsworth (66) – this is Catherine’s father and he is a widower.
Secondly I haven’t been able to find any trace of John Musgrove (Catherine’s husband).
I also know that John and Catherine had another son, James, who was born on 5th August 1868 and died on 23th November the same year.
Sometime during the next ten years the family moved back to Clitheroe and the 1881 UK census shows them living at 42 Water Street, Clitheroe. The household consists of John, Catherine and their son Joseph (16). There are also two boarders – John Reid and Hannah Reid. It isn’t clear to me yet whether these two people are relatives or not.
Catherine died on 19th September 1887 and her death is registered in the Clitheroe district.
Florrie Musgrove is my maternal grandmother – or “nannie” as she was always known – and today is her birthday. She was born on 6 January 1897 at Horton in Ribblesdale, Yorkshire.
Florrie was the third child of Joseph Musgrove and Elizabeth Ann Musgrove (nee Turner). She had nine siblings
John Robert Turner Musgrove (born c1892)
Thomas Musgrove (born c1894)
Mary Elizabeth Musgrove (born 1898)
James Musgrove (born 1901)
Joseph Musgrove (1903-1904)
Leah Musgrove (born c1905)
Isabel Musgrove (born c1906)
Alice Musgrove (born 1910)
Joseph Musgrove (born 1912)
When Florrie was born the family lived at Foredale Cottages just outside Horton in Ribblesdale. These cottages were built for the workers of the local limestone quarry which is where Florrie’s dad worked. Here’s a link to more information about the cottages.
I mentioned the problems I had finding Florrie’s birth certificate when I talked about St. Catherine’s House, this is because it was registered under Florrie Mosgrove.
By the time of the 1901 census the family had moved to Clitheroe in Lancashire and were living at 50 Taylor Street. Joseph is described as a limestone quarryman and had presumably moved to Clitheroe to find work in the local quarries.
In the 1911 census the family were living at 119 Lowergate, Clitheroe. By now Florrie is 14 years old and she is working as a “ring spinner” in a cotton mill.
Some time during the next six years Florrie met and fell in love with Fred Musgrove, a local chap from Clitheroe. They were married on 16 September 1917 at the United Methodist Church, Moor Lane Clitheroe.
Their marriage certificate also threw up another anomaly. The father’s names have been written on the wrong lines – so Florries father is shown as Thomas instead of Joseph. Yet another example and reminder of the importance of always checking and checking again the information from official records.
Witnesses at the wedding were Florrie’s brother John Robert Musgrove and Fred’s sister Ellen Halstead.
Over the next 18 years Florrie and Fred had eight children
Kathleen Musgrove (born 1918)
Thomas Musgrove (born 1920)
Joseph Harry Musgrove (born 1922)
Hazel Musgrove (born 1925)
Elizabeth Musgrove (born 1927)
Stowell Musgrove (born 1929)
Alice Musgrove (born 1930) – my mother
Mary Musgrove (born 1935)
My mum describes Florrie and Fred as very loving parents. Both were hard working and fiercely loyal to their children. Unfortunately Florrie suffered from bronchial asthma for many years so I am quite sure life must have been really hard.
Florrie died on 18 May 1971 at the age of 74 and is buried at Clitheroe Cemetery.
This Sunday, 28th November is my mother’s 80th birthday. So I thought I would take a look back to a time when she was 17 year’s old and working as a weaver in one of the local mills in Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Here is a newspaper article about changes to working practices recommended in a Cotton Manufacturers Commission report and Government White Paper.
The report and White Paper recommended a 20% increase in production mainly by weavers operating more looms. The tradition was for weavers to operate 4 looms and the new plan was for them to operate 10 looms.
The article tells the story of “Mrs Lucy Eccles (53), weaver since she was nine years old, moved on to 10 looms a months ago.” and my mother Alice Musgrove.
“What it took Mrs Eccles 44 years to reach, 17 year old Alice Musgrove did it in 18 months. Then she was training as a weaver with two looms. Now she has 10 and is the champion wage earner among the younger weavers with £6 10s a week.”
Happy birthday mum – I hope you’ve saved up your wages to pay for lunch on Sunday.
All the torrential rain and flooding in Cornwall recently prompted me to dig out the newspaper clipping below. This is an extract from the local paper in Clitheroe (Lancashire) published in 2000. This particular piece looks back 50 years to 1950. My dad, Graham Dawson (1930-2008) gets a mention – perhaps his first claim to fame.
To say my dad was a bit accident prone is perhaps an understatement. Mind you the accidents were not always his fault. However, enough for now – I will post again about my dad and mishaps.
Thomas Ainsworth Musgrove was 20 and Ellen Stowell was 19.
Thomas was a bachelor and worked as a spinner. Ellen was a spinster and her occupation is described as a carder. At the time of their marriage they were both living in Clitheroe, although Thomas was born in Darwen (about 16 miles away) and Ellen was born in Burnley (about 11 eleven miles away).
The two witnesses at the marriage were John Simeon Lord and Sarah Ellen Aspin. I don’t know anything about these two people. They don’t appear in my family tree so I am guessing that they were either friends or relatives that I haven’t traced yet.
In the 1891 census they were living at 79 Moor Lane, Clitheroe. Thomas was working as a cotton cloth marker and Ellen still as a cotton carder. In 1901 they were living at 62 Moor Lane, Clitheroe and Tomas was a cotton spinner.
Thomas and Ellen had seven children
Mary Alice 1886-1952
Fred Ainsworth Stowell 1898-1975 – my grandfather
Joseph Ainsworth Stowell 1888
Happy anniversary Thomas and Ellen.