Martha Brockhouse is my wife’s 3x great grandmother. Her parents are William Brockhouse and Sarah Turner.
Martha was born about 1793 in Sandbach, Cheshire – according to the entries in the census returns. As yet I haven’t been able to find a corresponding baptism record.
On the 23 August 1812 Martha married James Owen in Sandbach.
As far as I can tell James and Martha had at least nine children between 1814 and 1840 – including Daniel Owen (1814-1864) – my wife’s 2x great grandfather.
In the 1841 census James and Martha were living at Back Street in Sandbach. James was working as a “nailor”. I found a death record for James registered in Congleton, Cheshire in the March quarter of 1844.
In the census returns for 1851 and 1861 Martha was a widow still living in Sandbach. In 1861 she was with her son Thomas and his family.
I recently found the following inquest report in the Warrington Guardian of 22 July 1865 (image from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk).
INQUEST AT SANDBACH – An inquest was held on Thursday, before W.R. Dunstan, Esq., at the Wheat Sheaf, Sandbach, touching the death of Martha Owen, aged 72 years. – John Owen, of 30 Union Street, Sandbach, and employed as striker at the Crewe works, said the deceased was the widow of James Owen, of Sandbach, whitesmith. She was placed in the Arclid Workhouse, as she had had strokes and was helpless. Witness contributed to her support. On Sunday morning last she came from Bradwell in a cart to spend the day at his house. On Saturday she had walked from Arclid to Bradwell, by way of Sandbach, three miles, and had dropped down in the road from exhaustion. She was 72 years of age. At dinner on Sunday she had eaten two or three potatoes and a little bit of roasted mutton. She asked for more, but before she began to eat the second “helping” she suddenly set her teeth together, and made a strange noise: she dropped her knife and motioned to witness to take her from the table. She wished to be taken into the yard, but became worse, and they took her into the house. She died just after they had got her on a chair, and within seven minutes of her being first attacked. Mr. Latham, surgeon, was sent for on the first attack, but he was out. Mr. Twemlow was sent for, and came after the death had occurred. – Verdict: “Died suddenly by the visitation of God from natural causes.”