Sarah Booth

Sunday’s Obituary – John Espley (1869-1945)

John Espley is my wife’s 1st cousin 2x removed. His parents are Joseph Booth Espley and Christiana Boyle. Their common ancestor is Martha Espley – my wife’s 2x great grandmother.

John was born on 5 May 1869 in Macclesfield, Cheshire.

In the 1891 census John was with his uncle & aunt Frederick Espley and Frances Espley in Biddulph, Staffordshire. He was working as an iron turner. By the time of the following census in 1901 John was living in Burnley, Lancashire working as a builders labourer.

On 7 December 1901 John married Sarah Booth at St Matthew the Apostle church, Habergham Eaves, Lancashire.

Sarah was a young widow of 25. Her maiden name was Sarah Baines Turner. She had married Samuel Booth in the first quarter of 1897 in Burnley. Samuel died three years later. This left Sarah on her own with three children under three years old – Betty, Jane and Samuel.

By the time of the 1911 census John and Sarah had six children of their own but sadly two died in infancy. By now John was working in the water department of the Burnley Borough Council.

John was a conscientious employee for the water department and eventually retired from there in 1934. The Burnley Express of Saturday 5 May 1934 reported on his retirement (images from http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)

John Espley - Burnley Express 5 May 1934.png

THIRTY-THREE YEARS WITH WATER DEPARTMENT

After completing 33 years service with the Burnley Corporation Water Department, Mr. John Espley, of 14 Hawk Street, enters into a well-earned retirement today. Mr. Espley, who is 65 years of age, has served under three managers, and for over 20 years has been a foreman with the department.
He holds the proud record of never having been late for 32 years. One day, when he had been with the department about 12 months, he arrived five minutes late and was sent home for three days. He has never been late since! Mr. Espley is interested in gardening, with which he occupies much of his spare time.

John’s retirement lasted for eleven years before he died on 4 June 1945. He was buried three days later in Burnley cemetery.

The Burnley Express reported on his death on Saturday 9 June 1945.

John Espley - Burnley Express 9 June 1945.png

MR. JOHN ESPLEY

The death of Mr. John Espley (76) took place at his home, 81 Albert Street, Burnley, on Monday, after a short illness. Mr. Espley, a well-known Fulledge resident, was employed by the Burnley Corporation Water Department for about 33 years, being a foreman for about 20 years. He retired about 11 years ago. The funeral took place at the Burnley Cemetery on Thursday, preceded by a service in the Latter Day Saints’ Chapel, Rosegrove, with which he was connected. Elder John R. Moore and Elder W. Duckworth officiated. Arrangements: Mr. Joseph Harling, 29 Yorkshire Street.

Sarah lived for a further 13 months – she was buried on 29 July 1946 in Burnley Cemetery.

Travel Tuesday – Luther Espley (1915-1989)

Travel Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.

Do you have images, quotes or stories about trips your ancestors or family took during their lives? Or have to ventured out on travels to your ancestral homeland as part of your genealogy research?

Luther Espley is my wife’s 2nd cousin 1x removed. He was born on 20 April 1915 in Burnley, Lancashire, to parents John Espley and Sarah Booth.

Luther married Edna Adelaide Currin in Burnley on 11 May 1940 and they had one son, John in 1945.

The family decided to emigrate to Los Angeles, California, in 1947 – following in the footsteps of Luther’s step-sister Jenny Booth.

Luther passed away on 11 January 1989, and Edna on 1 August 1993, both in Los Angeles.

I have just come across the following article from the Burnley Express of 8 March 1947 about their impending departure.

Burnley Express - 8 March 1947.pngGoing Where The Sun Will Shine

To seek sunshine, a better standard of living and better prospects for the future, Mr Luther Espley, his wife, Mrs Edna Espley, and their 19-months-old son, John, will leave England in three weeks’ time for California, where they will live near Los Angeles.

Mrs Espley and the baby leave this week-end for Liverpool, and the family will sail from Southampton in ss America on March 28th. In America they will join Mr Espley’s sister, who went to live there 22 years ago. Now Mrs Jeny Holden, she was well known in Burnley as a tailoress in Briercliffe Road, where she took a shop after having been employed at Primrose Bank Institution. In Burnley she will be remembered as Jenny Booth. Mrs Holden, who came to Burnley on a visit 10 years ago, is connected with the Lancashire Society of Los Angeles.

Mr Espley is at present employed in the Water Department testing office. He joined the department on leaving school. Being a local Territorial he was called up with the 52nd LAA Regiment, RA, on the outbreak of war, and served in France, being evacuated at Dunkirk. Later he served with the Eighth Army throughout the desert campaign, and was released from the Forces in December, 1945.

“During my travels,” he says, “I was attached to the American Fifth Army in Italy for a long time, and their descriptions of life in America fitted in with what I am looking for. We are going because we think living conditions are better there, and there will be better opportunities and prospects, especially for the youngster. And there’s plenty of sunshine all the year round.”

I have lots of admiration for Luther, Edna and John, especially for their adventurous spirit. I hope that they enjoyed their new life in California.