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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Sibling Saturday: Anne Rawcliffe - Eldest of 8 Sisters

The Roskell Gravestone at St. Anne's Church, Singleton

This gravestone is the only photographic link I have with my great great Aunt Anne,  the eldest sister of my great grandmother Maria.   I have a soft spot for Anne and just wish I had a photograph of her.  

For my research uncovered that Maria was staying with Anne and family at the time of her wedding to James Danson, and Anne named her own daughter Maria - so there must have been a closeness between the two sisters,  daughters of  Robert and Jane Rawcliffe of Hambleton, near Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire.  

Anne's life, though,  was marked by  some sadness.  She had an illegitimate daughter before her marriage, but Jane Alice (named after two Rawcliffe sisters)  died at the young age of 14 in 1887.  Five years earlier, Anne and husband Robert Roskell had lost their infant twin son Matthew who only survived three weeks.  Robert died in 1894 leaving Anne a widow with two young daughters - Agnes 12 and Maria 8, and older son John.  


Anne's  family history encompasses three names - Rawcliffe, Roskell and Hesketh -  that were prominent in the Fylde - the area of Lancashire between the River Ribble at Preston to the south and River Wyre at Fleetwood  to the north.

Research through census records and parochial records  traced evens in Anne's life. 
Anne was born 1 June 1847 at Hambleton, and baptised 23rd June at the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary  at  Hambleton (right)  - the eldest of eight daughters born to Robert and Jane Rawcliffe. 

346 residents lived in Hambleton at the time of the 1851 census.

Ten years on in 1861, Anne was not listed with her parents and sisters, but may well be the 13 year old Anne Rawcliffe, a house servant,  resident with John Rawcliffe, a taylor and grocer, his wife Barbara, 5 year old son Thomas and apprentice Richard Parkinson.  So far no family connection has been traced between these two Rawcliffe families.   

By the time of the 1871 census, Anne, at 23,  was back home with her father (by this time a widower) and two sisters Jane and Maria. 

Anne married gamekeeper Robert Roskell at St. James, Stalmine on 17th March 1874, the witnesses her sister Jennet with her future husband Richard Riley.   Internet contacts produced a wealth of information on Roskell ancestors.  
Thatched Cottages - geograph.org.uk - 41962.jpg

The 1881 census showed the family to be living in the small hamlet of Thistleton at Thistleton Cottages (left).  This fact,  for the first time explained why my great grandmother Maria's  address was Thistleton  at the time of her marriage to James Danson in 1877 - presumably staying with her eldest sister and family – with James in the neighbouring village of Singleton.  

The 1881 census entry showed in the population of 386:

Robert Roskell
Born Garstang
Ann Roskell
Born Garstang
John Roskell
Son, scholar
Born Kirkham
Jane A. Rawcliffe
Daughter, scholar
Born Garstang

Anne’s birthplace, given as Garstang, could be a mistake, as her birth record is clearly   Hambleton.  This was also the first knowledge of  daughter Jane born c. 1873 before Anne's marriage, with Jane retaining her mother’s surname.  Parish records at Hambleton noted Jane's baptism - with both her Christian names those of Rawcliffe sisters.

In 1882 the parish records of St. Anne’s Singleton showed the baptism of Matthew and Agnes, son and daughter (twins) of Robert and Anne Roskell, Thistleton and named after their paternal grandparents. Sadly Matthew did not long survive and was buried at Singleton on 21 June 1882 aged just three weeks.

A daughter Maria (named after her aunt, my great grandmother) was baptised 14 February 1886.   Burial records, however, showed a year later  another death in the family - Anne’s eldest daughter Jane Alice buried 4 May 1887 at the young age of 14.

The 1891 census entry showed the two daughters Agnes and Maria with their parents - but no mention of their brother John who would be 16 years old. 

Three years later, Anne's husband Robert  died, buried 4 May 1894 at the young age  of forty-two.   

By the time of the 1901 census, Anne, then a 53 year old widow, had moved from the hamlet of Thistleton to the busy fishing port of Fleetwood, where at 21 Kemp Street, her occupation was given as  she was a grocer/shopkeeper, living with her two daughters – Agnes A. Roskell aged 18, a draper’s assistant, and Maria Roskell aged 15, a draper’s apprentice - both born Thistleton.  

Come the 1911 census, I could find no trace of Anne, nor confirm a death.  Then a spurt of inspiration made me look for her daughter Maria, to discover  that Anne had remarried and was now Mrs Jenkinson married to John a retired farmer and living at Blakiston Road East, Fleetwood, with Maria - no occupation given.  Helpfully the census entry noted that Anne had been married for two years.

Daughter Maria was to marry, on 2 May 1912 at St. Peter’s Fleetwood, William Hesketh,  (another prominent Fylde surname),  a telegraphist of 7 Hesketh Place, Fleetwood.  Maria’s address was given as 4 Blakiston Street and her age 27.   The witnesses to the wedding included John Roskell – Maria’s brother?  On their third wedding anniversary in 1915,  son Frank was christened at St. Peter’s, with the family now living at Rose Cottage, North Street, and William described as a clerk. 

Sister Agnes could well be the Agnes Anne Roskell who married in the third quarter of 1901.   

Anne Roskell, nee Rawcliffe died 4 April 1928 and was buried, not in Fleetwood, but beside her first husband and young children at St. Anne's Church, Singleton.  Her age on her gravestone was given as 79. 

The monumental inscription for St. Anne’s Churchyard, Singleton no. 90 records:

 In Affectionate Remembrance of
  Matthew son of

Robert and Ann Roskell of Thistleton

Who died June 17th 1882 aged 3 weeks

Also Jane Alice, sister of the above Matthew Roskell

Who died April 7th 1887 aged 14 years.

We thought they were our own for yet a while,

That we had earned them by the love of heaven,

To be a life’s, not a season’s smile, then tears forever.

 Also of the above Robert Roskell 
Who died May 2nd 1894 aged 42 years. 

Also Ann, beloved wife of the above.  
Who died April 6th 1928 aged 75 years

[Sibling Saturday is one of many prompts from Geneabloggers.com 
 to encourage bloggers to record their family history. ]


1 comment:

  1. Your blog looks great and the addition of a picture in the top banner will improve it even more. I am sorry I missed this makeover challenge. Perhaps I will follow your example and add an ‘About page’ and a ‘Surname page’ to my own blog. I also really enjoyed this tribute to your great-grandaunt; she really did suffer more than her fair share of bereavements. Happy blogiversary, Sue, and here’s to many more!


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