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John Fawley Research Notes

The Problem  When was he born?  His estimated birth date varies in the available records.

1841 census: age 40 [b.c.1796-1801] (ages are rounded down)
1851 census: age 53 [b.c.1798] (as of 30 March 1851)
1861 census: age 62 [b.c.1799] (as of 7 April 1861)
1870 death record: age 71 [b.c.1799] (12 Jun 1870)
1870 burial record: age 72 [b.c.1798] (as of 16 Jun 1870)

Birth records  The 1851 census is the only known source for his place of birth - Holmfirth, Yorkshire.  The 1861 census mentions Yorkshire, but does not name the town.  Although in different counties, Holmfirth is near Staleybridge and a reasonable move for John.

  1. The only likely candidate in the Holy Trinity Church, Holmfirth, parish records is Jonathan Fawley, son of John Fawley and Ann Senior (Church of England, Holy Trinity Church, Holmfirth, Parish register for 1796).  The parents were of Scholes Mile.  However, Jonathan was born 23 Nov 1796 and baptized 27 Nov 1796, two years earlier than the later records suggest.

  2. John Foley, son of Thomas and Ruth Foley, was born 23 Mar 1798 and baptized 13 Apr 1798 at Lane Independent, Holmfirth, York, England ("England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes," database and digital images, FamilySearch, from FHL 828129).  Another index says the baptism took place in Almondbury, Yorkshire.

  3. John Fawley, son of Joshua and Sarah Fawley, was baptized 5 Jun 1799 at Wesleyan, Holmfirth, Yorkshire ("England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes," database and digital images, FamilySearch, from FHL 828129).  His parents resided in Underbank in Kirkburton parish.

John, the adult  He apparently spent most of his adult life in the vicinity of Stalybridge.  He was "of this parish" in Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire at the time of his 1823 marriage.  His residence in the census records was Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire.  His children's birthplaces were recorded as Stalybridge in the censuses.

His identity is confirmed in the various adult records where he is associated with his first wife and/or his children, including the children's baptisms and the 1841 and 1851 censuses.  Although there is another contemporary John Fawley in the Staleybridge records, his wife was named Ann.  The births of the children of the two couples overlap, so they cannot be the same people.  In the 1861 census John is living with his second wife, but his daughter "Alice Fawley, Daughter, age 16" is also in the household.

His occupation - In the 1841 census and on his son Joseph's 1844 marriage record, he was a "carter" (a person who hauls goods in a cart).  In 1851, he was a "fruiter" (a fruit dealer or seller).  At the time of his wife's death in 1857 he was a "grocer and provision dealer".  In 1861 he was a "victualler" at Traveler's Rest Public House, which probably means that he was the landlord. At his death he was a "former innkeeper".  In the probate index, he was a 'grocer and provision dealer".

John died 12 Jun 1870 at Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, England (England Deaths, Ashton-under-Lyne, Lancashire, 1870 Vol. 8d p.291, England Probate Records, 1870 p.235-236 Manchester District Probate Registry), and was buried at Old St. George's.

His family 

John was married, 2 Jun 1823 at Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire, to Alice Hall, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Hall (Church of England, Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire, Parish register for 1823 p.185 no.554).  Alice died 31 May 1857 Dukinfield, Cheshire (England Deaths, Dukinfield, Cheshire, 1857 Vol. 8d p.289).

John married again, in 1858 in Manchester District, Lancashire, to Mary Bramley (Civil Records Vol. 8d p.94, Manchester District, registered Sep qtr 1858 per England and Wales Civil Registration Index).

The children of John and Alice. 

  1. William, baptized 18 Apr 1824 (Church of England, Chapelry of Staleybridge, Lancashire, Parish register for 1824 p.41 no.323).  He is most likely the William Fawley, 50 Booth St., Staleybridge, who was the informant on his father's death record.

  2. Joseph, born 7 Jun 1825, baptized 28 Aug 1825 (Church of England, Chapelry of Staleybridge, Lancashire, Parish register for 1825 p.49 no.387).

  3. Henry, baptized 4 Feb 1830 (Church of England, Chapelry of Staleybridge, Lancashire, Parish register for 1830 p.67 no.536), buried 25 May 1835.

  4. Harriet, baptized 27 Jan 1833 (Church of England, Chapelry of Staleybridge, Lancashire, Parish register for 1833 p.76 no.606).

  5. Henry, baptized 11 Dec 1836 (Church of England, Chapelry of Staleybridge, Lancashire, Parish register for 1836 p.98 no.783).  He is most likely the Henry Fawley, Princes St., Dukinfield, who was the informant on his mother's death record.

  6. Sarah, born abt 1839.  No baptism record has been found.

  7. Alice, born 25 Sep 1844, baptized 1 Dec 1844 (Church of England, Chapelry of Staleybridge, Lancashire, Parish register for 1844 p.135 no.1075).

Comments 

  • His given name - In the known records, he is always known as "John."  However, his son Joseph named a son "Jonathan".
  • His surname - "Fawley" is the spelling used by son Joseph and his descendants.  Different spellings are frequent, usually "Foley" or "Fowley".  In the 1841 census it was indexed as "Lowley".
  • The known records are quite consistent regarding his year of birth (other than the fact that he aged a year between death and burial).  But those records were all made long after his birth.
  • Two of the children, Joseph and Sarah, have names that match those of Ann Hall's parents.  Yet, none of the other children's names match the possible parents for John.
  • Later records give no indication of connections to an independent church.  Except for Sarah, whose baptism record has not been found, all of John's children were baptized in a parish church.  And John and Alice were married in a parish church.

Summary  Stil to do:

  • Search Holmfrith records to identify other possible baptisms of John Fawley.
  • Obtain actual baptism records of all possible candidates.
  • Obtain John Fawley's will.  Confirm that the children of the John Fawley who died in 1870 are the same as the children baptized as children of John and Alice.
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© 2012 Shirley York Anderson