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Where is my 2nd great grandfather

Sun Oct 20, 2019 11:11 am

I have been unsuccessful in tracking down my 2nd great grandfather Hugh Moorcroft from 1881 to 1897.
Hugh was born 25 November 1840 in Lathom, Lancashire. He was registered with his father's name (Arnold) even though his parents (James Arnold & Mary Moorcroft) did not marry until 5 July 1841. However, his baptism record shows he was baptised (1/12/1840 St Peter & Paul Ormskirk) as Hugh Moorcroft son of Mary Moorcroft. On 1841 census he is living with his mother & uncle William Moorcroft @ Catchey Moss, Prescot, Eccleston (census taken 6 June so before Mary's marriage to James Arnold). 1851 census staying with his grandparents John Moorcroft and Ann nee Charnock @ Chancery Lane, Chorley. In 1859 he married at Parish Church Prescot - Jane Roscoe - occupation Collier - list his father as James Moorcroft (Shoemaker) - James Arnold was a Shoemaker. I have census record for Hugh & his family for 1861, 1871 & 1881. In 1881 the family are living at 35 Walthew Lane, Platt Bridge - 6 children including my great grandfather also named Hugh. On the 1891 census Jane & the 4 youngest children are living at 35 Walthew Lane, Platt Bridge. Jane is listed as head but married. The whole family are using the name Arnold. Jane dies in 1896. Hugh does not appear again until 1897 when he remarries a Jemima Townsend nee Clark. Hugh dies in 1900.
What happened to the family and Hugh between 1881 & 1891 that they used the name Arnold - a name Hugh had so far never used himself. Where was Hugh?

Re: Where is my 2nd great grandfather

Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:05 am

This may not be him as I haven't had time to cross-check, but there is a report in various newspapers in January 1869 about an explosion at the Haydock Colliery.

The reports make reference to Hugh Arnold, collier, married, who was the only survivor out of 27 working in the tunnel. Mention is made of Hindley Green, although Hugh Arnold's address is given as Twenty Eight Row, Haydock.

Oops - ignore me, you're looking for him much later than that!

Re: Where is my 2nd great grandfather

Mon Oct 21, 2019 2:14 am

There is mention of him in September 1892 under the heading Hindley Local Board, Gas Water & Fire Division “I submit for your inspection, two joints made by a man named Hugh Arnold of Walthew Lane who, I consider, ought to be cautioned against interfering or tampering with water fittings in the board’s district".

Re: Where is my 2nd great grandfather

Mon Oct 21, 2019 4:21 pm

Thanks Avaline. I will certainly look further into the incident in September 1892 and the Colliery accident as the family did live in Haydock on 1871 census although Hugh is recorded on all of the census as Hugh Moorcroft. Curious ....

Re: Where is my 2nd great grandfather

Mon Oct 21, 2019 6:22 pm

It's quite a tale if it is him in 1869.

The use of two surnames isn't entirely unusual. I have an ancestor born in similar circumstances (ie a year or so before his parents married), and he used his mother's maiden surname when he married & registered his children, but his father's surname in all the census and in business (he had a fruit & veg shop).

His death is registered under his father's surname, but his children are even more confusing as some went on to use one surname, and the rest used the other one!
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