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Ashbrook Family Tree

Updated on July 16, 2011


This page represents an on-going attempt to compile a logical sequence of descent for the Ashbrook family, my late grandmother being Annie Ashbrook who married John Joseph 'Jack' McGowan. Annie was born and spent almost all of her life in Knutsford, Cheshire, England. Jack was born in County Mayo in Ireland, and came to Knutsford with his parental family.

Some of the information on this page may be added to or corrected as more data comes to light over time. Anyone is welcome to leave relevant messages in the comments section below.

No mention of any living relative will be made to protect privacy.

This Hubpage continues from another, Four Branches, (see clickable link at the bottom of this page), which depicts the genealogy of my immediate family and how it flows from my parents to their parents - hence the four branches of our family history.

Thanks are due to my mother, Agnes Bray (nee McGowan), my aunt Mary McGowan, and distant cousin Carol Sanderson for some of the contents of this page, which comes from their efforts in researching our family tree.

To view any of these images in a larger scale, simply click on each image or use the slideshow facility.

Three Generations Named William Ashbrook

Don't confuse William Ashbrook's sister Sarah Ann with his wife, also called Sarah.
Don't confuse William Ashbrook's sister Sarah Ann with his wife, also called Sarah.

Certificates for Ann Jane Booth and William Ashbrook

Ann Jane Booth's Birth Certificate
Ann Jane Booth's Birth Certificate
Ann Jane Booth and William Ashbrook's Marriage Certificate
Ann Jane Booth and William Ashbrook's Marriage Certificate

Marriage Certificate of Frederick Rathbone and Fanny Pemberton

Sarah Rathbone's parents were Frederick Rathbone and Fanny Pemberton.
Sarah Rathbone's parents were Frederick Rathbone and Fanny Pemberton.

Birth Certificates of Sarah Rathbone and William Ashbrook

William and Sarah Ashbrook (nee Rathbone)

Wedding Certificate of William Ashbrook and Sarah Rathbone

Death Certificates for Sarah and William Ashbrook

Ashbrook Family Dates

This is a list of birth, marriage and death dates of the offspring of William and Sarah Ashbrook compiled from Agnes Bray's own notes.

Sarah - born 16.10.1905; married Fred Whittaker (date?); died 31.10.1987.

Annie - born 26.10.1906; married John Joseph McGowan 26.02.1927; died 08.08.1986; (my grandparents.)

William - born 26.10.1906 (twin of Annie); married (details?); 2nd wife Mollie Harrison.

Joseph - born 1904; died 1909.

James - born 20.01.1904(?); married Louise 1946; died 05.03.1989.

John 'Jack' - born ??.04.1917.

Frederick - born ??.04.1917 (twin of John); married Jessie (details?)

Agnes - born 25.12.1920; married George Wood; died ?

Note: The photo below shows James marrying Milly. Was this Louise's nickname, or did he marry twice?

My Grandmother's Sisters

Bottom right: Sarah Ashbrook.  Top middle: Agnes Ashbrook.  (The others are unknown.)  Photo courtesy of Carol Sanderson.
Bottom right: Sarah Ashbrook. Top middle: Agnes Ashbrook. (The others are unknown.) Photo courtesy of Carol Sanderson.

Twins Annie and William Ashbrook's Birth Certificates

The Ashbrook Family

From Mary McGowan's own notes:

William Ashbrook and Sarah Rathbone were married on 26th December, 1904. William's father was also called William, as was his father before that.

Sarah's mother was called Fanny Pemberton (maiden name), and her father Frederick was a labourer at a brewery. I wonder which brewery, as I do not know of any in or around Northwich? Maybe it was Wilderspoons' at Warrington? (Adele: See note in the Comments section below.)

On Sarah's and William's marriage certificate, both fathers are described as labourers.

Of their children, Sarah was born first. On the 1911 Census she is a year older than my mother (Annie Ashbrook) and William. Mam came first at 12.15am and William at 1.30am. Man used to say, "My twin brother Billy". I recall a small uncle with only one eye; it was always watering. I think it was stitched together. Was that Charles or Billy?

When Annie was born, William is described as an "Alkali Labourer."

Joseph was born in 1909 and died in 1911. James was born in 1914 and lived with William and Sarah right up to the day they died, at East Avenue, Rudheath. John and Frederick were born in April 1917, John first at 10am, Fred at 1pm - at (house number withheld by Adele) James Street, Northwich. That same year, Sarah's father Frederick Rathbone died aged 67 at the Victoria Infirmary, Northwich, from a burst appendix and peritonitis. His address had been at (house number withheld by Adele) Faraday Road, Winnington.

Fanny died in 1932.

I think Agnes Ashbrook was the youngest of the girls, born 1918 I think. She married George H Wood in Northwich in 1940, and lived at Lostock Grahlam. She had two daughters.

Sarah, the first born, married Wilfred Whittaker at St Helens Church, Northwich, then went to live in Blackpool.

James Ashbrook, born 1914, married Millicent Eardley from Middlewich. She was tall and had long golden hair down to her waist, which she wore in plaits. He was 34 and she was 22. His job is given as "Transport Maintenance"; her job was a silk worker. They lived together at (house number withheld by Adele) East Avenue, Rudheath with William and Sarah Ashbrook. Aunty Milly, as we called her, died first and James died in Leighton Hospital, Crewe, in 1998, aged 84, from ischaemic heart disease and a stroke. They had one son.

I saw most of Uncle James and Aunty Milly, and Aunty Agnes and George Wood as a child. apart from that man with the blind eye, I saw no-one else in the Ashbrook family apart from Granny and Grandad - and little of them, me being the youngest in our family.

James and Milly Ashbrook (nee Eardley)

James and Milly Ashbrook.    Photo courtesy of Carol Sanderson.
James and Milly Ashbrook. Photo courtesy of Carol Sanderson.

Marriage Certificate of John Joseph 'Jack' McGowan and Annie Ashbrook

The Holdings, Northwich.

The marriage certificate of Annie Ashbrook and John Joseph 'Jack' McGowan gives their address as The Holdings, Middlewich Road, Northwich.

Agnes Bray (nee McGowan) wrote: "There was a lot of land and extra buildings outside. The land was good and he (Jack, Agnes's father) cultivated it. He had hens and a large pigeon house. I remember oil lamps and an outside toilet; also, my mum telling me that farm labourers lodged in an outbuilding and got a main meal (served) from the back door.

"Once a week my gran would get a fire going under a large cauldron and the workmens' clothes were boiled. They went out in other clothes and slept and worked the next week in them until boiling day. One day my mum told me her twin brother Billy (William) was found in the doorway of the outbuilding and was striped of his clothes in the yard, was washed in the yard in the tin bath and his clothes boiled.

"As for (sounding) horrible, Gran did raise a large family there with no deaths; she had two sets of twins. My mother (Annie Ashbrook) was sent into service (when) aged 14, so perhaps the comparison between her home and the Hall where she 'lived in' - carpet vs. hand-pegged rugs, gas light vs. oil lamps, and an indoor toilet, etc., (made The Holdings seem horrible, as Annie always described it)."

Brett Langston, Research Consultant at the Cheshire Records Office wrote: "The Holdings was a farm complex on the north side of Middlewich Road, reached by a track behind the Farmer's Arms. It seems to have been built around 1890, and it survived until after World War Two before being subsumed into ICI's Lostock Works."

Map of The Holdings

© 2011 Adele Cosgrove-Bray


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    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      7 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      I'm glad you both enjoyed this page about family history.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 

      7 years ago from USA

      I really like how you have presented this information, and included certificates and photographs to make the presentation more interesting. I have linked to this hub in mine here:

    • profile image

      Karen Duckworth 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting, I'm Sarah (Sally) Whittaker nee Ashbrook's Grandaughter, lovely to read & learn more about my family History xxxx

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      8 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      Carol Sanderson adds: "My father was Wilfrid Dunning Whittaker - not Fred - he was born 6 June 1904; died 11 March 1947.

      "Joseph born 1907 and died the same year - I remember being told that he died in infancy. Can't find a record for him but there is a death for a William Joseph Ashbrook at the beginning of 1908 - don't know if this is him.

      "James (uncle Jim was born 20 Jan 1914 died 1998. He married in 1948 a Millicent Eardley b 20 Dec 1925 We knew her as Auntie Millie. They lived with Grandad and Nanny Ashbrook at (Note: house number withheld by Adele) East Avenue Rudheath Northwich.

      "Charles (Uncle Charlie) was born in 1911 and died 1989- He was married to Louis Davies born 5 Cct 1926.

      "Frederick and Jack - twins were born 20th April 1917; and Agnes the youngest of 9 was born 25 Dec 1918.

      "Hope this is of interest to you. Must get on with some painting now."

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      8 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      Additional note re. brewery: There was a Lonsdale and Adshead Brewery in Park Green, Macclesfield, which was founded in 1790 by William Paxton (or Caxton). In 1870 Robert Lonsdale went into partnership with Samuel Adshead, and by 1899 they owned two pubs and two off-licenses. Lonsdale bought out Adshead in 1899, and the company continued trading until 1950 when it was purchased by North Cheshire Breweries Ltd.

      The Adshead surname is another of the "Four Branches" of my family tree! And there're not that many Adsheads...

      Could Frederick Ashbrook have travelled from Northwich to Macclesfield to work at the Lonsdale Adshead Brewery?

      The link between the two families was not created during his time - that came much later - but it's an amusing thought to play with.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Good DNA..!

    • AdeleCosgroveBray profile imageAUTHOR

      Adele Cosgrove-Bray 

      8 years ago from Wirral, Cheshire, England.

      Thank you - though much of the really credit has to go to my mother and Aunt Mary.

    • dallas93444 profile image

      Dallas W Thompson 

      8 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

      Great research!


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