THORNBER FAMILIES IN MANCHESTER, BOLTON & PRESTON LANCASHIRE, ENGLAND
IN THE EARLY 19TH CENTURY

Lancashire Rose

At this time, relatively little is known about the Thornber families of Manchester, Bury and Preston in the early 19th century. These towns were not places with large numbers of Thornber records in the 18th century and it seems likely that the Thornbers encountered in the early 19th century had migrated from the Blackburn, Clitheroe and Burnley areas in search of work as the Industrial Revolution gathered pace.  The following families are known from birth certificates, registers, and census returns. The census entries shown with a double asterisk were transcribed by the Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society and kindly provided to me by Bernard Steele.

The church registers of a great city like Manchester are vast. Initially the only church was the collegiate church, dediciated to St. Mary, St. Denys and St. George. It eventually became the cathedral. St. Anne's was the first new church, built in 1712. The rapid growth of Manchester as a result of the Industrial Revolution led to the building of other churches, St. Mary's in 1756, St. John's in 1769, St. James' in 1788, St. Peter's in 1794 and St. Matthew's in 1825. When the population moved out of the central area into new suburbs, the centre comprised mainly shops, offices and warehouses. The new city centre churches were then without congregations and were abandoned in the late 19th century. St. Peter's near the Central Library was pulled down early in the 20th century and the burial records go up to 1907. St. John's in Byrom Street, Deansgate and St. Mary's, behind what is now Kendal Milne, have also been demolished. Now only the cathedral and St. Anne's remain in the central area.

1. Henry Hartley Thornber and Hannah Towns or Downs.

Henry Hartley Thornber was the son of James Thornber and Ann formerly Hartley. He was baptised on 18 September 1808 at Colne St. Bartholomew's. Another child of this couple, James Blakey Thornber was baptised on the same day so it may be that they were twins.

Henry Hartley Thornber married Hannah Towns at Manchester Cathedral on 24 November 1827 and there are IGI records of the baptism of four of their children at Manchester Cathedral.  I have now found registration details for three other children, including twins.  On one birth certificate the mother's maiden name is given as Towns in the others as Downs. In view of the findings so far it may be that there were other children between 1839 and 1848. A death certificate has been obtained for one child, Sarah, from which we learn that Henry was a tailor.

Henry Thornber, son of Henry and Hannah Thornber, bapt. 9 September, 1837, Manchester Cathedral
John Newton Thornber, son of Henry Hearlby (Hartley) and Hannah Thornber, bapt. 11 July 1830, Manchester Cathedral
Robert Thornber, son of Henry Heartley and Hannah Thornber, bapt. 6 Oct. 1833, Manchester Cathedral
Sarah Thornber, dau. of Henry Heartley and Hannah Thornber, bapt. 22 Sept. 1839, Manchester Cathedral. Sarah Ellen Thornber, aged 11 months, dau. of Henry Heartley Thornber, tailor, of Broughton Street, died on 14 August 1840 of whooping cough. The death was registered in the Ancoats district of Manchester.
Mary Thornber, dau. of Henry Hartley Thornber and Hannah formerly Downes, book-keeper, born 10 am 23 Feb 1848 at 11 Broughton Street, Manchester, registered in Ancoats district.
William, son of Henry Hartley Thornber and Hannah formerly Downes, book-keeper, born 11 am 23 Feb 1848 at 11 Broughton Street, Manchester, registered in Ancoats district.
Samuel Hartley Thornber, son of Henry Hartley Thornber and Hannah formerly Towns, book-keeper, born 3 June 1849 at 171 Great Ancoats Street, Manchester, registered in Ancoats district. (There is a record in the GRO deaths index for Samuel Hartley Thornber, September quarter 1849 in Manchester, ref. 20 816)

Pigot's Directory of 1830 shows three Henry Thornbers but it was the normal practice to show each business premise so Henry Hartley Thornber may have one of the following. Oldham Street is very near Great Ancoats Street.

Henry Thornber, shopkeeper, 50 Oldham Street
Henry Thornber, printer, 16 Style Street
Henry Thornber, pawnbroker, 1 John Street.

The Henry Thornber baptised in 1837 may be the one who married Margaret Harding at Manchester Cathedral 22 August 1858.   There are subsequent baptism records at Manchester St. Andrew's Ancoats for a Henry Hartley Thornber son of Henry and Margaret Thornber on 25 Feb 1866, and Frank Hartley Thornber son of Henry and Margaret on 4 Feb 1872 using their grandfather's middle name.

The Robert Thornber baptised in 1833 may be the one who with wife Mary Ann had a son Frederick William baptised at St.Andrew's, Ancoats on 6 Feb 1863.

2.  William Thornber and Betsy Greenhalgh

The only evidence to date on this couple comes from two birth certificates:

James Thornber, born 26 March, 1850, at Julia Street Cheetham, son of William Thornber, warehouseman, and Betsy Thornber formerly Greenhalgh, registered in Cheetham District.

Harry Thornber, born 9 November 1851 at Park Terrace, Manchester, son of William Thornber, warehouseman, and Betsy Thornber formerly Greenhalgh, registered in St. George district Manchester.

3.  James Thornber and Jane Holmes.

The only evidence to date on this couple comes from a marriage certificate and a birth certificate:

James Thornber, of full age, bachelor and boot closer, of 4 Wilson's Buildings, Brazenose Street, the son of Richard Thornber, warper, married Jane Home or Holmes of full age, spinster, of Deansgate, the daughter of James Home or Holmes, pork butcher, on 3 November 1839 at the Collegiate and Parish Church of Manchester. The marriage was by licence. Bride and groom both signed their names and she signed as Jane Holmes.

James Henry Thornber, born 20 August 1840 at 29 Fairfield Street, son of James Thornber, boot closer and Jane Thornber formerly Holmes, registered in Sub District of London Road, Manchester.

4.  William Thornber and Mary

The 1851 Census for Crumpsall (HO 107/2232, folio 365, page 24) shows at Bottomley Side a William Thornber, printer and lodger, born in Prestwich. His wife Mary was a silk winder aged 23 born in Middleton. Also listed is another male Thornber whose name is illegible but ending with a superscript h such as Josiah might be written Josh. He was 25, a labourer and was born in Prestwich.

5.   Edward Thornber, born about 1824

In the 1851 Census at Withy Grove in Manchester (HO 107/2229, folio 578, page 44) there was Edward Thornber, aged 27, an unmarried hairdresser employing one man and a boy. He was said to be born in Pendleton and this could be Pendleton near Manchester or Pendleton near Whalley, both of which are in Lancashire. Also in the household was his mother Elizabeth aged 60, a housekeeper, born in Crumpsall, Thomas Whitman an unmarried hair dressing apprentice born in Carlisle and John Woods, an unmarried lodger aged 28.

6.   Fanny Thornber, born about 1828

In the 1851 Census for Cheetham and Failsworth, (HO 107/2232 folio 63, page 7) at New Bridge Street, Cheetham, Fanny Thornber, aged 23 and born in Prestwich, was a house servant.

7.  John Thornber, born about 1821

In the 1851 census for Bolton (HO 107/2209 folio 508 page 21) there was the family of John Thornber, aged 30, a shoemaker born in West Bradford, Yorkshire, which is very near Waddington. His wife Mary was 33 born in Horwich, Lancashire and this three children were Nancy, age 7, Alice aged 6 and Ralph aged 1 all born in Bolton. The matching GRO baptism index entries have been found for these three children in the Bolton district (Nancy in Dec. quarter 1843, Alice in June quarter 1845 and Ralph in September quarter of 1849.  Ralph is a distinctive name among the Thornber in the Waddington and Slaiburn areas. John is likely to be the son of Thomas and Ann, baptised at Waddington on 3 April 1821.

8. Caroline Thornber daughter of John Thornber

Caroline Thornber of full age, a spinster, of Gorton, daughter of John Thornber, a toll collector, married Joseph Gallimore, of full age, a bachelor and labourer of Gorton, the son of William Gallimore, a labourer on 4 May 1845 at the collegiate and parish church of Manchester.

9. Edward Thornber born prior to 1822

Edward Thornber, of full age, a bachelor and labourer of Smithy Lane, the son of Samuel Thornber, a weaver, married Sarah Eaton, of full age, a spinster of Smithy Lane, the daughter of Thomas Eaton a labourer, on 18 May 1843 at the collegiate and parish church of Manchester. The marriage was by banns. It is possible that this is the same Edward who appears in the 1851 census** for Pendleton, Salford in the Ecclesiastical District of St. Thomas.  At Irlam o' th' Height was Edward, head, aged 36, no occupation shown, born in Pendleton. His wife's name was illegible but she was 35 and born in Pembury (?) Cheshie. There were two childen, both born in Pendleton - a daughter aged 6 whose name was illegible and a son James aged 5. Ref. HO 107/2222 page 25

10. Francis Thornborough and Ann

The 1851 census for Manchester (HO 107/2230 folio 803 page 39) at St. George's district shows Francis Thornborough aged 56, a silk weaver born in Manchester. His wife, Ann was 60 and was born in Hollinsclough, Staffordshire. Also at the house that night was an unmarried daughter, Judith, aged 28, capmaker, born in Manchester. Other children of this couple are known, baptised at Manchester Cathedral, Thomas on 1 April 1821 and Mary Ann on 22 March 1829, both said to be children of Francis and Ann Thornborough. Francis turns up in Pigot's Directory in 1830 as a weaver at Wilde's Buildings and in 1833 as a weaver at 5 Fresh Row.

Francis is a very uncommon name among the Thornbers and Thornboroughs so he is likely to be the one baptised as Francis Thornbury, son of Francis and Judith at Great Bolton Ridgeway on 12 March 1794. In the GRO there are death entries for Francis Thornbury in Manchester in the June quarter of 1855 and in the December quarter of the same year.

11. George Thornber

George Thornber, aged 25, a packer, died on 12 June 1847 at 65 Travis Street of pulmonary tuberculosis. Death registered in the London Road District of Manchester. He must have been born about 1822 but no obvious candidates have emerged so far.

12. Matthew Thornbury or Thornborough

The following baptisms have been found for children of Matthew and Mary with various spellings of the surname.

Thomas Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1842 08 07
Mary Ann Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1843 09 24
John Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1844 12 29
Matthew Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1844 12 29
John Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1846 07 05
James Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1848 03 12
Ellen  Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1850 03 31
Ann Matthew & Mary Thornborough Manchester Cathedral 1852 02 29

Both of the sons called John died in infancy:

Death of John Thornborough, aged 3 months, on 6 March 1845 at 6 Bilberry Street. He was son of Matthew a dyer and the informant was Mary Thornborough. Registered at Manchester, St. George

Death of John Thornber, aged 6 months, on 19 July 1846 at Bilberry Street. He was the son of Matthew a dyer and the informant was Samuel Maskin. Registered at Manchester St. George.

13. William and Bessy Thornber**

The 1851 census for Hulme, Ecclesiastical District of St. George, shows at 3 Dorset Place, William Thornber, head, aged 21, a warehouseman, born in Toddington in Lancashire. There was also Bessey Thornber, his wife, aged 18, born in Middleton and a son, James, aged 1, born in Chorlton. Ref. HO 107/2221, page 33.

14. John Thornber

John Thornber died aged 59 on 30 December 1844, registered 1 January 1845 at Worsley. He was a toll collector and a pensioner of the Rifle Brigade. The informant for the certificate was Mary Grundy.

15. Hannah Thornber**

In the 1851 census for Pendleton in Salford, Ecclesiastical District of St. Thomas, there was at Chantler's Buildings, Hannah Thornber, head of household, unmarried aged 48, a laundress. She was born in Pendleton, Lancashire but again it is not clear if this was Pendleton in Salford or Pendleton near Whalley. With Hannah was Ann, daughter, aged 15, house assistant, also said to be born in Pendleton, Lancashire. Ref. HO 107/2222, pages 13 and 14. In the same census at Irlam o' th' Heights was a second Hannah Thornber, aged 17, an unmarried power loom weaver, born at Nantwich in Cheshire. She was a lodger with Thomas Boardman and family. Ref. HO 107/2222, page 38.

16. Samuel and Ann Thornber**

In the 1851 census for Pendleton in Salford, Ecclesiastical District of St. Thomas, there was at Chantler's Buildings, Samuel Thornber, head of household, aged 59, a hand loom weaver, born in Pendleton, Lancashire. With him was Ann, wife, aged 74, also born in Lancashire. She may have been his second wife as also in the household was someone whose name was only partially legible but ended **ttingham, described as son, unmarried, aged 38, a hand loom weaver, wool. He was also born in Pendleton, Lancashire. HO 107/2222, page 15.

17. James and Martha Thornber**

In the 1851 census for Pendleton in Salford, Ecclesiastical District of St. Thomas, at an unspecified street, there was James Thornber, head of household, a married coal dealer aged 38, born in Pendleton, Lancashire. Martha, his wife, was aged 42 and born in Broughton, Lancashire. There were three children, all born in Prestwich, Harriet aged 10, Sarah aged 7 and Henry aged 4. Ref. HO 107/2222 page 16.

18. James and Rachel Thornber**

In the 1851 census for Pendleton in Salford, Ecclesiastical District of St. Thomas, at 5 Sovereign Street, there was James Thornber, head of household, aged 36, a cotton dyer journeyman, birth place unknown with his wife, Rachel, aged 35. Ref. HO 107 2222, page 11.

19. John and Jane Thornber

John Thornber, bachelor of this parish and town of Manchester, calico printer, and Jane Ainsworth of this parish and town of Manchester, spinster, married by banns, on 14 April 1823 at Manchester Cathedral. Both signed. Minister and witness names illegible but one witness may be Wm. Thornber.

20. John and Ann Thornber

John Thornber of this parish and town a turner and Ann Aldred of Manchester, spinster, married by banns published on 3, 10 and 17 April, on 31 July 1796 at Manchester Cathedral by Jos. Brookes. Signed by John, and Ann made her mark, in presence of Jno. Harrison.

21. Manchester and Salford Directory for 1841

Ann Thornber ran a school at 13 Maskell Street, Chorlton on Medlock
Henry Thornber was a bookkeeper of 3 Forester Street in Ardwick
William Thornber was a printer of 6 Great George Street, Salford
Thomas Thornberry was a butcher at 2 Smithfield Market, Balloon Street.
George Thornberry was a butcher at 9 Smithfield Market.

22. Harphurhey, Christchurch.

No Thornbers were baptised between the commencement of the registers in 1838 and the end of 1848. The burial registers were examined to the end of 1855 and revealed the burial of Mary Thornber of Collyhurst, aged 28 on 13 March 1854.

23. Preston in 1841 Census

I have done no work on Thornber families in Preston beyond collecting parish register information and the following data from the 1841 census from film 306887.


Enumeration District 04, page 34.Ashworth Street
Richard Thornber, cotton piecer, aged 18, born in the county, lived at

Enumeration District 02, page 45. Primrose Hill
Margaret Thornber, cotton weaver, aged 15, born in the county.
Alice Thornber, cotton weaver, aged 14, born in the county.
Hannah Thornber, aged 10, born in county.

Enumeration District 14, page 28. Pleasant Street.
Joseph Thornber, publican, aged 32, born in county.
Jane Thornber, aged 27, born in county.
Elizabeth Thornber, aged 7, born in county.
Laura Thornber, aged 5, born in county.
Frances Thornber, aged 3, born in county
Anne Thornber, aged 1, born in county

This may be the same Joseph and Jane that had a son, Isaiah Joseph, baptised at St. John's Preston on 7 May 1843.

24. William Thornber of Hindley

The Lancashire Parish Register Society published the records of Hindley from 1813 to 1841 as Volume 178 showing two Thornber entries.

Burial of William Thornber of Hindley, aged 53 on 23 Dec 1819
Burial of William Thornber of Hindley, aged 10 on 3 Nov 1822

 

Return to Thornber Families page

Index button

©  Craig Thornber, England, United Kingdom    Main Site Address:  http://www.thornber.net/

W3C XHTML 1.0 1.0 Strict W3C CSS