Lancashire, formerly Yorkshire, England

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The following family tree is based on trees sent to me by Mr. A. H. Kay and Merle Thornber to which I have added details from my own database and new information as it has emerged.


No. 2. Researched by the late Mr. A. H. Kay of Salisbury formerly of Earby
and by Merle Thornber in Australia

Mr. Kay and Merle Thornber did independent research on Thornber families in Gisburn.  Part of their work overlapped.  I have compared the two trees and found that where they overlap they are in good agreement.  I have combined the two trees and added further details from my own research, including some findings from the registers of Horton in Craven Independent, sometimes known as Horton by Gisburn.  More recently a part of this family tree has been published in Frank Thistlethwaite's book  "A Lancashire Family Inheritance".  Most of the details match the work shown here but there are two errors in the book arising from the fact that only Gisburn records were consulted whereas I have studied registers from the surrounding parishes, wills, marriage bonds, and census returns.  One or two details from such sources have been added to the tree below.  Several members of this family were tailors.

There are other baptisms for childen of a John Thornber at Waddington in the period when John and Alice Marsden have their children in Downham: Jana, dau of Joh'is de Bradford, 8 November 1724, Jennet, dau. of Joanis de Bradford, 12 Feb 1727 and Mary, dau. of John of Grindleton on 13 September 1729. Only one marriage of a John to an Alice is known in this period and for four of the children below the names of both John and Alice are given as parents, so the marriage of John Thornber to Alice Marsden fits the subsequent baptisms at Downham.

The information on Alice* Thornber who married Thomas Riley Chew and on Thomas* Chew was provided by Roger Thomas and shown with asterisks

Footnote 1

I have been contacted by Peter Thornber whose gggrandfather was a Thomas Thornber, born about 1811, the son of James Thornber a tailor. He married Catharine or Catherine Myers at St. Mary the Virgin, Bury on 20 May 1850. She was born about 1818 and was the daughter of John Myers a butcher. She died 11 May 1907. Peter's great grandfather, James Thornber, was born 8 August 1855 and died 30 June 1926. His first wife Johanna Lambert on 13 March 1875 and they were the parents of Peter's grandfather, William Walter Thornber, born 10 Septembr 1878. Subsequently James Thornber married Rebecca Perry and had further children.

This family fits with the Thomas son of James who married Catherine on my chart, gives additional information and poses some questions. My chart has Thomas having a child William born about 1832 rather than the James mentioned by Peter Thornber. Examination of the census returns provides more information.

Clitheroe Census 1851 (Source Citation: Class: HO107; Piece: 2256; Folio: 148; Page: 42; GSU roll: 87279) shows

Thomas Thornber, aged 40, a tailor born in Gisburn.
Catharine Thornber his wife was aged 33 and born in Clitheroe.
Ellen, mother, aged, 63, a seamstress born in Grindleton. (She would be Ellen Wood before marriage).
William Thornber, son, aged 19 born in Clitheroe (He must be the son of an earlier wife.)

Clitheroe Census 1861 (Source Citation: Class: RG 9; Piece: 3087; Folio: 14; Page: 22; GSU roll: 543076.)

Thomas Thornber, aged 47, an innkeeper, born Gisburn
Catherine Thornber, aged 42, innkeeper's wife, born Clitheroe
Mary Thornber, aged 8, daughter, scholar, born Clitheroe
James Thornber, aged 5, son, scholar, born Clitheroe
Thomas Myers, stepson, unmarried, aged 16, domestic servant, born Clitheroe
Anne Smith aged 22, servant, unmarried, house servant, born Skipton, Yorkshire
John Wilson, aged 50, lodger, unmarried, shoemaker, born Claughton, Lancashire
Michael Barry aged 25, lodger, army recruiting sergeant, born in Ireland.

The inclusion of Thomas Myers a stepson is interesting in this census. He must have been an illegitimate son of Catherine, born about 1845 some four years before she married Thomas in 1850

Clitheroe Census of 1871 (Source Citation: Class: RG10; Piece: 4164; Folio: 23; Page: 40; GSU roll: 846740.)

Catherine Thornber, aged 53, head of household, widow, innkeeper, born Clitheroe
Thomas Myers, son, aged 26, servant, born Liverpool. (Said to be born in Clitheroe previously)
Mary Thornber, daughter, unmarried, aged 18, innkeeper's daughter born Clitheroe
James Thornber, aged 15, son, draper's assistant, born Clitheroe
Margaret Walker aged 28, widow, domestic servant, born Preston, Lancashire.
James Walker, aged 1 yr 3 months, border, born Clitheroe
Mary J Wood, aged, 26, visitor, unmarried, born Chorley, Lancashire

By 1881, Catherine Thornber is living with her daughter and son in law and is described as the mother-in-law aged 63. They are at Brownlow Arms, Market Place Clitheroe

Clitheroe Census of 1881 (Source Citation: Class: RG11; Piece: 4171; Folio: 116; Page: 44; GSU roll: 1342000.)

William Whittaker, aged 36, head, married, hotel keeper, born Walton, Lancashire
Mary Whittaker, aged 28, wife, married, born Clitheroe
Eveline Whittaker, aged 4, daughter, born Clitheroe
Jane B. Whittaker, aged 2, daughter, born Clitheroe
Catherine Thornber, aged 63, widow, annuitant, born Clitheroe
Together with eight servants, barmaid, cook, chambermaid, kitchenmaid, nurse, coachman, ostler and boots

By 1891, William Whittaker has died but Catherine, aged 73, is still living with her daughter, Mary Whittaker, said to be a widow of independent means. They reside at 19 Kay Street. There was also John Myers aged 8, born in Clitheroe said to be a son. The name Myers fits for Catherine's own son who was 16 in 1861 so he may be a grandson of Catherine rather than a son of Mary Whittaker.

James Thornber, the son of Thomas and Catherine, was tracked down in the 1891 census.

Clitheroe Census of 1891 (Source Citation: Class: RG12; Piece: 3388; Folio: 49; Page: 41; GSU Roll: 6098498.) At 33, Whalley Road

James Thornber, 34, widower, beer house keeper, born Clitheroe
Thomas Thornber, 14, son, born Clitheroe
William Thornber 12, son, born Clitheroe
Rebecca Perry, 29, single, general servant
Annie Perry 1 month, born Clitheroe. It is not stated if this child is a boy or a girl but on inspection of the record it could be a mistranscription and the child may be Albert as shown in the next census.

It would appear that Rebecca Perry started out as a servant and subsequently married James. She has already a one month old baby registered in her surname as she is described as single.

Clitheroe Census of 1901 at 72 Whalley Road

James Thornber, 44, coal and grocery carter, worker, born Clitheroe
Rebecca Thornber, 41, wife, born Clitheroe
Thomas Thornber, 23, son, single, brewers' agent, born St. Helens.
Albert Thornber, 11, son, born Clitheroe
Arthur Thornber, 3, son, born Clitheroe
Ivy Thornber, 9, daughter, born Clitheroe

The birth place of Thomas has been given as St. Helens, whereas it was down as Clitheroe in the 1891 census. By 1911 (Source Citation: Class: RG14; Piece: 24984.) the same family with children Albert, Ivy and Arthur are still at 72 Whalley Road Clitheroe. Rebecca is reported to have had four children of whom three are still alive.

This information has now been incorporated into the family tree shown above.

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