James was born in about 1814 in Chorley. Our first record of him is in the 1851 Census when he is aged about 25 and living in Dole Lane, Chorley with his wife Margaret (HM166) and daughter Elizabeth (GM223). I am unable to decipher his occupation, it looks a bit like “Musling M” – see the transcript and see if you can decipher it!
James and Margaret had the following children:
- Elizabeth (GM223), born 1840 in Chorley;
- Jane (GM224), born 1842 in Chorley;
- William (GM130 / GM225), born 1845 in Adlington;
- James (GM226), born 1847 in Chorley;
- Thomas (FM143 / GM227), born 1849 in Chorley;
- Margaret Alice (FM160 / GM228), born in 1851 in Bolton;
- Annie (FM161), born 1857 in Adlington.
The family had moved to Waterloo Street in Little Bolton by the time of the 1851 Census, James was now 36 years old and working as a book keeper. All six children (Annie was not yet born) were 11 years or younger!
James and family were still living in Waterloo Street at the time of the 1861 Census and 1871 Census, they now had a number – 72 Waterloo Street. Whether this was the same house as in 1851 we do not know. James continued to work as a book keeper.
The 1881 Census shows that James was now a widower, he was 67 years old, still working as a book keeper and living at 16 Peabody Street (the other side of Bolton from Waterloo Street) with his daughters Margaret (FM160/GM228) and Annie (FM160).
We think that James died in 1887 but this still has to be confirmed.