Sarah Jane was born on the 21 April 1861 to Thomas (HM059) and Rachel (HM060). She was baptised at Holy Trinity, Habergham Eaves on the 21 February 1861 only a month after the death of her father. According to the 1881 Census she was born at Stubbins, the 1871 Census says Tottington, and her parents were living at Bromley Fold near Tottington only two weeks before she was born at the time of the 1861 Census. It was shortly after this that the family must have moved to the Burnley / Habergham Eaves area to live on Gannow Lane

In the 1871 census Sarah Jane was described as a 9 year old scholar living with her widowed mother and five older siblings at Cog Lane.

By the time of the 1881 Census, Sarah Jane was 19 years of age and working as a cotton weaver like most of her family. She was still living with her mother and her married sister, Mary Ann (FM232), and her family.

Sarah Jane married Walter Chaffer on the 24 March 1885 at St Stephen’s Church in Burnley with her older brother Joseph as a witness. Walter was a carrier living at 58 Huffling Lane. Sarah Jane had been living with her mother at 1 Ridge Row (Road).

Walter and Sarah Jane had the following children:

  • Annie (born 1885, christened 9 September 1885, died and then buried 5 January 1886)
  • James (born 1888, christened 21 March 1888, died and then buried 11 December 1888)
  • Fred (born 1889, christened 29 May 1888, died January 1890, buried 22 January 1890)
  • a stilborn child (21 October 1890)
  • Rachel (born 18 August 1893, died 22 December 1961)
  • Doris (born 23 October 1898)

The 1891 Census shows that Walter and Sarah Jane were living at 33 Oxford Road in Burnley. Walter (27) was a carrier, Sarah Jane (29) has no recorded occupation.

The 1901 Census records Walter and Sarah Jane living at 50 Albert Place with Rachel and Doris. Walter was working as a carter.

The 1911 Census show that the family were still at 50 Albert Place along with Sarah Jane’s sister, Mary Ann Atkinson. Walter was now working as a draper. Sarah Jane had given birth to 6 children of whom 4 had died.

Sarah Jane died in 1929 aged 68 and was buried on 27 May 1929 in Burnley Cemetery in grave 6159. She had been living in Lytham Road in Blackpool at the time of her death.

[Last updated 27 Dec 2023]