John was born on the 23 January 1847 at 3a.m. at Boardmans to Thomas (HM059) and Rachel (HM060). Details of his birth certificate are shown below:

Registration District Bury Lancashire
1847 Birth in the Sub-District of Holcombe in the County of Lancaster
No. When and where
Name, if any Sex Name and Surname
of Father
Name, surname and
Maiden Surname
of Mother
of Father
Signature, Description and
Residence of Informant
Signature of
Name entered
after Registration
439 Twenty Third
3 A M
John Boy Thomas
Labourer X The mark of
Rachel Mangnall

The 1851 census shows that John was 4 years old and living at Boardmans with his family. By the time of the 1861 Census they were living just up the road at Bromley Fold.

John married Sarah Hargreaves (FM020) on the 5 March 1870 at Holy Trinity Church in Habergham Eaves. According to their marriage certificate John was 23, a miner, living at Wood Top and Sarah was 18 years old, a weaver, also living at Wood Top. John’s father Thomas is shown as deceased, Sarah’s father was Sagar Hargreaves who was a miner. (Sagar is quite an unusual name but I have come across it a couple of times in my research. Does any one know where it comes from?) Witnesses at the wedding were Thomas Fletcher and Rachel Magnall. All four signed with a cross. Rachel may well have been John’s younger sister Rachel (FM193) who later married Thomas Fletcher.

1870 Marriage solemnized at Holy Trinity Church in the Parish of H.T. Habergham Eaves in the County Lancaster
No. When married Name and surname Age Condition Rank or Profession Residence at the time of marriage Father’s Name and Surname Rank or Profession of Father
451 March 5 John Magnall

Sarah Hargreaves







Wood Top

Wood Top

Thomas Magnall

Sagar Hargreaves



Married in the Church of the Holy Trinity according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church after Banns by me,
This Marriage
was solemnized
between us
John Magnall X

Sarah Hargreaves X

in the
of us
Thomas Fletcher X

Rachel Magnall X

John and Sarah had the following children:-

  • John Thomas (FM085) born 18 August 1870, christened 10th September 1870 at Holy Trinity Church in Habergham Eaves, died 1872, buried Burnley Cemetery 28 February 1872 (there is also an entry in the register for a John Thomas Magnall born 18 August 1870 and baptised 14 July 1872!);
  • Catherine (FM058) born 23 April 1872, christened 13 August 1872 at Holy Trinity Church in Habergham Eaves, died 1931;
  • Sagar (FM093) born 30 October 1874, christened 25 November 1874 at Holy Trinity Church in Habergham Eaves, died 1875 age 0, buried Burnley Cemetery 23 January 1875;
  • Albert (EM015) born 6 November 1875, christened 7 December 1875 at Holy Trinity Church in Habergham Eaves;
  • Sarah Jane (EM057) born 29 November 1876, christened 24 January 1877, died 1877 age 0;
  • Ann Elizabeth (EM017) born in 1878, died 1927;
  • Florence (EM016) born 1 February 1880; christened 11 February 1880, died 19 March 1955;
  • Rachel (EM220) born 29 July 1881; christened 7 September 1881, died 1962;
  • Willie (EM039) born 10 June 1883; christened 26 September 1883, died 1883;
  • Arthur (EM040) born 26 November 1884; christened 22 January 1885, died 1885 age 0;
  • Edith (EM198) born 10 April 1886; christened 20 May 1886; died 23 June 1916;
  • Wilbert (EM042) born 21 June 1887; christened 7 July 1887, died 1887 age 0;
  • Edwin (EM044) born 6 March 1889; christened 4 April 1889, died 1890 age 1;
  • Lewis (EM221) born 21 August 1890; christened 18 September 1890; died 6 January 1922;
  • Joseph (EM047) born 9 November 1893; christened 7 December 1893, died 1894 age 0.

Eight out of the fifteen children that Sarah bore died in infancy.

John and Sarah’s first son, John Thomas (or John Tommy) (FM085) was born on the 18 August 1870 (VRI). He was christened on the 10  September 1870 (VRI) but there is a confusing record in the VRI which suggests that he was also christened on the 14 July 1872, however he died earlier that year and was buried on the 28 February 1872 – there is a note in the register that says W.T.

In the 1871 Census John is recorded as a coal miner living with his wife and his son John Thomas (FM085a) who was 7 months old. They were living on Cog Lane in Habergham Eaves. John Thomas died aged 18 months in February 1872 and was buried in Burnley Cemetery on 28 February in grave 1692. At the time of Florence’s christening on 11 February 1880 the baptismal record shows that they were living on Stoop’s Lane.

The 1881 census shows that John (aged 34) had moved along the road and was now living at 45 Cog Lane, the Peeping Tom Inn (known by the locals as “the Peeps”), in Habergham Eaves and was a Beer Seller. Sarah was now 29 and they had four surviving children:- Catherine (FM058), Albert (EM015), Ann Elizabeth (EM017) born in 1878 and Lawrence (or Florence!)(EM016). The baptisms of Rachel, Willie, Arthur, and Edith all says he was still a miner / collier.

The Burnley Express for 3 September 1881 shows that John applied for and received a licence to sell wine as well as beer. Apparently, the duty on wine had been cut so it became a cheaper and more popular drink.

By the time of the 1891 census John (now aged 44) had again moved along the road (or the houses had been renumbered!) and was now living at 69 & 71 Cog Lane which was also known as the Shepherds Arms as a beer seller. It is possible that John had moved as the 1891 Census shows that they were living at 69-71 Cog Lane – the 1881 Census shows that Thomas and Ellen Isherwood were living at 71 Cog Lane with Mary Magnall living with them. The following children were shown to be living with them:-

  • Albert (EM015) aged 15, a cotton weaver;
  • Ann Elizabeth (EM017), now 13 and a scholar;
  • Florence (EM016), aged 11 and a scholar. (NOTE that in the 1881 Census Florence must have been mistaken by the enumarator for a boy and called Lawrence!);
  • Rachel (EM220) aged 9 and a scholar;
  • Edith (EM198) aged 4;
  • Lewis (EM221) aged 7 months.
  • Catherine (FM058) married James Henry Duerden on 29 January 1891 in Burnley (VRI).

The 1901 Census shows that the family were still living at the Shepherd’s Arms.

John died at home on the 27 December 1904, a day after the anniversary of his mother’s death. Details of his death certificate are shown below:

No. When and
where died
Name and
Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description and residence of informant When
Signature of
251 Twenty seventh
December 1904
71 Cog Lane
Male 57
Bronchitis 5 days
Cardiac dilation
Certified by
J.W.Clegg L.S.A.
Albert Magnall
Present at death
236 Accrington Road

W.T. Clegg was the Deputy Registrar at the time of Rachel’s death.

VRI – (Vital Records Index)

John was buried in Burnley Cemetery on 30 December in grave 1693.

Probate reads:

MAGNALL John of 71 Cog-lane Burnley died 27 December 1904 Probate London 28 January to Sarah Magnall widow Albert Magnall bookseller and James Magnall retired grocer Effects £620 9s. 6d.

[Last updated 06 Jan 2024]