Thomas is my great great great grandfather. I am now fairly sure that he was born on the 6th January 1811, the bastard child of Nancy Greenhalgh who had him baptised on the 26th February 1811 at St Anne’s, Tottington. Nancy married James Mangnall (JM042) on the 13th March 1811 at St Mary’s in Bury so it is probable that Thomas was his son. Thomas married Rachel Isherwood (HM060) at Bury St Mary’s on 4 January 1836. Thomas is recorded as Thomas Greenhalgh but signs with his mark suggesting he can’t read and write. He was working as a weaver. They had at least 13 children:

The 1841 census shows that Thomas and Rachel were living at Withings Clough or Withins Clough (probably Withins Farm), Tottington Lower End, Holcombe with William (age 4), Ann (age 2) and Nancy (age 7 months). Also living at Withings Clough (though not in the same household) were John (KM028) and Betty (KM029) Mangnall and John Isherwood. Rachel’s maiden name was Isherwood so John Isherwood could be her father. John and Betty had a son called Thomas (JM044) who was born in 1798 and married a Mary Isherwood (HM056) who could be the daughter of John Isherwood and the sister of Rachel.  Thomas (JM044) and Mary (HM056) were living not far away at Parks (see the 1841 census). Thomas and Rachel’s son John’s (GM151) birth certificate of 1847 reveals that Thomas and Rachel were living at Boardmans and that Thomas was a labourer. Thomas is recorded as a Mangnall. The baptism in 1848 of Betsy (GM150) at Emmanuel Church, Holcombe shows that they were still living at Boardmans and that Thomas was still a labourer.

The 1851 Census shows that Thomas (now aged 40) was a “Hand Loom Weaver Cotton”. Thomas and Rachel (age 36) still lived at Boardmans with William (age 14 – a coal miner), Nancy (age 10), James (age 8), Betsy (age 6), John (age 4) and Rachel (age 1). Boardmans is a row of cottages. Also living in the cottages, probably next door, were Thomas (JM044) and Mary (HM056) and their children. At the time of Mary Ann’s baptism in 1853 at Emmanuel Church, Holcombe they were still living at Boardmans. By the time Sarah Jane was born on the 21st April 1861 they had moved again.

The 1861 Census was taken on the night of 7th April 1861 and shows the family living at Bromley Fold in the parish of Tottington Lower End. It took some time to track the family down on the 1861 Census, I finally found them when I stopped looking for variations on the Magnall surname and started looking for a Thomas married to a Rachel with the correct children with the correct ages. I found them with the surname Greenhalgh! Enumerator error? Thomas was now aged 49 and his occupation is shown as “Cotton Weaver by Hand”.

The family moved to Habergham Eaves sometime between the 1861 Census and the time of Thomas’ death in 1864. Their son, William (GM076), was already living in Burnley at the time of the census. Thomas died on 15 Jan 1864 and is buried in Burnley Cemetry (grave no. 1492/3). Details of Thomas’s death certificate are shown below. Notice that his surname is shown as Magnull, yet another variation on our surname! I am suprised to see that his occupation was a stone quarrier – he had been a cotton weaver all his life according to the census returns.

No. When and
where died
Name and
Sex Age Occupation Cause of death Signature, description and residence of informant When
Signature of
425 Fifteenth
Wood Top
male 52
1 year
X The mark of
Rachel Magnull
present at death
Wood Top
Habergham Eaves

[Last updated 25 Nov 2023]