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People

People Past

There are many people from Threapwood and its surrounding area with long or interesting associations with the village. This page records information including about those individuals and families that may be of interest to those researching the area and its people.

Gostage Family

Following the passing of long time Threapwood resident Lucy Williams in 2015 (See Interview with Lucy Williams) we have been provided a copy of the "Gostage Family History" documented in 2008 by family historian Sheila Clarkson. This detailed description of the Gostage Family also includes interesting details of the village dating back to the early 19th Century. The document can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here.

The family tree contained in the "Gostage Family History" referred to above shows that both Lucy's father and grandfather were both called Lloyd. The Certificate pictured below, dating to 1895, almost certainly belonged to Lloyd the elder, Lucy's grandfather, and certifies his enrolment in the "Band of Hope" temperance movement. Established in the mid 19th Century the Band of Hope aimed to teach children the importance and principles of sobriety and teetotalism. In 1855, a national organisation was formed amidst an explosion of Band of Hope work. Meetings were held in churches throughout the UK and included Christian teaching.

 
Courtesy of Lucy Williams estate.

 

Photographs of Williams' family homes in Threapwood and the Sarn can be seen below.

 
"The Groves" - home of Lucy Williams - photo circa 1936

 
Former house and shop of George Albert Williams - husband of Lucy Williams in the Sarn.

 

Funeral Cards

Following the passing of Lucy Williams in 2015 a large number of Funeral Cards dating from the late 1920's were recovered which record the deaths of many local residents. Local family historians may find details contained on these cards useful in their research.

Name Date
   
Eileen Bebbington 1996
Gwen Bourne 1988
Sid Bourne 1994
Richard Herbert Brassey 1984
Olive Lillian Brayne 1998
Gertrude Temperance Burrows 1975
   
Frank Cartwright 1987
Leonard Caldecott 1987
Irene Chidlow 2001
   
George Capper Davies 1980
Eleanor Duckworth 1981
Gordon Duckworth 2000
Frank Dulson 1981
Winifred Dulson 1981
Joe Dutton 2000
   
Arthur Hall 1977
Leslie Hall 1994
Arthur Hewitt 1930
Charles Hewitt 1961
David Hewitt 1991
Donald Raymond Hewitt 1993
Georgina Hewitt 1979
Maria Hewitt 1935
Stephen Timothy Hewitt 2010
Cyril Levi Huxley 1982
Mary Noel Huxley 2003
   
Harry Lightfoot 1991
   
Nelly Manford 1976
   
Gladys May Nevitt 1977
Daisy Nickson 1986
   
Martha Ellen Peers 1977
Arthur Reginald Pickering 1984
Albert Pierpoint 1969
Clarie Purcell 1929
   
Edward Simmons 1934
Frances Ann Simmons 1950
Phyllis Simmons 1989
Joseph Stanley 1982
Irene Stant 1997
Jack Cross Stringer 1983
William James Suckley 1997
   
Marjorie Doreen Twiss 1980
   



REVEREND FREDERICK WHITFIELD - AUTHOR, POET, HYMN WRITER (1827 - 1904)


Frederick Whitfield, the second son of Thomas & Jane Whitfield, was born in Threapwood on 7 January 1827 and baptised at St. John’s Church, Threapwood on 11 March 1827.

His parents Thomas Whitfield of Whixall, in the parish of Prees and Jane Lloyd of the parish Overton (on Dee) married at Overton on 7 April 1817.  Their first son William was born 23 July 1824 at Dudleston Heath, Shropshire and baptised on 26 September 1824 at Overton. 

Thomas’ occupation was gaoler no doubt at the recently opened Overton House of Correction. Nothing has to date been found about their life until 1841 when they were living in Parliament Place, Liverpool.

At this time Frederick was 13, his brother William 15 and a merchants apprentice,  Thomas  45 a clerk, and Jane  45. Also in the household were  John Harrison 30 clerk , Martha Lloyd 13 probably a maternal relative and Jane Jones 15 a servant. Between 1841 and 1851 census Thomas & Jane moved to Tranmere, Cheshire. William married in 1849 and moved to Scotland.

Samuel Tregelles who had been acquainted with Frederick in the 1840’s recalled that Frederick was for nearly twelve years of his youth attracted to the teachings of the Quakers, had spent a short time at Cambridge , and that he wanted to remedy the defects of his education. Frederick began studying Theology at Trinity College, Dublin 1850-1852 and it was then that he began to write and while still a student  his first hymn was published in 1855.

He graduated as a B.A. in 1859 and in September 1859 the Bishop of Ripon at a general ordination service admitted him a deacon in Holy Orders. He was appointed curate of Ottley in 1859, and a year later was ordained a priest and in 1861 appointed vicar of Kirkby Ravensworth, Near Richmond, Yorkshire.

Marriage. On 13 November 1861 at Holy Trinity Church, Birkenhead by Rev. Bayley of St.Aidan’s, Birkenhead. The parish register entry read "Frederick late curate of Otley, father Thomas gentleman, to Sarah Garforth of Birkenhead, eldest daughter of William Garforth, deceased, soldier".

Sarah gave birth to three sons Frederick William Garforth 1862, John George James 1864 and Charles Edward Thomas in 1865.

His four sons followed him into the church ministry and his daughter Emily cared for him in his retirement. His daughter Rosa married a clergyman

One of his most popular hymns was "There is a name I long to hear." reproduced below;

There is a name I love to hear, I love to sing its worth;
It sounds like music in mine ear, the sweetest name on earth.
It tells me of a Savior's love, who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood, the sinner's perfect plea.
It tells me what my Father hath in store for eve'ry day,
And tho' I tread a darksome path, yields sunshine all the way.
It tells of One whose loving heart can feel my deepest woe,
Who in each sorrow bears a part, that none can bear below.
Oh, how I love Jesus, Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus, Because He first loved me!

Frederick wrote 30 or so books of verse and prose in his lifetime and retired to South Norwood in London. He died there in 1904 and was buried in Kensal Green cemetery.

Fifty years of growing together - Stephen and Mary Hewitt (Extract from Whitchurch Herald 1999)

   
    Stephen and Mary Hewitt on the day of their wedding.
     

A FARMING couple from Threapwood have celebrated 50 years of marriage.

Stephen and Mary Hewitt tied the knot on June 29, 1949 at St John's Church, Threapwood and last week they celebrated half a century together with a party at the Terrick Hall Hotel. Stephen and Mary have two sons Peter and Ray plus three grandchildren Nicola, Andrew and Katie.

‘We knew each other quite a while before we started going out together. We were on a bus travelling back from the pictures in Wrexham when he asked me for a first date,’ said Mary. The couple have farmed at the Hollies in Threapwood for the past 48 years. ‘We were going out together for about two years before we eventually got married explained Mary. ‘He'd always worked in farming, even before I met him and during the war he served in the Home Guard. ‘Before I met him. I attended Reaseheath College where I learned cheese making and then I worked in local farms as a cheese maker,’ she added.

 

Recollection of the life of Stephen and Mary Hewitt by Raymond Hewitt (son)

Stephen and Mary lived all their married life at the Hollies, Back Lane, Threapwood. Dad was born at Sunnyside, Back Lane. He was the son of Timothy Hewitt, a wholesale butcher, but sadly his dad died when he was eight years old. He would often tell me and my brother tales of his childhood. He spent a lot of his childhood, like a lot of the children in the village, fishing, birds nesting and tracking animals in the nearby woods.

One day when he was on his own looking for birds nests in the hedgerow, a set of eyes met him through a hole in the hedge, it was Mrs Mouldson a lady that lived in Sandy Lane, she was an old lady with a long dark coat and all the children in the village would run if they met her. Dad said he just said 'hello Mrs Mouldson' politely and ran back to Sunnyside. Ever after that she was very kind to him, whenever he passed her house. He said it was just the chill down the spine he got from those eyes through the hedge, something that stayed with him all his life, and he loved to tell the story.

After he left school he went to work at Broads at Topwood Farm, Oldcastle Lane until he married Mary Fox in 1949. Mum lived at Tallarn Green as a child but her young life was devastated by the death of both her parents when they were in their thirties. Being an only child she had to go and live with her Aunt and Uncles at Ridley. It was very hard for her and when in her teens she went to Bournes the Bank to learn cheese making. It wasn't long before she caught my Dad's eye and they would see each other on the bus going to the pictures at Wrexham on a Saturday night. When he finally built up courage to ask her out she agreed, and it wasn't long before they were married.

When they were married they moved in at Sunnyside with his Mum and relations, this wasn't ideal and they badly wanted a place of their own, so when the Hollies came up for sale they jumped at the chance of buying it to start their life together in 1949. Life was hard trying to make ends meet on a smallholding and when my brother and I were born Dad got a part time job at Ron Hughes farm at Cuddington (later John and Jean Hughes farm). He would get up at 5am in a morning do his milking, clean the animals out, bed down and feed them, in for breakfast, then off to work. When he got back in the afternoon, he would start all over again with his own work and finish about 8pm. It was a very hard life but you never heard him complain.

He was a very quiet man and lived for his family. Mum also worked hard on the farm and in the house, she was always baking cakes and various pies with the produce out of the garden. After my brother Peter and I left home Dad retired from milking but he still kept three jersey cows which he milked by hand every day. Mum would always find him in the cowshed sitting on a bale of hay smoking his pipe. Apart from Mum always being busy at the Hollies, she was also very involved with St Johns church at Threapwood, playing the organ every Sunday and was churchwarden for many years, which she was very proud of. They lived at the Hollies all their married life, they had such pride in the property that they spent all their time their together. Family meant everything to them and they loved spending time with their grandchildren. Mum and Dad were a devoted couple and the Hollies at Threapwood was their life for over 50 happy years together.

God Bless them both.

Edmund & Florence Beckett

Elizabeth Thomas whose grandparents were Edmund & Florence Beckett has provided the following notes about their life in Threapwood:

"I have finally got around to sending you photographs of my grandparent's house in Threapwood. The house was named Mount Pleasant and was a small holding opposite the common.

 
     
Mount Pleasant   Aerial View

 

My grandparents names were Edmund and Florence May Beckett. They had four children whose names were; Florence Muriel, known as Muriel, who is my mother and is still alive aged 96; Gwendoline Alice; Joan and Lawrence. I think they were all born at this address.

I am not sure if my granddad's parents lived there before him, their names were Edward and Alice Beckett. Granddad had a sister named Anne Elizabeth who was a spinster and lived in a cottage down Sandy Lane on the left hand side of the lane. On the right hand opposite the cottage she had an orchard of various fruits, which she harvested and sold at Wrexham market (reference Lucy Williams 's interview by Fred Huxley she is referred to as a Market hustler).

 

Annie Beckett and Edmund Beckett pictured at their stall in Wrexham Market. Date unknown.

Picture courtesy of Liz Thomas.

 

My Granddad Edmund also owned the brickyard for grazing his cattle. Unfortunately I do not have the dates he owned it, but remember visiting as a young girl in the 1950's and playing there with my brothers and sisters. On his death in approximately 1957 ownership was passed to his son Lawrence who lived in Mount Pleasant with his own family for many years.

My uncle Lawrence sold the brickyard but carried on farming Mount Pleasant well into the 1970's. Unfortunately I can't give any specific dates as there is now only my mother remaining and her memory is poor. I hope this snippet of information is of some value to you."

Recollections of the Roberts family of Threapwood by Elaine Adams

My Grandmother was Jessie Roberts born in 1899 at Threapwood. She and her two siblings, Agnes b.1901 and Frank b.1903 were the children of Thomas and Ellen Roberts.

  Ellen Roberts (nee Harrison) born 1875 who married Thomas Roberts at Acton Parish Church, Nantwich in 1899. This photo is thought to date to about 1900.

It is not known where in Threapwood Jessie and Agnes were born, but Frank was born at a cottage near to the Methodist Chapel. They attended Threapwood School, but Jessie and Agnes were pupils of the school at Shocklach from the summer of 1906 for two years. Whilst there, Jessie was awarded a prize for excellent attendance. Upon their return to Threapwood in 1908, they lived near the top of Dog Lane and had a long walk to school. The three children and a boy called Bill, a neighbour, would set off for school walking along Dog Lane but when they reached a large farm they took a short cut across country. They walked along paths and tracks from which they could see Tinkwood Farm and Little Tinkwood. When walking along a track, which is now overgrown and inaccessible, they had to pass several gypsy families who lived in painted wagons alongside the track. Further on, they would cross a brook, but there was no bridge then, just a large stone slab. They soon reached a short lane which took them onto the road to continue the journey to school.

The photograph of Threapwood School pupils taken on the lane at the side of the school was probably 1910 or 11.They look ready for an outing but where to? The boys are wearing their caps and many have bows and arrows. Perhaps they are going to Broughton Hall for tea and games as they sometimes did. I am able to recognise the three Roberts children on the photo. When allowed out, the pupils played on this lane.

 
Jessie Roberts - left of middle two girls back row, Agnes in the front of two ladies wearing hats. Frank is 6th boy from the left.

 

A Doctor went to the school from time to time to give each child a medical. Miss Howard from Broughton Hall would also be present. My grandmother failed one medical. I expect it would be due to a chest condition because she was prone to such problems all her life. Her parents would have been informed by the Headmistress, who would report back to the Doctor a few weeks later. It seems the school took attendance rates seriously, as they would be recorded weekly. One week there would have been full attendance in the Infants but for Frank Roberts being absent one day due to illness! The Roberts family left Threapwood at the end of 1912.

 

When the Roberts children walked to school with Bill across country they had no inkling that years later in 1930 Bill (William Mort) would marry Agnes Roberts and they would farm Little Tinkwood until 1965. This photo (left) is thought to date about 1930.

My grandmother, Jessie, retained a love of the countryside, and her values, hard work and intuition would have developed during her childhood in Threapwood. As a young child, I was once amazed as I watched her give TLC to a tiny piglet, the runt, from a litter of fourteen. She had it on her knee as she sat by the fire feeding it from a baby’s bottle.

Thomas Roberts (pictured right) was my G-grandfather, husband of Ellen (pictured above). He was born in 1875. This photo was taken in 1939.

The Roberts family were residents of Threapwood and the surrounding areas for several generations. Thomas was born at Worthenbury in 1875. He was the only boy in the family and had five sisters.

 

Maria, b.1877, married Charles Hewitt and they lived in Threapwood. The photo, about 1915, shows them with two of their children, Tom and Lettice. Their son Arthur went to Bebington, Wirral to work on the railways in the 1920s and married Eva Burkhill. On the day their first child was born in 1930, Arthur decided to travel to Threapwood on his motorbike to tell his parents of their new grandson. He had not gone far when a horse, harnessed to a cart selling bread, bolted in front of him and Arthur collided with it and he was killed aged 29, a dreadful tragedy for the family.

 
Charles and Maria  Hewitt with Tom and Lettice. c1915

Charles and Maria’s daughter Dorothy married James Edwards of Whitchurch. He trained as a journalist with The Whitchurch Herald and became a freelance journalist for The Chester Chronicle and for four other Cheshire newspapers. He was also the Sports Correspondent for The Daily Express and the BBC’s Northern News. Hannah Roberts b 1879 married William Parry and they lived in Whitchurch. Ada Roberts b 1881 married Harold Speed and they lived with their family at Malpas. Mary Roberts b 1884 married Ellis Crump. They lived at Farndon and then Wrexham where they had a grocery business. Tragedy struck their family also with the loss of a toddler son as the result of an accident. The youngest child, Jane Roberts b 1888 married Harold Brereton and they lived at Malpas. Their son Sgt. Geoffrey Brereton of the RAF is named on the War Memorial at Malpas. He died in action in France in 1942.

The parents of these six siblings were Thomas and Jane Roberts. Thomas married Jane Williams in 1873 at Hanmer Church. Jane was born at Rhostyllen near Wrexham and her mother was Welsh-speaking. Jane had moved to the Worthenbury area as a young woman to work at the Holyland Inn. Thomas and Jane’s children were born in Worthenbury but sometime after 1891 they moved to Threapwood. Thomas was employed by the Howard family of Broughton Hall for up to forty years. He lived on a farm called Llandeg, whilst at Worthenbury, probably owned by the Howards, but it is thought that his work was mostly with their horses. He was highly respected and valued by the Howard family and much esteemed locally. Thomas was a Lay Preacher and Deacon and Superintendent of the Sunday School at the Congregational Chapel in Threapwood. He died in 1915 and was buried at Tallarn Green Methodist Chapel alongside his wife who had died of cancer four years earlier (see press obituary).

Thomas was born in 1848 at Portobello, Willenhall in Staffordshire. His brother William was born at Graseley Lane, Wednesfield in 1852. There is no record of any more siblings born there. Sometime between then and 1861, the family returned to Threapwood and had another child, Sarah Ann, in 1862. William worked as a farm labourer locally and married Esther Walley. They settled at Tushingham and had a large family. One of their daughters married into the local Warburton family. The parents of these three children were William and Hannah Roberts, who had married at Wrexham PC in 1846. At the time, William and Hannah, who was born Hannah Povey in 1820 at Wern, Worthenbury, were both living and working on the outskirts of Wrexham and must have moved to Staffordshire soon after, where William worked as a miner. On his return, William was employed in farming by the Howard family of Broughton Hall for several years until his death in 1876 whilst living at Tallarn Green. His widow, Hannah, died there in 1900.

William was baptised in 1820 at St. John’s Church, Threapwood , which had opened in 1817. Before then, the baptisms took place at Worthenbury or Hanmer Church. The first child, Mary, was born at Tybroughton, Hanmer in 1817. She married Thomas Peate, a name which was later changed to Pate. The other children were Ann b.1823, John b 1829 and Edward b 1833. The family was living at Willington, which became the Tallarn Green area of Threapwood. They were the children of Thomas and Sarah Roberts who had married in 1815 at Hanmer. They appear on the census at Threapwood with Thomas giving his place of birth as Overton in around 1777 and Sarah giving a similar age. On records, age was the most unreliable information recorded. The information given by Thomas was probably correct but if so, he would have been nearing forty when he married. The one born in Overton in 1777, was the son of William and Elizabeth Roberts. William was probably born in 1741 at Overton, the son of Edward and Ann Roberts, with Edward being described as a husbandman. Thomas is named as a pauper and agricultural labourer on the 1851 census at Threapwood and his death is recorded in 1856.

Sarah was born Sarah Davies in Willington in 1787. Her age has to be wrong on the census records because it would mean she was beyond childbearing years when her younger children were born. This Davies family residing at Willington means the Roberts/Davies family lived in the Tallarn Green area for many generations. There are records showing Sarah had seven siblings. Sarah gave birth to two daughters, Emma, in 1811 and Sarah, in 1814, before her marriage. These daughters, together with grandchildren Harriet b 1836 and Sarah b 1840 (illegitimate children of Sarah ) were brought up by Thomas and Sarah. The census also shows a lodger, a young widower with a small child, living with them so life could not have been easy for the elderly Thomas and Sarah. The widowed Sarah also had other grandchildren recorded in her household. Sarah died sometime in the 1860s. She and her siblings were the children of John Davies (b. In 1754 at Willington, the son of another John Davies) and Sarah Williams who were married in 1777 at Hanmer. Sarah Williams b in 1758 at Bronington, then part of the parish of Hanmer, was the daughter of Richard Williams and Sarah Huxley who married at Hanmer in 1752.

 

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