The Ramsbottom's touched on my family fleetingly, if significantly, in the shape of my gg-grandmother, Emily Ramsbottom, the first wife of George Rhodes and mother of my great-grandfather, Jeremiah. They arrived in Mottram in the early 1830s, at about the same time as my Rhodes family, but had left for Droylsden and Manchester by 1871. But if the stay was a short one, the Ramsbottoms are one of the few families that can be traced back to the 1600s.

That the Ramsbottoms can be traced back so far is due to that endearing characteristic in genealogy — a family that stays put in roughly the same location for generation upon generation, that and good church records that have been transcribed and are available on the IGI. However, as with all early records, these are best guesses and should not be taken as being definitive.

St James, Altham
St James, Altham — photo by Craig Thornber

The earliest mention is Richard Ramsbottom who was born in the mid-1600s. An approximate year of birth of 1645 is given here, but this is not supported by any records found so far. Neither is there a record of his marriage, but he appears to have had at least three children. Laurence and Susan died in childhood, but the eldest John was baptised at St James, Altham, in 1674 and survived to marry Anne Haworth of Colne, Lancashire in 1694 at Church Kirk, now plain Church.

Altham is a village in the parish of Whalley on the Henburn river, now known as the River Hyndburn. At the time that John and Anne were living there it would presumably have been primarily agricultural in nature, although this was to change in later years. See British History Online for more information.

The couple had seven children, the eldest being George who was baptised in 1695 at Great Harwood to the north of Accrington. No record has been found of his marriage to Anne, but they had seven children while living in Huncoat. Again, this was agricultural land given over to pasture until the cotton industry came to play a more significant role in its development. See British History Online.

Church MapOld OS map of Church — click for larger image

Youngest of the seven children was George born in 1731 and baptised at Church. He married Mary Sleddin who had been born in Huncoat in 1737. They had seven children and their eldest son was Henry. He married Mary Monk of Altham in 1799 and it was their eldest son who took the family name to Mottram.

John Ramsbottom was born in 1799 in Altham and in 1819 he married Ellen Cunliffe, daughter of Joseph Cunliffe and Ellen Bertwistle of Great Harwood. The couple had six children born in Altham, but around 1833 they left the area to live in Mottram where in 1841 John was a calico printer. A further three children were born and baptised in Mottram, although their youngest son, Joseph, died in 1838 aged one.

Their second eldest son, William, had been born in 1824 but consistently gave his age at the censuses as though he had been born in 1821. He also gave his place of birth as Accrington, although presumably this was shorthand for Altham. In 1841 he was working in a calico print works, as were his father and his older brother, David. It isn't clear what happened to his parents, but by 1851 William was married to Eliza.

His marriage is something of a mystery. Eliza was born in Mottram according to the censuses, but there is no sign of the ceremony having taken place locally. When Emily was born in 1844, Eliza gave her maiden name as Ramsbottom. However, at the birth of her three subsequent children, she said she had been Eliza Shaw. That hasn't identified a marriage yet, but has narrowed things down.

Staley St Paul
St Paul's, Stalybridge — see website for other images

By 1861, Eliza was alone with their four children in Mottram and presumablyWilliam was working away from home. By 1871 they had moved to Droylsden where William was a block printer. However, they had left behind their eldest daughter, my gg-grandmother Emily Ramsbottom. She had married George Rhodes in 1865 at St Paul's, Stalybridge. They had five children — Jeremiah, Eliza, William, James and Edwin — before Emily died in 1879 aged 35. George remarried to Charlotte Bennett in 1882. (See Rhodes pages)

Meanwhile, William and Eliza were still in Droylsden in 1881 with their daughter, Ellen. It isn't clear when William died, but Eliza passed away in 1888 in Audenshaw aged 69.

Ellen married William Godber in 1882 at St Matthew's, Ardwick. and lived in the Gorton and Openshaw area. They had six children, the eldest Emma, who married Samuel Connolly in 1908.

William and Eliza's eldest son, Robert, married Ann Brown at St John's, Manchester in 1869 and they had two sons, James and Robert. As far as I am aware, James did not marry, but Robert married Catherine Rostron in 1900 at St Barnabas, Openshaw. I am only aware of one son, James, born 1900.

Finally, James Ramsbottom born in Mottram in 1851 seemingly disappears after the 1861 census and appears to have died in Manchester in 1867 aged 15.

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