a Shepley Family

My connection to the Shepley family of Mottram is some time distant through my four times great-grandmother, Peggy Shepley who married Miles Goddard. (See the Goddard page for more information) The page provides more information on the Shepley family, more long standing inhabitants of Mottram, and the descendants of Peggy's siblings.

Mottram St Michael
St Michael and All Angels, Mottram

As far as I can tell from the records of St Michael and All Angels in Mottram, the earliest ancestor I think I can trace is John Shepley, born in the late 17th century. He and his wife, Lydia, had a son, also John, baptised in 1716. He and Betty Ratcliff in turn had a son John in 1746. He married Matty Harrison in 1778 and it was they who were the parents of Peggy.

What follows is what I have gathered about the lives of Peggy's brothers and sisters and their children, some who remained in Mottram, while others moved farther afield, most on the right side of the law and some on the wrong.

Samuel Shepley
Samuel was the eldest, born in 1781 and he married Mary Booth in 1802 at Mottram St Michael. They had six children, only one of them a son who I assume died in childhood.


Martha Shepley
Martha married John Bottomley and settled in Ashton, as did their children. Mary married Thomas Chorlton, although I haven't yet traced the marriage itself. The connection is made through the census information which shows them living with Samuel in 1841 and 1851.

Faubourge D'Amiens Cemetery
Faubourg d'Amiens Cemetery

Mary and Thomas had two children, Samuel and Sarah. Samuel married Ann Crossley and lived in Hyde. They had five children of whom I have traced Estelle's married to George William Booth. Oddly, Samuel does not appear on the census returns after 1871, although says she is married in 1881 and 1891. She was widowed in 1901.

Sarah married Samuel Wyatt Sidebottom in 1876 and the couple lived in Broadbottom throughout their lives. They had five children of whom Arthur perished in World War I at the age of 29. He served with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and died of his wounds following the Battle of Arras. He is buried at the Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery and there is a report from the North Cheshire Herald on his death,

Harriet Shepley
Harriet married Abraham Shaw and the couple had four children before Harriet died in 1863 aged 37. Her daughter, Margaret, is shown living in Ashton with her cousin, John Bottomley in 1871 and 1881, in which time she had married and been widowed to Joseph Lancashire who died aged 24 about the time of the birth of their only child, Harriet. Margaret subsequently remarried to Charles Gibson and has a further three children. She died in Ashton in 1928 aged 77.

Harriet's eldest daughter, Mary Alice, married Robert Rayner at Hurst St John in 1871. The couple had nine children and travelled in the first ten years of marriage. Three children were born in Stockport and two in Macclesfield before they returned to Ashton around 1880. They did leave the area, if briefly, and were living at Belgrave Road, Trentham in Stafforshire in 1881. Mary died at 24 Audenshaw Road in 1924 aged 75 and she is buried in Audenshaw cemetery with her husband and eldest daughter, Marion. Mary's youngest son, Robert served in World War One.

Harriet's other two children, Martha and James, both died in childhood.

Lucy Shepley
Lucy was born in 1788 and married Joseph Shaw, one of my connected families. The couple had at least nine children, the eldest Mary who gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Sarah, in 1838. The eldest son, John Shaw, married Grace Robinson and the family moved to Lancashire before settling in Durham in the 1870s. Lucy died in Mottram in 1863 aged 75.

William married Margaret Dervin in 1846, or at least I believe he did as his father's name is left blank in the parish record, although this might have been because Joseph had died in 1837. He and Margaret had no children and have not yet been found beyond the 1861 census.

James Shepley
James was perhaps the most prolific in terms of descendants. He various gives his place of birth as Mottram, Hattersley and Godley in the census returns. He was a cotton weaver and married Nanny Stringer in 1820. She was originally from Kirkburton in Yorkshire. He had six children and they had mixed histories.


William Shepley
Cut Madder Roots
Cut Madder Roots

In the 1851 census, William gave his occupation as a madder dyer, as he and others in his family did in subsequent censuses. Madder is a low creeping plant and its roots have been used to make a bright red dye for over 5,000 years. (See Wild Colours article)

William married Betsy Hadfield and they had ten children. The eldest, Jane, married James Kinder Marsland, but only after giving illegitimate birth to Fanny Hadfield Shepley. Fanny lived with her grandparents, rather than her mother, before marrying John Broadley in Glossop in 1885. The couple and their family eventually settled in Pendleton, Salford. The Marsland family remained in Mottram, although Jane appears to have died in Ashton in 1912.

Mary Shepley married John Holland in 1863 at Christ Church, Ashton, although they and their family mostly lived in the Mottram area. The exceptions were William and Charles both lived in Denton in 1901 where they worked as house painters, possibly together.

Joseph was one of the tarnished Shepleys. He married Alice Blore at Ashton St Michael in 1870. Her sister Hannah Blore and her future husband, Henry Yellott Goddard were the.witnesses.

Joseph and Alice and their family of three children lived in Hadfield. However, at the time of the 1891 census, Joseph was a guest of HM as a prisoner in Strangeways, his crime as yet unknown.

Spinners Arms
Spinners Arms, Hadfield

Another point worth mentioning is that Joseph's eldest child, Betsy Ann, apparently never lived with her parents. 1871 saw her with her grandfather, James Blore, in Hadfield when she was just four months old. By 1881 she was the adopted daughter of Joseph and Keziah Jolly at the Spinners Arms on Marsden Street where she remained after marrying Charles North. while her natural mother was living nextdoor in 1891 and 1901. Very odd!

Charles Hadfield Shepley is something of a mystery. He married Alice Roberts late in life in 1892 at the age of 41. However there is an as yet unexplained gap in the census records from 1881 onwards, although both died in Mottram in 1922 and 1935 respectively and are buried there.

Of Hannah there is no sign beyond the 1871 census when she was 17, while Fanny had an illegitimate son, William, and they were living with her brother, John, in 1901. Nancy married William Cornelius Barber in 1887 and again there is no sign of them beyond 1891.

Betsy Shepley married Edward Flint, originally from Nottingham, and they were running the Tollemache Inn in Mottram in 1891. By 1901, both were working in the cotton industry. They were buried in Mottram in 1932 and 1930, while their daughter, Lilly, married Stanley Higginbottom in 1915.

Mark Shepley
Mark was born in 1823 and he married Henrietta Sandeford in Ashton in 1842, although I am unsure at which church. He too had a chequered history and in 1847 he was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment for larceny at the County Sessions. He and Henrietta had nine children, three boys and six girls.

The eldest, William, married Irish girl, Annie Connor, while Joseph died in infancy and James died in 1871 at the age of 21. Harriet married James Bevan and the couple lived in Hadfield, although they are buried in Mottram Cemetery with her father. Eliza married Frederick Scott and settled in Hyde, while Margaret married John Guthrie and lived in Stalybridge. Lavinia died in 1861 aged two and Lucy married Henry Chorlton and remained in Mottram. Finally, Ruth stayed single and died in 1943 aged 82.

One unexplained story is that of James Edmund Chorlton, Lucy's eldest son who was a one week old baby at the time of the 1881 census. However, in 1891 he was living with his grandparents, although they described him as thir son, while in 1901 his grandmother referred to him as her nephew. James served in World War One with the Welsh Fusiliers and his war record show his father, Henry, as his next of kin. He didn't marry and died in 1968 aged 86.

Joseph Shepley
Dartmoor Prison
Dartmoor Prison
If Mark was something of a rogue, his brother was ultimately the opposite. Joseph is not to be found on the 1851 census, but in 1861 he was based at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich where he was a gunner. The assumption is that he may have previously been out of the country on military service. He married Hannah Rowe in Greenwich, although she was originally from Roborough in Devon.

Their son, Henry, was born in Shoeburyness, Essex, but by the mid-1860s the family was in Princetown, Devon, where Joseph's daughters were born. He had retired from the army and had become a officer at Dartmoor Prison. Joseph and Hannah retired to Plymouth where they both died in 1896 and 1923 respectively. Their son, Henry, had found his way to Cardiff to live with his maternal aunt and where he had married his cousin, Louisa Jane Brown.

Levinia Shepley
Levinia married Hugh Wood in 1874 and the couple lived on Cecil Street in Stalybridge. They had two children, Peter and Margaret Ann.

Mary Stringer Shepley
Mary married William Vickers, a railway engine driver originally from Salford. His job took their family to Openshaw, Gorton, Droylsden and Reddish, but Mary was a widow by 1881 when they had settled in Heaton Norris, Stockport. Their eledest daughter, Bessie Vickers, married Arthur Fox at St Mary's Church, Reddish, in 1885. They had two daughters, Edith and Lilian, and Bessie died in Bredbury in 1947 aged 86.

Newstead Colliery
Newstead Colliery in the 1960s — see deomition

John Vickers married Selina Brockelehurst at Heaton Norris All Saints in 1889. Selina was originally from Whatstandwell, sotuh of Matlock in Derbsyhire. She had her own business as a draper on Churchgate, Stockport, where they remained with their three children, William, Mary and Rose.

Charles Joseph Vickers was a miner and by 1901 he had moved to the coal fields on Nottinghamshire and was living in a colliery cottage at Newstead. He had married Selina Chatwin in 1900. She was 14 years his senior and was the widow of William Allsebrook, also a collier who died in 1896, although his two youngest children had taken Charles' surname for the census.

Of John and Matty's other children, John died in 1826 aged 30 and I am unsure if he married. I have not been able to trace Mary and Jeney.

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