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Alexander Lord & Betty

Alexander & Betty's Genealogy
Direct paternal ancestry for Judith
Alexander & Betty are Judith's three times great granparents in a direct line from her father Jim Lord. My research has principally centered around the censuses, following the families every ten years. Anyone who has relatives in this part of the country will appreciate that 'Lord' is a common surname in these parts and consequenty the chance of error is faiy high. Nevertheless I am reasonably confident that I have things right!

So, to Alexander & Betty, I believe I have traced them through the 1841 - 1861 censuses. From this information it would seem that Alexander was a farmer, farming around 20 acres or so over these years. Betty's occupation, when recorded, is a 'farmer's wife'. In the 1851 & 1861 censuses Alexander's address is Wheat Head / Wet Head farm. There is a 'Wheat Head farm in Rossendale today (or at least there was in 2004 when a planning application was submitted to Rossendale Borough). This provides a modern post code and positions the farm off Burnley Road East between Newchurch and Lumb (for those of you familiar with the Rossendale Valley!). There is also a Wet Head place recorded on 19th century OS First Series map of Rossendale Forest which can be seen on the excellent 'visionofbritain' site run by the department of Geography in the University od Portsmouth.

As a consequence of all this I am confident that Alexander and Betty lived for at least twenty years in this area of the Rossendale Forest and farmed on around 20 acres. It seems that agriculture was a minority occupation in the Rossendale area at this time, involving only about 7% - 8% of the population, and declining rapidly. The majority of the population, about 65%, were employed in the growing manufacturing (textile) industry.

Alexander & Betty had six children between 1821 & 1836 and of these I have only been able toCotton Beamer at work c1940 trace decendants from James, the second youngest born in 1833. James is Judith's direct ancestor and until the 1861 census he seems to have been working on his father's  farm. However in the later censuses he was described as a 'winder on' and a 'cotton beamer'. I have since found out that a winder, as the name suggests!, was someone who wound the spun yarn onto bobbins ready for the weaving loom and a beamer drew yarn through and onto the long heavy beam of a loom. The beam is a long cylinder with flanges and perhaps 600 'warp' threads wound on to it side-by-side, the full beam is very heavy. In early days beaming was often done in the weaving mill but then tended to be transferred to the spinning mill which would send the full beams to the weavers. In 1863 James married Elen Yates, in the Haslingden Registry Office, and both their occupations at the time were recorded on their marriage certificate as Cotton Power Loom Weavers, so clearly James has moved into the textile industry. This is slightly surprising as 1863 was pretty much in the middle of the Lancashire Cotton Famine when times were very hard for the industry, wages were falling and mills were closing. There is much more on the Lancashire Cotton Industry at the excellent site spiningtheweb created by Manchester City Council. Nevertheless James and Elen seemed to spend the rest of their woeking lives in the mill.

Their only son Thomas, born 1866 was Judith's great grandfather. His first job was in the textile industry, a weaver, however by 1891 he was a stone quarryman and had married Isabella Wilson from Halliwell near Bolton. They went on to have three children Martha, William & James. James was Judith's paternal grandfather.

James Lord & Ellen Yates' FamilyThomas Lord & Isabella Wilson's FamilyJames Lord & Gertie Sudders' FamilyJames Lord & Mary Ratcliffe's FamilyChris & Judith's Family