Searching for Thomas Taylor of Penwortham – the one who he is

I wanted to find the parents of my great-great-great grandfather, Thomas Taylor, who married Ellen Whittle on 22 December 1823 at Penwortham, Lancashire. Finally, I have decided who those parents are.

Summary of logic followed

From the censuses 1851-1881, we believe that Thomas Taylor was born 1796-99 at Hutton in the parish of Penwortham, Lancashire. The 1841 is compatible with this but the age is only rounded down to the previous multiple of 5, of course. Unless and until we get issues arising, we will accept this census information but we will check all the parish of Penwortham. Hutton is one mile from Longton and two from Penwortham.

Looking in the register transcripts and microfilms, we find three candidates for his baptism:

  1. 24 Sept 1786 to Thomas & Betty Taylor, at Penwortham (FamilySearch, Lancashire On-line Parish Clerk Project website and microfilm of Bishop’s Transcripts). Abode of Walton le Dale.
  2. 17 March 1793  at Penwortham, Lancashire, England (FamilySearch and microfilm of BTs), to parents Richard & Mary Taylor. Abode of Penwortham.
  3. 20 January 1799, James & Ann Taylor at Longton (FamilySearch and microfiche of Parish Register). Abode is Hutton.

We discard the 1786 baptism as 1786 is 10 years earlier than our census estimate for his year of birth. In addition, the abode of Walton (a chapelry outside Penwortham parish) does not fit with Hutton.

The 1793 baptism is only 3y earlier than our census estimate for his year of birth, so is acceptable, as is an abode of Penwortham as this could later end up described as Hutton. However, my previous post uses the will of the 1793 father, Richard Taylor, to conclude that the 1793 Thomas had died by 1814, so cannot be my 3G GF.

English: Longton, St. Andrew

Longton, St. Andrew (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thus, the only possible recorded baptism for my 3G GF is that on 20 January 1799 to James & Ann Taylor at Longton.

However, it is still possible that my 3G GF was never baptised (or his baptism has been lost). If that is so, then Thomas the 1799 son of James and Ann will have a different fate.

Normally, I would now try to show that there is no other fate for that Thomas. However, due to gaps in the coverage of burials in the Preston area, it is possible that the 1799 Thomas could have been buried before 1851 – we know that he is not around in the 1851 or later censuses (errors and omissions excepted). Hence, I cannot show that there is no other fate for 1799 Thomas.

Note that there is no evidence of an alternative fate for 1799 Thomas – no other census appearances, etc.

Is it plausible that my 3G GF is not baptised? Certainly it is theoretically possible but is there any evidence of Taylor children from this area who were not baptised in the Church of England? For each person in the 1851 census who was born a Taylor in Penwortham parish, I checked to see if there was a likely baptism.

Of the 14 supposedly born in Hutton (where my 3G GF is believed to be born), all have a good candidate for their baptism – setting aside my 3G GF for the moment.

Of the 25 supposedly born in Longton (next to Hutton), all bar two have a good candidate for their baptism.

Of the 15 supposedly born in Penwortham, the situation is more complex as 10 of the 15 have good candidates, while 5 do not. However, 3 of the 5 belong to one family – not that of James and Ann – and the other two involve family moves that make it likely data is not found or lost, or baptisms missed.

We therefore conclude that it is possible that my 3G GF is unbaptised but that it is unlikely, especially if he really does come from Hutton as the censuses say.

Finally, I compared other aspects of my 3G GF’s life with those of known children of James and Ann. His residences and jobs, until he left Penwortham parish after the 1851 census, match those of Ralph and Gilbert – the eldest and youngest sons of James and Ann – though they don’t match in the same order. In fact, Ralph is just two schedules away from Thomas in the 1851 census. Also, a William Taylor is a witness at Thomas’ wedding – the Thomas in James and Ann’s family has a brother named William – in fact William is the immediately younger brother to Thomas.

I can find no inconsistency in these facts and therefore no conflicting evidence about Thomas’ birth.

We therefore conclude that my 3G GF, Thomas Taylor, (abt 1798-1886), husband of Ellen Whittle, was baptised at St. Andrew’s Longton, Lancashire, on 20 January 1799 to James and Ann Taylor.

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About brucefuimus

Retired IT professional; family historian and mathematician by training.
This entry was posted in Family history, Penwortham, Taylor and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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