Monday, September 25, 2006


Ainscough_Cowley tree
Ainscough family tree - Head Thomas 1780-1861
Richard Cowley Census 1841
Richard Cowley Census 1851
Thomas Cowley m Margaret Ainscough
The relationship between the Cowley and Ainscough families can be traced back to the mid 1800’s in Mawdesley. Infact, my GGG grandad Hugh Ainscough (b. 1822-1882) married (1843) Ellen (Elizabeth) COWLEY (1824-1895) around the same time that Thomas Cowley married Margaret Ainscough. Ellen and Thomas Cowley were brother & sister.

At the same time 3.4 *Thomas Cowley (b 21 Dec 1828, Bispham) married (1852) *Margaret Ainscough (wife 1 -b 1826, Mawdesley- d 1872), daughter of John Ainscough (1796-1872) and Margaret ? (1799-1866) and cousin of Hugh Ainscough. Margaret and Hugh shared the same grandfather, John Ainscough (1752-1835) m Margaret Worthington (1751-1835).

Parents of Richard Cowley were:
1.1 Richard Cowley (1760-Upholland) and Martha Higham (2 Sept 1766, Wigan)
2.1 Richard Cowley (son) (1797-Upholland) married (17 April 1820) Alice Swift (6 Nov 1789, Wigan)

Richard Cowley and Alice had 9 children.
3.1. Edward Cowley b. abt 1818, Croston - his birth date predates Richard and Alice's marriage, so he MAY have been from a previous marriage of Richard's; or he may have been born out of Wedlock. That's research for another day and seems to be fairly typical of the day based on other information about ancestors!

3.2. Ann Cowley b. 21 March 1821 and perhaps died before 1851. She is not listed on the census. Then again she may have just been out visiting. 

3.3 Elizabeth b. 11 Dec 1826 

3.4. *Thomas b. 21 Dec 1828, Bispham married twice, both were called Margaret Ainscough – see blog detail

3.5. Everilda b. 14 Sept 1830, Bispham... Sylvia Wilcox’s ancestor married John Southworth 1833, Mawdesley
3.6. Alice b. 1836, Eccleston 

3.7. Matilda b. 1838 Eccleston 

3.8. Jemima b. 1840 Eccleston 

3.9. James b 1842 Eccleston

Sylvia Wilcox - Aus ( writes: 

”I've worked from the census results, to get the family together, so there may be a few adjustments to make. But it’s as accurate as I can be with the information that I have. You hopefully can add more.
Your saying that there were 2 Margaret Ainscoughs makes sense because on the 1871 census Margaret's age is 45, and on the 1881 census it is still 45, then on the 1891 census she is 55. 
Do you have any idea when the first Margaret died? Must have been between the 1871 Census and whatever date in 1874 that Thomas married Margaret the 2nd.”

What makes this all so complicated is that *Thomas Cowley had 2 wives, both of them named Margaret AINSCOUGH!


His 1st wife was the cousin of Hugh (my GGG grandad) and his 2nd wife was the sister of Hugh AINSCOUGH. We believe that *Margaret Ainscough wife 1 died in 1872 aged 46.


There were probably 6 children from the first marriage, all born in Mawdesley:

4.1 Mary (1855-1918)

4.2 Hugh (1858-1934) 

4.3 John (1859-1929)

4.4 Thomas E (1862 -? 

4.5 Elizabeth A (1864 -?) 

4.6 Margaret A (1866-?)


*Thomas then married for a 2nd time **Margaret Ainscough (1836-1918 -wife 2) in 1874.


They had a further 3 children, all born in Mawdesley:

4.7 Mary E (b1874-d1951)

4.8 Richard, Raphael (b1875-d1875 – d. age 7 months)

4.9 Jane Frances (b1877-d1942)

1841 Census detail states that *Thomas is living with his parents in Bentley Lane. (Richard Cowley, (b. 1797 Upholland, Lancs) farmer of 26 acres and Alice (Swift, b. 6 Nov 1789) married 17 April 1820.
Bentley lane is mentioned on the following website:

1851 Census: *Thomas Cowley is living with his parents, Richard Cowley, b. 1797 Upholland, Lancs., farmer of 26 acres and Alice.
There were 9 children in the household – as above

1861 Census Mawdesley – Smithy Lane
*Thomas Cowley, HEAD, (b.1829) married (1852) to Margaret AINSCOUGH (b.1825 – 1872)
They had 3 children at home:

4.1. Mary Cowley b. 1855..she's listed twice, as a daughter of the Cowleys and as a granddaughter of the Ainscoughs, so she may have been wandering between her parents and grandparents.

4.2. Hugh Cowley b. 1858 

4.3. John Cowley b. 1859...John's wife, on the 1881 census is also Mary Ainscough (see census 1881 detail)

1861 - Parents of Margaret Ainscough (wife 1) – Back Lane

Also in Mawdesley in the 1861 Census is John Ainscough, HEAD (b.1794-1872) married to Margaret Wignall (b.1797-1860) – the brother of Thomas Ainscough (GGGG grandad) and uncle of Hugh Ainscough (GGG grandad).

Census detail shows 3 children still living at home in 1861, although I’m led to believe that John and Margaret Wignall had 9 children in total:
1.2. Margaret Ainscough b.1825

1.6. John Ainscough, son, (b.1839 – 1916) m Ellen Smith (1837-1892) – Rutters Farm

1.9. Margery??? Ainscough, daughter, (b.1842 -Strangely similar to Margaret – need to check this out)

1871 Census: Smithy Lane, Mawdesley
*Thomas COWLEY Head, 42 years, Farmer of 46 acres with one labourer. Margaret, Wife 1 – 45 years

4.2 Hugh 13 years

4.3 John 12 

4.5 Elizabeth 7

4.6 Margaret 5

ALSO: John Ainscough, 76 yrs, widower, retired farmer, is probably Margaret's father. Mother must have died by 1871.

This could be the second Mrs. Thomas Cowley - checking things out??

1881 Census: Smithy Lane, Mawdesley

*Thomas 52 Margaret 45......Obviously **Margaret AINSCOUGH (2nd wife – sister of Hugh). 
6 children living at home:

4.2 Hugh 23

4.4 Thomas E 19 

4.5 Elizabeth 17
4.6 Margaret 15

4.7 Mary 6 

4.9 Jane F 3

1881 Census:
4.3. John Cowley (1st son of Thomas Cowley) b. 1859-d 1929
John's wife, on the 1881 census is also Mary Ainscough. Mary was probably a widow of an Ainscough, because there is an ELLEN AINSCOUGH listed as John's stepdaughter- interesting??

There were probably 8 children from this marriage, all born in Mawdesley:
5.1 Ellen (1873-1945)

5.2 Thomas (1879-1904)

5.3 Margaret (1881-1965)
5.4 John (1884-1954),
5.5 Hugh (1882)
5.6 Maude (1886-1935),
5.7 Audrey (1889 -1971)
5.8 James (1892 1951)

1891 Census: Smith Lane, Mawdesley
*Thomas 62, Living on his own means
Margaret, 55 and son Thomas E is now the farmer.

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