Friday, March 28, 2008

Priorswood Hall

On 28 Mar 2008, at 10:26, Mick Pierce ( wrote:
Good morning Barbara,
I've been reading your history of the Ainscough family. What has made it more interesting for me is a tenuous connection to my mother's parents - Alf & Florence Growcott. They worked for 'Mr & Mrs Ainscough', as my Gran always called them, at Priorswood Hall. I don't know the exact dates but I have a couple of memories of this time. I was still an only child - no older than 4 & not later than 1966. I can remember being in a kitchen with my Gran and having a piece of cake. This is not too unusual, as my Gran & cake were inseparable. There was always a cup of tea & a just-baked cake whenever we went to see her. I also remember a parrot in a cage, in the kitchen, I think.
The second memory is being held by my grandad outside a stable door, looking at the horses. One of them nibbled the buttons off his jacket cuff. In fact, my mum has a picture of us taken at this time. When my grand parents retired, I spent a great deal of time with them at their home in Eccleston. Priorswood & the Ainscoughs were talked about frequently. My Gran spoke about the Ainscough's sons - the boys - but I can't remember names, although Mark & Simon(?) are niggling in my mind. I know that they were happy times and a great source of pride for my grand parents.
I can remember passing Priorswood many times, although a long time ago. Is Priorswood still a family home occupied by a new Mr & Mrs Ainscough? I do hope that you don't mind me telling you this. If you have time to reply to this email, I would be glad to know of anything you can tell me about Priorswood.
Thank you for your time.
Michael Pierce.

On March 28, 2008 12:43 PM barbara ainscough wrote:
Hi Mike
good to hear from you-this is what I have already on the blog...I think it was Cyril Ainscough who purchased Priorswood Hall in 1950 but he died in 1980, buried in parbold RC churchyard. His widow is still living in Parbold if you wanted to look her up...I dont know her but I do have connections that might be able to help - she/ the family may have some photos too??
Unfortunately I dont have any images of it though and Im not sure if an Ainscough family still live in the Hall....if anybody does know the answer to this question we would love to hear from you.

This is a previous blog entry:
Martin Ainscough b.1898-d.5th March 1973 age 75 and wife Beatrice Mary b.1897–d.10th December 1992 age 95
On 3 Sep 2007, at 08:31, JOHN COBHAM wrote:
Martin Ainscough (d1973) was the son of James Ainscough mentioned here. He was a landowner & farmer. Also the main shareholder & chair of Lion Brewery, Blackburn. In 1963 Martin bought the Croston Hall estate (formerly belonging to the De Trafford family) from the Catholic Archdiocese of Liverpool.
Cyril Ainscough was Martin's son & took over the running of the Brewery, He lived at Priorswood Hall, Lees lane. He has a brother Peter who still runs the Parbold farms. Cyril's widow is still living in Parbold & there are 4 sons & a daughter. Mark Ainscough(2nd son) is a friend of mine. Peter Ainscough's son Martin owns several good pubs & restaurants one of which the Eagle & Child is in Bispham Green.
The Croston Hall estate has recently been sold by Mark Ainscough but Martin owns about 300 acres of it including the site of the demolished Croston Hall.
All for now,

Also the Parbold Church has a little info. about the Hall.
I hope this helps .......looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Nathan Ainscough b.1853, Churchtown, Lancs.

Ainscough - Ramsgate, Thanet
Nathan Ainscough b.1853, Churchtown, Lancs
Nathan (b.1853) & Ellen Ainscough
Richard Thomas Ainscough b.1893

Richard & Nathan Ainscough 1901 census

Andrew Scarisbrick has provded 2 trees which illustrate very simply this family's origins, these can be downloaded from the black box on the right: titles: 1.Ainscough Tree early.PDF and 2. Thomas Ainscough 1825 Tree.PDF

On 27 Mar 2008, at 06:44, Graham Ainscough ( wrote:
Dear Barbara,
My name is Graham Ainscough and I found out about your blog through my sister Valerie.
We are descendents of a Lancashire branch of the family. Our great grandfather Nathan we know very little about except that he was probably born in the 1870s in Lancashire. Our grandfather, Richard Thomas Ainscough, was born in Ormskirk on 24 August 1893 and moved down to Ramsgate in Thanet where he married a London girl, Louisa Davis, and gave birth to my father, Richard Thomas Ainscough on August 10th 1919. He married my mother, Margaret Faulkner from Gloucester in 1944 and my sister and I were born in Ramsgate.
One interesting fact about my grandfather and my father is that they were both railwaymen on the Southern Region. My great grandfather was a farmer, so the occupational development appears to tie in with your observation about male members of the family becoming railwaymen.
In 1967 I moved to Sweden. As far as I know we are the only Ainscoughs living in Sweden. Over the years a vague interest in the origins of our family name has gradually grown, particularly as I am fairly certain they stem from Scandinavia. My father was always convinced there was a “Scandinavian connection” and this encouraged me to look further. As you mention in your blog, the Swedish word for forest is “skog”. You have made the link to “oak wood” whereas I’ve made the link to “juniper forest”, which in Swedish is “enskog” with the “en” pronounced “ain”. This theory is partly supported by the fact that there is a quartet of female singers who come from the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea who call themselves the Ainbusk Singers. Ainbusk translated into English would be “juniper bush”. So the combination of wood/forest/bush and various species to make up family names clearly exists.
The cricket connection is another interesting aspect. My nephew, i.e. Valerie’s son, is the first person to appear on your list of cricketers, i.e. AIRS Ainscough. He has always been interested in and very good at the game and, as the list mentions, has in fact played for Worcestershire 2nd X1. As a teenager in England my summers were completely devoted to cricket. I played for the school team on Saturdays, the local men’s team on Sundays and every other evening of the week was spent in the nets. My father, although not an active player, was also extremely interested in cricket. He was an avid supporter of Kent and umpired quite a few local games in his time.
My biggest regret is that about 20 years ago I turned down the offer from one of my relatives in Southport – I believe from Richard Wareing who was married to Alice Ainscough – to take over the family bible. I was apparently the last male in our branch of the Ainscough family at that time, and they had no use for it themselves. I already owned a family bible (but not my own family’s) and the idea of lugging it over to Sweden was not particularly enticing. If by any chance that bible is still around, I certainly wouldn’t turn the offer down a second time.
My father was convinced about the Scandinavian connection. I’m not sure, but it certainly seems to make sense. And in some way it would be a fitting conclusion. I have always loved living in Sweden. I feel very much at home here, and it would be fascinating to think that of the group of Norsemen who at one time “sacked, raped and pillaged” the inhabitants of Britain one at least has now returned to his origins (I’ve given up the raping and pillaging side but still enjoy a decent bit of sacking every now and then!). If there would be any interest in doing a DNA test on me, I would also be up for it, by the way.
Thank you for your good work on the blog and I look forward to further fascinating revelations.

Graham Ainscough
JNG Ainscough HB
e-mail: Website:

On 27 Mar 2008, at 08:29, barbara ainscough wrote:
Its lovely to hear from you. When I get time I shall see if I can make a link here back to Ormskirk. This information will really help others - I have a number of Ainscoughs on the blog that cannot link directly with our Mawdesley Ainscough branch - although they originate from very close by - Scarisbrick and Southport. The blog has been a huge help to others tracing their families. Also if you have any census detail, wills, old photos of parents/ grandparents that I could add to the blog - this would be great - pictures add clarity.
Thanks for the cricketer info. - I have often wondered who they all are.
Strangely enough my gran was also a Faulkner!!! (Fathers mother). I shall be adding your translation to Ainscough wikipedia - always good to get alternatives thrown up there.... obviously meaning a wooded area.
Keep in touch.

On 27 Mar 2008, at 09:10, Jonathan Hopper wrote:
Hello Graham...
Here is the census form (see above) for 1901 showing Nathan and Richard... Nathan was born around 1858... in Churchtown, not sure where that is...

On 27 Mar 2008, at 17:04, Andrew Scarisbrick wrote:
Hello Graham, and everyone
Yes, your Richard and Nathan Ainscough come from my branch of the Ainscough family.
Nathan was married to an Ellen Threlfall, and was the son of Thomas Ainscough and Jane Seddon. Churchtown is a small village on the outskirts of Southport, just bordering Scarisbrick, and it is in Churchtown that the old parish church of North Meols is located, where practically all this branch of the Ainscoughs used. I have the records for the earlier generations of this branch of the Ainscoughs from this church.
Attached are a couple of trees showing your Ainscough family, up to Richard b. 1893, which I hope you will find useful. If you have any other questions, do ask me.
Andrew Scarisbrick.

On Tuesday, April 15, 2008, at 04:05PM, "V Ainscough" wrote:
Dear Andy and Barbara,
I am Valerie, sister of Graham, and the one who holds the Ainscough family
records. As Graham said, we are planning to visit in August and would love
to make contact with you.concerning the photos:
the large family group shows Nathan A. born 1856 with Ellen and their
children. Our grandfather (Richard A., not Richard Thomas A.) is on the left in the back row. It was Nathan's sister Margaret born 1840 who married James Scarisbrick.
Nathan had a son Nathan (born 1882) and he is shown with his wife and
daughter in the other picture). According to the records I've found, Nathan and Ellen were living in Crossens in 1891 and at 31 Denmark Rd, in the St Cuthberts area, in 1901. Nathan's father Thomas Ainscough born 1826, married to Jane Seddon, lived in Scarisbrick and farmed 70 acres. I wonder which farm this was?
Thomas Ainscough's father was another Thomas, married to Ann Fairclough, and they were living at 56 Bescar. Thomas was a farmer and bailiff. I was interested to see that one of their children, James Ainscough, was a silk
weaver. From what I gather, our grandfather Richard was sent to Ramsgate in 1915/16
as a radio operator with the King's Liverpool Regiment and he must have met our grandmother at that time. They were married in the Wesleyan Chapel in Ramsgate in March 1917. The only relatives that Graham and I can remember are Dick Wareing who
married Richard's sister Alice A. (born 1890) They are the couple in the
wedding picture; Alice appears in the photo of 'young Nathan' and his wife,
the young girl carrying the rose. We know they had a daughter Pauline - the
one Graham went to stay with. The other ones we know as a couple 'Ted and Rhoda'. Ted is probably Richard's brother in the tree, Edward born 1888. They once lived at 24, Larch Street, Southport. Since Richard had so many brothers and sisters, it's hard to think that we cannot find any of his siblings or their descendants.
When I come, I'll bring all the photos I have and would really appreciate any tracking down that you could do for us. Many years ago, on the way to Scotland, I came off the motorway and visited St. Cuthberts. It was closed and so I had no access to records, but I remember seeing the Ainscough headstones in the churchyard.
There are virtually no other Ainscoughs in the South East, although the crane hire firm is pretty active on all the building sites around Canterbury.
My very best wishes to you both

On 17 Apr 2009, at 21:50, wrote:
Dear Barbara
Have just found your blog re Ainscoughs of Churchtown. My name is John Raymond Wareing, brother of Pauline. My mother Alice and father Dick are in the wedding photo on your site. My grandfather Nathan and grandmother (Sarah Jane) are also in the picture. I remember going to Ramsgate on holiday with my parents in 1939 to see my mothers cousin who was an engine driver on the Golden Arrow My grandmother,
Sarah Jane Foster came from Saxton near Tadcaster . She came to work as a maid to Southport and there met my grandfather. I have the watch chain shown in the picture on my grandfather Nathan. I now live in New Longton, Preston with my wife. We have two children and 5 grandchildren.
There is lots more I can tell you, but initially I am sending this just to make contact with you and also Graham who was the son of my mother's cousin.
Best wishes John Wareing (from the Ware family tree in Banks near Southport

On 18 Apr 2009, at 12:28, GRAHAM AINSCOUGH wrote:
Hi Barbara,
That’s fantastic. We’ve been trying to contact the Wareings for ages. Valerie and I even went up to Southport last summer partly to try and trace them.
I’ll mail him straight away. Your blog is certainly the hub of a massive network. Congratulations and thanks.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Locks & Quays latest episode - Granada TV

Locks & Quays latest episode - Coast to Coast
Many thanks to Tony Ainscough for forwarding this information to me - there are many scenic views of the Parbold and Burscough stretch of the canal in the second part of the makes me want to take a boat trip along it at sometime!
Presenter Matthew Corbett continues his coast-to-coast journey. It covers the canal stretching from Appley Bridge to West Lancashire, passing through Parbold, Rufford and Burscough.
Originally the coal was moved from Wigan, Lancashire using the River Douglas but gradually the canal expanded and with it came the development off industry. To watch the full video click on the title of this article and it will take you to the Granada page - then click play. Enjoy!
For those of you new to this blog in case you are wondering what this has to do with Ainscough family history - this is the canal on which the Parbold H&R Ainscough business relied upon for their corn milling industry in Burscough. They also lived in this area, Parbold,overlooking the views of the canal.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

'Ansgot' Normandy French meaning Ainscough??

I received an interesting email last night from Jeff ( thanks Jeff. This throws a different perspective on the origin of the name Ainscough. I have a few questions already....... William the Conqueror invaded in 1066; Lutheran history (the birth of Protestantism) was during the reign of Henry VIII - early to mid 1500's although research suggests that St Augustine of Hippo was an early inspiration of protestantism
I still have no evidence to suggest that Ansgot means Ainscough, but I need to devote more time to checking online. A quick glance reveals there are lots of mentions of the name Ansgot, a French Normandy Mediaeval surname and even Scandinavian links to the name eg.
Scandinavian personal name 'Ásgautr' = English Place name 'Osgathorpe' (Leics), 'Osgodby' (East Riding, North Yks, Lincs)= Norman place name 'Ansgot Moulins' (Seine-Mar.).

We already know that many of the early Ascough families were noblemen as described in Wikipedia the Ayscough family of Lincolnshire were knights and many of this branch went on to become devout Protestants, indeed Anne (Ayscough) Askew was burnt at Smithfield for her beliefs during Henry VIII reign.
But the link to the name 'Ansgot' seems a little tenuous at the moment. The Mawdesley Ainscough link in the Ormskirk/ Scarisbrick area of Lancashire is firmly supported by evidence in Wills as early as 1585 and later on by Census detail. With names like de Aykescogh appearing in texts from 11th Century - see blog article.
Anybody else have any theories or evidence to back the Normandy link up?
We definitely need someone from the male Ainscough line to take that DNA test to see if we are from a Viking stock....anybody up for it?? Let me know and I will put you in touch with the right people.

On 5 Mar 2008, at 02:10, Ainscough, Jeff wrote:
I recently received this from and thought I'd share it.
Ainscough is a French "Hugenot" name. When William the Conqueror invaded England, he brought his army of knights. These knights from Normandy were given land for their effort during the invasion and were placed as his head of government in each shire. Wiki encyclopedia has info on a plaque placed in a cathedral in Normandy before leaving for England. This plaque has a list of knights. There are 2 knights listed as "Ansgot" which would have been the French spelling for Ainscough. Normandy was the protestant part of France. French "Hugenot" meant French protestant.

On 5 Mar 2008, at 21:58, Michael Ainsough ( wrote:
Hi, I have heard about this same family from France, I am up for the DNA test if you need someone.
Mike Ainscough

On 10 Mar 2008, at 02:35, Ainscough, Ed wrote:
Getting bombarded at home mail from post I made at Genealogy 8 yrs ago, similar thread to recent mail from Jeff. I agree with you, simply put on timing there were no protestants around at the time of the Norman Conquest. The geography place name links to the Lancashire region (Burscough etc) are just too strong and given its pronunciation link to modern Scandinavian word for wood seems a long bow for these people to draw. I saw all of these ideas on Genealogy and they stemmed from an American researching one side of their family that had an Ainscough in it. I tried to reason with them and gave up as Americans clearly like the idea of the romance of the Huguenots as opposed to admitting they dug ditches in Scandinavia before being dragged along with marauding invaders/pillagers/rapers.....Also just to note, the Normans were Viking Scandinavian also, being a corruption of Norsemen, men from the north etc. As with these invaders elsewhere they quickly settled and assimilated, adopting the tongue mostly of the area they had conquered. Thus there is a very good chance that if the Angost name was around it may well be a local variant of the same name root, altho this would not imply any genetic relationship, just a similar place name origin source for the name. Still doesn't have anything to do with Protestantism though given the wide margin on dates as you pointed out......
chrs Ed

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Thomas E Cowley - 1861-1940

On Saturday, March 01, 2008, at 08:42AM, wrote:
I'm writing back to both of you to as I'm not sure who produced the Family tree of John Cowley 1700 - or the Ainscough/ Cowley family of Mawdesley - I've noticed 1 error re Thomas E Cowley shown as 1861-1940
According to my records (gleaned from family etc)
TE Cowley was born 15/7/1861 and died on 10/4/1940 aged 79
In 1892 he married his 1st wife Margaret Wilson (1/5/1859 to 1927) on 17/8/1892 at All Saints Wardour Castle (I have their family bible) she was a governess from Yorkshire working for the Finch family from Lane End Farm.
After their marriage they lived at The Willows Farm (built in 1770 as the Jolly Farmer pub - I have a copy of the original plans) & not sure when they left the Willows - I think that they moved to Walmsley Fold (shown on Gerard Swarbricks map). Somewhere there's a picture of Thomas Cowley standing outside the Willows in about 1900.
When Margaret (wife1) died in 1927 (according to my cousin - who got the info from our Great Aunt Theresa 'Tessie' of the Ormskirk Swarbrick Family - ie mother of Gerard Swarbrick -maps) Thomas Edward went to visit a cousin in Canada and met Eleanor Robinson (wife2) on the boat, brought her home & married her (my cousin doesn't know her background & whether she was English or Canadian). These 2 are in a joint grave - Wife 1 Margaret Wilson is in a seperate grave, hence why you may have assumed Eleanor was his only wife.
They lived at Walmsley Fold in Mawdesley (sometimes called White barn door farm).
After her death on 20.6.1937 he married a 3rd time (his housekeeper?? Rosa (Dorrington?). TEC died in 1940.

Re John Cowley 1700 - have you confirmed the tree before Richard Cowley & Alice Swift?
If I remember rightly Richard (1798-1881) & Alice are buried at St P&P RC Church with their son, daughter, son in law & grandaughter - the grave near the church porch (The photo is on your blog).
Early Cowley tree:
John Cowley 1700
John (1725) married Mary Berry in 1759
Richard (1759) married Martha Higham (b1783)
Richard (1798-1881) married Alice Swift
Thomas Cowley (1828-1912 married 1st wife Margaret Ainscough1 (1825-1872). 2nd wife (m.1874 ) her cousin Margaret Ainscough2 (1836-1918).
Thomas E Cowley (1861-1940) married (1892) 1st wife Margaret Wilson (1859-1927). 2nd wife Eleanor Robinson m 1927. 3rd wife Rosa (Dorrington?) m 1937.

My dad was always told that his ancestors - (1 male Cowley & 2 sisters) came over from the Isle of Man - Balaf/ Balacary near Kirk Michael to Liverpool & walked to Eccleston (Nr Mawdesley) & worked at Bannister farm (or a farm on Bannister Lane?). The male Cowley married the farmers daughter - I don't know where you got the info (& I'm very impressed with it) but does dad's memories link in with any info that you have?
Have a good weekend