Monday, October 25, 2010

Wrightington - Speakman - Ainscough links

The PDF (guessed Speakman connections) of the tree above can be downloaded from on the right.

On 16 Aug 2010, at 17:35, Tom Massam ( wrote:

Dear Barbara,
Please could you help me or point me in the direction of someone who knows a lot about the Wrightington / Speakmans.
I am looking for the family of Esther Speakman. She married Henry Massam on 4th March 1810, in Scarisbrick with witnesses Henry Dobson, Mary Speakman and Helen Speakman. I know that Esther died in 1813, and her infant son James Massam was taken by an aunt to live with his grandfather (Speakman) in Wrightington. The source did not specify whether the aunt was married or was an aunt by marriage.
I speculate that Esther's parents were Thomas and Ann Speakman and that Esther had sisters Mary (born 1787 - 1791), Elizabeth (born 1782 - 1786) and Dorothy (born 1792 - 1796) so I am searching for birth records of Esther and these ladies - but in spite of scanning many church registers I have not found a record of their births.
Reasons for the speculation:

1. Thomas and Ann were active as godparents in the RC parish of Scarisbrick (1785 - 1787) at a time which would correspond to them being a young married couple at the guessed time of Esther' birth and in the years just before the births of Mary Elizabeth and Dorothy.

2. Mary Elizabeth and Dorothy Speakman were living together at Wrightington Coal Gate in the 1841 census.

3. On 26 Aug 1782, a Thomas Speakman of Dalton married Ann Bullen of Holland at Wigan All Saints (Maybe a repeat marriage following a private RC marriage?).

4. There was a large Bullen family in Scarisbrick.

Another possible connection: Esther's son James Massam became an RC priest and was the first parish priest of Longton near Stoke. Was his vocation influenced by a relative? The 1861 census records Ann Speakman, born in Wrightington 1796/7 as Prioress of St. Dominice priory at Hurst Green. The Dominican records say "Professed at Hartbury Court May 6 1829 Sister Ann Mary Luisa Speakman born 13 March 1797".
Thanks for any help you can give and I hope they fit in with your Speakmans.
Tom Massam, of Scarisbrick. (Cousin of Andrew Scarisbrick).

On 17 Aug 2010, at 11:22, Andrew Scarisbrick wrote:

Hi Barbara
Long time since we've spoken. I hope you are keeping ok.
And Hi Tom... talk about small world. I don't have anything definite to add, but the speculation does seem logical. Plus I maybe have another coincidence in this.
There was another marriage at Wigan All Saints, 1st Feb 1779, between James Speakman of Dalton and Margaret Bullen "of Rightington" (their spelling). Possibly two Speakman brothers marrying two Bullen sisters?
Regards for now,

On 17 Aug 2010, at 13:33, Andrew Scarisbrick wrote:

Hi Barbara
Not to confuse you too much, Tom, but I have found another Bullen marriage at Wigan, All Saints, that may interest you. On the7th of March 1791, William Fairclough of Upholland married Mary Bullen of Lathom, witnesses Robt Bullen and John Holt. Their children were baptised at St. James RC, Upholland/Orrell. Their son, Hugh, married Catherine Speakman, daughter of Joseph Speakman and Susannah Ainscough, and Veronica may be interested in these Faircloughs!

Harrock Hall - Rigby Link

On 25 Oct 2010, at 05:04, Stephen Pitman ( wrote:
Dear Barbara
I stumbled upon your website about the Ainscoughs of Harrock Hall when I was doing my own research on my mother's side, the RIGBYES or now RIGBYS.
We have extensive references to afew of our family sirnames, namely Marsden, Rigby, Worthington, Dandye to Parbold, Douglas Chapel where they had pews. An exerpt from 'Transactions of the Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire Vol XLVII.' is copied below with reference to the Rigbys of Harrock. You can also search online for the book by googling it. Do you have any other information on the Rigbys of Harrock, Peter Rigbie de Lathom, or a Tomas Marsden? It seems they were there quite a long time ago. Do you also know how the Ainscoughs aquired Harrock? Would it have been from one of your ancestors marrying Eleanor Rigbye for example, who was left the estate?

I hope to hear from you soon, and hope the information below is helpful to yourself as well.
Kind regards
Stephen Pitman
Historical Notes on Douglas Chapel. 215
... There were a few old oak benches and pews in the chapel, having initials, and dates of the first half of the seventeenth century, notably one with the name ** Nicholas Rigbye" and a date carved upon it. This was in the south-east comer, and was always occupied by the family residing at Harrock Hall." The Parbold Hall pew adjoined this one. The chapel was absolutely devoid of any coats of arms, tablets, brasses, or monuments relating to the founders or any local families, and the inference is that at the time of the Reformation anything of this sort which may have existed was destroyed and ruthlessly swept away. The edifice, as it stood at the time of its demolition, consisted of a plain rectangular nave without M These galleries were built during the incumbenqr of the Rev. John Johnson. — Frivaii papers of Rev. John Price.
« Harrock Hall was in the possession of the Rigbye family anterior to the fifteenth century. The family continued in the male line until the death of Thomas Rigbye, Esq., who in 1775 <^evi8ed Harrock Hall and other estates to his sister Eleanor Rigbye for her life, with remainder to his nephew, the Rev. John Baldwin, M.A., Rector of North Meols, who, in compliance with bis uQC^'s wiUf^tfsumed the surname and arms of Rigbye.— GaslreU's HctUia. Wikipedia - Saint John Rigby -

On 15 Oct 2010, at 09:40, Noeline Smith ( wrote:
I stumbled across your 'Blogspot' whilst carrying out my own family research. I am not related to you - but found your site very interesting nonetheless!
I believe that I could be descended from the Rigbys of Harrock Hall and it was whilst lookng for information on that that your site cropped up. I have worked my way back to the mid 1600s and although I don't yet have positive proof it is looking very promising.
I have been trying to read the article entitled "Going back to their roots" but the resolution is not fine enough to read on line so I wondered if you would mind very much sending me a copy as it seems to say something about the Rigbys. Also, if you have any other information regarding the Hall (or possibly the Rigbys?!) would you be happy to share that with me or perhaps point me in the right directon. I live near Salisbury, Wiltshire so that makes things a little more tricky - something that's obvious to a 'local' is easily overlooked!
Many thanks,
Noeline Smith (nee Rigby)

On 29 Oct 2010, at 09:29, JOHN COBHAM wrote:

Regarding your enquiry re Harrock Hall & Ainscough/Rigby connection.
Bill Ainscough purchased Harrock Hall from Sir Peter Moores, who owns a lot of the land  around Wrightington & Parbold several years ago & until Bill aquired it it was pretty much run down. PM himself never lived there, he lives at Parbold Hall. So there is no connection between the Ainscoughs & Rigbys. There is a connection with Harrock & St John Rigby, Martyred in the 16th century & each year a Mass is said in the barn at Harrock Hall to commemorate him. I think Eccleston parish church has some records of the old Rigbye family but I couldn't be sure.
John Cobham