Ann Barton was born in Skelmersdale in 1840. She was one of three children born out of wedlock to Ellen Barton and an unknown father. Ann was baptized on 5 July 1840 at St. Thomas the Martyr Anglican church in Upholland. Her name was recorded as “Anne” on her baptism record. On every other census and civil registration document, her name is recorded as “Ann.”

For the first few years of her life, Ann lived with her mother at the home of her grandfather, John Barton, in Skelmersdale. Ann was enumerated there in the 1841 census. Circa 1844, her mother married Henry Mawdsley, a neighbour. Circa 1846, Henry, Ellen, and Ann moved to 43 Princess Street in Wigan where Ann grew up. Henry Mawdsley ran a grocery shop at 43 Princess Street, and it is likely that Ann worked there from an early age. Henry was also a cow keeper, so it is likely that Ann, at some point, was a dairy maid.

The records concerning Ann’s maiden name are confusing. She was clearly baptized as Anne Barton. However, upon marrying Henry Mawdsley, her mother consistently gave Ann’s surname as Mawdsley in census records and civil registers. Ann, on the other hand, consistently gave her surname as Barton. On her marriage register, Ann gave her surname as Barton, but recorded that her father was Henry Mawdsley. For more discussion on this topic see “Are We Really Related to Henry Mawdsley?

On 8 July 1861, Ann Barton married Edward Barton at St. Thomas Church in Wigan, just around the corner from Princess Street. Ann and Edward were probably not cousins; Ann’s family was from Upholland and Edward’s from Barton, some 30 km to the north.

Women of the day stayed home and looked after the house and family. So it was with Ann who had seven children between 1861 and 1877. The family lived on Douglas Street in Wigan and Edward worked as an iron moulder. The 1871 census records Edward and Ann living at 25 Douglas Street with their first four children. The family must have been reasonably well-off, as they had a servant living with them.

Then in 1873, Edward became the proprietor of the Corporation Inn in Poolstock. The family took up residence at the inn and Ellen, as well as her older children, undoubtedly helped her husband run the business. Sometime in the late 1870s, the family’s time at the Corporation Inn ended, Edward went back to moulding iron, and the family moved to 20 Harrogate Street near Wigan town centre.

The 1881 census provides a snapshot of the Barton family residing on Harrogate with all of their children, ages 3 to 17. The two older daughters were working as factory operatives.

In 1885, Ann’s daughter, Alice Barton, married Henry Harrison of Poolstock and in 1886 gave birth to Ann’s first grandson, Henry Harold Harrison.

Edward Barton probably died or became otherwise estranged from his family sometime before 1891. There have been no records of his death before or after 1891. Ann had grown up in a grocery shop; in order to make ends meet, she became a grocer in Warrington Lane. She also took on boarders. At the time of the 1891 census, Ann, a grocer age 50, was living at 90 Warrington Lane with four of her children and three boarders. Ann recorded her status as head of the household and her marital status as “married.” Taken together and assuming no error, this implies that Edward was somehow estranged from his family. This is a disturbing echo of Edward’s father, Henry Barton, who similarly “disappeared” between 1851 and 1861 while his wife declared that she was “married” in 1861 with no Henry in sight.

Ann’s firstborn, Alice Barton, died in 1897 of cirrhosis.

In 1901, the census taker found widowed Ann Barton, age 60, living at 22 Pottery Street in Wigan with her youngest daughter, Margaret, then age 23, and two grandchildren, Annie and Edward.

Ann Barton died a decade later on 29 November 1913, dying of a stroke at age 73. Ann was living at 6 Mason Street, just north of her former residence on Pottery Street. Her daughter Annie was living just down the road at 14 Mason Street. Annie was with her mother when she died. Ann is buried at Wigan and Ince Cemetery and Crematorium.

Details and Facts


5 Jul 1840
St. Thomas the Martyr Anglican Church, Upholland

Residence Henry & Ellen family home

30 Mar 1851
Princess Street, Wigan

Per 1851 Census.


3 Jul 1865
43 Princess Street, Wigan

Per Ellen Barton’s Birth Registration.


26 Aug 1867
15 Douglas Street, Wigan

Per Henry Barton’s Birth Registration.


13 Dec 1869
Douglas Street, Wigan

Per John’s Birth Registration. No number given.


2 Apr 1871
25 Douglas Street, Wigan

Per 1871 Census.


17 Mar 1872
25 Douglas Street, Wigan

Per Annie Barton’s Birth Certificate.


26 Nov 1873
Corporation Inn, 19 Poolstock, Poolstock, Wigan

Per Richard Barton’s Birth Registration.


8 Aug 1877
Corporation Inn, 19 Poolstock, Poolstock, Wigan

Per Margaret Barton’s Birth Registration.


3 Apr 1881
20 & 22 Harrogate Street, Wigan

Per 1881 Census.


5 Apr 1891
90 Warrington Lane, Wigan

Per 1891 Census. Edward apparently died between 1881 and 1891 and Ann took up work as a grocer, her father’s occupation.

Occupation Grocer

5 Apr 1891

Per 1891 Census.


31 Mar 1901
22 Pottery Street, Wigan

Per 1901 Census.


31 Mar 1901

Per 1901 census. It looks like Ann was being supported by her daughter Margaret and looking after Margaret’s children.

Residence Place of Death

29 Nov 1912
6 Mason Street, Wigan

Per Ann Barton’s Death Certificate.


4 Dec 1913
Wigan Cemetery & Crematorium

Source Documents