Biography

Edward Barton was born in Broughton, Preston, Lancaster, a village located about 30 km north of Wigan, on 19 September 1839. He was the son of Henry Barton, a farmer, and Elizabeth Swarbrick. Edward and his older brother Richard were born in Broughton. Shortly after Edward was born, the family moved to Crosses, a 52-acre farm (about ½ km square) in the Barton area just north of Broughton. Crosses was certainly the Barton family’s homestead when Edward was growing up. The 1841 and 1851 census records provide snapshots of the family during their life at Crosses. Edward’s four sisters and younger brother were all born on the farm. In addition to family members, one or two servants and/or farm workers also lived on the farm. When he was old enough, Edward helped his father on the farm, working as a labourer.

Elizabeth Swarbrick and her younger children had moved to Elizabeth’s birthplace in Nether Wyersdale to be near her sister and perhaps other family members. Edward had probably moved with his older brother Richard to the Wigan area (perhaps Ince) where they both apprenticed as (or otherwise took up the occupation of) iron moulders. He pursued this occupation for most of the rest of his working life, except for a brief time when he worked as an innkeeper.

On 8 July 1861 at age 21, Edward Barton married Ann Barton at St. Thomas’ Church in Wigan. Over the next sixteen years, the couple had seven children (in addition to any who may have died in infancy). An 1869 directory for Wigan lists Edward Barton, iron moulder, at 15 Douglas Street. The 1871 census records the family living at 25 Douglas Street as does daughter Annie’s birth certificate in 1872.

By the time son Richard was born in 1873 Edward Barton had become the innkeeper at the Corporation Inn, Poolstock Lane. The Barton family was residing at the inn. They were still there in 1877 when their last daughter Margaret was born in 1877. However by the time of the 1881 census the family had moved to 20 Harrogate in the centre of Wigan and Edward had again taken up the occupation of iron moulder.

The 1891 census records Edward’s family living at 90 Harrington Lane without Edward. His wife, Ann, had become a grocer and had three boarders living in the house, suggesting that she was now the family breadwinner. However she still reported to the census taker that she was “married” not “widowed” in 1891.

Edward Barton traveled to New York in the summer of 1893. The above portrait, which has the caption “Father’s Grandfather Barton,” was taken by Herman Vaupel at a studio on 3rd Avenue in New York. Vaupel operated from 3rd avenue between 1883 and 1899. There is a UK incoming passenger record of Edward Barton, age 52, moulder, returning from New York to Liverpool on August 19, 1893.

It seems likely that Edward and Ann went through a marital breakdown sometime between 1881 and 1901. In the 1901 census, Ann Barton was living at 22 Pottery Street and gave her marital status as “Widow.” However, Edward Barton was very much alive a few blocks away at 69 Byrom Street in Poolstock, boarding at the home of his daughter Annie and her family. Edward gave his marital status as “Married.” Although only age 61, Edward gave his occupation as “retired iron moulder.”

There may have been a family reconciliation near the end. Edward Barton was living at 22 Pottery Street when he died in June 1904. The cause of death was spinal paralysis, suggesting that either he was an invalid in his final years or he suffered a serious accident that caused his death. His death was registered by his daughter, Annie. He is buried in Wigan & Ince Cemetery in an unmarked grave (plot 355, Section M).


Details and Facts

Occupation Iron Moulder

20 Oct 1863

Per Alice Barton’s Birth Registration.

Occupation Iron Moulder

3 Jul 1865

Per Ellen Barton’s Birth Registration.

Residence

3 Jul 1865
43 Princess Street, Wigan

Per Ellen Barton’s Birth Registration.

Occupation Iron Moulder

26 Aug 1867

Per Henry Barton’s Birth Registration.

Residence

26 Aug 1867
15 Douglas Street, Wigan

Per Henry Barton’s Birth Registration.

Occupation Iron Moulder

13 Dec 1869

Per John Barton’s Birth Registration.

Residence

13 Dec 1869
Douglas Street, Wigan

Per John Barton’s Birth Registration. No number given.

Occupation Iron Moulder

2 Apr 1871

Per 1871 Census.

Residence

2 Apr 1871
25 Douglas Street, Wigan

Per 1871 Census.

Occupation Iron Moulder

17 Mar 1872

Per Annie Barton’s Birth Registration.

Residence

17 Mar 1872
25 Douglas Street, Wigan

Per Annie Barton’s Birth Registration.

Occupation Inn Keeper

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

Per Richard Barton’s Birth Registration.

Residence

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

Per Richard Barton’s Birth Registration.

Occupation Inn Keeper

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

Per Margaret Barton’s Birth Registration.

Residence

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

Per Margaret Barton’s Birth Registration.

Occupation Iron Moulder

3 Apr 1881

Per 1881 Census.

Residence

3 Apr 1881
20 & 22 Harrogate Street, Wigan

Per 1881 Census.

Burial

23 Jun 1904
Wigan Cemetery & Crematorium


Research Notes

Sometime between 1851 and 1861, the Barton family may have suffered a tragedy, probably connected to the death of Henry Barton and/or the loss of the farm. More research is needed on this matter, however it appears that by the time of the 1861 census the family had split up.

An iron moulder was a foundry worker who produced the sand castings into which molten iron was poured (or by some definitions the worker who poured the molten iron).

There is compelling evidence that Edward Barton was the father of Alice Barton and the grandfather of Henry Harold Harrison. In her marriage registration Alice Barton identified herself as the daughter of Edward Barton, Iron Moulder and gave her address as Princess Street. In addition the 1891 census at the Honeysuckle registered Ellen and Annie Barton as Alice’s sisters respectively two and eight years younger than Alice. This is an exact match to the 1881 census of the Edward Barton family at 20 Harrogate that identifies Edward as 41 years old from Barton, married to Ann from Skelmersdale. These details in turn closely match the marriage registration 20 years earlier of Edward Barton, Moulder, and Ann Mawdsley residing on Princess Street.

 


Source Documents