Elizabeth (Betty) Swarbrick was born in Cabus, Lancashire in 1818. She was the daughter of Matthew Swarbrick, a local farmer, and Dorothy Chippindale. She was baptized on 18 October at St. Helen’s Anglican church in Garstang.

We have no record of Betty’s childhood until her marriage at the age of 19 to Henry Barton of Barton. They married in The Parochial Chapel of Broughton on 24 May 1838. Their first son, Richard Barton, was born in Broughton shortly thereafter. In 1839 second son, Edward, was born up the road in Barton.

The 1841 census records Henry, Elizabeth, and their first three children at Almond’s Crosses in Barton. The 1851 census records the family with six children at a farm simply called Crosses. One of their children, Elizabeth (b. 1841) evidently died between the two census dates. The couple named a second daughter Elizabeth (b. 1847).

The Barton family suffered a significant upheaval during the 1850s for reasons unknown. Circa 1852 the family moved from Barton to 5 Park Road in Preston. Henry got work as a labourer. In 1853 their youngest daughter, Dorothy Ann, died at the age of 2. It is possible that the family’s move was connected to Dorothy Ann’s illness which lasted for seven months before she died.

Within a few years of Dorothy Ann’s death Henry Barton died or otherwise left his family. The family broke apart. Elizabeth Swarbrick moved to the village of Scorton near Cabus with her three youngest children, probably because she had family there. We believe Edward Barton went to live with an uncle in Barton.

In the 1861 census Elizabeth Swarbrick-Barton, age 42, was living in Scorton (near Cabus) as a lodger in the home of Edward and Mary Davis and was working as a charwoman. Elizabeth listed her marital status as “Married” which could have been an error, or could have indicated that Henry Barton was not dead but otherwise incapacitated or estranged. Elizabeth’s youngest son, Henry, age 13, was enumerated in 1861 living nearby in Scorton with Elizabeth’s sister, Nancy Eccles. Also living with Nancy Eccles was Elizabeth’s aunt, Agnes Chippendale. Elizabeth’s eldest daughter, Margaret age 18 was enumerated lodging with a family in Scorton and working as a cotton throttle spinner. Daughter Elizabeth, age 13, was most likely living about 10 km away in the village of Quernmore working as a nanny (“Nurse”) for a couple named Richard and Susanna Gardner. Gardner was the maiden name of Elizabeth’s grandmother, so Richard and Susanna may also have been relatives.

The 1861 census is our last record of Elizabeth Swarbrick. She may have died during the 1860s. Or, as she was only 42 in 1861 it is possible that she remarried.

Details and Facts


18 Oct 1818
Garstang St Helen


19 Sep 1839
Broughton, Lancaster

Per Edward Barton’s Birth Registration.


7 Jun 1842
Barton, Lancaster

Per Margaret Barton’s Birth Certificate.

Source Documents