The 1851 census shows Henry Barton, Elizabeth (née Swarbrick) Barton, and their seven children living on Crosses Farm near the village of Barton. Dorothy Ann Barton, their youngest daughter, died after a seven month struggle with water on the brain, on 2 November 1853 at 5 Park Road in Preston. This may or may not have been the family home at the time.
By the time of the 1861 census the family had broken apart. Elizabeth, at age 42, was living in Nether Wyersdale near Garstang working as a charwoman. She gave her marital status as “Married.” Her eldest daughter Margaret, age 18, was living down the road in Nether Wyersdale and working in the textile trade. Her son Henry Barton, age 13, was also living nearby with his aunt Nancy (née Swarbrick) Eccles.
Henry Barton Sr. was nowhere to be found. Despite extensive and repeated searches of the death indexes from that time and place the fate of Henry Barton remains a mystery.
Like father like son. The 1881 census shows Edward and Ann Barton and their seven children living on Harrogate in Wigan. By the time of the 1891 census Edward was not with his family. Ann, at age 50, was living on Warrington Lane working as a grocer. Like her mother-in-law before her she gave her marital status as “Married.” Four of her younger children were living with her.
Edward Barton was nowhere to be found. Despite more extensive and repeated searches of the death indexes the fate of Edward Barton remains a mystery. All we know is that Edward died sometime before 1901. In the 1901 census Ann Barton reported that she was “Widowed.”