Yorkshire Rose

Scammonden is in moorland country near Huddersfield. It was lonely place until the trans-Pennine motorway went right over it. It is most noteworthy these days for a large reservoir called Scammonden Water. According to the Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers, Scammonden has parish registers back to 1746.

The following information has been condensed from details provided to me by Sharron Fry in New Zealand. More information will be added for later generations in due course. More information could be gleaned from the census returns now available online.

William Thornber was born in 1798-1799 in GISBURN FOREST (from 1851 census of Barkisland, West Yorkshire). He could be the son of  Henry and Ellen Thornber, baptised Gisburn, 28 February 1799, but I think it more likely that he is the son of William and Ann, nee Procter, or Proctor, baptised at Tosside, Gisburn Forest, 1 April 1798. If the latter is true, then the family can be linked to that on the page of Thornber families in Slaidburn and Gisburn Forest. Gisburn Forest is an area about 8 miles north of Gisburn and the village there is called Tosside. William married Sarah Hirst, before 1827, in Yorkshire. (No record has been found in the IGI for the marriage but Sarah's maiden name is known from the birth certificate of Sarah Thornber who is probably their youngest daughter, born in 1845.)

Additional information has come from Helen Anderson-Smith whose great grandfather was Henry Thornber in generation 2 below. He had a son John born about 1883 and so not shown in the census data for 1881. John married Lillian Maud Clegg in Wakefield in 1912. Among their children were Mary Thornber, who married ? Pilling, Emma who married ? Armitage, Sarah married ? Boothroyd. There was a further daughter, Clara, whose married surname is unknown at the moment but she and her husband lived at Nettleton Hill. The Armitages lived at Quebec Moor. Helen also reports that John's eldest brother Thomas had a daughter named Ellen.

I am grateful to Phil Haigh, whose great, great, great grandson of William Thornber in generation 1, for additional information provided in 2020. William married Sarah Hirst, who is buried at St. Bartholomew's in Scammonden. His grandson, John, son of Joseph, shown below in generation 3 was Phil's grandfather.


1851 Census for Lower Bottomly, Barkisland, Yorkshire

William Thornber, head, aged 52, farmer, born in Gisburn Forest, Yorkshire.
Sarah, wife, aged 50, born in Scammonden.
Joseph, unm, 20, horse and cart driver, born in Scammonden
Hannah, unm, 17, farmer's daughter, born in Scammonden
Henry, 15, woolcomber, born in Scammonden
Thomas, 8, scholar, born in Scammonden
Sarah, 5, scholar, born Barkisland.

William and Sarah's son William, born 1829 also appears in the 1851 census at Fink Hill, Barkisland. He was then 21, married and a clogger born in Scammonden.    His wife Mary aged 22 was engaged in house work and was born in Barkisland. From the birth certificate of their son James, born 19 June 1851, we know that Mary's maiden name was Gledhill. William was still in Barkisland in 1881 but by then was a widower aged 51 and a clogger (Ref. 4413 130 33).

In 1873 there was a survey of land ownership in England, published in 1875. It showed by county, each owner with the number of acres of land and the gross rental value. A copy of this report is available at the Cheshire County Record Office. William Thornber of Barkisland was shown as owning 17 acres with a gross rental value of £38.

With the advent of census searching on line, it has become easier to make further enquiries about this family. Census of 1861, Class: RG9; Piece: 3290; Folio: 21; Page: 5; GSU roll: 543109, shows that William and his wife were still resident at Barkisland at property 26, Bottomley. In this census William is said to be born in Scammonden, losing the critical link back to Gisburn Forest shown in the 1851 census.

William Thornber, head, aged 62, farmer of 13 acres, born Scammonden
Sarah Thornber, wife, aged 61, born Scammonden
Joseph Thornber, aged 30, unmarried, farm labourer, born Scammonden
Henry Thornber, aged 25, unmarried, clogger, born Scammonden
Thomas Thornber, aged 18, unmarried, paper maker, born Scammonden (see footnote below)
Sarah Thornber, aged 15, house worker, born Barkisland

Footnote. I have been contacted by Antony Shepherd who tells me that Thomas Thornber would probably have been employed in the paper mill owned by the Sheperd family at nearby Booth Wood. It ran from 1808 to 1870 and burned down in 1926. Antony has carried out extensive research on this family and can provide more details of the paper mill.

William and Sarah were not found in the 1871 census. Joseph was sought and found incorrectly indexed as THORNHER. He is now married and appears to have succeeded to his father's holding. He is said to be at Providence Hill. Class: RG10; Piece: 4407; Folio: 37; Page: 17; GSU roll: 847114.

Joseph Thornber, head, aged 39, married, farmer of 18? acres was born in Scammonden.
Elizabeth Thornber, wife, aged 32, born Ripponden
John Thornber, son, aged 8, born Stainland
Martha Ann Thornber, daughter, aged 6, born Stainland
Lavinia Thornber, daughter, aged 3, born Stainland
George Henry Booth, aged 14, servant, farmer's man, born Ripponden.

Joseph's brothers Henry and Thomas Thornber, were not found in 1871.

Joseph was sought in 1881 and found at Pether Hill Farm in Stainland cum Old Lindley. Class: RG11; Piece: 4412; Folio: 15; Page: 23; GSU roll: 1342054. From this we learn that George H. Booth was actually Joseph's brother in law, indicating that he married Elizabeth Booth.

Joseph Thornber, head aged 47, married, farmer of 30 acres, born Scammonden, Yorkshire
Elizabeth Thornber, wife, aged 41, born Leyland
John Thornber, son, aged 18, unmarried, farmers assistant, born Stainland
Martha Thornber, daughter, aged 17, unmarried, cotton frame tenter, born Stainland
Sarah Thornber, daughter, aged 15, unmarried, dressmaker, born Stainland
Lavinia Thornber, daughter, aged 13, scholar, Stainland
Ernest W. Thornber, son, aged 8, scholar, born Stainland
Alice A. Thornber, daughter, aged 7, scholar, born Stainland.
Mary H. Thornber, daughter, aged 6, scholar, born Stainland
Edith E. Thornber, daughter, agede 4, scholar, born Stainland
George H. Booth, brother-in-law, 24, Milk Dealer, born Leyland.

In 1891, Joseph and Elizabeth are still at Stainland with Old Lindley in property 26. The details of the property are not given but it comes just under South Parade. Source Citation: Class: RG12; Piece: 3597; Folio 73; Page 29; GSU roll: 6098707.

Joseph Thornber, head, aged 60, farmer, born Scammonden
Elizabeth Thornber, wife, aged 51, born Ripponden
Martha A. Thornber, daughter, single, aged 26, weaver, born Stainland
Sarah Dawson, daughter, aged 25, married, dressmaker, born Stainland
Ernest W. Thornber, son, aged 18, farmer, born Stainland
Alice A. Thornber, aged, 17, pupil teacher, born Stainland
Mary H. Thornber, aged 15, employed at home, born Stainland
Edith E. Thornber, aged 13, scholar, born Stainland
Marian M. Thornber aged 3, scholar, born Stainland
Norman T. Dawson, aged one month, born Stainland
John Spencer, aged 56, single, employed on the farm, born Cheshire.

In this census we assume the family of Joseph and Elizabeth is complete as she is now 51. John and Lavinia are missing from the 1881 group. Joseph is not listed in 1891. His wife born about 1840, is still alive and reported in Stainland in property 40 at Pether Hill Farm. Source Citation: Class: RG13; Piece: 4128; Folio: 150; Page: 6.

Elizabeth Thornber, widow, aged 61, farmer, born Ripponden
Ernest W. Thornber, son, single, aged 28, worker on farm, born Stainland
Marion M. Thornber, daughter, single, 13, born Stainland
Joe B. Thornber, Grand Son, aged 9, born Stainland
Walter Smith, servant, single, aged 19, carter on farm, born York
Ernest Shaw, servant, single, aged 19, carter on farm

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