Bridging the Gap pt 1: George Bridge

Following the principle of starting with what we know and working backwards:

George Bridge is buried in Sion graveyard and his MI reads:

35.
E face
RESURGAM/GEORGE BRIDGE/FOR MANY YEARS DEACON OF THIS CHURCH/BORN CHAPEL HILL MARCH 21ST 1824/DIED CLOUGHFOLD JUNE 22ND 1886.

W face
ALSO MARY HIS WIFE/ WHO DIED JUNE 23RD 1866 AGED 41/ALSO ELIZABETH HIS SECOND WIFE/ WHO DIED FEB 21ST 1890 AGED 58.

'For many years deacon of this church' is not encouraging as it suggests a commitment to non-conformity which might be familial. Mmm, we will see.

This conveniently gives him a date and place of birth (which triggered the interest in the first place!) so gives us something to look for on the census and sure enough, there he is:

1841:
HO/107/509/6/8/8
Chaple Hill
Newchurch
John
Bridge

45

1796

Yes

Woolen Weaver




Betty

Bridge

45

1796

Yes





John

Bridge

20

1821

Yes

Stone Mason




Mary

Bridge

20

1821

Yes

Woolen Weaver




Elizabeth

Bridge

20

1821

Yes

Woolen Weaver
HO/107/509/6/9/9


Ann

Bridge

14

1827

Yes

Woolen Weaver




George

Bridge

15

1826

Yes

Woolen Weaver




Alice

Bridge

15

1826

Yes

Woolen Weaver




Jane

Bridge

13

1828

Yes

woolen Piecer




Abel

Bridge

11

1830

Yes

woolen Piecer




Sarah

Bridge

9

1832

Yes





Nelly

Bridge

7

1834

Yes





Robert

Bridge

5

1836

Yes





James

Bridge

3

1838

Yes



Interesting as Chapel Hill is a series of farms with few cottages but his father is given as a Woollen weaver not a farmer. Its a pity the address is not specified more fully but hey.

Checking in 1851 we get:

HO107/2249/180/10
3 Daisy Hill
Lower Booths
Abel
Bridge

57

1794

Head

Lower Booth, Lancashire
Hand Loom Weaver Woollen




Betty

Bridge

56

1795

Wife

Lower Booth, Lancashire




Mary

Bridge

30

1821

Daughter

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Power Loom Weaver Cotton




Ann

Bridge

28

1823

Daughter

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Dress Maker




George

Bridge

27

1824

Son

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Warehouse Man




Jane

Bridge

22

1829

Daughter

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Power Loom Weaver




Abel

Bridge

19

1832

Son

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Power Loom Weaver




Sarah

Bridge

18

1833

Daughter

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Throstle Spinner Cotton




Ellen

Bridge

16

1835

Daughter

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Doffer Cotton




Robert

Bridge

14

1837

Son

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Doffer Cotton




James

Bridge

12

1839

Son

Higherbooth, Lancashire
Giver In Scholar


Well the ages and children fit so it is obviously the same family but 'John' in 1841 is 'Abel' in 1851. There are a number of 'Abel Bridge' in the area at the time and it won't be easy if they used names interchangeably.

The other interesting thing here is that the place of birth for George and siblings is given as 'Higherbooth, Lancashire' These refer to the various townships of Rossendale which were still in use at this time. However Chapel Hill isn't in Higher Booth but Lower Booth, and it is in an enclave of Lower Booth entirely contained within Deadwenclough. It is surprising if John/Abel didn't know that.

Oh well. It wouldn't be fun if it was straightforwards.