BOAT FAMILIES

of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and connected waterways

Burscough Flour Mill

Ainscough's Mill barges - 1950s photo by Ian Moss

SITE INFORMATION

We launched this site in March 2010 with more than 3,000 names, mostly families of canal workers on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, all connected by marriage in one tree, Canal Family 1. This tree has grown to more than 57,500 people as it continues to spread from Lancashire and Yorkshire into Cheshire, Staffordshire and beyond.

Other trees, Canal Families 2-8, were developed but have since been merged into Canal Family 1 (a record is in Media/Documents/Subsidiary Trees History). Canal Family 9 was launched in conjunction with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Society to highlight Benjamin Walls, superintendent at Gargrave (details in Media/Documents/Benjamin Curry Walls). Canal Family 10 contains the descendants of Samuel and Grace Clapham of Bank Newton and Bingley, so far unconnected to the Canal Family 1 Claphams from the area.

Except for those openly listed in the 1921 and 1939 censuses, we do not knowingly include living people without family consent. Information has been compiled from private research by ODFHS members and other contributors. Where copies of birth, marriage or death certificates are held, this is shown in individuals' Life Histories by the letters BC, MC or DC.

SOURCES

We are grateful to have so many free sources of information: Lancashire Archives, Preston; the London FamilySearch Centre, whose microfilms are now at the Society of Genealogists HQ in London; UKBMD; Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks, the General Record Office Online Index and Censuses. Our researchers also subscribe to the Ancestry and Findmypast websites.

Ormskirk & District
Family History Society


Boat Families Website


The Society is indebted to the small group of enthusiasts who have developed this website. Using it and other ODFHS products; such as the CD of Burscough Boat Families, should enable you to discover many of your ancestors.
Bill Huyton, ODFHS Chairman Emeritus, March 2011.

The purpose of this site is to assist researchers whose ancestors worked on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal & associated waterways, especially in Lancashire and Cheshire, and more recently in the Midlands and Yorkshire east of Leeds.

HOW TO USE THIS SITE

Use the Surnames link (top right) to see a list of main names in all trees, with an option to select a specific name from the alphabetic panel above. You can search for a particular person by using the search box, or you can see names in specific trees by changing 'all trees' to, eg, 'Canal Family 9'. At various places on the site you will see a small tree icon, which will show the family tree of your chosen individual. You can click on any name shown to reveal their details. Once you have chosen the first name it is possible to navigate that entire tree. Return to the Group Names page to visit another tree.

NOTE: The search box above right is a simple search on Canal Family 1. For more options and to search all trees together go to the Advanced Search page and choose from the drop-down boxes.

COMMENTING ON & ADDING TO THE SITE

We welcome contributions to help expand existing trees. Additional data or amendments can be emailed to boatfamilies[at]odfhs.email, or via Info and Contact Us - please indicate sources, especially if you have verification by certificates etc. We accept data in any form convenient to you. New trees for consideration can be sent in GEDCOM format as an email attachment.

DISCLAIMER: We have spent much time building & populating this site and have made every effort to produce one that is accurate & easy to use. However, no warranty is given or implied.

SOFTWARE: This website is compiled using The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding, v.13.1.1 (written by Darrin Lythgoe 2001-2022).

Bradford Flyboat

Watercolour by Tim Bostock from a John Vickers photo

LATEST UPDATES

Canal Family 1: 2 August 2022 . . . V144
New Total: 57,559 individuals
New Name: Benbow
Increases: Poole +34; Starkey +22; Barton +20; Baldwin +14; Thompson +12

Our main increase is among Cheshire watermen descended from Richard Poole (b1755) and Lydia Malbone and sons Randle and Thomas. Randle's grandson Robert married the widow of Edward Benbow, a ropemaker who died after emigrating to Canada and whose family returned to Liverpool, where son Samuel Benbow worked as a dock labourer after serving with the Royal Navy in the Antipodes. Thomas Poole's daughter Mary married Thomas Starkey of Northwich, whose family has been expanded.

We have developed the family of William Thompson (b1811) and Catherine Bramwell of Lathom, and the apparently unconnected Thomas Thompson b1872, a Burscough canal boatbuilder. Also brothers John, Henry and Thomas, canal labourer sons of Thomas Baldwin (b1820) and Ellen Sutton of Rufford. And thanks go to Sue Barton for help with her family of Northwich watermen.

Canal Family 9 . . . 3 February 2019
Total: 45 individuals Main name: Walls

Canal Family 10 . . . 22 October 2021
Total: 97 individuals Main name: Clapham

UPDATE HISTORY: More information is in the Update History files which can be viewed by going to the MEDIA link above and selecting DOCUMENTS.



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