Rothwell and Oulton Index


Jonas Jowitt (1762 - 1832) and Elizabeth (Betty) Robinson (1761 - 1837)

My own line so far goes back to my greatx4 grandfather Jonas Jowitt who surfaces in Hartshead parish, close to Halifax and Bradford, with his marriage to Betty Robinson in 1784. He may be the Jonas born in Clayton in 1759 to John Jowitt, Innkeeper, but this is yet to be proven.

If he did come from the Bradford area, as is likely, it was Jonas that took the family away from this Jowitt "hot spot"; within the space of about fourteen years he left the family home, was married in Hartshead, had his first child there and then moved on, first to Woodkirk and then on to Oulton in the parish of Rothwell where the last of his eight children was baptised and where his descendants laid down their roots.

Jonas married Betty Robinson at Hartshead on July 26th 1784, and here he also had his first son Jonas baptised on April 3 1785. During their time in Hartshead Jonas was described as a tanner from Birchouse in that parish. After the baptism of Jonas there is no further record of the family in the Hartshead records. (The parish records do show a Jonas and Elizabeth Jowett having children baptised in Hartshead between 1818 and 1833. These entries did have me worried for a while but the census for 1851 shows that this Jonas was born in Shorton, not in Hartshead parish and hence is NOT Jonas son of our Jonas and Betty.) The next recorded event is the baptism of their second child William at Woodkirk in 1787 where the family lived between c1786 and c1800, in the hamlet of Lee Fair or Lee Gap.

Lee Fair is present on modern OS maps as Lee Fair Green. As you stand in the south east corner of Woodkirk church yard and look outwards from the church, it is the green field rising up immediately beyond the stream no more than two hundred yards in front of you, to the corner of two minor roads.

The churchyard in Woodkirk itself is quite extensive but, for the most part totally overgrown rendering the majority of gravestones either lost or totally unreadable. Though many Jowitts must have been buried there, only one Jowitt headstone remains intact or legible today to represent the many lost generations that have lived, worked and died within the parish. That headstone reads:

In loving memory of HANNAH
Wife of
of Westerton, West Ardsley
who died February 18th 1890
aged 55 years.
Also the above named
who died October 26th 1899
aged 74 years

As far as I know, Hannah and Emmanuel are not related to my line.

Jonas and family left Lee Fair between 1800 and 1803 and moved to Oulton in Rothwell parish. The home of Jonas and Elizabeth in Oulton was "The Hollins", a home which one time vicar of Oulton, Rev. Mercer, states was built for Jonas and his un-named brother (James?). The last of their eight children, Mary, was baptised at Rothwell in 1803.

The eight children of Jonas and Elizabeth are:

Jonas was buried at Oulton 25 Oct 1832, Elizabeth was also buried at Oulton, on 26 Feb 1837.

Benjamin Jowitt (1797 - 1880) and Sarah Hewitt (1797 - 1869)

Benjamin Jowitt, my greatx3 grandfather, was born at Lee Gap, and baptised at Woodkirk on September 17th 1797. Sarah Hewitt was born in Oulton 26/3/1797 and baptised at Rothwell on April 30th that year. They were married at Wakefield St Johns 27th December 1824.

Occupation given as Tanner in 1830, Brewer in 1833, labourer in 1836.

Later of 15 Farrar Lane, Oulton. According to Batty's History of Rothwell Benjamin was living in Oulton in 1878 with his Brothers Jonas and Joseph. They had also dined at their elder brother's house (presumably Jonas) in Tingley Common, West Ardsley, the previous August.

Benjamin and Sarah had at least five children, all born in Oulton:

Sarah died between 1861 and 1871. Benjamin died of old age on the 28th May 1880 at Oulton. Witness present at the death was his son William.

John Jowitt (1827 - ?) and Sarah Ingham (1825 - 1883)

John Jowitt was born in Oulton and baptised at Rothwell on March 12th 1827, first son of Benjamin and Sarah Jowitt. Sarah Ingham was born in Arthington, first child and daughter of Thomas and Mary Ingham (nee Purdey) and baptised at Adel Church on December 4th 1825.

John and Sarah were married at Rothwell on February 26th 1849, John a labourer, Sarah a servant. John signed the register, Sarah left her mark, Witnesses were John Wainwright and Sarah's sister Mary Ann Ingham. They had seven children, all born at Oulton:

John was a general labourer ("labourer of all works") on Benjamin's birth certificate and living in 1851 at Royds Green, Rothwell (also known as Rhodes Green, and where John's uncle, William Jowitt was living in 1841). By 1871 he was a brewery labourer and later appeared on Benjamin's marriage certificate as a maltster.

Sarah was a widow in the 1881 census so John died between 1871 and 1881, probably away from Oulton as there is no relevant death for the area listed in the St Catherine's House registers. Sarah died on April 1st 1883 after suffering from cancer for 18 months. She was 57. Witness in attendance at the death was her eldest son Thomas.

Benjamin Jowitt (1860 - 1938) and Mary Hindley (1864 - 1919)

My great grandfather Benjamin Jowitt, taken from Mary Hindley's photo album

Benjamin Jowitt was born in Oulton on May 19th 1860, fourth child of John and Sarah Jowitt. A gardener/nurseryman by trade, he was living in Oulton in 1881 but by 1891 he had moved to 2, Green Lane, Heaton Norris where he was lodging with the Slater household.

Mary was born Mary Hindley in Sandiway, Cheshire on the 6th March 1864, Mary was the second child of Samuel Hindley and the only one by his first wife Ann (ne Newton) to survive beyond infancy. Her only full brother, Edward, died at the age of 2 when Mary was only 5 months. Sadly, her mother also died when she was young, on March 20th 1866 just two weeks after Mary's second birthday. Samuel Hindley remarried on April 22nd 1868, again at Weaverham church, to Susannah Taylor from Wigan and Mary grew up with her father, step mother, two half brothers (George and James) and two half sisters (Jane and Sarah) on the smallholding on Littledale's Lane, between Sandiway and Hartford.

In the group pictured here, the figure on the far left is Benjamin Jowitt. In the centre at the back is the Rev. Richard Hamilton, vicar of Oulton 1847 - 1889, accompanied by his wife Kathleen and their three daughters. Who the remaining characters are I do not know. Can any one else help?

By 1881 Mary had moved into service as a housemaid to Edmund and Isabella Calverly at Oulton Hall where she met Benjamin.

The two were married at Mary's family church, at Weaverham on 5th January 1892 and afterwards lived at 250 Green Lane, Heaton Norris. The house is still there today, a mid-terrace house in Nursery Terrace. The lane is well kept and still cobbled, probably looking much as it did when they lived there. A new pub (the Nursery Inn) stands at the end of the road, next door to the terrace, on the site of an earlier pub of the same name. Behind the terrace are allotments which face out onto Nursery Road. This is probably where Benjamin's nursery was.

Benjamin and Mary's home at 250 Green Lane, Heaton Norris, taken in 1986 (photo Dave Jowitt)

Benjamin and Mary with son Cyril, photographed for their other son Harry whilst on active service in WW1

They had two sons:

Mary died on March 10th 1919 after a short illness and was buried at Cheadle cemetery.

Benjamin remarried, to Alice Smith, his next door neighbour of 252 Green Lane on Wednesday, August 27th 1924 at Wycliffe Independents Chapel, Stockport. A spinster some 19 years his junior and a dressmaker by profession, Alice was born in 1879, daughter of Thomas Smith, gardener.

Benjamin died on August 3rd 1932 at the age of 78. He was buried with Mary at Cheadle (Section W/Grave number 124) 3 days later. Alice outlived Benjamin by 22 years but did not remarry. She was buried alongside Mary, Benjamin and Cyril on November 9th 1960 at the age of 81.

Harry Jowitt (1892 - 1974) and Annie Sanderson (1891 - 1947)

My grandfather Harry Jowitt, photographed during the First World War

Harry Jowitt was born in Stockport on October 8th 1892 and christened at Heaton Mersey Church on November 6th, the first child of Benjamin and Mary Jowitt.

Annie Sanderson was born on October 1st 1891, sixth child and third daughter of John Sanderson, railway goods guard, and Alice Sanderson ne Ogden. Born at 9, West View, Didsbury Road, Heaton Norris, the Sandersons later moved to 8, Bankfield Avenue, Heaton Norris.

Harry served in the Royal Service Corps (RSC) in France during the First World War. On his return from France he married Annie, on March 29th 1919 at St Martins, Norris Bank. Harry was still signed up at the time as the marriage certificate lists him as a Private in the ASC. Witnesses at the wedding were John Sanderson and Elizabeth Wood.

Harry was a Warehouseman/clerk by profession at Joseph Bridge and Co, Manchester. They had two sons:

Annie died from bronchial pneumonia on July 19th 1947 at 62 Carmichael Street, Stockport at the age of 55. She was buried at Cheadle cemetery 3 days later in the same grave as Eric. Her estate was valued at 700.10s.0d.

Harry married again to Edith Ricketts at Edgeley Methodist Church, Stockport, on April 2nd 1956. A 51 year old widow and born 25 Jul 1904, daughter of William Wright, builder, Edith was living at 15, Ingleton Road, Edgeley. It was here that they lived after their marriage, Harry moving out of 62 Carmichael Street. Edith died of natural causes on May 21st 1969 at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport.

Harry continued to live at 15 Ingleton Road until his death on January 28th 1974 from a stroke. He was buried at Cheadle cemetery on January 31st 1974 alongside Annie and their first son Eric (Section 8/Grave number 18).

Copyright S D Jowitt