Sunday, January 13, 2013

Smalley-Marsh Family History


In 1874 Elizabeth Kitchen and her younger brother Harry arrived in Stalybridge from Wisbech in Cambridgeshire where they had been living with a fairly prosperous farmer who had brought them up from birth.  They were the children of one of his daughters who had formed a relationship with a silk merchant in Cambridge, he in turn paid the farmer to bring them up with his own family. Elizabeth was now 18 and the arrangement was brought to an end.

Why Stalybridge was chosen is not known but is possible that a post had been found in service for Elizabeth and Harry was found a place on a farm in Matley. Before long she had met up with Charles Marsh. He had recently lost his wife through illness and was left with 3 young boys, Charles, Nathan and George. They soon got married and went to live in a cottage in Mately together with the three young boys. Over the years Elizabeth was to give birth to seven children by Charles, James, Grace, Helen, Ervin, Harry, Elizabeth and Alice.

Cotton mills covered the area and this is where Grace Marsh found work in a mill in Stalybridge and also found Sam Smalley.  He was from a family of seven also. He worked for the Co-Operative Society in the grocery department. They were married in St Pauls Church Stalybridge and went to live in Kinders Street in Stalybridge where the first of the children were born, Cyril and Phyllis. Grace left her job as a weaver and continued life as a house wife bringing up her family.

She was very good with the needle and took to making hats and finished up being quite proficient as a milliner. Whether it was due to some estrangement they were going through at this time is down to speculation but Grace decided to move to Lytham St Annes on the coast to start a millinery shop taking the children with her. The shop and business prospered and things started to look up. Cyril recalls some talk about hired help to look after himself and Phyllis in the home. It was at this time that Sam decided to give up the job of manager of the branch of the Co-Op and move to be with Grace at the coast. It turned out to be a poor move for Sam as he failed to find any sort of a job and more over the shop ran into the sand and before long the family was on the move and I arrived by this time as my birth certificate records my place of birth as Lytham St Annes.


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