Tuesday 30 May 2023

Unusual Personal Names from Turton

Mr Fish Fish of Chapeltown, 1851

You might have thought that Fish would not be the obvious choice of first name for a child, particularly if your surname is also Fish.  But the Fish family of Over Darwen started this tradition in 1771, and it continued right into the 1900s.

Fish Fish of Over Darwen held freehold property in Entwisle in 1836.  Another Fish Fish lived in Chapeltown in 1851, with his wife and eight children, including his son Fish Fish.  There were at least 12 births registered between 1837 and 1883, including one for Fish Fish Fish, registered in Blackburn in 1864.  Any advances on three?

Dionysius Haworth of Chapeltown, Inn-Keeper (d. 1783)

Dionysus is the Greek god of the grape-harvest, wine-making and wine, amongst other things.  So a fairly apt name for an inn-keeper.  Dennis is the usual modern style, but the original Greek form seems to have been popular with the Howarth family in Rossendale going back to the early 1600s.

Dionysius Haworth was the inn keeper at The Black Bull in Chapeltown (the old name the Chetham Arms).  He can be found in the licensing records from 1764 until his death in 1783 when his widow Margaret took over.

Virtue Names

Virtue, or grace names, are often associated with the 17th-century Puritans.  While there is nothing locally that can compete with "If-Jesus-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned" Barbon, who was born in London in the 1630s, here are a few local examples of virtue names:

Charity Jones - Daughter of Joseph Jones & Sarah of Great Bolton (1809)
Honor Holt - Daughter of Benjamin Holt & Isabel of Harwood (1768)
Hope Tempest - Daughter of James Tempest of Little Bolton (1853)
Love Hampson - Wife of James Hampson, proprietor of Castle in Harwood (1784)
Mercy Walmsley - Daughter of Roger Walmsley & Jane of Great Bolton (1708)
Obedience Scowcroft - Daughter of Richard Scowcroft of Bolton (1622)
Prudence Entwistle of Naze End, Edgworth (1841)
Patience Hall of Kay's Row, Harwood (1841)
Silence Wallworke of Bolton (1701)

Makepeace Mason of Harwood, Farmer, 1725

Makepeace Mason was born in 1658 in Tonge, and was an Overseer of the Poor for Turton in 1694.  He married Anne and had 8 children, moving around between Turton, Harwood and Halliwell over the years.  He died in 1725 and was buried at Bolton.

Decimus Durham of Egerton, 1841

Decimus was the 10th son of a Yorkshire tea dealer called Marmaduke Durham.  His older brother John came to Egerton and opened a grocery store, and Decimus was residing there with him at the time of the 1841 census.

Three of their brothers had similar Latin personal names, Septimus, Octavius and Nonus.  The earlier brothers escaped with the more conventional names of Marmaduke, William, John, George, James and Christopher, but had their parents cottoned on to the idea sooner might have been called Primus, Secundus, Tertus, Quartus, Quintus and Sextus.

Abednigo Howarth of Edgworth & other Biblical Names

Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of Old Testament names in the old Turton records.  Many Biblical names are still popular today and Jacob, Isaac, Noah, Daniel, Aaron, Joshua, and Samuel have been permanent fixtures in the top 100 UK names for many years now.  Here are some local examples, mainly from the 18th-19th centuries:

Aaron Crawshaw of Turton
Abednigo Howarth of Edgworth
Abel Shepherd of Stanrose
Abraham Parkinson of Brandwood Fold, Edgworth
Amos Sewell of Egerton
Elijah Bullough of Bedford Row
Enoch Booth of Club Houses
Ephraim Nightingale of Edgworth
Immanuel Rigby of Egerton Vale
Isaac Cleworth of Eagley Vale
Isaiah Waddiker of Bottoms, Edgworth
Israel Bury of Whittlestone Head, Entwistle
Jabez Birch of the Old White Horse, Edgworth
Jehonadab Melling of Edgworth
Jeremiah Hadson of Entwisle's Houses
Jethro Haslam of Harwood
Levi Nightingale of  Edgworth
Lot Waddicar of Edgworth
Moses Waddington of Old Globe
Noah Heaton of Harwood
Reuben Ralph of Kenyon's Houses
Seth Smalley of Egerton
Zachariah Mather of Birtenshaw
Zilpha Davison of Kettle Row, Edgworth

And Lastly...

Xenophon was the name of one of the sons of William and Mary Blackburn, who lived in Egerton in 1841.  Xenophon of Athens was an ancient Greek historian, philosopher and soldier.

Parthenia Crompton lived at Back Barry Row in Egerton in 1841.  Another name of Greek origin, it means maiden or virgin

Celestial Melling (sometimes known as Celestian) was the son of Richard Melling & Dolly of Entwistle, baptised in 1800.   Celestial means belonging to the sky, or the heavens.

Christwell Brandwood of Entwistle was buried at Turton in 1722.  He was the son of Roger Brandwood of Entwistle Hall.

Okey Entwistle of Entwistle is not in fact Okay as recorded in the baptism below, but Okey.  Possibly there was some connection with the Okey family, and maybe Mr John Okey the well known seventeenth century Boltonian with the curious monumental inscription at Bolton Parish Church.

Ralph son of Okay & Esther Entwisle of Entwisle,
 Baptised 9th July 1746