Saturday, 29 May 2010

Children of the Industrial Revolution

Our family members really were the children of the industrial revolution. They all ended up in Salford, Manchester, which at one time was the richest and fastest growing town in the UK in terms of manufacturing and trade. It was also home to one of the biggest slum areas in the country with families owning little more than their weekly wage. This weekly wage was barely enough to pay the rent and put food in the mouths of their large and constantly growing families

They ended up in Salford at different times. Some families migrated from Ireland during the years of the potato famine. Laurence Nolan and Margaret Callaghan moved from Westmeath sometime in the 1840s or 1850s. The Keoghs went from Ireland at about the same time. John Regan, born in Cork, at the beginning of the C19th was in Manchester in 1851 working as a street sweeper. They joined the hordes of other Irish immingrants who settled in the slum streets where they doubtless suffered prejudice and marginalization as they formed the lowest socio-economic stratum. Arthur McNally left rural Ireland sometime after 1911 to work on the docks.

Other families had migrated from the surrounding countryside. Annie Hodkinson's family the Cravens had been in Cheshire for generations. The Armstrongs went from Rochdale to Hulme, Manchester before moving to Salford but they may originally have been from Scotland. The Almonds and the Rushbys were from Yorkshire. James Richard Ashman went from Uppingham, Rutland to Morley, Yorkshire and worked in the woollen mills there before moving his young family to Salford in the early C20th. The Clunies were living in Ancoats, a slum area of central Manchester before moving over to Salford.

They lived in streets overshadowed by cotton mills and gasworks, brick works, the railway lines, the cattle market and factories belching smoke, the original dark satanic mills. Street upon street of tiny terraced houses, not a blade of grass to be seen. Little brick built houses with doors and windows opening directly onto the streets, intersected with back alleys, entries and ginnels as they were sometimes called. Streets going down to the docks, up to the railway, along to the factories where everyone including the women and children spent their lives. Matthew Keogh worked as a cord machine minder at 13 years of age, he could be the little boy in the video. Here they worked, married, bred numerous children and mostly died young as a result of exhausting work and poor nutrition.
'The tragedy was that in the most opulent country in the world so many possessed so little'

Friday, 28 May 2010

Monday, 24 May 2010

This is Aunty Cissy

This is a photo of Aunty Cissy and Uncle Jess with grandma and granddad Armstrong and Matthew James McNally. Matthew was born in 1972 so it must be year or two after this. They lived in a house with garden and a well in Holywell, North Wales.
My sisters remember visitng them and we had lots of speculation about what their real names were. I have now found out that Cissy was grandma Armstrong's aunt, the youngest sister of her mother, Laura Ann Ashman. Cissy's real name was Rachel Ashman, she was born in 1897 in Manchester. The family had moved from Morley, Yorkshire just a short time earlier. She married Jasper Craigie in 1918. Her sister Mary married Jasper's brother William in 1920.