Revised 28/03/2021





The William Houghton who was born at Halewood (October 1721) is not the correct William. This person died at Halebank age 8 (October 1729).

[HOUG631] William Houghton (born c.1720), husbandman, married (at Prescot, 1st August 1745) [PILL632] Margritt Pilling, both of Sankey, (born 1720, see PILLING). They had four children as follows:

[HOUG641] Thomas (born at Widnes, baptised at Farnworth, 21st February 1747/8), married Ellen Prescott, see later;

John (born at Penketh, baptised at Farnworth, 18th March 1749/50). John Houghton (watch tool maker of Prescot [parish]) married (at Farnworth, 31st Mach 1777) Ellen Kennion [probably baptised at Farnworth, 20th April 1747, daughter of John Kennion & Sarah], marriage witnessed by John Kennion and Peter Kennion;

Peggy (born at Penketh, baptised at Farnworth, 22nd March 1752), married (at Farnworth, 11th July 1773) Thomas Barrow (husbandman), witnessed by William Houghton (presumably Peggy's father) and Thomas Houghton (Peggy's brother);

Elizabeth (born at Penketh, baptised at Farnworth, 2nd May 1756).

The Margaret Houghton who died at Ditton (i.e. where their son Thomas latterly lived) and was buried at Farnworth (31st December 1785), appears to be the correct Margaret (wife or widow of William).

[HOUG641] Thomas Houghton (born 1748). Thomas Houghton (husbandman of Ditton) married (at Rainford, 26th September 1770) [PRES642] Ellen Prescott (born 1746, of Widnes, see PRESCOTT), witnessed by Peter Houghton and Margaret Bispham.

Margaret Bispham is of interest. She was baptised (at Rainford, Protestant Dissenters Chapel, 12th August 1746 IGI), the daughter of Edmund Bispham & Margaret. Edmund Bispham married 1. by licence (at Farnworth, 19th December 1733) Margaret Kennion (both of Rainford); then 2. (at Rainford, 23rd July 1737) Margaret Johnson.

Margaret Kennion was born at Bold, baptised at Farnworth, 9th January 1709/10, daughter of Peter Kennion. She had a brother Peter born at Bold, baptised at Farnworth, 4th November 1716), who was no doubt related to the afore-mentioned Peter Kennion who was present at the marriage of John Houghton (1777).

Thomas & Ellen had four children as follows:

Peter (born at Ditton, baptised at Appleton, St. Bede, RC, 2nd June 1773). A Peter Houghton (age not given) died at Widnes (buried at Farnworth, 7th February 1775);

Catherine (born at Widdens [Widnes], baptised at Appleton, St. Bede, RC, 31st January 1775), died shortly after at Widnes (buried at Farnworth, 22nd February 1775). The two deaths a fortnight apart suggest some contagious disease;

Peter (born at Widdens [Widnes], baptised at Appleton, St. Bede, RC, 18th February 1776), married Elizabeth Johnson;

[HOUG651] James (born at Ditton, possibly 1785, baptised at Appleton, St. Bede, RC, 18th December 1791). It seems unlikely that James was born as late as 1791, after a fifteen year interval after Peter. By then Ellen was age 45. It seems likely he was an infant baptism, though not recorded as such in the register. He married Sarah Johnson, see later.

The four children, born at either Ditton or Widnes, are clearly siblings. The baptismal sponsors for the Peter of Ditton and Peter of Widnes were the same (James Houghton and Mary Houghton). Peter and James married the Johnson sisters. Peter witnessed James' marriage in 1810. The only problem is the age gap between these two persons, especially as James' mother would have been age 46. Quite likely James was an infant when he was baptised, although not recorded as such in the register. James' age in the 1851 Census, and his declared age at death, together suggest a birth around late 1784 or early 1785.

Thomas (a farmer) died at Ditton (buried at Farnworth, 9th December 1811). In his will he left all his possessions to his wife Ellen.

[HOUG651] James Houghton (born at Ditton, possibly 1785, a husbandman, married (at Prescot, 26th December 1810) [JNSN652] Sarah Johnson (born 1792, see JOHNSON), witnessed by Peter Houghton (James' brother), James Bradshaw (parish clerk). They had eleven children born at either Cronton or Tarbock, but all baptised at Farnworth as follows:

Maria (born at Cronton, baptised 26th April 1812), married William Westwick;

Mary (born at Cronton, baptised 24th October 1813);

Henry (born at Cronton, baptised 24th November 1815), married Ellen Cave;

Sarah (born at Cronton, baptised 9th November 1817);

Ellen (born at Cronton, baptised 5th December 1819);

John (born at Cronton, baptised 6th January 1822), married Margaret Hosker;

George (born at Cronton, baptised 11th January 1824), married Mary ---;

[HOUG662] Eliza (born at Cronton, baptised 27th November 1825), married William Vose, see later;

Thomas (born at Cronton, baptised 23rd April 1828);

Margaret (born at Tarbock, baptised 13th February 1831);

Elizabeth (born at Tarbock, baptised 22nd June 1834).

The family were finally back at Cronton by 1851, where James was shown as being a farm labourer, born at Ditton. James died (age 67, of a stomach ulcer) at Cronton (6th July 1852, buried at Farnworth, 9th July 1852), and Sarah died (age 68, of “decay of nature”) at Cronton also (11th April 1860, buried at Farnworth, 13th April 1860).

[HOUG662] Eliza Houghton (born 1825, daughter of James) married (at Liverpool, St. Peter, 21st September 1845) [VOSE661] William Vose (born 1821, see VOSE), a file cutter.


James Houghton = Sarah Johnson
1841 Census  717/8-8  Widnes (LAN), Norlands Lane
James     HOUGHTON     55 ag lab  Y
Sarah     HOUGHTON     45         Y
Margaret  Houghton     10         Y
Elizabeth Houghton      7         Y
William   Westwick      4         Y
Sarah     Hindes        1         Y
1851 Census  2194-17  Cronton (LAN), Pex Hill
James     HOUGHTON H M 65 farm lab Ditton
Sarah     HOUGHTON H M 58          Cronton
Elizabeth Houghton D - 17 servant  Tarbock