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Welcome to 2019 and Tenacious Genealogy! One of my goals for this year is to post more than I did last year. As part of that, I plan on participating in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge. I will still post some of my other content throughout the year, but since I’ve received emails over the past year from distant cousins curious about our common ancestors, I figured adding short posts about these ancestors would be a great conversation starter.
Welcome to 2019 and Tenacious Genealogy! One of my goals for this year is to post more than I did last year. As part of that, I plan on participating in Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.
So I decided to write about the FIRST ancestor to get me interested in genealogy – Amos Fielding. I already wrote a long post on him back in 2017 when Tenacious Genealogy was just starting. You can find it here. While it is pretty detailed, over the last year, more fascinating information has come out about his life, where he lived, as well as his neighbors.
Stanley Wives – Then
A few months ago, my father mentioned that he was going to be in England for a few days over a weekend and my mother had convinced him to go visit some of the spots that his ancestors had lived. I was roped in to find where exactly those ancestors may have lived. For Amos, the FIRST census that we find him in is the 1841 England Census in Heskin, Lancashire, England. He is found living at a residence named ‘Stanley Wives’ along with two other families and the local school teacher. Across from Stanley Wives (and right before it in the census) is Waterworth. (Both Stanley Wives and Waterworth are important in the story of Amos, his wife Mary (Haydock), and the families that lived there in 1841.)
In the 1841 Census, Amos is listed as living there with his wife Mary and the local school teacher. (The larger home that is still on the property wasn’t the one that Amos lived in, but rather a smaller building between it and the road.) In investigating ‘Stanley Wives’, I came to find out that the main building still existed! Not only that, but it is a listed building in Lancashire. In 1841, the house (Waterworth) across from ‘Stanley Wives’ was owned/lived in by a woman named Deborah Withington and her two servants (including the son of one of the families at ‘Stanley Wives’). As my father came to find out, both Waterworth and Stanley Wives are now listed with addresses on Withington Lane. Which leads me to believe that the Withington family was one of note in the area.
Stanley Wives – Now
When my father went to visit, he was quickly introduced to both the current owners/residents of Waterworth and Stanley Wives. They told him bits of information about the homes, including why Stanley Wives is a listed building (it was built with a particular style of architecture is rare in England nowadays – only two or three still exist in Lancashire. A ‘V’ notch in one of the main beams denote that the building is of that particular style and dates the building to the 1600s.)
The current owner of Stanley Wives also mentioned a few local stories about the home that may have arisen from the time period that Amos Fielding was living there. Supposedly the house was known in the surrounding areas as the place where ‘Mormon families’ lived during the early 1840s and there was a rumor that the name ‘Stanley Wives’ stemmed from the reputation that members of the church had for being polygamists. (Though it seems none of the families living there in 1841 were polygamists at that point.) That said, given that polygamy wasn’t really practiced in England by members of the church in 1841 and the house was already known by that name, ‘Stanley Wives’ likely derives from another older source.
The above photos are a few that my father took and one sent to me by one of the current residents of Waterworth. They show the commemorative plaque at Stanley Wives, the front door (which looks to be about the same age as the house), the historically/architecturally important ‘V’ notched beam, and an EPICALLY awesome aerial shot of the properties roughly 50 years ago. (Thank you, Bernie!) So that’s my FIRST for the first post of the year. I can’t help but love it when family history comes alive like this.
Questions or comments about this post? Do you know any other tidbits about Amos Fielding, his family, friends or neighbors? Curious about the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge? Let me know in the comments! And if you like what you’ve been seeing here on Tenacious Genealogy – please subscribe to our email list. Not only will you stay up to date with the latest blog posts, but you’ll also get access to freebies such as ’10 Tips for Starting Your Genealogy’ and other fun ‘subscriber only’ items!