Ancient Eda
Birchall Family History


Edward Hindley  ... ?   Birchall Brothers  ... ?   Brocklehurst Clan  ... ?   John Howarth ... ? ... ?

How to study Family History ...

Ancient Eda, our mum, died at 103, we were chickens at 72 ... during our weekly visits to the Nursing Home, Eda only managed to talk about the long long ago ... but the stories she told about her Granddad Edward were fascinating ... mysterious stories which posed burning questions ... we panicked because soon there would be no one around to ask. To help the conversation to flow we started to Google and make some notes ... and our very own family story started to grow & grow ... embarrassingly we realised that we had no idea what had really gone on ... but we guessed that some of the shenanigans might be interesting ... you never knew?  

Earlier when our own curious youngsters had asked ... who was Aunty Clare? ... we had made an effort to map a 'family tree' on a roll of old wall paper. We told the kids how the tree grew as best we could but it wasn't very good. However we did remind them that they had enjoyed a propitious start in life because they had chosen their own parents very well ... both mum & dad were survivors ... and also teachers ... as all mum & dads were?

We never forgot Eda's prescience teachings when patient grumbling turned into a raw entreaty -

'use your imagination'!

Kids everywhere had inherited the tools but then they had to learn use them for themselves if they were to survive ... just like their ancestors.

So the old family tree on scribbled faded paper was a bit of a mess but 'stories' about what might have happened were a much better bet. We knew fables had always been cultural necessities for 'tuning the brains' of the youngsters ... and everyone else for that matter ... it was as if brains thought stories as stories captured imaginations and stories were remembered ... stories had staying power. Our roll of old wall paper just didn't cut the mustard ... it painstakingly recorded some births, marriages & deaths ... but it didn't tell the story.

Re-telling exciting yarns proved to be positively therapeutic for us wrinklies ... a sort of cathartic outpouring, an emotional rant which emptied the mind of the stuff which was instantly available but only possibly worth remembering ... but who was to judge?

Charles Darwin told the greatest story of all, we were impressed big time, and so were many others, even some of the Bishops agreed it was best to search for nuggets of truth beneath your feet on the ground rather than in make believe above your head.  

If you have a look at our Birchall story ... you'll find some answers to some of the questions we were too busy to ask ... known knows, known unknowns & unknown unknowns ... a maze of memorabilia and, you never know, you may discover some useful insights ... but if you're a Birchall we guarantee that it will surely be fun ... and some of it might even be true? 

Family HistoryFind your way around - 

john p (1939-) was a beer drinker and a saxophone player.

Edward Hindley (1885-1935) - our maternal great grandfather left a legacy of investments in chemicals and the inspiration of 'education & compound interest'.

Edward Hindley - older yarns about nous, wit and hard work, honesty & thrift which touched all the economic happenings in Cheshire which led to, and were consequences of, the scientific & industrial revolutions ... discovering & accumulating business synergies ... mass production in factories -

Deep History of Folk & Cows in Rural Cheshire - cows and the Brits, Romans, English, Danes & Normans; emerging Anglo Saxon culture, markets, fairs & the Gandys of Great Budworth

17th century - freeholders, dissenters & cheese makers

18th century - feeding the cities & animal husbandry, Warrington grocers & cordwainers, Antrobus life & rivers of change

19th century - Victorian manufactories

Ancient Trades & Crafts of Rural Cheshire - cheese, horses, potatoes, cordwainers, tanners, coopers and, of course, blacksmiths and the Old Hindleys of Bedford/Astley 

Billy Gibson & George Hormbrey - friends, businessmen, Methodists, Whigs, educators & wealth creators ... ordinary folk of rural Cheshire with wit & nous, who discussed & challenged everything but knew little about the economics of comparative advantage at Crewood Hall?

These guys probably didn't even know the name of Adam the Smith and would have struggled to cope with the biology of moral sentiments & synergies of specialisation & scale that he had hammered out at his forge ... nevertheless they were all survivors and coped well ...

Industrial RevolutionWeaver Refining Co Ltd - our very own family yarns about nous, wit and hard work, honesty & thrift -

Merchants of Liverpool - Liverpool Port, River Weaver, triangular trade and competition from Warrington and Bristol ... and the Industrial Revolution in the North West

Early Industrialists in Flintshire - lead in Gadlys, copper & cotton in The Greenfield Valley, iron in Bersham, zinc in Greenfield and new investment capital from John Freame.

Chemical Manufactories in Cheshire - nitre beds, Northwich salt, Le Blanc, Brunner Mond & ICI and Cattle Products & the tricky issue of Animal Slaughter & Regulation.

in partnership with three remarkable families the Neills & the Grimditches & the Galloways

and building on the important legacies of -

Nathaniel Milner - Georgian Gentlemen, Salt Proprietors & Brunner Mond & Co ... and Yorkshire Wool from the merchants of Leeds

Thomas Baylies - Acton Forge & Vale Royal Company ... and the Quakers of Baptist Mills & Coalbrookdale

Daniel Whittaker - Northwich Mill & Cotton Twist Company of Holywell ... and Manchester Cotton & bankruptcy

Thomas Ryder - Marston Forge & Thomas Ryder & Co ... and Steam Engines & the production of money at Soho

William Sherratt - Acton Forge & Salford Iron Works

William Swift - Acton Forge    

John Budd - Zinc Works & Vivian & Sons ... and Cornish Tin & Swansea Coal

Richard Lloyd - Richard Lloyd & Co

William Edward Maude - W E Maude & Co

Tommy Astles - Manure Works

Lowwood Gunpowder - Saltpetre Works

There were some local competitors just down the river; the Runcorn Bone Works & the Leventons ... and on the Trent & Mersey Canal; the Rookery Bridge Refining Company & the Gortons ... and the Smiths on the Irk in Manchester and the Shropshire Union Canal at Tattenhall ... 

British Glues & Chemicals - amalgamation & modernisation, adding value from manure, to glue, to edible gelatine and Tom Walton, Business Economist - and the legacies of -

Charles Massey & Son - Newcastle-under-Lyme

Meggitts - Sutton-in-Ashfield

Quibell Brothers - Newark-on-Trent 

Grove Chemical Company - Appley Bridge ... and the Haworths

Williamson & Corder - Walker-on-Tyne

Weaver Refining Company - Acton Bridge

J & T Walker - Bestwood

Croda - synergies of specialisation & scale, and global speciality chemicals.

Clara Brocklehurst (1879-1967) - our maternal grandmother left an indelible mark for the good on our chaotic development ... thanks we remember it all ... 

The Brocklehurst Clan - prolific & influential family in our part of Cheshire ...

George W Birchall (1875-1960) - our paternal grandfather left a legacy of social nous, he was a craftsman, publican and the sire of a couple of brothers who were soaked in Northwich salt & the chemical industry and were both mean sportsmen and beer drinkers.

Birchall Brothers - East Cheshire industrialisation & the urban trek to the mills and to trades 

Silk Throwing - Stockport, Macclesfield & Congleton 

Fustian Cutting - Congleton with the Knappers & in Middlewich with the Fletchers

Early Cheshire Birchalls - delving back to Johannis Berchall of Winwick?

and there was Biological History ...

Birchall DNA - the deeper history of the Birchalls ... and what really really happened ... DNA didn't lie ...

John Howarth (1852-1922) - Carole's maternal great grandfather left a legacy in print, 'The Voyage of The Rangitiki' and 'The Padiham Advertiser' and the inspiration of 'pioneering endeavour' as he searched for betterment for his family in the Antipodes ... and through his daughter his genes met up with those of Thomas Telford.   

John Howarth - publisher of 'The Voyage of The Rangitiki' and 'The Padiham Advertiser'

Rangitiki - immigrant sailing ship to New Zealand

Thomas Telford - Civil Engineer extraordinaire and builder of the industrial revolution ...

How do we trace our link back to Thomas Telford ... now that would be interesting ... !

 and there were others ...

 Birch Smith - distant cousin, who played Dixieland cornet with Turk Murphy and knew a thing or two about rhythms and medical physics.

 Alf Gaskill - ghillie, who also ran the Warrington Powders Factory and knew a thing or two about leadership and getting things done.

 The Banjo Player - fettler, who also once actually played a banjo but loved his 'bone and knew a thing or two about team work and nous.

 'Edley - beer drinker, who was also a Headmaster and knew a thing or two about having fun and playing hard.


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