History of our Barlow Family
William Barlow who was born in 1802 in Wigan, Lancashire led a remarkably busy and diverse life. He was a Schoolmaster Sergeant in the Royal Artillery, a workhouse master at Bishops Stortford (Hertfordshire, Eng) and St Marylebone (London), a trader in New Zealand and a teacher/farmer/librarian in Tasmania.
I have a great deal of information to sort and place here and am slowly working my way toward that. Of particular interest just now is his life in Hobart and Swansea in the period 1854-1883. He built a home called "The Hermitage" in Swansea which still stands today and is listed on the National Heritage Record.
Life in Wigan, Lancashire
I have had the pleasure of visiting Wigan on two occasions. Both times I was warmly welcomed by long time Wigan residents the Hughes family who gave me insight into the town as it was when the Barlow family were living and working there.
I visited the imposing All Saints Church where William and his siblings were christened. At the time William Barlow was born, the population of Wigan was around 11,000 and growing rapidly. Coal mining and weaving were the major industries and it is recorded that William's father (also a William) was a weaver.
Life in the Royal Artillery
William joined the Royal Artillery (6th Battalion) as a Gunner on 1st April 1821 after attesting at Doncaster, York on 17th May. He was nineteen years old and had previously been employed as a weaver. I am fortunate to have a great deal of recorded material about William's military life.
First Marriage and Children
William married Eliza Sutor in Leith, Midlothian Scotland on 7th October 1825. Eliza gave birth to seven children but sadly she died just a week after the birth of her third daughter, named Elizabeth Sutor Barlow in Scilly Isles. This left William with 5 surviving children aged under 10 years. These are the children born to William and Eliza
The 1841 Census for England shows William and his family living in Scilly Isles just a few short months before the birth of the last child Elizabeth and the premature death of her mother, Eliza.
|Cornwall Online Census Project - 1841 Census return
(6 June 1841)
Transcript of Piece HO107/154 (Scilly Islands) COCP code 154303
Enumeration district 4
|Page 1 Folio 0 Barracks (St.Mary's),1
William Barlow, age 40, Soldier, Not in county (this means born outside Cornwall)
Thomas Barlow, age 8, Not in county
William Barlow, age 6, Not in county
Margaret Barlow, age 4, In county (this means born in Cornwall)
Mary Howarth Barlow, age 1, In county
Elizabeth Barlow, age 35, Not in county
William married Elizabeth "Hannah" Williams in Scilly Isles on 14th October 1842. Elizabeth was a spinster, her father James Williams' occupation was a mason. Williams father, who was also William, was listed as a manufacturer (previously he was a weaver).
Life in the Workhouse
Thanks to Paul for making an enquiry about William's diary that he kept while Master of the Bishops Stortford Union Workhouse in Hertfordshire. This has made me do something about uploading it to
my Workhouse page here.
Sojourn in New Zealand
This particular chapter is causing me some headaches! However I will keep pursuing the information I need to verify just when William was in NZ. So far I have only oral family history evidence to support him being on the gold fields in the Otago region of the South Island.
En route to Tasmania
The final chapter of William's life was played out in Tasmania. It was here that his second wife Hannah died and then he re married, this time to Mary Ann Hall. William died in Swansea in 1883 on the East Coast of Tasmania and is buried there beside the beautiful and windswept Great Oyster Bay.
His wife Mary Ann lived to a grand age of 90 years.
Death notice report in the Examiner Newspaper 5th June 1897:
BARLOW on June 4th at the residence of her daughter Mrs Dent 22 Cimitere St Launceston, Mary Ann, relict of the late William Barlow of Swansea, aged 90 years. Funeral this day at 4.00 pm.