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  1. #1

    Default looking for any help with canal boat families

    hi, I have a lot of missing family!

    Does anyone have any information on the Johnson family who were canal boat people (certainly around 1870's if not before. Then they settled in Sandbach Cheshire around 1901 (the only census i can find them on)
    Also looking for an Esther Elizabeth Ann Bamford who maybe lived with a Williams family on the barges from 1865, given away at birth until 1884 when she got married to William Johnson.
    There were working Tipton, Staffordshire run but ended up in Sandbach Cheshire.
    Thanks so much they are very elusive. I have photos of them but not much else;

  2. #2
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Wairarapa New Zealand


    Welcome to the British-Genealogy forums
    Can you give us some more details about the members of the Johnson family you are looking for? Names, where and when born etc so we can sort them out from the thousands with a very common name.
    I did find one Richard Johnson a barge waterman age 63, born in Marsden Lancashire, in 1901 but he was on his own.
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs

  3. #3


    Golly I'm sorry, you're right I see that my rather forlorn post was not very detailed.

    I'm very interested in Esther Elizabeth Ann Bamford b Tipton, Staffordshire 1864 d 1933 Cheshire. I lose her trail quickly - she goes missing from birth until she gets married. Apparently adopted and living on boats.
    married 1884
    William Johnson b 1861 Sandbach Cheshire, d 1936 Cheshire. He was a boatman as was his father Joseph Johnson (m to Martha Reeves b 1833ish), as was his father another Joseph Johnson ..

  4. #4



    There is this baptism.

    Esther Elizabeth Ann Bamford, 1st Jan 1865, Tipton, St Mark. Mother Elizabeth, Father Samuel.
    No occupation listed for Samuel, abode Toll End.

    Do you know why Esther was raised by another family, did her parents desert her or die perhaps?


  5. #5


    Thanks for your message.
    There is no father named on her birth certificate.
    On her baptism it’s Samuel but his name is barred and on her marriage certificate her father is Henry!
    She was illegitimate and raised according to family law by Williams family.
    On her marriage certificate she calls herself Esther Ann Bamford (it’s actually marked BaNford)
    No one really knows what happened to her mum Elizabeth. That’s the great mystery

  6. #6


    Family rumour again - Elizabeth got pregnant by a dr who left money in chancery for his daughter Esther when she was 21. As she couldn’t read or write I don’t think that’s very likely. She would have had no way of claiming the money. It seems she went on the canals from birth until marriage. I can’t find her on a census until 1901 or anywhere infact.

  7. #7


    So Esther was raised by a family surnamed Williams who were canal barge folk. She names her father as Henry on her marriage certificate, what occupation does she say he had? Who were the witnesses and what was Esther's address?

  8. #8


    I canít find her on a census until 1901
    1891,Sandbach, RG12; Piece: 2848; Folio: 27; Page: 9
    William Johnson 29, master of canal boat, Middlewich
    Ester Johnson 28, Toll End, Staffs
    William Johnson 6, Middlewich
    Joseph Johnson 5, Ettely Heath, Cheshire
    James Johnson 1, Ettely Heath, Cheshire
    Elizabeth Collins 12
    John Jackson 38
    Mary Johnson 88
    Mary Rowbottom 15

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