The Griffiths story starts with Bill’s 4x great grandfather Job Griffiths who in the 1841 census lives in Chorlton upon Medlock, a suburb of Manchester close to the city centre, now largely part of the campus of the University. The address is Tebbutt’s Court, Booth Street which is just off what is now Oxford Road. His occupation is shown as ‘Gardener’ and at the same address are his son Enoch Griffiths and two female servants called Ann Green and Ann Griffiths. We also learn that Job wasn’t born in the county of Lancashire. Unfortunately the 1851 census for the area was water damaged and is largely unreadable so depriving us of a valuable source of information. He died before the 1861 census.
Internet sourced family trees link Job Griffiths to the town of Oswestry in Shropshire and a marriage to a Sarah Powell in the town in 1811. They also credit the couple with six children in total. Jane b.1811 in Treflach near Oswestry, John b.1813 in Treflach near Oswestry, the remaining children born in Manchester are Jemima b.1815, Mary b.1818, Enoch b.1824 and Kezzia b.1829. If this is correct it would mean the family made the move to Manchester around the year 1814. Jane Griffiths married Joseph Leatherbarrow in 1828. Jemima Griffiths married Thomas Craven in 1835 but died of ‘Consumption’ (Tuberculosis) in 1836. Kezzia Griffiths died of ‘Fever in the Brain’ in 1833 aged 4.
Other records for Job Griffiths suggest he may have lived in Salford and Hulme before living in Chorlton. Rate books of the time show him renting houses in Jenkinson St. , Ormond St. and Booth St. between 1825 and 1858, all in a small area near ‘The Grapes’ public house. There are also two entries in local trade directories, the first from 1841 gives just his name and an address of 12 Tebbutts Court, Chorlton, but the second from 1850 describes him as a ‘Well Sinker’ of 6 Tebbutt’s Row, Jenkinson St. Chorlton.
Job Griffiths died from ‘Dropsy (Edema - a build up of body fluid) and Consumption’ and was buried in a communal grave in Chorlton on 3rd July 1858 aged 72. There is a possible cemetery record for his wife Sarah Griffiths (nee Powell) from 1837, who also died from ‘consumption’ aged 52, which would explain her absence from the 1841 census and the 2 servants.
Bills 3x great grandfather Enoch Griffiths 20, a ‘Gardener’ married Elizabeth Oates 26 in Manchester in 1844. Elizabeth Oates was born in Hensall Yorkshire in 1818 and baptised at Kellington. In the 1841 census she’s living in nearby Whitley with her mother Esther (nee Atkinson) and her mother’s second husband John Richardson an Agricultural Labourer, her father Thomas Oates (also a labourer) having died in 1829. On the marriage record she’s living in Cornbrook, Hulme next door to Chorlton. Unfortunately the marriage only lasted 3 years as Enoch Griffiths died of ‘Decline’ (a gradual sinking and wasting away of the physical faculties) in Chorlton and was buried on 17th January 1847 aged 24. The marriage produced two children Edwin Arthur Griffiths b.1845 in Chorlton and Sarah Griffiths b.1847 in Wakefield.
There is a crossed out Wakefield baptism record for an Edwin Griffiths born in Manchester from 1845 which perhaps indicates that they initially made the move over the Pennines just after Edwin’s birth and then returned to Manchester when Enoch became ill.
In the 1851 census Bill’s now widowed 3x great grandmother Elizabeth Griffiths (nee Oates) 33, a ‘Washerwoman’ , is living in Thornes Wakefield with son Edwin Arthur Griffiths 6 and daughter Sarah Griffiths 4. Next door to the Griffiths live Edward Cannon a ‘Gardener‘, his wife Harriet and their 6 children. Edward Cannon was born in the village of Dent near Kendal, Cumbria.
In December 1854 Elizabeth Griffiths (nee Oates) 36 marries now widower (his wife died 6 months earlier) Edward Cannon 40, at St. John’s church in Wakefield. The marriage doesn’t seem to have succeeded as by the 1861 census they are living at separate addresses and remained so in subsequent censuses.
In the 1861 census Elizabeth Griffiths (now Cannon) 43 lives on Ossett Road, Wakefield, occupation ‘Laundress’ with son Edwin Arthur Griffiths 15 and daughter Sarah Griffiths 14 both employed as ‘Worsted Factory Hands‘. Husband Edward Cannon, an ‘Agricultural Labourer’, lives in Thornes Village with 4 of his sons from his previous marriage.
In 1865 Sarah Griffiths dies aged 18 and is buried on the 22nd of March at St. Paul’s Church, Alverthorpe.
In the 1871 census Elizabeth Griffiths (now Cannon) 53 lives alone on Ossett Road, Wakefield, (near to the Victoria Hotel), occupation ‘Laundress‘. Husband Edward Cannon 57, a ‘Captain of a Vessel’, lives in Thornes Common with a housekeeper and 2 of his sons.
In the 1881 census Elizabeth Griffiths (now Cannon) 63 lives alone on Ossett Road, Wakefield, occupation ‘Laundress‘. Husband Edward Cannon a ‘Labourer in a Soap Works’ lives alone at Thornes Common.
In the 1891 census Elizabeth Griffiths (now Cannon) 72 now widowed (second husband Edward Cannon died in 1890), lives with another widow at no. 8 Marsland’s Almshouses, Primrose Hill, Wakefield, she has no occupation.
In the 1901 census Elizabeth Griffiths (now Cannon) 82 lives alone at no. 8 Paddock Almshouses, Primrose Hill, Wakefield, ‘on charity‘. She died in the Wakefield Workhouse Infirmary in 1906 aged 87 and is buried at Sugar Lane cemetery.