The name is regularly changed during the 18th and 19th Century. Most common is Bithel(l) and Bethel(l).

The earliest confirmed record is Jon Bethell born in 1730 the son of Johannis. John married Sarah Nixon on 11th June 1751.

On our Bithel tree there are further ancestors shown going back to John Bithel 1635, further work is required to confirm these ancestral connections.

We have five recorded children for Jon and Sarah, christenings were at Wolstanton which is where they married.

st johns keele

st margaret wolstanton

The youngest recorded child of Jon and Sarah was also called Jon, he was christened at Wolstanton in 1764 and later married Mary Jonson at Wolstanton on 26th July 1786. In 1790 they had a son Elijah who married Jane Viggars at Wolstanton on 11th  December 1811.
Elijah and Jane had a son Elija who married Hannah Hollins at St John the Baptist Church Keele on 24th December 1838. At this time the Bethell's were Colliers.

The church on the left above is John the Baptist at Keele while the one on the left is St Margaret's Wolstanton.

Julia Bethell the daughter of Elija Bethel and Hannah Hollins moved to Congleton, either to go into service or seeking work in the mills there. She married James Knapper in St Stephens Church Congleton on 26th March 1871. Julia's father Elijah was a Collier resident in Scot hay when he married. His father also Elijah was also a collier.

Collieries and Workhouses  - Julia's mother and grandmother in the workhouse:

In 1841 Elija Bethel is living at Knutton Heath with his wife Hannah and one year old daughter Mary.
Elija had married Hannah Hollins and the marriage certificate confirmed that Hannah was living at Scot hay when she married, her father James was also a Collier. In the 1881 census Hannah Hollins is 62 living at Bethel Place Silverdale as the head with son George who is unmarried and a 35 year old Collier. By 1891 Hannah Hollins is 72 and an inmate at Wolstanton and Burslem Union Workhouse, she died in 1899. Hannah Hollin's mother was called Hannah Burgess who was in the workhouse in 1861 and 1871 where she died in 1872.

In his book Clayhanger, Arnold Bennett described the Victorian workhouse which was at Chell as the Bastille....

"The Bastille was on the top of a hill about a couple of miles long, and the journey thither was much lengthened by the desire of the family to avoid the main road.wolstanton and burslem union workhouse They were all intensely ashamed; Darius was ashamed to tears, and did not know why; even his little sister wept and had to be carried, not because she was shoeless and had had nothing to eat, but because she was going to the Ba-ba-bastille; she had no notion what the place was. It proved to be the largest building that Darius had ever seen; and indeed it was the largest in the district; they stood against its steep sides like flies against a kennel. Then there was rattling of key-bunches, and the rasping voices of sour officials, who did not inquire if they would like a meal after their stroll. And they were put into a cellar and stripped and washed and dressed in other people's clothes, and then separated, amid tears. And Darius was pitched into a large crowd of other boys, all clothed like himself. He now understood the reason for shame; it was because he could have no distinctive clothes of his own, because he had somehow lost his identity. All the boys had a sullen, furtive glance, and when they spoke it was in whispers."

The picture above is A print of Chell Workhouse, circa 1839.picture: © Exploring the Potteries