Great Grandparents


Author - Phil

Background - Five Ruths, a plea for the recyling of family names.

Coppenhall - what the Hollands were up to in the 17th and 18th century

Moving on from Coppenhall - Middlewich, Eaton and Congleton


 Five Ruths, a plea for the recycling of family names.

I have centred this page around the name Ruth. While researching family history it is often helpful that given names are passed down through successive generations. Although Coppenhall was a small community at the end of the 18th century many in the community were called Holland. The fact that there were four Ruth Hollands was very useful in segregating families as the "Ruths" belonged to the same family. Also Ruth was not a common name at that time, probably about as popular as it is today. 

Ruth Holland was the name of my paternal Grandmother. She died in February 1970 two weeks after the birth of her first Great Granddaughter. Her Great Granddaughter was given the second name Ruth. I call Lorna the fifth Ruth.

LornaR to Ruth H Ancestry

Above are five generations connecting Lorna Ruth to Ruth Elizabeth Holland (the fourth Ruth) - there are four generations between the two Ruths. I have called Ruth Elizabeth the fourth Ruth based on her year of birth (1891) when she was the fourth known Holland to be called Ruth.

Below are five generations back from Ruth Elizabeth Holland to William Holland, and four generations again between these two Ruths (the fourth and the first).

Ruth Eliz H to Ruth H 

On to the second Ruth born 1850 - the box chart below has Ruth Holland born 1795 (the first) in the centre at the bottom:

The forth Ruth

This chart is a little more confusing. Ruth (the first) gave birth to a son who was Illegitimate, she called him John (he is Ruth Elizabeth's and Lorna Ruth's direct ancestor and is not shown on this diagram) Ruth then married Ralph Stubbs. One of the five children that Ruth and Ralph had was called Jane Stubbs. Jane married her cousin another John Holland . John and Jane had a daughter that they called Ruth born 1850 (the second Ruth).  

That leaves the final Ruth born 1856 (the third Ruth).

The fifth Ruth

John Holland was born in Stapley in 1817 and his christening of the 8th June 1817 from St Chads Wybunbury Cheshire states: John illegitimate son of Ruth Holland Stapeley. John married Sarah Whittaker in 1845 and named his first daughter born in 1856 Ruth. The third Ruth. 

So one final diagram to show all the Ruth's together. Note that all siblings are hidden (scores of them!)

All Holland Ruths on one tree

John and Sarah already had four sons when Ruth was born including James (1851) my direct ancestor. John had three more children two with Sarah and one with his second wife Hannah Ackerley. 

Return to top of page

Coppenhall - what the Hollands were up to in the 17th and 18th century

Coppenhall is now part of Crewe. Until the railway revolution in the mid 1800's the town of Crewe did not exist. Coppenhall was a small mainly farming community.

For many years the earliest record I had for the Holland branch of the family was a christening record of 8th June 1817 from St Chads Wybunbury Cheshire it states: John illegitimate son of Ruth Holland Stapeley". The same records were checked from 1813 to 1830 there are no other Hollands in the records. It was common at this time to baptise illegitimate children in an adjoining parish. Ruth's family were from Coppenhall where Ruth was christened at St Michaels in 1795.

Ruth was one of the ten children of William and Elizabeth Dutton. Elizabeth was usually called Betty.

Desc of William Holland 1772

The tree above shows Ruth as the second child. We have details of children for five of the siblings John, Ruth, William, James and Thomas. Of the five that did not have children Peter is significant as he left a will, In this will which was proved in 1881  Peter mentions some surviving siblings and their children and also his former wife's illegitimate son:-

Below is an old postcard view of St Chads Wybunbury

st chad wybunbury

It appeared that Peter was a dominant family member appearing as a witness at many weddings, and he seems to have been an important Farmer in the area. Following Peter's death it looks at though the farm began to break up.

Of William and Betty's five boys two continued in farming - Peter and William, James became a publican and later a Mechanical Labourer (probably as a result of the railway arriving) and Thomas became a Blacksmith in nearby Tetton. John was a labourer when his son, also called John, married Jane Stubbs (his cousin) in 1849.

 Return to top of page

Moving on from Coppenhall - Middlewich, Eaton and Congleton

John Holland (born 1829) the son of Ruth Holland was living in Newton (Middlewich) at the time of his first marriage to Sarah Whittaker on 12th October 1845. No father was given on his marriage certificate. However for his second marriage to Hannah Ackerley on 5th August 1866 John gives a fathers name - Joseph a Labourer. With his first wife John had eight children the fifth was James who is our direct ancestor. He had one daughter with his second wife.

On the 1851 census John was at St Anns, Newton, Cheshire. He was head of the house age 35 occupation field has Boatman with a line through it and Ag Lab written alongside, place of birth Nantwich Cheshire. Also in the same house wife Sarah 30, sons Thomas 4 and William 2, all born in Newton.

On the 1871 census John was also at Newton. He was the head aged 56 occupation Sawyer place of birth Stapeley (village close to Nantwich) which is the addresss reported by his mother Ruth when John was baptised. His wife in now Hannah aged 46 born in Middlewich. Also in the same house were John Baker a stepson age 19 a pupil teacher and Charles Baker a stepson age 15, both born in Middlewich. Also from his first marriage in the house are Elizabeth Holland age 8 born in Astbury and Sarah Holland age 4 born in Middlewich.

On the 1881 census Dwelling: St Anns Rd Census Place: Newton In Northwich, Cheshire, England
John HOLLAND M 67 M born Stapley, Cheshire, England Rel: Head Occ: Farm Labourer
Hannah HOLLAND M 57 F Middlewich, Cheshire, England Rel: Wife
Sarah A. HOLLAND 14 F Newton, Cheshire, England Rel: Daur Occ: Tin Box Maker Milk Factory
Charles BAKER U 22 M Newton, Cheshire, England Rel: Boarder Occ: Gardener
Hannah BAKER 23 F Newton, Cheshire, England Rel: Boarder Occ: Fustian Cutter

arthur holland born 1877

John's forth child James had his birth registered by his mother Margaret (Bowers) on 26 Dec 1882. Place of birth was given as Eaton and fathers occupation Farm Labourer. In 1911 James was living in Brereton Sandbach a Waggoner and servant at the the home of William Fithon a Farmer. At the same address was James's younger brother William also a servant employed as a cowman. Information from Reg Nadin who married James's niece Glenice Holland - James lived in Smallwood and was a county council employee. Reg has carried out considerable research on the Holland family.

Reg has also provided information about Arthur Holland who's photograph is on the left. Reg says that Arthur emigrated to Canada to take up one of the land grants on the mid west Prairie, probably 1910ish. He established a homestead but his wife Sally would not join him when the time came. He returned to uk date unknown. He also had severe frostbite while in Canada. His wife Sally was probably christened Sarah.
Arthur later became was a lay preacher probably in the Sale area where he went to live when he came back from Canada.

George Holland

George Holland on the left - photograph taken in 1940.

James's elder brother George was an interesting character who never married. His birth was registered by his mother Margaret on 31 May 1886. Place of birth was given as Eaton Bank. Father James's occupation was Farm labourer. He worked for many years as a farm labourer at Gallimore's farm Eaton. George also helped father James grave digging at St Johns Buglawton, but James sacked him when George broke through a coffin lid when digging.

I recall George having very big hands, he was always pushing a wheelbarrow around. Reg Nadin also told me of when Georges brother Jack was found dead in bed by their sister Ruth. George and Jack lived in the same house, George had left for work and Ruth who lived across the road called in on Jack (see newspaper report) to find him dead. I'm not sure who but someone was asked to go to Eaton to tell George, on finding George working in the middle of a field they passed on the bad news to which George replied "oh" and then he carried on working.  

Ruth Holland with Henry Walton

On the right is Ruth Holland with Henry Walton.

t looks as though this photo was taken before the one above and could be 1930s, it is probably when they moved to Kingsley Road, need to check when that was.

Ruth's birth was registered by her mother Margaret on 3 Sep 1891. Place of birth was Eaton and fathers occupation Farm Labourer. Ruth was a shirt maker for many years. She married Henry Walton on 16th October 1915 at St John's Buglawton.

Information from Reg Nadin : Jack (who was Ruth's elder brother, and had taken on the role of head of family when father James died did not approve of Ruth associating with a miner (Henry Walton). So Ruth left the family home in Queen Street to live in Brook Street. However, when Ruth married Henry at St John's Buglawton Ruth's address was given as Buglawton, witness's at the marriage were Tom Holland and Elsie Ball.

When living in Queen Street Ruth was the worker in the family for a time when Henry was unable to find work in the 1930s. Also in Queen Street in different houses lived here brothers Jack and George and her mother in law Sarah Walton (Tripp).

Back to top of page


So we are nearly up to the present.

From Congleton Chronicle 6 March 1970 the transcribed obituary of Ruth Elizabeth Holland

Mrs R.E. Walton

Although she had not enjoyed good health for two years the death which occurred last Thursday of Mrs Ruth Elizabeth Walton aged 78 of 14 Buxton Old Road Buglawton came as a great shock to her many friends.

Mrs Walton was born in Eaton and moved to Congleton as a child with her family. For 30 years she was employed at Hallet's shirt factory. In 1916 she married her Smallwood husband they went to live in Brook Street and after moved to Queen Street Buglawton they finally settled for 32 years in Kingsley Road. In December 1969 they moved to Buxton Old-road.

Mrs Walton leaves a widower, a son, a daughter, three grand children and two great grand children.

The funeral was on Saturday at St John's Church, Buglawton and cremation followed at Macclesfield. The Vicar of Buglawton ( the Rev. E. B. Charnock) officiated.

Mourners were Mr H Walton (widower) Mr & Mrs H. Walton(son and daughter-in-law), Mr & Mrs H Levitt (daughter & son-in-law), Mr & Mrs T Holland (brother & sister-in-law), Mr & Mrs D Walton, Mr R Walton also rep Mrs R Walton Mr P Walton (grandson) Mrs F Holland(sister-in-law) Mr & Mrs WH Walton, Mr S Holland Mr J Holland (niece & nephews) Mr W Walton Mr G Walton Mr K Mahon

Those who met at the church inc Mrs S Fryer, Mr & Mrs C Campbell,

Bearers were Messrs D Walton R Walton P Walton (grandsons) and J Holland (nephew)

Floral tributes received were to my dear wife from your loving husband all my love Harry Harold Ada and Philip Nancy & Harry; Flo; David Jenny & Lorna; Raymond Megan & Paul; Dorothy Bert and Jill; Mrs D Hancock and little David; Mary Johnson and family

Donations to Buglawton Church were received from Mr & Mrs T Holland and John; Bill and George Walton and Kevin; Stanley, Edith, Elaine and Judith, Glenis Reg and family Mrs Boston Doris and Karl.



The photograph here is of the marriage of Tom Hollands daughter Margaret to a GI before traveling back to the United States with her new husband. The photograph was given to me by tom's daughter Glenice who married Reg Nadin. Glenice is next to the groom.

America has been mentioned previously and family members are now spread across the world. Although there are still some in South Cheshire others are spread across the world. I'm sure that Ruth the first would have been very happy to know that her little boy John would have so many descendants.