Patience, exhausting searches and a random post….

and I finally have found the name of my 3rd great grandmother’s father!

I have limited information on Jane Brierly.

  • She was born abt 1829 in Rochdale, Lancashire, England.
  • I knew she married Samuel Schofield in 1859 from the Lancashire BMD (Birth, Marriage, Death) index, but had no specific date.
  • There are four known children to this marriage, Ada 1861, my 2nd great grandmother, John 1865, Abner 1868 and James 1871.
  • Samuel died in 1891, what happened?
  • At least two of her sons also came to the US, John to New Jersey and Abner to Connecticut. Not sure about James yet.
  • I have one photo of her.

Not much to go on, but more than I have had with other lines.

The problem is that the surnames and even worse the given names are very popular in that part of England. It is like looking for a Smith, Jones or Brown here. I became frustrated and decided to take a break from this line.

Then last week I posted her photo and information on a Facebook page for English genealogy.


Almost immediately I received a response. Seems that had an actual image of her marriage record and a kind soul sent me the link. Stunned as I looked at this document, for I had searched her name every way I could imagine for so long and then here it is. By backing away I missed this document going on line!


According to this document, they were married on 6 Aug 1859 in the Parish Church. Jane’s father was Benjamin Brierly and his occupation is listed as “manager”. Her husband lived on Halifax Rd in Oldham and she lived on Christ St in Oldham. I love seeing their signatures on this document, hers is an “X” which makes me sad to think that she was not literate. He was 32 and she 28, noted as Bachelor and Spinster so this is the first marriage for both.

In looking at the census records for Benjamin, I find one family that could be Jane’s. Bottom right corner are Benjamin and his wife Betty with several children, one of whom is a Jane of the right age.


No other Ben/Benjamin could be found with a daughter Jane even close to her age. She is listed as a cotton weaver, as she is listed on her marriage record. He is listed as a spinner, possible he becomes a manager. Is this the right family? Do not know, must do a lot more research, but at least now that I have a name of her father, occupation and her address in 1859, I can begin work again on this line and discover more about our English family line.

Lesson learned: going back to my slip of paper hanging on my computer monitor that has my “most wanted” list for ancestors and will endeavor to spend at least one night a week searching for them and crossing off the list of sources I search until I get to the bottom and start all over again.

Ada Schofield Schofield, my 2nd great grandmother, her husband James Schofield and their infant, Ellen Ada Schofield



About honoredgenerations

Curious by nature, passionate about family and history, I find a special calling to honor our previous generations by finding and telling their stories. Each generation leaves an impression on who we are and these lives, these unique individuals deserve to be remembered "generation unto generation".
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