The World of the Emmet Family in the 1700’s and 1800’s Around Bacup

In my last Blog, I wrote about the DNA results for my dad’s cousin Maury and some of our shared roots in the area of Bacup, Lancashire, England. That Blog focused more on the Howorth Line in Bacup. I would like to look at the Emmet Line in this Blog.

The Emmet Family

The information I have on the Emmet family goes back to the 1700’s. I have a web page on this family that I last updated in 2004. Here is a photo that a fellow researcher found. She believes this to be Ann Emmet (wife of Greenwood Hartrley) born 1829:


I tried to re-scan this, but it is difficult to scan it as the photo is within a leather frame. I’ll start with Ann’s parent and see where I can go from there.

Isaac Emmet born about 1798 and Esther Howorth

I’ll be bouncing around a bit. It would make more sense to start with the oldest couple and go down toward the present. However, with genealogy, there is a principal that you need to start with what you know which would be the more recent.

Here is the 1841 Census with Isaac and his family:


Here the writer spells Emmet as Emmett. They are in the Parish of Rochdale, the Township of Spotland, the area of Whitworth and Brandwood and the specific place they lived was called Stubby Lee.


Stubbylee is to the South of Bacup. Isaac was from Hey head which I assume is near Hey. Right before she married, Esther was living near Thorn on the map. It looks like the family had six children in 1841 and a 54 year old Mary Emmett was living with them. She could have been Isaac’s sister or other relative. From what I can tell Isaac and James Emmett were farm laborers. Isaac’s two oldest daughters were cotton weavers. Cotton weaving would have been a fairly new industry at the time.

Isaac and Esther in 1851

The 1851 Census was an improvement over 1841 as it gave more information:

Here Isaac and Esther were living at “Stubelee’ House. Perhaps the owners were not present. The head of the house was listed as a House Maid. Isaac was a servant at this house or hall:

Visions of Downton Abbey come to mind – perhaps on a smaller scale. Here is a photo of Stubby Lee where Isaac and Esther lived in 1851.

I would assume that Isaac would have been of good character and dependable to work at such a place. I also assume that this would have been a respectable job for Isaac – a cut above farm laborer or factory worker.

Here are the birthplaces of the people living in this house in 1851:

I assume that the first person was the head maid. She is listed as a widowed house maid. She was from Monmouthshire. This is a County in SE Wales. The next person is Julia Fraser. She is listed as the unmarried daughter of the head maid Ann Corfeld. She was born in the East Indies. Isaac was the man servant of the house again enumerated as Emmett with two tees. His birthplace is difficult to read. At first I thought is was Sou Clough, but now I’m not so sure. Esther was born at Nothill. This was discussed in my previous Blog. Esther is shown with no occupation, so apparently she was allowed to live at the house. From my understanding, this would have been an unusual arrangement. Isaac is listed as a resident and Esther as a lodger. Perhaps she payed to stay there. Below Esther is Mary Taterstall. She, like Isaac, is listed as a resident and the married wife of a Coach manufacturer. Mary was born in Greennook [hepton?]. The person in living at Lumb Hall next to Subby Lee was Jane Taterstall. She was a married dressmaker living on her own.

This picture raises a few questions. Where was Souclough and where were the Emmet children. Who took care of them? Were they considered to be old enough to be on their own?

Where is Souclough?

I Googled Souclough and got exactly one return. How often does that happen?

This is a burial record. It identifies Sou Clough as being in the area of Tunstead. That got me in the right area of Bacup. This place is actually called Sow Clough on this map:

This map represents where Isaac Emmet was in 1851 and 52 years earlier when he was born. So a Sow Clough boy married into a family from Hogshead (see previous Blog).

A look down present Sow Clough Road on Google Maps shows that it has newer residential homes on it. I did find one older looking house on Sow Clough Road reminiscent of an earlier day:

A clough is a deep ravine, so that would be a clough behind the house.

The Emmet Kids in 1851

I would like to find the children of Isaac and Esther Emmet in the 1851 Census to see what they were up to. According to Ann’s marriage record, she was living in Stubby Lee right before December 18th, 1851 when she got married. That means I need to check around the area of Stubby Lee Hall for Ann. I found her on the next page of the Census:

I have a feeling that a Hartley researcher friend found this before for me. So the children were living close to the parents. I count six households in Stubby Lee other than the Stubby Lee Hall.  Sister Mary at age 26 was holding things together for her younger siblings. The youngest Isaac was a Tea Boy. I was told by my friend that a tea boy would go around the factory giving out tea to the workers until he was old enough to do factory work. So he was a working boy at age 9.  He would have been born after the 1841 Census. This was definitely a working household with all five siblings between the ages of 9 and 26 working. Here the birthplaces were not listed as precisely as they were for Stubby Lee Hall. Only the parish name was given.

Isaac Emmet’s Baptismal Record

Here is the old St. John the Evangelist Church in Bacup where Isaac Emmet was baptized in 1798:

Isaac’s Parents: Edmund Emmet and Sarah

We know that Edmund Emmet and his wife Sarah were living at Sow Clough in 1798 when their son Isaac was born. What else do we know about this couple?

George Emmet, born 1796

The first child of Edmund and Sarah Emmet that I have a record of was George, baptized July 23rd, 1796:

The family was still clearly living at Sowclough. This baptism took place at St. Nicholas at Newchurch.

Newchurch was the next Town to the West of Sow Clough.

I took a further look at the Newchurch records and found this:

First, there were two Edmund Emmets. One was married to Sarah and one was married to Mary. Mary died in 1801. This could make it difficult to find the birth of Edmund. I assume that our Edmund was younger than the one married to Mary. It looks like our Emmet Family was larger than I knew.

When DId Edmund Die?

I found two records for the death of Edmund Emmet. They correspond to the two Edmund’s above.

The first Edmund was born about 1727. Our Edmund would have been born about 1757. So they may have been father and son. That is sad that Edmund ended up at the workhouse. My understanding was that the workhouse was intentionally made to be a pretty miserable place to make sure people didn’t want to go there.

Edmund’s Death Seems to Lead to His Birth

Sounds odd, I know.

It looks like this other Edmund could very well have been the father of our Edmund. I had said that based on Edmund’s age at death he should have been born about 1757. That is not far off from 1759 when this Edmund was born.

Here is Goodshaw where Edmund was born. I would guess on a straight line it would be about five miles from Goodshaw to Bacup.

Two Additions to the Hartley Family Tree

This couple of Edmund Emmet and Mary Omerod are now some of the furthest back ancestors of the Hartley family.

Where is Cloughbottom?

Cloughbottom is associated with the older Edmund Emmet. I found this photo online:

Clough Bottom appears to be associated with Waterfoot.

On the map, it looks like Waterroot, but I think that it is the same place. Well, that should wrap it up for now. I’m not sure I got all my names and places right, but I’m sure I got many of them right.

Summary and Conclusions

  • I was able to take a little look into the life of Isaac Emmet – farm laborer turned servant.
  • I also looked at Isaac’s father and grandfather and the places that they lived.
  • Sadly, Edmund Jr. appears to have ended up in a poor house. This was usually a last chance place to go.
  • Edmund Sr. lived North of Rawtenstall near Goodshaw  where Edmund Jr was born. At a later time he moved to Clough Bottom which apparently later became a reservoir.
  • I was able to find the last name of the wife of Edmund Emmet Sr, but not the last name of the wife of Edmund Emmet Jr.

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