Nancy Beaumont Samuel Fletcher, engineer
Daughter of Abraham Beaumont Son of James Fletcher
Born on 19 Mar 1819 At Belle Royd
Baptized 27 May 1819 Penistone Parish Baptized 03 Jan 1819 At St. Michael’s Church
Buried 21 Dec 1891 In Pottsville, PA Buried 17 Feb 1888 In Pottsville, PA
Married 05 August 1844
At St. Michael’s and All Angels
Nancy was the youngest child Abraham Beaumont and his wife Ann Hobson, born at Belle Royd on 19 March 1819 when Ann was about 45 years old. Nancy was baptized at the Penistone Parish Church on 27 May 1819, together with John Armitage, the illegitimate child of her sister Martha. When the parish clerk recorded the event, he named Nancy’s parents as “Abraham Beaumont of Belle Royd, a weaver, & Nancy Hobson [author’s italics]....” The name Nancy was used interchangeably with Ann, and it appeared that from this time onwards Abraham’s wife went by that name.
Young Nancy moved with her family to Dukinfield where she was listed with them on the 1841 census, her occupation given as a cotton spinner.
On 05 August 1844 when she was about 25 years old, Nancy may have married Samuel Fletcher at St. Michael’s and All Angels Parish Church in Ashton under Lyne. Their marriage registration identified Nancy as the spinster daughter, of full age, of Abraham Beaumont, and stated that her residence at the time of marriage was Dukinfield. Samuel Fletcher was described as a collier of full age, the bachelor son of James Fletcher, a weaver of Smallshaw. Samuel had been baptized on 03 January 1819 at St. Michael’s Church at Ashton-under-Lyne, and the baptism record identified his parents as James and Hannah Fletcher.
In 1851, Samuel Fletcher and Nancy were listed on the census, living with his parents at Smallshaw Green in the Village of Hurst, 2 miles north of Dukinfield. They’d evidently not had any children, or at least none that lived. The census-taker had listed everyone’s place of birth as Ashton-under-Lyne, which raises the possibility that Nancy was not the daughter of Abraham Beaumont, formerly of Thurlstone. The district was described on the census as:
All that part of the Parish of Ashton-under-Lyne which comprises part of the Ecclesiastical District of St. John’s Church [illegible...looks like “west”] including Lilley Lanes, Fir Trees, the Hollows, Cock Bank, all houses if any at Lockingates which are on the North East of the road leading from the Hollows towards Lower Fold and Alt Hill, the houses at Smallshaw Green occupied by Fletcher and Ogden, Berwick Fold, Timperley, Holebottom, Broad Oak, Cocks’oth’Oak, Dog Dungeon, Greenhurt, Knott Hill, the houses occupied by William Radcliffe, Newton, and another, Waterworks, and such part of Hazlehurst as is on the west and north west....[County of South Lancashire]
1851 Hurst Census, taken on 31 Mar
Village of Hurst, at Smallshaw Green
Folio 313, page 5, #15 on schedule
James Fletcher H 52 laborer Ashton-under-Lyne
Hannah Fletcher W 52 at home Ashton-under-Lyne
Samuel Fletcher MS 32 engineer Ashton-under-Lyne
Nancy Fletcher DIL 32 power Loom weaver Ashton-under-Lyne
Charles Fletcher UMS 22 coal Miner Ashton-under-Lyne
Martha Fletcher UMD 20 power loom weaver Ashton-under-Lyne
Edwin Fletcher S 17 coal miner Ashton-under-Lyne
Hannah Fletcher D 15 power loom weaver Ashton-under-Lyne
Betty Fletcher D 13 power loom weaver Ashton-under-Lyne
Mary Thompson MD 31 power loom weaver Ashton-under-Lyne
William Thompson Nphw 12 “errand boy” Ashton-under-Lyne
Samuel Thompson Nphw 7 at home Ashton-under-Lyne
Mary Jane Thompson Niece 4 at home Ashton-under-Lyne
Nancy and Samuel Fletcher immigrated to the US sometime between this 1851 census and late 1855 when Samuel applied for US citizenship on 10 December. They were in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, at the time he petitioned the Court of Common Pleas at Pottsville to grant him citizenship. The application said:
Be it remembered, that at a Court of Common Pleas, held at Pottsville, in and for the County of Schuylkill, the tenth day of December in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred andfifty-five, personally appeared Samuel Fletcher, before the said Court, who upon his solemn Oath did depose and say that he is a native of England, now residing in the County of Schuylkill, aged thirty-seven, or thereabouts, and that it is his BONA FIDE intention to become a Citizen of the United States, and to renounce forever all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign Prince, Potentate, State and Sovereignty whatsoever, and particularly to the Queen Victoria of Great Britain of whom he was before a subject.
[Signed] Samuel Fletcher
Sworn and subscribed in open Court, the tenth day of December A.D., 1855.
[Witnesses] Saml Huntzinger [illegible]
Samuel’s application for citizenship was admitted two years later on 12 December 1857, witnessed by E. A. Holt. Wives at that time took citizenship by virtue of their marriage, so it may be assumed that Nancy was also a US citizen from this time forward.
When the next US census was taken in 1860, Samuel and Nancy were listed in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, living in Norwegian Township in or near Pottsville.
1860 Pennsylvania Census
Norwegian Township, Schuylkill County
Film # 653 1179, page 570
Page 139, Enumerated the 23rd of June 1860 Line 1 1049-951
Sam’l Fletcher 45 M Engineer England
Anne 41 F - England
By 1870, Samuel and Nancy lived in North Manheim Township, which butts up against the south border of Norwegian Township. Most likely they had moved to Mount Carbon, a small community that extends southward from Pottsville. It is odd that the census-taker checked the box to indicate that Samuel could not write, because he had appeared to sign his citizenship application rather than make an “X” mark, as had others who could not write.
1870 Pennsylvania Census
North Manheim Township, Schuylkill County
Film # 1450 page 747
Page 60, Post Office: Palo Alto 319th Dist. 19th of August 1870 Line 20 389-396
Fletcher, Samuel 51 M W Stationary Engineer England X Can not write X Male citizen of the US over 21 years of age and upward
Fletcher, Nancy 51 F W Keeping House England X Cannot write
Boyd’s Directory of Pottsville, 1873-74 edition, listed Samuel as an engineer residing in Mt. Carbon. His name was missing from the 1875-76 edition; but the 1877-78 and 1879-80 directories stated that he was a laborer of 64 Main [Street] in Mt. Carbon.
The 1880 census located Samuel and Nancy in Mt. Carbon as follows:
1880 Pennsylvania Census
Mt Carbon, Schuylkill County, Film # T9-1192 page 122
Supervisor’s District #3, Enumeration #208 Enumerated on the 8th of June 1880 Line 20
Fletcher, Samuel W M 62 Married Engineer England
Nancy W F 61 Married Keeping House England
Both have English father and mother.
Boyd’s Directory of Pottsville for 1883-1884, as well as 1885-1886, listed Samuel at 64 Hamilton in Mt. Carbon. Current-day maps do not indicate that Hamilton Street is in Mt. Carbon; but since Samuel’s house number was the same when he was listed on both Main as well as Hamilton Streets, it is possible that the same street was renamed. Sometime within the next two years Samuel and Nancy moved back to Pottsville as further records suggest.
Samuel died on 15 February 1888 and his name is recorded in the Book of Interrements for Charles Baber Cemetery in Pottsville, which gives his name as Samuel B Fletcher. The notation states that he died of rheumatism at age 80 and that he was buried on 17 February in plot #548. The recording clerk obviously erred in stating Samuel’s age, for he would have been closer to 70 years. Indeed, the records of Trinity Episcopal Church from which he was buried give his age as 70 years. The church record also states that he resided at Fishback, which is a district at the eastern edge of Pottsville.
The February 16, 1888 edition of the Pottsville Daily Republic printed a short notice under the heading Funeral of Samuel Fletcher:
The funeral of Samuel Fletcher, who died yesterday, will take place Friday afternoon at 1:30 o’clock. Deceased was a machinist by trade and formerly in the employ of Benjamin Haywood at the Palo Alto rolling mill as an engineer. He was 70 years of age and commanded the respect of all who knew him.
The Palo Alto rolling mill was undoubtedly the same company listed in Boyd’s Directory 1873-74 as Palo Alto Iron Works, operated by Benjamin Haywood, with a business office at the corner of Market and 2nd Streets. The company manufactured cast iron railroad parts and fixtures, employing machinists and stationery engineers like Samuel.
Boyd’s Directory of 1889-90 listed Nancy at 444 Peacock Street, widow of Samuel B Fletcher. Peacock Street is located in Fishback at the east edge of Pottsville.
It is most unfortunate that the 1890 US census was destroyed in the San Francisco fire. In some cases, however, other records exist – and such is the case for Schuylkill County. A Directory of the Eleventh Census of the Population of Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, listed Nancy in the North Ward of Pottsville at 444 Peacock Street.
She was listed again in the 1891-92 edition of Boyd’s Directory, still on Peacock Street. As 1891 drew to a close Nancy was taken ill with a virus, and sometime during the night of December 18-19 she passed away. The death records of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church state that she died on 19 December 1891 of old age.
The Saturday, December 19, edition of the Pottsville Republic ran a brief announcement on the front page under Deaths and Funerals. It stated, “Mrs. Nancy Fletcher, of Fishbach, died yesterday, aged 72 years. She was attacked by the grippe on Monday.”
Nancy was buried on 21 December 1891 at Charles Baber Cemetery alongside Samuel in plot #548. Her age on the burial index, however, was incorrectly indicated as 76 years when it should have been 72 years.
No grave marker was ever erected over Samuel and Nancy’s grave on the hillside near the cemetery chapel where they lie today.
Meanwhile, back in England, the parents of Samuel Fletcher were listed on the 1861 Hurst census living in the home of their daughter Elizabeth.
1861 Hurst Census, taken on 08 Apr
At #90 Hope Street, Higher Hurst Page 27, folio 116, #128 on schedule
William Marsden H 26 overlooker/power looms LAN Ashton
Elizabeth Marsden W 23 power loom weaver cotton LAN Ashton
John W. Marsden S 4 scholar LAN Ashton
James Fletcher M Lgr 62 power loom weaver cotton LAN Ashton
Hannah Fletcher M Lgr 63 formerly cotton weaver LAN Ashton
The elderly James Fletcher was still alive when the next census was taken in 1871.
He was living with another daughter, Martha, in Ashton Town.
1871 Ashton Census, taken on 03 Apr
At #9 Camp Street, Folio 38, page 24, #128 on schedule
John W. Mellor H 43 millwright Ashton u/L
Martha Mellor W 40 Ashton u/L
David W. Mellor UMS 19 railway clerk Ashton u/L
Louisa Mellor D 17 dressmaker Ashton u/L
Martha Mellor D 15 PL calico weaver Ashton u/L
Caspar Mellor S 12 scholar Manchester
John W. Mellor S 4 Sussex, Neth Ham [?]
James Fletcher W FIL 72 formerly silk weaver Ashton u/L
The 1881 Lancashire census index listed several individuals who were probably brothers of Samuel Fletcher. Charles Fletcher, 53 years, married, living in Ashton at the Union Workhouse, an engine tenter, born in Ashton-under-Lyne; and Edwin Fletcher, 48 years, married living in Oldham, an engineer, born in Ashton-under-Lyne. Their father James Fletcher, was also listed, an 82-year-old widower, living in Ashton, unemployed, born in Ashton-under-Lyne.
There is another individual listed in the records who may have been Abraham’s daughter Nancy. A woman identified as Ann Beaumont, daughter of Abraham Beaumont, a weaver, married William Whitehead, a spinner, on 12 February 1848 at the parish church of Ashton-under-Lyne. The place of residence at time of marriage was given as Hazelhurst. Hazelhurst is just over a mile east of Smallshaw Green. Research is ongoing to locate William Whitehead and Ann on the 1851 census to determine her place of birth.
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