Recently I've been trying to trace what happened to the siblings of John Ward. While I don't have any great interest in extending the family tree sideways, I often find that information about siblings can be helpful in understanding the life of the person I'm focusing on.
Of Richard and Mary Ward’s nine children, four (William, Frances, Mary and Margaret) died in infancy, and were buried in Walton le Dale. The only remaining daughter, Ann (born about 1833) remained in and around Walton le Dale all of her life and in 1860 she married Thomas Gardner. As I've mentioned before, it seems likely that Thomas Gardner was the younger brother of Elizabeth (Betsy) Gardner who became Richard Ward’s second wife after the death of Mary. When the 1911 census was taken, Ann was still living in Walton le Dale, aged 78, in the home of her son Richard and daughter Margaret.
John Ward’s oldest brother, Thomas (born about 1832) was a joiner’s apprentice when he was 18, but later he worked as a railway guard in Salford. In 1857 at about the age of 25, he married Sarah Ann Surr, a 17 year old girl from Manchester. They were married at the cathedral in Manchester. They had three children, Fanny, Mary Ann (both born in Manchester) and Andrew, born in Walton le Dale. In 1861 they were living in Preston, but their stay in Preston may have been brief, as Sarah is recorded as having died in Salford at the age of 25 in April 1863.
In January 1865 Thomas remarried, to Lucy Mansley, nee Sharples, a widow. Perhaps they had known each other growing up, as Lucy was also born in Walton le Dale. Her father, Johnson Sharples, was a clogger there. Thomas and Lucy had a daughter, Margaret Ann, and in 1871 the couple were living with the four children in Hope Street, Salford. Lucy, Andrew and Margaret Ann were still living at the same address in Salford at the time of the 1881 census, but I haven’t been able to trace what became of Thomas. Presumably he died between the 1871 and 1881 census.
John’s second oldest brother, James, is much more elusive. The only definite references I can find to him are his baptism in Walton le Dale in 1837, and his residence with Richard and Mary in the 1841 and 1851 census. In 1851 he is described as a tailor’s apprentice, aged 14. A James Ward born in Walton le Dale appears in the 1881 census, married to Alice and with a son named Enoch and a daughter named Mary Alice. He is a painter and plumber. Despite the unusual name of his son, I haven’t been able to trace him back to the 1871 or 1861 census or forwards to 1891.
Fortunately the third of John’s surviving brothers, Richard, is much easier to follow. Like Thomas, he worked on the railways in Salford. He married Hannah Moss, from Eccles, in 1861 (the same year his father Richard married Betsy.) In 1871 they were living in Preston, where Richard was a railway guard. They had four children at this stage – John, Alfred, George and Sarah. Little Sarah died in Preston in 1873. By the time of the 1881 census the family had moved back to Salford, and had added Clara (born in Preston) and Bertha (born in Pendleton).
Hannah died sometime after 1881. In February 1886 the widowed Richard married Elizabeth Clarkson, who was a 40 year old 'spinster' and one of John and Mary Ann’s neighbours from Crabtree Street. They married at Holy Trinity in Littleborough and John Ward was one of the witnesses at the wedding. Richard and Elizabeth had a daughter, Amy, born in Pendleton in December 1887. By the time of the 1891 census only 13 year old Bertha and 3 year old Amy were at home with the couple in Pendleton. By now Richard had become a railway inspector. He had retired by 1891 and he, Elizabeth and Amy had moved to Littleborough. Richard appears to have died and been buried at Calderbrook, above Littleborough, in 1911.