Maggie Kirkham💞James Henry Wood🧵

Here’s my second lucky dip into my Wedding collection ‘with writing’ and it looked like I had picked quite a good one as I had two old photos of this marriage. The date of the marriage was 23 July 1927 and where the wedding was held at St Paul’s Church, Hoddlesden, Lancashire and most importantly the names of the bride and groom. James Henry Wood and Maggie Kirkham. Plus the best man Stanford Kirkham and the lady in waiting/bridesmaid Clara Walsh.

Firstly I thought that I remembered researching a Wood family before and I had, surprisingly back in 2017, how time flies. I’ve not been able to link the families up though. The Wood family I researched in 2017 was from Worcestershire. Link here to that first Blog:

Here below are the two old postcard photos of James and Maggie’s wedding day.

Maggie wearing a very plain and simple outfit but very elegant don’t you think.

Maggie Kirkham was born on 4 September 1900 in Pickup Bank, Lancashire, her father was Joseph Kirkham (1861-1920), and her mother, Margaret Ellen (Hunt)(1859-1933). It seems the couple had two children during their marriage, as their daughter Una was born in 1928 and then I found a very detailed family tree on Ancestry which states the couple also sadly had a stillborn daughter in 1931. On the 1939 register, Maggie is described as a Sewer in Cotton Bleach Works, Incapacitated. Maggie died just 5 years later on 11 February 1944 in Darwen, Lancashire, at the age of 43.

James Henry Wood was born on 5 August 1890 in Pickup Bank, Lancashire, his father was George Wood (1849-1908) and his mother was Mary Alice (Townsend)(1856-1921). James was a Weaver at the age of 20 on the 1911 census, still living with his widowed mother and siblings. But by the time of his and Maggie’s marriage his occupation is a labourer (See certificate below). At the age of 49 on the 1939 register, he is described as a General Labourer in Mill and a Painter, Window, Glazing etc. James died on 4 August 1950 in Darwen, Lancashire, at the age of 59. Very sad that they both died so young.

When I was looking for more information about Una Wood I came across this record via Find My Past, UK Electoral Registers & Companies House Directors. 2002-2011. Springfield Clinic, Preston New Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 6PS. It gives the names of all residents of the care home including Una, who had been a resident for 10 years. Una died on 3 June 2013, she was 85. Una had never married so there are no descendants of James and Maggie, but they both had siblings, so there maybe someone out there who knows more about the family.

This is the link to the Public family tree on Ancestry that I have compiled:

I wonder who wrote on the back of the photos, could it have been Una?

As you can see here Stanford Kirkham, Maggie’s eldest brother and Clara Walsh, a friend? were both witnesses to the marriage.

I was so pleased to find this super photo of St Paul’s Church, part of the history of not just these two families, but many in the area.

St Paul’s Hoddlesden, Lancashire. Found on Lancashire Online Parish Clerks Website, link below:

Direct link:

Both sides of the families of Wood and Kirkham came from Yate and Pickup Bank, Darwen, Lancashire. Many of the family members from both sides were Weavers or employed within the Cotton trade.

A section of the map of the area now from the Mapcarta Website. Showing the location of St Paul’s church too.

YATE AND PICKUP-BANK, a township in Whalley parish, Lancashire; 4½ miles SSE of Blackburn. Acres, 1,360. Real property, £1,856. Pop., 1,111. Houses, 207. There are some small cotton mills, a large reservoir, and a national school. Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Below is a page from The Victorian history of the county of Lancaster by William Farrer dated 1911 via Google Books online:

From what I’ve read Treacle Row where the Wood Family lived was between Scholes Fold and Top of the Meadow and Vale Rock Mill.  Going around the area now on Google Street there doesn’t seem to be much left of the victorian homes these families lived in. The Sunday School building (Grade 2 listed from 27 Sep 1984) at Pickup Bank. photographed in March 2014 by Philip Platt, I found on the Historic England website is a survivor, there are also a few cottages near the School. Hundreds of children must have passed through this School door and some from these two families.

Here below are some of the family census records, firstly the Kirkham family. Maggie Kirkham’s parents were Joseph Kirkham and Margaret Ellen (Hunt).

Her Grandparents were Joseph Kirkham 1811-1870 and Betty Nuttall 1813-1893. Then Nathaniel Hunt 1812-1886 (he was one of twins) Elizabeth (Betty) Yates 1819-1875. Nathaniel was a farmer, although his children were employed in the Cotton Trade.

1861 Census showing Joseph Kirkham and his family, Maggie’s grandparents. Joseph described as a Cotton Twister:
A TWISTER or TWISTERER was one who operated the machine used for twisting yarns and threads together.
1861 Census showing Nathaniel Hunt, a Farmer and his family, Maggie’s second lot of grandparents.
Here’s Maggie aged 10 with her family on the 1911 Census.

Now the Wood Family. James Henry’s parents were George Wood and Mary Alice (Townsend)

His grandparents were John Wood 1825-1882 and Esther Hindle 1826-1888. Then John Townsend 1812-1882 and Alice Southworth 1812-1880.

Here’s John an Ag Lab and his wife Esther, a Powerloom Weaver on the 1851 census, their son George just one year old.
This is now the 1891 census showing George with his wife Mary Alice and their family including James Henry who was just a few months old. Living in Treacle Row.
Here’s James Henry Wood aged 20 with his family, his mother now a widow, James is working as a Weaver.

The other two people mentioned on the back of the photo were Stanford Kirkham 1893-1961, who was Maggie’s elder brother and a witness on the marriage certificate. He never married and was living in Darwen, Lancashire and still a Cotton Weaver in the 1939 register.

Also, Clara Walsh was the Bridesmaid and the second witness on the marriage certificate. This is the most likely Clara I’ve found. Clara Walsh was born on 22 June 1900 in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, her father was Charles Edward Walsh, and her mother was Mary Devine. Cl;ara married James Marsden a widower with one son Leonard (1926-1998) on 9 September 1933 in Hoddlesden, Lancashire. Clara died on 2 April 1940 in Blackburn, Lancashire, at the young age of 39. On the 1939 register, there are no other children mentioned. Clara’s husband James was a Kilnburner (Fire Day Works) Heavy Worker. James’s first wife was Sarah Jane Richardson (1898-1929 and she too had died young at the age of 31.

Clara Walsh marriage to James Marsden in 1933.

It’s been interesting to research a little about the Cotton trade workers’ lives in contrast to the Mill Owners as I did with the Garnett Family recently. As always if you are a descendant of the family I would love to hear from you.

Till next time then………


  1. Hi Lynn – Jim was my great uncle and my grandfather’s brother – one of 4 brothers – my grandfather George Albert , Hubert who died following action in France in 1918 and Alf Wood. All 4 served in WW1.They all lived on Treacle Row Pickup Bank – Mary Alice, my great-grand mother’s brother was known as ‘Rosin’ he was John Townsend – a well known local who ran the Duke of Wellington Inn at the end of Treacle Row – thnaks for the research Lynn Best wishes Tony Wood


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