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Salthouse Family
Salthouse History


Salthouse History

This part of the Salthouse family is from Liverpool and Nether Alderley, UK

Salthouse Tree

Salthouse Family

Salthouse History

Jim the Boatman

William Salthouse

Nether Alderley Mill

The first cottage used to be the village shop in Nether Alderley

St Mary's Church

Playing cricket

With Dolly the pony

Garden swing

William Salthouse

  • Family History - family clues

How we started...


My grandfather was born in Liverpool but he used to tell my mother that he always enjoyed going to Alderley because the estate was so nice........why did he go to Alderley?

We haven't traced back very far, and there are some very interesting stories for us to research, but this is what we have so far.

Family stories always suggested that the Salthouse family were firmly rooted in Liverpool

My grandfather, however, often referred to visits to Alderley when he was young (we wondered if the picture of 'Jim the Boatman' was taken in Alderley). We were surprised then, to find that his father, William Salthouse, was born, not in Liverpool, but in Nether Alderley, Cheshire. 

Our search swung to Nether Alderley. The 1901 census had shown just one possible relative, Annie Salthouse, living in the village shop. Our first call was to the delightful Nether Alderley Mill (a National Trust  property) where we asked if they had ever heard of Annie Salthouse. To our amazement we were shown the educational brochure which listed Annie Salthouse as the shopkeeper in the cottages just across the road!

At first we couldn't be sure that Annie Salthouse was related to our Liverpool family but a combination of census records. local records and information from St Mary's Church in the village has provided a lot of useful information. 

Most of all, we have to thank the wonderful people at Alderley Mill and St Mary's Church and all the people of Nether Alderley who have stopped to talk to us at the church and even invited us to tea! No wonder grandfather said he loved to visit Alderley.

Family History

Back to 1802 and Didsbury

We now know that my great, great, great, grandfather was Anthony Salthouse and that he married Sophia Bradley at Manchester Cathedral in 1802. In 1822 Anthony Salthouse was a gardener, later he was a coach driver. Anthony and Sophia lived in Didsbury and had at least four children, the youngest of whom was John Salthouse who was born in Didsbury in 1818. 

Probably after she was widowed, Sophia move to Renshaw Street in Hulme, Manchester, where she died in 1859. Her death was registered by a James Chappell. James' mother was a Salthouse, so there was a family connection but the exact connection hasn't been proved yet. Watch the Chappell pages for developments.

John Salthouse married Lucy Walters in Nether Alderley

Anthony's son, my great, great, grandfather, John Salthouse was born in Didsbury in 1818 and christened on the 27th September 1818 at St James Church, Didsbury. John Salthouse married Lucy Walters on 13th March 1842 at St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley. John and Lucy's oldest daughter, Sophia, was born in Didsbury, but the family moved to Nether Alderley before the next child was born. John was a master boot and shoemaker until at least 1861.

John and Lucy Salthouse had eleven children, ten of whom were born in the small farmhouse, Soss Moss Lane, Nether Alderley.

From the marriage certificate of his son, William Salthouse, it appears that John was still alive in 1871 and working as a labourer (but not necessarily). As he would have been in his early 50's, why the change of occupation to something that sounds more demanding?

When he and Lucy married in 1842 the main railway line was just being built, in the next 20 years the town of Alderley Edge was created and developed so possibly, by the mid 1870's, the ladies and gentlemen of Nether Alderley might have preferred to shop in Alderley for their shoes instead. There had been at least one other boot and shoemaker in the village, did the demand fall sufficiently for John to look for alternative work? Certainly by 1861 Lucy and her older daughters were all working as laundresses.

John and Lucy Salthouse in Nether Alderley

John Salthouse and Lucy had a large family, we have now traced eleven children (dates approximate). 

  • Sophia Salthouse (1843-1922) married Francis Worth
  • Annie Salthouse (1845 - 1906) kept the village shop
  • William Salthouse (1846 - 1912) married Janet Braidwood in Liverpool
  • John Salthouse (1847 - 1871) died of TB age 23
  • Alfred Salthouse (1849 - 1850) died of croup
  • James Salthouse (1851 - ?) married Fanny Holden in Manchester
  • Samuel Salthouse (1853-1877) policeman, died of TB, age 24
  • Daughter of John & Lucy Salthouse (1855-1855) lived 20 minutes, diseased bowels
  • Albert Salthouse (1856 - 1857) found drowned
  • Lucy Salthouse (1859 - 1936) married Ted Potts
  • Herbert Salthouse (1860 - 1864) died of bronchitis

In 1871 Lucy described herself as a widow, still living at the small farmhouse on Soss Moss Lane. By now she has lost four of her little children and, a few months after the census, her son, John (who was described as an invalid), died of TB at the age of 23.

A Southport mystery

Lucy died at 54 Kensington Road, Southport, from TB. Because of the nature of her illness, we wondered if Lucy went to Southport in the hope of improving her health; we don't know whether that house was owned by a relative. Lucy's unmarried daughter, Annie, was with her when she died. On the death certificate Lucy is described as wife of John Salthouse, Master Shoemaker. Lucy was brought back to Nether Alderley to be buried with her children.

After Lucy's death there is no mention of John, her husband. The gravestone in the churchyard is inscribed with "Lucy, wife of John Salthouse who departed this life...1875". There is no record of John having been buried or even returning to Nether Alderley, even though he had two unmarried daughters living there. Strangely I haven't found any trace of John at all after 1861, neither his death nor a remarriage. He didn't leave a will. He seems to have died before the 1871 census but I don't know where and I don't know where he was buried. I don't think he emigrated or set up home with someone else. Whoever provided the information for Lucy's death certificate seemed still to respect John, as Lucy was described as "wife of John Salthouse, Master Shoemaker" .

Lucy's brother William Walters also died in the summer of 1875. Two years later, another of Lucy's children died. Samuel, a policeman aged 24, died of TB, his sister Annie was with him.

The Salthouses in Nether Alderley

Of the children who survived childhood, the three girls, Sophia, Lucy and Annie stayed in Nether Alderley, of the two boys, William moved to Liverpool and James moved to Salford. This is what we know about them?

Sophia married Francis Worth married in 1865 at Manchester Cathedral. As she lived in Alderley, I often wonder why she chose to marry in Manchester, Francis was from Siddington but he was 15 years older than her, did they marry quietly so that no-one would object? Whatever the reason, they stayed married and had eleven children, all of whom survived childhood. After a couple of years or so they returned to live in Nether Alderley where Francis was an agricultural labourer and Sophia was a laundress. They lived in one of the lodges on the main road through the village.

Annie looked after her mother in Southport and her brother Samuel only a couple of months later. Her uncle, William Walters, also died in 1875. It now seems possible that Annie took over her grandparent's (William Walter's) house in the village cottages and opened a small shop there.  It is only a theory, but perhaps the shop previously operated by the Downes and Twiss families was at the opposite end of the three cottages and closed as trade moved to Alderley Edge, allowing Annie to open a smaller shop in her grandparent's house?  Certainly the census enumerator's walks are easier to fathom it that was the case. Whatever the circumstances, Annie was able to provide accommodation and a living for herself and for her much younger sister, LucyAnnie was recorded as grocer, shopkeeper and dressmaker in the 1881 census, with her sister as shopkeeper's assistant, but in the 1891 census she is only recorded as a dressmaker with her sister as an apprentice dressmaker. In the 1901 census she is again recorded as a shopkeeper and dressmaker. By 1901 they youngest daughter, Lucy, had married Edward Potts; Annie probably stayed at the post office opposite the watermill until she died in 1906. The shop sign, which was found recently, simply says "Annie Salthouse Licensed to Sell Tobacco Snuff". Annie never married

Lucy left the shop when she married Edward Potts and went to live at Gatley Green Farm, Welsh Row, Nether Alderley. Ted Potts was a farmer on his own account and in the 1901 census Edward and Lucy live at Welsh Row with their 3 year old son, Herbert. They subsequently had a daughter, Winifred Annie

My grandfather was the same age as Herbert, did he go with his family to visit his aunts Sophia, Annie and Lucy and cousins Herbert and Winifred?

Annie died in 1906 and was buried with her mother in St Mary's churchyard. In 1938 the Stanley Estate at Nether Alderley was broken up and sold; in the estate papers Edward Potts is shown as being responsible for the water rates of the shop. We don't know, yet, when Lucy and Edward moved in to the shop but it seems likely that they took over the tenancy from Annie.

Sadly, Lucy and Edward's son, Herbert Potts, was killed in France in 1918, only a few months before the end of WW1. After Lucy died in 1934 (she was buried with her mother and sister) Edward Potts married Alice Simpson and they continued to live at and keep the village shop.

James Salthouse and Manchester

One of the sons, James Salthouse, moved to Salford to work on the railways as an engine stoker, from there he moved to Manchester and graduated to railway engine driver. He married Fanny Holding of Warrington in Salford and by 1881 they had a young son, William. James' occupation as a railway engine driver is not unexpected as the main line to London goes through Alderley Edge and cuts across Welsh Row not far from Soss Moss Farm where he was brought up. His son became a postman.

William Salthouse & Liverpool

John and Lucy's eldest son, William Salthouse, moved to Walton-on-the-Hill, West Derby, Liverpool. At the same time a Thomas Potts also moved to Walton-on-the-Hill and I wonder if the two young men travelled together. There were already Salthouses and Potts living in the West Derby area of Liverpool so perhaps they went to their relatives' homes to look for work. 

As both surviving sons, William and James, had left Nether Alderley, the Salthouse family name in the village died out when Annie died in 1906.

William Salthouse married Janet Braidwood in Liverpool in 1871. William was 24 and living in Everton, he was a police officer and his father, John Salthouse, was recorded as a Labourer. Janet Braidwood was 19, single and also living in Everton, her father was John Braidwood, a butcher. In fact both of the fathers had died before William and Janet married, and that detail appears to have been considered 'not necessary' when the marriage record book was completed. Janet's mother, Mary Braidwood, formerly McKinsey is recorded as a widow in the census, a few months later. The witnesses to the marriage, which was at St George, Everton, Liverpool, were Richard Baxendale and Annie Salthouse. Annie, of course, was William's brother, whilst Richard Baxendale was the husband of Janet's older sister, Mary Braidwood.

It was always thought that William and Janet had seven children but the 1881 census reveals another son who died young. Their children are:

  • Lucy Salthouse (1872-1937)
  • William Salthouse (1874-1906)
  • John Braidwood Salthouse (1876-)
  • Richard Salthouse (1881-1882)
  • Francis Walters Salthouse (1883-1968)
  • Alfred Salthouse (1885-)
  • Janet Salthouse (1890-)
  • James Thomas Salthouse (1897-1978)


In 1881 William and Janet were living with Janet's widowed mother at 14 Breck Lane, Liverpool and William was still employed as a policeman. Janet's mother died soon after. Between 1881 and 1891 they lived in Rydal Street, moving between two houses, perhaps from a smaller to a larger house. William was now working at the leather and hide warehouse. By 1901 William and Janet were living with most of the children (some grown up by now) at 4 Ash Leigh, Anfield. This street no longer exists but the maps show quite large houses. Anfield is adjacent to Walton-on-the-Hill. William worked in a hide and leather warehouse as a foreman.

They move to Green Lane, Ditton

Soon after, the family moved to a smallholding in Ditton, now Hough Green, near Widnes. We think this was because their son, also called William, was unwell (possibly TB). He can be seen on the 'Playing Cricket' photograph.

There is a picture of Janet and Lucy Salthouse with their father, William, and Dolly the pony with the trap,  just about to leave the house at Ditton. The girls are dressed up for visiting or for some special occasion. Taken on the same day is a picture of most of the family - Lucy, William, Janet, young William (known as 'Our Will'). Janet, and Jim (James Thomas Salthouse, my grandfather) - taken in the garden of the same house. They appear to be sitting on a large, home-made garden swing. 

In that photograph Jim is wearing his school uniform as he has just come home from the Widnes Technical Institute where he studied engineering. When he was 14 he got an apprenticeship as an engineer. During the first world war he was a marine engineer, sailed around the world and was torpedoed. After the war he answered Churchill's call for sailors to help the starving Russians and he was engineer on a tanker sent to oil the fleet off Tallin, Estonia.

I hope to write more about my grandfather in the future.


The Salthouse Family in Nether Alderley

(This is an edited extract from a recent academic article, so please excuse the occasional lack of detail. Whilst this article concentrates on the achievements of the Salthouse family I must point out that many village children received an excellent education, some chose to stay in the village, others moved away and there are numerous examples of pupils who chose to become policemen!). Barbara Hilary Hartigan 2005

This family history begins with the life of a boot and shoemaker in the small village of Nether Alderley in Cheshire. Here, in 1861, were John and Lucy Salthouse and their children, living in a small farm house in Soss Moss Lane, ten minute's walk away from the church, the corn mill and Alderley Hall, the home of Lord Stanley of Alderley. John Salthouse was from Didsbury but his wife, Lucy Walters, lived in the village. In 1831, when John was thirteen years old and beginning his apprenticeship, boot and shoemaking was a popular and useful trade to acquire; E P Thompson, in his The Making of the English Working Class (1982, p.259) calculated that shoemaking was then the largest single artisan trade with an estimated 133,000 adult male workers in England alone. The family probably enjoyed a slightly higher social standing than that of many other villagers, a view supported by Armstrong (1972), who classified shoemakers as being in the third class of five social classes, lower than that of school master, but higher than that of gardener and laundress. John Salthouse may have earned a reasonable income as a shoemaker and additional income could be earned from the land adjoining their rented farmhouse and from the laundry work that was usually available in the village.

Despite their social standing, John and Lucy Salthouse knew much sadness as they lost four young children: one little boy was found drowned, one baby died at birth and two small children died of croup and bronchitis; another two sons died of tuberculosis in their twenties. Lucy herself succumbed to tuberculosis when she was only fifty three years old. This sad list of fatal respiratory diseases suggests that some of the older properties in the village, predating the Estate houses, may have been in need of maintenance and repair and suffering from dampness, the sort of cheap build described in Rural Life in Victorian England (Mingay, 1976) which could have been dank and unpleasant, especially in winter or during the cold, wet summers, when the earth flooring was constantly waterlogged and the rain seeped through the thatch.

So much illness and premature death might have encouraged the Salthouse children to strive for a better standard of living elsewhere; an analysis of census returns and church records shows frequent childhood and premature adult deaths whereas related families living in the poorest areas of Liverpool and Manchester had as many children but fewer premature deaths. Illness seems to have been viewed as an intrinsic and inevitable part of family life. Edward Potts, who married young Lucy Salthouse a generation later, stayed in the village despite witnessing his mother's grief and poverty after losing three of her children in one week and her husband a few weeks later; he stayed in the village long after the family needed help from him financially. Edward's story shows that illness and periods of hardship were not necessarily catalysts for change within the family, particularly if local employment was still available and vulnerable relatives could not look after themselves; the desire to stay in the village could be as compelling for some men as the need to move away and start afresh was compelling for others.

Nether Alderley was fortunate to have an endowed school and the patronage of the Stanley family which attracted excellent teachers to the village and afforded a high standard of teaching. The Stanleys were concerned about education and were known, at times, to provide cheap hot meals and dry footwear for the children in the winter; when they visited the school the boys were expected to touch their forelocks and the girls to curtsey. (Manchester Museum, 2000). Although the village sounds idyllic, many young men chose employment as policemen in the Lancashire forces or as railway workers in Manchester and in both cases their schooling was likely to have helped them. The family history shows how a good education can benefit a family for generations; in 1901 William, the eldest son, had left the police force to go into business on his own account and was a hide and leather warehouseman; the family lived respectably in Walton-on-the-Hill, Liverpool, and the children were well educated with both boys and girls apprenticed to trades from marine engineering to millinery; those children in turn were better placed than many to provide for their own families in the difficult years. The Salford children also attended school and worked their way out of mills and factories into various types of self employment, but they never became skilled or professional workers. Then, as always, it seems that children who received a good education often found it easier to forge a good career and the family history contains many examples of parents determined to educate their children well.

1843 saw not only the birth of John and Lucy's first child, Sophia, but also, arguably, the most important change in the history of the village - the opening of the railway. This must have been a mixed blessing for the village tradesmen; the small army of railway workers moved on, adversely affecting village trade, but it became easier to obtain raw materials and for smallholders to sell their surplus produce. The railway also made it easier for salesmen and agents to visit the village and introduce new wares, fashions and ideas. Significantly for the Salthouse family, the railway owners needed to stimulate trade on the railway and gradually and deliberately created the wealthy village and tourist attractions of Alderley Edge, a mile away. As described in Rural Life in Victorian England (Mingay, 1976), as villages become less isolated, village life changed for ever; by 1881 the favourite pastime of the villagers became the Saturday trip into the local town where they found the food to be cheaper and of greater variety and where clothes and shoes could be purchased easily and at less cost. This, together with the expansion of factory produced footwear of good quality from Nantwich, meant that shoemakers relied more on shoe repairs alone for their income.

The Salthouse children probably had to fend for themselves financially from about 1870. Nothing is known about John's demise, presumed to be in 1871; he is not buried in the village churchyard, there is no record of his death at the Government Record Office, he left no will, but when Lucy died five years later, she is described as "wife of John Salthouse, master shoemaker of Alderley". As the family did not own land or property and the shoemaking trade had diminished, the children had little choice but to venture into uncharted waters and find new occupations.

John and Lucy's eldest daughter Sophia had married Francis Worth in 1865, he was fifteen years older than her and they married in Manchester, possibly against the wishes of Sophia's family. Of all the children, it was Sophia who most closely followed the way of life into which she had been born, returning to the village, close to Alderley Hall where there were still employment opportunities for domestic gardeners and laundresses. Their rented house was tiny but they and their eleven children survived the epidemics that caused misery in the village. Sophia worked as a laundress but three of her sons became policemen in the Lancashire towns, illustrating again how educated parents, even though they had unskilled jobs, encouraged their own children to make the most of their talents and opportunities.

None of the sons took over their father's occupation as shoemaker, they looked towards the new trades and professions. James, who must have been attracted by the steam engines on the new line passing close to the family home, became a railway engine stoker and worked his way up to the skilled and respected position of railway engine driver; he found lodgings in Salford with another railway driver who hailed from Wilmslow, possibly a family friend, to ease his transition to life and work in the teeming city. William and Samuel became policemen; William might have been the first of many from Nether Alderley to join the Lancashire forces but whilst fathers often helped their sons to find suitable work, ill health may have prevented this family from helping their children directly. Perhaps William and Samuel and other village boys benefited indirectly from the paternalism of the Stanley family who, with their political and society connections and their knowledge of the village families, were ideally placed to introduce suitable young men of good character to the police force recruiters. Possibly a reference from the schoolmaster or the rector at Alderley, who were similarly well connected, was sufficient recommendation. By looking at the family history side by side with the established history of the local community it is possible to put forward hypotheses for further research to discover more about how families in close communities can use friendships and patronage, as well as family, to survive social and economic changes.

William's wedding certificate reveals more about how families adapted to change; his Liverpool marriage was witnessed by the oldest unmarried sister, Annie, and this seems to mark the shift of power and authority in the family to her. Later that year their invalid brother, John, died of tuberculosis, aged twenty-three. Four years later, Annie was at Southport with her mother who died of tuberculosis. Annie notified the registrar and returned her mother's body to Alderley for burial beside the children. Two years later, Annie recorded the death of her younger brother, Samuel, who died of tuberculosis, aged twenty-four and with a promising career as a policeman. The surviving brothers had left the village so Annie had to find suitable employment and accommodation for herself and her younger sister, Lucy. As she assumed her mother's mantle she became the central figure and focus for the family, a strong, intelligent person, who eschewed the traditional occupation of laundress and took over the village shop. [Since this article was written, new information shows that Annie may have taken over her grandparent's (William Walters')house and opened a small shop there; more research is needed]. As shopkeeper, grocer and dressmaker, Annie secured accommodation, earned her living and provided work for young Lucy as a grocer's assistant; Annie never married but she and her shop became the focal point and meeting place for siblings, nieces and nephews for many years.


Armstrong, W.A. (1972) 'Armstrong's Social Classification for York 1851', in Drake, 

3 Mingay, G.E. (1976) Rural Life in Victorian England, London: Book Club Associates 

4 http://www.alderleyedge.man.ac.uk/, 'Archives' taken from The Story of Alderley Edge, The Manchester Museum: The University of Manchester 2002. Accessed on 29 April 2005.


Mingay, G.E. (1976) Rural Life in Victorian England, London: Book Club Associates 

Best, G. (1988) [1971] Mid-Victorian Britain 1851-75, London: Fontana Press 

Harrison, J.F.C. (1990) Late Victorian Britain 1870-1901, Glasgow: Fontana Press

Harrison, J.F.C. (1989) [1979] Early Victorian Britain, 1832-51, London: Fontana Press

Thompson E.P. (1982) [1963] The Making of the English Working Class, Harmondsworth: Penguin Books 

Cockroft, W.R. (1991) From Cutlasses to Computers: the police force in Liverpool 1836-1989, Market Drayton: S.B. Publications 

http://www.alderleyedge.man.ac.uk/, 'Archives' taken from The Story of Alderley Edge, The Manchester Museum: The University of Manchester 2002. Accessed on 29 April 2005

http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/hs1864/alderley.htm 'Stanley of Alderley' taken from Old Cheshire Families and their Seats, (1932), Manx Notebook: F Coakley 2002. Accessed on 29 April 2005



Please remember that the information on this website is only accurate to the best of my knowledge and belief. If any of the information is relevant to your own research, please double-check the sources.

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