My mother's family has been
associated with Liverpool for a long time. Her grandparents were called
Salthouse, Braidwood, Ralston and Ellery.
In 1832 there is a record in
the Liverpool Poll Book of an Alexander
Ralston, a block maker, living in Upper
Frederick Street, Toxteth, near the older docks. When we went to
Upper Frederick Street in summer 2003 it had been transformed into an
attractive, quiet, modern housing estate; there was no trace of the old
tenements and courts at the city end of the street or of the houses at the other end of the street. As Alexander
Ralston was entitled to vote in 1832 he probably had property
rights of some kind so it is likely that he lived in the houses at the
Eastern end of the street, away from the City.
The Braidwood family arrived in
Liverpool from Scotland. John Braidwood was a butcher on Currie Street, in
the Scotland Road area. When he died, the butcher's shop was still owned
by his wife, Mary (nee McKinsey), who was living with her daughters at
Breck Road, Walton, but was run by their eldest daughter, Mary Braidwood
and her husband Richard Baxendale. The second eldest daughter, Janet
Braidwood, married William Salthouse.
William Salthouse was born in
Nether Alderley in Cheshire and had been a gardener at a nursery on the
Wirral before joining the Liverpool Police Force in 1871. He was posted to
Kirkdale where he married Janet Braidwood. For some years they lived in
Rydal Street, Walton (as did some of Janet Braidwood's cousins), before
moving to Ash Leigh. William left the police force (with commendation for
bravery) to go into business on his own account and is later recorded as a
leather and hide warehouseman at Scotland Road. It is likely that our
branch of the Salthouse family had a Liverpool connection before William
came to Liverpool as he seems to have close relatives in the city and
family stories have always suggested an older maritime connection.
William Ellery brings in the
fourth of my surnames on my mother's side. William was an outdoor customs
and excise officer. He was born in Cornwall where he was a mariner and
where he first married Thomasina. Why he left Cornwall, the sea and
Thomasina and the children is not known, but he is next found in
Liverpool, at Grampian Road in the Kensington are, with Grace
of Nottingham as his wife and a new brood of children. 'Grandfather
Ellery' seems to have been quite revered, though, so no doubt there is a
good story behind the facts!