Hilary's Family History Pages

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Barbara Hilary Belton 2005-2008 ongoing of the whole of this site unless credit has been given to another copyright holder


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The family histories of the Belton, Salthouse and Hartigan families

Featuring Bwlchgwyn, Nether Alderley, Liverpool and Manchester

and many other people and places, ships and planes, encountered on the way

07 May, 2009

New pictures in the Belton Gallery added and a fresh look to the home page.


The family histories of the Belton, Salthouse and Hartigan families, featuring Bwlchgwyn, Nether Alderley, Liverpool and Manchester, war service and emigration.

Family trees are listed on the left of every page; where the information is available I have shown a family tree, a short history and some short biographies. 

The link to the picture gallery is at the top of each page; the gallery has thumbnails to all (or most) of the pictures on the website. 

My father's chronology of his time in 62 Squadron (WW2) in linked at the top of the page and there are several pages devoted to WW! and WW2 and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

We are fortunate in having some nice photographs, interesting family stories and some records of my father's RAF service and my grandfather's Navy service (WW1); they are on the site for everyone to read and enjoy, but please remember that I retain copyright of the text and pictures unless stated otherwise.

When the young Rev Ben Davies walked through Nant y Ffrith on his way to an interview in Bwlchgwyn, he described the valley as the most beautiful place.

Looking across Nant y Ffrith Valley

Before the planting of the conifers, everyone in the village knew the paths through Nant y ffrith, the slippery paths down to the Wedding Caves and the long walk to the top of the Penllyn, across sun-heated rock barely covered by heather and buzzed by the insects which had been soaking up the heat or trying to hide in the crevices. The reward, when the white stone was reached (the trigonometrical stone) was a fantastic panoramic view over several counties  and a much easier return walk to the cooler valley!

62 Squadron RAF
My father, Bill Belton (top left) with 62 Squadron
Jim the Boatman, Jim Salthouse possibly with Annie Salthouse
My grandfather, Jim Salthouse, probably with his aunt, Annie Salthouse, c1902

Late Summer in Bwlchgwyn

This picture of Bwlchgwyn was taken sometime in the 60s or the early 70s, before the houses on Whiteoaks were built. In the picture is Graig Wen, with the ridge at the top of Cefn Road on the near horizon.

Hilary's Family History 

Research Pages

My occasional web journal - to help me remember just where I'm up to. Eventually I shall incorporate the articles into this website, but you might find some interesting stories amongst them.

Bwlchgwyn, from Ruthin Road to Graig Wen and across the Cheshire plains

Christ Church, Bwlchgwyn

In my humble opinion (biased?), this is the most beautiful village Church. I remember the heady days of the 1950s when the Church was packed to overflowing for the Harvest Festivals and the village boys sang in the choir, whilst the Nativity Play, concerts, summer fairs, jumble sales, whist drives and dances were held in the Church House across the road. 

The website has generated a lot of interest and I have received a lot of help, information and photographs from other people - I have also discovered many new relatives!

The Beltons are synonymous with Bwlchgwyn. A few years ago I was visiting the Church and talking to an undertaker. "Sometimes", I said, "I feel that I could claim part ownership of this churchyard as I am related to so many of the people buried here". "Mmm", replied the undertaker, "you must be a Belton!"

Nether Alderley features so much on these pages because the people who live or work in the village helped us to find our Salthouse family when we first started our search and have always been welcoming and enthusiastic.

This is a work in progress so please visit often. You can also visit the message board and read my web journal (blog) if you wish.

"I Remember......Bwlchgwyn"

Gwenda Lewis recalls her years in Bwlchgwyn between 1939 and 1943. As a young girl from London, she came to stay with relatives in the village. 

See Bwlchgwyn through the eyes of a city girl, full of wonderment at this little place with such a different way of life.

Gwenda's book is still available, please email me if you would like to buy a copy.

Brooklyn Stores, Bwlchgwyn


St Mary's Church, Nether Alderley

St Mary, Alderley

Derg Street, Salford


A hundred years ago, or so, tourists flocked to Bwlchgwyn to admire the wonderful scenery and to benefit from the pure, clean air enjoyed by this little village in its lofty position. But really Bwlchgwyn was an industrial village, most of the men were lead or coal miners or rockmen at the local quarries; later they also worked at the steelworks in Brymbo. Even the landscape had an industrial feel as gorse, wimberry bushes and heathers clung to the natural rock and to the spoils from abandoned quarries, mines and shafts. My mother's family, the Salthouses, arrived at Nether Alderley in about 1840 when John Salthouse, a shoemaker, completed his apprenticeship and set out on his own account. John married Lucy Walters of Nether Alderley. Their daughters stayed in the village but their sons moved away and so, by 1911, the Salthouse name had disappeared.

One son moved to Liverpool and it is from that great city that the Braidwood, Ralston and Ellery families eventually joined together.

Most of my husband's family can only be traced within Salford. His great grandmother, Margaret Joynt, and his great grandfather, Martin Hartigan, were both born in Ireland but it has not been possible to trace their Irish connections. David's maternal relatives, the McNallys, Kennys and Keatings are also difficult to trace; only the Dooleys of Tunstall can be traced easily and they connect with the Meir and Harrison families and the different lifestyles of workers in the potteries.
A website centred on Brymbo and the history of the iron and steel works.

Nether Alderley Mill

Stoke on Trent

It's not just about the history, it's about the people you meet on the way.


Hilary Belton - Barbara Salthouse - David Hartigan - Laura Hartigan


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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