Ann Morris was born in Atherton on Tuesday the 2nd February 1841, the sixth surviving
child of James Morris, a collier and his wife Ann (nee Tipping). She was baptised
at Atherton Chapel of St John the Baptist on the 6th November 1842. Her elder siblings
were named Alice, Betty, William, Mary and Catherine (sadly two others, Betty and
Catharine had died in infancy). The family lived in ‘Further Atherton’ and another
sister Jane followed a year later, followed by a brother James in 1846.
Later that year, whilst Ann was only 5 years old, her mother Ann died on the 21st
December 1846 of consumption, from which she had suffered for 14 months, leaving
James with eight children, though fortunately, the older sisters would have been
of an age to care for their younger siblings.
On the 15th November 1847, her father James remarried. His new wife was a spinster
named Margaret Bolton, the daughter of a weaver Thomas Bolton of Westhoughton, and
they married at the Parish Church of Deane. At the time of the 1851 census, Ann,
her father, stepmother and William, Catherine, Jane and James were living in a cottage
at Barrel Rock in Wingates where they remained for at least ten years. The cottages
in Barrel Rock were by modern day standards, tiny, with one room and a pantry downstairs
and two bedrooms upstairs. They were serviced by ‘middens’ as outside toilets across
the back yard, and right through until their compulsory demolition in the 1950’s
were never connected to the main sewage network. They overlooked green fields and
a lovely duckpond, where Ann and Titus’s great grandchildren went on to play a full
By the time of the 1861 census, her stepmother, Margaret was not living with the
family and Ann was working as a cotton hand at mill, her brother James had followed
in his fathers footsteps at the colliery.
On the 3rd June 1861, her stepmother Margaret also died of consumption aged 49 years.
A year later, now aged 22, she married Titus Barlow,a labourer from Horwich, seven
years her senior, at the Parish church of Deane in Bolton on New Years Eve 1862.
Their witnesses were John Horsfield and Lucy Bentham. Westhoughton was in the parish
of Deane, and though baptisms and burials took place locally, it was common, and
often cheaper to marry at the Parish Church.
Within a year, their first daughter, Mary Jane was born, followed by John, William,
Alice, Christiana, James, Ann, Richard, Titus and Betsy. We can only presume she
was a strong woman, bearing and raising all ten of her children to adulthood on her
husbands labourers’ wage.
Ann and Titus lived all their remaining years in the Fourgates area of Westhoughton
until Ann died of an ovarian cyst and malignant growth on the 10th November 1902
at 358 Chorley Road Westhoughton.