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The genealogy that made me

Updated September 17, 2009


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This is the story of people who came from Ireland, Lancashire and Herefordshire to play their part in the industrialisation of England in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

They are rural people. They are coal workers and shopkeepers. They are Roman Catholics and they are Church of England. They survived the Irish potato famine, they lived in the slums of Liverpool and the poverty of rural Herefordshire. They served in the two World Wars.

The one thing they all have in common? They all moved from the lands of their ancestors to play a part in the industrialisation of England in the 19th Century. They took up the opportunities of the age: education, enterprise, and through the stories of their lives we can come to understand the history of some of the common people of England.


This site is so that all my relatives can acquire information on their family history. Contact me for anything you cannot get direct from this website; I have many photos and birth, marriage, death certificates and other material that I can send you.

I am hoping to develop this and my own site to include any stories or memories of ancestors or relatives that any of you would like to contribute, or if anyone would like to include a link to their own family history site.

My Family History


Family Photos

  • Emma Seddon and son Reginald (783 KB)
    Emma Seddon (1864-1944) with her youngest son Reginald. Photo taken in about 1912.
  • Arthur James Bethell and twins (1398 KB)
    Arthur James Bethell (1866-1912) with his eldest sons, twins, Arthur Joseph and Herbert Augustus (born 1890)
  • Driver Frederick Bethell ASC (1471 KB)
    Frederick, born in 1890, enlisted in the Army at the beginning of the 1st World War when he was 24. He died in the pneumonia epidemic in the closing weeks of the war.
  • Augustus Bethell (1834-1926) (982 KB)
    Augustus Bethell was born in Thruxton in Herefordshire, and spent his childhood in nearby Allensmore. He was apprenticed as a Blacksmith and later moved to Earlestown in Lancashire where he worked as an Engine Tender on the new Liverpool-Manchester railway, before becoming a Grocer. He retired back to Allensmore where he is buried in the parish churchyard.
  • John Kennedy (1905-1982) (377 KB)
    John was the son of Peter and Mary (nee Kirwan) Kennedy. He was a teacher and later Headmaster of St Paul of the Cross school in Burtonwood (1930-40) and St Aloysius junior school in Huyton (1940-65). He also wrote maths text books for schools. He was also a keen sportsman. He lived all his life in Newton and married Mary Agnes Bethell whom he met when they were both school teachers at St Marys Primary school in Newton-le-Willows. John received the MBE for his services to education in 1965.
  • Mary Agnes Bethell born 1905 (555 KB)
    Mary Agnes was the daughter of Arthur James and Emma (nee Seddon) Bethell. She was an accomplished singer and won prizes for her singing. She became a teacher and married John Kennedy a fellow teacher in 1932

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