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Ask Joan
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Joan Leach is a local historian, a volunteer at the Heritage Centre, a founder of The Gaskell Society, and much more besides.

Dear Joan, I am researching my family history and believe that one of my ancestors Joseph Ravenscroft was married in 1821 in John The Babtist to Elizabeth Barlow. Do you have any info on these families?

Joan answers:

The Ravenscroft family are a puzzle to me because they have an impressive, ornate tomb in the grave yard (it is situated half way down the grave yard from Toft Road to church on your left) but the only one I can find in directories is Elizabeth Ravenscroft, tailor, in 1829.

I don't have a copy of 1820 directory and there is a gap until 1850 with no Ravenscofts in that. The inscriptions on the tomb Read:

SACRED to the memory of Margaret, wife of Joseph Ravenscroft of Nether Knutsford who departed this life March 15 1820 in the 45th year of her life.

Children who died were Thomas 1800 aged 2 years and 10 months, then John, Isabel and Mary in 1808, aged 9.

Joseph Ravenscoft died 1824 aged 49.

Joseph son of the above died 1827 aged 25.
Mary his daughter died aged 8 months.
John brother of the above Joseph died Jan 6 1828 aged 68 ( must be brother of first Joseph but quite an age gap?)
Ellis wife of above John died May 28 1828 aged 79.

On the side of the tomb was an unreadable name: ? who died Feb 1857 aged 37. (I will check the parish list when I have time)

1841 Census lists Isabella Ravenscroft aged 30 of independent means. John Ravernscroft aged 15 apprentice bookseller and Elizabeth aged 15 apprentice draper

So now I would like to know how this all fits in with the enquirer's knowledge?!
Email: askjoan@virtual-knutsford.co.uk

Joan Leach
17.6.01

I have found, today, Mrs Ravenscroft in 1834 Knutsford directory living at Heathside which could mean Gaskell Avneue or Manchester Road. She is listed among gentry etc.

Joan Leach
18.6.01