John's Waters Family

The name Waters is thought to derive from Walter. It seems to have appeared in different parts of England and we suspect there is no connection between the groups in different geographical areas and that the variation of the name from Walter is purely because of the local accent. Using an analysis of the early GRO death indices, the large concentrations of the name are in Lincolnshire and Monmouthshire, with smaller clusters in Kent and Hampshire. However in the parish registers there is evidence of the name in Lancashire in the 17th century and I currently feel that my direct line goes back in the region to before parish registers. Having said that the earliest definite connection on the direct male line is a marriage in 1749.

The marriage in the parish church of Dean between John Waters and Ann Clay who lived in the Westhaughton area produced a large number of boys including as well as my 3 times great grandfather Robert born in 1767, a Doctor Waters who by folk tradition as the 7th son of a 7th son should have had a gift for healing. Though there are no clues as to John's circumstances it is likely to have been lowly as at least 2 of the sons joined the militia as substitutes for other townships (i.e. they were paid to replace the person originally conscripted).

Robert and some of the other brothers moved to Horwich about 1800 and worked in the bleaching industry. Robert married twice and my 2 times great grandfather Joseph, born 1806, was the eldest son of the 2nd marriage with Betty Sharples. Joseph married Mary Ashton. Though several of his brothers stayed in the bleaching business and the family moved to Little Lever to follow the work, Joseph became a bookkeeper and then a fent merchant in Pendleton. He prospered and his will includes mention of his wine cellar.

My direct ancestor Edwin was the 11th of 13 children of whom all but 1 survived to adulthood. Edwin was a yarn agent trading on the Manchester Exchange. His eldest son Joseph Baguley was my grandfather.

Joseph was a cotton broker but in the mid 1920's he made some heavy losses and was forced to change career. He became a musical director and held that post with the Bury Athenaeum Musical Society. He died of a heart attack in 1939.