Greenhalgh is a very common name in the area around Bolton in Lancashire (UK). There is a link below to a map showing the 1881 distribution pattern. According to the books it derives from the hamlet of Greenhalgh which is near Garstang and Poulton in the Fylde (not far from Blackpool). There is also a Greenhalgh Moss near Tottington. I am not clear whether this got its name after some Greenhalgh's arrived from the Fylde, or whether it gave rise to the name independently. Certainly J.D. Greenhalgh in his articles (1877) on the Brandlesome Branch of the family believed that the line originated near Garstang where they had lived prior to the Conquest. Brandlesome is in the same area as Tottington. The hamlet (as Greneholf) is found in Domesday Book. The name means "green hollow". Also near Garstang are the ruins of Greenhalgh Castle built by the first Earl of Derby in 1490. This takes its name from the nearby hamlet of Greenhalgh rather than through any family connections. A John Greenhalgh was Governor of the Isle of Man in the reign of Charles I. His son, also John, was with the 7th Earl of Derby at his trial in Chester (1651) and execution in Bolton a few days later.

My own line is:

Robert GREENHALGH married an Elizabeth/Betty (both born about 1794 in Ainsworth). I believe this is Elizabeth or Betty HOLT. I have tried to reconstruct the family partly on the basis of the 1841 census for Ainsworth and also from some baptism records sent to me by Mark Barlow to whom I am very grateful. They cover the period 1807 to 1835. As Mark points out all the names are very common and there could easily be more than one couple called Robert and Betty. It would be easy to conflate the issue of more than one couple. And the 1841 census does not give relationships. By 1851 the family had broken up. There are also memorial inscriptions for Ainsworth Christ Church and Mark drew one of these to my attention which probably relates to the family. Robert was described as an innkeeper when James and David were baptised but I have been unable to discover what the name of the inn was. For all these reasons anything written here about the younger siblings must be regarded as unproven. I have the children as:—

  • Ellis 1815 [possibly later was a publican in Pilkington]
  • John 1817
  • Samuel 1820 [? m Elizabeth MEADOWCROFT and was a tailor in Bury]
  • Moses 1822 [m Alice BUTTERWORTH and later lived in Oldham]
  • Alice 1824
  • Jane 1827 worked in Ellis's public house? An MI suggests she married an Ellis Greenhalgh - possibly the one who also worked at the pub and was stated to be a cousin.
  • Martha 1829
  • James 1831 [m1 unknown woman; m2 Ann MAKIN ms PHETHEAN]
  • David 1833 [m 1862 Margaret TURNER] my great-grandparents
  • Esther 1835 d.1849
  • Emma born ~1837

James married his first wife and had 2 children:-

  • Ellis b ~1853. Married a Sarah and became a plumber with several children:
    • Elizabeth ~1876
    • Ellen ~1880
    • Jane ~1882
    • Robert ~1884
    • Martha ~1886
    • Beatrice ~1888
  • Emma b ~1855
but their mother died as on the 1861 census James is described as a widower. His second wife, who he married in 1863, Ann MAKIN was herself a widow. She was the daughter of William PHETHEAN and Ellen MATHER. She was the second eldest of 8 children. When she married James she had already had 2 children by her first husband, John MAKIN, although the eldest had died. The other son John for a time after the marriage when he was living with his stepfather took the name John Makin GREENHALGH but later dropped the Greenhalgh. James and Ann had 3 children and lived in Darcy Lever:-
  • Phethean ~1866 [he was born deaf and dumb and spent some time at the Manchester Schools for Deaf and Dumb. In the 1901 census he is in the Birmingham District Lunatic Asylum
  • Harriet ~1868
  • Alfred ~1873

David married a Margaret TURNER in 1862 and they had three children:-
       Mary Hannah ~1862-1925
       Mary Jane ~1868-1943
       Robert Henry 1870-1944

Robert Henry married Mary Jane ETHERINGTON (1874-1928) and they had a child Robert GREENHALGH b.1914

If you think you may have any links with any of these people I would love to hear from you. But as mentioned above the name itself is very common in this area and most of us will have no known relationship to others of the same name. If you go to my links page there are external links to other sites with information on the name. These include Aaron Greenhalgh in Canada, Kevin Greenhalgh, and the Genforum site

Last update of content 19/01/2006