The welcome John and Mary had received from the community when they first arrived in Ancoats was not only from the Irish residents but also the English . They, due to the enclosure of the common land needed by villagers to graze there few animals, along with many of the rural industries, such as weaving, being in decline, also had relocated to Manchester where work was plenty.
In the years following 1851 the affect of people fleeing the famine from over the water in Ireland, resulted in the population of Ancoats growing to an unsustainable level.Many were suffering from fever when they first arrived.
These poor wrenched people had also suffered through the last few years . Having no money to support themselves, took work, (any work) at reduced wages. Four or five families shared a single room in a lodging house. Mill owners took advantage of this cheap workforce obviously causing problems between the two nationalities and for most parts became isolated from each other.
Ancoats though a poor area had over the years built a strong caring community . With the large influx of people this changed the local demographic. This along with the undesirables from other districts having moved into the area, these were now the lawless streets where Joseph was growing up.
Joseph on many a winters night had sat around a glowing fire with his brothers and sisters listening intently to stories told by their mother and father,as they recalled there early live just after they had wed, travelling around Ireland.
The most enjoyable stories were of his parents moving from village to village in their cosy caravan pulled along at a lazy pace by their faithful horse.
On long warm summer’s nights they would stop in a picturesque area, maybe by the side of a shallow river or lake, then would unhook the horse from the caravan. With no need for a saddle, ride him into the water. Horse and John enjoyed for an hour or so splashing around in the shallows.
After a evening meal just as the sun went down, with horse being dried and tethered John and Mary would settle down under the patchwork quilt Mary’s mother had made as a wedding gift. The caravan’s large doors were left wide opened as they lay in their bed looking at the millions of stars far away in the clear night sky.
They also told their children of the miserable lives the poor peasants endured back home in Ireland. There only shelter being but a one room cottage. A hearth stone lay in the middle of the room, cooking pot hanging from a roof spar, smoke exited from the fire via a hole in the roof.
Their only furniture a small bench. The bed nothing more than straw that they shared with the pig that they were fattening. This they would sell at the yearly farmers market. The proceeds from the sale to be taken from them by the rent agent .
John resented the fact that those that owned the land believed they owned those that lived upon it. To be treated no better than would a farm animal
Joseph now twelve years of age, having seen the condition of the poor wretched families housed in Ancoats . and learning how they had been treated by the ruling class, not only in Ireland but also England, Joseph was growing up having no respect for authority.
Click to continue Joseph and Alice
1811 TO 1850
John and Mary Hinds travelled the highways and byway through out the Irish county of Galway. There home being but a horse drawn caravan . John was a skilled tinplate worker making and repairing metal pots pans and other household utensils by the roadside. Mary sold the items, trading these at village fairs and markets.
The stable diet of Potatoes being the main crop that fed the vast majority of there customers .Potatoes after harvesting were stored over the winter in pits outside of the house. They did not last more than nine months before they turned bad. There were, therefore, lean months in the summer until the new crop was ready in the Autumn. Though those months John and Mary being unable to sell there stock suffered along with the peasant farmers.
Having heard the stories of families that had crossed the sea to England to work in the expanding mill towns, where regular work with good pay in the factories . Was to be had they booked there passage to England
In 1835 John and Mary both now 24 years of age, along with their one year old son William sailed from Belfast to Liverpool. Then on from Liverpool they travelled to the industrial town of Manchester and settled in Ancoats, an area to the East of the city.
They took lodgings in Rochdale road. where the majority of the residents in the area also being from Ireland made them most welcome, and an helping hand extended to all those that had newly arrived . Many a pleasant evening was to pass drinking the local brew and singing Irish songs along with recalling memories of lives they had left behind.
Though the accommodation was sparse it was non the less more comfortable and not as cramped as living by the roadside in their caravan.
Through out the first few years John worked in one of the numerous small workshops that the large mills relied on to keep their machinery working.
Though the work was arduous and the hours long, John still made time to continue his craft, as in Ireland making household utensils. These Mary hawked door to door and traded on various street markets .
John, preferring to work on his own account gave up his job, and moved out of shared lodging . Using the small amout of money they had managed to save rented a house a little further up Rochdale road, this having a small outhouse that John converted into a workshop.
Parliament wishing to regulate the amount of hawkers (street traders) throughout the cities had passed legislation requiring hawkers to apply for, and if granted, purchase a licence to trade. Certain products sold were excluded from this requirement, kitchen utensils being one. John’s goods were therefore in-demand from unlicensed hawkers. That and along with the extra income received from housing several of the hawkers, they were eventually able to rent a larger work shop. John’s son William, now apprenticed to his father, supplied the hawkers with the stock they traded around the area.
Over the the fifteen years since John and Mary landed in Liverpool their family had grown. In 1838 their daughter Ann was born. Followed in 1845 by twins John and Mary, then a further son my Great Grandfather Joseph being born in 1850..
Click to continue Joseph Hinds 1850 to 1862
My main ambition throughout my life. An ambition though never in a rush to fullfill, that being to reach my now age of three score and ten.
Now retired and having time to enjoy reliving in my mind many happy episodes, and some not so happy periods throughout the years, I also took to looking through the various online census databases for no reason other than curiosity, although I found many with the surname Hinds living in Lancashire from the early 1800s. I soon discovered it would not be an easy task to link the different families to show which lineage I was from. Calling upon a friend whose hobby was genealogy for advise. who kindly took up the challenge (a no mean feat) After many, many hours of works collated all the generations of my family,
The following is but an rendition of how from 1811 to the 1961 my family faired. I hope you enjoy my story and if so it may encourage you to learn more about your own family line.