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The Gornall name.

Gornall's are my wife's side of the tree. They have been very well researched. People from all over the world have put in many hours of work & we are still only sure of the bit up to the farming on Pilling Moss. After that, the records get hazy!

It starts with farming in the Fylde area of Lancashire ... and stays there! We think it goes into Preston & the Guild members but the links can be a bit weak.



Born in 1916, Percy was one of nine children to James & Alice Jane (nee Morley). Melita 1910-1912, Joseph James 1911-1963, Lucy Jane 1912, Geoffrey John 1914-2005, Constance Elizabeth 1915-2007, Freda Alice 1918-1989, Thomas Leslie 1920-2009, John William 1921. They were all born in Garstang.

Born two years after the outbreak of World War One, (Known as the Great War, for very good reason, in 1916 more than 1 million soldiers die during The Battle of the Somme including 60,000 casualties for the British Commonwealth on the first day). 1916 saw the bombing of Paris, the first time German Zeppelins were used, it was the year Monet painted one of his many  "The water lilies" and when we think that today's weather has gone crazy  through Global warming, it was on January 23 to January 24 in Browning, Montana, the temperature drops from +6.7C to -48.8C (44F to -56F) in one day, the greatest change ever on record for a 24-hour period.

King George V as on the throne, Lloyd George had just become Prime Minister & Woodrow Wilson was the President of the USA. Percy was born the same year as Betty Grable, the film star famous for her legs, Kirk Douglas, famous for his chin & Edward Heath famous for hating Margaret Thatcher.

It should be noted here that his sister, Constance or "Aunty Connie", was a huge help in the construction of the Gornall tree, her enthusiasm never faltered. She died in 2007 & will be sadly missed.

As a boy in 1929, Percy was on the winning football team at the Garstang festival!

He was only 20 when his father died in 1936.

He married Mary Bell Robinson at St. Luke's Church Winmarleigh in July 1942. Three of the major battles of  '42, El Alamein, Guadalcanal & Stalingrad all raged. Having a major war on, never seemed to stop the Gornall's hatching or matching. During the second World War he was a member of the home guard (Dad's Army!) from 3/6/1940 to 3/12/1944.
He started in farming in Catteral, Garstang, moving on to a small holding on Cow Hill, Grimsagh.
He went on to work as a hatchery manager in Longton, Preston until his retirement. Tragically, Mary died very unexpectedly in 1989.

Percy suffered ill heath with emphysema for a long time & he died in 1993.



James was born in 1881, the first of nine children to Joseph & Elizabeth (nee Hoyles), Mary 1882 & died the same year. (James & Mary were born in Pilling.)  The rest of the children were born in Garstang, Annie 1883-1967, Jane 1885 also to die the same year, Eleanor 1887, Elizabeth 1890, Joseph 1893, Thomas 1894 & Ethel 1896.

In 1881, Queen Victoria had another twenty year on the throne & Gladstone was her Prime Minister. The Boer war ended, Sitting Bull surrendered to US troops at Fort Buford, Montana & there was the gunfight at the OK corral. James was born the same year as Ernest Bevin, Sir Alexander Fleming & Anna Pavlova the Russian ballerina.

In 1901, aged 19, he is living with his family working as a clerk in the rural district council and Board of Guardians. They are all listed as being at Claylands Farm in Cabus north of Garstang, (later called Clay Lane Head Farm). His father, as we shall see, was a noted maker of Lancashire cheese.

He married Alice on the 9th. June 1909, at St John the Baptist in Pilling. In July Louis Bleriot is the first man to fly across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air craft.  In the next few years, the entire world went to war in 1914 & the cinema burst upon the scene. Charlie Chaplin invents the baggy trousered little man, the first U.S. feature film, Oliver Twist, was released in 1912 & the four Warner brothers, Jack, Albert, Harry and Samuel, opened their first West Coast studio in 1918

In 1911 he was at yew Tree Villas in Bonds, Garstang with his wife & first daughter Melita (died soon after). He was a local government clerk.

At his death, aged only 55, he was Clerk to the Garstang Rural Council, a manager at the day school, and a member of the Parochial Church Council, a true pillar of the Garstang community. This was 1936 and it is claimed that penicillin would have saved him. Sir Alexander Fleming, the same age as James, was busy making it work! After many experiments, Fleming was convinced that penicillin could not last long enough in the human body to kill pathogenic bacteria and stopped studying penicillin after 1931, but restarted some clinical trials in 1934 and continued to try to get someone to purify it until 1940.

Alice carried on for many years afterwards, finally passing away in 1969.


Joseph the cheese maker

This man was quite famous in the annuls of Lancashire cheese making & a very interesting farmer.

Joseph was born on the 16th June 1856, one of ten children of Joseph and Mary (nee Jenkinson) Helen 1849, Margaret 1850-1859, Elizabeth 1852, Hannah 1854-1859, (Margaret & Hannah died in the same year in a drowning accident in a local clay pit), Mary 1859, Mary Ann 1858-1885 John 1859, Richard 1864 & Margaret Hannah 1864 all born at Upper Birks Farm, Eagland Hill on Pilling Moss.

1856 was the year Queen Victoria instituted the Victoria Cross, awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy", the Crimean war ended & pre-human remains found in the Neanderthal valley in Germany. Joseph will have grown up with the Charge of the Light Brigade & that heroine of the Crimea, Florence Nightingale, ringing in his school boy ears.  

Bramwell Booth, the founder of the Salvation army, Sigmund Freud & George Bernard Shaw were all born the same year as Joseph.

He married Elizabeth on the 10th February, 1880 and they farmed at Clay Lane Head Farm, Cabus.

Probably based on the belief that "if you build a better mouse trap, the world will beat a path to your door", Joseph  must have decided to bait it with a better cheese. Described on an advertisement thus: "This cheese-maker is specially adapted for making Lancashire cheese, and is far superior to all others. it saves labour, is good to keep clean, more easily managed, there is less waste, a better quality of cheese is made, more durable and reasonable in price."

Joseph's cheese making machine won prizes in 1892 in London & 1893 at the Lancashire Society show. They were priced from 9.5s.0d (9.25p) for 50 gallon model up to 11.10s.0d (9.50p) for 90 gallons. Curd knives were 15/- extra (75p). The metal work was all done by Singletons of Garstang. Joseph was very keen to establish a uniformity to Lancashire cheese making. In his first year (1892), he was 36 and he sold six machines. His best year ever was 1907 with 96 units sold. He sold 1320 machines over 24 years. In his best years between 1903 & 1914, The Wright brothers learnt how to fly, the Titanic went down, San Francisco had its earthquake & World War One started.

In 1911 I found he has his father in law living with him & the family. The surprise was, I had the wrong man. It was Thomas (aged 78), not Nicholas as I had allocated.

When he stopped producing the cheese makers tin 1916, he was 60 years old.

Joseph died in 1928 at the good age of 72. I wonder if anyone had Asthma in the family? He had a "cure" made from Stockholm tar written in one of his account books.



Joseph of Eagland Hill.

This Joseph was one of the men, along with his neighbour and founder of Eagland Hill, James Jenkinson, who started farming by draining Pilling Moss. It was a moss land & perilous bog before Jimmy Jenkinson went there.

Born in 1823, he appears to only have one sister, Elizabeth born 1821. They were the children of Joseph & Margaret (nee Fox).

According to the family history of the Jenkinson's, Joseph had a difficult childhood. His father, Joseph Gornall, had died in August 1822, six months before his birth. Then in 1829, when Joseph was 6 years old, his widowed mother Margaret married James Baron, a Miller from Barton, near Preston. Joseph's step-father must not have wanted his step-son and step-daughter to live with them, and the young Joseph and his older sister Elizabeth spent time in a Preston orphanage.

1823 was the year where eleven-year-old Franz Liszt gives a concert after which he is personally congratulated by Ludwig van Beethoven. Joseph Smith, Jnr., says that he was directed by God through the angel Moroni to the place where the Golden plates are stored. This is the man who started the whole of the Church of the Latter Day Saints ... The Mormons. There can't be a genealogist that hasn't used them to root out ancestors. All because of this man and his crazy vision. Talking of crazy men, Joseph was born the same year as Ned Buntline. Now his story is worth reading, a tale straight out of the Wild West.

By 1841, Joseph had left the orphanage and had moved to Eagland Hill, where he was was working as a live-in man servant for farmer Joseph Isles (or Hoyles) at Eagland Hill Farm. Joseph Isles had established Eagland Hill with 'Owd Jemmy' Jenkinson in about 1813 or 1814.

In the October of 1849 he married Mary, Jemmy Jenkinson's 8th child & they got their own farm. Mary was born in Nateby. In between 1941 & their marriage, Charles Dickens has just published three books, Ireland has the potato famine and out there in the heart of the Industrial Revolution, the British Factories Act restricts the hours of working for women & children to 10 hours a day!
1851 he is farming 15 acres at Upper Birks on Eagland Hill with two labourers. (It is noted as the Birks area of Pilling). He has his step-son James (Mary's child before she married), & two daughters Ellen & Margaret with him. That year a certain Isaac Singer devises a continuous stitch sewing machine. The following year, David Livingstone is up the Zambezi river
In 1861 the farm was 39 acres, There had 5 children, including James, now registered as a farm servant & a John Jackson as a second farm servant. the address was Upper Birks Farm, Eagland Hill, Pilling, Garstang.

By 1869, Eagland Hill has its on church, St Marks. Joseph's father in law, Owd Jemmy, was a great Churchman. When he had become established, somebody asked him why he had chosen to go to live at such an outlandish place as "th hill". "Outlandish?" said Owd Jemmy. "I'll tell tha what - there'll be a church here afoor I dee". And there was, too; Jemmy had the pleasure of laying the foundation stone of Eagland Hills mission church of St Mark on the 13th August 1869. Jemmy died 5 years later. The altar of St Mark's Church lies on the site of the hearth of James's first small cottage.

Birks had grown to 94 acres by 1871. Joseph & Mary had 6 children at home plus 3 farm servants (including cousin James Gornall, widowed & 43) James Jenkinson had left home & married Rebecca Clifton, they lived nearby with their 3 children.

In 1881 the farm is 93 acres. They are at home with 4 children, 3 farm servants, (one of which is William Baron, his half brother & the other two are nephews) & he claims he has 7 labourers.

Mary died in the March of 1895 & Joseph died in the of July 1905. They are buried in the church yard of St John the Baptist in Pilling .



This is Margaret Fox's husband. Born in 1792 to William & Elizabeth (nee Dicconson) He is one of eight children, Nancy 1776, Tommy 1779, John 1780, William 1783, Mary 1787, Jenny 1788 & James 1795. They are all christened in the Garstang area, mainly at Saint Michael On Wyre. Joseph was christened in Churchtown.

1792, George Washington is re-elected President of the USA & George III is on the throne. The French revolution has been going for two years, both Mozart & Hayden are composing & a highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier, becomes the first person executed by guillotine.

The beginning of abolition is seen as over 300 petitions are presented to Parliament against the slave trade. The House of Commons pledges to "gradually" abolish the trade. A settlement is formed in Sierra Leone in West Africa as a home for freed slaves.

Joseph married Margaret Fox in April 1820. She came from Cockerham. They seemed to live in the Catteral area at the time of Elizabeth's birth. They had her baptised at Cockerham, they appeared to live in the Elle area, unfortunately, Joseph died 6 months before the birth of his son Joseph, Margaret took him to Garstang to be baptised. He died in August 1822.



Born in June 1747 to Robert & Ellen (nee Hodkinson) the first of seven children, all in the Preston area. Jennet 1751, Phillip 1753 (he went to London & died about 1821), James 1755 ( went to Hampshire & died in 1850) Thomas 1756, Peter 1757-1833 & Robert 1761.

The year he was born, The Scottish Jacobite Lord Lovat was beheaded by axe on Tower Hill, London, for high treason; he was the last man to be executed in this way in Britain. James Lind discovers that citrus fruits prevent scurvy, saving millions of sailor's life's. Liverpool becomes the busiest slave trading port in Britain, overtaking Bristol.

George II is King. The East India Company, led by Robert Clive, also formed alliances with Indian states in order to fight their French rivals for dominion over India.

He married Elizabeth from Pilling on 15th. August 1774 when Captain Cook set sail to travel the world. The year before, America was rebelling & had it's tea party at Boston.

He died in January 1825



Now it gets difficult! He was born in 1722, It is claimed he is a linen draper, like his father, in Preston. I cannot prove this connection. Its a big jump from Linen draper to farmer without some more clues. His father may have been William c1687 who married Ellen Jonson, his father maybe Christopher Gornall of c1647.

He married Ellen Hodkinson in Penwortham in July 1747.

Many genealogists are convinced that the Gornall name can be traced back via the Preston Guild, which is held every twenty years. Once you are back this far, it must be very difficult to find the clues that you are not chasing the wrong brother, cousin or just the same name, different branch.


Links to genealogy

An excellent Gornall site.

Jimmy Jenkinson's site

Joseph the cheese maker

Joseph's cheese book

Ned Buntline and his Buntline Special

The Boston Tea Party

A good site for the ancient history of Lancashire

The Pilling Pig