The Family of Betsy Haslam of Bolton, Lancashire
John Haslam’s mother was Betsy Haslam and his
father was William. In a letter from Jennie Weeks, a
genealogical researcher in Salt Lake hired by the Haslam family
in the 1960s, to Edith Norris, a genealogical researcher in
Bolton, England, Ms. Weeks states: “He gave his mother’s name as
Elizabeth Haslam, and listed his father as William with no
surname given.” The letter continues with additional clues: “We
have definitely proven that the English family that he was
connected with, who wrote him many letters after he left
England, was the family of John Hardman and his wife Jane. We
have a record showing that Jane had an illegitimate son, Thomas,
born 16 July 1815. She then married John Hardman and had five
children, including Elizabeth, James, Rodger, Giles, and Sarah.
We know that this is the family he calls brothers and sisters.”
Betsy’s parents were
John and Alice Haslam. Research in Bolton
is challenging because Haslam is a common name, and during this
time period there were four John and Alice Haslam’s having
children. They were:
1. John Haslam and Alice Draper, married in 1779, in Bolton.
2. John Haslam and Alice Crompton, married in 1782, in Deane by Bolton.
3. John Haslam and Alice Roscoe, married in 1786, in Bolton le Moors.
4. John Haslam and Alice Halliwell, married in 1794, in Bolton le Moors.
Dividing out the many Haslam children among the proper families has been difficult, as the mother’s maiden name is not given at the christening. These christenings took place in St. Peter’s in Bolton, and in Deane by Bolton. On occasion, the townland is given, which can be helpful in grouping the families. Notes from Mrs. Morris, along with the townlands propose the following family groups:
John Haslam and Alice Draper
John Haslam and Alice Crompton
6. Ruth, christened 19 October 1794; died 2 September 1795, buried in Deane.
7. Betty, christened 1 January 1795 in Deane.
8. Abraham, christened 5 November 1795 in Deane.
9. Thomas, christened 25 September 1796 in Deane.
10. John, christened 30 April 1797 in Deane.
11. John, christened 18 May 1800 in Deane.
12. Lettice, christened 18 September 1802 in Deane.
13. Hannah, christened 7 August 1803 in Deane.
14. George, christened 6 September 1804 in Deane.
15. James, christened 15 September 1805 in Deane.
16. Elizabeth, christened 7 February 1806 in Deane.
17. Mary, christened 17 May 1807 in Deane.
18. John, christened 15 October 1809
John Haslam and Alice Roscoe
Marriage of John Haslam and Alice Roscoe in St. Peter's parish
John Haslam and Alice Roscoe’s marriage is recorded in the
St. Peter’s parish register: “John Haslam of Deane, weaver,
married Alice Roscoe of this parish 25 December 1786.”
6. Jane, christened 10 May 1794 of Great Bolton at Bolton Le Moors Methodist Church on Bridge Street; married John Hardman.
Sources: IGI, St. Peter parish register, FHS# 559176.
John Haslam and Alice Halliwell
Marriage of John Haslam and Alice Halliwell, St. Peter's parish
John Haslam and Alice Halliwell’s marriage was recorded in the St. Peter’s parish register: “John Haslam of this parish, widower, and Alice Halliwell of this parish, spinster were married in this church by banns this fifteenth day of October in the year 1794.”Mrs. Norris proposed that this is the second marriage for John Haslam, with the first marriage being to Alice Roscoe. The children, all christened in St. Peter, were:
6. Samuel, christened 24 February 1805 of Tong; died 11 December 1883.
Sources: IGI, St. Peter parish register, FHS# 559176.
There are several possible Betsy Haslams in the families of John and Alice Draper, Alice Crompton, and Alice Halliwell. John S Haslam’s mother Betsy had a sister, Jane, who raised John after her death. Only the combined families of John Haslam and Alice Roscoe, and Alice Halliwell meet this requirement.
Another clue in the
letters of Jennie Weeks and Edith Norris is the fact that John S
Haslam was related to Job Openshaw. Ms. Weeks states: “Another
fact that has been established shows that John was related to
Catherine, the wife of Job Openshaw, and several of these
connections you have been able to authenticate with actual dates
and places.” Catherine was the daughter of John Haslam and Alice
Roscoe. She was actually the wife of Thomas Openshaw, and the
mother of Job Openshaw. Job was born in 1819 in Tong, Bolton,
and died 1901 in Salt Lake City.
families of John Haslam and Alice Roscoe, and John Haslam and
Alice Halliwell meet all of these conditions. Betty Haslam,
christened 25 May 1800 to John Haslam and Alice Halliwell is the
most likely person to be Betsy, the mother of John S Haslam.
The letters from Edith Norris propose this parentage for John Haslam and Alice Roscoe:
John Haslam, christened 3 July 1761 to James and Ellen Haslam.
christened 14 September 1760 to Robert and Ellen Roscow of
Betsy’s mother, is most likely the daughter of Thomas Halliwell
and Betty Marsh, and was christened 28 April 1771 in St.
Peter's, Bolton le Moors. While there were other Alices born
within the right time period around Bolton, this Alice is the
only one born in St. Peter's parish. In addition, her parents
were Thomas and Betty. These were the names given to Alice
Halliwell Haslam's first two children.
FAMILY GROUP SHEET OF
JAMES HASLAM AND
JAMES HASLAM married Ellen Heywood 23 December 1760 in Bolton
Le Moors, Lancashire. The parish record shows, "James
Haslam of this parish, weaver and Ellen Heywood of this parish
spinster were married in this church by banns this 23rd day of
December in the year one thousand seven hundred and sixty by
me, J. Folds. This marriage was solemnized between us, James
Hazleme and Ellen Heywood in the presence of John
Haslam and Jas. Livesey."
Ellen was christened 23 June 1731 in St. Peter, Bolton, the daughter of Hy Heywood and Elizabeth Rothwell.
James and Ellen had the following children:
*1. John, christened 3 July 1761 in St. Peter, Bolton,
of Little Bolton; married 1) Alice Roscoe 25 December 1786 in
St. Peter, Bolton; married 2) Alice Halliwell 15 October 1794 in
St. Peter, Bolton. John was a weaver.
Baptism record for John Haslam in Bolton
2. Thomas, 24 Oct 1762 in St. Peter of Little Bolton.
3. James, christened 3 July 1763 in St. Peter, of Tong.
4. Peter, christened 14 July 1765 in St. Peter, of Little Bolton.
5. Richard, christened 2 November 1766 in St. Peter, of Tong.
6. Mary, christened 15 February 1767 in St. Peter, of Little Bolton.
7. Hannah, christened 9 February 1772 in St. Peter, of Sharples.
8. James, christened 25 February 1774 in St. Peter, of Sharples.
9. Alice, christened 29 October 1775 in St. Peter, of Sharples.
10. Betty, christened 16 November 1777 in St. Peter of
SOURCE: IGI; St. Peter parish register.
When Betsy was in her early twenties she was employed as a “lady worker and teacher at the Duke of Bridgewater’s estate at Worsley. William, the Duke of Clarence, was a visitor at the Duke of Bridgewater’s home. William later became King William IV of England. While in the Duke’s employ, Betsy became pregnant. At the age of 23 she gave birth to a son, John. John gave his father’s name as William. William, the Duke of Clarence, may have been the father. (See the discussion of John S Haslam’s birth for research on his parentage.) Some family stories indicate that Betsy received financial support for her son John.
Betsy raised her son. When John was only nine years old Betsy died. She was 32 years old when she died on 6 May 1832. There is no record of a marriage or other children for Betsy.
Betsy’s son, John, was then raised by Betsy’s sister Jane. Jane had an illegitimate son, Thomas in 1815, when Jane was 21 years old. Jane married John Hardman on 13 May 1832, just seven days after Betsy’s death. Jane and John Hardman had six children: Elizabeth, James, Rodger, Sarah and Giles, who were twins, and Martha. John Haslam considered the Hardman children as his brothers and sisters. (Click here to see letters to John Haslam from his family in England.)
If John was the
son of William IV, then financial support may have stopped in
1837, when William died. John would have been 14 years old at
that time. Stories of John’s childhood, as told by his wife
Mary Ann Kay, say that John “had to work in the coal mine as a
child…Later at the age of 14 his mother bound him over to a
Mr. Wordley to learn the blacksmith trade.” Jane must have
been the mother mentioned, as Betsy had died by then.
Jane Haslam died just six years later, on 28 February 1838, of asthma. After Jane died, “When John was 16 years of age, he served in the British Navy.” He would have left home to join the Navy one year after Jane died. (Coincidentally, William IV served many years in the British Navy, and had a great love for the sea.) John stayed in touch with his adopted “brothers and sisters”, actually cousins, and several fond letters from the Hardman children are in descendants' possession.
If you have any additional information
about this family, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.