In this section I am currently developing some mini biographies of folk from the family tree.


Walter Godwin (1842-1925) and Ellen Unsworth (1845-1913)

Walter was born in Longdon by Lichfield in 1842, he was christened at St Mary Church in Stafford on 23rd March 1842. Ellen Unsworth was born in Frodsham in the district of Runcorn on July 18th 1845 (Cert CM 353802). Her parents were Elizabeth Unsworth (formerly Young) and William Unsworth, who gave his trade as a painter.

In 1861, the census shows that Walter was a 19 year old butcher apprentice lodging with his master butcher at 10 Bridge Street in the Castle Church district of Stafford.

Five years later, Walter and Ellen Unsworth were married in the parish of Guilden Sutton near Chester on May 21st 1866. They both gave their residence as Guilden Sutton at the time and Walter gave his trade as a butcher. The witnesses were Peter Hughes and Margaret Morris. On the certificate Walter's father William Nethersole Godwin gave his trade as a shoemaker and Ellen's father was William Unsworth who gave his trade as a plumber.

In the 1881 census, Walter and his family were recorded as living at 9 William Street in Salford. This whole district has been redeveloped and although some of William Street still exists, running parallel to Trinity Way, there are no houses there. His job was recorded as a Carter.

In 1891, Walter was living at 3 Queens Place, still in the Islington district of Salford. He is a 49 year old carter and Ellen was 46. 14 year old Clara, who had been born in Crewe was a confectioner. The four boys present were 13 year old Thomas, 11 year old Charles and the 8 year old twins Walter Frederick and William Nethersole; all the boys were scholars.

In the 1901 census, Walter and Ellen had moved home across Chapel Street, to 10a Islington Street (see top left picture of Islington Street, original is in Salford Local History Library). At this time Walter was 59 and Ellen 56, he gave his profession as a "Railway Porter Goods". I visited what's left of Islington Street, the railway runs nearby to Salford Central Station. There is no trace of the original street and I suspect that the new Islington Street isn't exactly where the old one was, the area is now site to some very run down flats.

Also recorded on the census was son Charles, now 21 and recorded as a "Machine Shop Labourer". Also present was Walter Frederick Godwin (known as Uncle Tot to my Great Auntie Sally), he was 18 years old, and like his father, was recorded as a "Railway Porter Goods".

A Walter Godwin died in Salford in 1907 age 6 months, death certificate (Vol 8d page 12). He is buried with 2 year old Ellen Godwin who was buried on June 17th, 1910. 

While looking for a record of the burial of Ellen Godwin in the Salford Reporter, I stumbled across a disaster in the Godwin family. The funerals of 3 Godwin infants within a fortnight at 22 Islington Street, see the grave details below for January 1914. On September 7th 1906, Mary Ireland of Schofield St, Salford purchased grave plot G 713 at Weaste Cemetery in Salford.

I am not sure who all the parents were at this stage . The few yellow roses on the ground to the right of centre mark the site of the burial which has no stone. You will notice the damage to the surrounding stones, the site was bombed during WWII by the Luftwaffe aiming for the nearby docks, any headstone and associated information may have been lost then.

Those buried in the grave are as follows:

Name                                       Age                 Buried

Samuel Broadbent Ireland     33                 Sep 10 1906

(Husband of Mary Pierce Ireland, nee Hughes, he was killed in by a horse in Salford or Prestwich)

Eliza A Ireland                    15 months      Sep 27 1906

(Daughter of Samuel Broadbent Ireland and Mary Pierce Ireland)

Allen Godwin                      19 months      July 12 1909

(b. 03.02.1908 at 72 Slater St, Pendleton, son of Mary Pierce Godwin & Thomas Godwin)

William  Godwin                  19 months       Sep 28 1911

(Probably William Nethersole Godwin although Salford Reporter gives death address as 22 Islington Street, not 3 Sidney Street as per 1911 census b. 10th April 1910 to Eliza Annie Godwin nee Hughes and William Nethersole Godwin, son of Thomas.)

David Hughes                      51                  July 16 1913

(Died at 5 Schofield Street, Salford 10.07.13 from acute diarrhoea and capillary bronchitis, Mary Pierce Godwin his daughter of 22 Islington Street was present with him when he died. David was a Cloth Bleacher's Porter)

Thomas Godwin                   2                    Jan 3 1914

(b. 04.11.1911 at 73 Sidney Street, Salford, son of Mary Pierce Godwin & Thomas Godwin)

Mary Godwin                       9 months         Jan 3 1914

Amelia Godwin                    6 months         Jan 14 1914

(b. 11.06.1913 at 22 Islington Street. Daughter of Mary Pierce Godwin & Thomas Godwin who was a Railway "Liveryman" or "Lorryman"?)

Sarah Hughes                      73                  July 13 1936

(Wife of David Hughes and mother of Mary Pierce Hughes/Ireland/Godwin)


Ellen died age 68 in Salford on October 26th 1913 and is buried at Weaste cemetery in grave G385 (below). Walter died age 83 and was buried in the same grave on June 27th 1925, but his name was not etched onto the stone. Also in this plot, which was purchased by Charles Godwin of Ouse St Salford on October 8th 1909, are Emily M Godwin age 28 (Charles' wife I think) buried October 9th 1909 and 2 year old Emily Godwin (child of his second marriage) who was buried on October 15th 1918.

While on the subject of Weaste Cemetery, a 3rd class grave number L247, was purchased by Emma Seddon of Mayor Street, Pendleton on November 5th 1900. In the grave are a Walter and an Ellen Godwin (6 months and 2 years respectively). I am unsure whether these two children are related to my family tree, but because the Christian names are that of my great great grandparents Walter and Ellen Godwin, their parentage warrants further investigation.

This particular grave is on the fringe of the cemetery and contains the following individuals:

Name                     Age                  Buried

Taylor Vickers           45                   Nov 6 1900

Walter Vickers           6 months         Nov 7 1904

Walter Godwin           1 month          Jan 28 1907

Elsie Seddon              9 months         May 24 1909

Ellen Godwin              2                    June 17 1910

Harold Goodwin          9                    June 30 1921

Irene Ruddy               4                    Feb 15 1930

Douglas Hayes           3 weeks           March 6 1930

Back to the Ellen and Walter Godwin biography...


1 Hester Ellen Godwin  born 1866 in (Great/Little?) Barrow, Cheshire. What happened to Hester isn't certain. A Hester Ellen Godwin married in Chorlton, Manchester in 1890, but without seeing the marriage certificate, I don't know whether it is the same woman or who she married. There is no trace of a Hester Ellen in the following years census or in subsequent years. On checking deaths registered in Chorlton in 1890, I found a record of the death of a Hester Ellen Butler.

2 Sarah Elizabeth Godwin 1868 born Grappenhall, Warrington, Cheshire. In 1890, when Sarah was 22, she married William Henry Moss in Salford. William was born in Salford in 1857/58. They had the following children: Ellen Moss born 1896 in Salford, Florence Moss born 1898 in Salford and Hilda Moss born 1900 also in Salford.

3 Martha Godwin 1870? born Grappenhall, Cheshire. In 1901 Martha was married to 32 year old Cockfield in Suffolk born iron miller, Harry Bradley at 61 Lawrence Road in Altrincham. She had living with her at the time her sister Clara Godwin, Clara was working as a Monthly Nurse. Martha and Harry had three children at the address, Charles H. Bradley age 7, Elizabeth E. Bradley age 6 and Walter Bradley who was 3. All the children were recorded as having been born in Manchester, Lancashire. is a possible Bradley history link.

3 Clara Godwin born in Crewe 1877. Clara died in 41 Lock Road, Altrincham, Cheshire on 18 3 1958, she was 81. Occupation: Confectioner (1891), Monthly Nurse (1901). You can see her will here.

5 Thomas Godwin born 1878 in Salford Greengate district (cert GRE/124/83). This chap is my paternal great grandfather, his biography is set out below.

5 Charles Godwin born 1880 in Salford Greengate district (Cert GRE/129/82), he married Emily Mary Higginson at St Philip in Salford in 1908 (Cert C35/5/402). Emily Mary Godwin died on October 5th 1909 age 28 years. Charles remarried an Emily, their two year old daughter died on October 11th 1918 and was buried in the same grave. Freebmd shows an Emily Mary Higginson born in Runcorn in 1879 could have been his wife.

6 Walter Frederick Godwin born a twin September 1882 in Salford. In 1901, his occupation was listed as a Railway Porter like his father. In 1905, William married Margaret Christina Dodd in Salford.

7 William Nethersole Godwin was born a twin in September 1882 in Salford. In 1901 he gave his profession as a bakers van driver. In 1905 when he was 23, he married Elsie Annie Hughes in Salford. In 1911 he was a Railway Goods Porter according to the census.




Thomas Godwin (1878-1927) and Mary P Ireland (nee Hughes)

In 1908 at  St Mary church in Salford, Thomas married Mary Ireland (Cert C35/5/367). Mary was nee Hughes, her sister Eliza married Thomas' brother William Nethersole Godwin - the two Hughes sisters had married two of the Godwin brothers. Mary was a widow, she had married previously one Samuel Broadbent Ireland at the same church in 1905 (cert C35/5/216). On I learned that Samuel died the following year age 33, his death was registered in the nearby town of Prestwich in the period between July and September of 1906. Samuel would have been William Nethersole Godwin's brother-in-law during the brief duration of the marriage.

In 1891, 31 year old David Hughes (Mary P Hughes' father) was a Carter living at 7 Wickham Street in the Islington ward of Salford. David gave his birthplace as Chester in Cheshire, his wife Sarah was 29, she gave her birthplace as Manchester in Lancashire. Alice A Hughes was 1, was Mary P Hughes was 5, Alan was 8 and Elizabeth A Hughes was either 10 or 16 and down as a scholar.

Later, Thomas Godwin entered the Army Service Corps and fought in France during the first world war. His service number was Dvr T2/SR/03557. Translated, I think that means Driver, Transport 2, Service Regiment, number 03557.  His first theatre of war in the Great War was France in September 1915. There are four Godwin records on the document, the top left one is my great grandfather's; click the picture below to see the record.


I have two of his three medals which are the Victory, the Star and the British. Sadly one is missing.

More military record scans here: Railway Reference for the Great War call up front back

Short Service Enlistment   Descriptive Report on Enlistment   Protection Certificate

His Short Service Enlistment document states that he served in the Lancashire Militia Artillery, I am currently looking further into this.

Here's a mystery: I am not sure what happened to Thomas in 1901 as I can't find him for sure in the 1901 census. Maybe he was with the Lancashire Militia in the Boer War? It would appear that a 20 year old Thomas Godwin of 10a Islington Street (right name, age and address) married a Jane Eliza Biermann in 1898 at Salford registry office on Valentines day. In the 1901 census, I found a Thomas Godwin who was 23 at the time, lodging with his wife Eliza  at 22a Clarence Street in the Hulme St Georges district of south Manchester. He was working as a Carter for Oil Works.

If this is the same Thomas Godwin (in the census he gives his birthplace as Salford in 1878 which tallies) then it would appear that he had been married before his marriage to Mary Pierce Ireland. Problem is in 1878 the marriage certificate records his father's name as Thomas when it should have been Walter and I do not know what happened to this first marriage. My grandfather who married Mary is 1908 is recorded as being a bachelor. Bigamy? I can find no record of the death of an Eliza or Jane Godwin between the date of the 1901 census record and his subsequent marriage to Mary in 1908 so no clue there.

Jane Eliza gave her father's name as Carl Biermann who was a butcher, there is something else here in brackets which is hard to read. Thomas' father's occupation is recorded as a Liveryman, the witnesses were John Fearnshaw and Susan Biermann - if my interpretation of their signatures is correct!

Thomas gave his address as 10a Islington Street, the same address as his parents Walter and Ellen Godwin - so surely it is the same Thomas and the father's first name is a mistake? Jane Eliza gives her address as 66 West Street, Salford and in the 1901 census she states her birthplace as Lancashire, Manchester. This may be recorded as Rochdale in an earlier census if my memory serves me well, I need to check.

Thomas died in the presence of his wife at their home 2 Irwell Terrace in Salford on December 27th 1927 of pulmonary tuberculosis. His death certificate shows records his occupation as a Railway Liveryman Army Pensioner. He was 49 years old. He is buried in Weaste cemetery in plot J4079, but there is no stone. Next to this grave is J4080 which according to the Council is also buried a Godwin.

Mary was affectionately known as Polly. Here is the 1911 Census image showing Thomas, Mary and their daughter Mary boarding at Sidney Sidney Street with Thomas' brother William Nethersole Godwin's family.

My father recalls a childhood memory of Polly, he tells me he was embarrassed when once his grandmother lifted her large, layered dress up in a corner shop to access her purse! The two Hughes sisters used to work/run a chip shop on Mason Street in Salford which is also no longer there.


1 Mary Godwin Born March 1913, Salford

2 Thomas Robert Godwin Born 11th Feb 1915, died in Swinton, Salford on 20th February 1974 age 59. He married Gladys Knibb who was born in Liverpool on August 6th 1918, she died on February 5th 1969. Both were cremated at Patricroft in Salford and are recorded in the Book of Remembrance there on the date of Thomas's death. They had one son, Raymond Arthur Godwin who was born in 1942 in Prescott, Liverpool.

3 Alice Godwin Born September 1920, died November 1988 and was cremated at Agecroft in Salford.

I have a family portrait of the three children and their parents in sepia tones that I will scan and publish here in the future.



This site was last updated 26-Mar-2010