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John William Freeth [fh.]

John William Freeth was the fourth child of George Henry Freeth & Margaret Riley born January 28th, 1877 at Warrington, Lancs.

In 1881 John was living with his widowed father George & brothers & sister at 253 Warwick Road, Warrington.

John was still living at home in 1891 with his father & step mother Martha, & brothers & sisters at 27 Oxford Lane, Warrington. John was a labourer.

John married Sarah Ann Kelly in Oct-December 1896 in Warrington & presumably lived in Warrington as their first child’s birth was registered there in 1898.  Sarah was born Sarah Ann Kelly in 1875/6 in Wigan, Lancashire, the daughter of Catherine (Kate) Noon & John Kelly.  After the death of John Kelly, Sarah’s mother Catherine remarried in April-June 1878 to Joseph Griffiths.

Sarah was found in the 1901 census living with sons Thomas (3) & John (2) at Longford St, Warrington. Husband John was not with her & as the family are known to have emigrated to the US it is possible that he had already gone to America. Sarah was described as a newsagent & she was living with her uncle Martin Dooley (39), a labourer in the iron industry & his wife Julia (41), a fustian cutter.

There are passenger lists for 1905 & 1907 showing that Sarah & 2 children, Thomas & John, sailed to Philadelphia on the S.S. Merion & S.S. Friesland respectively. The 1907 record states that Sarah’s nearest relative in the UK was her mother Mrs Griffiths of 57 Laira St, Warrington.

In 1917/18 John’s registration card for WW1 shows his address as 2529 N. Lawrence St, Philadelphia & he was working as a chief engineer. Son John B served as a private during WW1 & was severely wounded as reported on July 21st, 1918.

In 1920 John (41) & Sarah (44) were living in Philadelphia & John was a stationary engineer working in the production of cigar boxes. Son Thomas J was a machinist at a machine shop & son John B also worked at the cigar factory as a shipping clerk.

Son Thomas married May Radford in 1921 in Philadelphia & by 1930 they had a son Joseph, aged 7. 

Son John married Mary E Garst (nee Connor) in 1929 & in 1930 they were living in Philadelphia with Mary’s twin daughters, Elizabeth & Gertrude Garst, aged 8.

John & Sarah were still living in Philadelphia in 1930 at N. Fifth St. John was now a dealer on a newspaper stand. They owned their house with a declared value of $7,000, & both John & Sarah were naturalised.

In 1940 John, a newspaper courier, & Sarah were still living in Fifth St, Philadelphia & with them at the time of the census was son John B, a labourer.  Son John was listed as married but his wife Mary was also living in Philadelphia with her 2 daughters using her former name Garst & listed as widowed!   Son Thomas’ whereabouts in 1940 are unknown, but his wife May was listed as head of the household & still living in Philadelphia with their son Joseph, a newsworker.

The children of John William Freeth & Sarah Ann Kelly were:

fh. Thomas J Freeth born Jan-March 1898 at Warrington, Lancs
fh. John B Freeth born August 28th, 1899 at Warrington, Lancs; died July 18th, 1955, buried Beverly National Cemetery, Burlington County, New Jersey, USA


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