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George Henry Freeth [fh.]

George Henry Freeth was the twelfth child of Thomas Freeth & Sarah Hemings christened July 18th, 1847 at North Harborne, Staffs.

In 1851 George was living with his widowed father Thomas (51) at Horton St, West Bromwich. With him were sister Ann (14), & brothers Thomas (12), John (8), & Noah (6).

By 1861 George was still living with his father, now at Albert St, West Bromwich, & he was working as a labourer at the glass works. Brothers John, & Noah, all working at the glassworks, & sister Eliza were also at home.

George married Margaret Riley in Oct-December 1869 at Warrington. Margaret was born c1850 in Yorkshire, the daughter of Mary Riley. At the time of the 1861 census Margaret (11) & her widowed mother (47) were winders at a cotton mill living at Rawtenstall, Lancs. Margaret’s 2 brothers & 4 sisters were all working at the mill at this time.

In 1871 George & Margaret (listed as Frenth in census) were living at 37 Berry’s Yard, Warrington. George was a labourer (coal-wheeler) & Margaret was a fustian cutter. They had a 9 month old son, George H. Also with them was a 3 year old step-son, Thomas Riley & next to his name in the census was the abbreviation Illte. – presumably signifying that he was the illegitimate son of Margaret. Margaret’s mother Mary was also living with them & was described as house keeper.

Margaret, aged 32, died in April-June 1881 at Warrington.

At the time of the census in 1881 widowed George was living at 253 Warwick Road, Warrington. He was a labourer at the iron works. Living with him were children Thomas (13) (now listed as Freeth), Noah (9), George H (6), John W (4), Fanny (1), all born at Warrington. Also living with him was Mary Jane Lawless, a 20 year old niece.

The children of George Henry Freeth & Margaret Riley were:

fh. George Henry Freeth born July-September 1870 at Warrington; died Oct-December 1871 at Warrington
fh. Noah Freeth born January 16th, 1872 at Warrington; died 1954 in Philadelphia, USA
fh. George Henry Freeth born April-June 1875 at Warrington; died April-June 1921 at Warrington
fh. John William Freeth born January 28th, 1877 at Warrington
fh. Frances (Fanny) Freeth born July-September 1879 at Warrington

On July 17th, 1881 George married Martha Gleave at Padgate, Lancashire. Martha born June 11th, 1853 at Warrington, the daughter of Amelia King & Peter Gleave.

George & Martha had a daughter named Amelia who died tragically aged just 2 years.  Amelia & her sister were passing the gable end of a house in Oxford Lane when one of 2 gates propped against the wall fell on her.  The gates being heavy, she died almost immediately.  A verdict of accidental death was returned. (Liverpool Mercury January 28th, 1891)

George & family were listed as Freck in the 1891 index & were living at 27 Oxford Lane, Warrington. George was still a labourer & with him & Martha were children Noah, an engine driver, George H & John, both labourers & Fanny. George & Martha had 4 children of their own by now, Letitia (7), Polly (6), Martha Ann (4) & Thomas (7 months). There was another son listed with them – Joseph Freeth, aged 17. Joseph was the illegitimate son of Martha Gleave born October 19th, 1873 at Oliver St, Warrington & christened October 30th, 1873 at St Anne’s, Warrington.

The Cheshire Observer of July 8th, 1893 carried a report of another sad death having taken place at 27 Oxford Lane, Warrington.  A four year old boy was found by his parents in a closet with his head in a tub in which he is thought to have been smothered.  The report named the boy as George, but this is likely to have been son Thomas who would have been 4 years old & is known to have died at that time.

In 1901 George and Martha were still living at 27 Oxford Lane, Warrington, where he was a scrap iron labourer. They had three daughters at home – Letitia (17) and Mary (Polly in 1891 census?) (16), both cardboard box makers, and 14 year old Martha Ann , a cotton weaver.

On June 15th, 1904 George set sail from Liverpool to Philadelphia, USA aboard the SS Westernland to visit his son Noah Freeth, whose address was given as: 256 Mayfield St, Philadelphia. According to the 1910 Philadelphia census, Noah had emigrated to The USA in 1903 with his wife Bridget and 3 children. Travelling with George in 1904 was Emma Reilly (36) and her 4 children, who were going to join Thomas Reilly (Emma’s husband) whose address was the same as that given for Noah Freeth. A note on the ship’s manifest appears to suggest that Thos. Reilly was George’s step son, as was noted in the 1871 census – see above, although note different spelling.

In the US census of 1910 George & Martha were living in Philadelphia Ward 33, Pennsylvania where George was a labourer. With them were daughters Mary & Martha A who were both weavers in the cloth mill. They all gave the year of emigration as 1905. Interestingly it was noted on the census that Martha had had 9 children, of which 6 were living.

Martha, aged 59, died on September 16th, 1912 & was buried on September 20th 1912 at Greenmount, Philadelphia.

In 1920 widowed George was living with his daughter Martha Ann & her husband Luke Laycock (40) in North Swanson St, Philadelphia Ward 33. George, aged 72, had no occupation but son-in-law Luke was a weaver in the upholstery mill. Living with them was Luke’s sister Sophia (39) & her husband Harry Bates (36) & their 1 year old son Harry who had emigrated in 1919. All the household were born in England but none were naturalised.

The children of George Henry Freeth & Martha Gleave were:

fh. David Freeth born April-June 1882 at Warrington; died at 27 Oxford Lane & buried 26th August 1883 at Warrington

fh. Letitia Freeth born Oct-December 1883 at Warrington
fh. Mary Freeth christened Marth 24th, 1885 at St Peter’s, Warrington
fh. Martha Ann Freeth born Oct-December 1886 at Warrington

fh. David Freeth born Oct-December 1888 at Warrington; died Oct-December 1888 at Warrington

fh. Amelia Freeth born Oct-December 1888 at Warrington; died Jan-March 1891 at Warrington
fh. Thomas Freeth born Oct-December 1890 at Warrington, died July-September 1893 at Warrington


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