My husband Greg’s 3rd great grandfather James Cross (1791 – 1853) was from Windle, near St Helens, about ten miles from Liverpool in England.

Windle map

Map showing Windle, St Helens, Hardshaw, Eccleston, Prescot, Penketh, Hale, Halewood, and20 Grove Street, Liverpool

James Cross married Ann Bailey (1791 – 1861) on 28 December 1819 at Hale. Their marriage was announced in the Lancaster Gazette on 8 January 1820:

“Same day [On Monday se’nnight], at Hale, Mr James Cross, of Penketh Brewery, to Miss Bailey, Halewood.”

Their oldest son John (1820 – 1867) was baptised at Prescot on 28 December 1820, a year after their marriage. The family was then living at Penketh, on the upper Mersey. James’s occupation was ‘Brewer’.

The Penketh brewery was later acquired by a Methodist family called Parker. Not wanting a brewery in their village, it was turned into a tannery. The buildings were demolished in 1996.

Penketh tannery formerly brewery 1996 geograph-1239396-by-Brian-Balfe

Looking East along Tannery Lane Penketh,at the old Tannery buildings. Photographed July 1996.

Thomas Bailey Cross, the second son of James and Ann, was born on 21 April 1822 at Windle and baptised on 13 July 1823 at St Mary, Hale. On this occasion the occupation of his father James was given as ‘road surveyor’.

Ellen Cross was born 9 February 1824 and baptised at St Mary’s Hale. Her father’s occupation was road surveyor and their abode St Helens.

Ann Jane Cross was born 28 June 1826 and baptised at Prescot on 16 July. James was a road surveyor and their abode was Hardshaw.

Greg’s great great grandfather James Cross (1828 – 1882) was born 28 March 1828 at Windle. He was baptised 4 September 1828 in the parish of St Helens. He is recorded as the son of James and Ann Cross; his father’s occupation was given as Surveyor and the address as Eccleston.

William Grapel Cross was baptised at Liverpool St Peter on 19 October 1832, the son of James and Ann of Eccleston Parish of Prescot. James’s occupation was agent. Thirteen children were baptised there on that day.

Frederick Beswick Cross was baptised 12 August 1835 at St Helens, Lancashire. The family was living at Eccleston and James’s occupation was agent.

On the 1841 census James, Ann and their children James, Thomas and Frederick were living at Eccleston. The occupation of James senior is given as farmer. They were neighbours of a land surveyor named Sylvester Mercer, aged 60, and his family. ‘Mercer’ was used as a second forename in some members of later generations of the Cross family.

On the 1851 census James, Ann, and their children Thomas, William, and Frederick were living in Liverpool at 20 Grove Street. James was a retired farmer, Thomas was a coffee and sugar merchant, William was a clerk to a coffee and sugar merchant, and Frederick was apprentice to a Tailor [or so it appears; I am not sure of the transcription].

Cross Liverpool 20 Grove Street

20 Grove Street, Liverpool from Google maps


James died in 1853 and Ann in 1861. Their son James emigrated to Australia in the early 1850s.


    • Baptism records
    • 1841 census: Class: HO107; Piece: 516; Book: 5; Civil Parish: Prescot; County: Lancashire;Enumeration District: 14; Folio: 40; Page: 5; Line: 1; GSU roll: 306903
    • 1851 census: Class: HO107; Piece: 2183; Folio: 423;Page: 34; GSU roll: 87185-87187