The Abbotts of Farnworth

Members of the Abbott family have lived in the village of Farnworth near Widnes, Lancashire, England.  since at least 1679, when Nathan Abbott was born. Life in Farnworth village centered on the church, St Wilfrid’s, founded in the 12th century and still standing. This website concentrates on members of the Abbott family from the 19th and 20th centuries, in particular my great great grandparents John Abbott and Martha Dennett, great grandmother Mary Ellen Abbott and her children, including my grandmother Annie Abbott and her brother Jim Abbott.

Connections between the Abbotts and other families in Farnworth, for example the Almonds, the Gandys, the Ratcliffes and the Youngs, are also described here. Detailed information about these connections can be found in the Abbott Family Tree 2016

 If you have any queries, corrections or information please don’t hesitate to contact me at:

egandyzero(AT)  – replace (AT) with @


Six  Centuries of Abbotts in Farnworth

16th century

Members of the Abbott family have lived in the village of Farnworth and surrounding area since the 16th century, probably longer, but the oldest surviving church records for Farnworth Church only go as far back as 1538. The oldest Abbot to be found in the registers is Elline Abbote, buried on the 12th of December 1548. Jone w. (wife) unto Willm Abote was buried on the 20th of March 1563 and husband Willm Abote on the 28th of October 1568. (Note spelling).

17th century

Richardus and Ellena Abbot lived in the village of Cronton just north of Farnworth. According to the Farnworth registers their children were baptized in the church in June 1627 (Catherina) and March 1629 (Willelmus). Another child (Alitia) died in 1629. Richardus died in September 1666 and Ellena in August 1680. (At this time the records were in Latin, including the latin form of names).

17th & 18th centuries

Nathan Abbott is the earliest name in our Abbott Family Tree as it stands today. He was born in 1679 and married Alice Lowe, born 1683, in the year 1699 and they had three children; Thomas born 1705, Anna born 1714 and Maria born 1716. Twelve generations of Abbotts have so far been identified between Nathan and Alice Abbott and our newest Abbotts.

The family tree is the result of collaboration between many Abbotts and Abbott family researchers.For more details see Sources.

19th & 20th centuries

John Abbott (1828-1908) and Martha A. Dennett (1827-1896) are my great great grandparents and the story of them and their descendants is the main focus of the website. John and Martha lived in High Street (1861) and Church Street (1881 nr 33, 1891 nr 74), the only street in Farnworth, running directly south from Farnworth Church.  John was a watchmaker, just like his father and grandfather. Read more about the Abbott family watchmakers here.

Over a period of 15 years, John and Martha had 8 children, two of whom died very young.

  • Margaret, born 1848, married into the Fenney family of Farnworth (Thomas Fenney).
  • Ellen, 1850 – 1856, died when only six years old.
  • Sarah, 1852 – 1934,  married into the Ratcliffe family (Raymond Ratcliffe).
  • Henry (1853 – 1940) married Catherine (Kate) Graylett (1853 – 1912). Henry and Kate had eleven children between 1873 and 1895. There are several links through marriage to other Farnworth families: the Youngs, the Almonds, the Gandys and the Ratcliffes.
  • Mary, 1855-1858, died only three years old.
  • Mary Ellen, 1858 – 1932, my great grandmother, married Bentley Henderson. Read her story here.
  • Martha Ann, born 1861, married Alfred Walker.
  • Isabella, born 1863, married Robert McKie. Known as Aunt Bell by the next generation of Abbotts.

Carrying on the family name Abbott was entrusted to John and Martha’s only son, Henry. But, as we shall see, Mary Ellen did her bit to keep the Abbott name alive.

The Name Abbott

An Abbott is the head of a community of monks in a monastery. In church records it can be found spellt Abbott, Abbot, Abott, Abbote, Abote or Abot. As a curiosity, the married name of one member of our Abbott family is McNab, meaning “son of Abbott” in Scotland. In itself son of Abbott is an anomaly as monks normally swore an oath of celibacy.