There is a double connection between the Smith family and the Baron family, from which Rachel Jollans came. Ellen Smith married John Washington Baron and Ellen's brother, John Howard, married John Washington Baron's sister, Nancy Rachel Jollans was the daughter of John Washington and Ellen Baron. On the other side of the family, John Howard and Nancy Smith had four children (3 boys, George, WIlson and David Howard, and 1 girl, Annie).
In 1988 descendants of both the Smith and Baron sides of the family met in Accrington.
The Smith-Baron reunion in 1988
Back row: Lonice Purdom, Peter Neale, Frances Thompson, Keble Sykes, Elizabeth Matthew, Geoffrey Smith, Jean Smith, Bill Jollans, Kathy Smith. Centre Row: Jane Smith, Dorothy Hall, Peggy Rymer, Joan Jollans, Christine Neale, Margaret Sykes. Front row: Paul Matthew, Jennie Matthew, Emma Fawcett.
More below on members of the Smith family:
Joseph and Alice Smith, née Kemp
Alice Kemp was married first to Joseph Smith and then to Edward Smith, probably his brother. She was born in December 1809, the daughter of James and Ann Kemp, and married Joseph in 1828. By the time of the 1851 census she was married to Edward Smith, living at 98 Church Lane in Great Harwood and looking after a total of 9 children. Six of these, aged from 10 to 20, are described as nieces and nephews of Edward Smith, so are presumably the children of Joseph and Alice. The other three, two boys aged 15 and 17 and a girl aged 11, are described as his children, so are presumably from his first marriage. Confusingly there are two Wilson Smith's in the household. Edward’s 17 year old son is called Wilson Smith (was this the name of Edward and Joseph's father?), but the age of his nephew (12 in 1851) confirms that this is the Wilson Smith who later married Rachel Brewer.
Wilson Smith was born in Great Harwood in 1839, the son of Joseph and Alice Smith. His wife, Rachel Brewer, was born a year earlier in Low Moor, near Clitheroe, a few miles north of Great Harwood. She appears to have come to Great Harwood in 1858 and married Wilson Smith in 1859. An obituary notice suggests that her move to Great Harwood was at the time of the cotton panic, but this was from 1861 to 1865. It seems more likely that she came to work in the cotton industry in the boom years (both she and Wilson were described on their marriage certificate as cotton power weavers) and may then have suffered when production turned down.
Brewer was the unmarried name of Rachels’s mother (Ellen Brewer), and of her grandmother (Mary Brewer) as well. There is no firm evidence of her father, but I have a handwritten note to suggest that he was ‘young de Hoghton’ of Hoghton Tower (to the west of Blackburn), and that through him she could trace her ancestors back to Edwin & Morcar and to Lady Godiva and the Earldom of the Hwicca. The current
Wilson and Rachel were married at Blackburn Register Office on 21 April 1859 and had 7 children. Ellen, their fourth child, married John Washington Baron, while their fifth child, John Howard, married John Washington’s sister, Nancy. The descendants of both couples share common ancestors in both Wilson and Rachel Smith and David and Sarah Baron.
Presumably the two families became quite close and they seem to have come from similar backgrounds. Wilson Smith started out as a weaver, but became a draper, with premises in
Wilson and Rachel were living in
John Howard Smith was the fifth child of
By that time however he and Nancy had 4 children.
Nancy Smith in 1938
Her obituary notice refers to her as a regular contributor to the ‘Poet’s Corner’ in the Blackburn Times and to other literary efforts.
The Smith family was featured as part of a display at Great Harwood Library in 2009.
The family of John Howard and Nancy Smith
The four children, of John Howard Smith and Nancy Baron all went on to become very distinguished in their chosen fields. The oldest, George Smith, born in 1895, went to
The second child, Wilson Smith, born in 1897, served in the Field Ambulance Service in the First World War, before studying medicine at
David Howard Smith, born in 1900, took a rather different path, training as a Methodist minister and becoming a missionary in
Their youngest child, Annie (known as Nancy), was born in 1902 and trained as a singer in oratorio. She had some lessons from Sir Henry Wood, but gave up the profession after marriage to Gordon Frost.