I found this brass tray at an antiques fair. Fellow genealogists will understand the immediate compulsion on seeing the names and dates on the tray, the need to find out who the people are and what happened to them.
The tray says the couple were married on 11 January 1882. The marriage register for Gravel Lane Wesleyan Chapel in Manchester shows that they were Bennett Barlow and Annie Kelsall. Bennett was aged 33 (so born around 1849) and was a builder. Annie was 21 years old (so born around 1861) . They were both resident at 5 Browning Street in Salford at the time of their wedding.
The 1891 census was their first census of their married life. They were living at 3 Moss Grove, Urmston. Bennett gives his occupation as 'House Builder' and says he was born in Eccles. Annie was born in Salford. They have three children on this census: Herbert B, 8yrs old, born in Frodsham Cheshire, Ernest H, 6yrs old, born in Eccles and Annie, 1 month old, born in Urmston. So that accounts for three of the children on the tray.
In 1901 the family were living at Ashton Hall, on Church Lane in Ashton upon Mersey. Bennett is still a builder. Herbert is still at home and is working as a 'Builder's son' he calls himself a worker so he must be working for or with Bennett. The next child is Jack who is the same age and born in the same place as the Ernest H on the previous census and the tray confirms they are the same person. Obviously 'Jack' had some objection to the name Ernest. He too is working for his father. Annie is now 10 years. Another daughter, Vera, was four years old. The family had a 14 year old housemaid.
In 1911 the family were living in Wood House Lodge in Ashton upon Mersey. Bennett is 63 years old and a retired builder. Herbert and Ernest are still living at home and both working as joiners. Ernest is now Ernest again! Vera is 15 years old. Annie is not on the census at this address. She turns up in Urmston, visiting an aunt and uncle.
Bennett died in 1916. He would only have been in his late sixties. His death made the newspapers: Lancashire Evening Post 18 January 1916 reported that Bennett had rheumatism and had been advised to take salt baths. He was found dead in one of the salt water bath tubs that morning. The same newspaper reported on the inquest on 20th January. The baths attendant said that Mr Barlow was a regular and always had the same bath. She prepared the bath and left him to it, locking the door behind her. On her return to work the next morning she found Mr Barlow lying in his bath with his legs hanging over the edge. It seemed that the baths had been closed for the night without anyone checking whether there was any customers still bathing. Bennett's doctor testified that he did suffer from dizziness so it seems he probably fell whilst drying himself. A verdict of accidental death was recorded.
In 1939 on the National Registration Survey Annie is living at 4 Palmfield Road, Blackpool with her son Ernest. They must be reasonably well off as Ernest isn't working and Annie has recorded her occupation as 'private means'. The survey is a great source as it confirms their full date of birth. 12 April 1860 for Annie. Ernest's matches the date on the brass plaque. There is an Annie whose death is registered in the second quarter of 1940 in Blackpool so this is probably her.
So what happened to the children?
Herbert Bennett Barlow born March 20th 1883 was living in Blackpool at 4 Holmfield Road with his mother and brother in the 1920s. He died in Blackpool on 12 November 1931. He left everything to his mother Annie.
Ernest Harold Barlow born on June 25 1884 appears to have died in the second quarter of 1940, just like his mother.
Annie Barlow born on February 12 1891 was married on 20 August 1921 in Urmston parish church to Thomas Carrick Nichol. He was a chemist and Annie was a telephonist. In 1939 Thomas and Annie are living at 23 Delaneys Road in Sale. He was still a chemist. There are no children living with them. She died in Exeter in 1988.
Vera Barlow born on 17 August 1895. There was a Vera Kathleen Barlow who was in Preston Mental Hospital in 1939 who was the right age. She died in 1981.
As to the building Ashton New Hall - did Barlow build it? It is a listed building built in 1804 so no, it was not one of Barlow's.