Margretta Elizabeth SHAW

by Annette Edwards

Margretta Elizabeth was the daughter of Jane Jones and Thomas Shaw who had married at St Giles on 1 January 1845.  Thomas Shaw was a grocer and living in Chester, his father was also Thomas and a grocer.  Jane was a spinster and a dressmaker; her father is named as Samuel Hughes, a tailor, which is a bit odd.

Thomas Shaw died in 1850, he was only 24 and in 1851 Jane and her children were in Crescent Place, Wrexham.  Jane was 24 and a toy dealer, Margretta Elizabeth was 2 and there was a younger daughter Emma aged 1. Sadly little Emma died in the summer of 1852.

Jane Shaw  moved to Bunbury, Cheshire and by 1861 she had become a certified school mistress.  Margaretta Elizabeth was a scholar teacher. They were living in the School House.

In 1830 a National School for girls and infants had been opened in College Lane

In the summer of 1868 Margretta Elizabeth married James Houghton in the Whitchurch district, probably Malpas.

The couple stayed with Jane and in 1871 they were in Windmill Street, Malpas where Jane was the proprietor of a ladies school.

Jane moved to Wrexham  and by 1881 she had retired, she was living in 2 Derby Street , her grandchildren Mary 8  and John Houghton aged 10 were with her,  they had both been born in Wrexham so it looks like James and Margretta had lived there for a while. She`s not been found in 1891 but she died  at 2 Stanley Street on  December 17, 1892, aged 66 years and was buried in Wrexham Cemetery. She left effects of £5 19s 3d, probate was to James Houghton, gentleman.

 Margretta`s husband James Haughton had been baptised in Toxteth in 1842.  His father was Thomas Houghton a solicitor , his mother was Sophia Hurry.  In 1851 when James was 6 his father the family were  living at Mount Pleasant , Liverpool. As they had 3 servants for the family of 6 they seems to be quite well off.  They were still there in 1861 and by now James was a solicitor’s clerk.

James married Margretta Elizabeth Shaw in 1868 and in 1871 they were in Malpas with her mother Jane Shaw. James had no occupation, he was an annuitant.  They had a daughter Sophia Florence who had been born in December 1870 in Malpas.  

On 2 January 1881 Margretta gave birth to a son at Derby Terrace, Derby Road. They must have decided to move soon after as on 5 March there was a notice in the Wrexham Advertiser.

TO BE LET and entered upon in about a month or six weeks  time, a first-class HOUSE, with garden attached, No. 8, Derby Terrace, Derby Road, Hightown.  Now in the occupation of Mr James Houghton, who will kindly shew (sic) parties through the house.

This advert ran until late August,   but by the time the census was taken on 3 April 1881 they were living in North Meols and James was now a landowner. They had children Sophia Florence 10, Bertha Hale 9, Ethel Margretta 7,  Marcella Eleanor Elizabeth Teresa 5  (quite a mouthful) ,  Jennie Hurry  4  and Thomas  who was a baby.  

They moved again to Birkdale by 1891 and now James is a “retired barrister” there was another child, Gwendoline who had been born that year.

In 1901 James is living in lodging apartments in Aughton Road, Birkdale, he is living on his own means. He is married and classed as a lodger.

Meanwhile Margaritta Houghton   who is married and living on own means is with 5 of her children at 19 Gloucester Street, Birkdale.   This is where she died on 29 April 1905.

She had made a will, and left effects of £1444 7s 8d.  Probate was granted to Robert Bruce Wallis, solicitor. He was the husband of her daughter Sophia Florence.

Margretta Elizabeth was brought home to Wrexham and buried with her mother Jane Shaw. James Houghton has not been traced for sure.

Researched by Annette Edwards. With help from Cari Pugh. August 2019.

UNTIL THE DAYBREAK AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY, HERE RESTS MARGARETTA ELIZABETH, THE BELOVED WIFE OF JAMES HOUGHTON. BORN AT WREXHAM SEP 24, 1850. DIED AT BIRKDALE APRIL 29, 1905. 19 GLOUCESTER RD, BIRKDALE. ALSO OF JANE SHAW, HER MOTHER, WHO DIED DECEMBER 17, 1892, AGED 66 YEARS.

Headstone Transcription

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery J-02732