Lady Hamilton’s (very distant) Neston Cousins

by Stella Young
Emma, Lady Hamilton (1765 – 1815) was born at Ness and baptised Emy Lyon in Neston on the 12th May 1765. She was the daughter of Henry Lyon, blacksmith, and his wife Mary Kidd. It is likely that there are cousins of Lady Hamilton still living in Neston though they are, of course, many times ‘removed’!  First cousins are the children of shared grandparents so a first cousin is the child of an uncle or aunt. The use of ‘once removed’ means that there is a generation difference i.e. the child or parent of a cousin. Similarly first cousin twice removed indicates a difference of two generations so the grandchild or grandparent of a cousin. And so on…

[see end for diagram showing family tree]


William Kidd was Emy’s uncle, one of Mary Kidd’s brothers. He was born in Madeley in Staffordshire in 1738 before their parents, Thomas Kidd and Sarah Hancock moved to Hawarden in Flintshire where Mary Kidd was born in 1743. Their brother Thomas was also born in Hawarden in 1750 as were two sisters Sarah and Amey.

William Kidd married Mary Foulkes of Chester on 31st January 1763 at St Mary’s Chester and the parish register records that he was a labourer and living in Neston at the time of the marriage. When their son Samuel was born in 1764 William and his wife were living in Ness where William was employed as a collier. In the same year married Mary Kidd married Henry Lyon, a colliery blacksmith also working in Ness and their daughter Emy was born there in 1765.

Soon afterwards William and his family moved to Chester where they had two daughters, Mary born in 1766 and Ann born in 1768, both baptised at St Mary’s in Chester. His wife, Mary died soon after Ann was born and a few weeks later his young daughters, Ann and Mary, also died.

A year after his first wife’s death William married Mary Pover in Hawarden on 16th September 1769. He evidently stayed in Hawarden for a while. Their daughter, Frances, was born there in December 1769, followed by Mary in June 1771 and a son, Thomas, in 1773. Mary Lyon and her daughter Emy were also living in Hawarden at this time, Mary having returned there after the death of her husband in 1765. It was not until 1778 that they moved to London.

William however returned to Chester around 1774 where he and his second wife had five more children: Ann in November 1774, Sarah in August 1776, Richard in September 1778, Hannah Pover in April 1780 and John in 1782 (In the same year, Emey Lyon gave birth to a daughter, later known as Emma Carew)

MARY KIDD (first cousin)

On 23rd January 1793 William’s daughter, Mary Kidd, married William Parry, a joiner, at St Peters in Chester. In 1805 their son, John Potter Parry, was born followed in 1812 by  another son, William Pover Parry.

JOHN POTTER PARRY (first cousin, once removed)

John Potter Parry married Martha Maddox of Overpool on 2nd July 1826 at Chester in the Church of St John the Baptist. At the time of his marriage his occupation was coach painter. Their first daughter, Jane, was born in Chester in 1828. After this they lived briefly in Wakefield, Yorkshire where their second daughter, Elizabeth, was born in 1830. The family then moved to Neston where his wife’s father, Jonathan Maddox, and his sons were living and working as bakers and flour dealers. John continued to work as a coach painter and he also held the position of Parish Clerk for many years.

Their family continued to grow and their first son, John Parry, was born in 1835, followed by William Pover Parry in 1837, James Maddox Parry in 1839, Martha Jones Parry in 1841 and Thomas Kidd Parry in 1847. Their youngest daughter, born 1851, was baptised Emy Hamilton Parry on 6th August.

Four years later, on 28th December 1855, John Potter Parry died and was buried in the church at Neston on 1st January 1856.
In 1861 his widow, Martha, was living in Park Street with son, Thomas, daughters Jane and Emey and with a grandchild, Joseph aged 3In 1871 she was still living in Park Street with her daughter Jane and granddaughter, Anne and she was earning a living by taking in lodgers. She died in 1879 at the age of 78.

John Potter Parry’s children were Lady Hamilton’s first cousins, twice removed. They were –


Jane Parry was baptised in Chester on 3rd June 1827. In 1858 she had a son, Joseph, who was baptised at Neston on 5th June. After her mother’s death she moved to Mill Street where she made a living as lodging house keeper. She died in 1889. aged 59 and was buried in Neston on 1st October.


Jane’s son Joseph Parry lived with his mother and grandmother. At the age of 13 he was apprenticed to his great uncle Jonathan Maddox (his grandmother’s brother) who was a shopkeeper/baker in Neston High Street and in 1871 he was living on the premises. When his great uncle died suddenly in March 1883 he left the business to Joseph. Shortly afterwards Joseph applied for, and received, Council approval for improvements to the shop and in August of the same year he married Sarah Ada Mercer, a teacher at Little Neston School. They had one daughter, Jessie, born in 1891. Joseph died in 1911 and his wife and daughter continued to live in Neston. Jessie worked as a clerk at the Neston and Parkgate Steam Laundry.


Elizabeth Parry was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire in 1830 and was baptised on 28th June. She earned a living as a dressmaker before marrying Christopher Sadler Parker at Neston Parish Church on 24th April 1851. Originally from Barnsley in Yorkshire, he was employed at that time as a ‘brazier and tin man’. They moved to Liverpool where they lived in Number 4 Court, Silver Street, Islington. Christopher died in 1863 leaving Elizabeth a widow at the age of 33 with four young daughters the youngest, Martha, being still a baby. She and her daughters remained in Liverpool where she supported herself working as a char woman. She lived with her daughters after they married but for the most part it was in the poorer areas of Liverpool, living in one of the many Courts.


William Pover Parry was baptised in Neston on 27th May 1837. He married Matilda Eva Neale on 10th November 1856 in Liverpool. He settled in Liverpool with his growing family working first as a baker and later as a porter. He died in Liverpool in 1900.


Born in Neston in 1835, he died in 1850 at the age of 15 and was buried at Neston on the 25th April.


James Maddox Parry was born in 1839. By 1861, aged 21, he had moved to Liverpool where he was employed as a baker. On 23rd December 1866 he married Anne Clarke but five years later, in October 1871, he died at the early age of 32 leaving his wife with two young children.


Martha Jones Parry was born in 1841 and baptised on 3rd December. When she was twenty she was in service in Liverpool, living in Richmond Row. Shortly afterwards, in 1863, she married Thomas Arthur Roberts, a brass finisher, at St Simon’s Church. She was widowed in 1878 and worked as a laundress to support herself and her children. She remained in Liverpool, living for many years with her eldest son, John James Roberts.


Thomas Kidd Parry was baptised 9th July 1847. He worked as a labourer and lived first with his mother in Park Street and then with his sister, Jane, in Mill Street. Where he went after his sister’s death in 1889 is unclear.


Emy Hamilton Parry was born in Neston in 1851 and was only a few years old when her father died in 1855. In 1870 she married William Smith, labourer, of Neston. After their marriage they lived first at Liverpool Road and then in Burkey’s Cottages, Badger Bait (address was changed to Burton Road in the 1950s), Little Neston. By 1901 they were living in Broster’s Cottages and William was employed as a steam engine driver. William died in 1907. In May, 1911 Emy married widower Edward Jones but she died only a few months after their marriage.

Emy and William Smith’s children were:-


Born in 1870 John William Smith worked as a miner when he left school. In 1891 at the age of 21 he married Betsy Mellor, daughter of fisherman Lemuel Mellor. For much of their married life they lived in Pear Tree Crescent off Bridge Street where they brought up their six children: Lily, Albert, John, Emily, Lemuel and Florence May. Later they moved to Cottage Close which is where they were living when they celebrated their Golden Wedding in 1941

Cheshire Observer – Saturday 19 July 1941
NESTON AND PARKGATE GOLDEN WEDDING —.Mr. and Mrs. John William Smith, 12. Cottage Close. Neston, celebrated their golden wedding on Tuesday with family gathering, and were the recipients of numerous congratulations from well-wishers.
They were married at Neston Parish Church on July 15th. 1891. Both are 71 years of age and are members of old local families. Mr. Smith spent most of his early life with his aunt and uncle, the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Parry, who were in business locally as bakers and provender dealers. He worked as miner in the local colliery for more than forty years, and was for some time an officlal In the local branch of the Miners’ Union. He was also In the old Cheshire Volunteers and for many years was prominently associated with the local Lodge of Shepherds, in which he was for some time a trustee and delegate to district meetings. Mrs. Smith, formerly Miss Betsy Mellor, comes of an old local fishing family. She is the eldest of a family of 14 and one of her brothers was drowned during a storm at Parkgate. She has been an invalid for the past 30 years, during which time her husband has been an example of devotion by his constant attention to her needs. Mr. and Mrs. Smith have five surviving children of a family of six (their second son being killed In the last war).

Betsy died about two years after their anniversary

Lily Smith married William Millington in 1915. and went on to have children, William, John, Florence May, Gladys, Charles, Albert and George. They lived in Liverpool Road

Albert Smith worked as a postman and married Gladys Roberts in 1931. They lived in Cottage Close.

Emily Smith married Frederick Lovekin in 1924 and they had one son John Roy Lovekin born in 1929.

Florence May Smith married Everard Lyndon Forrest in 1934. They lived at Cottage Close with Florence’s parents and her brother John.


Martha Smith married William Evans in 1891. After their marriage they lived in Brook Street and later moved to Gladstone Road. They had six children: Ethel, Amy Hamilton, Charles, Joseph and then twins Margaret Ann and William.


Mary Emma Smith was baptised in Neston on 19th October 1877. In 1895 she married George Norman, a miner. He was born in Lancashire but his family moved to Parkgate when he was still a child. After their marriage they lived in Little Neston, later moving to Bridge Street in Neston. They had seven children: Ellen, Lillian, William, George, Doris, John and Leslie.


Joseph Smith also earned a living as a miner. He married Margaret Ann Liggett in Liverpool in 1895. The couple lived for a short time in Liverpool and their first son, Joseph was born there. They returned to Neston where they lived in Town Lane. They had three more children: Hilda, Henry and John.


Elizabeth was baptised on 15th September 1881 and died shortly afterwards in 1883


Edith Smith was born in 1884 and she married Charles Smith, a builders labourer from Ness, in 1909. In 1911 they were living in Swan House with Charles’ mother Martha and their young son Charles.


Albert Smith was born in 1886 and baptised on 6th September


Ellen Smith was baptised in Neston on 4th January 1889. At the age of 17 she married Arthur Hallows at Neston Parish Church in 1906. They lived in Shotton where Arthur was employed in the Iron Works. Their first daughter, born in 1907, they called Emey Hamilton Hallows. Their second daughter, Louisa was born in 1910. The family remained in Shotton.

The 1871 shows that Martha Parry had a granddaughter called Anne/Annie living with her in Park Street. It is not clear who Annie’s parents were but the Neston Parish Register records the birth of an Elizabeth Anne Parry to Emma Parry. It is possible that her mother was Emy Hamilton Parry, then aged 16.


Anne (Annie) Elizabeth Parry was born in 1867 and lived first with her grandmother, Martha Parry, in Park Street and then with her aunt, Jane Parry in Mill Street.

She married John Davies, a blacksmith, in 1884. Their first son, Joseph was born in 1885 followed by Harry, Ann, John, William and Emily. For some of this time they were living in Gladstone Road but by 1901 they had moved to Tranmere. They had two more children while they were living in Birkenhead, Thomas and George but moved back to Neston where their youngest son Frank was born in 1907.

In 1911 they were living in Liverpool Road. Their children eventually moved out of Neston, some to Birkenhead or Liverpool and John and Annie now have descendants living in America.

Image courtesy of Dr. G. Wright

For further information on Emma, Lady Hamilton click here to see the Emma Hamilton Society website


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