Thursday, 25 June 2009

Women’s Rights women in Southport-

Women who signed the 1866 suffrage petition in North Meols Southport.

Checking on the story of Sarah Jane Oxley and her daughter Anna Maria Ainsworth and their neighbours in Southport Lancashire has diverted me from my original intention of proceeding in an orderly a-z direction in recording these women.
The discovery that a member of the London Association of Schoolmistresses, Elizabeth Janion, had moved from Southport to London , and that, though she did not sign the petition herself, several of her North Meols neighbours had intrigued me. The women who signed in Southport had always intrigued me- many neighbours, women in a range of work situations, and also their numbers vague- many just naming a road as their address, or even , like Anna Maria Ainsworth, adding herself to the address of someone else, and the connection being lost in the alphabetisation of the list.
Tracking neighbours in the census dredged up many connections in Southport. Now I need to get to grips with this fascinating group of women. Last week I ordered the 1900’s OS maps of Southport, and I collect them from Stamfords tomorrow- Perhaps a map will help me to unentangle the connections between schoolmistresses, boarding house keepers, widows and wronged wives, shopkeepers and midwives, women who continued to live their lives in comfort, and one at least, who appears to have ended her life in the workhouse.

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