It is thought that Ann FORREST was the sister of Ellen FORREST born 1821 and the half-sister of James FORREST (c.1833-1889), although this is not yet confirmed.
The current narrative is that Ellen and Ann were both baptized by William and Mary FORREST, albeit not in the same church or necessarily born in the same place, although the records point towards the family living near Samlesbury and Balderstone/Mellor. Mary died in 1826, and William FORREST married Nancy ELLISON in 1832. James was born in 1833, but no baptism has been found. The facts are as follows:
- In 1841, Ann and James were living together in Duke's Brow, Blackburn in 1841
- In 1841, Ellen was living in Mellor with another family. She was a neighbour to two people (in two dwellings) who were living with James in Blackburn in 1851.
- Ann and Ellen were both baptized by a William and Ellen FORREST, who were recorded as being residents in Samlesbury in 1821 and Mellor in 1825.
- James' father was called William.
Having worked through possible deaths, marriages and census records, there is only one narrative for an Ann FORREST in Blackburn supported by the available evidence. Fortunately, the evidence ties in with the location, and with her father being called William, lending it some credibility.
On Christmas Day 1849, 'Mary Ann' FORREST married Thomas NIGHTINGALE at St Mary the Virgin, Blackburn. Thomas was a boatman, as was his father, Joseph. Ann's father was William FORREST, a weaver. Neither Thomas nor 'Mary Ann' were able to sign their names. The witnesses were church officials who regularly witnessed proceedings.
Two years later in 1851 'Ann' is living in Barcroft Street, Blackburn, aged 24, born Mellor9 with Thomas, a 'coak burner'. By 1861, they were at 14 Pickup Street, where he was a boatman again, 34, born Adlington, with 'Mary Ann', aged 33, and daughters Margaret A, 3, and Rachael, 27. In 1871, they were at 8 Ingham Street, he a labourer, '50', born Chorley (3 miles from Adlington), and 'Mary A', '50', was a cotton weaver with daughters Margaret 13 and Rachel 9, and John T 1, and a female border6. In 1881, she was widowed and living at 13 Inkerman Street, with daughters Margaret A, 23, Rachel, 20, and son, John T, aged 11, all cotton weavers8.
Mary Ann NIGHTINGALE died in Blackburn R.D. Q1 1888, aged 62.
The main issue with the above is the name 'Mary Ann', although in 1851 she was simply 'Ann' which is consistent with her almost being 'Ann' in 1841. Furthermore there is no record of a Mary Ann FORREST being baptized in Blackburn by her father William FORREST (between 1820-1830), (although a Mary FORREST was baptized by William and Betty FORREST in 1825).
Her father William, in 1849, was a weaver - not a brick-maker - but as noted in William's notes, the brick-making industry only took-off in the 1850s, so this might just be a matter of timing.
Anne BARON, 26, born Lower Darwen, married to James - not Ann FORREST Anne JOHNSON, 24, Weaver, born Mellor, wife of Henry JOHNSON, 28 Weaver, daughter Amy, 1. - was Ann RILEY