TONGE, Ralph: Speculations on the various Ralph Tonge's in and around the Bolton area in the eighteenth century. Working notes for investigating the parenthood of Robert Tonge, farmer, of Heaton (1787 - 1832). All events at Deane, unless otherwise specified.

Ralph Tonge of Halliwell (1726 - 1804)

Possibly the child of James Tonge of Halliwell:

1st marriage probably Martha Fletcher (25th Dec 1747 - both OTP) or Mary Livsey (5th Jan 1748 - both OTP).  There is a record of a Ralph Tonge (Widower) m. Ann Pendlebury (Widow) in 1774 - which is possibly this Ralph Tonge.  If this is the case then we would expect to find a burial of his first wife, Martha or Mary between 1747 and 1774, but this is not the case; there is no such burial to be found at St. Peters (see Burials at St. Peter 1745 - 1775), or St. Marys (No burial of  Mary or Martha Tonge between 1745 (p570) - 1751 (p581), or 1751 (p957) - 1774 (p1008) at Deane.)

Mary Livsey is possibly the daughter of Lawrence Livesey of Halliwell:

Lawrence Livesey of Halliwell

married Martha Whittle, 12-Aug-1725 at Deane.  Children as follows:-

  • Mary, bp. 18-Oct-1726
  • Abigail, bp. 19-Apr-1728
  • John, bp. 19-Apr-1730 (not on 1738 will - d. in infancy?)
  • Elizabeth
  • Robert

Lawrence Livsey died 1737, Martha in 1738.  No burial records at Deane

Wills proved at Chester

  • Lawrence Livesey of Halliwell, Admon with Inv. 1737
  • Martha Livesey of Halliwell, 1738

Halliwell Township Book: 16-Jan-1712, Settlement Cert. for John & Sarah Knowles of Upper Darwen, witnesses Lawrence & Henry Livsey;  'James Conlet served for Mrs. Crompton and Larenc Livesly server of the Highwiys for the yer 1723.  Collected'

Look for wills of Henry Livesey & Robert Whittle of Chorley

Children of Ralph Tonge of Halliwell, with 1st wife:

2nd m. Ann Pendlebury - widow, original entry as follows:

Ann Tonge buried at Deane, 21st May 1791.
Try to find death of 1st husband and look for his will

Children of Ralph & Ann:

Ralph died in 1804, and was buried at Deane

Ralph Tonge is mentioned several times in the Halliwell Poor Rate Assessments.   In 1798 he is next door to James, John and Jere: Pendlebury, the estate being owned by Miss Byrom, last of the Byroms of Smithills.   In 1800 Ralph Tonge shares Byrams with Jere: Pendlebury - poss. rel. to Ann.  Miss Byrom sold the estate in 1801 to P. Ainsworth for 21,000, which is probably why in 1802 it is named as Barrows, rather than Byrams.  The farm later became known as Higher & Lower Tonge's.   The farm next door to Higher & Lower Tonge's is called Pendelbury's.  Who were the owners of Pendlebury's through the C18th?  By 1804, Ralph Tonge having died, the property is split up, being listed as (i) Part of Tongs, (ii) New buildings in the Tongs Clough and (iii) Tongs & Shop.

  1. Find the Jos. Gerrard Manuscipts
  2. Check Mcr. Mecury for sale of property in June 1803

Ralph Tonge of Farnworth
-no mothers name quoted in register

Couple of different families?

d. 1779?, bur. at Deane


Ralph Tonge & Jane Melling of Farnworth

I am theorizing that this Ralph Tonge was the father of some of the children listed under Ralph Tonge of Farnworth (above); Robert (bp. 1774), Mary (bp. 1776), Ralph (bp. 1777), Robert (bp. 1778).  He moved to Great Bolton between 1793 and 1804 - see Ralph Tonge of Can Row (below), and died in 1810.

m. Jane Melling -15th Feb 1774 at Deane, original entry as follows:

Ralph Tongue of Deane, bachelor & Jane Melling of Deane, spinster.  He signs Ralph Tongue, she signs X.  Witnesses; Holland Bradley and John Grundy.

Holland Bradley of Rumworth was the Parish Clerk and was buried at Deane in 1779.

Children of Ralph & Jane Tonge::

(also see Ralph Tonge of Farnworth)

Buried at Deane on 4th August 1821 was Jane Tonge, widow, of Horwich, aged 72 years.  This would give her a date of birth of about 1749, which would tie in nicely with the Jane Melling, d. of Rich: & Eliz. bp. in 1750.  This would seem to support the theory that the family moved away from Great Bolton after Ra: Tonge died in 1810, settling in the Halliwell / Heaton / Horwich area.

Check out all Tonge's of Horwich / Heaton / Halliwell at Deane, Horwich & St. Peters after 1810 to see if their names are the same as the children of Ra: & Jane Tonge.  There are no Tonge's baptised at Horwich 1810-1827.

Check if there are any other husbands who the Jane Tonge bd. in 1821 could be the widow of..  Ref: St. Peters Marriages 1754 - 1800

NB: Bernard Stuthard, widower, m. Jane Tonge, widow, at Deane, 13th Oct 1812.  Look for wills.

Corrine Peters of Australia has submitted to the LDS a gedcom containing details of her husband Greg's family which include James Tonge, son of Ralph Tonge & Jane Melling.  Greg sent me the following abstract of the Convict Record:

James Tongue (Tong) was tried at the Lent assizes at Lancaster in 1810, a labourer of Bolton le Moors, accused of stealing a gelding worth twenty pounds from William Entwhistle.  Sentenced to life, sailed from England on the 8th May 1811 onboard the Admiral Gambier (second voyage) arriving that year, a carpenter and Protestant. He was acquitted 29th Sep 1811. Married Margaret Hardigan 12 Jun 1826 in the Castlereagh District.

The gedcom says that James Tonge died February 13, 1853, at Fitzgerald Vally, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia.  It also lists his fathers (Ralph Tonge) parents as being James Tonge & Margaret Tyldesley.

Richard & Eliz. Melling (of Turton?):
- Jane 18 Mar 1750 Saint Peter
- John 11 Aug 1754 Saint Peter
- Mary 04 May 1758 Saint Peter
- Eliz. 12 Oct 1760 Turton
- Rachel 22 May 1763 Turton
- Mary 18 Aug 1765 Turton

Couldn't find original entries. There are many Melling entries at Turton.  Have checked for wills proved at Chester 1700-1800 - didn't find anything pertinent.

Bur. at Turton:
-John s. Richard & Betty Melling, T:, Slater, 9-Jul-1770
-William, s. Richard & Betty Melling, T: Slater, 29-Oct-1778
-Richard Melling, Slater, 6-Nov-1789
-Betty w. Richard Melling, T: Slater, 1801

Ralph & Betty Tonge of Bolton

- Phillis 1802 - 1803
- Adam - 1812 ? (May be son of Ralph & Ellen
No age given on burial)

No other children showing of IGI

Ralph Tonge, weaver, & Ellen Longworth (of Kearsley)

Ralph Tonge & Ellen Longworth, m. 14-Oct-1810

Adam bp. 22 Sept 1811 Ringley, Lancashire, England
d. 1812 ? (May be s. of Ralph & Betty of Bolton
No age given on burial entry) 

No other children showing of IGI

Ralph Tonge of Gt. Bolton [Can Row]
d. 1810

Have checked out the Enclosure Awards for Bolton Moor1797 - 1804: no mention of any Tonge's

Ralph Tonge & Ann Aldred
m. 1st December 1799
No children on IGI

Ralph Tonge m. Betty Wrigley
Marriage: 28 Oct 1772
St Peter, Bolton Le Moors, Lancashire, England

Ralph Tonge, son of James Tonge of Farnworth, Yeoman


James Tong, yeoman of Farnworth, d. 1787, bd. 15th June 1787


Monumental inscription at Deane
  • Mathew Green of Farnworth, d. 29th June 1782, aged 57 (born c. 1725)
  • Margaret wife of Mathew Green of Farnworth, d. 28th Nov 1802, aged 68 (born c. 1734)
  • Joseph, son of John & Ann Young of Darcy Lever, d. 12th Apr 1838, age 32
  • Ann, wife of John Young, d. 27th Apr 1840, aged 69
  • John Young of Darcy Lever, d. 17th May 1856, aged 88
  • Alice their daughter, of Darcy Lever, d. 1st Dec 1849, aged 45
  • Samuel, their son, late of Middleton, d. 17 May 1860, aged 45

Bishops Transcript; "John Markland, of this parish, and Ann Tong, of Deane Parish, 4th Dec. 1776".  Marriage entries for Betty Tong & Robert Chadwick, Margaret Tong & Mathew Green, Mary Tonge & John Norris quote no additional information.

Checked wills proved at Chester 1761 - 1825 for (& misc. others):

  1. Norris, John of Farnworth, husbandman, admon, 1768
  2. Markland, John of Heaton, 1779
  3. Norris, John of Great Bolton, weaver, 1790
  4. Green, Matthew, of Manchester, Innkeeper, 1798
  5. Markland, Thomas, of Heaton, Yeoman, 1800
  6. Norris, John of Bolton, Shopkeeper, 14th Sept. 1803
  7. Markland, Eliz., Bolton-le-Moors, Nov. 1823

Check wills 1825 - 1837

Misc other items to check up on: