Joseph Fisher Mary Vose Martha Vose Edward Vose Elizabeth Vose Thomas Vose Catherine Vose Ellen Vose Joseph Vose Catherine Wharton Martha Vose Mini tree diagram

Thomas Voce

1840 - 1895

Life History


Born in Bickerstaffe, Lancs.

17th Nov 1875

Married Catherine Wharton in Little Crosby.

5th Sep 1876

Birth of daughter Mary Vose in Little Crosby, Lancs.

24th Jun 1879

Birth of daughter Martha Vose in Little Crosby, Lancs.

7th Feb 1881

Birth of son Edward Vose in Little Crosby, Lancs.

15th Oct 1882

Birth of daughter Elizabeth Vose.

16th Jun 1884

Birth of son Thomas Vose.

6th Jul 1886

Birth of daughter Catherine Vose.

22nd Mar 1888

Birth of daughter Ellen Vose.

26th Apr 1890

Birth of son Joseph Vose.

6th Feb 1895



Thomas Voce, was the Little Crosby village blacksmith.

Rumour had it that Thomas was illegitimate (there is no father's name in the marriage certificate) and came from Skelmersdale.

In the 1881 census, Thomas gives his place of birth as Bickerstaffe (2 miles or so from Skelmersdale, the nearest town).
There are at least three Voce families in Bickerstaffe at that time as well as a number of Vose families in the area.

The villagers apparently knew that his father was a man called Fisher, and Thomas was also known as Thomas Fisher-Voce.

Thomas_Voce_Tree.jpg In a tree that was sent to my mother (Thomas's grand-daughter), Thomas is recorded as 'Thomas Voce' and his father as 'Joseph Fisher Voce'. His mother in the tree is Martha.
His birth date, in the tree appears to be 28th Dec 1842 though it looks like '1841' is written in above the year - has it been corrected? (See also discussion of the date of birth below). The death date for Thomas in the tree is 6 - 2 1895.
I believe that the birth date in the tree has been derived from the recorded birth of another Thomas Voce, whose birth certificate is appended below.

In the 1841 census, (6th June) in Bickerstaffe

Isaac VoceHead60Farmer
Margaret Voce45
Ellen Voce2
Martha Voce20FS
Thomas Voce10 months
and four men, each marked MS - male servant - probably farm hands.
(None named Fisher)

I believe the above must be our Thomas and his mother Martha.
The rules for the 1841 census were that ages were rounded down to the nearest 5 years – but only if they were older than 15. Anyone younger would show the exact date, so the figure of '10 months' is probably accurate. This would give a date of birth around August, 1840.

No relationships are defined in the 1841 census, so we do not know for example that Martha is Isaac's daughter. Martha might be (probably is) a relative who has been taken in as a servant and/or farmhand with her illegitimate son, Thomas.

In the 1851 census:

Thomas is still in the family in the 1851 census, but unfortunately in that census his relationship to the rest of the family is left blank (image below). It may be that he is Isaac's natural grandson - but not accepted as such by Isaac.
Has Martha died?

Isaac VoceHead72Farmer of 34 Acres, Employing 5 Labs.b. Lancashire Burscough
Margaret VoceWife57b. Lancashire, Ormskirk
Ellen VoceDaur12Scholarb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Thomas Voce10Scholarb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Wm. VoceGrandson13Scholarb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Mary HeyesServ29House Servantb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
and four young men - Farm Labourers.


In the 1861 census: in Bickerstaffe

James Merchant (?)39Blacksmith (Master
Employing 2 Men & 3 Boys)
b. Bickerstaffe
Thomas Voce20Blacksmith's Apprenticeb. Bickerstaffe

The large family of James Merchant is recorded, as well as two other apprentice blacksmiths in the household, aged 14 and 19, and one 'Blacksmith (Journeyman)' aged 29.

In the 1871 census at Woods Farm, in Simonswood:

Thomas VoseBoarder30Blacksmithb. ditto, ditto

in the household of Robert Ashcroft, 60, Ag. Labourer.

The 'ditto ditto', above, suggests that, like the 14 or so 'ditto ditto' entries in the Birthplace column before him, he was born in Simonswood. (A similar series of ditto dittos has him born in Little Crosby in the 1891 census.) He was certainly born nearby - Simonswood is only about a mile or two from Bickerstaffe. (See map in Joseph Fisher's page).

The Marriage Certificate

The first certain documentation of Thomas is his marriage certificate.
The two witnesses are both from Catherine's family, a brother and a sister. There are no clues to his family.


From IGI

In the International Genealogical Index there is a record of Thomas's marriage but no details of his parentage.

Husband: Thomas Vose
Wife: Catherine Wharton - Birth: 1853, Little Crosby, Lancashire
Father: Edward Wharton
Marriage: 17 Nov 1875, Little Crosby, Lancashire
1. Mary Vose - Birth: 05 Sep 1876, Little Crosby, Lancashire
2. Edward Vose - Birth: 07 Feb 1881, Little Crosby, Lancashire
3. Ellen Vose - Birth: 22 Mar 1888, Crosby, Lancashire

In the 1881 census (3rd April) in The Village, Little Crosby.

Thomas VoseHead39Blacksmith b. Bickerstaffe, Lancashire
Catherine VoseWife28b. Little Crosby, Lancashire
Mary VoseDaughter4Scholarb. Little Crosby, Lancashire
Martha VoseDaughter1b. Little Crosby, Lancashire
Edward VoseSon0b. Little Crosby, Lancashire
Martha WilliamsBoarder8Scholarb. Lpool, Lancashire

In the 1891 census (5th April) in The Village, Little Crosby.

Thomas VoseHead51Blacksmithb. Lancashire, Little Crosby
Catherine VoseWife40b. Lancashire, Little Crosby
Edward VoseSon10b. Lancashire, Little Crosby
Elizabeth VoseDaughter9b. Lancashire, Little Crosby
Thomas VoseSon7b. Lancashire, Little Crosby
Helen VoseDaughter3b. Lancashire, Little Crosby
Joseph VoseSon11 mthsb. Lancashire, Little Crosby

The Smithy The Little Crosby Smithy

No 1, Little Crosby Road.
Has a date stone, 1713

No 3, Little Crosby Road.
The attached building: Smith's Cottage.

(photo source: found during Google search, on Allan Fearon's facebook page)

From freeBMD

Marriage: Dec 1875, Vose, Thomas, West Derby 8b 932
Marriage: Dec 1875, Wharton, Catherine, West Derby 8b 932

Death: Mar 1895, Vose, Thomas, 54, West Derby 8b 466

Other Voce Families in the 1851 census - The Search for Thomas's Family

Martha could be the daughter of one of these families.

In Bickerstaffe: [Apparently living next door to Isaac - above]

John VoceHead48Farmer of 8 Acresb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Margaret VoceWife45b. Lancashire, Aughton
Isaac VoceSon17b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Ellen VoceDaur14b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
James VoceSon9Scholarb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Ann VoceDaur5 b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Elizabeth VoceDaur2b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe

In Bickerstaffe:

Thomas VoceHead42Ag. Lab.b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Jane VoceWife41b. Lancashire, Rainford
Mary VoceDaur14b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Isaac VoceSon12Scholarb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Thomas VoceSon9Scholarb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
James VoceSon4 b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
John VoceSon2 b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Robt VoceSon5 mthsb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe

At 3, Reynold Street, Everton, Liverpool

James VoceHead40Milk House Keeperb. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Elizabeth VoceWife38b. Lancashire, Bickerstaffe
Isaac VoceSon11b. Lancashire, Liverpool
Jane VoceDaur13b. Lancashire, Liverpool
Elizabeth VoceDaur6b. Lancashire, Liverpool
Edmund VoceSon4 b. Lancashire, Liverpool
Alice VoceDaur1 b. Lancashire, Liverpool
Bridget MooneyServt.29House Servantb. Ireland, Newry

From freeBMD

While researching Thomas, the only possibly appropriate birth records were:

? Birth: Mar 1842, Voce, Thomas, Ormskirk 21 545 [Certificate below]
? Birth: Sep 1841, Vose, Thomas, Ormskirk 21 521 [Certificate below]

The first of these Thomases was a likely contender, given that in IGI records he has identical birth and death dates to those in the tree sent to Mary Drewry. (It seems likely that the dates were obtained -erroneously- from this IGI record.)
It may be that the birth was not recorded.

Thomas Voce of Bickerstaffe (1841-1895).

From IGI

Birth: 28 DEC 1841, Bickerstaffe, Lancashire, England
Death: 06 FEB 1895

Another IGI record gives a birth date of 1842, with no death date, but with the same parents (and shows siblings for Thomas).
The birth certificate for this Thomas Voce shows that the birth was in the closing days of 1841, and registered in 1842. (The GRO entry is for 'Mar 1842', i.e. the first quarter of 1842.)


The 1861 census (7th April) - for the above Thomas Voce - son of Thomas Vose (recorded in the 1851 census above). At first I thought the mother's maiden name was 'Fisher' but on examination it appears to be 'Tasker' as in the IGI record.

Thomas VoceHead49Farmer of 35 Acresb. Bickerstaffe
Jane Voce46Farmer's wifeb. Rainsford
Ellen MaudsleyDaughter27Farmer's daughterb. Bickerstaffe
Daniel MaudsleySon-in-law22Carterb. Kirkby
Isaac VoceSon22Farmer's sonb. Bickerstaffe
Thomas VoceSon20Farmer's sonb. Bickerstaffe

and James, 16; John, 14; Robert, 11; and William Voce, 9 - Sons, all b. Bickerstaffe.

Birth: Sep 1841, Vose, Thomas, Ormskirk 21 521


From Little Crosby Marriage Records: ?

1842, Jul-15, Groom: Thomas Vose; Bride: Ann Jump
Witnesses: Henry Vose & Margaret Jameson