My earliest Joyce ancestor, to date, is John but nothing prior to his marriage found as yet.  He was married to Sarah Jebson and they had a son John (died young), a daughter named Sarah (baptised at Astbury 6 Nov. 1816) and a son named Edward.
In a Congleton paper dated 28 July 1815 we find under the heading of "Bankrupts" - John Joyce, Innkeeper, Lion and Swan Inn. Now, here is an insert from the St. Peter's Parish register -

"Baptism, Congleton St. Peters: 27 Apr 1836, Edward son of John and Sarah Joyce, butler, living in Congleton, born 15 Feb 1819".  This Edward Joyce was not baptised in his infancy but as an adult on the 27th of April 1836 by me Wm. Hadfield, curate of Congleton."  This entry appears in the baptism register with the 1819 entries, penned at the bottom of the page. 
Note:  In the baptism register with the 1836 entries it says that Edward was born 14 Feb 1819 and that he was the son of the late John and the late Sarah Joyce, butler to Mrs. Jane Antrobus.

Now in investigating Jane Antrobus, it turns out she was a spinster and in the codicil to her Will, signed 9 Feb 1827, there is mention made to her servants and a special mention for John Joyce who is to receive his usual annual wages for the duration of his life.
Edward states in all census that he was born in the Congleton area of Cheshire. I believe the previous generation come from elsewhere as they are pretty thin on the ground.
Sarah (1816) was unmarried in the 1841, 1861 and 1871 census returns. In 1841 she was a female servant in Eaton, Cheshire and in 1861 and 1871 she was working as a female servant at Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire in the household of Alexander Lindsay, Earl of Crawford.

Edward the schoolboy.


Edward was later to finish off his education in Germany and was apparently fluent in the language. Unfortunately his education was of little use to him later as he settled in colonial New Zealand.
By 1881 both Sarah Elizabeth and Edward were living with their half sister, Ann Jane Wild, who was married to Charles Holt of Manchester who was a manufacturer of Cotton Goods. Three female servants in residence including a cook, waitress and housemaid.
At this stage they were residing in Street Lane, Ashdale, Cheshire but I note that all their older children were born in Manchester. The oldest Holt son was just 4 years Edward's junior.
The next Edward Joyce was born 18th July 1860 in Congleton. Three years earlier in 1857 his sister Sarah Elizabeth (known as Sally) was also born there. There was another child born earlier in the 4th quarter of 1855 - a John Edward Joyce who died in the 1st quarter of 1856.
History of Congleton
Edited by W.B. Stephens
Manchester University Press

pg. 170 - "Since the eighteenth century local people had been buying newspapers printed as far afield as Chester and London.  From 1825 short-lived attempts to issue a newspaper for Congleton and Macclesfield together bankrupted several men.  Then in 1856 Edward Joyce, the Bridge Street bookseller and printer, began to publish the Congleton Advertiser.  This survived until economic depression destroyed much of its local readership in 1861.  It then functioned until 1876 as Congleton, Sandbach and Crew Advertiser.  In 1858 during the final years of Congleton's silk boom Robert Clarkson of Bridge Street began to issue the Congleton and Macclesfield Mercury.  It was this journal which Robert Head set out to rival."
Congleton St. Peter Parish Registers
LDS Film #1,941,872

Burial, Congleton St. Peters: 8 Mar 1849, John Wild, draper of Congleton, age 34.

Burial, Congleton St. Peters: 20 Jan 1864, Ellen Joyce, Congleton, age 45
Congleton St. Peter Parish Registers
LDS Film #1,941,871

Baptism, Congleton St. Peters: 9 July 1857, Sarah Elizabeth dau. of Edward and Ellen Joyce, printer, living in Congleton.

Baptism, Congleton St. Peters: 10 Aug 1860, Edward son of Edward and Ellen Joyce, stationer and printer, living in Congleton.
In 1854 he married the widow Ellen Wild, nee Perry, in Congleton.
Ellen was baptised on the 6th of August 1820 at St Peter's, Congleton and was the daughter of John Perry and Ann Walley. (For more on the Perry family click onto the link at the top of the page).

Ellen was first married in 1839, at the church in Astbury, to John Wild and they had a daughter, Ann Jane (June), by that marriage. Also possibly another daughter Ellen was born to them - found Ann 10 and Ellen 8 in 1851 census as students in North Meols, Southport, Bickerstaffe, Lanc. 1851 census - Ellen 32 Head, widow, draper, 53 Victoria St., also in residence is her sister Hannah Broadhead (also a widow) 44, saddler, and her son Samuel 23 an asst. draper. There is a servant in the household as well.

John Wild died in Congleton on the 15 March 1849 aged 34 yrs and is buried in Ellen's parents family plot, Gravestone 77, St Peter's church, Congleton.

Astbury Church where John and Sarah's daughter, Sarah, was baptised.

                                     St John's Church                                                           St Peter's Church
                                           Buglawton.                                                                       Congleton.
                                                                                Photos taken around 1898.
Edward first married in 1846 to Mary Ann Blackshaw at St. John's, Buglawton, Cheshire (3rd quarter X1X 47). I think she was the daughter of William and Hannah Blackshaw and was baptised at Astbury on the 22nd Sept. 1819. 
In 1851 the couple were residing in Little Street (south ward) along with a young 19 year old general servant and an even younger apprentice printer. Mary Anne died aged 26 years in 1852 (2nd Q 8a 216).
It is said that later Edward senior's business got into strife and young Edward's education was paid for by the Masonic Lodge.
By 1881 Edward senior was lodging at 9 Howey Lane, Congleton, aged 62, with a farmers widow, Mary Yarwood and her daughter.  He died three years later in 1884.
At the time of the marriage Edward was a Printer and Book Binder. Ann Jane Wild was living with them at the time of the 1861 cencus. By this time they were residing in Bridge Street in the north ward and had two young children, Sarah Elizabeth, aged 3, and Edward aged 8 months.
By the 1871 census Edward is once again widowed with Ellen having died in 1864 at the age of 45 years. She was buried at St Peter's, Congleton on the 20th January.
In 1871 Edward is living with the young 10 yr old Edward at 9 Howey Lane, Congleton and his profession is stated as master printer. There is no sign of his daughter Sarah at this census.

Astbury church interior.


Photograph taken by James Brown, 12 Peter St., Manchester, England

Sarah Elizabeth and young Edward Joyce.
These photos were taken by E. Gregson Photographer, Waterhouse St. Halifax or 1 Talbot Rd., Blackpool, Eng.

Sarah Elizabeth and Edward Joyce.
These two photos taken at the same time by A & G Taylor 60A Market Street, Manchester.

Edward Joyce pre NZ.

Edward Joyce at rear, presumeably with his three Holt nephews with whom he was living in 1880s. The fact that it is taken in Keswick is puzzling - on holiday in the Lake District perhaps!

The Park, Congleton.

The Deserted Village, Congleton.
This page was last updated: 7/1/2020



EDWARD JOYCE 1819:  1846 - book seller at time of marriage.  Sister Sarah Joyce witness to marriage.  Died aged 67 yrs.
Wife MARY ANN BLACKSHAW 1819: Daughter of John Blackshaw and Elizabeth Whittaker (both dead by 1841 census). 20 years old of Buglawton at time of mariage. Brother Edwin a witness to marriage.  Died aged 26 yrs.
Wife ELLEN WILD nee PERRY: Daughter of John Perry and Ann Walley.  Burial - 20 Jan 1864, Ellen Joyce, Congleton, age 45.
JOHN JOYCE: 1813 - Innkeeper at time of son John's baptism.  Butler to Jane Antrobus at time of her Will in 1827 though only referred to as a servant in it, but acknowledged as a Butler (deceased) at adult baptism of son, Edward.  Died aged 52 yrs.
Wife SARAH JEPSON 1785: Daughter of George Jepson and Elizabeth Noden.   Died aged 43 yrs.
JOHN 1812:  Died aged 10 yrs.
JOHN EDWARD 1855:  Died 3 months and 14 days.
SARAH JOYCE 1816: Unmarried in the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 census returns. In 1841 she was a female servant in Eaton, Cheshire and in 1861 and 1871 she was working as a female servant at Haigh Hall, Wigan, Lancashire in the household of Alexander Lindsay, Earl of Crawford and Balcarres. 1851 & 1861 - nurse and head nurse, the housekeeper in 1871. Died aged 61 yrs.
SARAH ELIZABETH JOYCE 1857: 1891 - 31 yrs, dwelling 29 Rectory Rd Crumpsall, Lancashire with husband and a domestic servant.
1901 dwelling Hazel Grove cum Bramhall. Sarah aged 41 with husband.  No sign of any children in 1901 cencus.  Died aged 44 yrs.
1905 - Probate: Sarah Elizabeth of "Hillcrest" Bramhill, Cheshire (wife of Walter Wrangham Woodcock) died 5 March 1904 Administration London 23 April to the said Walter Wrangham Woodcock, commission-agent. Effects £864 5s. Further grant July 1905.
Husband WALTER WRANGHAM WODCOCK 1855: Son of Cannane Woodcock.  Brother married and died in NZ - lived Coalgate and visited by Joyce family. 1881 - 26 yrs, shipping agent living with parents 8 St Marys Rd, Crumpsall, Lancashire. 1891 - 36 yrs, manufacturers agent.  On Cheadle Register of Electors between 1894 to 1900.  1901 - 46 yrs, silk agent working on own account, dwelling 27 Davenport Rd.
Probate: Woodcock Walter Wrangham of "Hillcrest" Bramhill, Cheshire died 6 August 1904. Probate London 29 September to the said George Simpson silk-mercer.  Effects £868 16s 4d.

The Lion and Swan Inn, Congleton