George Frederick Wheeler (1818-?)
Catherine Brown (1816-1893)

George Frederick Wheeler was born in Liverpool, Lancashire, England on 07 Sep 1818 to Robert Wheeler & Elizabeth Surmeau (or Turmeau). This is the entry in the Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1906; There is also an entry in the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk Project:

Catherine Brown‘s parents were Henry Brown and (most likely) Ellen Dawson. Catherine was baptised on 08 Dec 1816; (Cheshire Bishop’s Transcripts, 1598-1900). Catherine had at least two brothers (Henry, born c. 1820 and Charles, born c. 1827) and one sister (Margaret, baptised 25 Jun 1819) as they are mentioned in either the 1851 or 1861 census (see later).

In 1840 George was living at 6 Castle St, Liverpool. He and Catherine married on 29 Sep 1842 at West Kirby. A family bible records have them as having six children:

01. William (b. 15 Jan 1844, d. 02 Dec 1902) baptised on 11 Feb 1844 at St. Silas’s Church, Liverpool

02. Elizabeth (10 Jul 1846, d. 26 Sep 1850) baptised on 06 Aug 1846 at St Peter’s C of E, Liverpool

03. Henry (b. 23 Jan 1848, d. 09 Jan 1866, drowned at sea) baptised on 21 Feb 1848 at St Peter’s C of E, Liverpool

04. Robert (b. 21 Jul 1849, d. 24 Jul 1878) baptised 31 Jul 1949 in Liverpool

05. Eleanor (b. 01 Dec 1851, d. 1852)

06. Katherine (b. 17 Nov 1853, d. 11 April 1857)

Robert’s baptismal extract (St Peter’s Church of England) shows that in 1944 the family living in Whitefield Rd, West Derby; at that time his father was described as a bookkeeper.

In the 1851 census the family lived at 65 Franklin Place, Everton. George was a coal merchant, they had one “servant” who had been born in Ireland, and Catherine’s brother Charles was visiting (or living with them) at the time:

The decade between that and the next census saw the family broken up. In the 1861 census Catherine was described as a widow, aged 44. With her lived her sister Ellen Brown (aged 40), her brother Charles (aged 30, described as a general broker), what appears to be a 49 year old widow “monthly nurse” and a young “general servant”. They lived at 72 King St, West Derby:

Her three children at time time were with their grandparents Henry and Ellen Brown who were farmers. From the 1861 census we see that the farm consisted of 450 acres of land; they had 7 farm workers on the property. In addition to their grandchildren William (described as a stationer, age 17), Henry (age 13) and Robert (age 11), Henry and Ellen’s son Henry (aged 35) and daughter Margaret (aged 41?) were living with them, both described as [Unmarried]. Their daughters Eleanor and Katherine had both died by then.

To date we have not located a reliable death record for George Frederick Wheeler.

Catherine may have become increasingly unwell; in the 1881 census there is a record of a Catherine Wheeler of the correct age (64) and with the correct birthplace (West Kirby, Cheshire) being a patient in a “Lunatic Hospital” in Ashton St Liverpool (closed in the 1880s for the building of the Liverpool Royal Infirmary).

Assuming we have the right woman, Catherine died in 1893 age 76 and was buried on 21 Jul 1893 in West Kirby, Cheshire.

We also know little about Henry and Robert. In the 1971 census Robert turns up with his brother William as lodgers at 92 Canning St, Everton. William is described as a wine merchant’s clerk, age 27; Robert is a general merchants clerk, age 21. These dates are correct given the census was taken on the night of 02 Apr 1971:

We are very keen to hear from anyone who has any information on these families (please email and copy to

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