The search for this lady's life and connection to the Remington tree began with the 1881 census. My GGG grandparents John and Isabella Remington had a farm Castle O'Trim in Over Wyresdale and alongside their own children were two nieces, one of whom was Margaret Alice Townley age 18 Dairymaid and born in Ingleton.
I searched back and forward on the census, then used Lancashire parishes online to find the details of Margaret's marriage, and used Free BMD to build up an hypothosis for Margaret's family.
In 1871 Margaret J Townley age 8 born Ingleton was a nurse to Francis and Margaret Whalley.
Using the BMD index I would suggest that Margaret belongs with this family :
marriage June quarter 1860 Settle
Richard Parr Townley + Jane Remington
birth June quarter 1861 Settle
William Remington Townley
birth June quarter 1863 Settle
Margaret Alice Townley
death September quarter 1863 Settle
so Margaret's mother died when she was a baby. Her father appears to have remarried
marriage September quarter 1864 Liverpool
Richard Parr Townley + Margaret Davies
The problem is that when Margaret Alice married 23 Sep 1884 (St. James, Stalmine, details online) to William Cross her father is named as Peter. It does not look like Margaret was illegitimate. Could it be possible that Margaret did not know who her father was? As it seems she lived with family members that would not seem probable, although they were families connected to her mother. Could it be that she did not want to acknowledge her real father? There is on the 1851 census a Peter Townley age 20 born Higher Wyersdale living in Barnacre? (Garstang Stalmine) . But I have been unable to follow this family any further in the census. Margaret Alice Cross's age matches and birthplace given as Ingleton. Perhaps it was just a mistake, Margaret signed her marriage with a X, and she was not local to the area so her family was not known to whoever married them.
In 1861 Richard P Townley 28, his wife Jane 29 and son William R. 1m were living at Scar End, Ingleton with Jane's family parents William Remington 54 and Agnes 59 and brother John 26.
Between 1861 and 1871, Jane died, Agnes (Jane's mother) died, and Richard remarried. As in another branch of my family after the death of a mother the young children were split up sons going to the fathers side and daughters to the mothers. Perhaps Richard's new wife did not want to fetch up her step children.
Anyway in 1865 William Remington (Margaret Alice's grandfather) married Jane Danson widow of Robert Danson who had been schoolmaster and postmaster in Ingleton. Her daughter also married in 1865 Margaret Danson to Francis Whaley - with whom Margaret Alice was living in 1871 helping with the young children.
In 1871 grandfather William Remington and Uncle John were still living up at Scar End.
Margaret's brother William Townley age 10 born Ingleton was living in Cockerham with his other grandparents Richard Townley 70 (born Higher Wyersdale) and Alice 81, and uncle James 31 born Caton.
Their father was living in Liverpool with his new in-laws.
Richard P Townley 36 born Garstang, with wife Margaret 30 and children Winifred, Ada and Richard.
In later census Richard's birthplace is given as Caton, and he has further children Thomas, John and Margaret Ann. He died before 1901.
And what of Margaret Alice's brother, could this be him? Did he change his middle name from Remington to Parr?
1891 William P Townley 27 groom born Ingelton married to Elizabeth living in Ramsbottom.
(September quarter 1890 William Parr Townley + Elizabeth Smith)
and in 1901
William Townley 38 carter on sewage works born Ingleton, with wife Elizabeth 31 and children Richard 9, Thomas 4 and William 10m.
(September quarter 1891 birth Richard Parr Townley).
You might be interested in where Margaret Alice Townley was born. Assuming the family were still at Scar End at that time, there are many photos online of the area about as it forms part of the famous Ingleton Waterfall walk. I was luck enough to do this walk a few years ago - and it was wonderful. The walk goes right past Scar End farm and you really do feel as though you are on top of the world. I cannot copy and paste with this computer unfortunately but if you do a google search for Scar End Ingleton -the site "The waterfalls walk from Ingleton village." mywainwrights.co.uk has a map as well as photos and the Scar End - Wikipedia has a lovely photo of the panoramic view.
One question that has niggled and niggled and is still unanswered, is how John Remington came to move to Over Wyresdale perhaps the link might have been through Richard Parr Townley's family. We only have the smallest glimpse of our ancestors lives, one day in ten years so many questions unanswered. Was Margaret Alice shown love as a child, or was she a painful reminder of her mother, or was she viewed as a nuisance. How long did she work as a dairy maid for uncle John? Did she get on with her cousins? The other niece that was visiting in 1881 Dorothy Ann was the same age, were they friends? After her marriage did she keep in touch with her family in Over Wyresdale?
So do you think I have it right about Margaret Alice? Or do you think I am assuming too much.
I have received a lovely reply through Genes from Gregory. Thank you for your thoughts on this and you raised two important points that I had missed.
Gregory pointed out that "There is no evidence of two different Margaret Alice Townleys both born in Ingleton around 1863"
and "In the marriage record, Margaret Alice Townley is described as "spinster of Shirehead," which is a place in Wyresdale."
Thank you also to Clive, also replying through Genes - he agrees it is probably the same lady.