My paternal line originates from Bolton, in particular Little Lever. My great-great grandfather Thomas Openshaw (b1828,d1898), his father Robert (b1807,d1877) and HIS father Thomas (b1781,d1869) were all Bolton paper makers. I've done quite a lot of research in this area, including spending a few days in Bolton visting the former sites of my ancestors' abodes and paper mills they likely once worked at. But I now need to turn my attention to north Kent and would like to hear from any members whose ancestors were also paper makers in this county during the late 19th century... especially if those ancestors were Openshaws !
Thomas Openshaw (b1828,d1898) left Lancashire and moved his family down to Kent in about 1858. Censuses suggest he was working in the Dartford and Eynsford mills throughout the 1860s, '70s and '80s. Because 10 years is a huge gap in time between censuses I have no proof he was also living and/ or working in Sittingbourne during the 1880s. I'd like to find out if he was because his son, also Thomas, met, and in 1887 married, Ann Anderson, the daughter of the keeper of the "Man Of Kent" pub in Sittingbourne. The pub was located very close to the Sittingbourne Paper Mill so, who knows, there might be a connection there.