Eleventh Generation

109. Edith Gladys Fernandes Lewis J. P. M. A.24,25,26 was born on 2 July 1880 in Rock Ferry, Cheshire, England. She died on 16 August 1976 at the age of 96 in Didsbury, Manchester, England. "Granny Birley" was a remarkable citizen. She was active on the school board for the City of Manchester, England for much of her later life - even attending meetings after her 90th birthday. It seems to me that it was in the late 1940s that she received her honorary MA at the university of Manchester. She was a great knitter, and every Christmas we could count on a pair of hand knitted woollen socks with their double knitted Dutch heel. She visited Canada after World War 2 when I was about 13 years old and at that time taught me to knit socks. (David Birley)

Edith Gladys Fernandes Lewis J. P. M. A. and Joseph Harold Birley were married on 12 July 1898 in Rainhill, Lancashire, England. Joseph Harold Birley25,27,28,29,30 was born on 13 July 1870 in Pendleton, Lancashire, England.30 He was educated Victoria Road Seafield School in 1881 in Liscard, Cheshire, England.31 Listed as Pupil, age given as 10 which is consistent with the other data recorded here. He died on 26 January 1940 at the age of 69 in Didsbury, Manchester, England. Dwelling place is listed as [Dwelling]30 RESIDENCE: of Moorland, Didsbury
Special Constable in Manchester 1914-1918. Member of the City Council from (cir) 1910

Following text is prepared from recollection of what Studley Patrick Birley told David Hugh Birley in about 1952; Barbara says some of it is inaccurate, but she hasn't provided any alternative information yet. Her main objection appears to be to geographic references, although she says that the "MacIntosh" segment may also be flawed: He was a manufacturer and had worked at "Birley's Mill" before it was sold. Birley's Mill (mentioned in "The Condition of The Working Class in England in 1832" by Engel - one of the co-founders of Communism, p.228) was one of the major cotton spinning mills of the Midlands of England. Located in the Hulme district of Manchester, England, adjacent to Didsbury where the large family mansion was located, the Birley family were widely known. "Birley's Church" as it is still known by the citizens of Hume was the center of the community, and a member of the Birley family was the presiding priest for more than one period. Fine textiles were produced at the mill, and the Birley family was always open to new ideas. One day a strange Scotsman brought his "wild" idea for making rubber stick to cloth to the Birley Mill. He had already been turned away by many mills located throughout the midlands, but the Birleys took him in and gave him some space to continue with his work. His idea was that by adding sulphur to the liquid rubber, and then applying heat as it was put on the cloth, it wouldn't melt off in hot weather. This process is now known as "vulcanizing" and is basic to the entire rubber industry. The inventor gave his name to the first successful raincoats - and in England it is still the generic name for a raincoat: MacIntosh! Later the Mill was sold to him, and still later it was bought by the Dunlop company. Now there is no textile production at the mill at all, it is devoted entirely to rubber - mostly floor tiles and rubber gloves. The Birley family still owns the fishing rights in the stream that runs under the mill.