Agnes Baxter and Edward Farrington both left England in 1923, but they weren't together. The story of their emigration is complicated and involves many of their relatives, so this post will cover how and when they all got here.
First Stop: Pittsburgh
The first members of these families to leave for the United States were Edward's older sister Mary Farrington and her husband Alfred (Fred) Downs. Mary and Fred were married in Leigh in 1901, and Fred was a coal miner like his father. Fred arrived August 31, 1904, and Mary followed two months later with their young son Thomas. They initially settled in Broughton, just south of Pittsburgh, so it's possible that Fred was working at the nearby coal mine in Horning.
The Downs and their five children stuck around Pennsylvania, eventually settling in McKees Rocks. Fred and Mary both died in the mid 1950s.
Next up was William Farrington, Mary and Edward's oldest brother. William left Liverpool on October 23, 1907 on the S.S. Haverford, arriving in Philadelphia on November 4th. Immigration records of this era have lots of interesting details, including contacts in the old country as well as the new one. In William's case, he listed his next of kin as living at 67 Trafalgar St., but with no name. That must have been his wife Mary (Polly) Lomas, the younger sister of Sarah Alice Baxter, living with her parents. William planned to join Fred and Mary, now in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. In fact, Fred had paid his passage. William is listed as 5' 7", auburn hair, blue eyes, with a mark ("blood mole?") under his left eye.
There's an entry for "Race or People", and for William the race is "Irish". On the one hand that's the obvious choice because his parents were both born in Ireland. But the name "Farrington" is English, coming from the village 20 miles north of Leigh. There were lots of Farringtons in the Leigh area, generations before William's parents. It is reasonable to ask whether John Farrington was Irish, or just the son of an English soldier on garrison duty. Given all that, it's interesting to imagine that this may have been William self-identifying as Irish rather than English. On the other hand, it could have just been the immigration official's opinion.
Polly joined William the next year. She arrived in New York on December 8, 1908, sailing on the famous Lusitania. She arrived with their daughter Mary Elizabeth, and planned to join William in Elizabeth.
The next Farrington to make the trip was John, the second-oldest Farrington boy. His nephew Bill Farrington, who must have known him, identified him as "Jack" in a family photo below. He arrived in Philadelphia on August 4, 1913 at the ripe old age of 30. He listed his occupation as a miner, and planned to meet William in Option, Pennsylvania. I don't know where that is, but it's presumably somewhere in the Pittsburgh area -- William also lists Option as his residence in his naturalization paperwork.
|The Farringtons in about 1909
Back: Edward, Michael, John. Front: Margaret, parents John and Bridget,
and Margaret's husband John Lee.
John never married. He lived sometimes with William and his family, and other times with Edward and his family. I don't know when he died, but it was some time after 1950.