1856 time capsule – connecting the Abbott family across the generations

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photo of 3 women Sisters Caryl Woof, Susan Towler and Anne Lurcott (Sarah’s mother). Their mother, Dorothy, was Florence’s daughter.

Back in June we put a special time capsule on display which gave us a fascinating glimpse of Liverpool life in 1856. Originally laid on 9 December, 1856 in the foundation stone of the workshop, warehouse and showroom of Abbott’s Cabinet Makers, it was rediscovered by builder John Connell during renovation work at the ‘Scandinavian Hotel’, on the corner of Nelson Street earlier this year.

Sarah Light, from West Sussex, heard about the display and got in touch to tell us that she is a descendant of the Abbot family and was very interested to see that the time capsule had been laid by her great great great grandfather, Samuel Abbott!

Sarah knew a little about the family and the business and gave us more information.

Also present at the burying of the time capsule, was 25 year old William Abbott, Samuel’s son, who was also a cabinet manufacturer in the family business. William and his wife Martha Freer, who had been married in September the previous year, lived at 242 Upper Parliament Street, Toxteth Park and went on to have at least 10 children.

In the 1881 census, William’s son, Walter (aged 24) is listed as a cabinet maker and another son, Albert, (17) is listed as an apprentice Cabinet Maker - continuing the family dynasty. The company employed 20 men, 11 women and 3 boys at the time.

Florence, one of the William and Martha’s daughters later told the family that two or three of her brothers emigrated to America. Perhaps exporting furniture from Liverpool? Also, two of her brothers had been born deaf - Florence herself was completely deaf from middle age after a bout of scarlet fever.

Are there still Abbott family members in Liverpool? Are you one of them?