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Lancashire, England

My CORTs were reasonably successful Lancashire families from the district of Turton, near Bolton during the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. One relative moved to Chorley, and later ones moved to Manchester both places being in Lancashire.

Due to this

There were of course other CORT communities in Lancashire, particularly around Lancaster. and Blackburn.

Naturally I would love to hear from anyone else researching the name in Lancashire or has any information about their CORT background .

There was also a large CORT presence in Leicestershire, but again there is no apparent connection.

These web pages were originally restricted to the CORTs descended from my Turton, Bolton families, but now include some details of Chorley and Manchester families also descended from my John CORT.

A general idea of the distribution of the families can be seen on this Chart

At the top of each Chart there is a link to the list of Cort names appearing on this site together with the Charts where they are found. The "Top of Tree" is John CORT who married Ann Ainsworth at Bolton in 1768 and my main line from John is shown here, with links to the other families leading off from it.

However you may also go direct to the relevant branch from these links and work upwards to John.


My records start in Bolton in 1768 with the marriage of John Cort and Ann Ainsworth.
Due to information from Family Trees provided by other researchers I am able to provide several distinct lines of Descent from John and Ann.

To return here from any Chart just click on CORT in the Menu panel

Page Layout
For a general outline of their children's later movements see Chart and for more details of early descendant lines see (General Descendant Chart)


My CORT story probably starts around 1749 when it is believed that John Cort was born. I strongly believe this was in Tatham Fells, Lancahire on the north side of the Forest of Bowland. As a young man John travelled the 40 miles across the fells to Bolton where he met and married Ann Ainsworth, from the Ainsworth family of Bleachers, in 1768.(see AINSWORTHs). For the CORT connection to the AINSWORTHs see Chart.)

As Ann’s father became a very influential person the couple would have had an interesting life. In later years, Ann's brother, Peter, was to purchase the wonderful old mansion known as Smithills Hall, which is now open to the public.
John Cort was a Butcher in Mealhouse Lane, Great Bolton but one source suggests he became a bleacher himself, probably working for James Ainsworth at Horrobin Mill, Turton.

Their son Peter married Priscilla Wraith and grandson Peter married Elizabeth Spencer.

Turton was a widespread, mostly rural area of moors and small valleys each having a fast flowing river of clean water. This water led to the local development of Bleaching, which at first was a crofting industry and one croft was Horrobin Mill.

Turton fields

Later photograph over Horrobin

John and Ann CORT had 4 children, all baptised in Bolton:

Edward 1769   Moved to Chorley
Peter 1772   Stayed in Bolton
Ann Ainsworth 1779   No information
Thomas 1780   Stayed in Bolton


The second son, Peter, married Priscilla Wraith, daughter of the Rev.James Wraith at Bolton in 1795 and they had 4 children at Bolton: Mary Ann 1798, Peter 1801, James Wraith 1803-1821, and Caroline 1806 who died aged 5 weeks. (See Peter's Descendant Chart) By 1821 Peter CORT had become the tenant of Horrobin Mill bleachworks operating as Peter Cort & Co.

From about 1820 until 1828 Peter CORT (snr) ran the Horrobin Bleachworks. At first he may have used traditional open air Bleaching methods but later certainly mechanised the process. He was succeeeded by his son Peter CORT (jnr) who extended his interests to also run the bleachworks at Bradshaw and Turton. Peter married Elizabeth Spencer at Bolton in 1833 and the couple had 5 children: Mary 1835, Thomas 1838, Peter Henry 1840, William 1842, and Thomas 1843.

Peter died in 1850 and later his widow and children later moved to Manchester. Two of the sons, William and Edward went and fought in the US Civil War. Both survived the war. Edward stayed over the water but unfortunately was drowned aged 23 in Lake Eyrie Canada. William returned to marry Mary Jane Armitage in Manchester in 1872. Peter Henry married Elizabeth McStocker at Manchester in 1870 and later became a Manufacturer of Mineral water in Manchester. Thomas married Elizabeth Midgeley in his city of birth, Bolton in 1863. Their sister Mary married Thomas Smith in Manchester 1865 and later became the mother of my grandmother in Stockport. (Mary's Story)

Amazingly I have made contact with 3 other researchers, descendants of Peter CORT (Bolton 1801). This page is under constant revision due to information gratefully received from them and it is hoped to be able to produce extended details of this family.


Edward, the eldest son of John and Ann Cort, moved to Chorley between 1796 and 1798, where he and his wife Mary ( nee Hardy) began several generations of CORTs in that area of Lancashire. (See Edward's Descendant Chart)

Most of the male descendants seem to have moved back to Bolton within 2 generations. One family moved to live near Burnley before 1860 and a son became a Ropemaker in Harpurley, Manchester.

I know very little about the Chorley families other than what I have picked up from Censuses and false leads while researching my Bolton line.Therefore information will of course be welcomed from ANY descendants of the Chorley CORTs or in fact ANYONE whose family was known to be from the Bolton area. I do have some limited information but need more to complete the jig-saw.


Another group of CORTs (i.e. Blackburn) is actively being researched by Jane CORT, whom interested researchers can contact. However no link has yet been firmly established between the Blackburn and Bolton families.


John Cort (1827) from Chorley moved to Bolton with his parents before 1840 and married Martha Crompton there in 1854 (See Descendant Chart). The births of their 1st few children were registered at Bolton and in 1861 the family were living at Little Bolton. All their remaining children were registered at Bury. There are many further registrations of CORT events at Bury after 1865, but they have not been researched.


My information is limited to records of my relations who moved to Manchester after 1850 and their descendants. Those persons can be found by scrolling down the following list. It is believed there was also at least one CORT family already living there but I have no further details.

List of Cort names appearing on this site