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Old 17-03-2010, 05:31   #1
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William C. Birtwell

We lived in Pennsylvania and traveled to Rhode Island in the early 1960s to visit my sister, and her husband who was in the U.S. Navy.

My Mum recalled that she had a cousin, "Clifford" who had emigrated to Fall River, MA, years before. He must have been from Accrington or Clayton. I'm trying to get more information about this.

She remembered that his name was William Birtwell, and after we checked a phone book or called information, we telephoned a number and he answered. He drove to where we were, and they had a reunion. They hadn't seen each other for over thirty years, I guess, and that was when they both lived in Accrington or thereabouts.

Turned out that cousin Clifford helped design one of the first artificial hearts and was asociated with Tufts University.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/March_1960

Check out March 10 - the second item.

Now, he wasn't an MD, so Wiki is incorrect, but he did have a bachelor's degree (BS)

There are many references to him such as this one:

http://www.circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/27/4/722

This was almost fifty years ago, and I have forgotten a lot, but I do remember that he had a sister, Nellie, who was mentally retarded and who lived in the Accrington area. If I can find out anymore information, I'll post it. My Mum is 89, but her long-term memory is pretty good. We lost track of him not long after we returned to PA.

I attempted last year to find out about him. I contacted Tufts, but they had no information.

Cheers!
David Procter

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Old 17-03-2010, 08:35   #2
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Re: William C. Birtwell

When I was a little lad attending St John's in the late 40s. my dad worked at Whittaker's foundry in Dowry St. In the office worked a man who was a friend of my dad's - Bill Birtwell, who I called Uncle Bill. He lived at 27 Ramsbottom St. with his father. Bill was a single man who came from the Huncoat Birtwells.He never married. He drove an Austin 10 car, Regd No HDH 315. He was considered "well off" I suspect that he held a senior piosition in the firm. I will ask my aunt about him.
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Old 17-03-2010, 17:59   #3
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Re: William C. Birtwell

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Originally Posted by Bob Dobson View Post
When I was a little lad attending St John's in the late 40s. my dad worked at Whittaker's foundry in Dowry St. In the office worked a man who was a friend of my dad's - Bill Birtwell, who I called Uncle Bill. He lived at 27 Ramsbottom St. with his father. Bill was a single man who came from the Huncoat Birtwells.He never married. He drove an Austin 10 car, Regd No HDH 315. He was considered "well off" I suspect that he held a senior piosition in the firm. I will ask my aunt about him.
I need to phone Mum in Pennsylvania and rattle her cage about this. I'm sure I can get more information if I jog her memory a bit.

He was called "Clifford" (his middle name) and his sister, Nellie, may have had Down's Syndrome.

[Funny, that's what we did with close family friends: our family had friends on Dill Hall Lane whom I called "Uncle Bill and Aunty Edith". It was a long time before I found out that they weren't really related to us. Last name 'Howarth'.]
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Old 15-04-2010, 11:03   #4
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Re: William C. Birtwell

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Originally Posted by Bob Dobson View Post
When I was a little lad attending St John's in the late 40s. my dad worked at Whittaker's foundry in Dowry St. In the office worked a man who was a friend of my dad's - Bill Birtwell, who I called Uncle Bill. He lived at 27 Ramsbottom St. with his father. Bill was a single man who came from the Huncoat Birtwells.He never married. He drove an Austin 10 car, Regd No HDH 315. He was considered "well off" I suspect that he held a senior piosition in the firm. I will ask my aunt about him.
This is a long shot, but I am trying to trace my family ...all Accringtonians...and one is named Albert Birtwell .born 1904/06..he married my mother's sister,Gladys Wood...and they had a son called Harvey....I know they eventually moved to Somerset (Yeovil)....wondered if there was any connection....or is the name Birtwell very common....also trying very hard to trace my mother's brother Harry Wood (born 1910) he lived in Bold Street and had two or three sons....
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Old 15-04-2010, 21:00   #5
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Re: William C. Birtwell

There are only 4 Birtwells in the phone book with BB5 addresses. One of them has a farm in Huncoat - a long established family. Your chap will likely be one of this herd.
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Old 15-04-2010, 21:07   #6
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Re: William C. Birtwell

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Originally Posted by Bob Dobson View Post
There are only 4 Birtwells in the phone book with BB5 addresses. One of them has a farm in Huncoat - a long established family. Your chap will likely be one of this herd.
Great, thanks Bob..will follow this up...
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Old 26-07-2010, 05:01   #7
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Re: William C. Birtwell

I forgot to get back to you on this, but I found his grandson on Facebook. Do a search yourself if you know Facebook, and you'll find "William C. Birtwell III".

He's a young man in Connecticut and a university student at the U. of C., and he was very surprised when I contacted him out of the blue. I told him that I had met his grandfather, etc.

The grandfather died in 1975 or thereabouts. The grandson put me in touch with his mother who knew W.C. better, and we had a sort of cyber-family reunion with relatives whom I have never met! I'm in Baja, Mexico, too, and they are in Connecticut.

Small world, eh?
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Old 13-10-2019, 13:38   #8
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Re: William C. Birtwell

I remember Bill, he was a book keeper at Whittakers, he walked to work every day with his little dog which spent the day under his desk. He had regular visits from an elderly lady he called his cousin, no one seemed to know her name. In later life Bill suffered terrible health problems particularly Shingles. He was still there when I left in 69.
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Old 14-10-2019, 03:07   #9
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Re: William C. Birtwell

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I remember Bill, he was a book keeper at Whittakers, he walked to work every day with his little dog which spent the day under his desk. He had regular visits from an elderly lady he called his cousin, no one seemed to know her name. In later life Bill suffered terrible health problems particularly Shingles. He was still there when I left in 69.
Thanks for this, Frank. I had forgotten about Bill's dog. I am not aware of any relatives. I can remember that in the war and after it, he ran an Austin 10 card reg No HDH 315. He was a freemason.
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