Hello Gilian. I have just discovered that I have a connection with the Birchalls from Wigan.
My 5x gt granny was Rachel Birchall b. 1733, daughter of James Birchall b. abt 1706 who married Alice Moss in 1731. Rachel Birchall married William Shuttleworth in 1753 and they had 8 children as far as I can tell. One of their chilldren was Ralph b. 1761 d.1762. I just wonder if the name Ralph was one of Rachel's siblings. So though I don't have a connecting thread yet, I am sure there will be one.
Ah - I have just looked at the 1841 census for Wigan and found a Ralph Birchall aged 10, so if it is your Ralph, he'd have been about 17...(that's if he was 10 in 1841..he could have been a few years older.) Anyway, the household looks as though it consisted of:
William Birchall 40 Bricklayer, Queen Street, Wigan
Alice " 35
Joseph " 20
Esther " 15
Ralph " 10
Elizabeth " 5
Ellen " 3
Peter " 1
That was the only Ralph Birchall I found in the Wigan census.
Hope this might be of some help. Regards Sandra
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