Revised Pedigree    Priestley    Genealogy   

How valid is my Priestley Pedigree?

This Priestley section of my site opened with a pedigree and now the time has come to review whether it is worth the paper it is written on.

The problem, inevitably, is with the early generations, the last three being reasonably solid, so I'll start at the beginning. James Priestley, whom I have shown as dying after 1723, is known only from the second and third deeds, with the third being dated 1723, so he must have been alive then.

The apparent son James who died in 1747 is clearly known from his will which seems to corroborate the deeds of 1733 and 1738. Very interestingly I have just been approached by another descendant of these Priestleys; he produced a pedigree drawn up in the late nineteenth century which does not show this second James and says the first James died in 1747. So was the second James of my pedigree just an invention?

The 1747 will, a transcript received kindly from the same cousin, gives two important facts:
  (a) That his wife was entitled to an income of £5-12-?,
  (b) That his sons were James, Joseph and Jonathan in that order.
The first of these corroborates the deed of 1733. This deed makes it clear that in 1733 James' (d.1747) then wife was Mary who was the widow of Nathan Dixon of Oldfield, Keighley.

Having said that, the question is who was the mother of James' (d.1747) three sons? The deed of 1738 begins to answer this. In 1738, the second son Joseph was already married to Grace and was given title to land in Shelf and Claydon. This indicates that Joseph was around 20 years old as the following year he was able to sign a deed of gift to his father; below 21 and signatures were not valid; in 2011 this is still the case but the age of majority has moved to 18. This makes it likely that Joseph was born around 1718 and this makes it definite that Mary Hanson (previously married to John Surridge) was his mother - see the deed of 1723. I would then conclude that the other two brothers, James and Jonathan were also sons of Mary Hanson.

So I must agree that James Priestley II was a figment of my imagination and that James Priestley I of the original chart and Sarah Hanson were the parents of James, Joseph and Jonathan. I have now included a Revised Pedigree.

Joseph the son of James (d.1747) appears in the deed of 1769 giving property to his son Joseph, the father of Capt John.

Revised Pedigree    Priestley    Genealogy