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Jack Priestley’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Jack’s as (1)



THOMAS BARKER. There is a burial in Skipton in 1820 for Thomas Barker aged 84, which would give him a birth date of 1735-6. This would make him a plausible 24-5 when he married. [1]

This identifies him as the following.

Baptism. Holy Trinity, Skipton.
1736 Nov 21  Thos: s John Barker Blacksmith and Susan his wife of Skipton.

His mother was Susannah/Susan Heelis, from a well-known Skipton family.

Thomas is one of a long line of blacksmiths. In 1749 Sylvester Petyt’s charity paid for Thomas, son of John Barker, to be apprenticed to William Demaine, Blacksmith.


ELIZABETH EATON. Her age of 72 at the time of her death gives her a birth date of 1730-31.

Some transcripts give her surname as Caton, but the handwritten register confirms it as Eaton.

There is a credible baptism for her in Kirby Malham. Her father is said to be living in Airton, which is 6 miles NW of Skipton.

Elizabeth’s marriage is the only record for the surname Eaton in Skipton in that period. Though she was resident in Skipton then, her origins must lie in another parish.


Thomas Barker of this parish, Blacksmith, and Elizabeth Eaton, of this parish, Spinster, were married at Holy Trinity, Skipton, on 22 Dec 1760. Thomas signs his name and Elizabeth makes her mark. The witnesses were George Dixon and Emanuel Heelis.



Baptisms. Holy Trinity, Skipton.
1761  Apr 20  Susannah  daur of Thos Barker Blacksmith and Elizabeth his wife of Skipton
1763 July 24   Jno son of Thos Barker Blacksmith and Elizth his Wife of Skipton
1765 Jan 20  Thomas
1767  Nov  22  Christopher and George
George lived less than two weeks. He was buried on Dec 11.
1771 Feb 10  George
The second George lived for 2½  years. He was buried on  6 Jul 1773.
1774 Jul 24  Betty

The address of Skipton at all these baptisms tells us that they were living in the town and not in one of the outlying townships.


In 1773 the Bingley-Skipton section of the Grand Canal opened. The Skipton-Thackley section following a year later. The transport of so much goods traffic by boat, instead of by road, must have had an effect on a blacksmith’s income.

Nevertheless, all their surviving sons became blacksmiths.

Thomas jnr married Ann Sagar in 1786.

Their eldest daughter Susannah lived to 37, still unmarried. She died on 14 Jan 1799 and was buried two days later.  There were a number of deaths from smallpox around that time, but the cause of Susannah’s death is not given.

Elizabeth died aged 72 on 24 Feb 1803 and was buried two days later on the North Side, Middle Quarter. The cause of death is not given. Birth 1731

Their youngest  child Betty gave birth to an illegitimate daughter at the age of 31. We have the following baptism in Skipton.

1806 born  Sep 30, bapt  1806  Dec 14  Susannah Barker Dr of Elizabeth Barker of Skipton Spinster Dr of Thos Barker of Skipton.

Betty/Elizabeth remained unmarried. In the 1841 census she is living with her daughter Susannah, her son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Thomas was buried on 21 Aug 1820 aged  84. The will of Thomas Barker of Skipton, Widower, was proved in Nov 1820.



[1] BMDs from Yorkshire registers on Findmypast.
[2] https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS5EnVcr7gggnmzMhrrButKB8hQZkm5Vj5K4zj3yYlJxreDQffiWw




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