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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)

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JEREMY GARTH is sometimes recorded as Jeremiah.

Research into the lives of this couple is hampered by the fact that many pages of the 17th-century Calverley registers are so faded as to be mostly illegible on screen. They have defeated the efforts of transcribers. It is likely that Jeremy was born in Calverley, but we have not found his baptism there or elsewhere.

He is likely to have been born around 1655, during the Commonwealth period following the Civil War and the beheading of Charles I. We do not know the names of his parents or siblings, nor what sort of family he came from. At the time of his burial in 1713, he was a yeoman, so it is likely that he came from similar stock.

Calverley was then a large rural parish beside the River Aire, close to Leeds and Bradford. In his adult life, Jeremy lived in the Bolton area of the parish. This is undulating high ground commanding extensive views of Bradford. He may have grown up there.

The houses of Calverley were predominantly of sandstone.

The first record we have of him is his marriage to Sarah Rawson in 1681, twenty-one years after the Restoration of the monarchy under Charles II.


SARAH RAWSON. We have a similar difficulty in tracing Sarah’s origins. There was a baptism in Calverley in 1671 for Sarah daughter of Joshua Rawson, but she is unlikely to have been married at 10, even in the 17th century, an assumption supported by the fact that the couple began their family a year after their wedding. More likely candidates are John Rawson and Sarah Farrow, who married in Calverley in 1644. John Rawson appears in a number of documents along with Jeremy Garth.


Marriage. St Wilfrid’s, Calverley.

1681 May 19  Jeremy Garth and Sarah Rawson.

The couple were married by licence. Unfortunately, the details of the licence have not survived. This would have given us more personal information about the couple than the marriage register does.

Nowadays, Bolton has its own church, but at the time residents used the parish church of St Wilfrid’s in Calverley.

View from St Wilfrid’s, Calverley [1]

 Because of the poor state of the register, we have the baptisms of only two of their children.

Baptisms. St Wilfrid’s, Calverley.
1682/3 Feb 6  Mary
1683/4 Jan 31  James

We know from her marriage settlement that there was at least one other daughter, Martha. A family tree on Ancestry gives her birth date as 1687, but no evidence is given, and this may be an estimate.


Jeremy Garth was one of the major parishioners of Bolton township in Calverley. In 1693 Thomas Pearson, constable of Bolton, presented his accounts. They were attested by five men, including Jeremy Garth and William Rawson. William could be Sarah’s father, brother, uncle or cousin.[2]

In 1699 “the freeholders of Bolton entered into a mutual agreement for the purpose of getting coals, or at least of trying for coals, within the township. They were to pay equal shares of the cost of the experiment and to share equal benefits, and a committee to conduct the working was appointed, consisting of Edward Stanhope, Jeremy Garth and John Rawson.[3] Again, there is the likelihood that John Rawson is the father or near relative of Sarah.

When Bolton was assessed for land tax in 1704, the substantial men of the township included Jeremy Garth. He was assessed at £2.3.2d. Jeremy Garth is one of the two assessors for the township, evidence of his standing in the community.

The name John Rawson appears three times among the taxpayers, once for Boiling Close, again for Northrop land, and  a third time as simply John Rawson . These are probably three different men, but they could be the same man paying tax on different properties. The relationship to Sarah is unknown, but in this small township, it is likely to be close..[4]


When their daughter Martha married John Buck in 1710, a detailed marriage settlement was drawn up, dividing the property around Idle Mills, which had been in the Buck family for centuries, between John Buck junior and his parents. Jeremy Garth is named as one of the parties to this settlement.

1710 7/8 April Lease and Release – Marriage Settlement: John Buck and his son John to Jeremy Garth and his daughter Martha, and Trustees; property includes 3 parcels of ground near the Buck’s house: Great Wood End, purchased by John Buck the elder from his brother David, adjoining Sandall Ing in the north west Mill Wood Mill Wood Brow – to the use of John Buck the son; but the father reserved to himself for the next 6 years: ‘All the Timber Trees Wood Underwood & brushwood (other then what shall be fitt requisite & necessary to be left standing for Wavers or Standers according to the Custome of the Country)’ in Great Wood End.[5]

Another settlement deed names him as Jeremy Garth of Bolton. It also includes William Rawson as one of the trustees. This may be the same William Rawson who attested the constable’s accounts in 1693 with Jeremy.[6]


Jeremy died in 1713, a year before the death of the last Stuart monarch, Queen Anne.

Burial. St Wilfrid’s, Calverley
1713 Aug 14  Jeremy Garth yeoman.

He was probably in his sixties.

Sarah outlived him by fifteen years. She was buried, not in Calverley, but at St Peter’s in nearby Bradford. Her daughter Martha and son-in-law John Buck had gone to live there, though Marth had died in 1721 . The fact that she was buried in Bradford suggests that she died there. But she had not been long enough to change her address. This is still given as Bolton.

Burial. St Peter’s. Bradford.
1728/9 Feb 5  Mrs Sarah Garth wid. of  Bolton pish Calverley.

She may have gone to Bradford to be nursed by one of her granddaughters, Sarah or Martha Buck junior, during her final illness.

At that time, “Mrs” was a title only given to those of higher social status. John Buck was known as Mr” or “gentleman”.

We would estimate her age when she died as in her seventies.


[1] Calverly Parish Church–Home/Facebook
[2] Cudworth, William, Histories of Bolton and Bowling (Townships of Bradford) 1916.
[3] Cudworth.
[4] Cudworth.
[5] WYL 500/288
[6] WYL500/287-289




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