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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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WILLIAM HAMSON was the second known son of Jhon Hamson and Doryty Shusmyth, born in 1589.

Baptism. St May, Radcliffe
1588/9 Jan 14  William Hansom, son of Jhon Hamson.

We know also of three younger siblings.

William’s father was the first of that surname to appear in the Radcliffe register, at his marriage to Doryty Shusmyth in 1586. His mother, on the other hand, came from a long-established Radcliffe family.


Radcliffe is bounded on two sides by the curving River Irwell, with the church, manor house and Radcliffe Tower where the River Roch joins the Irwell. It is probably on this low-lying ground that the Hamsons lived.

Radcliffe Manor [1]

By William’s time, the manor of Radcliffe had passed from the Radcliffe family to the Asshetons, who also owned the manor of neighbouring Middleton.

In 1703, when William was 15, Elizabeth I died, ushering in the Stuart dynasty, with James I.

We do not have evidence of William’s occupation, but the men of this line whose occupations we know were weavers.

William’s mother died when he was 21 and his father when he was 25. He and his elder brother George must have taken on some responsibility for their younger siblings, though the extended Shusmyth family may have helped.


William’s first known child was born in 1617. We have found no plausible marriage for him.

It is common in family history for us not to discover the name of the mother of a family until her burial. In the early Radcliffe registers we do not have even that. When William’s wife died, she was recorded only as the “Wyfe of William Hamsonn”. Women could be rulers of England, but, at least in the eyes of the rectors of Radcliffe, who kept the register, they were defined only by their relationship to a man.

We know of three children of William Hamson.

Baptisms. St Mary, Radcliffe.
1617 Sep 21  Daryty
1620 Oct 8  Richard
1625 Nov 13  James

In 1638, William’s wife died.

Burial. St Mary, Radcliffe.
1637/8 Jan 22   wyfe of William Hamsonn

Their youngest child was now 12, and if still alive, was probably already at work.


A few years later, in 1642, the Civil War broke out, tearing the country in two. But William did not live to see it.

Burial. St Mary, Radcliffe.
1641 Apr  William Hamson

He died just too soon to be included in the Protestation Return of 1641.

He was 52.


Richard became a woollen weaver and raised a family in Radcliffe. We have not found either a burial or a marriage for Daryty and James.

[1] www.radcliffeheritage.co.uk





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