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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)

Bray Tree



 JOHN STOTHARD. We have tentatively identified Susanna Stothard, who married James Parkinson and brought up a family in Broughton, Lincolnshire, as the daughter of John Stothard and Anne Smyth.

John Stothard married in Barton upon Humber in 1648. There is a baptism in Barton that fits this.

Baptism. Barton upon Humber.
1620 Sep 5  John the son of Willim Stothard. But this child died the same month.

That leaves two other possibilities’

Baptism. Bonby.
1613/14 Jan 14  John son of John Stothard

Baptism. Broughton by Brigg.
1618 Aug 27  John son of Richard Stothard

Bonby is a village 3 m south of Barton upon Humber. Broughton is 9 m south.

The Bonby baptism is nearer but would make John 34 at the time of his marriage, which is rather late.

The Broughton one would make him 29, but the distance is greater.


ANNE SMYTH. There appear to be two possible baptisms for Anne. One is in Ulceby by Barton in 1621, but this child lived only 7 months. This makes the following the most likely.

Baptism. Barrow on Humber.
1626 Feb 4  Anna filia Guilielmi et Aliciae Smyth
(Anne daughter of William and Alice Smyth.)

Anne was the fifth of six children, but two brothers had died before she was born. Her father was a labourer. Her mother was Alice South.

Since she was married in Barton upon Humber, we assume that Anne had gone to live there before this.

Anne was a teenager when the Civil War broke out in 1642.

Barton-upon-Humber is a small historic town situated on the south bank of the River Humber, in the old north Lincolnshire area of Lindsey. It is almost opposite the large city and port of Kingston-upon-Hull. The name is derived from ‘Beretun’, which meant ‘Barley Town’, a tribute to its importance in the supply and trading of barley malt, the basis of beer brewing. Indeed, there was a time in the early Middle Ages when Barton was far more important than Hull, supplying more ships and men for the king’s service. But after Edward I conferred his royal favour on Hull in the late 13th century, Barton steadily lost its pre-eminence on the Humber, although it remained an important base for river trade and ferries.

Its proximity to Hull made it a significant place in the Civil War.

The road inland towards Scunthorpe starts out beside the Humber, where it is joined by the River Ancholme. This point is Ferriby Sluice. For centuries, the tidal Ancholme flooded its valley and the land was mostly unusable until you reached the higher ground across the valley near Winterton. In the 17th century, there was growing interest in drainage, and the local landowners installed the first sluice at Ferriby about 1636. Unfortunately, the Civil War broke out shortly afterwards. South Ferriby was a stronghold for the Parliamentarian Nelthorpe family. Winterton was in the Royalist camp, and there was, in any case, an old animosity towards the men of Ferriby. In the fighting, the Winterton men destroyed Ferriby Sluice and the land was badly flooded again. It was not until the middle of the 18th century that drainage work was resumed, with the new interest in agriculture

During the summer of 1643, the Royalists laid plans to win the war by marching on London. However, it would first be necessary for them to defeat the Parliamentarian forces holding Hull ; otherwise, as they moved on London, the garrisons of those two towns could sortie out and attack the Royalist rear…

The Royalist army under the command of the Earl of Newcastle commenced a siege of Hull on 2 September. On 18 September, part of the Parliamentarian cavalry in Hull was ferried over to Barton, and the rest under Sir Thomas Fairfax went by sea to Saltfleet a few days later, the whole force joining Oliver Cromwell near Spilsby. In return, Lord Fairfax, who remained in Hull, received infantry reinforcements and a quantity of ammunition and stores from the Eastern Association.

We do not know whether John was enlisted in the Civil War. The working classes usually had little say over which side they fought for. Landlords would round up their tenants and march them off to fight for whichever cause he or she supported.

The Protestation Return of 1641 for Barrow shows a John Stothard in the parish of St Mary, Barrow upon Humber.


John  and Anne married in the closing months of the Civil War. The wedding took place either in the parish church of St Peter in Barton upon Humber or in the adjacent chapel of St Mary, which matched it for size and splendour. The Protestation Return makes St Mary’s the more likely.

St Mary’s, Barton upon Humber[1]

 Marriage. Barton upon Humber, Lincolnshire.
1648 Apr 3  John Stotherd and Anne Smyth.

There is a burial for Anne wife of John Stothard on 30 Jan 1648/9, but there are baptisms for children of John and Anne after this, so this is probably an older woman, maybe John’s mother.

 They made their home there, and three children were born there during the Commonwealth under Oliver Cromwell. It was then customary for the date of birth to be given, and not always the date of baptism.

Baptisms. Barton on Humber
1651 May 4   William
1653 Oct 13   Anne was born.
1656 Aug 6   Ruth was born.

Ten years later, we have an isolated baptism in Appleby, 6 m south of Barton.
Baptism. Appleby.
1666 Dec 22   Susanna daughter of John Stothard.

There are number of Stothard entries in Appleby around the beginning of the century, ending with a marriage in 1613. Then there is a gap of 53 years before Susanna’s baptism. There are no other Stothard baptisms until 1774. Nor is there a burial around this time which could be Susanna’s parent.

This speaks of a family that came from elsewhere, and fits with the cessation of baptisms in Barton. Unfortunately, we do not have the name of Susanna’s mother. The most likely marriage for her parents is that of John Stotherd and Anne Smyth in Barton.

The ten-year gap means that there may be other baptisms in parishes outside Barton.


John’s burial could be either of these.

Burial. Appleby.
1669 Dec 29  John Stothard

Burial. Barton on Humber.
1669 Nov 7  John  Stotherd.

We have not been able to identify Anne’s burial.


[1] R&L Postcard: Barton Upon Humber St Mary’s Church North Lincolnshire, e-bay.




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