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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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JOHN BIGGIN. Since he married in 1625 we should expect John to have been born around 1600. No baptism has been found for him. There is only one record for Biggin in the Fylingdales area in the early 17th century, and none for the previous century.

The solitary reference is for the baptism at Fylingdales in 1601of Alexander (?), son of John Biggin. Our John could be another of his sons.

The parish of Fylingdales covered the whole area between Fylingdales Moor and the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay. It included the village of Fylingthorpe, where the church was.

Robin Hood’s Bay [1]

 The will of Edward Harrison Yeoman in1667 leaves a bequest to Jane Dickinson, daughter of “my brother John Biggin”. This is probably Edward’s brother-in-law. John may also have been of yeoman status.

Burial. Fylingdales.
1625 Sep 4  Elizabeth wife of John Biggyn

This may be John junior’s mother.

 Either there was another John Biggin raising a family in Fylingdales, or he married twice. If this is the same John, then his first wife was Margaret.

Baptism. Fylingdales.
1625 Aug 23  John Biggyn son of John and Margaret

There is a burial in Sep 1625 for Margaret daughter of John Biggin.

No other baptisms have been found for this couple.


ELIZABETH HOGGARD. Elizabeth married in Fylingdales, which makes it likely that this was her home.

No baptism has been found for her, but the Fylingdales register shows the baptisms of Thomas, son of George Hoggard in 1601, and of Ellen, daughter of  George Hoggard, in 1606. No other Hoggard is having children baptised there, or in a neighbouring parish, around the start of the 17th century. George Hoggard is very probably Elizabeth’s father.

On 6 Sep 1658 we have the burial in Fylingdales of Jane, wife of George Hoggard. This may well be Elizabeth’s mother.


John and Elizabeth were born in the closing years of the reign of Elizabeth I, who died in 1603, or soon after. They would have lived much of their lives in the time of the first Stuart kings, James  and Charles I.

Marriage. Fylingdales.
1625 Nov 7   John Biggyn and Elizabeth Hoggard.

We have no baptisms for children of this couple for eleven years. There were probably children born then, whose baptisms are no longer legible. There are pages of the register where the ink is badly faded.

Baptisms. Fylingdales.
1636 Dec 13  Jana
1638 Dec 31  Margarita
1639 Mar 10   Anna

There was another burial in 1638. On Dec 18 Margarita Biggin was buried. She is not said to be anyone’s daughter. She could be the wife of the John Biggin who was having children in the 1620s. If so, her husband would be a different John Biggin.

By now, the country was nearing the Civil War which started in 1642 and ended with the execution of Charles I in 1649. We do not know whether John, who was probably in his 40s, took part in it.

In 1663, the Quarter Sessions of the North Riding of Yorkshire awarded Thomas Weight of Fylingdales a pension of £1 a year. Since this was after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660, Thomas Weight is likely to have fought on the Royalist side.

The most famous owner of the Old Hall in Fylingdales was Sir John Hotham, who supported Parliament in the Civil War. In 1642, he refused to open the gates of Hull to Charles I. Unfortunately, he was suspected by Parliament of switching allegiance, and was executed in 1645.

We have not found a burial for either Elizabeth or John in Fylingdales. There seems to be a gap in the registers between 1639 and 1654. Registers were often disrupted by the Civil War and births were registered by the civil authority in the subsequent Commonwealth.

There is a burial in Whitby on 6 Sep 1670 of Johannes Biggyn senex (old man) viduus (widower). He was living in Whitby town. But their true burials could well be in Fylingdales on a page of a missing register, or one no longer legible.


[1] Francis Nicholson (1753-1844)




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