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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



THOMAS BURNE. We find the Burnes in the parish of Sneaton, which extends south from the border with Whitby.

From the date of his children’s baptisms we should expect Thomas to have been born around 1613. His baptism is probably the following:

Baptism. St John, Smeaton
1617 Jun 10. “William Burne had a child christened.”

If so, then Thomas was the middle of three children. We do not know his mother’s name.

His father died when Thomas was not yet four.


The parish of Sneaton is separated from Whitby by the River Esk. It stands very high, with views across Whitby and out to sea. The village consists mostly of whitewashed red-tiled cottages.

Sneatonthorpe, Sneaton


We do not have a record of Thomas’s marriage, but the date of his children’s baptisms suggest that it took place around 1637, five years before the Civil War broke out. The couple raised their family during the Civil War and the Republican Commonwealth that followed it.

Baptisms. St John, Sneaton.
1638/9 Feb 3  Marie
1641 Dec 19  Frances (m)
1643  James
1646 Dec 6  Thomas
1649 Oct 17  John
1654 Aug 7  Isabell
1654 Aug 9 Susanna

The twins were baptised two days apart. It is likely that Isabell was not expected to survive and was baptised immediately, while Susanna was brought to church two days later.


It would have been good to see how many Burne men were in Smeaton for the 1641-2 Protestation Return, but the return for Sneaton is missing.

A major landowner in the area was Sir Hugh Cholmley, who owned Whitby Abbey. At the start of the Civil War he sided with the Parliamentarians, resisting Charles I’s attempts to rule without Parliament. He fought and held Scarborough Castle against the King. He was won over to the Royalist side by Queen Henrietta Maria. She was an intelligent and courageous advocate for her husband’s cause. Scarborough Castle fell to the Parliamentarians in 1645.  Roundhead troops sacked the Abbey House at Whitby.

Thomas may well have fought in the Civil War, but we have no information about this.


He lived to see the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.

 Burial. St John, Sneaton.
1670 Oct 31  Thomas Burne

 There are burials for several Burne women after this, but we cannot tell if one of them was Thomas’s widow.






Bray Tree