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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 SMYTH. The most likely mother of Susanna Stothard, who married James Parkinson in Broughton, Lincolnshire, is Alice Smyth. She is very likely the daughter of William Smyth and Alice South.

William Smyth was married in Barrow upon Humber in 1621, which gives him an expected birth date around 1596. Possible baptisms include the following:

Baptism. Barton upon Humber.
1594 Apr 2  William Smyth son of Richard Smyth

Baptism. Goxhill.
1595/6 Jan 4  Wm Smith son of Rich. Smith.

Barton upon Humber is a larger town than Barrow, 3 m NW of Barrow, and nearer the Humber.

Goxhill is a little closer, only 2 m east of Barrow. This is also a little nearer the expected date, but the evidence is not conclusive.


The first William was the second of four children, three boys and a girl.

The most likely marriage for the father of these children is

Marriage. Elsham.
1590 Nov 14  Richard Smith and Bridget Wilkin

Between 1586 and 1604 there were 12 baptisms in Goxhill for children of Richard Smith. Some of the dates overlap, leading us to conclude that more than one Richard Smith was having children baptised at this time. There was a large extended family of Smiths in Goxhill.

This makes it hard to determine who William Smith’s mother was.

There is far too much uncertainty for us to have any confidence in determining William Smyth’s origins.

We know from the burial register that William became a labourer. He was very likely from a family of farm workers.


ALICE SOUTH. Alice was married in Barrow upon Humber. Weddings usually took place in the bride’s parish. No baptism has been found for her there. The most plausible, at first sight,  is in the village of Keelby, 9 m SE.

Baptism. Keelby.
1601Nov 10  Alice daughter of George South.

In the church of St Bartholomew in Keelby, there is a monument to an older Alice South. British Listed Buildings tells us:

“In the north wall of the north aisle a recessed circular marble frame with guilloche decoration
containing a portrait bust of Alice South, d,1605. She with hands clasped in prayer, with a ruff and cowled head, beneath is a rectangular inscribed marble plaque with a decorative frame.”

The Latin inscription has been translated as:

“So here lies Alice South, when after 3 times 20 winters her long life comes to an end. Although wooed in the flowers of youth by a host of noblemen, she hid herself 14 years in widowed bed chamber, and loving her off¬ spring and hating fresh marriages, gave up her wealth entire, whilst yet alive she gave them her wealth, except what truss and the pitiful cowl wandering through her bountiful gate had exhausted. Happy offspring to whom if she had not left her wealth that she did there would have been so many misfortunes so many sorrows. She said when dying : Let my husband have and keep me in his tomb.”[1]

Her maiden name was Alice Tewidale. She left 10 acres of land to the poor.

Her husband was John South, who died 14 years earlier.

“North wall of chancel has a wall plaque to John South, d.1591, a square marble plaque in a marble frame with circular pendent motif below and 2 obelisks flanking a cartouche of arms above, central panel flanked by vertical margins containing ribbons, incised skulls and hourglasses.”

The Souths of Keelby were a family of some substance. They held the manor of Keelby.

John and Alice South had son George, who was the father of the younger Alice.

No death or other marriage has been found for the infant Alice South baptised in 1601, but, sadly, it is highly unlikely that she would have married the labourer William Smyth. Nevertheless, South is an uncommon surname, and Alice was probably descended from this landed Keelby family at some time in the past.

With dates this early, some parishes do not have registers going back that far, while others have pages that are now illegible . Alice’s baptism is probably in one of these.

She was either born in Barrow on Humber, or moved there before her marriage.


Marriage. Barrow upon Humber.
1621/2 Jan 8  William Smyth and Alice South

 We have the baptisms of six children for this couple.

Baptisms. Barrow on Humber.
1621 Jan 27  William. William was buried on 10 Mar 1624/5, age 4.
1621/2 Jan 17  John. John was buried on 15 Mar 1625/6, also aged 4.
1623 Jul 23  John
1625 Dec 14  William
1626/7 Feb 4 Anne
1633/4  Isabella

The family saw the Civil War of 1642-49, ending with the execution of Charles I. Lincolnshire was initially loyal to the Crown, but was invaded by the Parlamentarians, who won battles at Grantham, Gainsborough and Winceby.

William may have been enlisted to fight. Many landowners formed contingents from their tenants.

He survived the war, but did not live to see the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.

Burial. Barrow on Humber.
1657/8 Mar 16  William Smyth. Labourer.

It might have appeared that Alice remarried. There is a marriage in 1657 in Barrow on Humber or nearby Goxhill between Michael Mighill of Barrow and Alice Smyth of Goxhill. But this is followed by the baptisms of three children, which seems unlikely, given Alice’s age.

We have not found a burial for Alice in Barrow. There is one for Alice Smith widow in nearby Barton upon Humber on 15 Jul 1677. Alice may have gone there to live with one of her children after William’s death..


[1] John George Hall, Notices of Lincolnshire. Hull, 1890.




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