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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, and some go back 30 generations. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from my own as (1)



Bray Tree




GEORGE BRAY was most probably the son of Robert Bray and Mary Fox, baptised in Beelsby, Lincolnshire, on 20 March 1783. [1] Beelsby (not to be confused with Beesby) is a village on the Lincolnshire Wolds 5 miles east of Caistor.

George was the fourth and youngest child.

His father is variously described in the records as a builder or labourer.

At the time of his marriage in 1809 George was living in Wrawby, a village 3 miles east of Brigg and 10 miles SE of Roxby, where he married at the age of 25.


CATHARINE NEWELL. When Catharine died in 1849 she was aged 69, giving her a birth date of 1779-80. She was ‘of this parish’ when she married in the Lincolnshire village of Roxby cum Risby in 1809. Her baptism has not been found there, but there is a promising baptism in 1779 in Burton upon Stather, between Scunthorpe and the Humber:.

1779  Nov 30  Katherine Newille, daughter of Thomas Newille and Jane his wife.

Her mother’s maiden name was Tripp. Thomas Newille was a labourer.

Catharine was the youngest in a family of eight.

Burton upon Stather, where Catharine grew up is only 3 miles from Roxby cum Risby where she moved before she married at the age of 30. Roxby cum Risby is a village 4 m north of Scunthorpe and about the same distance NW of Brigg, where later Brays settled.

We do not know how the couple met.


George and Catharine married in Roxby on 6 Nov 1809. Catharine was a spinster of the parish. George was a bachelor of the parish of Wrawby.

George’s father was illiterate but George signs his own name. Catharine make her mark: +.


George and Catharine led a peripatetic life. Their first daughter Jane was born on Jan 26 and baptised on Jan 29 in Winterton, a village between Burton upon Stather and Barrow upon Humber.

They then moved south to Caistor, on the northern edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds where two sons were said to be born: Robert in 1811-12 and George in 1814-15. Robert claimed Caistor as his birthplace in later censuses but his baptism has not been found in the Caistor registers. Perhaps the family moved to Caistor shortly after he was born and he assumed he was born there.

There is a possible baptism much further north in Goxhill, on the other side of the Humber south of Hornsea. On 8 June 1817 Francis, son of George and Catherine Bray was baptised. George Bray was a hawker. This could explain why they were so often on the move, but it is rather different from a beast jobber, so this is probably a different family.

On Feb 25 1822 Jane daughter of George and Catherine Bray was baptised in Barrow on Humber. George is a jobber (dealing in livestock). A few years earlier we have George Bray, husband of Jane, also a jobber and probably of the same family.

George, husband of Catharine, is again described as a jobber at the baptism of their daughter Mary on 22 Aug 1824 in Barrow.

There may well be baptisms of children in other parishes which have not yet been found.


The couple finally settled in Barrow on Humber. At the time of Robert’s marriage in 1838, George senior was recorded as a beast jobber, or dealer. He specialised in cattle. George junior followed him as a cattle dealer, but Robert became a horse dealer.


In 1841 we find George and Catharine living in Thornton Road, Barrow. George is said to be 55 and a cattle dealer. With him is Cathae, 60. Because ages were rounded down in this census, George’s stated age of 55 is compatible with his being born in 1783, giving him a true age of 58. Catherine was a few years older.

There are now no Bray children living with their parents. In the same census we find George Bray, 25, living with his wife Elizabeth and their infant son George, together with Robert Bray, 30, his wife Sophia and their 9-month-old daughter Mary. The brothers are sharing a house at Messingham, south of Scunthorpe. George is a cattle dealer like his father. Robert’s occupation is not stated here.


Catharine was buried on 8 Feb 1849 at Holy Trinity, Barrow on Humber. She was aged 69.


On 19 March 1850 George remarried in Barrow on Humber. His new bride was a younger woman, Sophia Larmour. She appears in the 1841 census as Sophia Larmer. She is aged 30 and living in the North Side of the Church, Barrow, with 60-year-old Ann Larmer, presumably her widowed mother. Another possibility is that Sophia had been widowed early and was living with her mother-in-law. The rounding down of ages would be compatible with a true age of 33 for Sophia. Her mother or mother-in-law is listed as a pauper.

Sophia is a common name in the Bray family.


By the 1851 census, George senior was still living in Barrow with his new wife.

1851 census. Temperance Hall Lane, Barrow.

George Bray   Head    69        Cattle Dealer    Beelsby, Lincs

Sophia Bray     Wife    43                                Worlaby, Lincs

Worlaby lies between Barrow and Brigg.


In the same census, Robert and his family are now living in Barnetby le Wold, and Robert is a horse dealer. George junior is still living in Messingham, now with his wife and five young children. He is a cattle jobber and is well-enough off to employ a live-in nursemaid.


George senior was buried on 11 Sep 1859 at Holy Trinity, Barrow on Humber. He was aged 75.

Sophia’s burial also took place at Holy Trinity on 5 June 1867.


George and Catharine’s younger son George junior settled in Brigg as a cattle dealer. Brigg is less than 4 miles from Barnetby le Wold where the older son Robert was raising his family. George junior seems to have been in frequent trouble with the law.


From the Lincolnshire Chronicle, Friday 26 August 1870.[2]


James Fenwich, of Scunthorpe, and George Bray¸of Brigg, were summoned by P.c. Smith, with allowing cattle to stray on the highway, at Ashby. The former was fined 5s, and cost 1s 6d, and the latter (an old offender), 20s, and costs 6s 6d.


There are several Ashbys in Lincolnshire. This one is probably Ashby Bottesford on the outskirts of Scunthorpe. It is 7 miles west of Brigg.


Stamford Mercury. Friday 5 Sept 1873.


George Bray, for being drunk in charge of a horse and cart at Worlaby on the 21st ult, was fined 40s and costs 28s 6d


He was not, however, held to be at fault for the following incident.


Lincolnshire Chronicle. Friday 25 March 1881


Major Hill of Scotter Fields, farmer, was summoned for causing a cow to be moved without a licence, at Brigg, on the 11th inst. – Sgt Jackson stated he saw two boys with a cow in Wrawby-st on the above afternoon. They said they had brought the animal from Hill’s, at Scotter and that Mr Hill told them they did not require a license. They were going to take the cow to Wrawby, Mr George Bray having sent for it. The sergeant then saw Mr Bray, who said he sent the boys for the cow, and expected Mr Hill would get a license to move it. Mr Hill said he was very sorry the cow had been sent without a license; he sent his man to Mr Pooley’s for one, but the man failed to get one. Fined 10s, and cost 15s.

On Friday 8 Dec 1882 the Stamford Mercury reported the death of this younger George: BRAY.- At Brigg, on the 2d Dec, George Bray, cattle-dealer, aged 69 years.


[1] Mark Priestley, censuses, Lincolnshire Parish Registers on Findmypast.
[2] British Newspapers 1710 – 1950. Accessed through www.findmypast.co.uk.







Bray Tree