William image

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 my own as (1)



GEORGE BUCK came from the woollen town of Colne in Lancashire. He was probably the eldest son of Dr John Buck of Colne and his wife Sarah Bean. The likely baptism is the following.

Baptism. Colne.
1778  5 Feb  George Buck son of John and Sarah Buck.[1]

Both George and his brother John followed their father as doctors. They were often known as “surgeons”, though  this did not denote a specialism in operations. He moved to Alston, Cumberland, some time before 1805, to practise his profession. Alston is the highest market town in England, in the North Pennines, and now designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is close to the point where the Northumberland, Cumberland and Durham country borders meet.

From: Mannix & Whellan, History, Gazetteer and Directory of Cumberland, 1847:
In 1841, the population of Alston parish was 6063, and of the town of Alston, 1650 souls. “Most of the men are miners, and by long continuance in the works they show a simplicity of manners rarely found among other labouring people; they are strong of limb, and when in liquor, a vice too frequent, they are quarrelsome and resolute; but when from home, are remarkably tractable, and steadfastly attached to their countrymen and fellow labourers.” But the most visible quality of the inhabitants of the town and parish of Alston are their remarkably kind disposition, their hospitality, and their courtesy and attention to strangers – characteristics which we have seen strikingly exemplified, in our own regard, during our perambulations through this highly interesting district. Mining renders the people later in manhood, and unhealthy, so that the most robust person amongst that class seldom exceeds the age of 50 or 55 years.

Clearly much work for the town surgeon.

 Alston [2]


 SARAH FORSTER was the daughter of John Forster.[3]

A possible baptism for her is in Heptonstall, 10 miles from Colne.
Baptism. Heptonstall.
1777 31 Aug  Sarah Forster daughter of John Forster.[4]


If these baptisms are right, then the couple married young. Sarah at 20 and George at 19.

Colne Parish Registers – Marriages  1754 to 1812
9.11.1797    BUCK George, Colne, Surgeon,  FOSTER Sarah, Spinster, Colne


They had five children baptised in Alston between 1805 and 1815, the time of the Napoleonic Wars.[5]

Mary Ann  born 24 Feb 1805, baptised the same month.
Ann   born 7 July 1806, baptised the same month.
Sarah was born on 23 August 1810 but not baptised at the parish church until 28 April 1811. The delay of 8 months is unusual.
1811  Sarah Buck Born Aug 23rd 1810 baptised April 28th 1811 daug of George Buck surgeon Alston native of Colne Lancashire by his wife Sarah dau of John Forster.
George  born 3 Mar, baptised the same month. He appears to have died in infancy.
George  baptised 23 Jan 1815.

George senior is typically described at these baptisms as being ‘a native of Colne’.

Neither George nor Sarah has been identified in the 1841 census. They probably died before then.



[1] IGI
[2] www.visitcumbria.com
[3] Baptismal Register. St Augustine’s, Alston.
[4] IGI
[5] IGI




Riley Tree