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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 my own as (1)




JAMES CHAPPELL was born c.1786 in the village of Wincle, about eight miles south-west of Buxton, and just on the Cheshire side of the border with Staffordshire. [1]


ANN BEAMAN. Ann’s parentage is unknown, but she was born in Gibraltar c.1780. The 1851 census records her as a British Subject. This means that she was born in the British Overseas Territory off Spain, and not in the English village of that name.
Her baptism and parentage have not been found, but it is likely that her father was a sailor stationed at the Royal Navy base there, or perhaps an administrator. He must have been there long enough to have his wife with him and have a child.
The nearest to this name in the 1777 list of inhabitants of Gibraltar are William and Catherin Beckman. William, aged 32, is an Engineer’s Coxwain who has been in Gibraltar for 5 years. Catherin, aged 35, has been there for 9 years. They are no longer there in 1791.
We do not know how long Ann and her family stayed in Gibraltar. The late 18th century was a tense time in the Mediterranean. From 1793 onwards Britain was fighting France in the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Gibraltar would have played a key role as the base for British ships.


There is a likely marriage between these two in Prestbury, just north of Macclesfield, 31 March 1807.
James CHAPPEL and Ann BEAMAN, 31 Mar 1807, Macclesfield (Prestbury parish), Cheshire, England
(by this reckoning, Ann would have been aged about 27).

Prestbury marriages.
No 48 James Chappel of Wincle of this Parish Husbandman and Ann Beaman of the same place, spinster
were Married in this Church by Banns this thirty first Day of March in the Year One Thousand eight Hundred and seven
By me Thos. Monkhouse Curate
This marriage was solemnised between Us James Chappel , The Mark of Ann Beaman
In the Presence of William Watts,  Amey Skellern.

They had eight children, baptised in Wincle. Ruth said she was born in Wildboarclough. These Cheshire villages are three miles apart. Wildboarclough did not get its own chapel until 1873.

Sarah  27 Dec 1807. Her mother’s name is given here as Nancy, which is a diminutive of Ann. She is Ann in all subsequent baptisms.
Isaac  30 July 1809
Joseph  14 Nov 1813
Martha 24 Sep 1815
Jane  6 Apr 1817
Ann   17 Jan 1819
James  24 Jun 1821
Ruth   22 Aug 1824

In the 1841 census we find some of the family, but not James, living at Cottage House in Wildboarclough. An Chapel, 60, is of independent means. With her are Rooth, 17, Maryan, 3, and Sarah, 8 months. All are said to be born in Cheshire.

James has not been found in this census.

Wildboarclough [2]


The 1851 census shows James, aged 65, with his wife Ann, their unmarried daughter Ruth and two grandchildren, living at 4 House Millbank, Wildboarclough. His occupation is given as labourer. Wildboarclough is south-west of Macclesfield, not far from Wincle and Flash.

1851 Census. 4 House Mill Bank Wildboarclough:

Chappel James
Chappel Ann
Chappel Ruth
Chappel Mary A
Chappel James
Labourer Wincle, Cheshire
Gibraltar British Subject

Also with them are

James Williamson
William Dale
John Brunt
Robert Robinson
Son in law
Labourer Printworks
Lab at Printworks
Lab do
Lab do
Do. Wincle
do    do
Staffs, Heaton
do,  Quarnford

Mary Ann was the illegitimate daughter of Jane Chappell of Wildboarclough, born in 1837. James may be James Henry, son of Isaac and Elizabeth Chappell, baptised in Macclesfield in 1850. Isaac was a tailor.

James Williamson was the husband of the couple’s eldest daughter Sarah. Sarah, born in Wildboarclough, was living at West Street, Sutton Macclesfield with four children. The two eldest, also born in Wildboarclough, are silk-piecers. James may have moved to find work.

At 71 Ann would have been glad of Ruth’s help with this large household.

There may be an older relative living next door.

3 House Mill Bank, Wildboarclough:
Chappel Joseph   Lodg   W   88  late Collier    Prestbury, Chs

Ann died the following year on 5 Jan 1852, aged 71. Her residence and place of burial was Wildboarclough.

James was still a labourer later that year when Ruth married John Redfern in 1852.

In the 1861 census, J Chappell, born in Wincle, is a pauper labourer and a widower, living in the Macclesfield workhouse.

By the 1871 census, James, a widower whose age is given as 87, had been taken in by his youngest son James. James junior is a Licensed Victualler at the Duke of York, Romily Road, Romily, Stockport. He is living with his wife Sarah and children Ellen, Joseph, Sarah and Ann. 18-year-old Sarah is a hat binder. James senior is said to be infirm.

There is a burial in Wincle for James Chappell, aged 91, on 11 Nov 1875.

James and Ann lived through great changes in their long lives: the industrialisation of Britain and the coming of the railways.


[1] Genealogical information from Findmypast and Mark Priestley.
[2] Photo en.wikipedia.org.




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