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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)

Tootle Tree



John Tootle, handloom weaver and herbalist, was the son of William Toothill and Jinny, baptised in Haslingden in Forest of Rossendale in 1813, between the Battle of Trafalgar and the Battle of Waterloo. [1]

There is a marriage which is compatible with this.

Marriage. Bury, Lancashire.
1797 Jan 3  Willliam Tootell and Jinny Ashworth

She is Jinny in this English Marriages transcript, which gives no further information.

The Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerks website has the following.

Marriage. St Mary the Virgin, Bury
1797 Jan 3  William Tootell – Weaver, Bachelor, this Parish, and Fanny Ashworth – (X), Spinster, this Parish. Witnesses: Thomas Clegg, Thomas Crompton.

It would appear that “Fanny” is a mistranscription.

Their son John called one of his children Ashworth.


WILLIAM TOOTLE. There is a baptism for William which fits very well with this. The address is the same as when William had his own children baptised.

Baptism. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1778 born Jan 13, bapt Feb 15  Wm  son of Robert Tootell. Abode: Tott.

“Tott” is an abbreviation of Tottington, now a small town 3 miles NW of Bury.

William called his eldest son Robert.

His mother was Jane Nuttall, a shoemaker’s daughter.

William may be the second child and the eldest son in a family of 11, though it is possible that some of these baptisms were for a different Robert Tootell.

Like his father before him, he became a weaver.


JINNY ASHWORTH. There are a number of baptisms in Lancashire for Jane or Jenny Ashworth about the right time. None is in Bury, where Jinny was living when she married. The nearest is the following:

Baptism. St Mary, Radcliffe.
1772 Jul 5  Jenny Ashworth, Daughter of Robert Ashworth  & Jenny. Occupation: Collier.

Radcliffe is three miles south of Bury. Her mother was Jane Hampson of Prestwich..

Jinny was the youngest of three daughters.
She was six years older than William.


The couple had 8 children baptised in Bury.

Baptisms. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1797 born Sep 8, bapt Sep 13  Robert  son of William Tootell. Abode: Tott. This address fits later baptisms for children of William and Jinny Tootell.
1798 born Oct 7, bapt Dec 30  Adam son of William Tootell and Jinny. Abode: Tott.
1800 born Jan 11, bapt Jan 12  Richmal  daughter of William Tootell and Jinny. Abode: Tott.
The swiftness of this baptism suggests that Richmal was not have been expected to live. In fact, she survived for 7 weeks. She died on Feb 28 and was buried on Mar 2.
1803  born Oct 12, bapt 1804 Jan 4  Bridget  daughter of William Tootell and Jinny. Abode: Tott.
1805 born  Nov 23, bapt 1806 Feb 16  Mary  daughter of William Tootell and Jinny. Abode: Tott.

Market Street, Tottington, in Edwardian times. [2]


Between 1806 and 1810 the family moved to Haslingden in the Forest of Rossendale, 6 miles north of Tottington. Haslingden was a flourishing town, and an early example of the Industrial Revolution.

Dr. Aikin, writing in 1795, says:—”Haslingden has been greatly improved within the last twenty years, chiefly from the increase of the woollen manufacture, though much of the cotton trade has likewise been introduced within a few years, particularly the branch of making twist for warps, for which purpose alone several factories have been erected in its neighbourhood. . . . The people were (forty years since) chiefly employed by moneyed men at Rochdale; but now the trade is supported by capitals acquired on the spot by the industry and enterprising spirit of the manufacturers, who have erected inns for the entertainment of travellers, shops and handsome houses for their own residence. A square is lately planned here, and some capital houses are already built in it. . . . A number of mills for carding cotton and sheep’s wool and spinning them into cotton twist and woollen yarn for the flannels made here, are erected upon the Swinnell. There is also a corn mill on the river, formerly belonging to the Holden family, now extinct” [3]

It is likely that William was still working as a handloom weaver, as his son John was in the 1851 census.

Baptism. St James, Haslingden.
1810  born Jun 12, bapt July 24  Robertus Toothill filius Gulielmi &Jannae   Mangle Holes.

We have not found the location of Mangle Holes.

The following year we find the burial on 1 Oct 1811 of Alice, daughter of William Toothill, who died on 29 Sep. She too was living at Mangle Holes.  We do not have a baptism date for Alice.

There are two more baptisms in Haslingden

1813 born 14 May, bapt 11 Jul  John  son of William Toothill and Jane. Abode: Mangle Holes. Cotton Weaver.
1815 25 Jul  Levi  son of William Toothill and Jinny. Abode: Mangholes. Weaver.


We have not found the deaths of William or Jinny. They do not appear in the 1841 or 1851 censuses.

There is a burial on 27 Jan 1830 at St Leonard, Walton le Dale, Lancs, for William Tootle, aged 50, living at Bamber Bridge.  Walton le Dale is just south of Preston, 15 miles from Haslingden and there was a long-standing family of Tootles there, so this is unlikely to be Jinny’s husband.


[1] BMDs from Lancashire Online Parish Clerks.
[2] http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Fu5Q_SbBXfU/UxMUMAdpG3I/AAAAAAAAJLk/NVHGS111Grs/s1600/edwardian+tottyjweb.jpeg
[3] Aikin, Country round Manch.







Tootle Tree