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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)



The baptism compatible with the age and birthplace of Sally Hayes, who married John Hudson in 1808, makes her the daughter of John Heys, baptised in Padiham in 1787. This suggests the following marriage for her parents. [1]

Marriage. St Leonard, Padiham.
1786  Oct 7  John Heys of this chapelry and Ann Cleg of Ightenhil park within Castle parish.
Witnesses: William Horn, Thos: Riding.

Ann signs with her mark.

Ightenhill Park lies to the east of Padiham and north of Burnley. At this time it was a detached enclave of Castle parish in Clitheroe.


JOHN HEYS. The age at his burial gives him a birthdate around 1765-6. There is one baptism at St Leonard, Padiham, which matches that.

1765 Jan 13  John son of John Heys. Abode: Hapton.

Hapton is a mile south of Padiham.

There is a burial in Padiham of Susan Hey, widow of Hapton, in Feb 1766. Her husband seems to have died before John’s birth, so this is unlikely to be his mother, but she is probably his grandmother. More credible for his parents are the burials of Alice, wife of John Hey of Hapton, in 1788 and of John Hey of Hapton in 1785.

John Heys of Hapton married Alice Waddington of Padiham at St Leonard’s in 1750.

If his parents married in 1750, then John was one of their youngest children. We have two baptisms at St Leonards in 1751 and 1753 for daughters of John Hey of Hapton, who could be his sisters. After that there is a succession of baptisms for children of John Hey, but living in places other than Hapton. There is no further mention of Hapton until John junior’s baptism in 1765. There could be other John Heys having children baptised at St Leonard’s, or he could have moved between the births.

If we look for another marriage in Padiham closer to John’s baptism, we find the following:

1764 Sep 29 John Hays (X) of this Parish and Township of Padiham and Ellen Holland (X) of this Parish and Township of Padiham.  Witnesses: Law. Radcliffe, Jno. Horn.

But this would make the bride 5 months pregnant at the wedding. Pregnant brides were not uncommon, but not usually at such a late stage. The marriage register does not mention Hapton, and John’s parents were living there four months later. On balance, it seems better to stick with the Hapton family.

John became a huckster, selling small items door-to-door or from a market stall.



ANN CLEGG. Ann was 71 when she died in Jan 1837. This gives her a birth date in 1765 or the early days of 1766.

There is a baptism in 1765 for Ann, daughter of John Clegg of a farming family in Hapton, where John grew up. But this Ann died in 1768.

More promising is a baptism at St Peter, Burnley.

Baptism. St Peter, Burnley
1765 Oct 20  Anne daughter of James Clegg. Abode: Habergham Eaves.

Habergham Eaves lies to the south of Burnley. It is close to Ightenhill Park, between Padiham and Burnley, where Ann was living at the time of her marriage.

This would make her the daughter of James Clegg and Alice Clayton, both of Habergham Eaves.

Anne was the only child. Her father  died in either 1767 and 1768 when Anne was two or three.. It is likely that she spent her childhood in poverty with her widowed mother.
There are then two possibilities.

One is that her mother died in 1776, when Anne was ten. There is a burial for Alice Clegg widow of Burnley, but this could be one of two women.
If this is the correct scenario, we do not know who looked after Anne while she was growing up. She is likely to have gone out to work at a young age.

The other possibility is that her mother remarried to James Dent of Burnley when Ann was eight. If that was the case, then she had two half-sisters.

She was living in Ightenhill Park when she married. That was an isolated part of Clitheroe parish, surrounded by the parish of Whalley, of which Burnley and Padiham were chapelries.


John Heys and Ann Clegg married at St Leonard, Padiham, on 7 Oct 1786, three years before the French Revolution. Both were 21.

Sally’s baptism follows a year after this marriage. Hers is the first in a string of baptisms for children of John Heys and we can be fairly confident that her mother was Ann. There are five more possible baptisms for this couple, but we must treat them with caution, because the early ones give only the father’s name and not the mother’s, or John’s occupation. There were other John Heys having children baptised in this church. From 1795 we find children for John and Alice Heys and from 1799 children of John and Betty Heys. Some of the earlier baptisms could also be theirs.

There are also burials of children of John and Ann whose baptisms we have not found.

Baptisms. St Leonard, Padiham.
1787 Nov 25  Sally. Daughter of John Heys. Abode: Padiham.
1789  Nov 22  James  son of John Hey. Abode: Padiham.
1791 Mar 13  John  son of John Heys. Abode: Padiham
1792 May 27  Richd  son of Jno: Heys. Abode: Padiham
In 1795 Oct 6 we have the burial of Ellen, daughter of John Heys, Huckster, and Ann . She died on Sep 30 aged one. The cause of death was decline. We do not have a record of her baptism.
1796 Jun 19  Ann  daughter of John Heys and Ann.  Born Feb 28. Abode: Padiham. Occupation: Huckster.
We have not found a baptism for Thomas, born in 1797, but we have his burial.
1797 Oct 9, died  Oct 7.  Thomas son of John Heys and Ann. Age 1 month. Abode: Padiham. Father’s occupation: Huckster.
More than five years later there is another baptism.
1803 Mar 6  Mary  daughter of John Heys and Ann, born Jan 4. Abode: Padiham. Huxter.

Mary died aged 6, though the register gives her age as 7.

Burial. St Leonard, Padiham.
1809 Apr 9  Mary, daughter of John Heys and Ann. Died 13 (sic) Apr. Abode: Padiham. Father’s occupation: Carrier. Cause of death: Smallpox.

It is clear from this burial that John was no longer a huckster, but had set himself up as a carrier.

The family lived through the momentous years of the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, culminating in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

There are possible burials for both John and Ann at St Leonard’s.

1828 Jan 20  John Heys. Died Jan 17. Age: 62. Abode: Padiham. Cause of death: Consumption.

Ann lived another 10 years.

1837 Jan 25  Ann Heys, widow of John Heys. Died Jan 21. Age: 71. Abode: Padiham: Cause of death: Old Age.


[1] BMDs from Lancashire Parish Clerks online. www.lan-opc.org.uk/
[2] https://jewishphilosophyplace.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/huckster_1-1.jpg?w=640





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