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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




JOSEPH HOYROY. Joseph Hoyroy married Mary Parkinson by licence on 11 Jun 1758 in the north Lincolnshire parish of Broughton. [1]

Marriages by licence required more information about the couple than was shown in the marriage register at this time. This couple’s marriage allegation tells us that Joseph was 22 at the time of the marriage and from Broughton. Mary was also 22 and from that parish.

This gives both of them a birth date of 1735/6.

Joseph’s baptism has not been found in Broughton. He seems to be the only Hoyroy in the parish before the birth of his children. The only other occurrence is the marriage in Broughton on 3 Nov 1773  of Mary Hoyroy to James Middleton. This is too early for Mary to be Joseph’s daughter. Perhaps he had a sister in the village.

It seems likely that he came from outside Broughton and moved there to work.


Hoyroy is a very unusual name. Joseph’s marriage is the first occurrence we have found anywhere in Britain. At both his marriages he signs his name with a stylish, emphatic hand, which leaves no doubt about the spelling.

It is probably a variant spelling of a more familiar name, such as Holroyd or Holdroyd. In1705 Isaac Holdroyd had a daughter Jane baptised in Springthorpe, Lincs, 11 miles from Broughton.

The great majority of Holdroyds at this time lived in Yorkshire. Joseph’s family may have come from north of the Humber. Or he could be the Joseph Holroyd, son of James and Mary Holroyd, who was baptised at St Nicholas, Nottingham, on 16 Nov 1735. No marriage has been found for this Joseph in Nottinghamshire, though there is a burial at St Nicholas for Joseph Holroyd in 1764. This could be the young man or an older generation.


Joseph Hoyroy of Broughton became a warren-keeper.

Broughton by Brigg is in North Lincolnshire between Scunthorpe and the smaller town of Brigg. The local pronunciation is Brauton. The Roman Ermine Street ran along the west of the village. The low-lying clay soil around the River Ancholme was liable to flooding, but the upland soil was sandy, and contained many woods and rabbit warrens. These warrens were created by private landowners, who usually employed a warren-keeper. The job probably carried with it a warrener’s cottage.



MARY PARKINSON . Mary’s birth is a little earlier than was expected from the age of 22 she gave when she was married in June 1758.

Baptism. Broughton.
1734 Mary the daughter of James and Elizabeth Parkinson  Mar 26.

She was the daughter of James Parkinson and Elizabeth Swallow. Her father was a farmer in the parish of Broughton.

Mary had one younger sister who died at two months old.

She was twelve when her mother died. Four months later, her father remarried. There was another half-sister from this marriage.

Mary, was no doubt conscious that her father would have wanted sons to take over the farm from him.

When she was 16, her stepmother also died.

Mary was 24 when she married.

Marriage. Broughton.
1758  Joseph Hoyroy of this Parish Servant or Warren-keeper and Mary Parkinson of this parish Spinster were married in this church by Licence the eleventh Day of June in the Year One Thousand Seven Hundred  and fifty eight.

Joseph signs his name, but Mary makes her mark.

The witnesses are William Bartonshaw and John Hunter. The latter witnesses most marriages in the church. He was clerk of the parish and designated Mr John Hunter at his burial, implying a higher social status.

The following year Thomas Parkinson married Elizabeth Hunter Spinster “by consent of the parish”. Presumably her parents were dead.


There were three children born to Joseph and Mary.

1759 Elizabeth, baptized Oct 29
1765  Sarah, baptized Feb 10
1767  Anne, baptized July 15.


Mary died in 1770, when her youngest child was only three.

Burial. Broughton.
1770  Mary the wife of Joseph Hoyroy was buried December 9th.

Within a year, Joseph had remarried.

Marriage. Broughton.~
1771 Joseph Hoyroy and Sarah Husband both of this parish married by banns 18 Nov.

Again, Joseph signs while Sarah makes her mark.


They went on to have at least three children baptised in Broughton, including Joseph’s first son.

1772  Isaac son of Joseph and Sarah Hoyroy. July 19.
1774  Jane, May 5
1777 Rebekah, Sep ?

There is a gap in the baptism registers from 1778 to 1784. There could be more children for Joseph and Sarah then. There are no more after 1784.

In 1785 there is the burial of Elizabeth daughter of Joseph and Sarah Hoyroy. Apr 8.

The older Elizabeth Hoyroy, daughter of Joseph and Mary, had married in 1783. There must have been a younger Elizabeth, child of Joseph’s second marriage. Her baptism is presumably in the missing pages of the register.


At some time in the second half of the 18th century, or shortly after, Joseph lost his job as warrener and became a labourer.


Joseph died in 1808, during the Napoleonic wars. He was probably in his early 70s.

Burial. Broughton.1808  Joseph Hoyroy  Labourer  was buried May 29th.

We have not found the record of Sarah’s burial. We do not know whether she predeceased him.


St Mary’s, Broughton by Brigg




[1] Register entries are from findmypast.






Bray Tree