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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)

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ROBERT NUTTALL was first married in 1747. This gives him a probable birth date around 1722.

If he was born in Bury, where he spent his adult life, then there are two possible baptisms.

Baptisms. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1718 Born Jul 16, bapt Jul 18  Robert son of Roger Nuttall
1721 Born May 30, bapt Jun 4  Robert son of James Nuttall.

Robert named his first son James, but none of them Roger, making the second baptism the more likely. This supposition is strengthened by the fact that James Nuttall was probably, like Robert, a cobbler.

There were a number of James Nuttalls in Bury at this time, making it difficult to separate Robert’s father’s family from others of the same name.

His mother may have been Elizabeth Holte.


Bury stands on the western edge of the Pennines, on the River Irwell.

Robert saw its transformation from a modest woollen town to a major centre of the cotton industry. He was only 12 in 1733 when Bury-born John Kay invented the “Flying Shuttle”, which revolutionised weaving. With its abundant supply of soft water, and the plentiful imports of American cotton shipped to Liverpool, Bury was soon part of the fast-expanding cotton industry. Mills proliferated almost overnight. Bury grew at an astonishing rate. This brought added custom for craftsmen like Robert.

Bury is known for its black puddings, and was once notable for tripe.


Robert became a shoemaker, probably following his father’s trade.

18th-century shoemakers [i]


He married twice. The first time was to Elisabeth Taylor.


ELIZABETH TAYLOR. There are too many Elizabeth Taylors baptised in Bury to identify Elizabeth’s father or her date of birth.

Marriage. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1746/7 Mar 2  Robert Nuttall and Elisabeth Taylor.

There were a number of children of Robert Nuttall baptised in Bury in the following years. Robert and Elisabeth’s children are likely to be among those for whom the abode is Bury. There are 7 of these before Robert’s second marriage. The dates are consistent with these all being for the same couple. The mother’s name is not given, and only one records the father’s occupation as shoemaker.

Baptisms. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1747 Born Oct 22, bapt Nov 5  Martha
1749/50  Born Feb 6, bapt Feb 23  Jane daughter of Robt Nuttall  Shoemaker.
1753 Born May 6, bapt May 27  James
1754 Born Oct 16, bapt Nov 15  Betty Kay
1756 Born May 11, bapt Jun 4  Robt.
1757/8 Born Dec 1, bapt Jan 11  Susan
1760 Born Feb 1, bapt Feb 27  Mary

We have no evidence of any of these children dying in infancy, suggesting that the family were comfortably off

The first Elisabeth’s death has not been found. We only know that it happened between 1 Feb and 13 May 1760.

Robert’s second marriage  was to Elizabeth Booth.

Marriage. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1760 May 13 Robert Nuttall (X) Shoemaker, Widower, Parish of Bury to Elizabeth Booth (X) Spinster, Parish of Bury.
By banns. Witnesses: Thomas Batttersby, John Leigh.
Both sign with a cross.

Elizabeth must have been heavily pregnant at the time of her marriage. A daughter Ann was born to Robt Nuttall, Shoe Maker on 6 Jul 1760 and baptised on 3 Aug.

An unnamed child of Robert Nuttall, shoemaker, died on 23 Aug 1761 and was buried on 25 Aug. It was probably a newborn child.

After that, things become unclear. Two more Robert Nuttalls, both weavers, married in Bury, one in Dec 1760, the other in May 1761. The subsequent baptisms for children of Robert Nuttall do not give the father’s occupation. Some of the following may be the shoemaker’s children.

Baptisms. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1762 born Aug 1, bapt Sep 12  Thomas
1762 born Nov 15, bapt Dec 26  Richmal
1764 born Jun 16, bapt Jul 18  Ann
1764 born Jul 3, bapt Jul 27  Susan
1765 born Sep 10, bapt Oct 9  Betty Kay
1768 born Jan 11, bapt Feb 19  Harriett
1768 born Feb 16, bapt Mar 20  Robert
1769 born May`18, bapt May 26  John
1770 born Nov 28, bapt Dec 21  Thomas

We can discount the son of Mr Robert Nuttall, who was of a higher social class than a shoemaker, and since at the time of the second Elizabeth’s burial their abode was Bury, we can also discount those living elsewhere, such as Tott or Moorside. “Bury” indicates the main town.

In 1773 Thomas, son of Robert Nuttall of Bury, died on 2 Dec and was buried two days later.

Robert’s second wife died on Christmas Day 1777.

Burial. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1777 died Dec 25, bur Dec 27. Elizth Nuttall wife of Robt Nuttall. Abode: Bury.

There are deaths for Robert Nuttall of Bury on 19 Mar 1788, burial 21 Mar, and on 6 Jan 1804, burial 10 Jan. The first would make him 67 and the second 83.


[i] https://www.martelnyc.com/seventeenth-century/images/8695_171_76-tool-nineteenth-century.jpg




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