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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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THOMAS CEATON. Research into this family is complicated by the multiple spellings of this surname. The first record of the surname Ceaton in Kirkby Malham is Thomas’s first marriage in 1716.

There might appear to be a possible baptism for him in 1689 in the village of Long Preston, which is four miles west. This was a family that had previously had children baptised in Kirkby Malham.

Baptism. Long Preston.
1689 Thomas the son of George Cottam of Halton.

But this child died a year later, and the surname is not a close match.

Halton is 3 m south of Long Preston.

The next nearest would be Thomas son of Thomas Catton in Otley in 1686, but this is more than 20 miles away. Thomas’s true baptism may be on a damaged page of the register, or in a parish whose registers do not go back that far.

He became a labourer.

In 1716, he married Grace Atkinson. She was the 37-year-old daughter of Thomas Atkinson of Airton, Thomas Ceaton also lived in Airton, so they were close neighbours.

Airton is a small township close to River Aire, from which it takes its name. It did not have its own church, but lay within the parish of Kirkby Malham, a village in Malhamdale 3 m north of Airton.

It is known for the Quaker Meeting House, which was founded by a family of linen weavers at the end of the 17th century, but the Ceatons used the parish church in Kirkby Malham.

Kirkby Malham[1]

 Marriage. Kirkby Malham.
1716 Apr 7  Thomas Ceaton and Grace Atkinson

Grace bore him four children.

Baptisms. Kirkby Malham.
1716 Dec 7  William
There is a burial on 19 Aug 1720 for Elizabeth daughter of Thos Ceaton, though we do not have her baptism.
1721 Oct 8  Margaret
1723 Dec 8  Mary

Grace died at the age of 45.
Burial. Kirkby Malham.
1724 Dec 7  Grace wife of Thos Ceaton of Airton

Thomas married again three and a half years later.
Marriage. Kirkby Malham.
1728 May 14  Thomas Ceaton and Dorothy Richardson


DOROTHY RICHARDSON. We have been unable to find a baptism for Dorothy Richardson. Widowers often married widows, so Richardson may not have been her maiden name, but we have not been able to find a credible marriage either. There is one in Kildwick, 12m SE of Airton,  in 1705 between Dorothy Currer of Kildwick and Richard Richardson of Bradford. Mr Richard Richardson of High Fernley, south of Bradford, died in 1720. “Mr” was a title only given to the gentry in those days. It seems unlikely that the widow of gentleman would marry a labourer.

There were six more children from this marriage.
Baptisms. Kirkby Malham.
1729 Nov 2  Thomas
1731 Oct 8  Elizabeth
1733 Feb 6  Charles
1738 Oct 25  Hannah
1745 Sep 11 George. This first George evidently died in infancy.
1749 Dec 17  George

Thomas lived another 17 years.
Burial. Kirkby Malham.
1764 Dec 30  Thomas Ceaton of Airton. Labr.

We have not found a burial or a second marriage for Dorothy.


[1] Walking Britain – Kirkby Malham.




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