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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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JAMES NUTTALL. The most plausible baptism for Robert Nuttall, shoemaker of Bury, who married Elisabeth Taylor in 1747 is the following:

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

There were two Robert Nuttall’s born around the same time. One was the son of Roger Nuttall, weaver, but since Robert named his first son James, and it is likely that James Nuttall was also a shoemaker, there is a strong possibility that this is the right one.

We have not found a plausible baptism for James. Since he married in 1715, he is likely to have been born around 1690. There are a number of Lancashire baptisms for James Nuttall, but none in Bury.

The nearest ones are significantly different from the date we would expect. Those around the right date are in Newchurch in Rossendale, some 8 miles away.


North of Bury, on the outskirts of Ramsbottom, lie the remains of Nuttall Village, now lost in the undergrowth. In the late 14th century it was the home of Richard de Notogh of Nuttall Hall. The family lived there until 1698, when James was probably a child. The large extended Nuttall family of Bury probably originate from there.

Bury stands on the River Irwell, 8 mile NW of Manchester. In those days, the Irwell flowed around a prominent rock on which stood the fortified manor house known as Bury Castle, the parish church, and houses clustered around the market square. Before the Industrial Revolution brought the cotton industry to Lancashire, the principal occupation in Bury was the weaving and fulling of woollens.

Bury Castle [1]


The Nuttalls were obviously a long-established family in Bury. There are multiple  records of that surname in the 17th and 18th centuries. There appear to have been several James Nuttalls.

The registers do not often give an occupation. Those for James Nuttall are always “cobbler” or “shoemaker”. This appears to be true for more than one man of this name.

If Robert’s father was a shoemaker, then he would have been apprenticed to a master shoemaker as a boy.


ELIZABETH HOLTE? Given the number of James Nuttalls in Bury at this time, we cannot be certain of his wife’s name. Since Robert was born in 1721, he may be the son of Elizabeth Holte, who married James Nuttall in Bury in 1716.

The only plausible baptism we have found for Elizabeth in Bury is the following:

Baptism. St Leonard, Middleton, Lancashire
1696/7 Feb 14  Elizabeth daughter of Robert Holt, of Whittle in the Parish of Bury.

This should be treated with caution. It would make Elizabeth 19 at the time of her wedding, which is younger than usual. There are other baptisms around 1690 in Rochdale and Oldham.

Middleton, where this baptism took place, lies between Bury and Manchester, 3 miles south of Bury.

We have not been able to find information about Whittle, but Whittle Street in Bury runs NE from the town centre, and presumably led to it. There were other Holts living there in the 17th century. In 1655 William Holt of Whittle married Anne Norris of Middleton. If this is the right family, then William and Anne could be Elizabeth’s grandparents.


James and Elizabeth were married in Bury in 1716, near the start of George I’s reign.

Marriage. St Mary the Virgin, Bury.
1715/6 Feb 16  James Nuttall and Elizabeth Holte.

Elizabeth was of “Ye psh”, or this parish. No information is given about James’s residence, but since he brought up his family in Bury, we assume he was living there.


There are 15 baptisms for children of James Nuttall at St Mary the Virgin, Bury, between 1715 and 1740. Overlapping dates mean that they cannot all be the children of the same man. In several, the father’s occupation is listed as cobbler or shoemaker. This may be true of some of the earlier baptisms, even though the father’s occupation is not stated. No other occupation is given for James Nuttall, and there is evidently more than one James Nuttall with this trade,

Baptism. St Mary the Virgin, Bury, for children of James Nuttall.
1716/7 born Jan 11, bapt Jan 13  Eliz. Elizabeth died on Jan 20 and was buried on Jan 21
1717 born Jul 10, bapt Jul 14  Mary
An unnamed child of James Nuttall died on 17 Dec 1717 and was buried on 18 Dec.
1717/8 born Mar 19, bapt Mar 23  John
1719 born Sep 30, bapt Oct 4   Joshua
Elizabeth, daughter of James Nuttall, died on 28 Mar 1720/1 and was buried on Mar 29.
1721 born May 30, bapt Jun 4  Robert
1721 born Nov 7, bapt Nov 8  Richard
1723/4 born Jan 13, bapt Jan 19  John
James Nuttall, abode Howhall, died on 7 May 1725 and was buried on 10 May.
Elizabeth Nuttall died on 22 May 1725 and was buried on 24 May. If the James who died a fortnight earlier was Robert’s father, then Elizabeth could be his mother.
Another James Nuttall, abode Lees, died two months later, on 26 Jul, and was buried on 28 Jul.
1727 born Apr 22, bapt Apr 30  Alice
On 1 Jun 1727 Raphe, son of James Nuttall died. He was buried on 2 Jun. We do not have his baptism.
Elizabeth Nuttall, widow, died on 4 Feb 1729/30 and was buried on 7 Feb. She also could be the former Elizabeth Holte, wife of James Nuttall
3-year-old Alice Nuttall, daughter of James, died on 17 Feb 1730/1 and was buried on 19 Feb. The abode was Corkey Lane.
Ann Nuttall, daughter of Jas. Died on 4 Dec 1731 and was buried the following day. Again, we do not have her baptism.
1732 born Oct 9, bapt Oct 20  Thomas, son of  James Nuttall, Cobbler.
There is another death for Eliz. Nuttall, abode Heaps, on 29 Aug 1733. She was buried next day.
1733/4 born Feb 24, bapt Mar 3  Josuah
An unnamed child of James Nuttall, abode Four Lane End, died on 17 Nov 1734 and was buried on 18 Nov.
1735/6 born Jan 21, bapt Feb 4  Margaret. Abode: Bury Lane
The following month Dorothy, daughter of James Nuttall, abode Ashworth, died on 21 Feb and was buried next day.
James Nuttall, abode Wilde, died on 17 Mar 1735/6 and was buried on 18 Mar.
1736 born Sep 29, Oct 3   John, posthumous son of James Nuttall, Cobler.  This is almost certainly the son of the James Nuttall who died in March that year.
1737 born Oct 24, bapt Oct 26  Martha
1740 born Aug 18, bapt Sep 3  Sarah, daughter of Jams, Nuttall, Shoemaker.
A James Nuttall, abode Shuttleworth died on 23 Aug 1740 and was buried on 25 Aug.

After that there is a gap of 8 years before the baptisms for children of James Nuttall resume in 1748. We are probably looking at a new generation.

With so many overlapping results, it is impossible to tell which of these are siblings of Robert Nuttall. Nor can we tell which is the burial of Robert’s father. There are five burials for adults of that name between 1725 and 1748.

There is no evidence for the burial of James Nuttall’s wife, leading us to assume she outlived him. Elizabeth Nuttall’s burial could be one of three between 1725 and 1733, but we are not certain that Elizabeth Holte was Robert Nuttall’s mother.

The evidence is inconclusive. There is a good probability that James Nuttall, father of Robert Nuttall, shoemaker, was himself a shoemaker, but even that cannot be confirmed.


[1] Geocities.com. https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/proxy/HMsOQnbFN5c8DR05OKFjqzMP-PE2wEGroSzCUEn9XGKg-WIndaAi9EQMWwPSuCLuujyeU-hy9aGvZGHUbHdtRhtkT9lpEHuBotUnKS9pZfLOd_E8mnu21iY8AqUqwg





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