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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)



JOHN SAGAR. John Sagar married and brought up his family in Askrigg, Upper Wensleydale, in the early 18th century. The surviving registers only go back to 1701, but when his eldest child was baptised he is described as John Sagar junior. This makes it likely that he is the son of an older John Sagar who married Margaret Pirkins in Askrigg in 1691. A birth date in the early 1690s would fit with John junior’s own marriage in 1715. [1]

John was living at Helm when he married, and this is where his parents died. Helm is a hamlet high above Askrigg, a mile or so to the NW. We can assume that this is where he grew up. His father may have been a farmer or a craftsman.

John’s first marriage was to Chrestabell Reynolds.

Marriage. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1715 Dec 17  John Sagar of Helm and Chrestabell Reynolds of Nappascart.

To the east of Askrigg is the limestone cliff of Nappa Scar. Nearby is Nappa Hall, where Mary Queen of Scots was briefly imprisoned in the 16th century.

There were four children from this marriage.

Baptisms. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1716 Sep 16  Ellenor dau of John Sagar junr of Helm.
1717/8 Feb 2  Margaret dau of John Sagar of Askrigge Clark.
“Of Askrigge” means that he was now living in the town. John’s appointment to the office of parish clerk required him to move from Helm and take up residence nearer the church.
Askrigg was a busy little market town with cobbled streets. It was known for its cottage industries, particularly knitting and the making of clocks and watches.
1719 Dec 27  Bridgett dau of John Sagar Clark of Askrigge.
1721/2 Mar 11  John son of John Sagar of Askrigge Clark.

Chrestabell died the following year. Over the next few years, John suffered other tragedies.

Burials. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1722/3 Jan 17  Chrestabell wife of John Sagar of Askrigge Clark.
1726 Mar 26   Bridget dau of John Sagar of Askrigge Clark.
The following year his only son died.
1727 Nov 25  John son of John Sagar of Askrigge Clark.

John married again.


ELIZABETH TIPLADY. Elizabeth was resident in Askrigg when she married John Sagar in 1728.

We have not found her baptism. It was probably before 1701, when the surviving registers begin.

There were marriages in Askrigg before this. On 4 July 1687 Ralph Tiplady married Elizabeth Caygill. On 30 May 1696 James Tiplady married Mary Watherwold.

We have found no baptisms for the first marriage. There are a number for children of James in the early 18th century. Elizabeth could have born to either of these couples between 1688 and 1701. A date towards the end of the 1690s would make her in her late twenties or early thirties at the time of her marriage.


Marriage. St Oswald, Askrigge
1727/8 Feb 11  John Sagar of Askrigge Clark married Elizabeth Tiplady of the same.

The couple went on to have eight children, to add to the two surviving offspring from John’s first marriage.

In contrast to the marriage to Chrestabel, all but one of these children survived childhood.

Baptisms. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1728 Dec 22  Mary dau of John Sagar of Askrigge Clark
1729/30 Feb 26  John
1731 May 6  Bridgette
1732/3 Jan 9  James
1734 Apr 11  Isabell
1737 Jul 21  Warwick
1742 Jul 12  Mathew.
Mathew was buried the following year on May 30.
1746 May 29  Edmund.

Meanwhile, there were other births which may be for children of John and Chrestabell’s two remaining daughters

Baptisms. St Oswald, Askrigg.
1736/7 Mar 10  Ellen base daughter of Ellen Sagar of Skelgill.

This is less likely to be the child of John’s first daughter Ellenor, born in 1716, unless she had left home to work in nearby Skelgill.

1744 Nov 9  Elizabeth bastard child of Margaret Sagar of Askrigge. Elizabeth died two years later and was buried on 14 Aug 1746.

John’s daughter Margaret was born in 1718. We have no record of her marrying.

On 16 April 1764 we have the burial in Askrigg of John Saygar Clark of Askrigg.

Then on 23 Feb 1765 we have another burial for John Saygar Parish Clark of Askrigg.

It would seem that John senior’s role as parish clerk passed to his oldest son, John jnr, who died

himself the following year.

The second son was James, but he does not appear to have become parish clerk on his elder brother’s

death. There is a burial in Askrigg in 1788 for the Rev James Sagar. If this is John and Elizabeth’s son, it would explain why it was the third son, Warwick, who became the next parish clerk.

Askrigg produced many notable clockmakers. Among these was the Sagars’ youngest son, Edmund. His work can still be found.




[1] BMDs from Findmypast
[2]  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rI-z59OBBJI/TcK0A-4yw4I/AAAAAAAAA_E/bFmGzeGhJ0A/s1600/Carved+animated+1.JPG





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