The Families

Batley Families.

This section contains further information on the history of these predominantly Batley families which does not fit readily under the heading of particular individuals. Although the site deals with my own ancestry, Batley research shows such a web of intermarriage that it draws in families who are not direct ancestral lines, but who are linked as cousins, or by ties of business or friendship.

BINNS. The trail of my Binns relations has not yet linked up with other branches, and indeed leads back to Lancashire. However, my uncle made a note in his researches when more relatives were alive that the family originally came from Old Dolphin, between Clayton and Queensbury. This is not far from Oxenhope, where the surname is thought to originate.:
My article "So who was Isaac Binns" appeared in the Cameo, the journal of the Morley and District FHS, in October 2002,to accompany the serialisation of "From Village to Town" in that journal

BLACKBURN For my great great grandfather, John Blackburn, the story was literally a rags to riches one. At one time his business interests were substantial in Germany as well as England, but these were sold in the later nineteenth century, in part to relatives. Some remained there, and with the vicissitudes of wars since, their fate is unknown:
My article "Making Shoddy in Berlin, a serendipitous discovery", first appeared in the Cameo, the journal of the Morley and District FHS for June 2001.

BLAKELEY Blakeleys form part of my early ancestry, whilst other Blakeleys founded a mill in Germany which John Blackburn bought. There are other strands of the family here, explored in the hope of finding further links, and much intermarried with my other interests.

BREARLEY This family are cousins rather than ancestors, but have connections with the Halls and others, and business links are not only through the Hall connection, but as John Blackburn's early employer.

CHADWICK I have two lines of Chadwick descent, one going back to a William born around 1689, and one to a Richard born a little earlier.

Another line shown has not yet a proven connection, but I think one very likely; these Chadwicks also favour the name Jeremiah. They form part of the story in another way, for as Parish clerks they witnessed many family weddings

COLBECK -not direct ancestors, though many become cousins, but I have added quite a lot of material on this family, much from a family member who had wished to share work done by her brother with this site. This has brought an interesting connection with descendants in France.

ELEY It may seem strange that this line is omitted, but when my grandfather, a Batley doctor, died in 1917 there seems to have been a rift with his Derbyshire family, and my father did not see his paternal grandparents after that time. I do not know why this occurred, but choose to view it with compassion. My grandmother was left with my father and his baby brother, whilst the Eleys, having recently lost a daughter, had their other sons engaged in the war. Thus, although I have been curious about this family, they have not felt part of my background in the same way as the rest. Research was for a long time put aside with a baptism that could not be found. A few years ago, though, this linked up with a mass of research done by others. There is some interesting material which I may add in time, but it does not have the same resonance for me as my ancestry in West Yorkshire, formerly the West Riding, which still feels home territory.

HALL A large family in Batley descended from a Joseph who married in Dewsbury in 1745. Many of them, and in particular the descendants of the Thomas born in 1750, a successful clothier of his day, were much involved in local business, and much intermarried with the Brearley family.

JUBB As with Brearleys, cousins, with links through intermarriage and business with Sheards, Blackburns and others.

SHEARD The story of this family has been a fascinating one to follow. A database in an earlier form has been shared with relatives, most of whom have contributed in some way, and this has not been intended as an abdication of my own interest in this part of my family story. Much was done at slower pace before all censuses were on line, so some gaps have since been filled in.

Detailed information from my research on family origins and on George Sheard of "The Woodlands" and his immediate ancestors and siblingswas drawn together for a talk I was asked to give to a family history class at his former home, now the Bagshaw Museum, in 2003.

I prefaced this with an explanation, drawing on George Redmonds' account, of the probable origins of the name, Sheard is thought to originate in Cheshire, but by the mid sixteenth century there were Sheards around Halifax. The will of a Thomas Sheard of Ovenden who died in 1565 survives, naming four sons, Michael, Martin, Matthew and Luke. All were young when their father died, and moved away from Ovenden, perhaps assisted by connections with the Holdsworth family of which there were branches in Mirfield and Batley. Their mother was a Margaret Holdsworth, but we do not know precise relationships. Martin and Matthew were both married in Batley, whilst Michael and Luke married in Mirfield. Many of the Mirfield Sheards can trace their ancestry right back to these times, but the picture is not so clear in Batley. Michael Sheard (1835-1911)took a keen interest in local history, and, as land agent to the Earl of Wilton, would have had ready access to manorial records. His book "Records of the Parish of Batley" was published in 1894. In this he includes Thomas Sheard's will, and says that he is a direct descendant. His is a good transcription of a difficult to decipher early script, save that he omits to make clear that a John and ----- Davye who receive legacies were Thomas's bastard children!

I have not so far been able to establish this direct descent from Thomas for the Batley family, but it maybe that Michael found some evidence that has not yet come to light again, or even had some indication from family tradition.

The Parish Records show Matthew's marriage to Margaret Stanton in 1585, and Martin's to Jane Wilbore in 1583. A Michael Sheard is baptised in 1586, but the father's name is not given. Then there is a gap until the baptisms of children of a Martin Sheard between Martin in 1616 and Richard in 1629. The elder Martin is probably the one who was a tenant of the Foxcrofts in1617, a Martin is listed on the Protestation Returns of 1642, and a Martin was buried in 1662. There is no further trace of this family in Batley parish Records, unless daughter Grace, born 1621, was the one who married John Fawcett in 1656. The second son, Michael, is of the right age to be one found later in Gomersal. However, there are considerable gaps in Batley records in the seventeenth century.

The trail backwards from the later Batley family leads quite clearly backwards to a Michael who married Abigail Healey in Birstall in 1712, but I was not able to find a baptism there, or a family into which he might have fitted. A Michael born in Briestwell, Thornhill, in 1687, son of John, was possible, but just a convenient date is insufficient evidence. However,Michael of Briestwell's brother George (1672-1750) left a will in which he mentioned George son of his brother Michael, and the Birstall Michael had a son George. He also mentioned another nephew, Benjamin, son of his brother Benjamin, and there is a Benjamin in Birstall whose dates would also fit, The name Jonas occurs amongst both Michael's descendants and those of Benjamin, and George of Briestwell had a brother Jonas, and possibly a grandfather of that name. I have put this in my database to show how it might fit, but would stress that it is only a theory.

SPEDDING An article in the Batley Reporter says the Spedding family originally came from Cumberland, where they were farmers, but they drifted afield as horse dealers, and eventually settled in this district, and may indicate that these origins were still known to the Batley family. This corresponds with what we see on maps of surname distribution such as that which can be accessed on National Trust Names, which shows the strongest concentration in Cumberland, but a substantial presence in the West Riding by 1881. It is cattle rather than horses we find them associated with in Batley, but this evolving into an strong presence in the butchery trade.

STUBLEY An interest here was in establishing whether there was any connection between the Stubleys who prospered in the nineteenth century and were connected on my father's side with those in more modest circumstances on my mother's side. I believe I have found the two lines meeting in one Thomas Stubley.Now there is what could be seen as bad news. I found some documents in the National Archives which show a Thomas and an Abraham Stubley accused of sheep-stealing!

If I am correct then this Thomas was described as son of John Stubley of Heckmondwike, and this makes it extremely likely that he was of the yeoman family long established there. The first reference I have found is listed in "Early Yorkshire Charters, Vol.III" edited by William Farrer (Edinburgh 1916)No.1636.

"A Grant by Richard de Stubley, son of Dolfin de Birstall, to Henry de Selfley of half a carucate of land in Cudworth."

Another reference is from an early charter quoted by Frank Peel in his "Spen Valley: a Local History" as follows:-

"Know all men present and future that I, John, son of Richard de Stubley, have given and granted and by this charter have conformed to Robert de Popeley and his heirs, two acres of land in the territory of Heckmundewik, which the aforesaid Robert held of Matthew my brother, and which adjoins the road leading to the house of Gilbert, as far as the wall on the southern part, and a certain field which John son of Astin held of Richard my father. To have and to hold from me and my heirs, to himself and his heirs and assigns, free and quiet in fee and for ever, with all the liberties and privileges to the town of Heckmundewick belonging, rendering henceforth annually one dinar to the light of the Blesed Mary on the day of Assumption, for all service and demand. And my heirs warrant the said land, to the said Robert, his heirs and assigns against all men in perpetuity. And in order that this gift and grant may be preserved strong and secure in perpetuity, I have confirmed this present charter by the impression of my seal"

This is thought to date from the twelfth century

A Thomas Stodley (Stubley) and wife are among the inhabitants of Heckmondwike listed in the Poll Tax of 1379. In 1550 a John Stubley of Stubley left a will in which he left all his land at Stubley to his wife Jenett, for her lifetime, and afterwards to his eldest son Peter, who also inheritedten pounds, an yrne (iron)chymnethe and three arkes (chests) as heir lomes. There are further traces of the family there through the centuries. There is still a Stubley Farm where it has been for centuries, one of a succession of buildings on the site.