Joseph Spink

Tombstone Tuesday – James and Mary Ann Paley

James Paley and Mary Ann Paley (nee Spink) are my 2x great grandparents. They’ve only had very brief mentions in my blog up until now. So having recently found their gravestone at St Peter’s church in Rylstone, North Yorkshire it’s time to write about them.

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James Paley

James was born c1828 to parents William Paley and Mary Blackey. He was baptised on 23 March 1828 at Linton in Craven, Yorkshire.

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As far as I have been able to establish James was the third of at least six children – his siblings were:-

Thomas – baptised 20 June 1824
Mary – baptised 25 December 1825
William – baptised 11 April 1830
Francis – baptised 1 February 1835
John – baptised 2 May 1841

I have James on the 1841 census at Threshfield, Yorkshire and in 1851 at Drebley (about 5 miles from his home) living and working as a “farm labourer”

Mary Ann Spink

Mary Ann was born 20 June 1832 to parents John Spink and Sophia Shuttleworth Kitching. She was baptised 4 days later at Conistone, Yorkshire.

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Mary Ann was the first of at least seven children – her siblings were:-

Ellen – baptised 19 March 1834
James – baptised 1 May 1836
Joseph – born 11 March 1838 and baptised 15 March 1838
Sophia – baptised 8 September 1839
John – baptised 5 June 1841 and died early 1842
John – baptised 6 August 1843

I have Mary Ann in the 1841 census at home and in 1851 living and working in Keighley, West Yorkshire as a “servant”.

And that is where I thought I was going to move on and tell you about James and Mary Ann after they married. However, sometimes when you look at the records afresh you spot things you might have previously missed.

Searching the “Spink” baptisms in Conistone for this blog post I noticed one for Annie Elizabeth Spink on 18 June 1852. The baptism record shows the mother as Mary Anne Spink (spinster). Could it be that my Mary Ann became pregnant while living in Keighley and returned home to have her baby?

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Looking again at the 1861 census for John and Sophia Spink (Mary Ann’s parents) there is Ann Elizabeth Spink listed as “granddaughter”. I’m sure that I would have spotted that before but for some reason didn’t try to find out who the parents were – well now I know!! More research required about Annie Elizabeth I think.

Ok – back to James and Mary Ann. They married on 11 April 1857 at Conistone.

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Over the next eighteen years they had at least ten children:-

John – born 1857 and died 1858
Ellen – born 2 December 1858 (my great grandmother)
Mary – born 2 December 1858
Sophia – baptised 25 August 1861
James – born 20 January 1864
Margaret Ann – baptised 22 October 1865
William Thomas – born 21 October 1867
Martha Jane – born 24 January 1870
Betsy – born 19 December 1871
Francis – born and died 1875

I have James and Mary Ann on all the census returns from 1861 to 1901. James is variously described as a farmer, road contractor or general labourer. For all of their married life they lived in the village of Hetton in the Yorkshire Dales.

James died of bronchitis on 16 April 1903 – five days after their 47th wedding anniversary. He was 75 years of age.

Mary Ann lived for a further four months and died of angina on 18 August 1903 at the age of 71. In her will she left effects valued at £451 6s 2d to her son James.

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On this day … 3rd September

1845 … James Wright Dawson and Mary Thompson married at St. Andrew’s church in Kildwick, West Yorkshire.  James is my 1st cousin 4x removed.

1909 … Frank Webster was born at Hawkswick to parents Matthew Heseltine Webster and Betsy Paley.  He is my 1st cousin 2x removed.

1909 … Robert Webster was born at Hawkswick to parents Matthew Heseltine Webster and Betsy Paley.  He is my 1st cousin 2x removed.

1919 … Joseph Spink died.  He is my 2nd great grand uncle.

Tombstone Tuesday – Joseph Spink & others

This gravestone is in St. Mary’s church, Conistone, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales in England.

Buried here is a father, a mother and two of their sons.

Joseph Spink is my 2x great grand uncle.  He was born on 11th March 1838 in Conistone to parents John Spink and Sophia Shuttleworth Kitching (my 3x great grandparents).

At the age of 13 on the 1851 census for Conistone with Kilnsey Joseph is living at home with his parents and three of his siblings – James, Sophia and John.  Their father John is working as a shoemaker as is James (aged 14).

In 1861 we find Joseph still at home with his parents in the village of Burnsall, not far from Conistone.  His siblings John and Sophia are also there together with a niece, Ann Elizabeth Spink (8).  Joseph has followed in his father’s footsteps and is working as a shoemaker and also as a rural messenger.

Sometime in the December quarter of 1861 Joseph married Isabella Hannah Metcalfe.  The marriage is recorded in the Skipton registration district.

I haven’t researched Isabella’s line so I don’t have any earlier information about her apart from her date of birth, 27th December 1839, which I got from the gravestone.  Oh, I also know from census records that she appears to have been born in the village of Arncliffe in the Yorkshire Dales.

The 1871 census has Joseph and Isabella living in Burnsall with three children – Annie Sophia, Mary Jane and John Metcalfe.  Joseph continues to work as a shoemaker.

The family has moved to Conistone by the time of the 1881 census.  As well as working as a shoemaker Joseph is described as a Post Master.  There are four children at home – John Metcalfe, Margaret E, Joseph Ellis and Thomas Frederick.

Moving on ten more years and Joseph appears to have given up making shoes.  His occupation on the 1891 census is Rural Postman.  The family are still in Conistone and there are five children at home – Annie Sophia, Mary Jane, Joseph Ellis, Thomas Frederick and Robert Aubrey.

At the turn of the century Joseph is 63 years old and still working as a rural postman.  The address on the 1901 census is the Post Office, Conistone and Isabella is described as Postmistress.  Their daughter Mary Jane (35) is the only one of the children at home.

The last available census is 1911 and Joseph is now described as a retired postman.  Joseph and Isabella will have been looking forward to their golden wedding anniversary in 1912.  They are living at “Sunnyside”, Consitone.  Also with them is their daughter Mary Jane (46), their son Thomas Frederick (31) working as a butcher, and their daughter Annie Sophia with her husband of three years John Webster Smith who is described as a grocer and beer retailer.

Isabella died on 21st November 1916 at the age of 76 and Joseph survived for almost three more years until his death on 3rd September 1919.

Joseph Ellis Spink was living at home at least until the 1891 census when he was 15 years old and working as a drapers assistant.  Sometime over the next ten years he moved to Barwick in Elmet near Tadcaster, about 45 miles from Conistone.  On the 1901 census he is living with his brother, John Metcalfe Spink and his family.  John’s occupation is a self employed butcher and Joseph Ellis is working as a butchers assistant.

Within two years Joseph Ellis passed away.  I haven’t got his death certificate but I know from the gravestone that he died on 2nd January 1903.

Robert Aubrey Spink first appears on the 1891 census living with his parents.  By 1901 he had also moved to Barwick in Elmet to live with his brother.  His occupation is described as sorting clerk.

In the 1911 census Robert is listed as a visitor at an address on Harehills Lane in Leeds.  He is working as a telegraphist.

The gravestone shows his date of death as 18th April 1923 and that he was accidentally killed.  I visited Leeds Central Library last week and found newspaper articles about Robert’s accident and these will feature in future blog posts.

I also found both Joseph Spink and Robert Aubrey Spink in the British Postal Service Appointment Books recently released on Ancestry.  Joseph is listed as a “runner” in 1856 having been appointed at Kilnsey, near Conistone.  He next appears in December 1880.  Robert Aubrey Spink started as a “learner” in May 1900 working in Leeds.