Linton

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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Linton – Postcard #6

This is a postcard of St Michael and All Angels Church at Linton in the Yorkshire Dales. It is a real photograph published by Walter Scott, Bradford. The postcard is unused and is in very good condition.

The church must be one of the most individual of all Dales’ churches. It dates from the 12th century, during the period of church building that characterised Henry II’s reign (1154-1189), and is very squat without a tower. The church was extensively altered in the 14th century, but it still retains parts of the earlier church.

The church is located quite a distance from the village and occupies a wonderful position on a bend of the River Wharfe. The graveyard stretches right to the banks of the river.

According to the church guide it stands on an old pagan site, but in the 7th century it was Christianised by either St Wilfred or St Paulinus. There is good evidence for this because, in the field opposite, there is what could be part of a pagan stone circle.

It is estimated that over 10,000 people have been buried in the churchyard, over the centuries, going back to pre-Christian time. I managed to find the graves and headstones of two of my ancestors.

It is also said that the church is haunted by a monk who had lived at a nearby abbey.

Here’s the photograph we took on our recent visit.

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

Yorkshire Dales Grave Search

Last day of my Spring holiday today and we had a trip out to the Yorkshire Dales in search of more graves. I knew where I needed to go. I had already found some ancestors on the National Burial Index. So we were heading for three specific churches.

First stop was St Andrews at Gargrave. No luck here unfortunately. Managed to speak with the vicar who told me that there was a major clear out of the graveyard back in the 1970’s and 1980’s to make space for new burials. There are no remaining records or details of the removed monumental inscriptions.

St Andrew's, Gargrave

St Andrew's, Gargrave

Some of the old headstones had been used to create a memorial footpath. We couldn’t find one for my ancestors. The vicar told me that some of the old headstones were also sold off.  Then again there might not have been a headstone in the first place.

So on to St Michael’s and All Angels at Linton. A lovely building dating back to the 12th century. We had more success here. Managed to locate one of the two graves on our list plus another related name.

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

St Michael's and All Angels, Linton

I have a postcard of the Linton church so this will appear as a future blog post.

Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling very well by this time – perhaps it was too much excitement or the thought of going back to work tomorrow after nearly four weeks off. Anyway we decided to head home and leave the remaining church in Conistone for another week.