Thomas Paley

Military Monday – Walter Paley (1896-1918) and Lawrence Paley (1898-1918)

This is primarily the story of two brothers born about 18 months apart and died within two days of each other but also of what happened to the rest of the family.

John Robert Paley is my 1st cousin 3x removed. His parents are Thomas Paley and Harriet Richmond. Our common ancestors are William Paley and Mary Blackey (my 3x great grandparents).

On 26 September 1894 John Robert married Annie Simpson at All Saints Church, Otley, West Yorkshire. By the time of the 1901 Census they had two sons who would be my 2nd cousins 2x removed:-

Walter – born in 1896 and baptised on 19 July 1896 at St John’s Church, Moor Allerton, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Lawrence – born in 1898 and baptised on 5 February 1898 also at St John’s Church, Moor Allerton.

St John's Church - Moor Allerton

St John’s Church – Moor Allerton

In the 1911 census John Robert was working as a domestic gardener, Walter was a caddie at Alwoodley Golf Course and Lawrence was still at school.

When the First World War came both sons signed up for service.

Walter – married Matilda Lois Price at St Edmund’s Church, Roundhay, Leeds, sometime in the June quarter of 1916. I’m not sure whether this was before or after he began his military service.

His military service number was 205927. He served as a Private in the 87th Training Reserve Battalion before being transferred to the 477th Agricultural Company Labour Corps.

Walter died of wounds on 25 March 1918 – his death is registered at Stamford, Lincolnshire. Presumably that was the nearest Registration District to wherever he died. He is buried at St John’s Church, Moor Allerton. There are a total of eleven casualties buried at the cemetery from both WW1 and WW2.

He is also commemorated on the WW1 Cross at Moor Allerton.

At the time of his death Walter had £5 16s 5d credit in his service account (see image from Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects below from http://www.ancestry.co.uk). This money was paid to his widow Matilda in September 1918. Followed on 19 November 1919 by a further payment of £3 War Gratuity.

Walter Paley - Effects.png

Lawrence – served as a Private in the 15th Battalion of the (Prince of Wales Own) West Yorkshire Regiment. His service number was 17/237.

I haven’t been able to find any service records for either brother. So all I know about Lawrence is that he was killed in action on 27 March 1918.

He is commemorated at the Arras Memorial in France. However I haven’t been able to find any details of a known grave for Lawrence. He is also commemorated on the WW1 Cross at Moor Allerton.

In the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects (www.ancestry.co.uk) a sum of £27 0s 4d (which included a £19 War Gratuity was paid to his father on 29 December 1919. You can also see in the fifth column it says “death presumed”.

Lawrence Paley - Effects.png

Details of the pay rates for soldiers and War Gratuity can be found in these links.

Within 12 months their mother Annie was also dead – she passed away on 13 March 1919. All three are mentioned on the headstone below at St John’s Church.

Walter & Lawrence & Annie Paley

Walter’s widow, Matilda, married Arthur Mason sometime in the June quarter of 1927 – their marriage is registered at Caistor in Lincolnshire. As far as I can tell Matilda and Arthur Mason did not have any children. In the 1939 Register, taken at the outbreak of WW2 they are living in Blackwell, Derbyshire with Arthur described as a “railway goods guard”.

Arthur died on 13 October 1968 and Matilda on 28 June 1974. At the time of their deaths they were living at Keelby, Lincolnshire.

Walter and Lawrence’s father, John Robert, married Beatrice Bailes sometime in the September quarter of 1922. This marriage is registered in Leeds. They had five children:-

Harriet – 4 April 1921
Laurence – abt March 1923
John Robert – 7 May1925
James Edwin – 13 June 1928
Harry – 1 February 1930

So having lost one complete family all within 12 months John Robert had a second chance and his children this time lived fairly long lives.

John Robert died sometime in the June quarter of 1953 and Beatrice passed away on 12 October 1957 – she is also buried at St John’s Church.

Beatrice Paley.jpg

Beatric Paley – St John’s Church

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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.

James Paley - Baptism.jpg

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.

Mary Ann Spink - Baptism.jpg

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?

Annie Elizabeth Spink - Baptism.png

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.

James Paley & Mary Ann Spink - MC.png

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.

Mary Ann Paley - Probate.png

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Tombstone Tuesday – Thomas Paley (1825-1873)

This headstone is in the graveyard at St. Michael and All Angels Church at Linton in the Yorkshire Dales.  I took this photograph about three weeks ago.

Buried here is Thomas Paley, his wife Harriet and their daughter Martha Jane.

Thomas is my 2nd great grand uncle.  He was born sometime in 1825 to William Paley (1797-1882) and Mary Blackey (1794-1877) and was the first of five children.

On both the 1841 and 1851 census returns Thomas is living at home with his parents and siblings.  In 1851 his occupation is described as a collier.  His father and brother Francis were also working as colliers – presumably in the coal mines on Threshfield Moor.

In Q1 of 1853 Thomas married Harriet Richmond.  I haven’t researched Harriet’s family so have no information about her parents.  I know that the census returns show her as having been born in Ripon, North Yorkshire.

Thomas and Harriett had at least five children between 1855 and 1865

William abt 1855
Martha Jane abt 1858
James abt 1860
John abt 1863
Joseph abt 1865

In the census returns for 1861 and for 1871 Thomas is described as a coal miner.  So it appears he stuck to that dangerous occupation all his working life.

Thomas died at the fairly young age of 49 on 22 November 1873.

Unfortunately Harriet only lived for a further five years and died at the age of 51 on 9 August 1878.

Their daughter Martha Jane had died on 30 June 1866 aged just 9 years.

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I was surprised to discover that coal mining took place in the green pastures of the Threshfield Moor and the Yorkshire Dales.  In fact coal was mined on Threshfield Moor as long ago as the early 17th century.  A document dated June 1607 records Lancelot Johnson sinking a coal pit at Threshfield.  From the mid-19th century the colliery had a succession of owners.  The last, John Delaney, built a washery at the pithead in an attempt to improve the quality of the coal.  His aim was to produce coal to burn in his new lime works in Threshfield.  The mine worked an area full of old workings and in the end the miners simply ran out of coal.  The colliery was abandoned in 1905, although Delaney’s company continued to run Threshfield Lime Works until well into the 20th century.

(Source: Gill M C (1994) The Wharfedale Mines. (British Mining No 49) Keighley: Northern Mine Research Society)