Family History

I have had quite a number of enquiries over the life of the web site requesting  information on relatives and potential family connections.  This page will be dedicated to such requests and E-mails inviting  connections with relatives in and from this village will be posted on this page on request.  Useful information may be obtained from look on family records - Research and Records - FRC.
Also   In addition I add the following tips in the search for information on relatives in times past. :-

(a) contact the GRO (General Registration Office) at Smedley Hydro, Trafalgar Road,  Southport.  PR8 2HH.  Tel: 0870 243 7788 for births, marriages and deaths. Offer as much information as possible eg. date or year of birth, Fathers and Mothers names and approximate area.

(b) Further information can be sought from  the West Yorkshire Archives Office at     Sheepscar, Leeds (0113 2456362 to make an appointment) to view registers of Baptism, Marriages and Burials from 1837 onwards.
(c) Enquiries on BM and B before this time can  be made  through the feedback page on this website and will be published on the FH page.
(d) Contact Pontefract Family History Group on the links page, they cover the Methley area

(e) Try - this is the free website set up by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church).

(f)  Available 7 days a week is the Local Studies Section of Leeds City Central Library, Calverley Street, Leeds LS1 3AB  -   they hold copies of parish registers, census returns, maps,  directories etc. and can be contacted on 0113 2478290 and   (New addition 6.12.04)

(g) search this site encourages readers to act as researchers for other enquiries.  There are lots of references to Methley here.

Methley Census
In his book Methley 2000, Jim Melvin publishes census details from 1841 to 1891.   For reasons of space, Jim elects to display only selected records from the  returns.   However in the case of the rows of terraced houses at Methley Junction he shows the complete census records covering the years 1881 and 1891.  The census for 1891 in addition to addresses names  and ages, records where the householder originated from and as some of those names are unchanged from 1881 then it is possible to see that mineworkers migrated to this village during the second half of the  nineteenth century.
It is interesting to see how many people originated from Wales, Notts and the Forest of Dean in Somerset but it is noticeable that the significant majority came from the West Midlands    It was largely handed down that the Staffordshire men came here as strike breakers, a simple view that is hardly a part of the answer.
What can be deduced is that during the period 1850 to 1890 if the influx  at the Methley pits is mirrored throughout the thenYorkshire coalfield then a massive shift in population must have taken place.
It would seem that families were attracted to the new jobs and indeed new houses as  at Methley Junction and it is more than likely the mine owners played a part in encouraging this movement which in turn also developed a more skilled workforce of engineers and supervisors.   How did those  families make their way in those days - there were no removal vans, it must have been a mixture of cart travel and rail travel with a minimal amount of belongings.
At a Commemorative Meeting of a unique workmens  cooperative system at Whitwood Colliery in 1867, the Rector of Methley the Reverend Phillip Yorke Savile reflected on the harmony between masters and men under the scheme.  He said that having lived in the area  for over 50 years he felt a deep interest in their welfare and rejoiced in their prosperity.  He also expressed the hope that as gas was being introduced to Methley Junction Pit, he would be pleased to welcome  it at his own house and also especially to those who worked night shifts.   He added that he would be happy to reciprocate the boon by granting the use of a suitable field as a recreation ground.   The Chairman at that meeting said that he was pleased to see that cock fighting, bull baiting and gambling had almost been eradicated giving an observable improvement amongst the colliery population.

The enumerators of the 1891 census picked up places of origination, some of which are as follows:-
         Taylor         (Cambridgshire)                     Beards     (Great Bridgeford, Staffs)
         Websdale   (Tibbenham, Norfolk)             Booth       (Walsall, Staffs)
         Bailey         (Darlaston, Staffs)                  Spencer    (West Bromwich, Staffs)
         Turner         (Darlaston)                            Crew 25    (Kidsgrove, Staffs)
         Crew 60      (Framlington, Gloucs)            Wright       (Donisthorpe, Leics)
         Hartshorne   (Bilston, Staffs)                       Williamson  (Nuneaton, Warwicks)
         Jackson        (Foleshill, Warwicks)             Whitaker   (West Bromwich, Staffs)
         Tremelling     (Bilston,)                                Fellows      (Pelsall, Staffs)
         Perry            (Wolverhampton)                  Kirkham    (Ironbridge, Salop)
         Grice              (Bilston)                               Smith          (Tipton, Staffs)
         Jones            (Hall Green, Staffs)               Spencer      ( Bilston)
         Webster        (Edwinstowe, Notts)            Millard          (Great Bridgeford)

Population statistics for Methley
         1831           1293                                      1841         1678
         1851           1926                                       1861          2475
         1871          3277                                       1881          4073
         1891          4329    

For information on tradespeople and people of independent means in Methley read the article on Kelly’s Directories

 E- Mail Requests for Family Information
It was with great interest I am  reading your website, especially to see the family name. Would you have any  history about the Charlesworths farm? Does it still exist? Are their still  Charlesworth family members farming the original farm? How long ago did it come  into the familys ownership? Is there any other interesting tales to be  told?
Hoping you can assist or are able to pass on to the family, who may have some family tree details to assist with my  studies.
Thanks & cheers Murray Charlesworth30  Avalon Cres,Lower Hutt, WELLINGTON,  New  Zealand
Personal e-mail:

Good Morning Bill, It was great to  look at your web site and gain more knowledge on the village of  Methley.
I am researching the above families and have traced some to Methley,Oulton and Mickletown. I have seen a photo of a Harold Firth on another site - he looks about 10 years old in a Mickletown football team.(Photo about 1943) Now I have seen  the photo of Peter Firth.Could you put me in touch with any Firth's in the area?
I married a lad  from Kippax and we live in Qld Australia - so it is a bit hard to pop over and  look for myself.
Hoping you can help me
Maureen  Firth

7th April, 2004   E-mail from Diane Sugden (Nee Wheeler) of Castleford formerly of The Hollings, Methley.   Hi Bill,
A few months ago I e-mailed you because a Maureen  Firth from Australia was enquiring about any relatives of Thomas Firth.
I e-mailed Maureen because Thomas Firth was  my  great, great grandad and we have finally discovered that Thomas Firth was the brother of her great, great grandad Eli. This information as really helped me  with my research. so " thanks to your excellent website".
Diane Sugden (nee Wheeler)   T&

My mothers family came from Methley, My Grandma was born Charlotte Elizabeth Wright. I am trying to complete a family tree and wonder if you know where I could get access to the parish registers. I know my parents were married in Methley and my Grandad buried there.
As I  live in Germany the research is difficult. I am coming to the UK in June and hope to visit Methley with my daughter to look at the church.
Do you know how I can contact the Vicar/Rector to arrange to look at the  records.
Sorry to bother you but I could not find any other contact.
RegardsSheila Vine
In der Masch 35
33175 Bad Lippspringe
Telephone 0049 5252 1486
Fax 0049 5252  934821

Hi, I enjoyed reading through your website.     I'm looking for any information  on the CLAYBROUGH family that lived at Pit Head House, Methley in the mid to late 1800s, and wondered if you have or know of anyone that might have heard of them?  I have the following names:
1 Edward CLAYBROUGH 1849      +Mary UNKNOWN 1847
Beatrice Louisa CLAYBROUGH 1874      Ethel CLAYBROUGH 1879
Ester CLAYBROUGH 1880    James CLAYBROUGH 1883
any info would be greatly appreciated.
Best regards
Nick Pye  

Hi Bill.
Well here goes. I am sending you some things re the  Crewe family of Methley as you requested. Samuel CreweW Hannah Owen (1856-1932) and Hannah (Owen)(1859 1947) had 7 children, all  born in and around Methley. 4 ended up in Winnipeg,  Canada and 3 stayed in England, 2 of the 3 remaining till they died  in Methley,  the eldest  Beatrice and the youngest Francis. I have sent you a picture of  everyone. Samuel and Hannah are #1 and #2, the children and their families then   follow by numerical order of the photos, eldest to youngest. I have also included a genealogy report from the computer. ( probably more than you  really want.) Anyway you can let me know if any of this is really helpful to anyone or  if you want something else or in a different format. The one  mystery that remains is the Crewe connection to a pub, and was it the one next door to their shop? You can read about the reference to it in the notes that goW Samuel Crewe along with daughter Laura Crewe who married Harold Davey. Supposedly the girls attended  a  girls private school (this may not be true) I wonder which school it might have been. I wonder if either Samuel or Hannah left a will and  where one could find that? I could  send you a copy of  Crewe tree #1if you think anyone is  interested. I wonder also when the Crewe shop (now Post Office) was sold and if their was a sale or and auction or  notice in the papers? There is always more to find out isn't there. I thank you again for all your help and also that of Don Beilby. He might  be  interested to read this. I need your address if you want me to send the tree.  Cheers and a Happy New Year to everyone in Methley.
Myra Davey - Victoria BC Canada
Samuel and Hannah came from Bristol and Ironbridge respectively for work at the new coal mines  and new housing. They originally lived at 53 Loscoe Drive, Normanton where Samuel possibly worked at Dom Pedro Mine or  Good Hope Mine which is now covered by junction 31 of the M62.     Their first 2 children were born at Loscoe and the others in Methley.  They moved to Green Row where he possibly worked at the new Methley Junction pit and later Hannah lived at ‘Crescent  House’ which is possibly the shop where she ran a Milliners/drapers business.  Myra included in her information the Crewe Family Tree a section of which I include on the  Nostalgia page.

Wonderful site, I visit quite regular hoping to see anything or anyone connected to the surname Flockton, as yet no luck, so I thought I’d E-mail you, hoping you may be able to help me.
I have recentlyWFlocktons started to trace my grandfathers family and they came from  Methley, surname Flockton. I know that at one time some of them lived at Low Common, Carr Houses  and 76, Fords Row, Whitwood Mere.  They married into the Wright Family and the Cherrett family, are those  houses still there? are any of the above families still around?
My grandfather came from Yorkshire to Cornwall to live so there are a few Flocktons down here but by living in this part of the country I’m a little  too far away to find out the things I need to know.  I know my gggrandfather (Daniel Flockton) was married at St Oswalds, Methley in 1865 to Mary Wright.   Daniel  had several children, my ggrandfather John Edward Flockton born 1882 Methley, my grandfather John Flockton was born 1911 at Whitwood.
I hope to hear from somebody who is or who knows any members of the Flockton Family.

Hi. I was surfing the web looking for info. on Claytonville, Methley and I found your site.
I have reason to believe that my's son, Murray Clayton, a retired machine maker from Leeds  was living in Methley in  1881. My's name is Margaret Murray and her brother is the  famous Matthew Murray of Leeds. Her son, Murray carries the family name as his first name as does her grandson who was born in Methley. Here is the 1881 census entry for the Claytons in Methley: 
  Name   relation  MaritalStatus  Gender   Age   Birthplace  Occupation  
Murray CLAYTON Head M    Male     65  Leeds, Yorks   Retired Machine Maker
Mary CLAYTON     Wife  M  Female       65  Hatfield, Yorks 
Murray CLAYTON  Son  U  Male  21 Methley, Yorks  Machine Toolmaker (E & M) 
Ann HAWES  Servt        U Female         17 Methley, Yorks  Gen Servt 
I need to know if you have access to any information on my Clayton  ancestors in Methley and whether Claytonville is a place, a house or perhaps a  village.
Any assistance you can render regarding the above queries would be greatly appreciated.
Ron Stallard,
Nova Scotia, Canada
I have given Ron some background information re Clayton Villa and St Oswalds

Hi Bill,
My husband's GG grandmother Martha ELY married  Elijah TAYLOR at St Oswalds in 1861, though the family lived in Rothwell.  Martha's brother Charles lived in Methley from 1858 until  his death in 1902 at  was buried at St Oswalds. I was wondering if there were any ELY gravestones  still extant.Elijah TAYLOR's brother Peter TAYLOR also lived at  Foxholes, Methley from some time in  the 1870s.
Would appreciate any information on these  families.
Thanks   Judith Armstrong
Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia 

just wondered if you know if there are any  pictures of the House at Lemon Royd Lock, it is just that some of my distant  relations were living there according to the 1901 census. I Suppose it is long gone now, but my relation John R Mattinson was the General Lock Keeper at the time of the census.
I do hope you do not mind this type of query.
kind regards
Jane Roberson                

Hi Bill, My name is Michelle  Rowlands (nee Carr), I am originally from Pudsey and have lived in Adelaide Australia for the past 35 years and  I am researching my family  tree.
They were the family of Emmanuel and Mary Ann Carr of Mickletown, Methley (listed on 1881 census.) Also the family of William and  Elizabeth Hudson of 12 Lower Goslam, Rothwell, (also as listed on 1881  census) These are my great, great grandparents.On 1901 census I believe that Emmanuel and Mary Ann still lived in Methley.
I have also found my great grandparents on 1891  census William and Emily Carr living at 20 Low Row, Methley.  My dad was born at Thwaite Gate, Hunslet - Is this close to Methley?
Do you know which church they may have belonged to going by the addresses?
Any information at all is most welcome.
Thanks, keep up the great work, I will be visiting  the site again to learn more about my where my family lived.
Well done.

My son's g-g-g-grandmother, Rachel CONNELL was born in Methley c.1816.  She  was the daughter of George CONNELL, a waterman.  She married in 1838 to John GLOVER, another waterman, son of Thomas GLOVER, shoemaker.    If anyone has any further information on this family I would love to hear from them.
My email address is
Brenda Jolley

Phillip Connell was Landlord at the Lord Nelson public house certainly from 1861 to 1892, there is also a headstone to one of the Connells in the churchyard. However Brenda does not think it is the same line.

 My name is Rebecca Spence and for the past two years I have been  researching my family tree and found links with Methley. My great, great  grandfather William Spence moved to  Methley where he was a ship's carpenter from  either Knottingley or Pontefract, where his parents lived. Through the 1881  and 1901 census I have traced his sister,my great, great aunt Selina who was married to a Levi Winterburn who was a grocer in Mickeltown, and is listed as  being on the jury in your murder at Foxholes article. Their son Fred is listed as being a methodist minister. Any further information anyone has on these families would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to finding out more at  the heritage days.
My ggg grandfather was Richard Spence, a mariner who is recorded as living at  Caroline Bridge House in both 1881 and 1901. He died in 1904, however I have  been unable to locate a grave in St Oswald's  cemetery. Richard had two sons  named Joseph Richard Spence who were both living in Methley in 1901. One was  living at a grocers shop in Woodrow, I have heard that the Spence family ran a  grocers shop in Methley for many years and would love to know more. The other  was living in the Windmill cottages, Low Common. Richard and his wife Mary(Shooter) also had daughters named Dinah, Caroline Ann, Ann and Florrie, as  well as my gg grandmother Ellen Elizabeth.
Rebecca Spence

I am a descendent of the Smirthwaite's in  Methley.
I remember seeing a grave by the side of Methley  Church dated in 1600s and the family graves from the 1700's were on either side of the path leading to the church door.
I have in my possession a family bible from the  1720s that was a gift to Robert  Smirthwaite of Hazel Farm from his mother. I  also have a family will from the 1740's where one guinea was to be given to all  those of the poor and needy that attend my funeral also mention of out houses and orchards in Stanley in the Parish of Wakefield.
There was a beautiful large oil painting by John  Rooke. who's daughter married a John Smirthwaite, of Manor Farm or Manor House. This was still in the possession of my fathers cousin some 20 years ago but I  have no idea of what has happened to it since. However my Mother now age 94 has an ink drawing copy from it that was made about 30 years ago.
The family left Methley in the late 1800's and  settled in Doncaster and Nottingham. My Mother still lives in Doncaster. I left the Yorkshire area when I was 15 and have always lived in the South so any family research has been difficult.
I like you web  site and if I can ever help or if you have information that you think I would be of interest please contact me.Geoff. Smirthwaite

I emigrated to Australia in 1974 but have returned to the village oftenover  the years.  I lived at 60 Pinfold Lane, opposite the old prisoncamp, now  demolished.  I still have relatives (Grayson and Pyrah) in thearea and am finally researching my family history.  Anyone who wants or can provide  information about the Grayson family from  Penistone (arrived in Methley 1860s  in the form of Jim Grayson, coal miner) please contact me. My grandfather was Herbert Grayson, mother Frances Hobbs nee Grayson.  My fathers family came  from Ackworth and Featherstone.
I also have  good memories of the village and may be able to help with some areas.  For your interest I work as an historian and heritage consultant in Canberra, Australia.
Its good to  see that there are some who still remember the old days.
Good luck with the site.
Roger Hobbs                                            15.7.2004

Dear Bill
I have enjoyed looking at your webpages on Methley.  Most informative.  My name is Judith Kaye. My grandfather was Redfern  Kaye (born 1875 in Methley) who was married to Clara Bilton (b1877 in Methley).  Redfern's parents were George Kaye and Ann Asquith.  Clara's parents were Frederick Bilton and Elizabeth Bell.  If you have any information on the above  or are in contact with people who might know I would be grateful if they could contact me.  My new e-mail address is
Yours sincerely
Judith (Sydney Australia)
Sep 2004 Judith received an E-mail from Roy Kaye formerly of Normanton who was able to throw light on her enquiry where both of them share the same g g grandfather - George Kaye of Methley. Roy had earlier been helpful to me in connection with an enquiry regarding the Parker family. 

My father, Colin Jackson, born in 1925, lived at Low Common until he  married my mother and moved to Oulton where I was born.  He was captain of Methley United football team in the 1940's and was a brilliant football player. He worked at the Savile Pit and Junction pit till he went to the Water Haigh.  The most wonderful man I ever knew and he died last December 2004.  My maternal  grandmother Eliza Mary Hodgson was born at Red House in 1902.  I am guessing that  her parents were employed by the council and that's why they lived there, but we  really don't know. I would love to hear from people who knew my Dad and his  family and my great grandfather George Hodgson and his family from Red  House.
I live in Sacramento, California, but I still have family living in  Methley, Oulton and Garforth and I get to visit regularly.  I was in Methley at  the Methley Archive meeting and gave lots of  photos to put on the web site.
Looking forward to regularly checking all the Methley sites
Sheila Vick nee Jackson              

G'day Bill,
I am sure you won't remember me but I do remember you, and Ivor  Cookman.I have attached a couple of photographs, One, No 43 Pinfold lane in  the snow and Two of Savile Transport in the yard behind where the old Police station used to be, behind John Ely's house. The business went bankrupt in about 1967 but employed 100 + people, mostly locals from the Castleford area and at least one driver from Featherstone. The business operated 44 trucks  in its peak and the owners were Arthur Marsh, Cliff Marsh and Ron Marsh. Arthur later formed a new haulage business operating from a yard at  Watergate. My father ( Cliff Marsh ) came to Australia, he passed away here  in Perth in
1998. Ron still lives in Methley.
My older brother  Ronnie lives in The Oakfield's off Pinfold lane. My younger brother Garry is  in Cairns, North Queensland and I live in Perth Western Australia, 5000klms  from Garry.
It is really good to see your  web pages and brings back many many  memories. One of the articles recalls two 10 year olds getting stuck in the  mud in a bell hole, well I can relate to that because in 1960 Roger Beilby (  used to live opposite Eamonsons butchers on main street , now living at  Albury Waddonga in NSW Australia ) and I got our selves in exactly the same mess with the same result. We were still living at Old Rectory Farm in those  days and the transport yard was there. I drove to Albury and met Roger again  in1984.
You might also be interested to know that Elaine, Leslie and Yvonne Whittaker all live with their families not 200 meters from my home, all Methley girls.
I hope you can use the photo's.
Cliff  Marsh         

Dear Bill,
I am trying to find out more about some  relatives/family friends  who lived in Methley, Allerton Bywater and Castleford.  I wander if you can help me? Firstly, I am trying to find  out more information  about Mr Tommy Lunn, who was the Barber in Methley at the beginning of the last century. He had a sister called Sally I believe.
I have also noticed on the Bomfi site you link to, amongst the old photographs, a picture of a Mr Henry Laurenson, the ferryman  posted by Minett who I see has sadly died now. My great-great  Grandfather was  Henry Lawrenson. He was a Coal Miner who lived in Allerton Bywater and born at  Whitwood. He was aged 44 in 1901. Do you know if this Mr Henry Laurenson could  be a mis-spelling and  be his son or grandson? The photo of the ferryman is dated 1943 so would very much doubt it was my actual great-great Grandfather as he  would be in his 80s if still alive!
Would any of your readers  remember the barber, the barbershop,  or the ferryman? Any information would be gratefully  received.   (12/04)
Mrs Justine Wall

Dear Bill
  I am researching my family history from London (difficult in itself) and have come across two names, John Stead and James Stead, both of whom apparently were blacksmiths in  Methley, aroundWSteads4 1830 and 1860 respectively.    However, I can only find one reference to John (presumably James' father) and  none to James (who married Annis Atkinson) on the websites.   Would you be able to tell me whether this  information is true?    I should also be  delighted to know any details about  the Stead/Atkinson families and definitely would appreciate any scanned photos or other docs involving any of them.    On the Methley Tour site it  mentionsHunts Farm, with a picture of Ossy Stead
Many thanks and best wishes
Jan Alsop  

Picture is Jan outside what was once Hunt’s (Stead’s) farm
April 2005.  Jan also viewed Templar House where her Mother had previously lived, St Oswalds and the Churchyard with kind direction by Don Beilby.

Dear Bill: 
I am beginning to look into my family history and recently visited Methley, where my mother’s family originated. I haWHonours Board 1ve found your website  fascinating.
I have had in my possession for some 40 years the Honours Board from the former Methley  Church School.    It hangs in pride of place in the stair well of our house in Newbury, Berkshire.
My mother, Dorothy Thompson, lived with her parents  (whom I never met, as they both  died before I was born in 1947) and her two sisters and brother, in a house in  Church Lane, I believe. Her sisters were Alice (known as  Meg) and Connie (who died in her teens) and her brother was John Stanley. My mother was born in 1912 and both her and her sister Alice’s names appear on the Honours  Board as having  gained County Minor Scholarships (to Castleford Grammar School).My  mother trained as a teacher at Ripon College and subsequently taught in a  school in Harewood before coming south to Essex, meeting my father and marrying. She  told us of her days in Methley, which of which I sadly no longer recall. What  I  do remember is that her father worked in the mine, where he was, I think, responsible for the pit ponies, and was one day killed by being pinioned (maybe   underground) by a runaway truck. Her mother was a homemaker and, among other things, would bake a loaf of bread especially for communion services, presumably  at St Oswalds.
Robert Whiting   (03/05)

I’m researching into my family history and I've come to a stumbling block,  I do hope you can help me. Could you please let me know who to contact to find  out if my great grandfathers grave is in St. Oswalds graveyard. I do know that  they were married there and my grandfather, John Henry Wyke and his sister were  living in Methley in 1901. My great grandmother Martha Wyke was living there also, I did come over to look but it was impossible. If you have the name or number of someone I could contact about this please email it to me at I would be very  grateful.. Martha was living with  her husband Henry,aged 63, and her two sons,Arthur aged 17 and Albert aged 13. at  Low Green Terrace. I also found on the census my great  grandfather, Henry's son Philip, his wife Laura and their children Alathra, 6 and John Henry( my grandfather) aged 2. They were living at Oak Fields. I would  be grateful for any information especially if anyone actually remembers anything about them.Could you forward anything to me. 
Carol Buchan    

Dear Sir,
I am trying to trace my husbands side of the family by doing  the family trees. Last weekend we visited the church yard to see if any  relatives were buried there.  There were non.  Please can you tell me where else from Methley people went to be buried?  He had quite a few relatives in the 1800’s to the middle 1900’s but can find no graves for them.
The  family name is Parkin
Amanda Parkin    (05/05)
Next time Amanda call me Bill

Dear Bill,
My name is Maureen Byrne, I was  born in Castleford  but have spent most WWSmith Greenof my adult life in the East Midlands, now living in Nottingham.
I am tracing my family history when time permits,  presently being interested in my Great Grandparents Joseph and Martha  Green. In 1901 they lived with their family at 36 Boatstake, Methley.  Joseph was a miner and I believe that, Martha at  sometime, grew flowers which she sold on a stall in Castleford Market 1920's? 
Also one of their sons is named on the War Memorial  in St Oswalds Church yard, Smith Green. 
I wish to know where the Parish records for St Oswalds are held and how to arrange a look at them. Also if you can direct me to any other records.I  have one photograph of Joe Green in his  greenhouse  He still has two surviving Granddaughters, that I know of, one is my mother now ninety  three and her cousin who is seventy  eight.    I would be grateful for any help
Kind Regards,
Maureen Byrne. (04/05)    
February 2012 - Maureen reports that through this medium a distant family has now made contact.  I reckon this must be the ninth known electronic connection through the site.  Maureen was pleased.

Dear Bill,
I am looking for any information on my ancestors and hope  someone perusing the pages of your website may be able to add to my family  history?
My Great Grandfather Fred Stansfield was born  in Mickletown Methley in 1879.  His father George Stansfield was a Coal Miner and resided in Mickletown Methley.  His mother was Emma Stansfield, formerly Holdsworth.
Mrs Karen McGathan (maiden name Stansfield) 

Dear Editor
My name is Mark Harrison and I live in Adelaide, South Australia.   My Grand-father was Albert Harrison of  Methley, Leeds 26.
Apparently he lived in the village of Methley, was one of 11 children, he later went worked Yorkshire Copper works  in Stourton.  If he was alive today he would be 97.
His family lived in one of the terraced houses  after the white pub on the main road as you go through methley coming from  Rothwell, before you get to the Cricket Club and the Rose and Crown.  I don't know the name of the row of terraces but there around 9 or 10 of them on your left as you pass.  I only know this as my Grandmother pointed at them as we  drove past in a car many years ago.
His first wife later died when he was in his 40's  and my father was 3 in 1953.  He was a lone father for a few years which was  very difficult back then I guess. He then went  on to marry a lady called Edna  May from Castleford, sorry I only know her as Edna May Harrison who had a sister  called Muriel who lived at 3 Lane Ends and another called Edy who was married to a miner called Lester all from Castleford (I think).   I don't know any of my Grandfather's Brother's or  sister's names other than Belle who died at age 99 in 2003.
Basically, I know very little of my family history  and wish to know more about this gentleman and my history.  If you or anyone does have any knowledge of him or his numerous Brothers and sisters . I would be much obliged to hear from you or anyone with even the slightest snippet of info.
Mark Harrison  (06/05)  

Hi Bill
My great grandfather and his wife ran the Rose And Crown for at some period in the early 1900's, up to (I suspect) his death on 11th April 1926. he was Robert William Barker (died aged 71 on 11th April 1926) and she was Martha Jane Barker - which confusingly was also her maiden name (died aged 81 on 21st Nov 1941).
We know very little  else about them, other than he  had also been the Inn Keeper at The Shamrock, Clifford. The inn is now a private home  called Shamrock House, 11, High Street, on the  corner of Albion Street. Then he became landlord  of the Rose and  Crown, Methley
They are buried together at Methley in St Oswald's Church graveyard behind The  Rose And Crown, next to the the back wall of the pub.
Would the community  archive be likely to have  photographs or any other information on either of  them? I understand that the present owner of the Rose And crown had his  photograph taken by the society for their records, so I was hoping the Barkers may have had theirs taken, too.
Their  children, born in the 1890's seem to have been fascinating characters. For  example, Charles Oxtoby Barker (1892 - 1916)  died aged  24 in the First World War when he was thrown from a horse, whilst serving as a gunner with the RGA. Although (we assume) the  family was Church Of England, he is buried in a grave situated  just through the gates at St Luke’s Catholic Church, Clifford
If you have any information or photographs at all on the publicans or  their children, it would be fantastic!!
thank you very much in anticipation,Grant Barker,            (11/05)  

My name is Catherine and I live in Derbyshire, I came accross your site whilst researching my family tree and thought it was great.
My Great Grandfather was Bill Mosely who I believe was the Station Porter in Methley for many years.
Bill Mosely married Sarah Ann Bosworth in 1913 in they had 2 children Nelson & Tommy who they had before they were married and so the  children had their mothers surname (Bosworth). My Grandfather was Nelson Bosworth.
Both Bill & Sarah were born in the Midlands Bill in  Nottingham & Sarah in Ockbrook. This is all I know about  them, I've no  idea how they came to be in Methley and whether they lived out their days there, so any info you can give would be great
Catherine Spare
I was able to pass on some information to Catherine and I continue to ask. (Aug 05)

I am currently trying to find further info and photos of the Troths
from Methley : Harry & Clara Troth and their children Lucy & Marshall (and
possibly Harry Jr) lived in the village between approx 1884 and 1891.
Any  help you can give would be gratefully received.
Andrew Troth (Bradford)             (Dec 05)

Researching the Backhouse family Richard Backhouse married Mary Denison, Mary's parents were Thomas Denison and Hannah Shuttleworth married 1806.   Thomas’ parents were Richard Denison and Grace Fletcher married 1778, one of the sons of Richard Backhouse married a Hough.  Love to hear from anybody with connection to these families.
Bill,  Avoca Beach , NSW
Kevin Lane in Newcastle made contact in Aug2001 (see Visitors Book) re the same antecedents. Need Kevin to make contact again (Feb 06)
3rd July 2006
I  wonder if you could help me. I noticed on the Family History page the above and I wondered if there was anyway of contacting Bill as research  into my family tree has uncovered that Richard Backhouse was  my  4x great grandfather, and I will like to share information with him.
Diane Howard

I am researching into the Chatham family as I am related by way of my great grandmother  who DPeter Thorphad an affair with I believe William Lawson Chatham believed to have been a coachman for the Earl of Mexborough of Methley Hall. William Lawson Chatham was allegedly found drowned in Fleet beck in 1909   
See article on 20th Century History

Hello, (4th July 2006)
I am looking for some information on the Hartshorne family who lived  in  methley, they originated from Bilston staffs. William and Martha Hartshorne were living in methley having several children (Information from the 1881 census records):




Burntwood, Stafford, England 




Chase Feria, Stafford, England 




Chase Feria, Stafford, England 




Featherstone, York, England 




5 mth  

Featherstone, York, England 


William was born in 1875. Who did this William marry and how many and who  were his children? 
Hope you can Help
Benjamin Durham

Dear Bill
Have read with interest all that is on the Methley village website  I would like to register my interest in Benjamin Burnley and John T Rayner who were  instrumental in much of the mining in the Methley area.   Benjamin was my ggg grandfather and John my gg grandfather. Both died at Methley House in Methley Lane which Benjamin built in the first part of the  1850s.  Does anyone know what happened to the house or if it is still  standing?
I note that Alan and Pamela in Australia appear on  your Forum and I have been in contact with them over the last year.  I have just published a book called ROOTS AND ALL - a history of the Eaton and Hastings  families.  This has much fascinating information on the Burnleys and Rayners and  I am sure there would be people in Methley who would be interested.  Is it  possible to organise a link to my site: which  gives more detail of the book?
With many thanks
Dinah Eaton  ">   (09/06)
Dinah has visited Wakefield doing FH and visited the churchyard some 3  years ago from her home in Brockenhurst - she saw the Burnley window and the Rayner gravestone but would like to locate a gravestone for Benjamin Burnley.

I  wonder if you maybe able to help me. I am currently trying to research my family  history. My paternal Great  Grandfather was called James William Clarke. He was  born in Hull at the very beginning of the 20th Century,  but by 1969/1970 he was living in Methley. His second marriage was to a lady called Edith Cora Webster (known as Cora). They had a daughter called Margaret. I know that her married name was Speight. I am trying to contact her and  wondered if you maybe able to assist.
I would  be grateful of any assistance you could provide.
Sarah  Clarke    (11/06)  
Margaret lived in the Albert Place and I have seen her from time to time - but unable to locate her at present.     (01/07)

 I wonder if you could be off any help, I’m having a go at tracing some of my family tree & as there are no older members of my  family left alive it is difficult to find a starting point. As a child I remember spending some of my long summer holidays in Methley at an Aunts I believe they lived somewhere near Pinfold Lane as this name is very  familiar to me. There would have been at least two generations of the same family, but the family name would have been different PRIESTLEY (my great-grandfather) & SUNDERLAND. To the best of my  knowledge both my grand mother & her sister were married in Methley in the 1920’s & had a dual wedding HARRIET PRIESTLEY marrying SIDNEY HIRST (my grand father) & EMILY PRIESTLEY marrying WILLIAM SUNDERLAND,  the SUNDERLANDS had 2 sons COLIN & ROY, EMILY & BILLY remained in the house until their deaths in the 1970’s.    I understand that Roy’s 2 daughters BEVERLY & TRACEY are still living somewhere in the Methley area
If you are able to offer any suggestions as to where I may find any relevant information I would be most  Grateful
Yours truly,
Mandy Harriet Hirst

Hi,                      (02/07)
I hope you can help me, I am  tracing my family tree and I am stuck on  my great grandmother. According to the 1891 census, she was living in  Whitwood with her family and she was born on 28th January, 1879 in Methley.  Her name was Tryphena Clark.  It means alot to me if you could  help, she also had a brother called Samuel Clark, born Methley in 1888 and  died 1891 registered in Pontefract.
Thanking you
Janet Clarke                               

Dear Bill                                        05/07
I stumbled upon you  website whilst searching for my husbands  ancestors the Blackers.
I believe John Blacker married Elizabeth Atkinson in Methley on 18th August  1823.They had a least three children Thomas, Ann and Margaret. Thomas later  married Fanny and moved to York where he traded as a shoemaker in Walmsgate.  Thomas was my husbands Great great Grandfather  I would appreciate any  information on either  family or to hear from anyone who is descended from the  Blackers of Methley.

Living in deepest Lincolnshire, makes travelling to all the archives very  difficult, so many thanks for any help.

Regards Anita Muchall

Hello  Bill
I  am currently living in the Forest of Dean Glos, but my Father's family hail from  West Yorkshire, My Grannie was Lily Wright daughter of James Arthur and  Priscilla Wright, Priscilla was one of Jim Grayson's daughters.  Priscilla and James Arthur lived in Dennison Square (Jingo Nick), James Arthur played the big drum in the Methley prize band in 1901.  My Father was baptised in St Oswalds by the Bishop of Knaresborough, and he tells me you are not a true christian unless you have been "dipped at Mucky Methley!" his words not mine. They have a long history in Methley.
May  I congratulate you on a very informative and intersting site, also the Methley  Commanet contirbutions are exceptional and have been a great help in my researches.
Jacqui Freegard

< >     07/07

My father's family were supposedly all from Lancashire, particularly Hulme as  many of them were bombed out during  the war.    I now know that most of us came  from Yorkshire (even my husband has more Yorkshire links than the Scotland and  Lancashire we knew about!).     So - I would love it if anybody can fill in the gaps.    My father's grandmother was HANNAH JANE COLLINSON, born in Methley around  1838.  Parents were CHARLES (born Bradford) and JANE POPPLEWELL born Methley 6  December 1808.  Her father was BENJAMIN POPPLEWELL and he was baptised on 26  December 1767 but I know not where.     His occupation is thought to have been as a  tailor.  He married ESTHER HARTLEY in Leeds on 9 October 1793.  I think his  father was a JOSEPH POPPLEWELL who married JANE GELDARD on 16 April 1745 again in Leeds.
If any of the lovely people of Methley who  feature on your website have any  information or who would undertake a search of the parish registers for me I  would be more than happy to cover any expenses.  Also if any Methley folk think  their relatives may have migrated "down south" to Devon I will be happy to look  for them.
Thank you in advance

Sheila Eyre  in Honiton, Devon   ">                         07/07

I have recently found out that my grand mother was born in Pontefract in  1909 and worked as a cook/domestic at 14 St Margarets Road, Mickletown, Methley.  Her name was Gertrude May Baugh and she lived at 83 North Baileygate,  Pontefract. Do you know how I can obtain anyf urther information about her or the address she was at especially who might have lived at her employers  house.
Thanking you in anticipation - We have also been in touch with the Nursing Home Cedars where my grandmother died
Many thanks to Don Beilby who referred me to Charles Potts a son of Gertrude Baugh   It was only some time later when checking the visitors book I saw that a Charles Potts had made contact in December 2006 subsequently they are now in touch.
Kim Stovold                                     08/07

Great to see the Methley website just found it. I will add a link on

My wife runs our local website: which has a small link with yours (Welles and Nita Knapp!)      I am one of the north Yorkshire Wells (but born in Leeds):   and run the UK Wells website:
Keep up the good work.
Best Wishes    John Wells           02/08

Joanne Hinchlif in Thorne is hoping she can find information about her Grandfather his name was Hazelgrove and he would have been in the Methley area from 1930 to 1940.                                 02/08

Good morning Bill,
I found your website some time ago but was hesitant in asking for help as I have not done anything like this before!
I am researching my elderly (84) Aunt's family  from Yorkshire and discovered that her ggreat-Grandfather is buried in St  Oswald's churchyard. The family were living in Woodrow Hill.
Problem is we all live in  Australia and I would love to have a photo  of his headstone to give her His details: John Massey Sims buried section  7a plot 57
Inscription reads:  "In Affectionate  remembrance of/ Thy will be done/ John Massey Sims/ Late of Leeds/Died April 5th 1875/ aged 72 years/ His son Tom Watson Sims/ died Oct 30th 1874 aged 18  years
I would be extremely grateful if there is  anyone who could help me in this regard -
Kind regards
Yvonne Howarth                    (06/08)       Photo duly sent

I moved over from Canada about a year ago,and I have been doing some researching of my family tree for a number of years.
The only info that I have so far on my GGrandparents is as follows......
 Henry Smith .......Son of William Smith Born 1834 in Glasshoughton
Henry was Born in 1860 I believe in Glasshoughton also
He was married to Annie ....surname formally Etherington or Hetherington Born 8 August 1873Whitwood mere. Marriage was Possibly at St Oswalds in 1891
My Grandmother their daughter Harriet was born May 22 1901 and her parents were living at Low Common Methley at that time,I  am  aware my Grandmother had other siblings one named Bill or William and a sister called Lottie
But I don’t know much about them just bits and pieces
Put Kevin who now lives in Garforth in touch with Elaine Williams
You may contact me at the following email address
Thank You
Kevin Oxberry                        (06/08)

I am descended from a line of Fletchers, present in Methley from at least 1825
John Fletcher
Believed to be a stone mason &  listed as such in an 1822 Trade Directory (Baines Yorkshire West Riding)  covering the Methley area. In 1835 is listed as being both a Stone Mason &  Landlord of The Lord Nelson Inn, Mickletown
 James Fletcher
b. Oct 30th 1825, in Methley, d. summer 1883 aged 69. teacher at Methley Sunday School  at age 13 (I assume this was a part-time  voluntary position) his wife Emma Fletcher, daughter Eliza Fletcher, son John Fletcher, & other daughters Sarah Anne Fletcher, Emily Fletcher, Ann Elizabeth Fletcher. Married  Emma at Methley Parish Church, St. Oswalds on 14.11.1854 with the ceremony  being conducted by Philip Yorke Saville. This was James’ first marriage and he was resident in Methley at the time and working as a labourer.
Eliza Fletcher  b. Jan 1855,  Methley
John William Fletcher b. October 11th 1856, Methley. A Colliery Fireman in  1881 at age 25 Francis Fletcher (female) b. 1865, Methley. Listed as being a dressmaker in the  1881 Census, still living with parents at age 16 in 1881.
George Fletcher b. 1866, Methley. A Colliery Carpenter at age 15 in 1881.
 Edwin Fletcher b. 1868, Methley. Listed as a Scholar at age 12 in 1881 & a Colliery Carpenter in 1891 at age 22. There is a prominent grey headstone  towards the rear wall of Methley Churchyard towards the rear of the Rose and Crown pub which states: In Loving Memory of Clara, beloved wife of Edwin  Fletcher
Janice Newsome                           04/08               

Dear Bill
I am researching my family tree, my  paternal grandmother was Susannah Jackson born in Methley 1892  the daughter of  Charles Jackson & Emma Jennings. I am interested to hear from anyone who is or who knows any members of the Jackson family  descended from John Jackson   b 1824 North Deighton. He died 1890 in Methley and his wife was Sarah Inman born  1828 and died 1896 Methley, she was also married to Admiral  Raby.

Thanks Margaret Ibbotson (York)          07/08                                    

Hi Bill
This is probably a long shot but I am trying to trace my father's family  tree.  He was born in Methley, in 1910, to Mark and Jessie Mantle who lived in  Denison Square (dad always called it "Jingo Nick").  Unfortunately his mother  died during the great flu epidemic when my father was only 7 years old and my  grandfather died only a few years later when dad was 10 and he was left alone.   He was taken in and brought up by my father's sister, Jane Mantle (known as  Jinny) and her husband George Bell of Savile Road.  We were always led to  believe that my father was associated with Methley Cricket Club.   If anyone has any information at all on either of these two families I would be  very grateful if they could pass this on to me.

   I am still trying to find out information (Aug 2012) regarding my father George Mantle (son of Mark and Jessie) . I wondered if anyone remembered or had any information on Janet or Mary Barraclough (my grandmother and great aunt). Janet was born in Scotland and formerly lived in Morley before settling in Methley. She lived with her daughter Mary in a place called "Foxholes Row". Janet died in 1935. On the 1911 Census Mary's occupation is listed as "pianist and vocalist". A grandson is also listed named John William Barraclough, born 1903 and, again, I cannot trace any further information about him. I would greatly appreciate hearing from anyone who might remember something about my family history.
Sent a photograph of the Lanes to Jean which would have been near that time.

In November 2013 Jean must have been extremely pleased to receive a communication from Peter Greenall of Kettering, who had provided me with a comprehensive collection of documents regarding the loss of his uncle Wilfred Howson at Passchendaele in 1917.  Whilst researching this web site Peter read the above request re the Barraclough mother and daughter and was able to provide Jean with a copy of a letter of condolence sent by them from Foxholes Row to his grandmother.  I reckon this is the 14th instance of matching up from this page. 

Jean Bright (Mrs) (nee Mantle)  Horsforth, Leeds           09/08  and  08/12

 just found your site and its very interesting my great grandma was a Chatham before she married a Banham and lived at methley, and I have also found  that her parents Thomas Chatham and Mary Chatham lived at methley hall as the  farm baliff with their servant Emma Grey in 1901, if you have any photos or  information please can you help or even let me know of any sites I can visit.
many thanks
Emma Neville

emma neville <>                                   10/08

Hi Bill
If you could tell me more about my great great grandfather Alfred Redman born circa 1840 in  Methley to Selina Dinnison or Dennison or Denison and father REDMAN I would be delighted .He emigrated  to Tasmania circa 1860 and was a carpenter, it is claimed that he left England following a family dispute.   He died 1909 in Tasmania.
Any relatives left there ? anything known about where they  lived .. any information at all gratefully received .
I have done lots of research and will happily exchange  information. 
Louise Dunham, Melbourne                    11/08

Dear Bill,
I accidently came across your website whilst looking into my  family tree. I have read through your website and found it very interesting.  I  have always loved looking at old photos and information whether to do with my  family or others and to know that this is where my ancestors lived makes it even  more interesting making me think about whether my family visited or worked at  these places.
t would appear that my gr gr grandad Stephen Newell was  born in methley and lived at 11 woodrow with his mother Sarah Newell, 3 sisters,  1 brother and his grandad John Newell as appears on the 1861 census which of  which I enclose a copy.
I am however having problems finding out what  Stephen Newell's father (John Newell's son) was called and any other information  as I believe he may have died before the 1861 census was completed but if so he  could only have died between 1858 and 1851 as per the census they had a 3yr old  son my gr gr grandad Stephen,  It is also making it very difficult to find out  what Sarah Newell's (his wifes) maiden name could possibly be.
I hope  this makes sense and would really really appreciate any help or information you  may be able to provide me with, I am hoping to come over to Methley at some  point with my mother and visit any graveyards/churches that may be  relevant.
Kind  Regards
Emily Newell. (Grimsby)              11/08                                                               
I have since learned that Stephen Newells father is also  called Stephen Newell hence I was finding it difficult to follow and may  have possibly married a Sarah Holt but anything additional you may find would be  appreciated.

Dear Bill.
I have really enjoyed visiting the Methley site and also looking at the  Commanet photos. There were three pages of photos of my family members, the Micklefields.
I have worked out that Bill Micklefield (in one of the photos) is my  father's cousin. His father was James Richard brother of Bill's father Joseph.  Is Bill still alive? I would be very interested in talking with him if he is. My  father told me many stories about growing up in Methley and I have photos of  Methey people which I would like to donate to the Commanet site but can't find a  way of doing this! I have researched my family line back to a marriage in  Methley in 1797 between John Micklefield and Elizabeth Brown. The Brown family  were living in the village from the beginning of the 1700's... possibly before.
Sorry for rambling on...keep up the good work, 
Lynne is making arrangements to visit the Community Archive Group in February and bring along FH docs and photographs.  She was sad to learn of the recent death of Bill Micklefield a staunch supporter of the archive group.
 Lynne Paterson in Devon    12/08

Hello Bill
I am researching my family history and am currently  working on my maternal grandmother's line.    Her name was Annie Whittaker (born  1906 in Methley) and her younger siblings were Leonard (Len), Phyllis, Gwen and  Harry.  Their parents were Albert Whittaker (b 1883 in Chase Terrace, Staffs)  and Alice Ann Miller (b 1886 in Methley).  Alice died in 1918 and my  great-grandfather Albert remarried a lady called Mary (she may have been Mary  Peace, but we are not sure).  I am trying to find out a few things:
(1) Do I have any distant relatives still in the  Methley area?    Albert was one of nine children (his parents being William  Whittaker and Ann Elizabeth Hopley) so it seems possible!
(2) Are there any local BMD records kept, e.g. by  your volunteer archivers, which might show when and where my family were  baptised/married/buried - or do I need to go to WYAS?
(3) Whether by any chance anyone knows who Albert's  second wife was.  My mum never knew that this was not her real grandmother until  I began tracing our family tree!
(4) Whether anyone remembers or is still in contact  with one of our relatives (also called Albert) who was Len's son and who ran the  Rose and Crown Inn in Methley with his wife Marlene in the late 1960s/early1970s?
Regards, Christine  Oddy      (01/09) 

DJack Audrey & NeilChris and Jayne Keast of Cornwall acting as executors for the late Jack Wright of Oakfields Methley have passed on many items (photographs/documents) appertaining to this village.  Jack and Audrey and their son Neil moved to Cornwall in 1961 as part of his teaching career.  His parents were George Edwin and Alice May Wright of Oakfields, George Edwin being night shift overman at Savile pit. Jack’s mother was a Firth before marriage and I have noted some references to Firths on these pages - my grandmother was a Firth from Green Lane and Low Green Terrace - I wonder if we could all be related.          (02/09)

Hi Bill
I have just found your very informative website on Methley. My mother is from Methley, and is from a large family.     I have been researching the family names HODGSON & CREWE. I have found plenty of information regarding the Hodgsons, however I am struggling with the Crewe family.  My grandmothers parents were James Richard Crewe b. 1869 Carlton and Susan Ann Yelland b. 1870 Dunsford Devon. I have only census information and can not find any record of James Richard Crewe prior to 1891. If anyone has any further information it would be greatly received.

Many thanks
Dawn Bowes in East Yorkshire      (03/09)

I would be pleased if you could include the following message on your family history section.    I’m interested to hear of anyone researching the Jennings family in Methley and Castleford. Particularly Humphrey Jennings born 1860 a relative of Dan Jennings who owned a clock shop in Castleford. Also the names Land and Smirthwaite.
I have extensive research on these names, from about 1730 and I am willing to share this.
from Jenny Smith                                            (03/09)

Hello Bill
I’ve just discovered your excellent website on Methley. My grandfather, James William Barton was born in Listers Row, Methley on April 2nd 1873. He was baptised in the parish church and his father at that time was a coal miner, presumably in the local pit. Do you know if Listers Row still exists today?
Other siblings were also born at Methley, but by the time of their births their father Emanuel Barton was working as a signalman with the North Eastern Railway Co.
I live in the Lincoln area, but would love to hear from anyone who knew, or has photographs of, Listers Row.
Many thanks   Pauline Taylor  Lincoln          (03/09)

I am trying to trace family in the Methley area. I have a William Kemp who married Hannah Lake on 17 August 1758, both are listed as being from the parish of Methley. However, I am unable to trace William Kemp's baptism. I wonder if you have any records that could assist in showing where William Kemp is from.
Many thanks for any assistance or guidance you can give.
Kind regards,    Sharon Shields  Nr. Barnsley    <>                                                  (03/09)

I am trying to research information about my great great grandfather ARTHUR BARTLETT who spent his childhood in Methley and died in the area. He was born in 1813 or 1815 on 28th March. He was fostered by ROBERT SMIRTHWAITE and his wife at Hazel House (or Hazel Farm ?). He married FRANCES WILSON on 26th January 1837, The ceremony was carried out by the curate, Rev.T.D.Lumb and performed by special licence. Strangely, John Savile, 3rd Earl of Mexborough was one of the official witnesses to the wedding.  ARTHUR and FRANCES had nine children all but one of which remained in the Yorkshire area.                   Michael CORDY   Newport   South Wales   <>    (07/09)
Michael informs me later that Arthur was Overseer of the Poor in 1871 and 1881 and also adds that he could have carried the surname Burges in earlier times.  

Bill, Can anyone provide more info on the Lawrenson (variations) the ferrymen of Methley. I have the family Tree of Henry Lawrenson 1857 who I believe married Mary Coleman and who’s son George 1900 carried on the tradition. I’m also keen to locate a linkage to William Henry Lawrenson born 1880 in Whitwod. He married Ada Blackburn. Any assistance is appreciated. Great site. Thanks.
Brian Lawrenson
Sydney, Australia    (03/10)

Firstly I would like to say how much I have enjoyed visiting your new website
I'm hoping you may be able to help me. I'm originally from Ackworth, although I have been away from there for more than half a century. I have links with Methley via the families of both of my parents, albeit a long time ago. My paternal great-great-grandparents were married in St Oswald's in 1842.

However, it is my maternal great-grandfather, Arthur Lister, who is the subject of my research right now. Family tradition has it that he died after a "fall off the spire of Methley Church". I couldn't make any sense of this, knowing that the church has a tower rather than a spire, until recently when I found out that Methley Church did indeed have a spire before its removal in 1937. I wondered if you would have any idea as to who I could approach with a view to confirming whether the family story about him is correct

Janet Gimber   -  Yate, Bristol  (04/10)    

I’m writing to thank you for the  Methley Village website
I’m trying to find out about my mother’s family - name Micklefield.
I visited methley as a child to see my Grandmother Clara Flowers [nee Micklefield]. She died in 1973. She had three brothers, Mark, Edward and John William all Micklefield.
I notice on the history section of the website under ‘Notebooks’ one of the authors of these notebooks is Albert Micklefield.  Do you have his dates? And who holds the original copies of those notebooks?
If you can help or direct me to others who might help, I’d be grateful.
Pam Johnson      London  (03/11)

Very much enjoyed your web page especially the older photo's I am looking for any information concerning the Shillito family from Thomas Shillito 1675 to present day.
Tony Lloyd
Nambour, Queensland Australia.        (06/11)

Good morning Bill
My search for Smirthwait(e) rellies has just led me to your site and specifically to the William Pape Survey Book page - v interesting. Could I ask if all the pages have been photographed please Bill? is it a thick volume? might it be accessible to view? ... I'd be real interested to try and see if the land enclosure contributed any to my family branch moving to Sheffield at the end of the 17th C.
best regards
Kevin Turner  (Derby)  Kevin Turner       (08/11)   Sent Kevin copies of the photos which appertain to the Smirthwait family from the Survey Book

I came upon your website during searches for information on Methley.
Sadly my family connection with the village is not such a happy one. I obtained a copy of my maternal grandfather's death certificate some ten years ago (William Alfred Clayton),which shows his body was found in the river at "the old dry dock" Methley in March 1940.
I have little information as to why this happened,
My queries are:
Is the "Old Dry Dock" still there?
Would there be any information on the circumstances of his body being found in any of the archives held in your village?
A long shot I appreciate but any information would be gratefully received.
Kind regards
Ian Bullock RY, Muscat, Oman  (Hometown York) (10/11)
Information re Dry Dock posted to Ian - further information being sought

I'm looking for information about my 3rd Great Grandfather. I believe he was a miner in Methley but not positive. I've listed my connection to this family below and would be thrilled to know anything about them. I might have some of the dates wrong for George’s birth and death. Also, it seems like George was raising a grandson (Pyrah Kaye) in one of the census. Did his father George and mother Ada die young, or was he just helping out his grandparents?
George Kaye (1810 - 1895)

is your 3rd great grandfather
Mary Ann Kaye (1839 - )
Daughter of George
Elizabeth Annie Drake (1865 - 1925)
Daughter of Mary Ann
Sidney Murch Sr (1902 - 1966)
Son of Elizabeth Annie
Sidney James Murch Jr. (1930 - 1993)
Son of Sidney
Stacy Lynn Murch
You are the daughter of Sidney James

Thanks for any information or tips to find out more information.
Stacy Murch Arnold - Fruita, Colorado, USA    (05/12)

I am doing some family research at the moment and couldn't help but read this on your history page for St Oswald's church!

"Robert Nalson was buried 28th November The said Robert did break his fast that same day and was in good health and came to the Church to the burying of Maria Hagger, and did help to ring a peal of bells and within one half hour after, he died in the presence of all the people in the Church, and was buried within four hours afterward.’?" So this man died very suddenly and that would have been unexpected then! Wow!

Basically I've got this Robert Nalson (same date of death), plus several others on a family tree I'm researching!
Other names in the FH research are the Gygges, Lakes or Leaks and Smiths dating from 1732 to 1864 particularly my 3x great grandfather John Smith 1803 to 1867.

 Fiona Hodgkiss  Stockport                                         (10/12)

Fiona is hoping to make a visit to the church in the near future.

Now retired Jacky Purvis is looking into her FH and is also enquiring about Denison Square.  I could not explain how the Jingo Nick got its name - one day perhaps we will all get to know.
I found your website by chance as I am trying to trace my family. Don't know if you can help me.
My grandad was a James Robinson Worrillow who lived in Denison square in Methley with his sister, Pheobe and brother Sam. Grandad was born in 1899, his mother Ann Worrilow was widowed, her husband was killed in one of the pits. She lived with a John Robinson born 1861 and had 2 children with him, one my grandad and the other was Phoebe. John was a miner according to the 1911 census. Is there any way I can find out more about the family and what happened to them?nj
Many thanks
Jacky          in Hampshire                        (10/12)                                                        

Just discovered the Methley Village website - found it very interesting. I have connections with Methley, as follows:
James Hebden b. 1818 in Methley, baptised in St Oswald church on 22 Feb 1818, m. 9 Mar 1840 to Elizabeth Myers d.1882 in Hunslet - occupation Engine tenter
Joseph Hebden b. 1791 in Methley, baptised in St Oswald church on 3 Jul 1791, m. 6 Aug 1812 to Ann Burkinshaw d.1849 in Hunslet - occupation Coal miner
William Hebden b. 1760? in Methley, baptised ?, m. 26 Oct 1780 to Mary Bulmer d.1830 in ? - occupation ?
Any information you can provide on the above, particulary William and his ancestors would be much appreciated.
I was born in Stockton on Tees, Durham but now live in Melbourne, Australia. We have a family tree on Ancestry under the name HEBDEN_TURNER-V2.
John Hebden         (11/12)

Hello Bill

I was just browsing your site looking for information and pictures for a friend. Her mother’s name was Doris Shillito, she lives in Derbyshire, and I have spent the last couple of months finding her family’s history. With a list of names only, this can sometimes be a bit dry so I put in pages of photos and text to bring it to life. I noticed today that there are at least a couple of mentions of the Shillito name and I was wondering  if there are people of that name still in your village or the surrounding area?

My friend’s family were from nearby Allerton Bywater and were in Methley as early as 1822 and as late as 1881 before moving to Farnley via Kippax. I always think it’s nice to find people of a certain names still in their original homeland.

 If you can help then please pass on my e-mail address ( to any Shillitos you may come across.
Many thanks

Lynn Gregory in Rochdale, Greater Manchester         (02/13)

Hi Bill

 I wonder if you could help?  I am trying to gain a little information on three Methley families, the Farrers, Prickits  and the Englands.
Richard England was born in 1600 and married a Harrogate girl by the name of Isabel Hardcastle, they had at least 1 child, Richard who was born around 1642 (this date is dubious) who married a Methley girl by the name of Helen Prickit.  Richard and Helen had at least one child named Thomas born in 1670 who went on to marry another local girl by the name of Elizabeth Farrer who was born in 1679 (see details below).  Elizabeth and Thomas had 3 children Thomas born in 1699, Susana in 1701 and Sarah in 1708.  

It is possible that Elizabeth’s family may once have owned a house named Clumpcliffe House (if this means anything). 
Richard England and Isabel Hardcastle are my 10th generation grandparents so I would be delighted if anyone had any information on any of these families.
~ Melanie Haywood        in Kirk Ella, Nr Hull   Melanie <>   08/13

 Name: Elizabeth Farrer 
Birth: 1679 
Death: 1740 - Methley 
Marriage: 10 Nov 1689 - Otley 
Spouse: Thomas England 

Sent Melanie some pics of Clumpcliffe along with information re other sources

Hi Bill -

My Great Great Grandfather was Thomas Bell born 1813 in Methley and is described in the 1861 Census as being a Tailor, living at 112 Mickletown.
He was married to Mary with 2 sons - William (b1852) and Walter (b1856).
By 1871 he was living at 110 Mickletown and described as a Tailor/draper. William as being a boat builder, and Walter as a bricklayer. 
In the  1881 Census Walter is married to Sarah and is living at Templar Cottage, Woodrow, Methley, still a bricklayer, with 2 Children Jane and Tom.
By 1891 William is living at Wragby as an agricultural labourer, married to Mary with 5 children, Laura, Edith, George W, Jackson (my Grandfather) and John C. George W and Jackson were both born in Methley.
By 1901 they had moved to Clifton with a further 6 children and by 1911 Widow Mary Bell was living in Brighouse with Daisy, Rosetta, and Lucy. 

I would be so grateful if anyone recognises any of the above, or if their own Family Tree coincides with anyof the above.
Anthony Hardman       East Yorkshire  (09/13) 

There have been many Bell families over the years see Census 1911 on History Section where there were 10 families with that surname, some of which would have been related to this enquiry. 

Hi Bill,

I am doing my family tree and found that my Grandmother and Great Grandfather came from Methley.
My Grandmother was Ivy Gray (1900 - 1959) and her father was Henry Gray (1870 - ?) - in the 1911 census it says that he was a platelayer at a colliery living at Scholey Hill. He married Minnie??? and they had 3 children at that time.

I do believe that his parents moved into the village ? when as my Great Great Grandfather George Gray (1841 - 1883) was born in Etton - Maybe he married a girl from Methley - she was called Lois ( 1841 -?)

My Grandmother married my Grandfather who came from Burley in Wharfedale.   I do not know a lot about the family background so would welcome anything that you know of.

Lynn Inman         Burley in Wharfedale   (09/13)>

Dear Bill

This is my first step into the family tree world!! - as such I am unaware as to protocols at this stage but hope that you can help me
My mothers side of the family originate from around/in Methley - surname of Dickinson. I have a card from my great grandmothers internment at St Oswalds on Feb 18th 1924 - Sarah Elizabeth Dickinson who was married to Charles.     She died on 15 Feb 1924.

My grandpa Harold Dickinson was born in Methley 17 June 1899 and had 3 siblings Annie, Wilson and William (TBC). I have not got any further information re his siblings.  He married at the Church of St Pauls, Glasshoughton to Linda May Routledge on 11 September 1928. They had one daughter called Joyce and moved to Pontefract.

I know nothing regarding my great grandparents ie Harold's mother and father other than the fact that their names were Sarah Elizabeth and Charles and that she was interred at St Oswald's Church on 18 Feb 1924.
I would appreciate some sort of reply if only to redirect me to someone else

Jackie Bull  -    Huntingdon via Beckenham
PS aiming on coming to visit what looks like a lovely area
Jackie Burbidge  <>     (01/14)  
Sent Jackie copy of 1911 census relating to her antecedents

Dear Bill,
I am researching the name of Arthur Cooper for a book about the village of Hensall in North Yorkshire. Arthur appears on the Roll of Honour in St.Pauls Church Hensall.
He was born in 1901 in Methley and first appears on the Census in 1911 living in Hensall with his parents Charles and Sarah Ann Cooper and elder brother Fred.   Charles was a labourer working for the Aire and Calder Navigation, Fred was a Porter with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.
The family were living in Milton Place, Hensall.

To date I have not found any information about his service in the Second World War.
Can you help at all?
David Hookham,  Hensall;     (03/14)

Hi there,
Bit of a strange request but I’ve recently found out that my dad’s side of the family lived in Methley for as long as 150 years....I didn’t know this as I didn’t know that side of the family until recently. The family name is Sunderland. I would very much appreciate any info that you have.
The first family member I can find is Jewell Summers Sunderland b. 1889. The family lived at 4 Front Row. Methley
Yours hopefully
Emma Sunderland, Wakefield     ;    (03/14)

Hi Bill
My family have lived in methley for generations. My grandparents were Harold and Hilda Mary Lister. My grandmothers maiden name was Sawyer, and her mothers name was Sarah. Sarah had 4 chilldren - Harry, Nolsen, Agnes Kathleen, and Hilda Mary. Sarah married a second time and changed her name to garforth. She had 2 more children - Jane and Edith. Sarah lived on foxholes row, methley.
My grandparents bought a house in church lane - they were the first owners of it. It was built by parrots and we have lived there since we bought it from my grandma in 1981. I'd love to know any more family history.
Liz Walker Methley              (09/14)

I wonder if you can help. My great(x3) grandfather William Longthorp(e) and sister Ann were born in Selby in 1818. Their father, Thomas, was from Selby and mother, a ropemaker's daughter from Wakefield. Thomas was a waterman and like the rest of his family used some sort of sailing vessel , to convey presumably goods up and down the rivers. We presume this is how he met his wife.
Thomas died suddenly in 1819  leaving wife and two very small children alone. We are unable to track his wife ever again (maybe she died too?) but both children end up in Methley and grow up there. There must have been, I presume, some sort of boating community in Methley  that they belonged to. When Ann grows up she returns to Selby with a man from a family who sailed with her father but was born in Methley.   William, however, leaves the boating world behind and goes on to train as a cordwainer, journeying to Leeds and then Bradford where he settled in Wibsey.
Do you have any information about the families Longthorp, Patrick or Tasker? Have you any information about the boating world around 1820-1840's? Was there somewhere that the Longthorp children could have been brought up if they were orphaned? Is there any reason William was taught to be a cordwainer/cobbler rather than maintain the life that his family had held for generations?
Many thanks,
Marie Cousens      Harrogate     (10/14)

My late fathers uncle Dick Shepherd spent his life in Methley where he worked as a coal miner. He was boAimg884rn on 16 January1900 and married my grandmothers younger sister Mabel Bartle in 1934.
Please find attached an early photograph passed down to me. Dick is the third from the right in the middle row.
In all the years I new him I never saw him wear a tie. I am curious to learn more about the event photographed and its possible location in the Methley area.
Any light you can shed on this would be much appreciated. Dick lived into his 80's despite medical problems due to a minning accident and pneumoconiosis.
John Wood         London       (06/15)

Hi Bill
I have just come across your Methley page and found one mention of the name Shillitoe. I am a descendant of Thomas Shillitoe (quite a few named Thomas as I am finding out).
I was wondering if you have any information on Thomas born 1675 or Thomas born about 1833 in Methley. Any information would be appreciated and I would be interesting in purchasing any book or CD which may have information.
I have quite a lot of information on the family after they arrived in Australia and some prior to their leaving England.
Barbara Johnstone - Melbourne Australia    (07/15)

Hi Bill,
My wife is a native of Methley, being born at Barnsdale  Terrace, although her family later moved to Rothwell.
Her father was John Milner who, with his widowed mother  (Sarah Ethel Milner), and three siblings lived at 2 Summerhill Road.  His  father, James Milner, served throughout the First World War but was killed in a  mining accident a year after his return.

My wife’s mother was Dorothy Smith who lived with her family  of 6 siblings at 3 Oakfields, Mickletown.  Dorothy’s father was a John Smith,  originally from Hampshire and an Assistant Mender-Manager at Methley Pit.   His  wife was Sarah Ethel, nee Micklefield.  The latter family appear to be a  well-known family in the area, and we have traced them back to 1798, and  probably beyond, in Methley.
We live in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, but last week visited Methley to  refresh my wife’s memories.  We spent a long time in St Oswald’s churchyard but  sadly, although all of the above names and those of other family members were  buried there, we could not locate any of their gravestones.  I wonder whether  the Church has a burial record and if so who I might contact to arrange to see  it?

I’m pleased to report that Elaine Carter is on the trail and providing Keith with some memories and information   sourcing. Keith adds below :- 

        1.  Rose Milner was born in Hyde Terrace Maternity Hospital,  Leeds and lived at 16 Barnsdale Terrace, Methley for 4 years.  It was the end  house and Rose remembers it as No.1, but there appears to have been some  re-numbering although the house remains.  She recalls gathering coke spilled  from the wagons as they negotiated the bend!  She attended Methley Infant  School.  Her Uncle Charles and Aunt Pauline Milner were both Junior and Infant  School Headteachers in the area. Rose’s parents were John Milner and Dorothy  Smith, the latter born at 3 Oakfields.  The house remains, but new housing now  occupies the large garden/yard where they kept pigs and chickens.  At the  appropriate time the family would descend, pigs would be slaughtered and  butchered, while she was kept locked in the house. The pig sty remains.   Dorothy’s parents were John Smith and Sarah Ethel Micklefield.

2.  Sarah Ethel Micklefield, Rose’s Grandmother (1881-1956),  married John Smith (known in Methley as Gentleman John€¯).  He originated from  Little London, Hampshire.DEthel and Daughter Annie Smith  In 1881, aged 13, he was a Trap Door Opener at an  Iron Mine in Skinningrove where his family, Farm Labourers, had moved,  presumably to seek work.  In 1901, he was boarding at No 5 Oakfields (with Sarah  Ethel’s older brother, James Micklefield, a bachelor and coal miner), next door  to Sarah Ethel.  John is described as a Pit Deputy.  Before his death in 1938 he  was a Mender-Manager at Methley Pit.  John and Ethel had 8 children: Jack, Reg,  Harry, Annie, Dorothy and her twin Evelyn (died at birth) and Harold.  After  John’s death Sara remained at Oakfields with her spinster daughter, Annie.   Sarah Ethel’s father was James Micklefield.

3.  James Micklefield (ggf, 1837-1896) was born and died in  Methley.  He was a Coal Miner from the age of 13 and lived at  Mill Lane,  Methley.  He married Mary Ann Camplin Ward from Wakefield.  By 1871 he was  living at 1 Mickletown near to the Bay Horse and Lord Nelson Inns.  In 1891 he  was living at 1 Denison’s Yard.  He died aged 58.  They also had 8 children.  Walter died in 1860 aged 2; Melinda died aged 11 in 1870.  James (1862-1940) was the unmarried Coal Hewer mentioned above.  Emily (1865-1936) married Joseph Pyrah, a coal miner, in 1884 and they  had 3 children: Evelyn, Elsie and Clifford.  Joe (1867-1910) was a coal  miner from the age of 13.  He married Eliza Illingworth and they had 5 children:  Edith Ann (Westmorland), James Richard, Joseph, Lilly (Attack) and John. Arthur died in infancy in 1870).  George Henry (1878-1953) was  another coal Miner.  He married Emily Bradley and they had 13 Micklefield  children: Melinda, James Thomas, Mary Ann, Alan, Harry, Phylis, Iris, Roy,  Georgina, Frank, Jack, Ivy and Maurice [Further details of these are available  if required].  Finally, Sarah Ethel.  James’ father was Mark  Micklefield.

4.  Mark Micklefield (1798-1876) was a 2nd ggf) who  was born and died in Methley. In 1851 he was a Labourer living in 109 Burnley  Road; in 1861 he is described as a Coal Shipper at 9 Mickletown; and in 1871 a  Road Repairer at 125 Mickletown.  He married Tamar Illingworth from Ossett in  1818.  They had 10 children between 1820 and 1839: Mary Ann, Thomas, William,  Sarah, Elizabeth, Emma, Ruth, James, Joseph and Arthur [again further details if  required].

5.John Micklefield (1772-1876  3rd ggf).  Again  John was born and died in Methley. The 1841 Census describes him as an  Agricultural Labourer.  He married Elizabeth Brown in 1797 in St  Oswald’s.

Keith  Toy              Colwyn Bay    (11/15)