I got started
& Origin of LINDLEY
I was boy I thought how unusual my surname was, not only was I the only
boy in my class with that name, but I was the only boy in the whole
asked my father about this and he said that although he was born in
Conisbrough my Grandfather was not. He said he was born at either Hunslet
or at Thornhill Lees. He was not sure.
I became interested in family history I decided to find the meaning of the
name and its origins.
did this by looking at surname books such as the one by George
Redmonds-about 1973 – now out of print, it covered surnames in
Yorkshire-mainly the West Riding.
name originates from 2 places in Yorkshire called Lindley, one at
Huddersfield and one at Otley. The LIND part means Lime Tree & the LEY
part means clearing- so Lime Tree Clearing.
this I mean, speak to relatives in your family – interview them!
may say that you have never interviewed anyone in your life, but I say
that you interview people every day – You may ask your husband or wife
‘how they have gone on at work’? or your children ‘how they have
gone on at school’? You are asking them questions
and you get answers -(sometimes)
questions to ask your relatives:-
Where & on what date you were born?
Do you know if and where you were Christened/Baptised
When were you married & where?
Have you got your marriage certificate?
Where did you work?
What are/were your parent names? Include middle names & maiden
Do you have any old Photographs of the family?
Do you have any old documents or certificates?
are just a few of the questions you can ask, there are many more.
this information in mind I asked my parents all about themselves & got
lots of information, writing it all down for later use. So I now knew some
detail about my parents and also about my Grandparents on both sides, but
be warned, only try one side of
the family at a time when new to FH.
I have said my father mentioned that my grandfather (who died in 1955) had
come from either Hunslet, near. Leeds or Thornhill Lees, near Dewsbury and
that he had been a Glass Blower at the KILNER
glass works at Conisbrough.
the local library I came across 3 very useful books, namely
COAL MINERS, GLASS WORKERS & POTTERS
A profile of the
DENABY area from 1801 – 1871
By JE MacFarlane MA
Tracing your Family Tree
By jean Cole &
Family History & Local History
By David Hey
Book on COAL MINERS, GLASS & POTTERY was
my first real clue to finding
my ancestors. The book shows the 1871 census for Mexborough, Denaby &
Conisborough & lists all those who worked in the Mines, Glassworks
straight to the GLASS workers
& found 3 LINDLEY’S
WILLIAM, JOHN &
JAMES. John & James were from
HUNSLET & William
was from ALLERTON BYWATER
was the place my father had mentioned to me, so I knew I was on the right
track, but Allerton Bywater had not been mentioned.
census started in 1801, but it was not until 1841 that the records
contained any personal details & not until 1851 did it include place
of birth, relationship to Head & marital status.
is one hundred years before the census information is released so the 1901
census will not be available until 2001.
with the information from the book I decided to look at the1881 census for
Conisborough & Denaby.
found the family living at the Glass House Houses at KILNER BROS glass
works, on the 1881 CD's the name was down as 'Findley'
so watch out for misspellings. The Glass works is now part of the site
of the EARTH centre at Conisborough.
head of the family was my Great Grandmother MARY ANNE LINDLEY widow, &
2 children, my Grandfather & his sister LILLEY.
grandfather WILLIAM HENRY was 16 and at the glass works as an apprentice
glass blower, and LILLEY was down as a scholar, I checked her out and
found out she went the local BOARD
school at Mexborough some 4 miles away- these school records are at the
great grandfather must have died prior to the census, so, I decided to
check in two places, the PARISH RECORDS of Conisborough St Peters at
Doncaster archives & the SOUTH YORKSHIRE TIMES newspaper available at
the local library. Both came up with the answer, my great grandfather who
was WILLIAM LINDLEY- the 3rd person mentioned in the COAL
MINERS, GLASS & POTTERS book, had died in JUNE 1880. I then checked
the 1871 census and found the family living at the same address, but with
William as the HEAD and from ALLERTON BYWATER (this was mentioned in the
COAL MINERS, GLASS & POTTERS book) with quite a few children. Some of
the children came from THORNHILL LEES near DEWSBURY. This was the clue
that my father had given me, in fact that is where my grandfather was born
next checked the 1861 census for Thornhill
Lees and again found the family there, some of the children were born
as early as 1854,and my great Grandfather William Lindley was down as a
Glass Worker at the KILNER glass works at Thornhill Lees.
next step was to check the 1851 census at HUNSLET-
LEEDS, these was available at the Leeds Central library.
family were there, wife Mary Anne, Mother in law Anne Edwards- widow &
3 children, John, James & a William- a child by a former marriage.
meant that William Lindley had been married before – but when? The child
William was 10 and worked at the FLAX Mill in Hunslet.
I checked the marriages in the LEEDS area at the archives at
Sheepscar and found that William my Gt Grandfather had married a JANE
LISTER in 1846 at Leeds St Peter. So
Jane had died between that date & the 1851 (Census). Checking the
burial register for Hunslet I found Jane had died in late 1849 of Cholera
(an epidemic in Leeds at this time) & that William had married
Mary Anne Edwards in the March of 1850 & a few weeks later had given
birth their first child, which meant that Mary Anne was pregnant before
Jane had died! The child
William I found was baptised William Lister at Swillington – no
father’s name mentioned on the Birth Certificate, the young William took
the name of Lindley - we shall never know the true father. So up to now I
had verified the book details which contained the 1871 census of
IGI is an INDEX as you know & is a very good guide, but at times not
all that reliable. I soon discovered that the name LINDLEY was very
common, particularly in West Yorkshire.
Great Grandfather was from Allerton Bywater according to the census
records, so I looked for a William Lindley at Allerton Bywater & could
not find one. I discovered by
visiting Allerton Bywater, that the church there was not built until about
the 1850’s. The parish church people used was before that date was
KIPPAX. Re checking the IGI and Registers ,I found a William Lindley
Baptised at KIPPAX in January 1814, & the fathers name was JOHN &
he was from Allerton Bywater & a farmer (this occupation was also on
William’s marriage cert’) I found 2 more children Ann & Luke &
then no more. Looking at the Burial Register again I discovered that John
died at the age of 31 in 1819, this then gave me a clue to his birth date.
John was married to a MARY according to the registers. When did John get
married? and where? I found the marriage at Leeds St Peter in 1813 &
the marriage was a Licence marriage-
and that the Mary was a Mary
Bonds & Allegations
marriages can be most helpful, a
copy of the marriage
BOND (not the licence) may be available for Yorkshire at the Borthwick
Institute at York. These documents often give valuable information, such
as age, occupation and consent if a minor. Printed books of 'Marriage
Bonds & Allegations are available from the Borthwick and currently
start at 1715 and go through to 1837 in several volumes. These books are
available for purchase. They would be an excellent research tool at the
society's workshops as each volume has several hundred entry's.
then checked the Kippax Baptism records & found that John was Baptised
in 1788 & that his father was a WILLIAM further checks in the register
revealed several more children, but none after 1788. Looking further back
I found no more Lindley’s at Kippax only in the early 1600’s.
the aid of the IGI & Registers I found the family again at CASTLEFORD
& traced them back to the 1650’s. The Castleford Registers do not
exist before 1650, & the Bishops Transcripts are very spare before
& an important find
discovered something strange about the marriage of William Lindley of
Allerton Bywater who was born in 1744 at Castleford and married in 1777 at
Castleford to a Betty Hippon, it was a Licence marriage-
The marriage bond said that Betty had the consent of her father Mr
George Hippon. I thought the
insertion of MR was a little strange & soon discovered that it was a
Gentleman family & that it was referred to as MR in many
documents of that period.
The Hippon's were from Featherstone, & looking in the
Featherstone Registers I soon found the family going back to the start of
the registers. This is where my interest in Heraldry comes in, I decided
to look at the VISITATION books, these are books in printed form. They are
copy's of the Heralds visits from the College of arms in London to various
counties, starting in about 1524. The visitations took place at random
intervals usually every 30 to 40 years. They stopped in the 1680's and
they recorded the gentlemen families and families of higher society up to
the level of Duke's I found the Hippon's who were in fact an Heraldic
family and their pedigree is well documented as far back as the 1400's
this point I decided to fill in some background information & looked
at land tax for the late 1700’s and discovered 3 returns in the
1780’s. These were available at the Wakefield Archives, I obtained
copy's of these documents and they show what tax/rent my ancestors were
paying in the late 1700's.
next item I looked was WILLS, many original wills are kept at the
BORTHWICK at York. Even the poorest of families often made a Will and just
because your ancestors were say Agricultural labourers it does not mean
they did not make a Will. I
found a Will of William Lindley of Allerton Bywater for 1789 and it went
into quite some detail. Wills are very important.
Roles are LISTS of signatures of people who signed allegiance to the King
in this case Charles 1st in 1641/2. These are available if they
exist for the area you are interested in from the House of Lords in
London. The House of Lords as an archives department and they are normally
very helpful. There is a cost to obtaining these, but again are an
important research tool, they can locate your ancestor and let you know
I turned my attention to Manorial records & found that they did exist
for Castleford They started in
1592 and ran until the 1800’s. These records if available are often kept
at the archives and in this case are at the Leeds archives at Sheepscar.
are in Latin until the early 1700’s, so I had to get someone to look at
them on my behalf. It was
soon discovered that the Lindley name was cropping up several times, but I
cannot at present connect the Lindley’s between 1592 & 1650, but
they must be connected somehow because after 1650 they are related to me
and there were so few people in a village set up in those days.
from two Manorial records extracts :
May 1698 a 'Richard Lindley' was fined for making an affray & drew
blood of one Charles Lapidge. Another incident by the same Richard was
that he did ‘smite the Steward of the court & was fined 10
shillings. He must have been a hot-tempered man. This Richard was my
Wills can be ‘Hidden’ in documents & one such Will I found in the
manorial records of 1688. A Richard Lindley (deceased) had left property
etc to his sons & wife & it is quite detailed, so look for these.
It told me of a son John who was Richards heir this John was born before
the start of the Castleford registers and was living in Leeds at he time
of his fathers death. So do look for 'Hidden' Wills, they often occur in
land registry deeds.
are many other records that are available, that I have not used, but the
ones outlined here have brought me some success.
One of the key points in family history is that you must be
persistent in your efforts.
some of my research I came across a Heraldic Lindley family- but that is
© John Lindley 2003 - 2013