Kelleys of Heckmondwike

The following is a family history account written by Audrey Clark Kelly of her father's mother's side of the family who came from Heckmondwike in Yorkshire, England.

The Kelleys first appear in the Heckmondwike area in the mid eighteenth century. John Kelley of Birstall married his wife Esther at Birstall parish church in 1764. James Kelley of Gomersal married Elizabeth Watkinson of Birkinshaw at Birstall parish church on November 1 1770. Bernard, one of four children of James & Elizabeth Kelley, was baptised in Birstall parish church in 1774. Bernard married Christiana Crowther (usually called Chrissie) in Birstall parish church on December 28 1795 and they had 12 children between 1796 and 1813. Several children died when babies.

The eldest son John married Ann and had four children, George b. 1823, James b. 1827, Eliza b. 1829 and Ellen b. 1837. Ellen married Benjamin Brierly and died at the age of 36 having had two sons. John was a wool stapler and so were his sons George & James. John lived in Walkly Lane. His wife died on September 14 1850 and was buried at Heckmondwike churchyard. John died on June 13 1864 and was buried in the same grave.

George who was born at Liversedge on January 5 1823 was married twice. His first wife was Sarah and they had three children, Sarah Jane b. 1849, Emily Ann b. 1850 and Alfred b. 1853. George lived at Walkley Lane, next door to his father. Sarah Jane married Charles Overend of Cleckheaton and they had a son, Charles F. who was born in Bradford. This may be the Francis Overend who used to visit the Bullocks at Breckenbrough.

Sarah died on May 8 1859 and George married his second wife Margaret Riby on September 6 1860 at Foxdale parish church in the East Riding. Margaret was born at 'Burton', this may be the nearby village North Burton, now called Burton Fleming. Presumably George travelled to the East Riding to buy wool from sheep farmers such as the Riby family. George & Margaret had an only daughter Lucy Ann born at Southfield House, Heckmondwike on March 15 1864. By 1871 George had become a wool merchant and moved to Alfred Street. Lucy Ann married her cousin George Riby Bullock of Breckenbrough, Thirsk. His mother Elizabeth was Margaret Riby's sister. After George Kelley's death [3 January 1903] Margaret lived with her daughter Lucy at Breckenbrough and died at Rosedene, deGray Terrace, Thirsk Junction on November 28 1913. She was buried at Kirby Wiske churchyard. George & Lucy Bullock had 12 children. The ninth was my father Fairfax George Bullock born at Breckenbrough on February 12 1900.

Fairfax, the third son of Bernard & Chrissie was born in 1807. His wife was Frances and they had six children, Sarah b. 1827, George b. 1832, Ralph b. 1835, Emma b. 1838, Rawson b. 1841 and John b. 1845. By 1851 he had moved to Oldfield Lane and become a carpet manufacturer. In 1861 he lived at Crystal Grove and his business was Fairfax Kelley and Sons, Crystal Mills. By 1870 all his sons George, Ralph, Rawson and John were in the business making blankets, coverlets & carpets. By 1875 they had 3 mills, Crystal Mills, Providence Mills and Union Mills. Fairfax still lived at Crystal Grove. His wife Frances had died on November 11 1872 & was buried in Heckmondwike cemetery.

George had moved into Prospect House sometime between 1867 & 1871. He was married to Mary Ann and they had 5 children, Fanny b. 1853, Fairfax b. 1855, George b. 1857, Ann b. 1861 and Mary Ellen b. 1864. Mary Ann died at the age of 35 on April 5 1865 & was buried in Heckmondwike cemetery. George married his second wife Mary Elizabeth Berry on July 4 1866.

His son Fairfax married Acksach [Acksah Kelley in 1881 census] Heaton whose father was a a daffing plate manufacturer on March 12 1879 when she was 17. They had two children, Rawson b. 1879 and Frances b. 1882.

George's brother Ralph lived at Highfield House. His wife was Sarah Ann and they had 6 children, Lucy b. 1861, Frederic [Arthur] b. 1864, James b. 1866, Mary Frances b. 1867, and Amy b. 1870. Ralph died at the age of 49 on November 14 1884 & was buried in Heckmondwike cemetery.

Sarah Ann died on February 15 1913 aged 72. Little Mary Frances died at the age of 2. Frederic married Laura Pickles, daughter of Charles Henry Pickles, dyer & chemical manufacturer on September 5 1888 at Heckmondwike parish church. He later became Major Sir Frederic Kelley OBE MP JP. He died at Harrogate on May 29 1926.

Fairfax senior died on October 26 1883 and was buried in Heckmondwike cemetery. By 1887 there were no Kelley Mills in Heckmondwike, only the Heckmondwike manufacturing company, trading as Croft Mills. Croft Mills had belonged to Michael Swallow in 1861, his daughter married James Kelley. Croft Mills appear to have taken over Kelleys Mills. George died on January 3 1903 while on holiday at Southport with his 2 unmarried daughters. The funeral service was conducted by the Congregational Minister at Prospect House & the internment took place at Heckmondwike cemetery.