North Cheshire Family Historian
Large Goldmine Found In Cheshire!
Many family history researchers have been keeping
their fingers crossed for a long time in the hope that they will
finally come across that veritable goldmine of family history which
dots all the i's and crosses all the t's in their seemingly everlasting
search for that elusive ancestor or, even better, that whole family
stretching back into the middle ages and beyond. The message from
one who has recently discovered such a goldmine is ''Don't give
up hope - it may be out there somewhere!''
My own particular stroke of luck started off by an
innocuous Hooley reference in the index to the 1881 edition of a
magazine called 'Notes and Queries'. This is a very old-established
genealogical magazine and is still published. Because HOOLEY is
a variant of HULLEY in the Macclesfield area of Cheshire, I thought
it might be worth following up.
I checked the magazine (published in book form for
each year) at the Guildhall Library in London and found that the
Hooley reference was contained in a letter from none other than
JP Earwaker, FSA the famous Cheshire historian who wrote The History
of East Cheshire in 1880. Earwaker wrote to enquire whether any
reader knew of a connection between James Hooley, deputy lieutenant
of Nottinghamshire and that of the Hooley family of Macclesfield,
Dukinfield (from where my own particular line derives) and Manchester.
He asked for replies to be sent direct to his home address at Abergele,
I postulated that if I could track down these replies
- if any - then other information relating to the Hulleys of Macclesfield,
Dukinfield and Manchester may also turn up. Little did I realise
at the time what a goldmine was about to be discovered! I contacted
Alan Hulley of Leigh, Lancashire a fellow researcher who kindly
made enquiries at Cheshire Record Office. No luck there, but he
was advised to try the Chester City Record Office.
The City Record Office has the Earwaker papers all
indexed by surname amongst their archives and EUREKA! they contain
over 100 papers relating to the Hulleys and Hooleys of Macclesfield.
The most important find is a pedigree chart starting in 1488 and
stretching up to 1881, showing the various generations of The One
House in Rainow as well as off-shoots into Macclesfield Town and
Park. Another bonus is all the Hulley/Hooley entries from St Michael's
church registers from its inception in 1573 extracted in 1881 by
Earwaker (or an assistant). These include entries now destroyed
or lost since that time. The papers also include copies of all the
entries from The One House family bible starting with an entry in
1730 and going up to 1880. This is most probably the same family
bible given to Jonathan Hulley in his grandfather John's will of
1675. These entries include such details as the times of births
and the causes of deaths. The papers also contain in the form of
a will dated 1500 showing previously unknown family members, and
numerous documents relating to land and property purchases, leases,
marriage settlements and wills. Finally, Earwaker wrote a general
report on the Hulley pedigree and sent it Holland Hulley at The
One House. This is included in the papers and supports the petition
for a grant of Arms made by Holland Hulley and accepted by the College
of Arms in 1881.
This discovery has aroused considerable excitement
in the Hulley households of Hemel Hempstead and Leigh! Not only
has it supplied the answers to several genealogical riddles, for
example, the link between the four Hulley/Hooley mayors of Macclesfield
in the 18th century and The One House family, and the marriage of
first cousins, but it has also corrected several errors in the family
trees which we had previously drawn up. More importantly, the papers
have helped to take the pedigree back at least one more generation
to that shown on Earwaker's pedigree of the Hulley family.
A lease dated 1490 shows that John Hulley was granted
The One House by Ralph Davenport of Calveley for 45 years and the
property had a value of 22s.11d. This value also occurs in an entry
in the Halmote Court roll dated 1474 which I discovered at the Public
Record Office in which John Hulley was granted all those lands which
formerly belonged to Hugome Hulley, his father. Although the Halmote
Court entry does not name the property involved, it is almost certain
to be The One House in view of the same annual value quoted. Hugome
was living in 1441 and so by means of the newly-discovered 'goldmine'
I am able to take the family tree back a further 47 years.
After finding all this new information, do I have
any regrets? Yes - I still haven't discovered the link between the
Hulley family of Macclesfield and my own line in Dukinfield which
currently ends in 1650 and contains several common first names to
those of the Macclesfield families. Also, both Alan and I have spent
hours and hours - as well as pounds and pounds! - on family history
over the past 15 years, only to find many of the answers hidden
in the City Record Office at Chester all the time. Nevertheless,
it was fun doing the research and we both have built up valuable
experience during the 15 year period. Another consolation is that
Alan has confirmed his own link with The One House family tree.
So if any reader is looking for his or her own goldmine,
my advice is to try the Earwaker papers at the Chester City Record
Office first - it may be there - next to mine!!
Copyright © 2000-2022 Ray Hulley. All rights reserved.