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George Stell Sykes (1826-1898), A Brief Biography|
Birth: George Stell Sykes the son of John Sykes and Ann Stell was born in Adwalton, Yorkshire March 12, 1826
Occupation: Master Cordwainer
Marriage: Sarah Walker
Children: Oliver Walker Sykes 1847, Samuel Sykes 1850, James Sykes 1852, Ann Sykes 1855, Elizabeth Sykes 1857, Robert Walker Sykes 1859, John George Sykes 1864, Mary Sykes 1866, Benjamin Sykes 1868
Residences: Adwalton, Village of Birstall, Carlinghow in Batley
Death: 1898 Batley
George Stell Sykes, Birth, 1826
George Stell Sykes, the son of John Sykes cordwainer, and Ann Stell Sykes of Adwalton, was baptized on March 12, 1826 in the Chapelry of Drighlington, parish of Birstall, Yorkshire, England.
Adwalton was a hamlet in the township of Drighlington. The records show that sometimes George Sykes, his father, John Sykes, and other relatives were simply listed in "Drighlington".
George Stell Sykes, Occupation
George Stell Sykes was a master cordwainer. His father, and two of his brothers were either shoemakers or cordwainers.
The name cordwainer comes from the fact that early cordwainers worked with cordovan leather. Cordovan is a fine, soft leather which originated in the Moorish city of Cordoba in Spain. Cordovan was known as the leather of kings. A cordwainer works only with new leather and made a high quality boot or shoe.
In 1841, when George Stell Sykes was 15, the town he lived in, Adwalton, had a population of 1028 people. There were 14 shoemakers and 4 shoemakers apprentices. One of these apprentices was George Stell Sykes.
He was listed in the 1851 and 1881 censuses as a cordwainer.
He was listed in the 1861 census as a cordwainer and cloth dealer.
George Stell Sykes was listed as an Auctioneer in the Leeds Mercury 1869 selling a property called Prospect House in Birstall along with Mr. Scholefield, esq, Solicitor of Batley.He was listed as an auctioneer at the death of his son Benjamin in 1870.
He was listed in the 1871 census as an auctioneer and valuer.
He was listed in the 1891 census as a boot maker.
He was listed on his death certificate (1898) and the death certificate of his wife, Sarah Walker Sykes (1910), as a master boot maker.
In November 3013 Peter Dodge, a cordwainer, wrote:
"Usually the "cottage industry" shoe makers of the early 1800's, cut the leather pieces, then sent them out to be hand stitched in small cottages by women workers.See Shoemaker
George Sykes, minor, bachelor, shoemaker, of Wortley, the son of John Sykes, shoemaker married Sarah Walker, "full age", widow, of Wortley, daughter of Robert Walker, slubber on January 16, 1847 married in the parish church Parish of Leeds, after banns (Civil Record). George Sykes signed his name and Sarah Walker made her mark. The witnesses were Joseph Clough and R H Pickard.
I wrote to the Family History section of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society to ask for their help in finding Sarah's first husband and to question the designation "full age" (Other records indicate that Sarah was born circa 1829, which would mean she was about 18 years old at the time of the marriage in 1847.). If she was born in 1829, how did she have time to marry, become a widow, and marry again by 1847? The Yorkshire Archaeological Society Family History suggested that I do not have the correct marriage certificate because all other records indicate that Sarah was two years younger than George.
I have only found three baptismal records for the children of George and Sarah Sykes. The information on the births of the other children was taken from census information, tombstone inscriptions, civil records and family information.
Two of their children, Samuel and Ann, were baptized in the Adwalton Zion Church, a nonconformist congregation. At the time of the baptism, Samuel was five years old.
Civil record for births, marriages and death were kept in England starting in 1837.
George Stell Sykes and Sarah Walker had:
Nussey, Job, mill-hand, Carlinghow died at Leeds infirmary February 6 1883 age 29
Civil Record of the Death of Job Nussey: Job Nussey, age 29 is listed in Civil Records Deaths Index, Leeds vol. 9b, page 358, March 1883.
1891 Census: Ann and her daughter were listed with George Stell Sykes and Sarah Walker Sykes in the 1891 census in Batley: George, head, married, age 65, boot maker, born in Adwalton, Yorkshire. Sarah, wife, married, age 63, no occupation, born in Bruntcliffe, Yorkshire. John Geo. son, single, age 26, carrier, born in Birstal. Ann Nussey, daughter, widowed, age 35, woollen weaver, born in Adwalton, Yorkshire. Ada E., grand daughter, age 9, no occupation born in Batley, Yorkshire.
Marriage of Annn Sykes Nussey to Thomas Parker, 1895: November 9 1895 Independent Chapel Batley, Ann Nussey, age 41, widow, Beck Lane, Batley, daughter of George Sykes, shoe maker (master) married Thomas Parker age 51 widower, general labourer, Beck Lane Batley, son of John Parker (deseased) sailor. They both signed. Witnesses were J. W. Burnley and Alfred Walton
1901 Census: Ann Sykes Nussey Parker was listed at 8 Beck Lane, Batley: Thomas Parker 60, rag willeyer (cloth mill) worker, born Beale, Ann Parker 46, wife, born GILDERSOME, Charles Parker 24, son, cloth rainer??? worker born Batley, John Parker 3, son born Batley
Further records: Thomas Parker was listed as the son-in-law of Sarah Walker Sykes at her death in 1910.
1911: Did not find. October 2011
Marriage: Elizabeth Sykes married Law Land in Batley in June of 1881.
For more information on Elizabeth, Law and their family, either go to Law Land and Elizabeth Sykes now or go to the bottom of the page.
Birth: Robert Walker Sykes was named for Sarah Walker Sykes's father.
Immigration: Robert Walker and Anne Sykes immigrated to Canada, circa 1883, where he was listed in the 1891and 1901 censuses in Toronto. For more information on Robert Walker Sykes either go to The Sykes in Canada now or go to the bottom of the page.
Six year break in which there may have been other children born to George and Sarah.
The Sykes moved from Adwalton to Birstall sometime between the birth of Robert Walker Sykes in 1859 and the birth of John George Sykes in 1864
No births or deaths for Sykes infants in the Drighlington Chapel Records.
Birth: John George Sykes was born 1864 in Birstall, Yorkshire.
Marriage: John George Sykes, bachelor, age 32, miner, Carlinghow, son of George Stell Sykes, shoemaker, married Harriet Ellen Fenton, age 34, spinster, Carlinghow, daughter of Joseph Fenton, deceased, on October 8, 1896, witnesses Joseph William Fenton and Marion Fenton (LDS film 1542279 Carlinghow, St John's Carlinghow C of E)
In August 2004 Chris Godsmark, a descendent of Joseph Fenton Sykes, contacted me by email and provided the following information on Joseph Fenton Sykes:
Joseph Fenton Sykes married Minnie Braime and had four children:
1917: Joseph Fenton Sykes Birth Date: 22 Jul 1899 Birth Place: Batley , Yorks First Service Date: 28 Aug 1917 First Ship Served On: Victory I Last Service Date: 18 Feb 1919 Last Ship Served On: Minotaur Service Number: J76945, 5 ft, 8 1/4 inches, chest 37, brown hair, brown eyes
1926: Joseph Fenton Sykes Year: 1926 Country: England County: West Yorkshire Parliamentary Division: Penistone Place of Abode: Manchester road Reference Number: Penistone
April 21 March 23, 1901 Carlinghow, Benjamin Illingworth of John George And Harriet Sykes (Upton st miner (PR)
Death: Benjamin Illingworth Sykes Estimated Birth Year: abt 1901 Date of Registration: Apr-May-Jun 1901 Age at Death: 0 Registration district: Dewsbury Inferred County: Yorkshire West Riding Volume: 9b Page: 376
Death: John George Sykes, age 45, labourer, Clayton Hospital, Wakefield buried December 14, 1909.
1911 Census: SYKES, HARRIET ELLEN HEAD WIDOW F 48 CLOTH MENDER YORKS BATLEY SYKES, GEORGE STELL SON M 13 SCHOOL YORKS BATLEY SYKES, JOSEPH FENTON SON M 11 SCHOOL YORKS BATLEY, Address 5 UPTON STREET BATLEY County Yorkshire West Riding District Dewsbury Subdistrict Batley Enumeration District 6 Parish Batley
Birth: Mary Sykes was born circa 1866 in Birstall, Yorkshire.
Birth: Benjamin Sykes was born circa 1868.
In the spring of 2018 Deborah Raby sent the above composite of three images with the note:
"'Stell Sykes' is written on the back of a photo that belonged to my Grandma, Louisa Kershaw Raby. I understood from my mum (her daughter-in-law) that this was a cousin of my grandma. I thought Stell was an unusual name and I might be able to find out something about him now that there is so much information on the internet. Well, I think I was partially right as my family hails from the West Yorkshire area (Grandma from Drighlington!) as well so I think that my 'Stell Sykes' is somehow related to the George Stell Sykes that you have traced.The RE insignia on the shoulder indicates he was part of the corp of Royal Engineers. The Royal Engineers maintained railways, roads, bridges, water supplies, etc.
George Stell Sykes was born in the hamlet of Adwalton, village of Drighlington, parish of Birstall. He and his family lived in Adwalton until at least 1861 where they were listed in the census.
The Village of Birstall
Sometime between the 1861 census and the birth of John George in 1865 the Sykes moved to the Village of Birstall, a short distance from Adwalton. They lived in Birstall until at least 1870 when their address at the death of Benjamin was reported as Church Street, Birstall.
The Village Carrlinghow in the Town of Batley
The George Stell Sykes, his wife, and three of their children were buried in Birstall Parish
In memory of |
To see a photo of the memorial stone go to Sykes Memorial Stone
George Stell Sykes and family were listed in the 1851 census in Batley.
George Sykes in the Leeds Directory, 1857
One way to track men in England over a period of time is through directories (sort of a phone book before phones).
George Sykes, boot and shoemaker, was listed in Adwalton in the 1857 Leed's Directory.
George Stell Sykes and family were listed in the 1861 census in Batley.
George Stell Sykes and family were listed in the 1871 census in Batley.
George Stell Sykes and family were listed in the 1881 census in Batley.
George Stell Sykes and family were listed in the 1891 census in Batley.
Death of George Stell Sykes, 1898
George Stell Sykes, 18 Beck Lane, U. D., age 72, boot maker (master), died on May 28, 1898 of Influenza, congestion of the lungs, 8 days, cardiac failure, 2 days, certified by S.L. Potts L.R.C.S. , reported by John G. Sykes, son, present at the death, 2 Convent Place, Cross Bank, Batley (Civil Record)
Parish Record: Sykes, George Stell Batley May 30, age 72, Birstall Pt Peter, 1898
Sarah Walker Sykes and her daughter, Ann Sykes Nussy Parker were listed in the 1901 census in Batley.
Death of Sarah Walker Sykes
Sarah Sykes, 9 Beck Lane, Batley, age 81, widow of George Sykes, boot maker (master) died on May 25, 1910, of cancer of intestine and exhaustion, certified by S. L. Potter L.R.C.S., reported by Thomas Parker, son in law, in attendance, 9 Beck Lane, Batley
|John Sykes, the father of George Sykes
For information on John Sykes, the father of George Stell Sykes, click on the photo of the houses in Adwalton
The Sykes in the English censuses
For information on the Sykes in the English censuses, click on the picture of the description of the Hamlet of Adwalton from the 1851 census
For information on Sarah Walker and the Walkers, click on the picture Elizabeth Sykes with the day lilies
The Sykes in Canada
For information on the Sykes in Canada, click on the picture of Arnold Land with his Sykes cousins in Toronto
Elizabeth Sykes Land
For information on the Elizabeth Sykes Land, click on the picture of Elizabeth Sykes Land
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