A CD-ROM produced in 2009 by the Bradford Family History Society recorded burials at the Bradford Parish Church of St Peter – now Bradford Cathedral – from 1681 to 1837 and I have extracted 20 entries for Stockdales (with one variant) from it. Bradford is today a large and populous industrial city in West Yorkshire and my own birth place.
The Church of St Peter is of ancient origins. Two carved stones, probably parts of a Saxon preaching cross, have been found on the site of the Cathedral, indicating that Christians may have worshipped there since Paulinus came on a mission to Northumbria in AD 627. He preached in nearby Dewsbury and it was from there that Bradford was first evangelised. William the Conqueror’s Domesday Survey, made in 1086, described Bradford as ‘waste’. Ilbert de Lacy was the Norman lord of the manor. It is likely that he would have had a chapel on his manor and so there may well have been a wooden church during the Norman period.
Alice de Lacy, widow of one of Ilbert’s descendants, gave a grant to the parish of Bradford which is recorded in the register of the Archbishop of York in 1281. By 1327 there was a stone church on the site, for it was burnt, probably by raiders from Scotland, in that year. The Parish Church played a part in the sieges of Bradford in 1642 and 1643 during the Civil War between Charles I and his opponents. Bradford tried to withstand the King’s troops and the church tower was hung with woolsacks to protect it against the artillery of the Royalist army led by the Earl of Newcastle.
When, in 1919, a new diocese of Bradford was created from that of Ripon, the ancient Parish Church became Bradford Cathedral.
A number of Stockdale families lived in the city of Bradford, where my own ancestors came from. However, mine did not appear there until the arrival of my great grandfather Robert Stockdale/Stockdill (1806-1896) in Bradford some time in the 1830s. Thus, it is unlikely that the earlier Stockdales in Bradford were ancestors or relatives of mine.
*Note 1: Though no description is given for her, Hannah Stockdale (the last entry) was the second wife of my great grandfather Robert Stockdale. Her maiden name was Hannah Dalby and Robert married her at Shipley, near Bradford, on July 25 1836. However, she died just over a year later, aged only 23, of a liver disease.
*Note 2: Prior to 1753 the year began on March 25th and dates between January 1st and March 24th were often written, for example, as February 21 1747/48. However, dates on the CD have been transcribed as February 21 1748, thus making the year appear as we know it today, commencing January 1st.
Abbreviations for DESCRIPTION
Ch = child; D of = daughter of; Inf = infant; L of = late of; S of = son of; Wid = widow.
Website of the Bradford Family History Society: http://www.bradfordfhs.org.uk/