Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion : Foldout

Best ...

The entries for people & families with the surname Best are gathered together in this SideTrack.

This Page does not include people with other forms of the surname.

The individuals listed are not necessarily related to each other.

Charles Best [1675-1700]
Charles Best [1818-1867]
Charles Atkinson Best [1851-1???]
George Best [1???-1???]
George Best [1783-18??]
Henry Wilson Best [18??-1???]
James Kershaw Best [1812-1889]
James William Best [1840-1916]
Jeremy Best [1???-18??]
John Best [1???-1???]
John Best [1???-1???]
John Best [16??-1678]
John Best [1774-1834]
John Best [1791-1???]
Joseph Best [1???-1858]
Joseph Best [18??-18??]
Rev Kershaw Thorpe Best [1842-1917]
Martha Best [16??-1???]
Mrs Mary Best [16??-1675]
Mary Best [16??-1706]
Michael Best [16??-16??]
Michael Best [16??-1683]
Norman Cornthwaite Best [1926-1942]
Richard Best [1???-15??]
Richard Best [15??-16??]
Thomas Best [1???-1???]
Thomas Best [1841-1???]
Thomas Edwin Best [1830-1854]

Best, Charles
[1675-1700] Son of John Best.

He married Jane Oxley from Bradford.


  1. child
  2. child
  3. child
  4. child

There is a memorial to Charles and his father in Halifax Parish Church

Best, Charles
[1818-1867] Of Southowram.

He was a house painter.

He married Mary Standeven [1821-1896].


  1. Mary Emily [1855-1946] who married Hampshaw Horner

Best, Charles Atkinson
[1851-1???] Landlord of the Shears, Halifax [1887].

In 1883, he (possibly) married Mary Hemingway [18??-1896] in Halifax.

He was retired [1896].

They are mentioned in the List of Local Wills: 1896

Best, George
[1???-1???] He married Ann Armitage.


  1. George

Best, George
[1783-18??] On 26th April 1810, he married Mary Kershaw [1784-18??].


  1. James Kershaw

Best, Henry Wilson
[18??-1???] He was a printer [1880].

In [Q1] 1853, he married either Sarah Berry or Elizabeth Taylor in Halifax.


  1. Mary Jane [1854-1890] who married Sam Lister

The family lived at Charlestown / Claremount

Best, James Kershaw
[1812-1889] Son of George Best.

Born in Halifax.

He was named for James Kershaw.

He was working in a bank in Halifax [before 1837], a lay preacher for the Wesleyan Missionary Society in India, [shortly after his marriage in 1837], a missionary for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts in Madras, ordained a deacon in Madras [1842], and ordained a priest in Madras [1845]

He built St Mark's Church, Christianagaram, Udangudi, Tamilnadu, India, which opened on 26th January 1849.

In the 1850s, he returned to England on account of ill health, and, after recovering, became curate at Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire [around 1858] and a vicar of Holy Trinity, Lane End, Buckinghamshire [1865 until his death]

On 10th August 1837, he married Mary Ann Turner [1811-1873] from Kirkby, North Yorkshire, at Manchester Cathedral.


  1. Elizabeth (LizzieTurner [1839-1921] who married Walter Hobbs (DaisyEleanor
  2. James William
  3. Kershaw Thorpe
  4. Mary Ann Louisa [1844-1931]
  5. Sarah Jane [1846-1918]

Best, James William
[1840-1916] BA.

Son of James Kershaw Best.

Born in Madras.

He was a barrister / a High Court Judge in Madras / Chief Justice for Mysore [1895]. He retired in 1903.

In 1868, he married Daphne Harrison [1846-1911] at Madras Presidency.

Daphne born on 5th October 1846 and baptised 15th November 1846, in Madras. She was the daughter of Mary & Robert Bennett


  1. William (Willie
  2. Ethel Maud [b 1873]
  3. Mary Gertrude May (Gertie) [b 1874]
  4. Eric Francis Charles
  5. Eustace Charles
  6. Winifred Hugh Francis
  7. Edward Bertram
  8. Elmer Geoffrey
  9. Cyril George [1879]

Daphne died in Bangalore, India [11th May 1911].

James William died in Sydney, Australia

Best, Jeremy
[1???-18??] He was appointed Surveyor of the Highways for Northowram [1835]

Best, John
[1???-1???] Son of Richard Best by his first marriage.

He married Unknown.


  1. Martha

Best, John
[1???-1???] He married Susannah.


  1. Thomas

Best, John
[16??-1678] Son of Richard Best by his second marriage.

He married (1) Unknown, a daughter of Rev Matthew Whiteley of Wiltshire.


  1. Charles

He married (2) Mrs Lawrence, the other daughter of Rev Matthew Whiteley of Wiltshire.

She died at Pontefract 1677.

The family lived at Landimere, Northowram.

Heywood writes that Best had

degenerated into licentiousness, drinking excessively, living like an Epicure, sending every day for 1s 6d in ale and drinking it himself

Members of the family were buried in Halifax Parish Church where an inscription reads

Here resteth the remains of John Best, of Landimer, who departed this life the 23rd day of November 1678.

Here lyeth the body of Charles Best, son of the above John Best, of Landimer, who departed this life the 3rd day of August 1700

Best, John
[1774-1834] Boot & shoe maker at Gibbet Street,Halifax [1834]

Best, John
[1791-1???] Illegitimate son of Hannah Best of Shelf.

Baptised at St John the Baptist, Coley [9th April 1791]

Best, Joseph
[1???-1858] He was a tailor.

In [Q2] 1843, he married Sarah Ann Cragg [1822-1???] in Halifax.

Sarah Ann was born in Halifax


  1. Eliza Emma [b 1845] who married Edwin Fawley

The family lived at 178 Hanson Lane, Halifax [1881].

Joseph died [Q4] 1858.

Living with the widowed Sarah Ann [in 1881] were daughter Eliza Emma and family

Best, Joseph
[18??-18??] Halifax bookkeeper.

He married Unknown.


  1. Thomas Edwin

Best, Rev Kershaw Thorpe
[1842-1917] BA, MA.

Son of James Kershaw Best.

Born in Madras.

He was educated at Oxford University [1862, 1867].

In 1876, he married Frances Julia (Fanny) Payne [b 1846] in Bromley.

They had no children.

He died in England

Best, Martha
[16??-1???] Daughter of John Best.

She married (1) William Ryall.

She married (2) Joshua Dawson

Best, Mrs Mary
[16??-1675] She married (1) Michael Best.

Question: Does anyone know Mary's maiden name?


She married (2) David Hemingway.

Heywood says that she

had a dog-like appetite which could not be satisfied

and died a widow

in great misery Jan. 30. 1674/5

after her son, Daniel, turned her out of their home at Mountain.

She went to live with Joseph Croft

Best, Mary
[16??-1706] Daughter of Richard Best by his second marriage. She inherited part of Shelf Hall from her father.

In 1681, she married Joseph Priestley.

Heywood says that she had many worthy suitors, and of the marriage, describes her as

a maid ensnared

The Northowram Register records

Mary Priestley of Westercroft, Widow, went out of Bed from her daughter, Mary, 19th May 1706, about one o'clock in the morning being Lord's Day. Was found May 31 in the River Calder, buried June 1, had bin melancholy above a year

Best, Michael
[16??-16??] Son of Richard Best by his first marriage.

He married Mary.


  1. Mary who married Nicholas Baylis

Best, Michael
[16??-1683] Son of Richard Best by his second marriage.

Heywood writes

since the death of brother John, Michael turned to drinking

He died without issue

Best, Norman Cornthwaite
[1926-1942] Aka Norman A. Cornthwaite.

He lived with his aunt at 23 Abbey Street, New Bank, Halifax.

During World War I, he served as a Steward's Boy with the Merchant Navy aboard the ocean liner SS Ceramic (Southampton) 

He died 7th December 1942 (aged 16)  when his ship was torpedoed by German Submarine U-515, and sank west of the Azores with the loss of 656 of the 657 people aboard.

He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial, London [25], and on the Memorial at Halifax Town Hall Books of Remembrance

Best, Richard
[1???-15??] Of Mixenden.

He married Alice.

Richard died before 1559.

On 13th November 1558, Alice married (2) John Broadley.

Best, Richard
[15??-16??] Carrier and wealthy wool-dealer.

He lived at Landimere, Shelf.

Rev Oliver Heywood stayed with Best when he arrived at Coley.

In 16??, he married (1) Unknown.


  1. John
  2. Michael
  3. Mary who married David Hemingway

In 16??, he married (2) Martha Wood.

Children: 3 – whom they also named:

In 1639, he bought the Lower End of Shelf Hall from John Phillip

Best, Thomas
[1???-1???] He married Susanna Scott.


  1. George

Best, Thomas
[1841-1???] Born in Skircoat.

He was a carpet weaver [1881].

In [Q3] 1873, he married Sarah Nutton in Halifax.

Sarah was the daughter of
James Nutton

In 1881, they were living with Sarah's parents

Best, Thomas Edwin
[1830-1854] Son of Joseph Best.

He was watchmaker in Halifax.

He died 20th October 1853


Best surname

The Surname is discussed in the book Halifax & District Surnames by George Redmonds.

There are over 20 entries on the Calderdale Companion for people with the surname Best, as discussed in this SideTrack. This count does not include other forms of the surname.

Unattached BMDs for Best:

Marriage 1925

© Malcolm Bull 2017 / [email protected]
Revised 14:07 on 21st December 2017 / mmb194 / 34