Burniston Family History

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My Burniston Links



While strides forward in Family History research can be the result of one individuals determination and tenacity, more frequently a collaborative approach is the method which proves successful. So I regard myself as very fortunate that tracing my Burniston Family History (below) was greatly assisted by another dedicated researcher, Mary Burniston, (until recently responsible for the Burniston surname One Name Study), who provided ideas, encouragement, and information regarding "my" branch of the Burniston's.

I would recommend anyone with an interest in the Burniston surname, to contact Peter Burniston, who has taken over Mary's research, and who's contact details can be found on the Guild of One Name Studies Website - see my Surname Homepage for a Link to the Guild's Webpages.

Picture of Knaresborough Church All my Burniston links traced so far connect with the Knaresborough Parish Church of St John the Baptist (see picture on the left). My great great grandmother was Eliza Burniston - she was of at least ten children of Stephen a Flax Dryer and Mary Burniston nee Knowles both of Knaresborough. She was baptised at Knaresborough the 29th August 1824 and married my great great Grandfather Richard Heaton (1818-1890) at Knaresborough 3rd November 1850.


Stephen Burniston and Mary Knowles (c1789-1859) Eliza's parents were married at Knaresborough 1st April 1807. In addition to Eliza they had four sons and five other daughters. Their first child John Burniston died as an infant in 1808 . George Burniston baptised 5th May 1809 was their second child, he appears in the 1881 Census married to Olive Burniston with the occupation of Gamekeeper (I have not as yet been able to trace their marriage).The third child their daughter Elizabeth Burniston baptised 7th April 1811 married Richard Ellwood at St John York Ousebridge End the 4th April 1836 they had at least three children Emma,Edward and Elizabeth Ellwood. Elizabeth Ellwood nee Burniston was buried at Knaresborough 19th August 1870.
The other children were:John Burniston baptised 13th February 1814; Jane Burniston baptised 16th Jun 1816; Mary Burniston baptised 14th October 1818; Anne Burniston baptised 15th July 1821; Margaret Burniston (1824-1855) and William Burniston baptised 20th April 1827.

Stephen Burniston died 13th April 1866 aged 78 at Briggate Knaresborough. His will which was one of the first links to Burniston's mentions his sons George and William and daughters Elizabeth,Jane,Mary,Ann and Eliza. The only tangible gift to Eliza was a "chest of drawers with the looking glass which usually has stood thereon" mentioned as part of the codicil - the will being witnessed by a Joseph Knowles and Ann Knowles possibly relatives of his late wife Eliza mother Mary.


Stephen Burniston was baptised at Knaresborough the 21st August 1789 one of at least six children of John and Jane Burniston nee Lupton. His four brothers were: John Burniston baptised 1784;William Burniston (1787-1856);Richard Burniston a Flax Dresser (1792-1820) and George Burniston a Weaver & Cab Driver (1794-1871). Of the brothers I know the most about George who married Ann Morley at Knaresborough 12th November 1812 and had children: Jane,Mary,Ann,William and George Burniston. Returning to John & Jane Burniston their only known daughter was Elizabeth Burniston baptised 10th Dec 1785.
Unlike many families I've traced the Burniston's frequently left wills/admons . I have copies not only of Stephen's but also of his brothers Richard (admon 1820),George (will 1871) and of Stephen's father John Burniston.


Picture of Burniston Headstone John Burniston Stephen's father died 1838 at Briggate Knaresborough. It was on my second trip to Knaresborough Church while checking the surviving headstones I found the headstone of "my" Burnistons (see photograph of left). And John is the first named. It mentions John Burniston who died April 22nd 1838 aged 83 Years. Margaret Burniston grandaughter of the John who died June 22nd 1855 aged 34 years. Mary and her husband Stephen Burniston (my ancestors and parents of Margaret) and Elizabeth Ellwood their daughter who died in 1870.
John Burniston's occupation appears as a Carpenter/Joiner when his children were baptised at Knaresborough and that of Gamekeeper in his will of 1838. The "closest fit" so far for John's baptism is that of a John Burniston baptised at nearby Spofforth 23rd January 1757 son of John Burniston of Follifoot.
So far I have been unable to "prove" to my satisfaction my link to John of Spofforth or John Burniston's links to the other Burniston's at Spofforth - but hopefully something will "turn up".