Comments from John Lindley of Wigginton North Yorks

From: "Family Lindley" <>
Subject: [LINDLEY] Early Lindleys
Date: Sat, 15 Dec 2001 07:42:03 -0000

Hello all

For those interested in the migration of Lindleys to North America
I am posting (with permission) an email that I had a year or so ago
from Peter Lindley (from Kent, England, and also a member of this list).
He also quotes some correspondence from Barry D. Lindley (from
Ohio) ................


"The earliest Lindleys I can trace in the US are from circa 1620. Whilst there is no proof there is some evidence to suggest they came from Lincolnshire - although I have no doubt they were originally from
Yorkshire. Otley and Huddersfield seem to have been the original seat of the Lindleys.

In 1990 another Lindley researching cousin (distant) of mine had some
correspondence with a Barry D Lindley of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. I append
below an extract from BDL's letter;

"There appear to have been perhaps three separate immigrations of Lindleys to America, but the best-traced branch, and the one of greatest interest to me, is that of the descendants of James and Thomas Lindley, brothers who came from Ireland in 1710, as members of a group of Quakers. I refer to this James as James, with the generation numbers beginning with his grandfather John. The Quakers in America kept very good records, which have been indexed and published, and I can thus trace the migrations and descendants directly to my grandfather, Norman, who is the last in my line to have been a member of the Society of Friends. I have not been able to find out anything about John except that he presumably was from Cheshire.
The connection to Otley is surmised principally because of the place name, the similarity of the given names in the early Quaker generations to names of the Lindleys of Otley, and the active persecutions of Quakers in Yorkshire.

"I lived in Cambridge for a time in 1972, but did not know of the parish of Lindley near Otley at the time. When I returned to the US, I began a correspondence with Eric T. Cowling, who was at the time the Director of the Museum in Otley. He supplied me with a fair amount of information.
During a later visit in 1984 I went to Otley and talked with Christine
Dean of the Otley Museum, who was also very helpful. While in Otley I
visited Lindley Manor and talked briefly with Daphne Baxter, wife of the Holton-Fawkes farm manager, who resided there at the time. I also visited the parish church in Otley and saw the brass. From these various sources, I have pieced together the following story, which begins with the Laurence and Morrell stories.

"Lindley is said to have been created a manor in 972 A.D. by Archbishop
Oswald, and references to Lindley as a recognized place are numerous from, at least, the twelfth century. The present manor house is considered to be from the l6th century. The family line of the original holders is traced in a brass in Otley Parish Church, which includes a coat of arms as well - "argent: on a chief sable, three griffin heads erased of the first" - dated 1593. The name Lindley was supplanted by that of Palmes after Thomas died in 1524.

"A branch of the family, probably a younger brother of the Percival who
died in 1501, moved to Leathley (the Lindley of Leathley coat of arms is just like the Lindley of Lindley, except for replacing the silver by
ermine - black feet: on white - and the griffins by eagles; the difference between a griffin's head and an eagle's head is ears). The great-great grandsons of Christopher Lindley of Leathley, William and Thomas, left for Cheshire in the l620's during the harsh treatment by Guy Palmes. The Quaker activity did not really get underway until around 1649, with the major persecutions in Yorkshire later yet. Thus, the Palmes evictions are a more likely event as a cause for the move. There in Cheshier, John was born. His son James came to Ireland in 1670 in consequence of the Quaker persecutions. His son James came to America with his brother Thomas. Note that the names William, Thomas, John, and James are carried through several generations.

In America, the Lindleys first settled in the Philadelphia area, and
Pennsylvania history includes a number of famous Lindleys. As the Philadelphia area became densely populated, many Quakers moved to North
Carolina, including Thomas. One of the famous battles of the War for

Independence was at Lindley's Mill on Cane Creek. The Lindleys, as
Quakers, were largely pacifists, but Mary Lindley Murray, wife of a New
York merchant ,made history by entertaining and thus delaying General Howe so that the officers of the colonial army could escape.

North Carolina became the scene of confrontation between slave owners and Quaker abolitionists, and Thomas moved through the Cumberland gap to Kentucky, crossed the Ohio river at the falls at Louisville, and settled in southern Indiana in 1811. His family, including William, made up a large part of the original white settlers' group for the area, and the abolitionist sentiment continued through the civil war. The lives of the southern Indiana Quakers were featured in the popular novel, The Friendly Persuasion, by Jessamyn West, which was also the basis of a film starring Gary Cooper. To this day there are many Lindleys throughout southern Indiana, centering in Washington, Lawrence, and Orange Counties. The early Lindleys were millers and farmers, but the descendants include merchants, professors, and professionals as well as a prominent chancellor of the University of Kansas and a famous columnist. Lindleys from this branch are
now found through out the USA.

There is an extensive family tree of the descendants of James, prepared by Nancy Lindley Oslund as part of her story of "Jonathan Lindley, Paoli Pioneer”.

I have not been able to establish firmly any further connections between the Lindleys of Otley and the Quaker immigrant line, and would be very pleased to have leads. I should emphasize that the Huddersfield Lindleys could be an origin also."


A very brief, tangential and probably irrelevant footnote from me - although the Daphne Baxter referred to is now retired, she is very busy and sells her cakes at the Otley WI (Women's Institute) Market on Friday mornings.
I can vouch for her sponge cakes and fruit cakes!

Best wishes

John Lindley

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