Families in Bradford Area

This is a summary of the results I had when researching the Sheeky family name in the Bradford area of Yorkshire. This was the most obvious starting point since I was born here myself in 1943 - as was my mother, Margaret Townsley (nee Sheeky), in 1914. The Bradford census area in the 19th century went from Pudsey to Wilsden (east - west) and from Shipley to Cleckheaton (north - south). The entries included in the search were various spellings of the surname including - Sheekey, Sheehy, Sheekly, Sheeley and Sheehys. Since this was in the 1990’s there was little of direct use on the Internet so most searches involved trawling through books, local family history society indexes and library microfilms.

The starting point was the 10-yearly UK census returns but then supplemented by civil registration index books held at the Family Records Centre in London (going back to Sep 1837), LDS microfiche and family history enthusiast’s own publications. The 1881 Census transcription became available on CD-ROM and helped fill major gaps. Over time more and more information came on-line - and feedback from many thousands of researchers provided corrections for many difficult to read records.

Review as at 2013 - Since this web page was largely written in the early days of mass-genealogy it has become more of a record of how things were discovered rather than what is available today. To see the latest family tree updates use this online resource ...

Parish Entries from before Civil Registration

  1. Edward Sheehy married Sarah Fletcher on 15 February 1829 at Calverley, between Bradford and Leeds. Link to 4 below and Census 1841.1
  2. William Sheehy was christened 29 October 1829, parents William and Sarah Sheehy. But also buried on 15 November 1829
  3. Ellen Sheehy was christened 11 February 1830, parents Garnett and Jane Sheehy. Link to Census 1841.2
  4. Rebecca Sheehy was christened 12 May 1833, parents Edward and Sarah Sheehy. Link to Census 1841.1
  5. Caroline Sheehy was christened 13 December 1835, parents William and Sarah Sheehy. But also buried on 13 July 1836
  6. William Sheehy, aged 32, was buried 8 June 1837. Assumed to be husband of Sarah and father of William & Caroline above

July 1837 - May 1841 Civil Registered Births and Marriages

  1. An unnamed Sheehy girl was registered about November 1837
  2. An unnamed Sheehys girl was registered about February 1839 - possible link to Thomas below.
  3. Edward Sheehy was registered about August 1840 - probable link to Census 1841.1
  4. Thomas Sheehys was born 14 July 1840, parents Edward and Mary Sheehys (nee Noon) of Bridge Street.
  5. Robert Sheehy was registered about November 1840 - probable link to Census1841.2

As you can see all of the entries found up to 1841 used the surname Sheehy or Sheehys. There are many possible reasons - hand writing styles (k and h looking almost the same), language (Irish and Yorkshire English were very different accents), education (few of the families could read or write so entries were written by others and could not be checked) or just a change made by the families themselves. My mother once said that she thought that the Sheeky name was originally Sheehy - but I never found out why.

1841 Census (6 June)

  1. Edward Sheehy and his family were living in Hope Street. He was aged 35 and working as a wool comber. His wife was Sarah; aged 30. Both were shown as coming from outside England. The children were Mary (aged 11 and working as a wool comber), Rebecca (aged 8), William (aged 6), Edward (aged 11 months) and all were from Yorkshire. There was also William (aged 67) also a wool comber from outside England - probably Edward's father. Link to 1851.3
  2. Garrett Sheeky and his family were living in Nelson Court, Horton. He was aged 40 and working as a wool comber. His wife was Jane, aged 35. The children were Richard (aged 15 and working as a wool comber), Ellen (aged 12 and coming from Yorkshire), Garrett (aged 9), Edward (aged 5), John (aged 3) and Robert (aged 8 months and coming from Yorkshire). The rest of the family were shown as coming from outside England. Wife's maiden name is thought to be Keys / Keays - this could provide a link to Christopher Kayes Sheehy (1844) and Stephen Keayes Sheekey (1848) below.
  3. Rebecca Sheeky aged 50 was living in Millbank and working as a hawker.
  4. John Sheeky aged 20 was living in Back Lane and working as a wool comber. Link to Census 1851.1

The families of William / Sarah and Edward / Mary were not found.

For Edward / Sarah's family background - one possibility is that Sarah (nee Fletcher) had a large family in Calverley; since there are a number of other Fletcher marriages at that parish. It is also possible that she came from Calverley rather than Ireland, given the range of dates for Fletcher entries in the parish registers.

1841-51 Births and Marriages

  1. Patrick Sheehy was registered about February 1843
  2. John Sheekey (aged 21 or more, son of Roger Sheekey) married Teresa Grant (aged under 21, daughter of Terence Grant) on 19 February 1844 at RC Chapel. Their addresses were Tetley Row and Victoria Street, Bradford. Link to Census 1851.1 and link to Eugene Sheekey (married 1851) through name of father and address. 
  3. Eliza Sheekey (aged under 21, daughter of Roger Sheekey) married Edward Delaney (aged 21 or more, son of Patrick Delaney) on 13 May 1844 at RC Chapel. Their addresses were Nelson Court, Horton (see Census 1841.2). Link to John above and Eugene married 1851. Possible links to Census 1861.3 and 1881.2.
  4. Edmund Sheehy was registered about August 1844
  5. Christopher Kayes Sheehy was registered about August 1844 in Keighley. Link to 1841.2 above?
  6. Mary Sheeky was registered about February 1845
  7. Henry Sheeky born 19 May 1846, son of Edward and Sarah Sheeky (nee Fletcher) of 33 Hope Street. Link to Census 1851.3.
  8. Joseph Sheehys was registered about February 1847
  9. John Sheek(e)y was born 22 April 1847, son of John and Teresa Sheek(e)y (nee Grant) of Lower West Street.
  10. Stephen Keayes Sheekey was registered about February 1848 in Keighley (link to Christopher Kayes Sheehy above?)
  11. Mary Ann Sheekey was registered about August 1848
  12. Michael Sheekey was registered about November 1849
  13. Ellen Sheehy was married about February 1851 (link to Garrett Sheeky above?)

There was also Catharine Sheehy, christened 6 October 1845 by parents John and Jane Sheehy in Thorne, Yorkshire. But there is no known link to the Bradford families. Most likely this is the John & Jane Sheehy (nee Hardy) who had moved to Edinburgh by 1856; Jane being recorded as a widow there in 1881 and 1891.

1851 Census (30-31 March)

  1. John Sheeky and his family were living at 53 Nelson Court, Horton. He was born in Ireland and aged 32. His wife was Teresa, aged 25 and also born in Ireland. The children, all born in Bradford, were May (aged 6), Catherine (aged 2) and Patrick (aged just 6 weeks). John Palmer was shown as a lodger aged 28 from Ireland and working as a wool comber. Link to Census 1861.2 and 1871.2 below.
  2. Owen Sheeky (a glazier aged 21) and Elizabeth (a weaver aged 24) were at 30 Albion Street, West End, Bradford. Both were from Ireland and shown as visitors. Connection with another family in same street (1861.3)? Or with Catherine born 1854 below?
  3. Edward Sheehy (aged 40) and Sarah (aged 38) both from Tipperary, Ireland were living at 25 Victoria Street, Horton with their children. These were Meary (Mary) aged 20, Rebecca aged 17, William aged 15, Edward aged 10 and Henry aged 4. All were shown as born in Bradford and the eldest four worked in the woolen trade. Also there was George Cruise (aged 18) a wool comber from Sligo, Ireland. Link to Census 1881.5 and 1891.3?

No record of Garrett and his family appears in Bradford but it is possible that they had moved to the Halifax district - see 1851-61/12 below - possibly via Keighley. But John and family were by now living in the same street as Garrett was in 1841. The births not yet found are - May (1845) and Catherine (1849) - but it now seems that she was Mary (Census 1861.2). Patrick R Sheeky was not found in the birth registers for March or June 1851 but seems to appear as Robert in 1861.2. John (1847) did not appear with the family at the census and so may also have died. This is supported by these parents naming a later son John also (1862).

1851-61 Births and Marriages

  1. Eugene Sheekey (aged 23, son of Roger Sheekey) married Maria Coleman (aged 23, daughter of Terence Coleman) on 27 October 1851 at RC Chapel. Their addresses were Tetley Row, Bradford and both signed the register with a mark.
  2. Henry Sheeky (a widower aged 30, son of John Sheeky) married Mary Leonard (aged 20, daughter of Terence Leonard) on 3 February 1852 at RC Chapel, Bradford. Their addresses were Brick Row and George Street, Bradford. Link to Census 1861.1
  3. James Sheekey was born 4 November 1852, parents Eugene and Mary Sheeky (nee Coleman) of Lower West Street, Bradford. Link to Census 1871.3 - as Eugene and Hugh seem to be the same person.
  4. Elizabeth Sheeky was born 16 February 1853, parents Henry and Mary Sheeky (nee Leonard) of Brick Row, Bradford
  5. Margaret Sheeky was born 16 February 1853, parents John and Teressa Sheeky (nee Grant) of Nelson Court, Horton
  6. Catharine Sheeky was born 28 May 1854, parents Owen and Isabella Sheeky (nee Riney) of Brick Row, Bradford. Possible link to Henry and Mary living in same street?
  7. Eliza was born 25 December 1854, parents Eugene and Mary Sheeky (nee Coleman) of Longcroft Place. Link to Census 1871.3.
  8. Henry Shecky was born 19 February 1855, parents Henry & Mary Sheeky (nee Leonard) of 27 Lower Ebebezer Street. Link to Census 1861.1
  9. Mary Emma Sheekey was registered about May 1855 in Leeds
  10. Margaret was born 23 November 1856, parents Henry and Mary Sheeky (nee Leonard) of 27 Lower Ebenezer Court. Link to Census 1861.1
  11. Maria was born 21 October 1856, parents Eugene and Mary Sheeky (nee Coleman) of 23 Longcroft Place. Link to Census 1871.3 - again assuming that Eugene and Hugh are the same person.
  12. Rebecca Sheehy was born 25 January 1857, parents Garrett and Lydia Sheehy (nee Fletcher) of Lid Gate, Midgley, Halifax. This could be the Garrett aged 9 in the 1841 Census.
  13. Terrans was born 18 August 1857, parents John and Teressa Sheeky (nee Grant) of West End Street. Link to Census 1871.2
  14. Eugene Sheekey was registered about August 1858. Parents expected to be Eugene and Mary Sheeky (nee Coleman). Not found in census.

1861 Census (7 - 8 April Easter)

  1. Henry Sheeky and his family were living at 37 Nelson Court, Little Horton. He was born in Boyle, Roscommon, Ireland, aged 40 and working as a travelling glazier. His wife was Mary, aged 30 and also born in Roscommon. The children were Catherine (born Boyle, aged 14 and working as a worsted spinner), Henry (born Bradford and aged 6) and Margaret (born Bradford and aged 4). Link to Census 1871.1 below.
  2. John and Teresa Sheeky (indexed as Sheetly) were living at 82 Longlands Street, West Bradford. John was a machine wool comber (aged 40) and Teresa a "fancy stuff" weaver (aged 35) - both were from Ireland. The children were Mary (aged 16, a worsted spinner), Catherine (aged 13, a worsted spinner), Robert (aged 10, a worsted spinner) and Laurence (aged 3) - all born Bradford. With them were mother-in-law Catherine Grant (aged 54, a shoe binder from Ireland) and sister-in-law Sarah Ann Grant (aged 36, a fancy stuff weaver born in Richmond, Yorkshire). Link to Census 1871.2 below.
  3. Elizabeth Shekey (aged 68, a nurse) was a widow living at 7A Albion Street with her daughter Ann (aged 22, a mill hand - carder). Both were born in Ireland. Also at 7B were widow Elizabeth Delaney (aged 35, a mill hand - weaver from Ireland) and her son John (aged 14, a mill hand - spinner born Bradford).

Possible connection of Henry with John (1851.1) and Garrett (1841.2) - due to having a home in the same street. Henry's arrival in Bradford seems to be some time late in 1851, since he did not appear in the 1851 census and Henry married early in 1852.

The Robert in 1861.2 is possibly the Patrick who was aged 6 weeks in the 1851 Census (thought to be Patrick Robert). Also since Sarah Ann Grant was born in Richmond it is possible that Teresa was also born there - being younger. The Laurence (age 3) is probably the Terence listed in the 1871 Census as aged 13. It is also possible that Elizabeth (aged 68) was the widow of Roger and so the mother of John (Census 1861.2), Eugene (Marriage 1851.1) and Eliza (Marriage 1841.3). If so then Ann is probably the one who was a witness at the marriage of Eugene and her age should be 32 or so. It is also possible Elizabeth Delaney is related to Elizabeth Shekey - eg daughter Eliza who married Edward Delaney?

Some parts of the 1861 Census are recorded as missing - in a district where another Sheeky family may have been living. Eugene & Mary should have been at 23 Longcroft Place - but have slipped through my searches; appearing again in 1871. Certainly some earlier Bradford births are not shown in this census even though, being Easter, some families may have been visiting relatives - possibly in Ireland. The births not yet found are - Henry (1855), Elizabeth (1855) and Mary (1857) - even though Mary could well be the Maria born October 1856 and Elizabeth the Eliza of December 1854 or the Elizabeth of 1853. Only Henry remains totally elusive.

Vital Records Index - British Isles

This LDS resource file contains indexes to 5 million records of births, christenings and marriages from 1538 to 1888. The entries that may relate to the Bradford families of Irish origin are -

  1. Marriage of Henricus (Henry) Sheeky to Margarita (Margaret) Skeffington on 25 November 1845 in Boyle, Roscommon.
  2. Christening of Catherinam (Catherine) Sheeky by parents Henrici Sheeky and Margaritae Skeffington on 30 December 1846 also in Boyle. This fits the above marriage (The different name spelling for the parents is the Latin for "of Henry" and "of Margaret") and the two entries taken together seem to fit the 1861 Census entry - especially since we now know that Mary Leonard was Henry's second wife and that Henry possibly arrived in Bradford late in 1851. 
  3. Christening of Eugenius (Eugene / Owen) Sheeky by parents Johanes (John) Sheeky and Catherina (Catherine) McCrystal on 21 October 1827 also in Boyle. This could have been a link to Eugene / Hugh, the father of Eliza and Maria, listed in Census entry 1871.3, but we now know that his father was Roger. With the latest facts, a better option is that John and Catherine were the parents of Henry - being in the right parish and given the name of his daughter.
  4. Christening of Margarita Skeffington by parents Jacobus Skefington and Maria Doyle on 10 October 1825 also in Boyle. Possibly the wife of Henry above.
  5. Christening of Mariam (Mary) Leonard by parents Terentii (Terence) and Elizabeth on 17 March 1830 in Aghanagh, Sligo. Possibly the second wife of Henry.
  6. Marriage of Terentium (Terence) Leonard and Elizabeth Powell on 20 January 1824 in Boyle, Roscommon. Possibly parents of Mary.
  7. Marriage of Johannes Shiekey and Catharina McCrystal on  8 Feb 1809 in Boyle, Roscommon. Which seems to match the parents of Eugene / Owen in 3 above.
  8. Christening of Henricus Cheeky by parents Johanis Cheeky and Catharina Crystal on 22 November 1818 in Boyle, Roscommon.

Clearly for all of this to fit together I need some further information from the parish records for Boyle.

1861-71 Births and Marriages

  1. Ann Sheekey was registered about May 1861. Link to Census 1871.3
  2. Mary Elizabeth Sheekey was born 15 June 1861, parents Henry & Mary Sheekey (nee Leonard) of Nelson Court, Horton, Bradford. Link to Census 1871.1
  3. John Sheekey was born 28 November 1862, parents John and Teressa Sheeky (nee Grant) of 78 Abbey Street, Bradford. Link to Census 1871.2
  4. Bridget Ann Sheekey was born 31 January 1864, parents Henry & Mary Sheekey (nee Leonard) of 57 Duncan Street, Horton, Bradford. Link to Census 1871.1
  5. Joseph Sheekey was born 19 March 1865, parents John and Teressa Sheeky (nee Grant) of 78 Abbey Street, Bradford. Link to Census 1871.2
  6. Owen Sheeky was born 2 August 1867, parents Henry & Mary Sheekey (nee Leonard) of 77 Adelaide Street, Horton, Bradford. Link to Census 1871.1

Also at this time, a press notice (Bradford Observer 24 January 1867) - Elizabeth, widow of Roger Sheekey, of Allerton Street, Bradford, died aged 60. [This is confirmed by a Death registration] This could be the mother of John, Eliza and Eugene; providing the age was understated in the press. The other option is that this was the wife of a new Roger who was an elder brother of John, Eliza and Eugene.

1871 Census (2-3 April)

  1. Henry Sheeky (aged 45) and Mary (aged 40) both born in Ireland and living at 77 Adelaide Street, Little Horton with Bradford born children, Henry (aged 16), Margaret (aged 14), Mary Elizabeth (aged 9), Anne (age 6) and Owen (age 3). This should be Henry and family from 1861 even though he seems to have lost 5 years in age. Link to Census 1881.1 below and to Colne in 1881 below.
  2. Teresa Sheeky (aged 44), a widow born in Richmond, at 82 Longlands Street, West Bradford with children Terance (aged 13) and John (aged 8). This is the Teresa who in 1851 & 1861 came from Ireland. Also Terence is probably the Laurence recorded in 1861. Links to Census 1881.3,1891.4 and 1891.6 below?
  3. Hugh Sheekey (a tailor aged 42) and Mary (aged 42), both from Ireland, were living at 23 Longcroft Place, West Bradford with three daughters; Elizabeth (aged 16) and Mary (aged 14) were both working as spinners and Ann (aged 9) was working as a "half-timer" in a mill. All the children were born in Bradford. Link to Census 1881.2 and 1891.5 below. Hugh is thought to the Eugene shown on the birth / marriage certificates that have been found. It is also possible at Elizabeth is Eliza and Mary is Maria.

1871-81 Births, Marriages and Deaths

  1. Henry Sheeky (aged 19, son of Henry Sheeky) married Mary Ann Forman (aged 18, daughter of John Forman) on 20 November 1874 in Bradford Parish Church. Their addresses were 77 Adelaide Street and 45 Duncan Street, Horton, Bradford.
  2. John Henry Sheeky born 7 December 1874, parents Henry & Mary Sheeky (nee Forman), and died 28 December 1874 at 45 Duncan Street, Horton
  3. Mary Sheeky was born 1 March 1876, parents Henry and Mary Ann Sheeky (nee Forman) in Haslingden, Lancashire and died 19 February 1877 at Tunstead Mill, Stacksteads, Bacup
  4. Honora Sheehy died about August 1876, age 0.
  5. Henry (aged 29, son of Edward Sheeky) married Mary Ann Hale (aged 28, daughter of John Hale) on 16 December 1876 in Bradford Register Office.
  6. Martin Sheeky was born 28 February 1877, parents Henry and Mary Ann Sheeky (nee Forman) of Tunstead Mill, Stacksteads, Lancashire
  7. Ann Sheekey was registered about August 1877
  8. Maria (aged 22, daughter of Eugene Sheekey) married John McIver (aged 27, son of Dominic McIver) on 23 November 1878 in St Patrick's RC, Bradford. John lived at 22 Ebenezer Street and Maria at 11 Greenaire Place.
  9. Henry Sheeky died about February 1879. age 52. Link to 1871.1

How does Maria manage to miss the census when she was born and married in Bradford? I think she must be Mary, daughter of Hugh.

Henry that was married in 1876 is the one born in 1846 and listed under 1851.3. And is not the same as Henry born about 1855 and listed in 1861.1, 1871.1, 1881.1 and 1891.1 census entries. Mary is included because she is thought to be a child of Henry and Mary Ann Forman, due to the registration district. Martin is thought to be the same person as Joseph; due to same date of birth and parents with no evidence of being a twin.

1881 Census (3-4 April)

Back again to just one Sheeky family: not just in Bradford but in all of Yorkshire. However there are quite a few others where the names on the census indexes have gone wrong somewhere - and should be Sheeky or Sheekey. At least my better family knowledge and the improved searching available with the CD-ROM indexes mean that I can now overcome the errors that had me stuck before.

  1. Henry Sheeky (aged 27) a labourer and Mary A (aged 27 from Liverpool) at 59 Duncan Street, Horton with child Martin (aged 4) who was born at Stacksteads, near Bacup, Lancashire. This should be the same Henry as the one aged 16 in the 1871 Census but did the family move to Lancashire then return? Link to Census 1891.1.
  2. Eugene Sheekey (aged 52), a beer seller, and Mary (aged 57) at 4 Longcroft Place with daughters Elizabeth (aged 26), a worsted weaver, and Ann (aged 19), a worsted spinner. Also there was a domestic servant - Eliza Delaney, aged 55 and a widow from Ireland.
  3. Teresa Sheekly (aged 54), a widow born in Richmond, and her daughter Catherine (aged 26) were boarding at 6 Thornton Street; the home of Elizabeth Ready (aged 27) and her sister Ann (aged 25). Link to Census 1891.6
  4. James Sheeley (aged 46), a stone mason, and Mary (aged 45) at 4 Jermyn Street. Both were from Ireland. With them were boarders Mary Ellenworth (aged 22 from Bradford) and Mary Folley (aged 36 from Ireland); both were employed as mill hands.
  5. Edward Sheety (aged 81 from Tipperary) and Sarah (aged 73 from Cork) at 6 Bottomley Street, Horton with their son William (aged 45) who was blind. Link to Census 1891.3
  6. Terence Shee...ey (aged 23) and Mary (aged 23) at 10 One(?) Street. Link to Census 1891.4
  7. Julia McSheehy, stepdaughter (aged 14, born in Ireland) at 12 Berwick Street with Thomas Kelly (aged 45, born Birmingham) and Ann Kelly (aged 39, born Ireland), her re-married mother(?). Link to Census 1891.7 probable.
  8. Owen Sheekey (aged 13, born Bradford), scholar at Shibden Industrial School, Southowram, Halifax. Most likely son of Henry & Mary (nee Leonard) see 1871.1 above.
  9. Edward Sheby (a Wool Washer, aged 35) and Julia (aged 31) at 149 Ingleby Street, Manningham with daughter Mary (aged 13); all born in Ireland.

At Keighley Road, Colne, Lancashire were - Mary Sheekey (aged 45 a widow from Roscommon) with daughters; Margaret (aged 22) and Annie (aged 17); both born in Bradford. This is possibly the family shown in1871.1 above and even 1891.2 below

In nearby Leeds there was also - Patrick Sheehy (aged 40) a boot maker and Mary (aged 36) both from Ireland with their daughter Agnes (aged 19) a boot machinist born in Aldershot, Hampshire and Margaret A (aged 16) a clothing machinist born in Hull, Yorkshire. But this family has no obvious connections to Bradford.

Eliza Delaney (2 above) may be the widow of Edward; married in 1844 and so the sister of John and Eugene.

The birth not yet found is - Joseph (1877). A search for Joseph failed to find any results in the registers for December 1876, March 1877 or June 1877. However we have other records giving Joseph's date of birth as 28 February 1877; the same as that of Martin above. I assume that Martin become Joseph between the ages of 4 and 14; possibly through confirmation.

The availability on CD-ROM of the indexes to the 1881 Census make it possible to search all of Britain much more easily but unfortunately this excludes Ireland; as the records were destroyed many years ago. This is a big gap when the tracing not only the Sheeky families and the many others that came from Ireland to work in the mills and factories of Bradford. But at least we have the records of the many Irish that migrated. The summary of the other Sheeky / Sheekey families found in 1881 and not listed here is -




Cheshire, England



Cumberland, England



Lanarkshire, Scotland

3 ?


Lancashire, England



London, England



Renfrew, Scotland



1881-91 Births and Marriages

  1. Elizabeth Sheehy was registered about February 1883
  2. Mary Gertrude Sheeky was registered about February 1883 in Burnley. Link to Census 1891.4?
  3. Jane Sheeky was registered about February 1884 in Oldham. Link to Census 1891.1
  4. Teresa Ann Sheeky was registered about February 1884 in Burnley. Link to Census 1891.4?
  5. Ernest Patrick Sheehy was registered about May 1884 in Richmond, Yorkshire. Possible link to Teresa in Census 1871.2?
  6. Margaret Sheehy was registered about May 1885. Link to Census 1891.4
  7. Agnes Sheeky was born 27 May 1886, parents Terence Joseph and Mary Sheeky (nee Tearn) of 76 Sedgwick Street, Bradford.
  8. Isabella was born 12 December 1886 to Henry and Mary Ann Sheeky (nee Foreman) of 20 Adelaide Street, Horton. Link to Census 1891.1 and Henry below.
  9. Annie Sheekey was married about February 1887
  10. Francis Owen Sheekey (aged 20, fisherman, son of Charles Henry, plumber) married Lavinia Watson (aged 18, no father shown) on 10 February 1887 in Register Office, Hull. No links to Bradford families found at this stage.
  11. John Sheeky (aged 24, son of John) married Sarah Ann Goodbody (aged 21, daughter of William) on 19 May 1888 in St Patrick RC, Bradford. Link to Census 1891.6
  12. John was born 8 November 1888 to John and Sarah Ann Sheeky (nee Goodbody) of 14 Wood Street, Manningham. Link to Census 1891.6 and William below.
  13. Terence Joseph was born 20 April 1889 to Terence Joseph and Mary Sheeky (nee Tearn) of 24 Beamsley Street, Manningham. Link to Census 1891.4
  14. Mary was born 17 July 1889 at 5:45pm to Henry and Mary Ann Sheeky (nee Foreman) of 71 Broom Street, Bowling. Mary is thought to have died before her 2nd birthday with her death registered during December Quarter, 1890 at Bradford.
  15. Henry was also born 17 July 1889 to Henry and Mary Ann Sheeky (nee Foreman) but at 6:50pm. Henry is thought to have died shortly after with his death registered during September Quarter, 1889 at Bradford.
  16. William was born 13 December 1889 to John and Sarah Ann Sheeky (nee Goodbody) of 14 Wood Street, Manningham. Link to 1891.6
  17. Mary Sheehy was married about May 1890.

1891 Census (5 April)

  1. Henry and Mary A Sheeky from Liverpool (both aged 37) at 71 Broom Street, East Bowling with children Joseph (aged 14) and Jane (aged 7).
  2. Mary Sheeky (aged 57) at 70 Granby Street, East Bowling.
  3. Edward (aged 50) and Sarah (aged 51) Sheeky at 97 Tennant Street, Bowling with lodger (brother?) William (aged 55) who was blind. Is this the William aged 15 and Edward aged 10 listed in the 1851 census?
  4. Terrance (aged 33) and Mary (aged 34) Sheeky at 24 Beamsley Street, Bradford with children Mary (aged 8), Teresa (aged 7), Margaret (aged 6) and Terence (aged 1). Is this the same person as Terance aged 13 in the 1871 Census?
  5. Mary Sheeky (widow aged 53) at 3 Longcroft Place, Bradford with Elizabeth (aged ?) and Annie (aged 27). This should be the family from 1871.3 in the same street, even though Mary has become around 9 years younger.
  6. John (aged 28) and Sarah Ann (aged 24) Sheeky at 14 Wood Street, Manningham with mother Theresa (aged 65) and children John (aged 2) and William (aged 1). This is almost certainly the Teresa from Ireland / Richmond listed in the 1851 / 71 / 81 Census returns. Where this family were in 1861 is unknown.
  7. Julia Sheaney (?) was a boarder at 18 Colewall Road, West Bowling. She was aged 24, a cloth weaver born in Bradford.

The 1891.1 entry is certainly that for my great, grandparents; even though Isabella (b 1886), Henry and Mary (b 1889) are not shown and Martin's name has changed to Joseph. We now know that Henry died soon after birth and that Mary died aged 1. This Joseph was later a witness at the marriage of Henry and Edith Parker in 1913. The other witness being Jane Wray, Joseph and Henry's married sister.

1891-1900 Births and Marriages

  1. Elizabeth Sheekey was married about February 1892.
  2. Mary Elizabeth Sheeky (aged 28, daughter of Henry Sheeky) married Christopher McKenna (aged 40, widowed, son of Peter McKenna) 29 April 1893 at St Marie's Catholic Church, Halifax. Link to Census 1871.1 - even though ages seem out.
  3. Harry Sheeky born 7 September 1893to Henry and Mary Ann Sheeky (nee Foreman) of 18 Northbrook Street. This is Henry / Harry that married Edith Parker in 1913 (see below) rather than the Henry born 1889 and listed above. Link to 1901.1
  4. Edward Fletcher Sheehy was married about August 1896. Possible link with Garrett and Lydia Sheehy (nee Fletcher) above?
  5. Joseph Sheeky (aged 23, son of Henry Sheeky) married Sarah Ann Emmott (aged 25, daughter of Israel Emmott) 2 June 1900 at Parish Church, Bradford. Link to Census 1891.1 and 1901.2

1901 Census

From the census web site -

  1. Henry Sheeky (47, woolcomber, Bradford) and Mary A (46, worsted spinner, Liverpool) at 11 Mary Gate, Little Horton with Jane (daur, S, 17, worsted spinner, Oldham)
    and Harry (son, S, 8, Bradford). Link to
  2. Joseph Sheeky (24, Dyers Labourer, nr Bacup, Lancs) and Sarah (26, Bradford) at 19 Filbert Street. Link to 1891.1
  3. Ann Reynolds (widow, 37, machine comb hand, Bradford) with Annie (daur, S, 18, worsted spinner, Colne), Mary (daur, S, 17, worsted spinner, Bradford) and Agnes (daur, 9, Bradford) with Mary Sheeky (mother, widow, 72, Ireland) at 64 Rupert Street, Little Horton. This is thought to be Bridget Ann Sheeky (1864) with mother Mary (nee Leonard). Link to 1891.5
  4. William (11 Bradford). Link to 1891.6 ?
  5. John Sheekey (39 Bradford) in Leeds. Link to 1891.6 ?

1901 Onwards Births and Marriages

  1. Joseph born 18 February 1906 to Joseph and Sarah Sheeky (nee Emmott) of 78 Heap Lane
  2. Jane Sheeky (aged 24, daughter of Harry Sheeky) married Arthur Wray (aged 29, son of Richard Wray) 13 February 1909 at St Stephen's Church, West Bowling. Witnesses were Albert Wray and Charlotte Shaw.
  3. Henry Sheeky (aged 20, son of Henry Sheeky) married Edith Parker (aged 26, daughter of John William Parker) 29 November 1913 at St Joseph's RC Church. Witnesses were Joseph Sheeky - probably the husband of Sarah Emmott - and Jane Wray - probably Jane Sheeky (see previous marriage) the sister of Henry.
  4. Margaret born on 27 February 1914 to Henry and Edith Sheeky (nee Parker) of 50 Bengal Street
  5. Veronica born on 3 December 1919 to Edith Sheeky (nee Parker) of 2 Lizard Street

Update: 1911 Census

Most of the English counties are now available on the pay-per-view web site however the free index is less helpful than the one at the 1901 Census site. This means entries cannot be grouped into families without paying to view the image or transcript. Given the large number of families I am attempting to document it is just too expensive for me to view most of the records.

There are, however, just 5 Sheeky entries for Bradford -

  1. Catherine age 56 - an Institution entry yet to be identified
  2. Mary Ann age 56 - widow of Henry
  3. Henry age18 - son of Henry and Mary Ann (using of Henry instead of actual Harry)
  4. Joseph age 34 - widower of Sarah
  5. Joseph age 5 - son of Joseph and Sarah

With another 4 entries recorded as Sheehy in Bradford -

  1. Alfred age 23
  2. Julia age 43 - possibly the Julia Sheaney of 1891 (and the Julia McSheehy of 1881.7)
  3. Maggie age 25
  4. Mary age 3

And 7 entries recorded as Sheehy in North Bierley -

  1. Essie age 11
  2. John age 54
  3. Margaret age 52
  4. Margaret age 27
  5. Mary age 20
  6. Nora age 13
  7. Patrick age 17

Quite how many of these were recorded elsewhere as Sheeky is yet to be determined!

1914-18 War - The Bradford Roll of Honour records military service during the Great War and should contain a few family entries. But the only one found so far is that for Henry Sheeky of 2 Lizard Street - my grandfather. Maybe this was due to the Irish republican feelings at that time but nevertheless there are still many entries from other towns in Sheekys who died in WW I and II.

Monumental Inscriptions - The wording on gravestones is sometimes an important link to family members. Lots of work has been done by amateur enthusiasts but the results are very disjointed. There is known to be a gravestone for E M Sheeky in Nab Wood Cemetery, Shipley but have yet to search for it. The wording has been recorded in the Blackburn Registers (Ref MF17 45/A/121) but I cannot understand how the indexing system works! Update: a trip to Bradford Reference Library indicated that the gravestone was actually a grave marker; indicating ownership. And a trip to the cemetery found the grave location but no marker or gravestone in place.

20th Century

After 1891 I used information from the birth, death and marriage certificates of my immediate family. Unfortunately I did not start my research until I inherited our sketchy family records on the death of my father, William (Tim) Townsley, in 1997 at the age of 86. This means that there are many gaps in my information about many family members - but publishing my family information on the internet has lead to some significant breakthroughs.

The first positive results came from Pennsylvania where one branch of the Bradford family trees had settled and flourished. The following exchange of information greatly advanced my own, limited, efforts and established links; not only with the US descendants but also those still living in Bradford. As a bonus there was even a link to my missing grandfather, Henry (1889).

All the current Bradford families are believed to be descended from Joseph (1906), who is listed above. The outline family tree for this branch starts from John (about 1790) and includes my own ancestors.

Looking further afield there are a few other Sheeky families currently living in England, Scotland and Wales -

  1. Michael, Robert, Stephen and Sylvia in Rickmansworth, London. This family line is thought to have come to England from Warrenpoint, with some of the family going to Florida, USA
  2. James and Veronica, Thomas and Nora in Consett, Co Durham. This family line may be linked to a Bartholomew Sheekey who was married in Durham in 1905
  3. Barbara, Damien and Mark in Crewe, Cheshire
  4. Donna in Birmingham
  5. Elizabeth in Cydebank, Scotland

These families may have no known links to the Bradford families but the name is now very uncommon in England. However some Bradford family members are known to have gone to live in Scotland, Australia and the USA. The connections include -

  1. Frank a missing brother of Henry (Census 1891.1) seems to be Owen the boy at Shibden Industrial School in 1881 and the Francis Owen now known to have worked on fishing trawlers out of Hull, Grimsby and Aberdeen, Scotland
  2. Maria had moved with her husband, John McIver, and son to Egham, Surrey by 1881.
  3. Henry (1893), husband of Edith and father of Margaret and Veronica (Vera) left the family and later went to Australia - see the Harry Sheeky page
  4. William (Census 1891.6) went into an orphanage about 1901 and was then sent to Canada. He was found by his aunts and taken to live with them in Massachusetts about 1903. While there he met and married a girl from Bradford. Their five sons form the basis of the Sheeky / Sheekey family in Pennsylvania. The outline family tree of this branch starts with Roger Sheeky (about 1795).

Clearly I still have much work to do but the jigsaw is now gradually falling into place. A summary of all the Bradford family lines is on the Outline Family Origins page

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