Descendants of Joseph BURNETT als BURNITT of Knottingley



John BURNITT in America has Joseph born c 1731, son of Joseph BURNITT, with siblings named Elizabeth [b:1731], William [b:1739, d: 1 May 1789] and Mary [bap: 3 Aug 1740]. John does not give details of the source(s) of this information. IGI has the baptism of Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph BURNET, on 26 Oct 1731 at Pontefract, but has neither the baptism of William in 1739 nor the baptism of Mary in 1740. Also in IGI is the baptism of Martha, daughter of Joseph BURNET, on 11 Mar 1732 at Pontefract.

The original parish register of St. Giles' Church Pontefract has Joseph son of Joseph BURNET of Knottingley baptised on 31 Mar 1738 and Mary daughter of Joseph BURNEL of Knottingley baptised 8 Mar 1740/41 as well as Elizabeth and Martha as above.

There can be little doubt that Joseph BURNITT, who with his wife Mary was having children baptised at Pontefract from 1761, was the Joseph BURNET who was baptised in 1738. Joseph, husband of Mary, died in 1811 and was buried on 23 Nov 1811, the burial entry in the parish register of St. Botulph's, Knottingley, gives age at death 79yrs - suggesting birth c1732 - but given ages at death are notoriously unreliable. Perhaps this was the source of the information about Joseph from John BURNITT in America?

Joseph was baptised with the surname BURNETT, as were his siblings; two of his sisters also married under the name BURNETT. At some time before he himself married Joseph began using the surname BURNITT; all of his own children were baptised with that name and it appears to have become accepted as the 'norm' by the descendants of Joseph and his wife Mary - though one or two branches of the family later reverted to BURNETT.


The original baptism entry in the register of St. Botulph's chapel Knottingley - a chapelry within Pontefract parish - has Anne daughter of Joseph Burnitt. When entries from the St. Botulph's register were later copied into the "composite" parish register for Pontefract the name was mistakenly entered as Elizabeth.

7. Elizabeth BURNITT

Elizabeth probably died before 1772 - her parents had another daughter named Elizabeth baptised during that year. The original register for St. Botulph's chapel, Knottingley, is very badly damaged; most pages are torn and very faded with some entries incomplete and many impossible to read. However, the burials register for 1764 does contain the following partial entry:
[Date missing but one of five entries which come after entries for June] Elizabeth Daughter of Josph B....... [rest of entry missing]. While not certain there is a very good chance that this was the burial of the daughter of Joseph BURNITT and his wife Mary.

10. Mary BURNITT

*Possibly* the individual recorded in the following 1841 census return:
HO107/1310/11, folio 27, p1
Chapel Street, Knottingley
Mary BURNITT, 70, Ind[ependent], born Yks.
[Mary was living alone, next door to George SEFTON, 45, taylor & his family.]