Descendants of Joseph BURNETT als BURNITT of Knottingley


14. John BURNITT

It appears that John was baptised when he was about 4yrs old. He was born c1791 but not baptised until 27 Oct 1795, just six weeks before his younger sister Mary Ann.

John married twice. It is known that his first wife was named Mary Ann but no details of their marriage have yet been found. The last two known children of this marriage, George and Mary Anne, were baptised on the same day [20 Oct 1833]. The date of death of John's wife, Mary Ann, was just three days before the baptism of these two children. It is quite possible that she died as a result of complications during the birth of twins. John wasted no time in finding a second wife and on 23 Aug 1834 was granted a licence to marry Harriet SHERWOOD, about 18 years his junior. The marriage took place two days later at St Giles' parish church, Pontefract. There were two known children of this second marriage before John died, in 1844. His death certificate records cause of death as "general debilty" and states that he was aged 53 years at death. This age is not consistent with his date of baptism in 1795 but as mentioned above his sister was also baptised in 1795, less than nine months after John, which suggests that one of them [John] was a late baptism. The 1791 date is probably correct.

David James BURNITT, a direct descendant of John, provided the following notes:
"John was a master mariner and is known to have owned shares in a number of vessels registered in Knottingley. They include ... the Providence (built 1821), the Herald (built 1825), the Pomona (built 1831) the sloop Laurel (built 1839) and the schooner Harriot (built 1843)."
David also states that John BURNITT was "... a committee member of the Knottingley Insurance Society in 1839"

1841 census: HO107/1310/11, folio 18, p27
John and second wife Harriet were not 'at home' with daughter Ann and sons George and Joseph - who were 'lodging' with newly married James & Ester FEWSTER in Aire Street, Knottingley. [confirms info. from David James BURNITT]

John died on 18 Sep 1844. His death certificate gives cause of death as "general debility". He was buried three days later in the churchyard of St. Botulph's in Knottingley. A headstone marks his grave and bears the inscription:
"Sacred to the memory of Mary Ann Burnitt the wife of John Burnitt who departed this life the 17th day of October 1833 aged 32yrs ... Also John Burnitt who died Sep 18th 1844 aged 53 years."

John left a will - listed in Probate Indexes for the Prerogative & Exchequer Courts of the Archbishop of York: Jun 1845, John BURNETT of Knottingley, parish of Pontefract. [It is interesting to note that several of the BURNITT family of Knottingley are listed in the Probate Indexes under the name BURNETT].

In his will, dated 2 May 1844 at Knottingley, John described himself as "Vessel Owner". The will was a complicated affair but basically appointed his executors, Thomas CLIFF, vessel builder, and David CAWTHORN, sail maker, as trustees to administer his estate on behalf of his wife Harriet - she to have the freedom to operate any vessels which he still owned - and if Harriet died or remarried on behalf of all his (unnamed) children until the youngest of them reached the age of 16yrs. The surviving children would eventually receive equal shares of the remaining estate and the will stated that any married daughter's share should be for her own use and not that of her husband.
[Copy and transcript of will provided by David James BURNITT - Jan 2004]

Mary Ann

Mary Ann died just three days before her son George and daughter Mary Anne were baptised, on the same day [20 Oct 1833], at Knottingley. It is very likely that George and Mary Anne were twins and that their mother died as a result of complications during their birth.


Ann(e) BURNITT, dtr of John and Mary Ann BURNITT, appears to have been baptised twice; first on 6 Apr 1827 and again on 14 Jun 1829, both at St Botulph's chapel, Knottingley. The entry in the register for the second baptism also gives the date of birth as 1 Apr 1827. This date of birth certainly 'fits' with the first baptism. The most likely explanation is that the first event was a private 'half' baptism, at home, which was noted in the baptism register but which was not 'formalised' until two years later; on the day that her younger brother John was baptised.

1841 census: HO107/1310/11, folio 18, p27
Ann and two of her siblings were 'lodging' with James & Ester FEWSTER in Aire Street. Knottingley - see notes for father John BURNITT

Ann married John ATKINSON in 1847 and in 1881 census returns Ann ATKINSON was recorded living in Kingston-upon-Hull:
RG11/4768, folio 110, p4
2 Elm Tree Tce., Holy Trinity, Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorks.
Ann ATKINSON, head, property owner, wid, 55, born Knottingley
Harriet V.  do           dtr, unm, 25, born Hull
John          do          son, unm, 23, born Hull
James STEPHENSON, lodger, unm, 39, born Hull Bridge.

Ann's natural mother died in c1833, when Ann was just six years old. Her father, John BURNITT, married Harriet SHERWOOD in 1834. Ann probably named her own daughter after her step-mother Harriet who had brought her up from such a young age.

22. Mary Anne BURNITT

Mary Ann and her brother George were baptised on the same day, three days after the death of their mother Mary Ann Burnitt in 1833. It is thought highly likely that George and Mary Ann were twins and that their mother died as a result of complications during their birth. A monumental inscription in St. Botulph's churchyard, Knottingley, gives their mother's date of death as 17 Oct 1833 - [David James BURNITT, a descendant of George, has assumed that this was the date of birth of George and his sister Mary Ann.]

17. Joseph BURNITT

1841 census: HO107/1310/11, folio 32, p12 - folio 33, p13
Cow Lane, Knottingley
Joseph BURNITT, 40, shoemaker, born Yks
Catherine      do      40, born Yks
John             do        5, do
Rebecca        do      15, do
Mary           do         3, do
Harriet         do         1, do
[Family living next door to Catherine LONGWOOD, 75, Ind, with Wm LONGWOOD, 50, mariner & Rebecca LONGWOOD, 35, all born Yks]
Catherine BURNETT's maiden name was LONGWOOD

GRO Index of Deaths: BURNITT, Joseph, Jun 1847, Pontefract, xxii 346

Catherine LONGWOOD

Catherine was a daughter of John LONGWOOD and his wife Catherine [nee WRIGHT]. Catherine WRIGHT was born in 1762 and baptised at Howden near Goole - daughter of John WRIGHT and his wife Mary [nee JACKSON]. Joseph and Catherine BURNITT used the related surnames Longwood, Wright and Jackson as second names for some of their children.

1851 census: HO107/2329, folio 425, p16
Cow Lane, Knottingley
Cathrin [sic] BURNETT, head, widow, 50, shoemaker's widow, born Knottingley
Jno. BURNETT, son, 16, born Knottingley
Hart [sic] BURNETT, dau, 10, scholar, born Knottingley
William HAIGH, visitor, 7m, born Womersley
Catherine BURNETT [nee LONGWOOD], widow of Joseph BURNETT, with their son John and daughter Harriet. Another daughter, Rebecca, was living-in and working as a housekeeper a few doors away in Cow Lane. Surprisingly these were the only two households which included individuals named BURNETT/BURNITT in the 1851 census returns for the whole of the Knottingley & Pontefract area. On the face of it there should have been several others - this anomaly requires further investigation.

25. Catherine Ann BURNITT

1841 census: HO107/1310/11, folio 17, p26
Aire Street, Knottingley
Catherine BURNIT, 15, F[emale] S[ervant], born Yks. with William SEATON and his family

Yorkshire BMD Internet web site has marriage of Catherine Ann BURNITT and Matthew SEDGWICK at St George's, Leeds, in 1847.

1881 census: RG11/4691, folio 95, p39
14 Cemetery Road, Doncaster
Catherine SEDGWICK, wid, head, 56, housekeeper, Knottingley
Thomas SEDGWICK, son, unm, 21, loco coppersmith, Doncr
Rose SEDGWICK, daur, 15, Doncr
William ADAMS, lodger, unm, 22, grocer’s cellerman, Aberdeen, Scotland

26. Rebecca BURNITT

1841 census: living with her parents at Cow Lane. Knottingley [see notes for father Joseph BURNITT]

1851 census: HO107/2329, folio 424, p15
Cow Lane, Knottingley
Thos SMITH, head, unm, 58, retired taylor [sic] & draper, born Knottingley
Rebecca BURNETT, serv, 27, housekeeper, born Knottingley

1861 census: RG 9/3433, folio 76, p10
Cow Lane, Knotingley
Thos SMITH, head, unm, 68, retired tailor, born Knottingley
Rebecca BURNETT, serv, unm, 38, housekeeper, born Knottingley

Rebecca married Benjamin RAINBOW, a colourful character, boot and shoe maker, of Knottingley, at Tadcaster Wesleyan Chapel, in 1867. Rebecca was living in Tadcaster at that time.

1871 census: RG10/4631, folio 71, p23
Spurr Yard, Knottingley
Benjamin RAINBOW, head, 51, cordwainer, Ferrybridge
Rebecca          do           wife, 48, Knottingley
Sarah              do            dau, 14, scholar, Knottingley
Harriet BRUNETT [sic], sister, unm, 23, domestic servant, Knottingley
Harriet BURNETT (correct spelling) was Benjamin RAINBOW's sister-in-law, not his sister.

27. Jemima BURNITT

1841 census: *not* at home with her parents at Cow Lane. Knottingley [see notes for father Joseph BURNITT]

31. John Wright BURNITT

1841 census: living with his parents at Cow Lane. Knottingley [see notes for father Joseph BURNITT]

32. Mary Jane BURNITT

1841 census: living with her parents at Cow Lane. Knottingley [see notes for father Joseph BURNITT]

Details from death certificate:
21 February 1845 at Knottingley, Mary Jane Burnitt, female, age 7, daughter of Joseph & Catherine Burnitt, cordwainer, scarletina maligna, death registered 23 February 1845 by Joseph Burnitt, occupier, Knottingley.
[Information provided by David James Burnitt, March 2004]

33. Harriett BURNITT

GRO Index of Births: BURNITT, Harriet, Dec 1839, Pontefract

1841 census: living with her parents at Cow Lane. Knottingley [see notes for father Joseph BURNITT]

1871 census: living with her married sister Rebecca RAINBOW in Knottingley [see notes for sister Rebecca BURNITT]

34. Sarah Jane BURNITT

1841 census: *not* at home with her parents at Cow Lane. Knottingley [see notes for father Joseph BURNITT]