The Will of James Swindells, Farmer in Hurdsfield📜

This Blog is a follow on from the previous Blog about the Wills of Sarah Swindells and Daniel Clowes. We went to the last Giant Fleamarket of the year at the Bath and West Showground on the 24th November and I was thrilled to see the same seller, Joyce, she’s the lady I bought the first two Wills from the previous time I saw her. So I had a look through the Wills she had left and found one for James Swindells, who was the brother of Sarah in the last Blog. So lucky.

James Swindells dated 11 February 1843. Farmer.

This is a round-up of the main points of the Will:

I appoint my brother Samuel Swindells Bookkeeper of Hurdsfield and my brother in law Joseph Leigh Builder of Macclesfield. All those my five copyhold messauges or dwelling houses situats in Hurdsfield, one whereof was formerley the Old Toll Bar House.

Thereunto in the occupations of Zaccharias Rushton, John Davenport, John Moss, William Bloor and one untenanted. And also all my live and dead farming stock and implements of husbandry and all my household goods and furniture, except such part thereof that my wife may choose to furnish a house which I give to her for her own ready money and money owing to me and all other and my personal estate and effects whatsoever and wheresoever to hold to them Samuel Swindells and Joseph Leigh and upon trust all rents after keeping the said premises in repair be paid to my dear wife Jane Swindells for and during her natural life if she so long continues my widow. And upon further trust after all the live and dead and everything from the farm is sold and all funeral expenses and any debts are paid then out of the surplus there is to be paid 10 pounds to my wifes nephew John Pyatt, then any surplus after to be paid to my brother Samuel Swindells and sisters Sarah Swindells, Martha Leigh and Hannah Swindells shared equally, share and share-alike. And on the death or second marriage of my said wife, I give divise and bequeath direct limit my said five copyhold dwellings in Hurdsfield unto my nephew James Leigh (son of said, Joseph Leigh) and James Swindells (son of my said brother Samuel Swindells) as tenants in common and to their respective heirs, after they be 21 incase the wife dies before then and there are conditions stated for every eventuality.

As you can see The Probate of the Will of James Swindells deceased is in fairly good condition, and quite readable if you take your time.

I find these Wills fascinating and truly a work of art, the writing itself is just so beautiful.

My puzzle with this part of the family is James’s wife Jane, mentioned in his Will, I am unable to find a marriage record for them that ties in with Jane having a nephew by the name of John Pyatt.

The Swindell Family Tree

So looking at John Pyatt and following his family, I found a record of who I think are his parents, Benjamin Pyatt and Catherine Duncalf.

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The Duncalf Family, do they link up with the Swindells? or Not?

So to be his Aunt, Jane has likely to be a sister to his mother and have the surname Duncalf, but I cannot find any records to confirm this. I have added the likely family ancestors to John Pyatt but more research is needed, it doesn’t feel right at all, am I missing something? So a break from this family is needed! I may get a breakthrough if someone else has the family of Pyatt or Swindells among their Ancestors. Are they in your family? It would be nice to tie up this frustrating loose end!

Here’s the direct link to the family Tree: James Swindells & Family.

One nice thing I have found in the wider family descendants is that John Pyatt’s daughter Jane, who married James Podmore, when she died on 29 December 1932, mentioned in her Will a Jane CLOWES, spinster, mentioned in her Will. So there was still a connection between the families of Swindells and Clowes even in 1932 (see my first Blog about the families from November). See below:

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Till next time then……



    • Thanks Rita, she’s a lovely lady and I’ve got to know quite a few of the sellers now, good be sure they know I’m a collector and not a dealer who sells for profit. Happy Christmas Rita x


  1. Hi,

    There is a James Swindells of Hurdsfield marrying a Jane Etchells, also of Hurdsfield, on 6th November 1820 at Prestbury church. Joseph Lyatt was a witness, but then he was also a witness at another wedding on the same date. Seems that happens quite a lot; professional witnesses?

    Liked by 1 person

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