1819 was the year the first bicycles appeared on the streets of New York City, the first steam propelled vessel crossed the Atlantic Ocean, Thomas Blanchard patented the lathe, and the first whaling ship arrived in Hawaii. On May 27th, in Campsall, York, England, John Procter was christened. He was born at nearby Norton, also his father’s birthplace. On August 1st of that same year, it appears that he was also christened in Knottingly, which was his mother, Martha’s birthplace. The distance between Campsall (A) and Knottingly (B) is about ten miles. Although the world was expanding, John’s life was lived within a twenty mile radius of his birthplace.
John’s mother’s maiden name was Collins, which may not endear her to some of the Jane Austen fans in our family. John was the oldest of eight children. His siblings were George and William, christened at Owston (C); Ann and Mary, christened at Ferry Fryston (D); and David and Sarah, christened at Doncaster (E). Once the family settled in Doncaster, they were there to stay.
On 6 September 1841, John married Sarah Pinder, the daughter of John Pinder and Jane Butler, his wife. They married at Rotherham (F), located about thirteen miles SW of Doncaster. That would have been a big trip for them. Their first son, Henry, was born in 1842 at Cantley (G), which is about three miles east of Doncaster (E). John is our grandfather, six generations back for my children. Their other children were born at Doncaster, where they made their home for the rest of their lives. Their five girls were Martha, Jane, Mary Ann, Lucy, and Ellen. Their last child was John, born in 1859, which is about the time Sarah died, perhaps in childbirth.
John worked first as a hat maker, then as a drayman, eventually settling on the lumber business. On 14 November 1865 at Doncaster, John married again, to Jane Adams and gained two step-children, William and Elizabeth. He remained a resident of Doncaster until his death in 1883.