Dewsbury Minster & Parish Church

The Dewsbury parish registers start in 1538 when Henry VIII ordered that such registers were to be kept in all the parish churches of the new Church of England. The Parish Church is shown on the left, as it appears today.

After the isolated marriage of THOMAS TATTERSFIELD in 1686, mentioned above, the next event in the register was the marriage of CHRISTOPHER TATTERSFIELD to Sarah Senior in the Parish Church on 14th September, 1712.

The relationship of CHRISTOPHER to THOMAS is not stated. As their marriages in the same church were 26 years apart, and as there were no other TATTERSFIELDs recorded in the church at that time, it seems possible that CHRISTOPHER was a son of THOMAS, perhaps from a first marriage.

The baptism and burial of CHRISTOPHER and Sarah are not known, and no other documentary information about them has been found, except for the baptism of seven children, all recorded in the parish registers.

The descendants of CHRISTOPHER are shown on CHART 10. He had four daughters, of whom two, and possibly three, married. He also had three sons, two of whom died young. The third child, WILLIAM (1719-85), married twice and had five daughters and four sons, two of whom, JOSEPH (born 1747) and KESTOR (also called CHRISTOPHER and CASTOR, 1761-1835) passed on the family surname.

The descendants of KESTOR are shown on CHART 12. He married three times, his first two wives apparently being sisters. One of his sons, JAMES, moved to Lancashire in the 1840s. It is not certain whether any descendants of KESTOR still carried the surname of TATTERSFIELD after three generations.

JOSEPH, the other son of WILLIAM (whose surname was given as TATTERSLEY in JOSEPH’s baptism record!), married in 1768 and had a daughter SARAH baptised in Dewsbury Parish Church in 1769. No further record of his family is found in Dewsbury, but see Heckmondwike below and CHARTS 1-4.

In addition to the main Dewsbury family, descended from CHRISTOPHER as described above, there were other TATTERSFIELDs who married in Dewsbury Parish Church and who had their children baptised there. The recent DNA Project shows no relationship to the CHRISTOPHER family, as explained in a following section. They were:

THOMAS30th December, 1770
DAVID3rd December, 1771
SAMUEL9th April, 1786
JAMES27th November, 1788

Interestingly, these four all moved away from Dewsbury, between about 1799 and 1816, and started the TATTERSFIELD families in York (CHART 5), Hull (CHART 6), Leeds (CHART 8) and Lancashire (CHART 9) respectively, as briefly described below.

It is also interesting to note that records of the above four families start in each case with a marriage, rather than with a baptism or a burial. This may be because the people involved were non-conformist. If so, their chapels would have carried out baptisms and burials but their ministers would not have been authorised to officiate at marriages, which would therefore have taken place in the Anglican parish church. If this explanation is correct, the baptisms and burials have not been found in non-conformist records and may not still exist.

Header Image: A modern stock photograph of Dewsbury Minster, which is the church whose records have revealed the largest body of information about the early Tattersfield family, who worshipped there. Leeds Fotografica /