When most people trace their ancestry it is usually the paternal line
which is followed first. After all, besides the surname, people generally
owe their position and station in life to their father, and to his father
before him and so on back in time. Usually the surname remains the same
from one generation to the next, making following the paternal ancestral
line comparatively straightforward. It is the custom in this country when
a woman marries for her to adopt her husband's surname instead of her own.
Her own surname then disappears from the records, and tracing her ancestry
becomes more difficult. It can be argued that the most fundamental
ancestral line of all is the maternal line, yet it is often the most
difficult to follow, with the surname changing with each generation.
It was with particular interest, therefore, that I read an article in the Genealogist's Magazine a couple of years ago, which followed the ancestral maternal line of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Everyone knows that the Queen's mother was Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who, before her marriage, was Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, daughter of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore. I wonder how many of us know the Countess of Strathmore's name, let alone who her mother was. It would seem that Her Majesty's maternal line has been known for some time back to her great-great-great- grandmother, Frances Webb. The author of the article, Edward Davies, has now identified Frances Webb's mother as Mary Garritt. There is a possibility that Mary Garritt's mother was an Anne Newland, but so far attempts to positively confirm this have been unsuccessful. This means that the Queen can only trace her maternal ancestry back seven generations to about 1700.
However, for us in North Craven, the article in Genealogist's Magazine holds a different interest, for Frances Webb was married in 1795 to Thomas Salisbury. Thomas Salisbury, great-great-great grandfather of the Queen, was born in 1761 in Marshfield House, Settle. He was the son of another Thomas Salisbury, who came to Settle in about 1750 and built the original Marshfield House. He was a man of property and of a philanthropic nature. In 1759 he provided two cottages in Upper Settle for a new workhouse for Settle. He and his wife baptised nine children at Giggleswick Church: Mary (1754), Alice (1755), Mabella (1756), Edward (1757 survived only a few days), Thomas (1758, only lived a few months), John (1759), Edward (1760) Thomas (1761, ancestor of the Queen) and Ellen (1762). In 1764 the Salisbury family left Settle for Lancaster.
Of the elder Thomas Salisbury nothing more is known at this stage of research except that his family held property in Newton-in-Bowland, but of his wife we know quite a bit more. She was Mary Lister, the daughter of John Lister of Settle, and cousin of the Vicar of Giggleswick, Anthony Lister. Giggleswick has had two vicars named Anthony Lister. The elder was the incumbent around the time of the Commonwealth and was great-grandfather to the second Anthony Lister, and also to Mary Salisbury nee Lister. Thus, the Vicar of Giggleswick at a time when this country was without a monarch was the 7 x great-grandfather of our present Queen.
The Queen's direct relationship to the Lister family opens up the possibilities for people in this area to have direct links with the present royal family. Mary Lister's cousins were the Listers of Gisburn whose descendants became the Lords Ribblesdale. Mary's older sister, Mabella, was married on 2nd April 1754 at Giggleswick Church to Nicholas Coulthurst of Gargrave House. The Commonwealth Anthony Lister and his wife, Elizabeth, had a son, John, who was married in 1682 at Long Preston to Alice Dawson of Langcliffe Hall. The links between these families await further research, all of which promises to be fascinating!