I was already interested in Myles, as there had long been speculation in my Duxbury family as to whether we were somehow connected to him. Also, my father’s family -- Ward of Mellor near Blackburn- had for centuries passed down the name Myles, the last one being my uncle (the black sheep of the family!), which added even more zest to the research.
In October 1997, in the middle of writing the story of the Duxbury of Duxbury, I serendipitously stumbled across Alexander, the strongest possible candidate for Myles’ great- grandfather. From then on I concentrated on the Standish of Duxbury, and never-ending revelations poured off virtually every page of original documentation, particularly from the Standish of Duxbury Muniments, which had been examined by at least two previous researchers, who were, however, interested in different places or periods. (See. Jim Heyes, A History of Chorley, Lancashire County Books, 1994 and W. Walker, Duxbury in Decline (1756-1932), Palatine Books, 1995. Finally, while checking references during the writing of one of the last chapters of the Myles book on Easter Monday 1999, I was rewarded by the realisation that before my eyes lay the extremely complex, but definitive proof of Myles’ descent from the Alexander stumbled over eighteen months earlier. At this point I abandoned the book and started to write this series of articles!
The proof will be presented in c. 2000 words in Part 4 - it lies mainly in all the changes in (mis)information on various 1664/5 Visitation Pedigrees from previous ones of 1567 and 1613, and the diary, itinerary and Office copy of Sir William Dugdale (CSOS Vols. 81, 82, 84, & 110, p. 104), which, when juxtaposed, show clearly that an intensive but ultimately unsuccessful investigation was undertaken in early 1664, hunting for a “second or younger son of Sir Alexander Standish of Standish”, almost certainly named Alexander, who was known to be directly descended from (Sir) Christopher Standish and Alice Standish. This search could only have been instigated by Myles’ son Alexander, who was trying to prove his ancestry to be able to reclaim his lands.
Nearly 200 years and five generations on from Sir C. Alexander was no longer aware of the precise relationships.
Behind every discovery claimed above lies a chapter or section in the forthcoming Myles book, presenting the proof contained in one of the following collections of documents or manuscripts:
The Standish of Standish Deeds (West Mss., 1771 in Earwaker, 1877, 1878,
1898; Porteus, 1933 (held by Wigan Archives in Leigh).
The Standish of Duxbury Muniments (held by the Lancashire Record Office (DP397).
The Hesketh of Rufford Muniments (held by the LRO, Preston (DDHe).
All Standish Wills to 1657 held by the LRO.
All Standish references given mainly in the
Victoria County History, and Volumes of the
Chetham Society and the Lancashire and
Cheshire Record Society, Old Series and New
Series of both, including Assize Rolls, Plea
Rolls, Inquisitions post mortem, Civil War
Tracts, etc., etc., and many references to the
Dodsworth Mss., Towneley Mss., Kuerden Mss.
(l7th.c) and Piccope Mss. (i9th.c) (held
variously by the British Library, the College of
Arms, the Chetham Society and Manchester
Central Library Archives).
Chorley, Standish & Ormskirk Parish Registers (Lancs. Parish Record Society).
International Genealogical Index for Lancashire
(1992 microfiche version, The Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City,
There was so much new information, plus that from previous research, that I realised early on that it must sensibly be divided into four books, and The Duxbury Quartet was conceived, with publication announced in this Journal and its web site, with details for purchase.
Click HERE to go to Part 2