The Grimshaws of Gisburn Forest in Northern Lancashire

Derrick Grimshaw has conducted extensive research on the Grimshaws of Gisburn Forest, a line of Grimshaws descended from Ottwell Grymeshey of Rimmington, which is located two miles southeast of Gisburn. Gisburn is located in northern Lancashire, northeast of Clitheroe and northwest of Colne.


Webpage Credit

Ottwell Grymeshey’s Descendant Chart

Where is Gisburn Located?

Additional Family History Information

Photographs of Significant Grimshaw Places in Gisburn

Is the Ottwell Grimshaw Line Descended from the Pendle Forest Line?

Additional Descendant Information from Thomas Grimshaw and Eunice Paul

Webpage Credit

Thanks go to Derrick Grimshaw for providing the information and photographs on this webpage.  Derrick also provided a photo of the “Grimshaw Oak” near Crowtress (described in a companion webpage). Thanks also to Thomas Grimshaw and Eunice Paul for providing the additional descendant information shown near the bottom of this webpage.

Ottwell Grymeshey’s Descendant Chart

Ottwell’s descendants are shown diagrammatically in Figure 1 below. Additional detail is provided further below on this webpage. It does not appear that Ottwell has yet been “tied back” to the Clayton-le-Moors or Pendle Forest line of Grimshaws.

Figure 1. Descendant Chart of Ottwell Grymeshey.

Ottwell Grymeshey Grimshaw (unk – unk) + Unknown (buried 10 May 1602)

Ottwell Grymeshey Grimshaw* (unk – unk)

*2nd Wife of Ottwell Grimshaw: + Unknown (buried 17 Jan 1633)

|–2. Rogerus Grimshaw* (unk – unk) + Unknown (buried 11 Nov 1632)

*2nd Wife of Rogerus Grimshaw: + Ellina ? (buried 27 Mar 1680)

|–|–3. Willmus Grimshaw (bapt 11 Mar 1648 – buried Mar 1648)

|–|–3. Willmus Grimshaw (bapt 30 Nov 1650 – ?)

|–|–3. Hugoniis Grimshaw (bapt 11 Mar 1655 – ?) + Isabell ? (? – buried 31 Dec 1688)

|–|–|–4. Ellin Grimshaw (bapt 25 Feb 1683 – buried 19 Jan 1688)

*2nd Wife of Hugoniis Grimshaw (bapt 11 Mar 1655 – ?) + Unk

|–|–|–4. Ellina Grimshaw (bapt 23 Oct 1692 – ?)

|–|–|–4. Ambrosius Grimshaw (bapt 30 Dec 1694 – 7 Jun 1771) + Margaret Fell Married 1 May 1735

|–|–|–|–5. Hugh Grimshaw (b 1736 – ?) + Isabell Hall  Married 39 Oct 1760

|–|–|–|–|–6. Mary Grimshaw (bapt 21 Jan 1764 – buried 11 Feb 1824) + Unk

|–|–|–|–|–|–7. Henry Grimshaw 

|–|–|–|–|–|–7. Isabella Grimshaw (bapt 17 Oct 1819 – ?) 

|–|–|–|–|–6. Isabell Grimshaw (bapt 29 Jun 1766 – ) + John Earnshaw  Married 4 Feb 1790)

|–|–|–|–|–6. Ambrose Grimshaw (bapt 28 Feb 1769 – buried 3 Mar 2 Mar 1769)

|–|–|–|–|–6. Henry Grimshaw (bapt 28 Feb 1769 – buried 15 Mar 1769)

|–|–|–|–|–6. Ann Grimshaw (bapt 28 Feb 1770 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–6. Ambrose Grimshaw (bapt 14 Feb 1773 – ?) + Ann King  Married 11 Feb 1802)

|–|–|–|–|–|–7. Hugh Grimshaw (1803 – ?) + Betty Oddie  Married 7 Feb 1828

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Ann Grimshaw (bapt 23 Jun 1828 – 17 Aug 1878)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Ambrose Grimshaw (bapt 5 Dec 1829 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Harry? Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. James Grimshaw (1833 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Joseph Grimshaw (1 Sep 1834 – ?) + Alice ? (ca 1854 – 20 Feb 1907)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Sarah Grimshaw (1868 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. James Ambrose (1870 – 5 Jul 1923) + Sarah Helen ? (? – 1 Dec 1950) Married 12 Apr 1899

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Allan Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Ambrose Grimshaw + Rebecca Hartley

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Frederic (1872 – ?) + Clara Jane Hartley (1876 – 30 Dec 1949)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Arthur Hartley Grimshaw (12 Apr 1896 – 14 Sep 1942) + Josephine Harding (? – 22 Mar 1999)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–11. Clifford Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–11. George Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–11. Derrick Marlowe Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–11. Donald Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Lilly Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Alice Grimshaw (11 Nov 1906 – )

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Holmes Grimshaw(28 Dec 1904 – 5 Jun 1988) + Nellie Robinson (11 Dec 1913 – 15 July 1999)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Dennis Grimshaw (26 Oct 1912 – 24 Jan 1993) + Elizabeth Adamson

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–11. Thurley William Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Emily (1878 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Thomas Harry (1880 – 20 Sep ?) + Effie ?

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Harry Grimshaw (1901- ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Nellie Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Amy Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Unknown Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. William Grimshaw (1837 – ?) + Mary ? (1840 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Alice Grimshaw (1838 – ?) + Mark Fryer

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Rebecca Grimshaw (Mar 1841 – ?) + ? Hartley

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Gladys Hartley

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Jack Roy Hartley)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. John Grimshaw (1844 – 1897) + Mary Sutcliffe (1847 – 13 Apr 1923

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Elizabeth Grimshaw (1870 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Jane Grimshaw (1846 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Jemimah Grimshaw (1848 – ?) + M Holt

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Unknown Holt

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Newman Holt

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–8. Thomas Grimshaw (1851 – ?) + Unknown

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Tom Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Elizabeth Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–9. Alfred Hugh Grimshaw (1892 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–|–10. Thomas Bevan Grimshaw (1925 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–|–7. John Grimshaw (1814 – ?) + Mary Holt

|–|–|–|–|–|–7. William Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–6. John Grimshaw (bapt 12 Feb 775 – buried 14 Dec 1786)

|–|–|–|–|–6. Ellen Grimshaw (bapt 17 Jul 1779 – buried 29 Dec 1796?)

|–|–|–|–|–6. Molly Grimshaw (bapt 11 Jan 1784 – ?)

|–|–|–|–|–6. Hugh Grimshaw (bapt 8 Nov 1786 – ?)

|–|–3. Martha Grimshaw (bapt 30 Apr 1659 – ?)

Where is Gisburn Located?

Gisburn is in northern Lancashire and is located northeast of Clitheroe and northwest of Colne. Maps at two scales showing the location of Gisburn are shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Location of Gisburn (pink circle) in northern Lancashire as shown in small-scale and large-scale maps from the Ordnance Survey website.

Additional Family History Information

In his e-mail that provided the information on this webpage, Derrick provided considerable information on the Gisburn line of Grimshaws. It is shown below. The bold typeface and indentations were added by the website author.

Hi, Thomas,

I have been researching my family tree for about three years now and came across your website quite recently.

So, I have taken the liberty of letting you know what I have discovered about my own family. Maybe you have perhaps come across some of my ancestors from other people, if you have I should be most interested.

My earliest records date back to the very early 17th century.

The parish records at GISBURN show the baptism of ROGERUS GRYMESHEY in 1612, he was the son of OTTWELL GRYMESHEY, who at the time resided at RIMMINGTON, about 2 miles south east of Gisburn.

OTTWELL was apparently married twice but I have been unable to put a name to either of his wives. His first wife was buried at Gisburn May 10th 1602, possibly childless.

His second wife was buried 17th January 1633, but I have no record of Ottwell’s death.

Rogerus was also married twice but again I have no name for his first wife who was buried at Gisburn 11th November 1632.

His second wife was named ELLINA and was buried 27th March 1680.

This marriage produced four children, the first WILLMUS being baptised 11th March 1648 and was buried later that month.

A second son also named WILLMUS was baptised 30th November 1650, at the time of these two baptisms Rogerus is shown as living at HOWGILL, about 1 mile east of Rimmington. Even today all that there is at Howgill is one farm and a manor house. Rimmington is somewhat larger boasting at least a public house and several houses.

HUGONIIS was baptised at Gisburn 11th March 1655 followed by a daughter MARTHA baptised 30th April 1659. The family then were shown as residing at MIDDOP. There are two sites which may fill this location, Middop Hall, about 1/2mile S>E> of Howgill, and LITTLE MIDDOP, a farm a further 1/2mile to the east of the hall.

I have no further info regarding children of Rogerus except for Hugoniis.

Rogerus was buried at Gisburn 4th January 1692 an was shown as living at Rimmington.

As the three different locations where Rogerus is shown as having lived are within about a one mile radius of each other it is perhaps doubtful if he ever moved at all during his lifetime.

No info regarding the marriage of Hugoniis has been found but three children have been traced.

ELLIN baptised 25 February 1683 at St Andrew’s Church, SLAIDBURN and buried there 19th January 1688.

ELLINA baptised 23 October 1692 at the same church.

AMBROSIUS baptised 30th December 1694 also at St. Andrew’s.


At the time Hugoniis was living at CHAMPION FARM, this is located about 5 miles to the WEST of Gisburn. Slaidburn being some two miles further West.

As Hugoniis buried a wife, ISABELL, on 31st December 1688, it is apparent that he also was twice married.

Ambrosius, of GREENWOODS, a farm less than 1/2miles south of Champion farm, `married MARGARET FELL of BOLTON by BOWLAND, 1st May 1735.

Only one child has been traced, HUGH born 1736, he married ISABELL HALL of Slaidburn 30th October 1760. His mother was buried at Slaidburn 22nd April 1771, quickly followed by his father 7th June the same year. The marriage details of Ambrosius and Isabell show that whilst Isabell was unable to sing her name, she made her mark by means of a ‘X’. Ambrosius was able to write and sign his name. This is typical of all the Grimshaws throughout records, even for the female members, whereas very few other men at the earlier stages were able to write their names.

HUGH and ISABELL had ten children:-

MARY baptised 21st January 1764 she was buried 11th February 1824 and had two children, the first HENRY was spurious(illegitimate) the second ISABELLA baptised17th October 1819 may also have been


ISABELL Baptised 29th June 1766, married JOHN EARNSHAW 4th February 1790.

AMBROSE and HENRY baptised 28th February 1769. Henry was buried 3rd March and Ambrose 15th March both in the year.

ANN baptised 28th February 1770- no further details.

AMBROSE baptised 14th February 1773 he married ANN KING of Slaidburn 11th February 1802.

JOHN baptised 12th February 1775 he was buried 14th December 1786.

ELLEN baptised 17th July 1779 buried 29th December 1796

MOLLY baptised 11th January 1784 – no further details.

HUGH baptised 8th November 1786 – no further details.

AMBROSE and ANN had three children

HUGH born in 1803 baptised at HORTON by GISBURN 9th June 1812. HUGH married BETTY ODDIE of MIDDOP 7th February 1828 at ST BARTHOLAMEWS, COLNE. At the time the family had moved to HIGHERFORD.

JOHN born 1814 he married MARY HOLT.

WILLIAM of whom I have no further details.

HUGH and BETTY had eleven children all of whom were baptised at St Bartholomew’s.

ANN baptised 23rd June 1828 died 17th August 1878 unmarried.

AMBROSE baptised 5th December 1829, I believe that he had one son HARRY but have no further details.

JAMES born 1833 – no details.

JOSEPH born 18th September 1834 baptised 18th November 1834. He married ALICE (surname unknown) she died 20th February 1907 aged 53.

WILLIAM born 1837 married MARY (?) of SKIPTON who was born 1840.

ALICE born 1838 married to MARK FRYER – no further details.

REBECCA born in March 1841 married to ? HARTLEY and had at least two children GLADYS and JACK ROY. no further details.

JOHN born 1844 died 1897, married to MARY SUTCLIFFE born 1847 died 13th April 1923. One child, ELIZABETH born 1870.

JANE born 1846 – no details.

JEMIMAH born 1848 married to M. HOLT two children one who’s name I have not discovered the second named NEWMAN.

THOMAS born 1851 married with three children, TOM, ELIZABETH and ALFRED no details.

JOSEPH was my great-grandfather he and Alice had five children.

SARAH born 1868.

JAMES AMBROSE born 1870 died 5th JULY 1923, married SARAH HELEN (?) 12th April 1899. They had two children ALLAN and AMBROSE who married REBECCA HARTLEY. SARAH HELEN died 1st December 1950.

FREDERIC, my grandfather, born 1872 married CLARA JANE HARTLEY born 1876, died 30th December 1949.

EMILY born 1878 no further details.

THOMAS HARRY born 1880 killed in action 20th September at the battle of Pachendale whilst serving with the Welsh Guards. He was married to EFFIE (?) and had four children HARRY born 1901, NELLIE and AMY the fourth I do not know.

FREDERIC and CLARA had five children.

ARTHUR HARTLEY, my father, born 12th April 1896, married JOSEPHINE HARDING from Liverpool. My father died September 14th 1942 and my mother 22nd March 1999.

LILLY unmarried died at the age of 96.

ALICE, unmarried born 11th November 1906, still living.

HOLMES born28th December 1904 died 5th June 1988, married to NELLIE ROBINSON born 11th December 1913 died 15th July 1999they had two children JOAN and RONALD.

DENNIS born 26th October 1912 died 24th January 1993, married ELIZABETH ADAMSON and had one child, THURLEY WILLIAM.

ARTHUR and JOSEPHINE had four children. They are not listed because several are still living.

Photographs of Significant Grimshaw Places in Gisburn

Derrick Grimshaw has provided three photos of places that are significant to the Gisburn Grimshaw family line. These are provided in Figures 3, 4 and 5 along with descriptive annotations provided by Derrick in the e-mails with the photos.

Figure 3. Champion Farm, which was occupied by Grimshaws of the Gisburn Line. Derrick Grimshaw’s descriptive annotation (slightly modified by the webpage author) appears just below the photo.

This is the farm known locally as ‘Grimshaw’s Champion’ at least three generations of the family farmed there. The earliest dates from February 25, 1683 when a daughter of Hugonis Grimshaw was baptised at St Andrew’s, Slaidburn. One of his sons, Ambrose, also a forebearer of mine, farmed at “Greenwoods” which is a farm about half a mile from Champion. Ambroses’ son also known as Hugh farmed Champion until the time of his death, March 15, 1769.

As you will see the building is now derelict; whilst there I spoke to the son of the farmer now farming the land, he told me that it was last occupied in 1956. Where the tree now grows is the only door into the building which consists of only four large rooms plus a small kitchen.

There are no amenities to the place whatsoever, although at some later stage a cast iron cooking range has been inserted into what I take to be the living room. Before that there was a stone slab in the kitchen under which a fire was lit, from outside the house, and this was used for cooking purposes. The stone steps up the side of the extension now hide the opening where fuel as put under the slab.

The farm is very isolated there closest lane being about a mile away, there is no reasonable track, only a tractor or four-wheel drive could get to it. It took me a good half hour to get from the car to the building, unfortunately I chose the hard way across the moor, during which I fell six times and finished up rather muddy. I found an easier route back which only took me about half the time.

Figure 4. St. Andrew’s Church in Gisburn, where Grimshaws descended from Ottwell  Grimshaw once worshipped. Derrick Grimshaw’s descriptive annotation (slightly modified by the website author) appears below the photo.

Following on from my trip to Gisburn, here is a picture of St. Andrew’s church, Slaidburn. The Grimshaws worshipped here from the late 18th century. The earliest record is the burial of Margaret, wife of Ambrosius, April 22, 1771. Ambrosius, son of Hughgonis was buried 7th June the same year. Ten Grimshaws were baptised here, four of whom I have not associated wife my family. Six were married here, only two of my family. Nine were buried, one not of my family.

Figure 5. St. Mary’s Church in Gisburn.

Is the Ottwell Grimshaw Line Descended from the Pendle Forest Line?

Derrick Grimshaw suspects that Ottwell is descended from the Pendle Forest line of Grimshaws but has not yet established proof of this connection. The close proximity of Gisburn to Pendle Hill and Pendle Forest would lead one to suspect a connection of the Gisburn line to the earlier Pendle forest line. Derrick has sent the following information (slightly modified by website author) about this conjecture:

As regards your query if there is any connection between my Grimshaws and the Pendle Forest family, I have a distinct feeling that there is. It seems remarkable that (one of) the P. F. family, Thomas, who came to live at Crowtrees, Barrowford about 1800 should be so quickly followed by my family within less than five years. Thomas was responsible for, firstly, adding to Crowtrees and the embarking on a building project to make two factories, a malthouse and brewery together with a corn mill. My family at that time were shown as being stone masons and builders. There was a quarry, long disused within a few hundred yards of all the building work. I feel that my lot were sent for to at least help with the building work. Up to now no association has been made.

Additional Descendant Information from Tom Grimshaw and Eunice Paul

Eunice Paul, working on behalf of Thomas Grimshaw, has conducted additional research on the Gisburn family line, going back to Hugh Grimshaw and Elizabeth Oddie, and has provided the descendant chart in Figure 6. It contains much of the information shown above, but with additional detail.

Figure 6. Additional Descendant Information for Hugh and Betty (Oddie) Grimshaw

1 Hugh Grimshaw 1803- + Betty Oddie 1809-

|–2 Ann Grimshaw 1828-1878

|–2 Ambrose Grimshaw 1829-

|–2 James Grimshaw 1833- + Elizabeth 1833-1891

|–|–3 Hugh Grimshaw 1867-

|–|–3 Beesley (Beasley) Grimshaw 1869 –

|–2 Joseph Grimshaw 1834- + Alice 1854-1907

|–|–3 Sarah E. Grimshaw 1868 –

|–|–3 James Ambrose Grimshaw 1870-1923 + Sarah Helen-1950

|–|–3 Frederick Grimshaw 1872- + Clara Jane Hartley 1876-1949

|–|–|–4 Arthur Hartley Grimshaw 1896-1942 + Josephine Harding-1999

|–|–|–|–|–5 Clifford Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–5 George Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–5 Derrick Marlowe Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–5 Donald Grimshaw

|–|–|–4 Lilly Grimshaw

|–|–|–4 Alice Grimshaw 1906-1999

|–|–|–4 Holmes Grimshaw 1904- + Nellie Robinson 1913-1999

|–|–|–|–|–5 Joan Grimshaw

|–|–|–|–|–5 Ronald Grimshaw

|–|–|–4 Dennis Grimshaw 1912-1993 + Elizabeth Adamson

|–|–|–|–|–5 Thurley William Grimshaw

|–|–3 Emily Grimshaw 1878-

|–|–3 Thomas Harry Grimshaw 1880-1917 + Effie

|–|–|–4 Harry Grimshaw 1901-

|–|–|–4 Nellie Grimshaw

|–|–|–4 Amy Grimshaw

|–2 William Grimshaw 1837- + Mary 1840-

|–2 Alice Grimshaw 1838 + Mark Fryer 1837-

|–|–3 Grimshaw Fryer 1868-

|–2 Rebecca Grimshaw 1841- + John Hartley 1836-1881

|–|–3 Leonard Hartley 1872 –

|–2 John Grimshaw 1844-1897 + Mary Sutcliffe 1847-1923

|–|–3 Elizabeth Grimshaw 1870-

|–|–3 Maggie Grimshaw 1873-

|–|–3 Lucy Grimshaw 1879-

|–2 Jane Grimshaw 1846-

|–2 Jemima Grimshaw 1848- + William Holt 1848-

|–|–3 Newman Holt 1877-

|–|–3 Ewan Holt 1870-

|–2 Thomas Grimshaw 1851- + Elizabeth Jauncey 1855-

|–|–3 Louisa Grimshaw 1879-

|–|–3 Caroline Alice Grimshaw 1881-

|–|–3 Thomas Grimshaw 1884-

|–|–3 Elizabeth Grimshaw 1886-

|–|–3 Alfred Hugh Grimshaw 1892- + Sylvia May Coates 1894 –

|–|–|–4 Thomas Grimshaw + Sheila Williams

Webpage History

Webpage posted June 2003, updated July 2003. Updated January 2005 with additional descendant information from Thomas Grimshaw and Eunice Paul.