John Herbert Seely 1857-1892

John Herbert SEELY is Ben’s 2nd great grandfather. John Herbert SEELY died when his son Robert James SEELY was 6 years old. There are not many records with them both on the same page, but the fact that John Herbert SEELY’s eldest son (also called John Herbert SEELY) was born in Guisborough, Yorkshire in 1881 – a piece of information that was given on the 1901 census1 (see ‘Robert James SEELY 1886-1963’ for a transcript of this census) helps locate the family on the 1881 census.

Not all the census records have been found for John Herbert SEELY, because of the misspelling of the name (and transcriptions), and not knowing his locations between one census and the next – he had have been living in Norfolk, Kent, Yorkshire, and back to Kent. However, the records that I have found can be tied together and to be able to show this, they will not be presented in chronological order.


Robert James SEELY was the son of John Herbert SEELY & Mary Ann GALLEHAWK (this fact has been confirmed by their granddaughter when she was alive), but also on the civil registration birth indexes for Greenwich, Kent2 – which shows the mother’s maiden name as GALLEHAWK.

John Herbert SEELY & Mary Ann GALLEHAWK were married on 28 December 1880 at Christchurch, Greenwich, Kent3.

When MarriedName and SurnameAgeConditionRank or ProfessionResidenceFather’s Name and SurnameRank or Profession of Father
28 December 1880John SEELYFullBachelorFireman4 Orchard PlaceJames SEELYBrick merchant
Mary Ann GALLEHAWKFullSpinster4 Orchard Place, GreenwichCharles GALLEHAWKCorn chandler
Witnesses: David William NOAKES & Elizabeth NOAKES

1881 Census

In 1881 John Herbert SEELY & Mary Ann GALLEHAWK (SEELY) were living at 31 North Terrace, Guisborough4. They didn’t have any children yet, their first child John Herbert SEELY was born in Guisborough in late 1881.

Name and SurnameRelation to HeadConditionAgeTrade, Profession or OccupationWhere Born
John SEELEYHeadMarried23Ironstone minerNorwich, Norfolk
Mary Ann SEELEYWifeMarried24Deptford, Kent

Before his marriage, John Herbert SEELY was living in Norfolk with his family. The 1861 census shows that he had 3 siblings. I checked their birth registrations with the GRO, which shows that their mother’s maiden name was PAULEY or PAWLEY. Robert in 1844, Mary Ann in 18495, Lydia in 18526 , Rachael in 18557, and John Herbert in 18578.

John Herbert SEELY’s youngest sister Rachael Ann SEELY also moved to Guisborough, Yorkshire, where she married Anthony WARD on 20 October 18769.

1861 Census

I found the 1861 census by looking for his father, who according to the marriage in 1880, was James SEELY – a brick merchant. John Herbert SEELY was 3 years old when the 1861 census was taken. The family were living at Earlham Road, Earlham, Norfolk10.

Name and SurnameRelation to HeadConditionAgeTrade, Profession or OccupationWhere Born
James SEELYHeadMarried50Brick burnerCatton, Norfolk
Maria SEELYWifeMarried42Hampton, Norfolk
Robert SEELYSonUnmarried17CarterHampton, Norfolk
Lydia SEELYDaur9ScholarHigham, Norfolk
Rachael SEELYDaur6ScholarHigham, Norfolk
John SEELYSon3Higham, Norfolk
William PAULEYNephew14PageLakenham, Norwich


John Herbert SEELY died in Maidstone, Kent on 17 March 189211 at the age of 34.

Family Members:

Wife:Mary Ann GALLEHAWK 1856-1930
Son (Direct Ancestor):Robert James SEELY 1886-1963
Father:James SEELY 1811-
Mother:Maria PAWLEY 1819-

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  1. Census Records. Greenwich, London. 01 April 1901. SEELY, Mary Ann (head). ED 01. PN 536. FN 5. p. 1. SN 1. : accessed 23 December 2021.
  2. Birth Indexes (CR) England & Wales. RD Greenwich, [Kent]. 4th Q., 1886. SEELY, Robert James. Vol. 1d. p. 1071. : accessed 09 January 2022.
  3. Marriages (CR) England. Greenwich, Kent. 28 December 1880. SEELY, John and GALLEHAWK, Mary Ann. Entry no. 454.
  4. Census Records. Guisborough, Yorkshire. 03 April 1881. SELLEY [SEELEY], John (head). ED 12. PN 4842. FN 28. p. 49. : accessed 28 December 2021.
  5. Birth Index (CR) England & Wales. Norwich, Norfolk. 4th Q., 1849. SEELY, Mary Ann. Vol. 13. p. 251. Collection: England & Wales Births 1837-2006. : accessed 28 December 2021.
  6. Birth Index (CR) England & Wales. RD Norwich, [Norfolk]. 2nd Q, 1852. SEELY, Lydia. Vol. 4b. p. 152. : accessed 09 January 2022.
  7. Birth Index (CR) England & Wales. RD Aylsham, [Norfolk]. 2nd Q., 1857. SEELY, Rachel Ann. Vol. 4b. p. 83. : accessed 09 January 2022.
  8. Birth Index (CR) England & Wales. RD Norwich, Norfolk. 3rd Q., 1857. SEELY, John. Vol 4b. p. 138. : accessed 09 January 2022.
  9. Marriages (CR) England. RD Guisborough, [Yorkshire]. 3rd Q., 1876. WARD, Anthony and SEELY, Rachel. Vol. 9d. p. 682. Collection: England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915. : accessed 09 January 2022.
  10. Census Records. Earlham, Norfolk. 07 April 1861. SEELY, James (head). ED 26. PN 1220. FN 180. p. 1. SN 5. : accessed 28 December 2021.
  11. Death Index (CR) England. RD Maidstone, [Kent]. 1st Q., 1892. SEELY, John. Vol. 2a. p. 649. : accessed 09 January 2022.


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