James Holroyd Oates was born in about 1839 to James Oates and Eliza. He was baptised at the Wesleyan Methodist Church on Oxford Place in Leeds on 12 May 1839, the register shows that the family were living on Bond Street and James Snr was working as a Clerk.

The 1841 Census shows that James (2) was living with his parents and older sister, Eliza (4), on Bond Street, James Snr working as a book keeper.

At the time of the 1851 Census the family had moved to 57 Albion Street, James was now 11 years old and a scholar. His father was working as Clerk and Secretary to a Gas Company.

The family had moved again by the time of the 1861 Census to 3 Vernon Road (now on the Leeds University Campus), James was now 22 years old and working as a Banker’s Clerk.

On the 6 August 1862, James married Eliza Ann Parker at St Peter’s Church in Leeds. The marriage certificate shows that James was a banker’s clerk and he was living at Vernon Road. Eliza was living at St Alban’s Street, her father John was an Iron Merchant.

According to non-conformist records, James and Eliza had a son who they called Robert James on 17 December 1863 and who was baptised on 17 March 1864 at Bruswick Chapel. The family are recorded as living Caledonian Road. I can find no further records of Robert James and Eliza dies before the 1871 Census.

The 1871 Census shows that James is a widower and he had moved back to live with his parents at 5 Vernon Road, he was working as a bank clerk. The household also had two grandchildren, Emily aged 4 and Mary E. aged 3, but it is not clear if they are James’ children.

[There is a record in the burial register for Garforth St Mary’s Church for an Eliza Ann Oates (buried 26 January 1870), and a Mary Eliza Oates and an Emily Oates who were both buried on 25 October 1873. I have so far not found a connection for the family with Garforth.]

James remarried to Martha Jane (maiden name unknown at this time but possibly Potts and possibly on 8 April 1873 in West Derby in Lancashire) and they had the following children:

  • Edgar Turenne (1875-1919)
  • Bertha Mabel (1876-1961)
  • Arthur Reginald (1880-1927)
  • James Holroyd (1883- )

By the time of the 1881 Census, James, Martha, Edgar, Bertha and Arthur were living at 30 Bond Street (which was a savings bank) with James’ father who was now a widower. James was working as the “Secretary of Savings Bank”. This was the “Leeds, Skyrac & Morley Savings Bank” which was established in 1818. There is “A Brief History of the Leeds, Skyrack and Morley Savings Bank, from January, 1818 to May 1897” written by James Holroyd Oates and published in 1897 or you can read a briefer history here which gives an idea of the responsibilities James had.

Leeds, Skyrac & Morley Savings Bank (from 1910 annual report)

The family were still resident at 30 Bond Street at the time of the 1891 Census, James was now 51 years old and his father was 82.

By 1901 the Census shows that James, Martha and the three younger children ahd moved to 1 Westhill Terrace in Chapel Allerton, James was still “Secretary of Savings Bank” and his son, Arthur, was a “Bank Clerk”.

James had retired by the time of the 1911 Census which shows that he was living at 6 Norfolk Place in Chapel Allerton with Martha and their daughter Bertha. This Census reveals that they had been married for 37 years and that Martha had given birth to 7 children of whom only 4 had survived.

Edgar tragically died on 11 December 1919. He was the manager of the Yorkshire Penny Bank on Servia Road and was shot dead during an armed robbery of his bank.

James died on 18 July 1923 aged 84 years old whilst still living at “Burnham Lea”, 2 Norfolk Gardens in Chapel Allerton. He was buried in the graveyard in Chapel Allerton on 21 July 1923.

Probate reads:

OATES James Holroyd of Burnham Lea 2 Norfolk-gardens Chape(l) Allerton Leeds died 18 July 1923 Probate Wakefield 20 August to Arthur Reginald Oates bank cashier and James Holroyd Oates civil servant. Effects £1861 8s. 10d.