Maskill Family overview

Maskill Family Overview

Who were our Maskill ancestors and where did they come from?

This page gives an overview of the Maskill branch of our family tree by looking at the direct ancestors of my great grandfather George Maskill (1882 – 1962).  George Maskill was my father’s father’s father.  The Maskill family includes ancestors with the Maskill surname, but also people with other surnames including:

  • Backhouse – from George’s mother Elizabeth
  • Wainwright – from George’s paternal grandmother Mary Ann
  • Lawson – from George’s maternal grandmother Ann.

Click on the button below to download a 10-generation Maskill family tree (pdf).


Since at least the 1700s the Maskills have lived in an area of Yorkshire to the east of Leeds and Wakefield, and to the north of Doncaster.

Earlier on, most of George Maskill’s ancestors were born in small rural towns and villages in Yorkshire’s West Riding, like Sherburn in Elmet, although some were born just over the border in the East Riding.  Later on, with industrialisation, some of George’s ancestors moved to larger towns like Castleford and Leeds.

George himself was born in Whitwood Mere, Castleford, on 14 February 1882.

Birthplaces of George Maskill’s ancestors (shown by the blue markers)

Source: Map created by author using Google Earth Pro, ©2020 Infoterra Ltd & Bluesky, Image ©2020 Getmapping plc, Image ©2020 CNES/Airbus.


Most of the earlier male Maskill ancestors, whose occupations are known, worked as general labourers or farm / agricultural labourers.  A few were ‘husbandmen’ or farmers.  Two were tailors, two were carpenters, one was a blacksmith, and one was a gardener.

George’s more recent ancestors worked in glass factories and coal mines.  George himself was a miner, specifically a coal hewer and rock blaster.

As expected, there is very little information on what paid work the Maskill women did. No doubt they were fully occupied with looking after their large families for a good deal of their lives.  However, both George’s grandmothers – Ann Lawson and Mary Ann Wainwright – also worked as servants for a time.

© Caroline Maskill, New Zealand Family History Search

July 2021