James is an ancestor who has eluded me for over thirty years. Can anyone suggest something to help find him?

The surname used later is REELEY or REELY (used by son Peter). Occasionally the family turn up as REILLY or RILEY. The only early reference I have is 1841 census for Manchester where he and the family appear in Back China Lane as RAILEY. (Ref. HO107/572/17 f.13, p.20) Details of the children accord with later information found. I have found no baptism, no marriage and no burial for him, but he appears on the marriage certificates of all 3 children. Peter in 1849 as "dead"; Sarah in 1853 as "tarpaulin maker" and John in 1860 as "Sailmaker".
Peter married in Wolverhampton, Sarah in Aston and John in Birmingham. Peter later moved to Duddston where he appears on 3 censuses at the same address. His occupation is oil sheet maker, sailmaker or similar.
Sarah married Charles Baddeley a brass founder, but later a medical botanist in London.

I have a death certificate for a William Reeley of Duddeston who died 1837 aged 71. Unfortunately his occupation is given as labourer and the informant is unknown to me, so although I suspect he might be James' father I have no evidence bar the fact that Peter had a son William also in his trade.

James' wife Sarah appears on 1851 census as REILLY aged 54 and born Liverpool, living in Wolverhampton a short distance from where son Peter had lived when he married. Other two children were with her. Preceding entry man had occupation of "Tarpaul sail maker" so the theme carries on. In 1861 she is with Peter in High Park Street with Peter. She is aged 66, born Liverpool, and uses the spelling Reely.

The surname also appears in Berkshire but I and other researchers have not found any links. Any ideas gratefully received.