the article and data that initiated the Ravenstonedale project
our project page on the Family Tree DNA website
I plan to add a variety of articles and documents to this section, describing how life may have been for our Ravenstonedale ancestors. If you can add documents, stories, images, etc., for inclusion in this section, please send them to me (ideally in JPG, PDF or Word format).
I bought the programme for this event on ebay, and though I couldn't find a newspaper article setting out the results of the various competitions listed in the programme, I did come across a very interesting article, describing a similar event that took place in Threlkeld, Cumberland the same month, which may help those of you that don't remember the television series 'One Man and his Dog' to understand what sheepdog trials are all about!
According to Rev Nicholls in his 'History and Traditions of Ravenstonedale" (volume 1 printed in 1877), everyone in Ravenstonedale used to knit ... men, women and children. Apparently it was quite normal for a shepherd minding his sheep to occupy himself knitting stockings. This short article explains the importance of knitting to the people of Ravenstonedale.
On this page you will find a link to a fascinating book which is available to read online at Archive.org, which describes the way of life for agricultural workers in Westmorland two hundred years ago, along with some of the illustrations from the book
These were ancient homes of the FOTHERGILLs, and this short article by Cyril Harrington from a 1951 edition of 'The Dalesman' provides some background to their origins. The link will open a pdf document.
Before 1834, responsibility for the poor, sick and old was down to the local parish officials. The financial burden was great and many strategies were put into place to prevent any poor arriving in the parish from elsewhere! In Ravenstonedale, there are records showing a strategy adopted by the Grand Jury of Four and Twenty to manage the situation. This link will take you to an article on the Adamthwaite Archive.
by James Rebanks
This fascinating account of a modern-day shepherd's daily life working with Herdwick and Swaledale flocks on the fells provides an understanding of how many of our Ravenstonedale ancestors could have spent their lives at various times of the farming year. The author suggests that the traditional practices of fell-farming may have remained virtually unchanged for several thousand years. An excellent read!!