the article and data that initiated the Ravenstonedale project
our project page on the Family Tree DNA website
VITAL RECORDS - As every family history researcher knows, BMDs and Census information forms the basis of our research - particularly when building your family tree. However, it is important to be aware of the high level of nonconformism in Ravenstonedale, as you may need to search records from several sources. You can read more about religion in Ravenstonedale on this page of my Adamthwaite Archive.
Ravenstonedale Parish Church - St Oswald's: When complete, this collection of data is likely to be the most important to all our Ravenstonedale family researchers. I will continue to add further transcripts of the entries for St Oswald's, but it is a long and tiring task so one that I can only do in short bursts - keep checking for updates! You might also be interested to read the Introduction to Reverend R W Metcalfe's transcription of these Registers.
Society of Friends - Ravenstonedale Meeting
Ravenstonedale High Chapel
note: nonconformist chapels were not permitted to perform marriages until 1837 (the exceptions were Quakers and Jews), so you will find many High Chapel members (and other known dissenters) marrying at St Oswalds.
Ravenstonedale Census information
I have only transcribed the 1841 and 1911 censuses to date - given the wide availability of census information, I had not intended to transcribe any more years, however, as part of the online course I am currently undertaking, I am now in the middle of transcribing the 1861 census for Ravenstonedale. It is proving to be fascinating stuff, as this period coincides not only with the process of many tenants becoming enfranchised and gaining the freeholds of their properties (so they can for the first time buy and sell the freeholds), but also the railway line is marching forward and the town is full of workmen involved with making cuttings and laying tracks. Though many are lodgers, it looks as if some have married Ravenstonedale girls and settled down in their own properties. The assignment that set me off on this task only required a dozen or so pages of transcriptions to be analysed (for errors), but the data is proving so interesting, I have decided to complete the whole parish.
At some point, I had already intented to produce spreadsheets or maps showing which other counties people born in Ravenstonedale migrated to. This new influx of residents means I may be able to chart where these incomers originated, as well as discover who has moved away!
Nonconformists in Ravenstonedale
A high proportion of families belonged to nonconformist groups at various times ... if you have not been able to locate your ancestors in the records of St Oswalds parish church (which are available in index form on Family Search, though I aim to complete transcribing them myself from Rev Metcalfe's excellent book of transcriptions, which includes much more information than is available elsewhere) I have created a spreadsheet which includes the Society of Friends births, the High Chapel baptisms, plus some additional 'Dissenter' entries which Rev. Metcalfe added as an Appendix to his Registers of St Oswalds. A few of these appear in both the 'Dissenter' list and on the High Chapel list - often with one entry recording the birth and the other the baptism.