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Ravenstonedale DNA project

Ravenstonedale DNA project

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the article and data that initiated the Ravenstonedale  project

our project page on the Family Tree DNA website

Ravenstonedale data: Vital Records

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.

  • Baptisms  - coming soon

  • Marriages 1577-1677

  • Burials  - coming soon

  • St Oswald's Gravestones - The Ravenstonedale Community website holds an alphabetical index to all the gravestones in the churchyard.  This was compiled in 1994 by Mrs C Bunney (1910-1995) of Hwith, Ravenstonedale

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 long last, I have produced a spreadsheet showing which other counties people born in Ravenstonedale migrated to.


You can view the Migration spreadsheet here

return to main Data page

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.

Ravenstonedale Birth/Baptism, Marriage and Death/Burial records available online  It is taking me ages to transcribe all the Ravenstonedale records, so if you want to search for your own families yourself, here are some helpful links:

By far the most reliable source is the copy of Rev Metcalfe's own transcriptions - which includes ALL the details available on the original records.  I have found the following online copy of Vols I, II & III at Google Books  NB do not order one of the copies available to purchase online - these are invariably OCR copies and as all the formatting is lost, so dates have been separated from names, they are absolutely useless! Take a look at what YOU might end up buying!


Family Search has transcriptions at the following Batch Numbers, which can be very useful for an initial trawl to discover whether your Ravenstonedale ancestor appears in the records: HOWEVER these may not be complete, and do NOT include the full details and, in common with most Family Search records, there are no Deaths or Burials included at all:

St Oswald's Parish Church:

Baptisms 1571-1813     P003081

Marriages 1571-1812    M003081


Society of Friends:

Births 1650-1806           P004591

Only Birth records are available for the following nonconformist groups:


Congregational 1811-1837          P004611

Congregational/Ind 1775-1811   C004612

Presbyterian 1775-1809              P004601