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table 1

the article and data that initiated the Ravenstonedale  project


our project page on the Family Tree DNA website

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Slide 1: Ravenstonedale is a small town with a parish boundary covering a large area of surrounding moorland with many isolated farms It has two pubs and a church

Slide 2: St Oswalds Church

Slide 3: One of the earliest documents we have is the protestation Return for 1641.

Slide 4: This is an illustration of the population change over the years.  From the protestation Return, there are 240 adult males, which could make a population of 700? There are 3 Aldersons

The 1911 census gives 558, again with 3 Aldersons

The 1939 census is difficult to evaluate but, assuming that the parish boundaries are the same then there are 900 souls

The 2011 census gives 976, the number of Aldersons is unknown


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Slide 5: The protestation returns give 3 Aldersons. They are all brothers and , from the burial and marriage records, are all Quakers. George Fox passed by in 1652 and doubtless encouraged them.

Slide 6: This is the ruin of the Fell End Quaker meeting house, from 1704

Slide 7: This is the Meeting House at Narthwaite in use from 1793 to 1907

Slide 8: Looking at those 1641 Aldersons, there is another brother, Richard, too young to be in the census. His family farmed at Greenside and Simons family farmed at Narthwaite. We suppose it was Simon's farm where the meeting house was. There were Aldersons at Narthwaite until at least 1766, according to Quaker wills.

Slide 9: Now we look at the Greenside family. Here we see Richard and two children and a grandson called James. He was clearly a bright lad because someone paid for him to be educated and, in due course, became a dissenting minister in Lowestoft. Who paid? May be the quakers clubbed together or perhaps the lord of the manor, Lord Wharton, paid.

Slide 10: Now a look at James' family. He produced two lawyers and two surgeons. John was a highly respected surgeon in Hull and his son, James went to Pembroke College with an MA , then to Magdalen College for a MD. He became president of the College of Surgeons, appointed physician to Queen Victoria  and finally a knighthood in1869.  

This is interesting when you think that his grandfather started out by mucking out the pigs on his family farm at Greenside. Social mobility did not appear to be a problem. According to manorial records the copyhold tenancy passed to John while in Hull. As he clearly did not  need it, it then passed out of the family.

Slide11: The statue of John Alderson outside Hull Infirmary

Slide 12: A bust of Sir James.

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Ravenstonedale DNA project

Ravenstonedale DNA project


Many of the Aldersons were known to have been Quakers from very early times ... you can read a paper here which Godfrey has prepared about the history of the Religious Society of Friends, with particular reference to the involvement of his Alderson ancestors.


Godfrey has also shared a Powerpoint presentation about his Alderson ancestors, which he presented to his local Family History group ... each image has been cropped to fit the box: please click on individual images to enlarge ....

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