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the article and data that initiated the Ravenstonedale  project


our project page on the Family Tree DNA website

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Information for neighbouring parishes/areas

If you are planning a visit to Ravenstonedale

the road to the village


You may notice that there are no photos taken of the stunning high fells that surround the village ... I am not quite up to that, but if you go to this page of the Adamthwaite Archive  and click on the link to view 'Paula's Walk' you will get an idea of what is available for all you active types (and you can even listen to a ballad written by an Adamthwaite member). Sadly the link to Anthony's 'Wander in the Howgills' images no longer works.


And if you need to keep a partner occupied whilst you visit the Cumbria Archives ... there is the Riverside Golf Course in Ravenstonedale to keep them occupied (small but perfectly formed! and with a line from 'The Lord is my Shepherd' on every tee marker to raise your spirits)


This last group of photos were all taken on the little golf course

if you kept walking up this road for another couple of miles, you would eventually arrive at Adamthwaite


this little group of sheep were waiting for us every time we left the farm

Although all the sheep wandered freely, the cattle were held in fields - and were FAR more interested in passers-by!


We saw lots of horse-drawn vehicles on their way home after attending Appleby Fair

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Ravenstonedale DNA project

Ravenstonedale DNA project

Useful links

Ravenstonedale is fortunate to have an excellent Community website, as well as TWO local history organisations (see links on left):


COMMUNITY WEBSITE The Ravenstonedale Community website (I seem to recall that when I first visited the website about a decade ago, it had the strapline 'probably the best parish...') has recently been redesigned and is a treasure trove of information - take a look at the History section which includes interviews with long-standing parishioners, old photographs, articles about the Gilbertine ruins and much more of interest to anyone with Ravenstonedale ancestry (as well as details of places to stay if you should decide to make a personal visit!)


R'DALE PARISH HISTORY GROUP  in normal (non-Covid times!) this group runs regular open afternoons at the High Chapel on Thursdays from 2-4pm, and holds a programme of talks at various local venues.  They have had to postpone their programme during the pandemic, but to give you an example of the types of events they run, the 2021/22  programme included: 

  • 'The History of Common Land' by Maurice Hall, at Newbiggin-on-Lune Public Hall 16 feb 2021 


Further details about future events are on the RPHG website.  The Group also circulates a very interesting Newsletter to all members at regular intervals, to keep us all informed of new material held at the High Chapel.


If you have queries about your family history in Ravenstonedale, or are interested in joining the group, you can leave a message in the Family History section of their blog, and someone will get back to you.


R'DALE INDEPENDENT HISTORY ARCHIVE this resource is held by Frank Chalmers who holds a wide range of documents, copies of which are available to individuals who contact him. 



There are also Surname Studies and/or DNA projects for several of the surnames which are frequently found in the parish of Ravenstonedale:


The following websites are run as part of the Guild of One-name Studies:

Adamthwaite Archive

Duckett website  

Hall website

Parke website

a Handley study is not yet online - visit the Guild site to find out more


Other websites:

Alderson Family History Society

Bland Heritage Foundation

Bousfield Family

Close Family Tree

Fothergill DNA Project

Metcalfe Socety

Swinbank DNA Project

if you know of any more websites about Ravenstonedale surnames, please send me the link!


Old Cumbria Gazetteer: Ravenstonedale ... this website provides details, photos and location maps, about many of the farmhouses in Ravenstonedale

The Ravenstonedale Millennium Map ... this link takes you to an interactive version of this brilliant map produced by David Morris, Caroline Metcalf- Gibson and Tom Oldham to celebrate the Millennium in 2001 on the Ravenstonedale Community website - view it FULL SCREEN.  Copies of the paper version can also be purchased from the Scar Art Gallery in Ravenstonedale, along with a booklet providing accounts by residents of many of the farms.  The map and the booklet are my constant companions when writing about places in the parish!  HINT: Adamthwaite Farm is on the Front of the map in the section called 'Bottom Left'


If you know of any other websites covering surnames from Ravenstonedale, please let me know.



EdenLinks Genealogy ... this site contains lots of really useful data relating to the Eden Valley, including Transcriptions of Hearth Tax, Window Tax and the Constables Census of 1787, a range of information about various Westmorland parishes, and lots of other information that may relate to YOUR ancestors.


Kirkby Stephen Nancy McLaughlin's excellent site holding data about Kirkby Stephen, and surrounding area, well worth taking a look to see if any of YOUR ancestors are featured.


The Westmorland Dales Landscape Partnership ... this site contains a Blog with super articles about families, places and areas of interest which will appeal to all with ancestors hailing from this part of the country



Although I have made numerous short visits to Ravenstonedale, a couple of years ago, we spent a whole week on holiday in the village ... and if you want to begin to get a feel for where your ancestors lived I thoroughly recommend a visit.  You will find a wide variety of places to stay on the Ravenstonedale Community website - we chose Green Barn Cottages because it is the closest to Adamthwaite and Artlegarth and I thoroughly recommend the accommodation and location. Scroll down to view some photos I took to give you an idea of how Ravenstonedale looks today ... bring your walking boots to view the real thing!

Community Groups


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