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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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If you are lucky enough to live in the area, find out about talks presented at the Ravenstonedale Parish History Society on their webpage (Link on left).  Many of these talks feature the history of particular old Ravenstonedale families.

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Ravenstonedale DNA project

Ravenstonedale DNA project

about Ravenstonedale

Ravenstonedale is a mainly rural parish located in the old County of Westmorland (now part of Cumbria).


The Westmorland map was created by the geographer Herman Moll in 1724 and the town of Ravenstonedale is shown as 'Russendale', which is how it was often written (and how it was pronounced) (both maps are from the David Rumsey collection)


The circles located just north of Ravenstonedale and near to Wharton Hall on the 1724 map show the locations of Lord Wharton's parks.


To discover more about the history of Ravenstonedale, I thoroughly recommend that you read Rev. W Nicholls' 'History and Traditions of Ravenstonedale Westmorland', the original version of volume 1 is available online at or you may find a copy of the reprinted version published by The Book House, Ravenstonedale in 1996.


There is also a second volume of this book which is available online at Google Books online (I managed to buy a copy on ebay, where you occasionally find more copies for sale - check it is Volume II with the green cloth cover before buying as they are expensive!) Abe Books is also a useful source of out-of-print books.


I am gradually adding more documents describing life in the dale in the Resource Section.

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map of Westmoreland

These images date from the late 19th century - you can find many more on the local Community website

'About Ravenstonedale' (link on left)


If you have never had the opportunity to visit Ravenstonedale yourself, I thoroughly recommend a visit.  The photos below were taken at an Adamthwaite Reunion in the village back in 2009  [I must point out that our Adamthwaite descendants only made up a small number of those in the photos - we joined in with a tour organised by the Sedbergh & District History Society]

Old photos of Ravenstonedale

village looking north in about 1872 comp
village looking south compressed
high chapel compressed
towards the Black Swan comp
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back lane 1 comp

Talks at the Ravenstonedale Parish History Group

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