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Adamthwaite Archive

"The website IS the one-name study!"



Have you been helped by the information on this site?  If you would like to contribute to the cost of our DNA project, just £10 would help towards the cost of DNA kits!

April 2012 Newsletter

First of all, I must apologise for the late arrival of this quarter's Newsletter.  I was away on holiday for the whole of March, and soon after my return I attended the Annual Conference and AGM of the Guild of One-Name Studies, which resulted in quite a few little jobs that needed to be done.  Now I have finally caught up with all my emails (and the washing!) and found time to sit down and bring you all up to date.

Scribe image cropped

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At last we have added another set of yDNA results to our DNA project – we now have results from the following Adamthwaite lines:

  • GREY line – two matching sets of results from the Canadian and Australian branches of this line, which demonstrates that the family tree is correct

  • YELLOW line – one set of results

  • OLIVE line – one set of results (though we also have autosomal DNA evidence linking descendants of the Australian branch to those that remained in England)

  • VIOLET line – one set of results

However, there is no evidence that the four different lines tested share a common ancestor within a genealogical timeframe.  Three of the lines (GREY, OLIVE and VIOLET) belong to haplogroup R1b which is believed to have Viking ancestry.  The YELLOW line belongs to haplogroup E3b, which is a much rarer grouping in the British Isles, and some experts believe that it could have arrived in Britain with soldiers in the Roman armies (many of whom were recruited in the Balkans where this haplogroup is most commonly found).


So although all the evidence points to the surname ADAMTHWAITE having originated at the hamlet of the same name in the parish of Ravenstonedale during the 14th century, it seems likely that the earliest holders of the surname belonged to several different biological families who may have been tenants of the several farms located at Adamthwaite.  It is also possible that some lines are descended from the illegitimate son of a female Adamthwaite (we know this is the case with at least one line which has not yet tested) – which would mean that the yDNA passed down through the male Adamthwaites for those lines would belong to the unidentified father of that particular son.


It is disappointing that we have still not been able to recruit testers from the other Adamthwaite lines, even though we know there are living male descendants of both the ORANGE and BLUE lines - hopefully someone will come forward soon, I still have two free DNA kits ready and waiting!!

DNA results - latest findings

guild journal

Adamthwaite article in the Guild Journal

As the final assignment for a recent course I undertook in One Name Studies, I explored the early occurrences of our surname in detail – you can read the abridged version of my paper in the online copy of the most recent issue of the Journal of the Guild of One-Name Studies (click on the image)


At the end of this article, there is a link to the full unabridged article which includes the table showing the incidence of the 30 most frequently found surnames in Ravenstonedale at key points between 1379 and 1911, along with all the sources used and some background information about the Adamthwaite One Name Study.  You can read the full article here and view the accompanying table here (it is best to open the two documents side by side!)


Since the article was submitted for publication, I believe I have found the origins of some of the early Adamthwaites to appear in the London records, and they appear to belong to families from Ravenstonedale.  Details have been added to the BMD spreadsheets.

spinning gallery Adamthwaite Farm

Spinning Gallery, Adamthwaite farm, from an article about the Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales

Whilst researching the assignment, I was very interested to discover just how small the pool of surnames in Ravenstonedale was during the 14th to 18th centuries. (The table in the above article only shows the 30 most common surnames - I have actually analysed the data for ALL the surnames that appeared in the early Ravenstonedale records.)  I looked in detail at all the marriages for the first two hundred years of the Ravenstonedale parish records, and found that the Adamthwaites had married holders of most of the high frequency surnames, which indicated a high level of intermarriage within what was at the time a pretty isolated village.


I have a theory that although the results of our DNA project may not prove that there was just one common male who fathered all the Adamthwaite lines, there is a very good possibility that we all share a noticeable proportion of genetic material inherited from the early inhabitants of Ravenstonedale (whatever their surname!).  So I have embarked on the beginnings of a geographical yDNA and autosomal DNA project for people with ancestors living in Ravenstonedale before 1800, starting off with descendants of four different ADAMTHWAITE  lines:

Ravenstonedale Surname Project

OLIVE GREEN line – I took a Family Finder test myself when they were first introduced in 2009, and a year or so later a known Adamthwaite cousin from this line also tested – our results are a good match at third cousin level.  I recently received Family Finder results for three more Adamthwaite descendants of the VIOLET line, ORANGE line and BLUE line.  We know that the ORANGE line is actually a branch of the VIOLET line, but the connection lies nine generations back.  Any connection between the OLIVE line and the BLUE line, either to each other or to the VIOLET/ORANGE line has never been found in the written records, so if there IS any connection it is likely to have been more than two hundred years ago.


So I was fascinated to discover that we ALL share matches with each other, at distances predicted at between 6.5 and 7.5 generations.  This can probably be explained by the higher than average proportion of DNA we have each inherited which has its early origins in this small corner of north western England.  (For example, I know from my own family history research  that no less than eight of my own 32 3xgreat grandparents came from East Ward in Westmorland … this represents a quarter of my DNA, and probably the same could be said of most people whose ancestry includes anyone who lived in Ravenstonedale before the Industrial Revolution scattered families far and wide.  We have already found a match with a FOTHERGILL descendant.


I hope to include descendants of other Adamthwaite lines in this project shortly along with results from people known to descend from other Ravenstonedale families, and will be adding some interesting findings from the results on a page on this website (labelled only with the name of the most distant known ancestor to protect the testers’ privacy).


If YOU have researched any other Ravenstonedale surnames as part of your own family history, I should be very pleased to hear from you.

Recent updates to the Adamthwaite Archive website

  • BMD spreadsheets – now include records from the recently available collection of Westminster parish records on Find My Past, along with new possible connections for early Adamthwaites in London and Essex and some burial information from Deceased Online.

  • Historical Directories – updated with new information

  • DNA results – updated with latest results from our VIOLET line

Whilst at the Guild Conference earlier this month, I had the opportunity to examine some other Guild Members' publications, many of which were produced on Lulu online publishing.  The quality of many of these was excellent, and I am now determined to create a printed publication from all the stories and articles on our own website.  


But we are still short of articles about some of the lines - so if there are currently no stories about YOUR Adamthwaite ancestors in the Miscellany index please try to get something down on paper for posterity!!  Even if it is just a few recollections about some of your interesting Adamthwaite ancestors, send it to me and I am sure we can create an interesting article, especially if you have some photographs about the characters involved.


FINALLY - some of you have asked about my recent trip to Brazil, so if you really want to see some of the photos, just click on the parrots.....


with best wishes

Adamthwaite book

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Sue Mastel