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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!

March 2010 Newsletter

The message may be a little late, but I just had to share with you all Paula’s super photo – taken on New Year’s Day above Kendal.  It should remind us all of the hardships experienced by our Adamthwaite ancestors living on those cold fells in a hard winter like the one we have just experienced.


Just imagine how life must have been for the folk living at Adamthwaite farm, cut off from Ravenstonedale town for weeks on end, or tending their livestock on Frostrow Fell, with biting winds blowing along the Garsdale valley  – they must have had strong independent characters to live through that!

New Year card Kendal Scout Scar Large Web view

Welcome to all our new members

There has been a small flurry of new members on the Mailing List in the past couple of months, so I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all to our little group of Adamthwaite researchers.  I hope you will all find some useful information about the Adamthwaites in your family tree, and along the way will meet new contacts to help you in your research.  Why not use our own Adamthwaite Forum (see the link on the left of every page) to ask questions, seek help, comment on any of the articles on this website, or to tell the rest of us about your own success stories in tracing your Adamthwaite ancestors?

Mark Adamthwaite – an ORANGE line man of mystery

Donna – one of the new members mentioned above – immediately set the ball rolling with the photos and new facts she sent me about her ancestor Mark Adamthwaite.  As a result, we have been able to add more details to the section about him in the Miscellany article ‘Tragedy, Bigamy and Intrigue’ – answering some questions, but, as always, raising even more.  We would particularly like your opinions on one of the photos which appears at the very end of the article.

Emma Adamthwaite - OLIVE line

We have also been able to add some more information to the article about Emma Adamthwaite – this time thanks to some diligent research by one of our older (not literally) members, Ann.  However,  this too raises more questions along with the answers.  You can tell us what you think about Ann’s suspicions too, using the thread about Emma in the Notes and Queries section of the Forum.

My impulse purchase at the Who Do You Think You Are Live Exhibition at Olympia!


It was great to meet up with Christine (of the YELLOW line) at the recent exhibition at Olympia.  There was lots to see and do there, and I managed to spend some of my hard earned housekeeping money (!) on a splendid complete set of all four volumes of Lewis’s Topographical Dictionary of England.  Despite being published in 1842, most of the pages are still uncut – however, as you can see from the photo, the volumes can hardly be described as being in pristine condition.  Never mind, the content is the important thing, and I have already added descriptions of Ravenstonedale, Sedbergh and Winton to the Archive (you’ll find them on the Photo Gallery page for each of these places as I couldn’t think where else to put

them – they are large files so may take some time to download).  If you want me to photograph the description of any towns or villages associated with your family – just let me know, though please be specific if you are interested in any parts of London!  I think the knock down price of just £25 for the set (proceeds go to the Soc. Of Genealogists which is a very worthwhile organisation so I didn’t haggle about the price)  was well worth it, not to mention the effort involved in lugging them home on the tube!

DNA Family Finder tests

My other main purchase was planned: it was a DNA kit for myself for one of Family Tree DNA’s new Family Finder tests.  This test can be taken by men or women and analyses autosomal DNA rather than the male yDNA or female mtDNA which are more traditionally used in genetic genealogy.  The test is very new and at the moment is only available to existing customers of Family Tree DNA (it was also on special offer at the Exhibition and I suspect it will be considerably more expensive when they launch the test to the wider public).  But it has the big advantage that unlike yDNA tests which can only match you with other direct male descendants of your most distant known male ancestor (which is why it is ideal for genealogists like us doing a surname study) this test can match you to ANY blood relative, male or female, within the past five generations AND provide information on the probable relationship between two matching sets of data.  Although it will probably be years before there are sufficient sets of results on their database to make discovering relatives a real possibility, I am hopeful that it may help me to discover who my illegitimate paternal grandfather’s father was,  and perhaps link me to the untraceable Irish Green family that my maternal grandfather belonged to!


Remember that we still need volunteers for our yDNA test programme – and still have some FREE yDNA test kits to give away to Adamthwaite males from the lines that still need testing.  If you know a male Adamthwaite in one of the following lines – BLUE, ORANGE, VIOLET, YELLOW or OLIVE, please do your best to explain to them how important their DNA could be to us discovering links between the different lines.  Please email me to discuss whether your potential volunteer belongs to one of the branches where we still seeking volunteers.

Pharos on-line Genealogy Courses

I have also signed up to do an on-line course on ‘Introduction to One-Name Studies’ with Pharos – I have had excellent reports about their tutors, so I am looking forward to the course which begins in June, as I have never undertaken any on-line learning before.  I hope that I will be able to put all their ideas into practice on the website.  The company runs a variety of courses which are relevant to family historians with all levels of experience – take a look at their prospectus and see if there are any topics that would interest you.  We're never too old to learn!

Some sad news

I learned yesterday evening that Vera Adamthwaite died very recently at the grand old age of 99 years, and the following notice was published in the Herald Sun on 19th March 2010:







Readers may or may not know that Vera, who was the widow of Alf Adamthwaite, played a key role in the production of the Centenary booklet about the Adamthwaites of Quambatook, which is reproduced on our website.  I have sent a small bouquet on behalf of the Adamthwaite Archive, expressing our condolences. If anyone in Victoria can attend Thursday's funeral, that would be wonderful.


In January, I also received the following email from Toni, who wrote the piece about Rhoda’s story:

Ensuring  the future of the Adamthwaite Archive

These sad deaths are timely reminders that none of us is getting any younger … genealogy tends to be a past-time for later in life, when we have more time and more understanding about our ancestors’ lives.  I am no exception to this trend, and although I have no plans to stop working on the website for many years to come (indeed I hope to still be going when I get to 99), recently I have been concerned to make sure that all the work that we have put into creating the Adamthwaite Archive is not lost when I am no longer able to maintain the website.  That is unless of course someone can reassure me that a) there is indeed a better place; b) I will get to go there; and c) I will have access to a laptop with an internet connection that will allow me to interview all those deceased ancestors and tell you lot what they have to say about our conjectures!


Our one-name study is not really large enough to warrant having a properly set up Society, with Officers and regular meetings to make all the decisions and pass over responsibilities as and when necessary, but we do still need to think of the future.


As the Guild of One-Name Studies is constantly reminding its members: Publish for Posterity!


My current plan is to put all the data on CDs and deposit them at the Society of Genealogists (and perhaps also at the Guild of One-Name Studies if they have this facility).  And though I can leave a bequest to pay for the website to continue for a number of years, I have no idea WHO will carry on maintaining and updating it after I’m gone.  Sadly, none of my own children shows the slightest interest in family history at present.


So I need to find some volunteers who will learn how to edit the site (it’s simple when you know how!), with whom I can entrust the various passwords.  So if you would like to become an assistant webmaster, do please contact me and I can set you up with your own password (and your own section to maintain too if you like).  One idea I have had is that we could actually divide the work up so that we have a representative for each of the different colour family lines – does that sound feasible?


I would like you all to give it some thought, and post your views on our much underused Adamthwaite Forum … I have created a thread in the General Discussions section called ‘Planning for the future of the Adamthwaite Archive’

So, something for all of you to consider  ...

…  what will happen to YOUR private research?  Do you have all your data backed up?  What will happen to all your documents, certificates, photos?  Perhaps its time you wrote that book about your family history, or at the very least an article for our Miscellany section!!

It is with great sadness that I must let you know that Rhoda Dickens (nee Adamthwaite) passed away at 9:30pm 27th December 2009 (dob 20/7/1920). As you may know she had been very frail with dementia for some time but she died peacefully in her sleep at her daughter’s home. She will be cremated at Rawdon in Leeds on Wednesday the 6th January at 1:40pm.


She only had a few wishes - that no one wear black, that the music is jolly and that she has her eyebrows drawn on.

ADAMTHWAITE. - A Funeral Service for Mrs Vera May Adamthwaite will be held at the Quambatook Co-operating Parish Church on THURSDAY (Mar. 25, 2010) at 2 p.m., followed by burial at the Quambatook Lawn Cemetery.

The funeral directors are A.G.Adams and Sons of Kerang (tel 5452 1111)

with best wishes from Sue (still very much alive and kicking!)

NOTE:  links to all the past Newsletters can be found here