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"The website IS the one-name study!"


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page updated

21 feb 2022

The Adamthwaite One-name Study

I am a member of the Society of Genealogists, the Guild of One-name Studies and the Society of One- Place Studies.  In 2015 I completed the Certificate in Family History Skills and Strategies (Intermediate) distance learning course with Pharos Tutors - which I thoroughly recommend to anyone wishing to further their knowledge in genealogy (Pharos run online courses on a range of different topics at various levels). I then went on to complete their Advanced Certificate course, and some of the articles in the Miscellany section are the result of the fascinating research undertaken on that course.


Sue Mastel

In addition to running the ADAMTHWAITE one-name study, and the associated Ravenstonedale DNA Project, since I retired I briefly took over another one-name study into the surname APPLEBY (my husband's side of the family) but I gave it up after a couple of years as it was too demanding.

me 2017

I started researching my own family history in the late 1990s, really only to find out who all the relatives were that featured in my parents' stories.  Gradually, I became more interested in the people I was learning about, but the person that really intrigued me was my maternal grandmother, whose maiden name was Mary Isabella ADAMTHWAITE (though known to me as Granny Green).  The name sounded so unusual, I had never come across anyone else with such an odd surname. She and Grandpa Green lived in County Durham, and I recall visiting them as a small child in their old fashioned little house and my mother telling me about her childhood years spent in the village of Norton-on-Tees.


Over the course of the next few years, I discovered that Mary Isabella's own parents came from Westmorland and successfully traced many family members, but I hit the proverbial brick wall with my 5xgt grandparents John Adamthwaite and Isabel Keasley who married in Ravenstonedale in 1753 when the marriage entry said they were both 'of Ravenstonedale'.  But I could not find John's birth in the parish registers.  Then I met other researchers on the Adamthwaite Mailing List on Rootsweb who were also stuck at this marriage, so I decided to collect ALL the Adamthwaite entries in the Ravenstonedale parish registers in the hope of sorting them all out to work out where my couple fitted.  


This turns out to be the classic way that people start off doing one-name studies!  It becomes something of an obsession and by 2007 I had joined the Guild of One-name Studies and registered the surname ADAMTHWAITE as a surname study.  By this time I had retired from my job and spent more and more time collecting data and reconstructing trees, and had already started to load data and Adamthwaite trees on to the back end of my personal family history website, to share with others.  I had made several trips up to the Cumbria Archives to peruse parish registers, wills and manorial documents, and spent time in the National Archives at Kew seeking out other key pieces of information.  Research continued and more and more people contacted me through the website with additional snippets of information about their own Adamthwaite ancestors.


We now have over 100 members of the Adamthwaite mailing list, though some members are more actively reseaching than others and the website has been through several mutations, growing in size with every transition (the latest in January 2016).  We started a DNA Project as long ago as 2008, but it was very hard to recruit male testers in the early days (particularly when there are very few living male descendants of some lines!) but now we have some very useful and interesting results that tell us more about the early biological founders of the Adamthwaite surname.


I have attended conferences (even gave a presentation at one!) and meetings, and met lots of really friendly one-namers who have given me helpful advice.  I have studied a number of online genealogy courses and learnt a huge amount in the last ten years - it all keeps me so busy, I wonder how I ever had time to go out to work!


Please do use the Contact details on the left to get in touch to tell me about YOUR Adamthwaite ancestors and do not hesitate to ask for help.


You might be interested to read how the one-namer approach to research differs from the usual way of researching a family tree on this page ...


One-Name Studies -

a different way of doing things!

Adamthwaite Archive

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