By June Tingley
The Hebden Family
The family was first recorded in the parish register when James of Beggermonds married Mary Sidgewick. In 1717 Stephen, a yeoman married Frances Procter. When their son Jeffrey was baptised the following year Stephen was said to be a tailor living at Haltongill. Jeffrey died the same year and it wasn’t until 1724 that the baptism of another child, Agnes occurred.
In 1735 Stephen, son of Stephen of Oughtershaw was baptised. Was this the same family? Also living at Haltongill at the same time as Stephen was Robert, whose son James was baptised in 1720. When his son Roger died in 1723 the family had moved to Foxup. Robert and James moved to Cosh at some time as James was recorded there when his daughter Agneas was baptised in 1758 and Robert died there in 1764, the same year as his daughter in law Isabel. Another Roger, a yeoman married Margaret Preston in 1751. They were living at Haltongill when their daughter Susannah was baptised in 1756.
In 1756 John of Hubberholme, a eidower married Ann Metcalfe of Cray. It is possible they are the same couple who moved to Haltongill and had a son James baptised in 1777, followed by Nancy in 1781. A daughter Fanny died in 1783. A John of Middlehouse, Malham Moor was buried at Arncliffe in 1813 aged 95, possibly John from Hubberholme. A Stephen also of Middlehouse died in 1862 aged 92.
None of the family appeared on the 1803 Muster Roll nor in the 1841 census.
The Heseldon/Heseltine Family
The first records of the family in the parish register show them living down Littondale at Hawkswick and Arncliffe Cote during C18th. The first known to be living higher up the valley at Foxup was Thomas who married Betty Metcalfe in 1789. They had 9 children baptised between 1789 and 1810. Thomas was included on the Muster Roll of 1803 for the township of Haltongill, where he was recorded as a labourer class 4. In the 1841 census he is recorded as a 70 year old labourer living with his daughter Mary and son Robert. Several of Thomas’ children can be found on later census records. Matthew baptised in 1799 was living at Cracoe in 1851. James baptised in 1808 was living with his wife Elizabeth at Buckden where he worked as a cartman. His sister Isabel was also living with the family. They had 7 children living with them at the time but one Mary, born at Arncliffe was probably only a visitor. James, born around 1837 later had a son John who returned to Haltongill and in 1871 was farming 10 acres of land.
From 1840 – 1855 a John Heseltine was one of a group of men eeking out a living mining lead in the area between Hawkswick Clouder and Procter High Mark. Although there were a lot of children born and survived they seem to have dispersed quite quickly around other villages in the Dales.
The Hill Family
The earliest in the parish register records the marriage of Thomas and Catherine Tennant in 1691. Nothing else is recorded until the baptism of Christopher, son of Thomas in 1720. Christopher probably became a carpenter at Haltongill and married Jane Calvert in 1741. They had 9 children: Robert, 2 x Christophers who both died in childhood, James, John, 2 x Thomas both baptised and died between 1756 and 1759, Charles, and William who died in 1762. Robert married Elizabeth Sedgewick in 1768 and lived at Litton. They had 8 children but sadly only 2 survived, Robert the eldest baptised in 1773 and Charles the youngest baptised in 1782.
In 1731 James of Heseldon married Alice Calvert. Their daughter Elizabeth was baptised in 1731, followed by Ann in 1734, Robert in 1746 and Christopher in 1750. It is possible that James then moved to Penyghent, as in 1777 Robert, the son of James, a yeoman of Penyghent, died there. In 1779 Christopher married Agnes Bouskill and was living at Haltongill when their first 4 children were baptised. Only 2 of them survived infancy. They were James baptised in 1781 but died when he was only 29 years old and Charles in 1785. The family then seems to have moved to Litton where Christopher became the inn keeper. Another son John was baptised in 1790. In 1794 the youngest son William was baptised. Christopher died that same year and William the year after. John probably married Ellinor Hall in 1811.
In 1808 Charles a butcher of Litton married Ann Brook. Whether he was the son of Robert or Christopher is not indicated but it is interesting to see that the other Charles is a witness at the wedding. They had a daughter Nancy baptised in 1809 and a son James the following year but unfortunately he did not survive.
Thomas of Haltongill, married to Ellen was a contemporary of Christopher and James. He had a son baptised in 1747, followed by Issabel in 1749, Leonard in 1753, James in 1758 and Christopher in 1760. When Issabel was baptised Thomas was described as a poor man. Leonard lived at Haltongill and married Elizabeth Stanning in 1776. They had 4 children, Nellie, William, Robert and Ann. When Robert was baptised in 1788, Leonard, like his father was said to be poor.
Another contemporary John lived with his wife Elizabeth at Arncliffe. John had a son John baptised in 1747 and a daughter Elizabeth in 1783. It seems likely that Christopher, James, Thomas and John were all brothers ie. Sons of Thomas and Catherine.
William, a ‘poor man’, lived at Foxup and married Alice Whitfield in 1775. His children were Thomas, Ellen, William and Dorothy, baptised in 1793 when William was said to be a pauper. Thomas, probably the son of William married Agnes Nelson in 1807.
In the 1803 Muster Roll a Charles is recorded as a joiner living at Litton, class 1 ie. Single under 30, and Charles, a labourer class 1. At this stage there is no knowing which Charles is which as neither had started butchering at that time. Also on the roll is Thomas, a servant, class 1, living at Arncliffe. He was probably the son of William of Foxup and Christopher, a labourer, class 4. The 1841 census only gives Dolly aged 45 a farm servant.
In 1851 we again find Charles aged 68 a carpenter born at Litton with his wife Elizabeth aged 51 and Robert aged 20. It is now fairly safe to assume that he was the witness at the butcher’s wedding and is the son of Robert of Litton.
There was a lot of poverty in the family but it seems strange that the poorer members of the family were not the ones who lost most of their children. We can only speculate on the cause of so many infant deaths. In 2 generations there were 17 children of which only 6 survived infancy.
The Hodgshon/Hodgson Family
This family was one of the earliest recorded to be living in the area. The Fountains Abbey lease book records that in 1480 John Brown and Richard Hodgshon were accounting for the sheep led at Deepdale – a flock of 275-300 wethers. However nothing is known of the family in Littondale until a recording in the parish register shows the marriage of Agnes to John Brookes at Arncliffe in 1690.
In 1718 Simon, a yeoman of Arncliffe, married Alice Preston and in 1724 Thomas, a yeoman married Agneas Wildman. Two more marriages took place; another Agnesin 1730 and Ellin who married John Clark, a tailor in 1739. Ellin was married by the curate of Arncliffe, Mr Hodgshon who must have been there very briefly as there does not appear to be any other record of him at Arncliffe.
In 1767 another Thomas married Agnes Brown of Foxup. His first child Edmund Brown was baptised at Foxup in 1767, clearly the son of Agnes. Then there is a problem in understanding the records. The baptisms of several more children of Thomas of Haltongill are recorded but the mother’s name is not included until 1779 when she is recorded as Annis. Considering the fact that Thomas baptised in 1782 appears to have been named after the child who died the year before and that William at the time of his death is said to be Annis’ child suggests that all the children at Haltongill were the same family but to establish whether the father Thomas had been widowed and moved to Foxup or whether there were 2 different families needs further research. When Alice was baptised in 1786 the family were described as being poor.
The 1803 Muster Roll gives Thomas, probably son of Thomas and Annis as a carpenter of Haltongill class 1 ie. Under 30. The only members of the family recorded in the 1841 census were at Arncliffe, where Mary aged 20 and Ann aged 15 were working in the cotton mill as labourers.
Although several Hodgsons appear in the dale in the 1851 census they were mainly not born there but in other villages lower down Wharfedale. One local family was living at Arncliffe, that of John aged 59 and Martha aged 60 with Thomas 23, Alice 6 and 83 year old Mary.
The Holms/Holmes Family
The family was first recorded in the parish register at Darnbrook where Jane was living at the time of her marriage to Peter Buck in 1692. The next record was found in the Hubberholme register where James, son of William of Haltongill was baptised in 1720. Unfortunately he died in 1723. When William’s daughter Ann was baptised in 1724 he was recorded as a yeoman. He had several more children, the last being baptised in 1730.
In 1742 Christopher of Oulcotes died. There is no more information about him, By 1752 there was another family at Haltongill, that of James who had a son James baptised.
A document in the Raistrick collection no. 224 lists the household goods sold by James Holmes in 1801 in order to pay his arrears of rent to Mrs Foster. It was probably James born 1752 who moved to Penyghent with his wife Elizabeth and had 6 daughters and 2 sons baptised there.
James Holmes, parish apprentice was involved as a witness in a dispute concerning a right of way through an ancient enclosure at Nether Heseldon in the early C19th. James’ son James born in 1785 may have been the apprentice although he seems rather too old. Between 1773 and 1781 a Mr Holmes, miner, was working Darsey Rake near Cote Gill, Arncliffe averaging 365 tons of lead per year.
A James, farmer at Haltongill class 4 was included on the Muster Roll of 1803. The 1841 census shows James aged 88 of independent means living with his daughter Mary, servant and John, a manservant for R. Walbank at Foxup. John and Mary were 2 of the children of James and Elizabeth of Penyghent.
By 1851 James had died and John and Mary had been joined by an older sister Elizabeth. In 1861 John was still working as an agricultural labourer, Elizabeth now aged 72 was working as a charwoman and Mary aged 68 a servant.