By June Tingley
The Buck Family
The first record of the family in the area is in the Fountains Abbey Lease book. This records John Buck as being responsible for the accounting of the sheep at Darnbrook. In 1496 the farm was held by Thomas and was passed to his son in 1520 at a rent of 16/8d pa. At the time of the Dissolution there were 3 tenements at Darnbrook held by Thomas, Ralph and Robert. It seems likely they were able to purchase some if not all the farmstead as in 1541 Ralph left money for the building of a bridge in front of the farm. The present house was renovated in 1644 by another John Buck. In 1680 Anthony of Darnbrook died, followed by Ralph in 1686. 4 years later Anthony’s daughter Margaret died in childbirth.
A document no. 570 in the Raistrick Collection at Skipton Library dated March 1682/3 records the transfer of Riceside Close and barn at Haltongill from Michael Buck of Litton to C. Lambert of Kilnsey. In 1680 the baptism of Henry son of William was recorded followed by William in 1682 and Jennet in 1684. They were said to be living at Arncliffe. Also at Arncliffe was Henry whose son William died in 1690. It is likely that the above William and Henry were either living at Darnbrook or moved to Darnbrook, as in 1686 Josiah son of William was baptised followed by Christopher in 1694, both at Darnbrook. Sadly William lost both these sons and his wife by 1695. Jennet, daughter of William married Richard Brooke yeoman of a local family in 1723.
Another family was living at Arncliffe, that of Peter whose son William was baptised in 1693, followed by Henry in 1697, Mary in 1700. Stephen died in 1712, Peter in 1704 and Jane in 1707. When Peter was baptised his father was described as a pauper. Peter junior died in 1733, the year before his father. Jane, probably Peter’s daughter married John Preston in 1729. John Preston was probably a tailor of Arncliffe.
There was also a family living at Tennants Gill in the C17th, that of Ralph whose daughter Ann died in 1678 and Jane daughter of Agnes who died in 1693. A Christopher of Arncliffe and Jonathan of Owiccates died in 1708. It seems sad that a well-established family who had lived in the area for over 200 years should disappear so suddenly at the beginning of the C18th.
The Clarke Family
The family was first recorded in the West Riding Poll Tax Returns of 1379 when Elias was living at Litton and Henricus at Arncliffe. The first record in the Parish Register was in 1700 when John and Agnes, living at Nether Heselden had a daughter Mary baptised, followed by Ann in 1702, Elizabeth in 1804 and Thomas who died in 1708. Ann married Marmaduke Knowles in 1721 but was widowed in 1733. Nether Heselden was then let by John and his daughter Ann to Josias Dawson and Nicholas Blackburn of Thorpe. In 1721 the death of Issabel – widow of Foxup was recorded. A contemporary of John was Richard, whose daughter Ann died in 1711.
In Litton there was another John who was a tailor and married Ellin Hodgson in 1740. Their son Thomas was born the same year. Another family was that of William Clark of Oulcoates. His son John, baptised 1753, probably married Elizabeth and lived at Hawkswick. The latest family recorded was at Darnborough/Darnbrook when Anthony’s daughter Ann was baptised in 1784. There is no record of the family in the 1803 Muster Roll nor in any census.
The Drake Family
The first record of the family appears in the parish register in 1671 when Marmaduke’s son William was baptised. Sadly he died two years later when the family was living at Penyghent, where Marmaduke himself died in 1677. In 1687 Frances of Over Hesleden married Henry Bainbrig of Kirkby-Lonsdale. There is no record of anyone else in the family at Over Hesleden until 1740/41. A document in the Raistrick Collection no.582 records the Feoffment of a close called Heberside to Joseph Drake gent of Over Hesleden. Ion 1801 Thomas married Mary Wood. The following year when their daughter Betty was baptised they were living at Oulcoates. By 1808 when their son Thomas was baptised they had moved to Spitalcroft and were still there when anther son Marmaduke William was baptised in 1811. The family does not appear on the Muster Roll of 1803 nor in the 1841 or 1851 census.
The Elgin/Eglin Family
The earliest record in the Arncliffe register is of Adam married to Jane. They lived at Halton Gill and had 4 children baptised, Jennet in 1716, Thomas in 1718, Elizabeth in 1720 and Adam in 1724 when Jane died. It is likely that Adam remarried, as in 1730 we have Margaret, daughter of Adam baptised followed by Alis in 1731 and John, son of Adam and Eden in 1734. Adam moved to Litton at some time, possibly to live with one of his family. He died there in 1759. Thomas married Alice Metcalfe in 1758 and died in 1793. No children were recorded. The youngest son John married Margaret Metcalfe in 1757. In 1789 John of Litton married Alice Knowles. They had a son Anthony baptised in 1791 followed by Ann in 1793. When his daughter Mary was baptised in 1798 John was living at Blissmire.
An Adam appears on the 1803 Muster Roll for Litton, class 3 ie. Unmarried and between 17 and 29 years old. None of the family was mentioned in any census record for Littondale. There were various deaths of family members at Halton Gill between 1734 and 1776 but where they fit into the family is not possible to tell. Probably they were all single and some could have been siblings of Adam.
The Ellyson/Ellison Family
The earliest record of the family found is that of Christopher Ellyson who was vicar of Arncliffe in 1472. In 1552 George became vicar at Arncliffe. He had previously been Rector of Burnsall and in 1551 had been appointed Master of Christ College Oxford. Another George, possibly the son of the above married Mary Knowles in 1597. In 1513 Jack Ellison-bille- was recorded in the Flodden Muster Roll.
In 1536 Robert, William and two Johns were tenants of Fountains Abbey at Halton Gill. Some time later Henry, Thomas and John were recorded there. A document YAS 00121/1/2 m.46 dated around May Eliz 1 1571 records ‘Item delivered to James Ellison of Lytton by warrant from the said executor 15 small eshes which growed upon his own tenement for buyldinge of his laythe and he be sett sazne upon the said tenement for one tree iiij spares’. In the same document we have item 20 ‘Eshes felled by Edmund Ellison growing upon his tenement for building of his ffyrer house without warrant’. There is almost no record in the parish register which indicates family relationships. Almost all the records in the C17th and early C18th were of burials. It is clear however that there were quite a few families at this time – John, son of John of Haltongill had a son John baptised in 1683 but only lived to be 5 years old.
One of the collection of documents in Skipton library no.569 relates to the lease of land at Halton Gill from John to Lancelot Knowles in 1682. The land was owned by Lord Clifford. A second document no.572 records the lease of more land from John, yeoman and his wife Isabel to George Wilson yeoman of Halton Gill, to rent from Francis Earl of Cumberland. These two documents almost certainly relate to the same John.
James of Halton Gill died in 1675. James and John appear to have been the last two of the family to have lived at Halton Gill. There were two families at Litton in the 1690s, those of Henry & Thomas. At the beginning of the C18th there were two, possibly three James at Litton. One died in 1729, a pauper. It was possibly his widow Ellin who also also died, a pauper in 1731. One of the James had a son Henry, who subsequently married and had 3 sons. They were James baptised in 1755, John in 1757 and Henry in 1759. In 1725 a Henry of Litton married Dorothy Wildman. One of the Henrys was granted land at the time of the Enclosure Act of 1768. He was referred to as Henry otherwise Dowbiggin of Litton. No members of the family were included on the 1803 Muster Roll. By the time of the 1851 census there was only one Ellison family in the whole of Upper Wharfedale, that of another Henry aged 59, living with his wife and family at North Cote, Kilnsey. It is strange that there is so little information about the family in the parish register over a period of more than 300 years.