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Zoom into our Meetings and now, join us at our live meetings too!

Most of our monthly meetings are held on Zoom. If you do not use Zoom, you are welcome to join us, FREE of charge, at The Community Room, Hovingham Village Hall, where we will run the meeting on Zoom, for all to see and hear, on the big screen.  We will open this facility only if we know that members or guests will attend, so please let us know, by email to secretary@ryedalefamilyhistory.org or by phone to 01653 628952. We will be there, if we know you are coming!

Please see our Meetings page for details of forthcoming meetings. Some are hybrid, zoom and live, but most are now held on Zoom. There are some live meetings planned for the future. Please join us if you can.

August 2022 Talk

Ryedale Family History Group have organised an event with a difference, for their next online talk on Wednesday 17 August at 7.30 pm, through Zoom, ‘A trip through Sticklepath with Auntie Kate’, by Helen Shields, who is an active member of Ryedale Family History Group.

Andie Cattle, Secretary said, “We are very pleased to have Helen Shields as our speaker, Helen also runs a One-Place Study of Sticklepath, a village in Devon, South West England. She is bringing her alter ego ‘Auntie Kate’, actually based on her Great Grand Aunt Kezia Ching (1860-1933), to talk about her long and fascinating life.

Using photographs of the village and other memorabilia, Helen explores the history and people of the village and the changes to village life, that our ancestors would also have seen and experienced in their own lives and villages.

Helen Shields said, “Creating a story out of the facts is great fun and brings out different aspects of local history and daily life that is more generally relatable to our own ancestors lives than just facts and reports. This is a far more enjoyable way to bring history to life and I hope to inspire others to try the same. Aunt Kate has a lot of stories to share including, the deaf blacksmith, the cricket playing niece and smallpox in the village and her husbands!”
To register for the event and receive the link,
email members@ryedalefamilyhistorygroup.org

May Talk

Ryedale Family History Group continue with their series of talks through Zoom; with the next talk on Wednesday 18 May at 7.30pm. The talk is called ‘Transported Across the Sea’ by popular speaker Les Mitchinson.

Les Mitchinson said, “I will be highlighting a case study and following a nineteenth century petty criminal who is sentenced to transportation to Australia and how everything turns out alright in the end – A happy ending!”

Andie Cattle, Secretary said,” We are pleased to welcome Les back to entertain us with another fascinating talk. Les who served for over thirty years in the Royal Navy, then has gone on to become a professional genealogist, speaker and tutor with over fifteen years of experience.”

The meeting is free and open to everyone, for the link to the meeting email Geoff to register at members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org.


April Talk

Ryedale Family History Group has organised a talk on Wednesday 20 April at 7.30pm at Hovingham Village Hall. The speaker is Rob Thompson whose talk is ‘The Blunderous early life of M’Lord Cardigan’. Rob will be taking an entertaining stroll through the gossip columns of the nineteenth century illustrating how when those in authority have no communication with the real world, make decisions; the results can be catastrophic!

Rob Thompson said,” I can’t provide a learned historical treatise, but will give an illustrated insight into the incredible Victorian society which saw men of great wealth and power make disastrous decisions. I will be looking at the colourful early life of The Earl of Cardigan who despite being involved in various scandals, kept being promoted.”

Andie Cattle, Secretary said “We are pleased to host another live talk at Hovingham Village Hall, with Rob Thompson who is a keen amateur cartoonist and also Secretary of the Hovingham branch of the Royal British Legion.”

The meeting is open to everyone and is free, email secretary@ryedalefamilyhistory.org for more details.


March Talk

Ryedale Family History Group are holding their first live in-person talk on Wednesday 16th March at 7.30pm at Hovingham Village Hall. This will be a hybrid meeting and it will simultaneously be screened through Zoom to those who cannot attend in person.

The talk is about ‘A tale of two Censuses’ the speaker is Philippa Jarvis who is a committee member and family historian. Philippa said “I will be giving an overview of how the 2021 census was conducted during the pandemic and my role in that undertaking as a Team Leader of Census collectors and how it compared with the taking of the 1921 census a hundred year earlier; which has recently been released to the public.”

Chairman Brenda Foot said “We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to this live talk after a gap of over two years due to the pandemic. We adapted to the times and organised talks by Zoom, these have proved successful and have been attended by many people across the country and other parts of the world. This first meeting will also be available to view by Zoom.”

The meeting is free and open to everyone, it starts at 7.30pm. Masks are not compulsory but are requested to be worn at the meeting. To watch the talk through Zoom email Geoff for the link at members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org

28 January 2022 - February Talk

Ryedale Family History Group have organised for specialist family historian and speaker Jackie Depelle, to give a talk by Zoom on Wednesday 16 February starting at 7.30pm.
he talk is entitled ‘Discovering Family History - What’s it all About’. Jackie said “The talk is for anyone interested in looking at their family history either as a beginner or those with more experience looking for tips. I will be commencing with a brief review of basic and essential steps; we'll move on to see what else can be discovered about our ancestors. Using brief and lively demonstrations through case study snippets, I will demonstrate what has us all hooked.”
Andie Cattle, Secretary said “We are very pleased to welcome back Jackie as our speaker, Jackie Depelle has a wealth of knowledge and expertise from her experience as a family history tutor, speaker and event organiser and is a keen member of many family history societies. She also has an interest in local history and one-name studies.”

The talk is free and open to all. Please email Geoff who will send the link to access the talk at members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org


3rd January 2022        January Talk

Ryedale Family History Group resume their monthly talks in the new year. The first talk is on Wednesday 19 January at 7.30pm using Zoom, the speaker is Antony Marr, a family historian and speaker who will be talking about ‘What makes a Marriage - Rules and Records’. Antony Marr makes a welcome return after the excellent talk on Birth and Death Registration last year which proved very popular.

Antony will take an entertaining look at the laws and rules of modern and historical marriage, explaining the legal processes, registration and delving into the history of this special event. The talk covers the finding and interpretation of marriage records, how to track down divorces and perhaps identify a bigamist in the family.

Andie Cattle, Secretary said “We are looking forward to welcoming Antony back to Ryedale Family History Group to start off our talks for the New Year. Antony is a retired police officer with many years training and experience, and a former deputy registrar of births, deaths and marriages. He is now a professional genealogist and Chair of AGRA (Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives)”.

The talk is free and open to anyone to join, To register interest and book a place email Geoff at members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org.

November Meeting
10th November 2021

Infectious diseases are the topic for the next online talk organised by Ryedale Family History Group on Wednesday 10 November at 7.30pm. The talk is entitled ‘A plague upon all your houses: epidemic diseases and our ancestors’

Janet Few is the speaker, who will be looking at what epidemics impacted on the lives of our ancestors, how they responded to these and what precautions and treatments there were; from the Black Death to the influenza of 1918. Janet will mention some of the records available to research and also how our ancestors might have reacted. Janet Few is an history interpreter and through her talks brings history alive to audiences online or in person.

Janet Said, “This is a brand new talk for 2021. I developed this talk in light of Covid 19 and the impact on our lives, I gave thought to how our ancestors fared during various epidemics in their times.”

The talk is free and open to all. To register interest and receive the link for the talk email Geoff at: members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org

October Meeting

The next online talk organised by Ryedale Family History Group is on Wednesday 20 October at 7.30pm. The talk is by speaker Ian Waller on ‘Manorial Worth - records from the medieval Manors’. Ian Waller has 30 years’ experience as a professional genealogist and is the former Chairman of the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) he is the author of several books, and a well known speaker.

Ian said “From medieval times up to the 20th century the manor played a significant role in most rural communities. This talk examines how the manorial system operated and what records it generated in which your ancestors may well have appeared.”

The talk is free and open to all. To register interest and receive the link for the talk email Geoff at: members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org


September 2021

Ryedale Family History Group’s next virtual talk takes place on Wednesday 8 September 2012 at 7.30pm.

The topic is ‘A Bomber Memorial in Denmark’ by Malcolm Brooke who worked for many years for the MoD schools, he is a well-known local speaker on a number of topics and is the Webmaster of the 49 Squadron Association.

Malcolm Brooke said, “This is the story of a holiday in Denmark when, on my way to Pirate Island, I found a memorial to a crashed Lancaster. This discovery led me on another journey to find out what I could about those involved. What events led to a German night-fighter shooting down three Lancasters over southern Denmark and what was so important about the RAF’s operations that night in August 1943?”

The meeting is free and open to all, to join the talk and receive the link email members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org

August 2021

Ryedale Family History Group have organized a Zoom talk on Wednesday 18 August at 7.30pm. The talk is about ‘One Name Studies’ by Paul Featherstone, who is the Chairman of the Guild of One Name Studies.

Andie Cattle, Secretary said “A one name study looks at the origins of a surname, it’s meaning and how it developed and moved across the country and also globally due to migration. This is a fascinating area of work and we are looking forward to learning more about the Guild who have over 8,000 surnames registered with them.”

Paul Featherstone said, “I have been conducting a One-Name Study since 1996, when I was given a tree containing my own Featherstone line back to 1560. I subsequently worked with the person who had given me the tree whose husband was the link to the Featherstone name. We worked together along with a number of other people and eventually formed The Featherstone Society.”

The meeting is free and open to all, to join the talk and receive the link email members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org

February 2021

Ryedale Family History Group have added two more talks to their well received programme of virtual talks for the spring.  The talks are free and open to all, to register interest email members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org

The forthcoming talks are firstly on 17 February at 7.30pm when Karen Adams a York based archaeologist and historian will talk about the ‘Trials and Executions at York’, discovering where the gallows of York once stood, the trials that took place, the criminals involved and their fate, such as Dick Turpin and Sir Robert Aske.

Following on the next talk will be on 17 March at 7.30pm the title is ‘Behind the scenes working for Who Do You Think You Are’ by Gill Blanchard talking about the popular television series and what happens in the making of the programmes based on Gill’s experience researching for and appearing on the Jonnie Peacock and Mary Berry episodes.

Wendy Barker, Chairman said, “Our facilities are closed at the moment but we are making good use of technology to continue helping people with their family history until we can open the Research Room again. If anyone is interested in starting a new hobby or activity on their family history we can help with tips and advice either using email, virtual chat or by telephone. To make a start contact us by emailing secretary@ryedalefamilyhistory.org or leave a message on the answerphone on 01653 628132.”


January Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group have organised a Zoom talk on Wednesday 20th January at 7.30pm.  The speaker is Stephen Gill who is a photographer and teacher of photography and has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.  The talk is called ‘The History of Family Photography’ - and how you can use details within a photograph to tell its' story.

Stephen said, “My talk is a brief and entertaining look at the history of photography from the 1840’s to today; looking at the people, the processes involved and how it affected our lives.”

Andie Cattle said, “We all have an interest in family photographs, as it is a valuable resource for researching your family history, and they can give us great insights into what our ancestors looked like, what they did in their spare time and more recently where they enjoyed holidays and days out. Stephen’s talk is going to be fascinating and informative, lasting about an hour with the opportunity to ask questions at the end.”

The meeting is open to members and non members and if anyone would like to join please email members@ryedalefamilyhistory.org.uk and the link and instructions will be sent out before the meeting.

Stephen Gill has an interesting website to get more of a flavour of his talk and work at https://www.photo-consult.co.uk.

All our monthly meetings are open to everyone and refreshments will be available along with a raffle at the end of the meeting. If you live in the area and need transport to any future meeting, please contact the office on 01653 628132 or mobile 07813 977613 or email: secretary@ryedalefamilyhistory.org

23 March 2020

An exclusive SPECIAL OFFER is added to our website today -
YORKSHIRE PROBATE by Colin Blanchard Withers, normally priced at £35 in bookshops, is available here for the special price of £9 plus postage + packaging. Grab this bargain while stocks last!

Not only a book, but inside the back cover you will also find a CD which contains far more information!

Colin's work on this project took several years and resulted in this wonderfully helpful book which explains the many complexities of the probate system in Yorkshire.

A review, by one of our members who found it immensely valuable! -

“Probate is both the most frustrating and the most rewarding source a genealogist can discover.
“Frustrating because of its complexity, particularly in the Diocese of York, and rewarding because it can unlock the personalities, likes, dislikes and personal relations of our ancestors. Where else could you discover that a seventeenth century clergyman’s son had ridden up to his father’s house in the dead of night, broken open his strong box, and stolen the vicar’s remaining store of gold.

“But in order to use the probate records they must first be located and then one has to understand their meaning. No-one has attempted to clarify these twin requirements in one place in quite this way before, which is not surprising considering the enormity of the task. Colin Blanshard Withers has noted, described and explained more than 30 separate probate jurisdictions, and revealed several new previously unknown caches of probate records, some from previously unknown jurisdictions. Not content with this already formidable undertaking, Colin has provided extensive indexes to the records he has found and has summarised the nature of probate law and probate practice over seven centuries.

“The result is a book which is unique in conception and execution, which adds huge amounts of information to our knowledge of the surviving records, and the interpretation of probate practice.

“I am passionate about this book from my own experience. When the book was first published in 2006 very few records were available on the internet. Most of us were still eagerly looking at records on microfiche, CD. and books and booklets published by Family History and other Societies. There were several books and fiche covering the whereabouts of Yorkshire Wills. I had scoured every possible index for wills from my own family. Some successful. Others not. I felt sure my 3 x great grandfather, a yeoman farmer in the East Riding of Yorkshire would have left a will. but never found one. After reading Yorkshire Probate I was made aware that the PRO (now TNA) had wills and were one of the organisations that had a website. I had never considered the PRO as a source for Yorkshire wills and more importantly that they could be obtained online. In my haste to looks for these records I made a guess at the year Henry Heron had died, in fact I couldn't even remember if it was Henry or Robert. I typed in Heron with a death date of 1803 plus or minus 5 years. I didn’t expect many if any results. The first to come up was Mary Heron d. 7 Oct 1806 widow of Preston in Holderness, my 3 x great grandmother. The possibility of Henry’s wife to have left a will hadn’t occurred to me. This led on to so many other discoveries from the advice and suggestions in this wonderful informative and knowledgeable book.”


17th March 2020 - Latest action, due to spread of Corona Virus -

Pop-up Research Room scheduled for Saturday 21st March at Helmsley Library is now CANCELLED

March 2020 Meeting - Update on 16th March - The March meeting, scheduled for Wednesday 18th March, at Helmsley, has now been CANCELLED.

Please visit this page again for updates about future meetings.

The Research Room is now CLOSED until further notice - If you had intended to visit the Research Room and would like some help from one of our volunteers, this can be done by phone, by email or by Skype. Our team of volunteers is standing by to help with your family history research.

Keep well, keep safe, everyone!

March 2020 Meeting

The speaker at Ryedale Family History Group’s meeting on 18 March at 2.00pm is author Ken Braithwaite who will be talking about ‘The Wild Drover” and regaling tales of the life of a Cattle Drover in the1800s. The meeting is taking place at The Helmsley Arts Centre, The Old Meeting house, Helmsley, YO62 5DW

Following a career in commercial Insurance, Ken Braithwaite in his retirement, has become an author of two books featuring the character Jack Rutherford and his life and adventures as a Drover in the 1800s. The character of Jack is drawn from the real life of a Drover. The term is used to cover anyone who took cattle long distances and were tough charismatic individuals who led a hard life.

Ken said, “Never in my life did I imagine I would become a writer and even more surprisingly at age 80, but curiosity and an inquisitive nature led me to the Drovers and their activities and I will tell you how it came about when we meet. It’s quite a tale.”

Janice Wood Chairman said, “ Ken has published two books about the hard life of a Drover. Many of our ancestors were involved in agricultural work in rural areas and this will give us an insight into the life they may have led.”


Updated Wills Index - 11th February 2020

Our transcribed wills collection is growing. There are now over 930 transcribed wills available. We hope to reach the 1,000th transcript very soon!


Strensall in the Mid-19th Century

Originally written in 1989 by Tessa Mitchell, Member Number 326, this book has been out of print for many years. We are delighted to have been able to assist Tessa with this reprinted version which is now available at our Research Room and here on our website.

Tessa’s Preface:

The idea for this book was born on the realisation that it was possible to match the families that were resident in the township in 1849-51 with the houses that they occupied. The book is not meant to be a complete parish history but an attempt to re-create a rural community of the mid-nineteenth century, at a time when mechanisation had hardly touched the way of life in the rural areas. Some historical facts are included to give an understanding of the development of the township up to that time. Family history and the ownership of property is given in some cases, although family historians would be wise to check the information given as there may be errors in the sources that have been used.

In view of the changes that have taken place in occupation, population and land use over recent years, it may be of interest to the reader to compare the life of yesteryear with that of today. In a world where we have light at the touch of a switch and pure water at the turn of a tap, modern sanitation, machines to do every conceivable task, fast communication and transport, it is very easy to forget that, for the vast majority, life was hard and very basic well into the twentieth century. There was no such thing as the welfare state to cushion the effects of bereavement, old age, illness, injury, infirmity or unemployment; the best that could be hoped for was parish relief to tide you over and at worst the workhouse. It is not intended to present a sentimental portrait of a way of life that has gone forever, but to try and present life as it was lived by the families who resided in the township of Strensall in the nineteenth century.

The price is £10.00 plus postage

ISBN: 85072-055-X


February 2020 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group’s next meeting is on Wednesday 19 February starting at 2pm at Pickering Memorial Hall. The speaker is well known local historian Gordon Clitheroe who is talking about ’The changing face of Pickering - Demolition’.

Gordon Clitheroe said, “During the 1950's and into the 1970's, an amazing amount of the towns historic buildings were demolished, with some modern development taking their place. We will be looking at the changes that have occurred, and wonder if some of them should have been saved for future generations to enjoy. These changes were the greatest that have taken place since the creation of the Pickering to Whitby Railway.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said “We are looking forward to welcoming Gordon back to talk to us as he has a huge amount of local knowledge along with his fascinating collection of images that he illustrates his talks with.


January 2020 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Groups’ diverse and interesting new programme of monthly talks for 2020 starts off in the New Year with a talk by Clive Dawson, Chairman of the Friends of York Cemetery, called ‘An Oasis in the City’. The talk takes place on Wednesday 15 January at 2.00pm at the Malton & Norton Rugby Club, Malton YO17 7EY.

Clive Dawson said,” My talk starts with the history of York Cemetery from the opening in 1837 to the present day, this is followed by showing pictures and talking about the plants and trees that are growing in the cemetery. Along with the work undertaken to give opportunities for education and conservation”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “We are delighted that Clive is our first speaker for our exciting new programme of talks. York Cemetery is a Grade II listed landscape. The Burial Registers, of which there are over 123,000 records, have been put into a searchable database. They have a genealogical team who offer help with searching the database and locating graves.”


19 November 2019

War Memorial book published

Ryedale Family History Group’s latest book in the War Memorial Series is ‘Bossall, Buttercrambe, Claxton, Sand Hutton and Howsham War Memorials’ which was researched and written by volunteer Mr. Martin Knight.

The book includes mini biographies of thirty men who are commemorated on the local five memorials for both World wars. As with previous research for war memorials, some families lost more than one member of their family.

Peter Braithwaite, Project Manager said, “One of the most unusual Memorials we have come across doing this whole project is at Howsham where a former field roller has been set into a stone base and sited near to the Church at the side of the street, to commemorate John Midgley.”

The inscription reads ‘Great War 1914 – 1918 This stone is erected to commemorate the supreme sacrifice made by John Midgley and in grateful acknowledgement of service rendered by his companies’ John Midgley was born in 1893 and died on 28 November 1917, he is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial. After enlisting with the Wolds Wagoners he served with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, holding the rank of Lance Corporal at his death.

Peter Braithwaite, Project Manager said “On a personal note I found a remarkable co-incidence. My wife’s maiden name was Spavin whose family came from the Sand Hutton area; one of the soldiers in the book was a Richard Braithwaite Spavan who served with the Canadian Field Artillery as he had emigrated there. Years ago the spelling of the surname was intermixed but as yet no family connection has been found.”


November 2019 Meeting

The next meeting of Ryedale Family History Group is on Wednesday 20 November at 2.30pm at The Village Hall, Hovingham, York, YO62 4LF, staff from North Yorkshire Record Office will talk about ‘Discovering Family History for the Ryedale District at the Record Office’

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “There is a treasure trove of records and information that can help family and local history researchers with their projects that are to be found in the Record Office at Northallerton. Come along and find out what is available to discover from a trip to the Archives.”

Staff from the record Office will be on hand to answer any questions and will also bring along some records to view, along with offering advice on getting the most from a visit to the Record Office.


October 2019 Meeting

The next Ryedale Family History Group meeting is on Wednesday 16 October at 2.30pm at The Village Hall, Hovingham, York, YO62 4LF. The title of the talk is ‘Ad Lib – The Daughters of the Rectory of Sessay c1890’ and is given by two speakers, Janet Ratcliffe and Sue Thorne.

The talk covers the time the Dupuis Family lived in Sessay Rectory between the years 1874 – 1912. George Richard Dupuis was a clergyman, an English schoolmaster and a cricketer; he was educated at Eton and Cambridge. Reverend Dupuis moved to Sessay near Thirsk as rector and stayed there for the rest of his life.

Janet Ratcliffe said, “Life in a rural Rectory in late Victorian England is not quite what you might be expecting, some of the story is as you would expect. However they were a lively, fascinating family and a group of girls who found a way to express themselves creatively in a Ladies Circulating magazine!

As part of the Heritage Lottery Funded Sessay Archive project 2010-2016, the magazines were discovered and rescued from a damp cardboard box in an attic, microfiched by North Yorkshire Record Office and the story surrounding them was revealed and recorded.”

Janice Wood, Chairman of Ryedale Family History Group said, “We are looking forward to hearing all about this fantastic project. Often there are boxes found in attics and not knowing the significance of them or what to do with them, they can easily go for recycling. This find has created a worthwhile and valuable community project.”


September 2019 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group has organised a ‘bring and share’ event on Wednesday 18 September at 2.00pm at The Library, The Ropery, Pickering, YO18 8DY. The theme for the event is ‘A Black Sheep in my Family,’ members and guests are invited to come along and share stories of their black sheep ancestors.

Geoff King, Membership Secretary said, “Each year we have an open event for people to recount stories from their research. Having a ‘Black Sheep’ in the family can lead to researching new records particularly if there was a crime or transportation involved, or uncovering the truth to family tales handed down the generations.”

Geoff went on to say, “In the past misdemeanors, or making a bad decision could have a huge effect on a family and then the deed or person involved was often not spoken of for generations or became family folk law. For family historians this is a challenge to uncover the truth.”


August 2019 Meeting

Annual General Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group is to hold their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 21st August at 7.30pm at The Rugby Club, Old Malton Road, Malton, YO17 7EY.

Following the business of the Annual General Meeting, Peter Braithwaite will give a talk, ‘Mummy, What did YOU do in the Great War? The title is taken from the famous poster made in 1915 by the artist Saville Lumley, ‘Daddy, what did you do in the Great War’.

Peter Braithwaite, War Memorial Project Manager for the group said, “I will be taking a look at the tremendous contribution women made in the First World War and how they came to serve and the serious life threatening activity undertaken. The lives of some famous women are examined, along with the repercussions after the war and the legacy up to the present day.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “Everyone is welcome to the meeting, it is a good opportunity to come along and meet the Committee and members. We are looking forward to reporting to the Annual General Meeting what we have achieved over the previous year. We again have maintained the high levels of membership and have had a busy year at the Research Room at Hovingham. We are very grateful to all our volunteers and thank them for all their work and support.”


July 2019 Meeting

Summer is the time of weddings and Ryedale Family History Group’s next meeting has an illustrated talk on wedding dresses and is on Wednesday

17th July at 7.30pm at The Village Hall, Hovingham, York YO62 4LF.

The speaker Mrs. Gill Parkes, Principal Archivist at Durham County Record Office who will give a talk entitled ‘And the Bride Wore…’ featuring some of the wonderful wedding photos in the archives in County Hall, Durham, from the Victorian period onwards.

Gill said “I shall be focusing on the dresses and changing fashions. This talk will also introduce some of the stories behind the photographs; learn more about the society wedding at Spennymoor in 1911 where the bride, groom and bridesmaids had the same name, and the recent discovery of the real ‘what the bride wore’ dress fabric samples, and see the wedding cake proudly displayed on the pavement in 1914.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “We are very much looking forward to the talk by Gill Parkes on wedding fashions and photographs which is going to be fascinating, as many of us have family wedding photographs.”

Janice said, “Due to unforeseen circumstances our Annual General Meeting has had to be rearranged and will now take place at our next meeting which is on 21 August at 7.30pm at The Rugby Club, Malton, the talk afterwards will be ‘The Woman who didn’t Exist’.”


21 June 2019

Visit to Bomber Command

Members of Ryedale Family History Group placed poppies alongside the engraved names of the Ryedale men who died in World War Two who were part of Bomber Command and are commemorated on the Wall of Names Memorial at The International Bomber Command Centre at Lincoln.

The visit was organised by Ryedale Family History Group and took place on Wednesday 12 June to the Centre; which opened in April last year. The centre is a place of recognition and remembrance. The Spire Memorial, which is the tallest War Memorial in the UK, is surrounded by 23 walls containing 271 individual panels with over 58,000 names of the men and women who were killed serving Bomber Command inscribed on them. In addition to the Memorials there are Peace Gardens to spend time in, along with an exhibition to view.

Peter Braithwaite, Project Manager for the War Memorials Project said “ We have been researching the lives and war service of those commemorated on the many Memorials across Ryedale and have produced a number of books that our volunteers have written.”

In Ryedale there were 27 men who were involved in Bomber Command during World War Two and who are inscribed on the Memorials at the Centre. We wanted to take the opportunity to visit and place poppies next to these men as a tribute from Ryedale.”

Whilst there Peter Braithwaite presented a file containing mini biographies of all the Ryedale men who were killed whilst with Bomber Command to the Centre’s archivist Carol Gibson for their archive and also to consider the addition to the Memorial of a couple of men from Ryedale who it is felt should be included.


June 2019 Meeting

The next meeting of Ryedale Family History Group is on Wednesday 19 June at 7.30pm at the North York Moors National Park Office, The Old Vicarage, Bondgate, Helmsley YO62 5PB. The speaker is Anthony Wood and the topic is ‘The Battle of the Standard: Fake News in the 12th Century’.

‘The Battle of the Standard’ is also known as ‘The Battle of Northallerton’, which took place on 22 August 1138 on Cowton Moor, near Northallerton between the English King Stephen and Empress Matilda, the niece of the Scottish King David I.

Anthony Wood said, “This battle was one of many between the two countries and could have been seen as another event in a troubled history. On closer examination it is rather more complicated and presented the chroniclers of the battle difficulty in reporting on the actual events which led to some ingenious interpretations of the facts.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “Anthony Wood will be showing us how ‘Fake News’ was used by the Normans, and that this is not just a modern invention!”


13 May 2019

Local War Memorial book published

Ryedale Family History Group have recently published a new book to add to the War Memorial series of books; ‘Flaxton, Foston, Whitwell on the Hill and Crambe’ is now available through their website www.ryedalefamilyhistory.org.

The book was researched and written by volunteer Tessa Mitchel; the book gives mini biographies on the 25 men who were killed and originated from or lived in these villages. The memorials take the form of a lynch gate at Flaxton Church, memorial tablets and a Roll of Honour at the other churches.

The book includes extracts from the various regimental war diaries, these give an insight into the movements and battles they were involved in. Also featured are maps and photographs.

At Crambe Church there is a Roll of Honour, which lists 35 people, two of which were women, Florence Hatfield and Violet Mabel Ricketts. Crambe would have been a ‘Thankful Village’ (all serving personnel returned) however one person was killed from Crambe who was Mark Thompson; he worked at Rowntree’s Chocolate Factory as a Store Keeper and is also commemorated on the Rowntree’s Memorial in York.

Tessa Mitchel said,” I enjoyed carrying out the research for the book and reading the War Diaries (which are now readily accessible), which bring home to you the futility and the waste of so many lives for so little gain. These men deserve to be remembered. I got a lot out of this project so much so that I am working on another book.”

Project Manager Peter Braithwaite said, “There are still have a number of War Memorials across Ryedale that need researching, if anyone is interested in doing some work on this then please contact us at secretary@ryedalefamilyhistory.org.”


May 2019 Meeting

The speaker at the next Ryedale Family History Group meeting will be archaeologist and historian Eric Houlder on Wednesday 15 May at 7.30pm at The Village Hall, Hovingham YO62 4DF. The topic is ‘Coaching Memories’ - horse drawn traffic on the Great North Road 200 years ago.

Eric Houlder said, “I am looking forward to my visit to Hovingham. I will include a brief history of stagecoaches; the turnpike roads; how mail coaches evolved; the network of inns which developed; the people involved; the experience of passengers; the coming of steam, and the swift demise of coaching.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, Eric’s talk promises to be a lively event using his award-winning photography, and enlivened by the horn-calls used to warn other traffic and the inns of the approaching coach. Transport and travel are always of interest to family history researchers when understanding how ancestors moved around the area.”


08 April 2019

Westow War Memorial Book published

Ryedale Family History Group has published the Westow War Memorial book, which is part of the growing Ryedale War Memorials series of books.

The Westow War Memorial book has been researched and written by Volunteers, Eileen Wray and Carol Fitz-Gibbon with contributions from other members of the group.

Westow War Memorial book contains mini biographies of the 22 soldiers from Westow and surrounding area who are commemorated on the War Memorial in the village. There is also a plaque in St. Mary’s Church erected by Major H. H. Roberts in memory of his son, Lieutenant James Thursby Roberts who died from his wounds on 20 July 1916, he was aged 20 and had followed his Father into the army.

Commemorated on the War Memorial is Bertie Snowball, who was a professional golfer at a number of clubs including Scarborough, Carnoustie and Criccieth and is also listed on the War Memorials in those places.

Eileen Wray said, “It was fascinating to research these men and record their lives and service. However particularly sad was that we found a number of the men killed were identified by their possessions such as Private Ernest Henry Haykings from his spoon and fork as each man was issued with these items of kit which were marked with their regimental number.”

Carol Fitz- Gibbon said, “We would like to thank the descendants of those commemorated on the Memorial who helped us by providing photos and background which was very useful and appreciated.”

Eileen Wray and Carol Fitzgibbon-Gibbon presented a copy of the book for the Parish on 17 March at St. Mary’s Church Westow to Reverend Stephen Walker. The book is proving so popular that a second print run has been ordered.

Copies of the book can be obtained through the Ryedale Family History Group website www.ryedalefamilyhistory.org.


April 2019 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group’s next meeting is on Wednesday 17 April at 7.30 pm at the Royal Voluntarily Services Community Centre in Hungate, Pickering YO18 7DG. The speaker is Linda Chapman who will be talking about ‘William Willison of Whitby’ a Nurseryman, Florist and Botanist.

Linda Chapman said, “William Willison is a Whitby nurseryman who I researched for the Wakefield Tulip Society, now the only tulip society in England. Willison bred many flowers but in particular roses and tulips. I have recently been researching Woodlands a big estate at Sleights. William Willison was born here, his father Alexander Willison was the gardener and also established a botanical garden in Whitby. Willison bred in 1850 a tulip called Sir Joseph Paxton.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “This is a very topical talk with spring here and the tulips coming into bloom. This is a very interesting family with an equally fascinating history, which we are looking forward to hearing about.”


24 March 2019

New Booking System Introduced

Due to demand Ryedale Family History Group has introduced a new priority booking system for the Research Room in Hovingham. This will ensure visitors to the facility get the best experience by being able to book a one to one session with an experienced researcher for help and guidance.

The Research Room proved very popular last year due to the resources and team of experienced volunteer researchers available to help. Ryedale Family History Group is now offering a more tailored service. Visitors wanting to carry out research can now book a two hour slot either morning or afternoon on Thursdays with one of the team of researchers.

Casual visitors will still be welcome and encouraged to drop in between 10am and 3pm on Thursdays and we will aim to help out where possible.

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “The aim of the new system is to make sure that anyone wanting to research their family history will get the most out of their time with us. We are all confident that this more tailored service we are offering will be of benefit to our members and visitors alike.”

For more details and to make a booking please contact either: researchroom@ryedalefamilyhistory.org or phone 01653 628132. At the time of booking there will be the opportunity to provide some background information regarding the nature of the research, this will be used to prepare for the session.


March 2019 Meeting

The next talk arranged by Ryedale Family History Group will be a treat as the speaker is Jonathan Botham of Bothams of Whitby, who will be giving a presentation on ‘Elizabeth Botham and the story of her bakery’. The talk is on Wednesday 20 March at 7.30 pm at the Royal Voluntarily Services Community Centre in Hungate, Pickering YO18 7DG.

Jonathan, who is the youngest of Elizabeth’s Great Grandchildren said, “My talk charts Elizabeth’s rise from humble beginnings in the mid 1800’s through adversity to her position at the head of a successful business and how that passed through the generations to the present day. We are extremely proud of our roots and always delighted to be asked to share our story.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “Many of our ancestors will have needed to stretch the household budget by selling homemade produce, whether it was butter made from spare milk, or muffins and cakes, these simple beginnings were the start of many an enterprise. The Botham family have a rich heritage in the area of North Yorkshire, we are looking forward to learning more about this family.”


February 2019 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group’s next meeting is about ‘The RAF at 100 - the story of just one squadron. The speaker is Malcolm Brooke and will be held on Wednesday 20 February at 2.00pm at Hovingham Village Hall YO62 4LF.

Malcolm Brooke said, “The presentation follows the history of 49 Squadron. They were formed in 1916, disbanded in 1919 and reformed as World War Two approached. During World War Two they were equipped with Hampdens, Manchesters and then Lancasters. In the immediate post war years they flew Lincolns and saw service in Kenya. In their final years they were part of the “V-Bomber” force and were involved with the nuclear tests of the late 1950s. The presentation looks at some of the personalities, the locations they flew from and some of the operations that decimated the squadron.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “We are looking forward to hearing Malcolm’s talk as we have researched a number of RAF men who are commemorated on local war memorials across Ryedale. This talk is very opportune, as we have organised a trip to the International Bomber Command Centre in June with a guided tour. Malcolm’s talk will be a wonderful precursor to the trip.”


January 2019 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group’s first talk of the new year is by Steve Kirby on ‘Scampston Hall - The history of the house and gardens’ on Wednesday 16 January starting at 2pm at The Rugby Club, Malton YO17 7EY.

Steve Kirby, who is a heritage volunteer at Scampston Hall said, “ I am looking forward to giving this talk and will be including: The history of the St Quintin family, their origin and arrival at Scampston, the architecture and art collections of the Hall, the landscape and the work of Capability Brown at the Hall and more modern developments - the Walled Garden.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “We are starting off our new programme of talks for 2019, with a fascinating local family and estate - Scampston Hall. We are delighted that Steve will be our first speaker. Please note that this meeting is in the afternoon starting at 2pm.”


November 2018 Meeting

‘The Flu Epidemic of 1918’ is the topic of the next talk organised by Ryedale Family History Group on Wednesday 21st November at 2.00pm, in The Village Hall, Hovingham, York YO62 4LF. The speaker is Martin Knight.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic that spread across the world and is still one of the deadliest outbreaks of disease recorded in world. It is estimated that one third of the world population was infected by the disease with the death estimates of around 50 million worldwide. Claiming more lives than World War One.

Martin Knight said, “I will be talking about what it was, how it came about and why it spread so quickly and widely, what action was taken. Also what was the impact here in Yorkshire and how it impacts on family history and our research. Scientists have in the years following tried to find the cause of this deadly outbreak, work continues today.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “Known as the Spanish Flu, many communities were devastated by this disease which followed so closely to the end of World War One. The flu particularly attacked young adults. Martin will give us a fascinating talk about this deadly event that still has not gone away today as countries annually vaccinate against flu strains.”


Pop Up Research Room

Ryedale Family History Group are organising a Pop Up Research Room at The Galtres Centre, Easingwold on Saturday 16 November 2019 between 10 am and 1.00pm.

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “Our Research Room which is open every Thursday at The Village Hall, Hovingham, is a popular place for members and visitors to drop in to chat with the us and get advice.”

Janice went on to say, “We are always looking at new ways to help and inspire people with their family history projects. We are a regular stallholder at Hovingham Market with our Pop Up Research Room and are now looking forward to welcoming visitors at Easingwold. We can help with Family History anywhere in the world!”

The Pop Up Research Room will have full access to the huge amount of resources on the Internet, a range of items will be available to help with research, along with friendly experienced volunteers who will be on hand to help and offer advice to beginners, or those who have reached a ‘brick wall’.

Everyone is welcome to pop in and see what it is about, refreshments will also be available.



Latest War Memorial book published – October 2018

Ryedale Family History Group’s latest book in the War Memorial series has just been published, covering the Benefice of Lastingham and includes the villages of: Spaunton, Hutton le hole, Appleton le Moors, Cropton and Rosedale.

Andrea Cattle who researched and wrote the book said, “This was a fascinating book to compile, particularly with living locally; the twenty soldiers whose lives were researched told a poignant story as most were young men from these villages. I would like to thank members of Ryedale Family History Group and the local history groups for their help and advice with this work. Also thank you to the local families who contributed photographs which say more than words.”

Peter Braithwaite, Project Lead said “We are able to add more to the stories of these men as the Regimental War Diaries are now available and we can recount the entries for the dates concerned and give an idea of the battles the men were involved in.”

Peter went on to say, “Captain Fred Dawson of the 9th Battalion, Green Howards Regiment was killed on 29th September 1940. Fred Dawson was one of the few men who fought in both World Wars. Fred had been awarded both the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order in 1918 for his courageous actions under fire from the enemy. Fred Dawson died as a result of injuries received from enemy shelling. Born in Driffield, he was a resident of Cropton, and is buried in Driffield.”

The book can be found in local bookshops or through the website www.ryedalefamilyhistory.org.

Further information on the men of Rosedale who were killed can be found through contacting the Rosedale History Society at rosedalehistory@hotmail.co.uk


October 2018 Meeting

The next meeting organised by Ryedale Family History Group is on Wednesday 17 October at 7.30pm and is at the Royal Voluntary community centre, 29 Hungate, Pickering, YO18 7DG.

The speaker is Gary Brannan from The Borthwick Institute for Archives, who will be taking about ‘Wills and Probate - What can we Learn from them’.

Gary Brannan said, “The talk will look at the story behind the wills we hold here at the Borthwick, using plenty of local examples from around Pickering and Ryedale. Why do we leave wills? What's so special about them? How can they be of use to a family historian? And just what happened to the Bishop of Carlisle in a gunfight?”

Janice Wood Chairman said, “Wills are an excellent resource for anyone researching their family history; they can contain a lot of information about family relationships, places and properties, giving a fuller picture of an ancestor’s life.”

Ryedale Family History Group have transcribed over 700 wills from the Probate books held at The Borthwick Institute at the University of York. These transcripts are available to download from the Ryedale Family History Group website.


September 2018 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group’s next meeting has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances.

The talk ‘A Woldsman's Diary.’ was to take place on Wednesday 19 September at 7.30pm at Malton Rugby Club, Old Malton.

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “We are sorry for any disappointment or inconvenience caused by this change to the programme. We hope to rearrange the talk to a later date.”

The next talk will be on 17 October 2018 at the Royal Voluntary Services Centre, 29 Hungate, Pickering, with Gary Brannan of The Borthwick Institute for Archives, ‘Wills and Probate – What can we learn from them?’


August 2018 Meeting

The next meeting organised by Ryedale Family History Group is on Wednesday 15 August, 7.30pm at Nawton Village Hall, Howldale Lane, Nawton YO62 7SS.

The title of the talk is ‘Lord Armstrong, Industrialist’ by Brian Hull. Lord Armstrong was an incredible person with an equally impressive list of achievements. He was knighted, and then raised to the title of Baron in Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee year.

Lord Armstrong was an environmentalist way before his time; he built the much visited property Cragside, which was the first house to be lit by hydroelectricity. He was a scientist, engineer, inventor and industrialist.

Brian Hull will talk about Lord Armstrong’s early enterprises with water pressure for hydraulic cranes and the Great Armament works at Elswick, which he established. The talk will also feature Cragside, the house he created.

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “This will be an opportunity to hear about the work of this man and why we shouldn’t forget his contribution to the local community and the business world.”


Open Evening on Wednesday 8th August 2018

Ryedale Family History Group are holding an Open Evening on Wednesday 8 August 6 – 9pm at the Research Room, Hovingham Village Hall, YO62 4LF.

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “Please call in and see what it is all about! We can help with Family History anywhere. Our Research Room at Hovingham Village Hall is open each Thursday from 10am – 3.00pm. If this is not convenient, then our Open Evening is for you. Everyone is welcome – bring a friend!"

There will be the opportunity to see what is available to use, displays and use of the main subscription sites. Also our team of experienced volunteer researchers will be on hand to help with any queries or to get started with research.


30 July 2018

New equipment for group

Ryedale Family History Group are benefitting from the latest in technology due to successfully being awarded a grant from North York Moors National Park Authority’s Community Grants Scheme 2018.

The grant has been used to purchase a scanner to scan the old Parish Register entries and replaces the obsolete one the group had been using for many years and was no longer serviceable.

Janice Wood, Chairman said “The new scanner gives much greater definition for the images and can enhance poor quality images, making it easier for our team of transcribers to read. We carry out a lot of work transcribing images from the Parish Registers for the benefit of people tracing their family history. We are grateful for the opportunity the grant gives us to move forward and involve more people in this work.”

Geoff Otterburn, Treasurer and Project Manager said, “The National Park staff have been very helpful in supporting us with the process of applying for this grant. We are delighted to have been successful as our transcription work contributes to the culture and local history of the area, which is demonstrated by the level of interest and activity, particularly on Thursdays at the Research Room.”

Geoff Otterburn said, “We are grateful to our team of volunteers who do this work and if anyone would like to help us please contact us at the Research Room, Hovingham, or email secretary@ryedalefamilyhistory.org.”


June 2018 Meeting

The next talk organised by Ryedale Family History Group is on Wednesday 20 June 7.30pm at The Village Hall, Hovingham, York, YO62 4LF. The talk is called ‘Straight and Narrow’ by Peter Higginbotham, will look at the various institutions that were created to deal with children and young people (or whose parents) had fallen foul of the law. These included wide range of institutions, from Reformatory, Industrial to Approved Schools. The talk will also include tips on researching these records.

Peter Higginbotham is an acclaimed historian, author and broadcaster who set up the widely respected workhouses website. Due to the volume of material he found whilst researching children’s homes he has now developed a website dedicated to this area of interest along with publishing a book ‘Children’s Homes’ on what had been a neglected part of our history.

Freda Shaw, Programme Secretary said, “We are very pleased to have such a well known speaker as Peter Higginbotham, who is an authority on these institutions to come and speak to us. This is a fascinating history about dealing with children and young people deemed at risk of offending or being involved in criminal behavior.”


14 May 2018

Latest in War Memorial books published

Ryedale Family History Group have published two new books as part of the successful War Memorial series of books, that have been researched and written over the last four years as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded Project.

These two new books are, ‘Kirkdale, Nawton, Beadlam, Skiplam and Wombleton War Memorials’ and ‘Rievaulx, Old Byland, Scawton and Cold Kirby War Memorials ‘.

A copy of the ‘Kirkdale’ book was presented to the Reverend Susan Binks on Sunday 13 May at St.Gregory’s Minster, Stonegrave. This book is dedicated to the memory of the late Libby Capstick, whose personal knowledge of Nawton and Beadlam and the families whose ancestors are commemorated on these war memorials, has led to a unique story. Libby Capstick was an early member of the group and a leading contributor to this book.

The ‘Kirkdale’ book has mini histories of the 36 men commemorated on the various war memorials in the parish, it includes many photographs and copies of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission certificates for each person.

The Reverend Susan Binks who wrote the Foreword for the Kirkdale book said “For as we read of their families, work, hobbies and hopes so cruelly cut short, they come alive to us - no longer just names and numbers… and if you are curious to know their stories you will find the answers here.”

The ‘Rievaulx, Old Byland, Scawton and Cold Kirby War Memorials’ book contains histories of the men commemorated on the local war memorials in the parish, along with information about those on the Roll of Honour. At Scawton church there is a memorial plaque to commemorate the five Free French Airmen who were killed when their Halifax bomber crashed on its way back to Elvington airfield on 15 March 1945.

Peter Braithwaite, Project Lead said “These two books represent the culmination of a great deal of research and hard work by a number of volunteers and I thank each of them for their contributions and in particular to Libby Capstick who put so much into this project, I am sure she would have been proud of the result.”

Both books can be found in local bookshops or through the website



May 2018 Meeting

‘The History of Ryedale Show’ is the topic of the next talk for the Ryedale Family History Group, on Wednesday 16 May at 7.30pm at The Village Hall, Pottergate, Gilling East, YO62 4JJ.

The talk is being given by Suzanne Stirke, who along with Christine Thompson wrote a commemorative brochure on the history of Ryedale Show to celebrate the 150th show in 2016.

Ryedale Show was set up in 1855 and has run more or less continuously since, except for a couple of occasions. Ryedale Show is a popular traditional agricultural show, which initially brought together landlord and tenant. In the early years the show rotated around the 3 market towns of Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Pickering before settling in 1965 to a permanent venue at Welburn Park.

The Yorkshire Gazette of the late 1800’s gives many favourable articles on the great successes of the show and increasing number of entries year on year. There are still family names showing today whose ancestors were there in those early years. The agricultural shows gave people an opportunity to see the latest methods in agriculture and scientific advancements.


April 2018 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group’s next meeting is taking place on Wednesday 18 April, starting at 7.30pm, in the Village Hall, Hovingham, York YO624LF. The speaker will be Gillian Waters, talking about the ‘Pilgrimage of Grace 1536’.

The Pilgrimage of Grace was a popular uprising starting in Yorkshire, before spreading to other parts of the ‘North’. On Sunday 15 October 1536 a large rebel army assembled at York's city gates, calling themselves 'pilgrims' in defiance of Henry VIII's religious changes and flying the banner of the five wounds of Christ. The next day 5,000 horsemen entered the city of York led by Robert Aske of Aughton.

Gilliam Waters said, “This ‘Pilgrimage of Grace’ was one of the largest rebellions of the Tudor regime with between 20-40,000 gentry and yeomen mustering against the crown and marching to Doncaster. Discover how and why these armies were raised, why the rebellion failed to achieve its aims and the dire consequences of rebellion against the early Tudor state.”

Freda Shaw, Talks Secretary said, “We are delighted to have Gillian come to talk to us, she has so much expertise on this medieval period, as well as being a local and family historian and lecturer. This was a turbulent time in our history and Gillian will bring this to life at the meeting.”


March 2018 Meeting

The next meeting of Ryedale Family History Group is on Wednesday 21 March at 7.30pm at Malton Rugby Club, Old Malton Road, Malton YO17 7EY. The speaker is Ruth Rising, Project Leader, North Yorkshire County Record Office talking about the project ‘Grounds for Appeal’ - Military Service Tribunals in the North Riding.

The Military Service Act of 1916 made it compulsory for all single and widowed men aged between 18 and 41 to serve in the army. In 1918 this was extended to include single and married men up the age of 51, unless in a reserved occupation.

To seek exemption from service an appeal had to be made to a local tribunal and could be from the man, his employer, a relative, or a solicitor acting on the man’s behalf. The grounds for appeal ranged from serious hardship to conscientious objection, ill health and infirmity to education or training, as well as claiming the man was in an exempt occupation. If they were not satisfied with the decision then an appeal could be made to the county tribunal by the original appellant or a military representative.

In 1921 the Board of Health ordered the destruction of these papers. However, due to an oversight the North Riding Appeal Tribunal papers survived. There are 5,809 index entries, and a corresponding but incomplete set of case papers that have survived.

North Yorkshire County Record Office with a Heritage Lottery Grant has been able to open these previously unseen files working with a team of volunteers. Ruth Rising will be talking about this project and the value of these papers.

Peter Braithwaite, Ryedale Family History Group project leader for the War Memorial Project said, “These papers are hugely important to anyone researching World War One and the local area. I recommend this talk to anyone as it will be a fascinating insight of a relatively unknown source of information pertinent to the time.”


February 2018 Meeting

‘Sheridan’s Women’ is the intriguing title of the February talk by Eileen Piercy, for Ryedale Family History Group taking place on Wednesday 21 February at 2.00pm at Nawton Village Hall, Howldale Lane, Nawton YO62 7SS.

Eileen will highlight the extraordinary women from 1750 to the present day who were close to or were descendants of the acclaimed Irish playwright, poet and politician Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) they include writers, artists, actresses and who were women of importance.

Sheridan’s plays are still performed to this day such as ‘The Rivals’ and ‘School for Scandal’. Sir Alan Ayckbourn reworked Sheridan’s play ‘A Trip to Scarborough’ in the 1980’s setting it in the Royal Hotel, Scarborough and updating it in 2007/8. Sheridan also owned the London Theatre Royal in Drury Lane; he was an MP for many years, holding a number of key posts.

Eileen Piercy said, “I have been fascinated by Sheridan for many years and have carried out a lot of research into his life and family; he married twice and had children, each generation of women have been involved in the arts or literature thereby carrying on the artistic dynasty they have inherited.”

Janice Wood, Chairman said, “We usually hear about the male descendants of famous people, it is very apt in this year of the centenary of Women over 30 gaining the right to vote, that our talk is about the well known women and their achievements.”


January 2018 Meeting

Ryedale Family History Group starts their new programme of talks for 2018, on Wednesday 17 January at 2.00pm at The Village Hall, Hovingham, York, YO62 4LF with a talk by Ian Tomlinson ‘Stained Glass – a mystery trade’

Ian Tomlinson is a Master Glazier who has worked with the York Glaziers Trust and has been involved in a number of conservation projects in York and nationally. Ian Tomlinson says,“ Stained glass is all around us but how much do we know about it, how it is made, the different types of glass and how a window is constructed. I will be answering those questions and presenting an insight into a trade that has been around for 1000 years.”

Ian Tomlinson will bring along part of his workshop so there will be glass, tools and equipment to see and handle, along with a panel under construction.

Janice Wood, Chairman of the group said, “We are delighted to launch our new talks with Ian Tomlinson. We are also trying out a new time for our meetings in January, and February which will start at 2.00pm.”