Unravelling Yorkshire

The hamlet of Roydhouse in the West Riding of Yorkshire consists of a few farms and a pub.
A hamlet is defined as a small settlement, generally one smaller than a village, and strictly one without a church.
To start the investigation of the assorted Roydhouse families throughout Yorkshire, I first decided to follow the theory that the surname may have originated from that area of the West Riding.

Roydhouse Hamlet location

3 Acres Inn, Roydhouse, Shelley, Yorkshire.


The closest ancient church is All Hallows Parish Church in Kirkburton, about 2 miles away.

Kirkburton Church is dedicated to All Hallows. It was built in 1190, and is now classified as a Grade I listed building. Most of the structure is 13th century although parts have been rebuilt. The tower was added in the 15th century. Inside the church is a late-medieval nave ceiling, large wooden pulpit, stone font and Elizabethan and Jacobean pews. A small window in the chancel may have opened from the cell of a hermit. A restored 10th century stone crucifix can be found inside, supporting the belief that another church or Christian settlement may have existed on this site. The church has undergone extensive restoration.
The church records mostly show burials appear from the early 1800’s, though a few survive and are legible from the 1700’s. No Roydhouse (or other variant) burial is recorded, however this does not mean there were none. Over the centuries churchyards can become overgrown, run-down, stones become impossible to read and even broken, and old church records lost due to fire, flood, or war.

Meanings of the surname  discovered vary only slightly, dweller by the marsh or dweller by the clearing.

ROYD (Scand.) Dweller at a forest-clearing

ROYDHOUSE (Scand.) Dweller at the Clearing-House

The Domesday Book of 1086 showed that much of the woodland of Britain was still intact. It was a very detailed survey of land held throughout William the Conquerors Britain and designed to gather taxation revenue.
In the north, and Yorkshire in particular, the land clearance was the work of the Scandinavians who first settled from A.D 867 in the Danelaw region.

My DNA test kit revealed a 7% Scandinavian heritage. Probably related to Hagar and Helga!