Francis and Ann in Barnsley

On the 11th of May, 1665, Francis Roydhouse married Ann Raynor at St Mary’s, Barnsley, Yorkshire.

Barnsley is a city in Yorkshire, between Leeds and Sheffield. Former industries included linen, coal mining, glassmaking and textiles.

The Domesday Book refers to Berneslai, and in 1086 has a population of 200.

I visited Barnsley as a part of my journey around Britain, and spent some time wandering around the churchyard cemetery at St Mary’s, looking for Roydhouse names on the mossy, faded gravestones, without finding any.

The next record for Francis and Ann shows the baptism of a daughter, Sara, at Royston in 1673, some 4 miles from Barnsley.

I have been unable to establish any more about this family- they have done a good vanishing act!

While in Barnsley I was interested in the history behind the monument pictured.

The history of mining, and in particular for coal, is unfortunately weighted with many fatalities.

Explosions and flooding were the main causes, although unsafe conditions also contributed.

Mines employed children for many tasks, and families needed the extra income that this provided.

The following statistics are recorded for the Barnsley area alone.

1805: died in an explosion

1809 :10 drowned

1838 Huskar Pit :26 children drowned

1847 :73 died

1852: 10 died in an explosion

1866 :Oaks Colliery 383 men and boys died in two explosions, the second explosion occurring as rescuers attempted to search for survivors the next day. The fatalities ranged in age from 10 to 67. The Oaks Colliery disaster remains the worst in an English coalfield.

1883 :20 men and boys died

1907 :7 died

1907: 4 died

1914 :11 died in an explosion

1942 :13 died in an explosion

1947: 9 died in an explosion

Over 500 lives were lost in the Barnsley area coal mines in 142 years.

Tangled family connections- a look at Eling Mill, Southampton

My maternal grandmother’s maiden name was Adams, and her grandfather George Adams migrated from Southampton to Dunedin NZ in the 1860’s. Many of his mother Elizabeth’s extended Burgess family were involved in businesses that processed grain from milling to selling wheat corn and barley. However,the common connection of the families was through the large clan of Soffe and George’s grandmother Philadelphia was a Soffe before her marriage to William Adams.
Very few of the families lived far from Southampton, and the village of Eling is just across the River Test from the port city. The bridge had long been a toll point, and the miller supplemented his income with the pennies collected from passing traffic.
There has been a tidal mill on the waterways for centuries, it being mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086.Originally owned by King John,as Eling was a royal manor and a part of the New Forest, which were the royal hunting grounds. In the 1200’s, King John sold the manor and mill. They went through various hands until 1382 AD, when they were purchased by the Bishop of Winchester. He gave them to a school he was founding as a source of income. The school –Winchester College – owned the mill for almost 400 years (1382 to 1975), though they didn’t run it directly, but leased it out on long leases.
1806           It seems the Soffe family were granted a lease sometime prior to the marriage of Beaulieu miller William Adams to Philadelphia Soffe in 1806.Their first 2 children, Jane 1807 and George 1809 were baptised from Beaulieu Mill so it is unknown how long William worked at Eling.

1821           The next record of the miller at Eling is in 1821, when a George Soffe was declared insolvent. He was Philadelphia’s brother. From then until 1854 when he was 78 years of age, an older brother Joseph Soffe was the Miller in charge at Eling.

1852         A George Hunt worked with him for a while, but in 1852 William’s son George arrived at the mill with his wife and 4 children. Helen, George (who migrated to New Zealand) William junior and Henry had all been born in Gosport where their father George had variously been a clerk and a grocer.

In 1853 when Henry was 2 and a half, he fell into the tidal estuary and would have drowned but for the courage of a passer-by who jumped into the water to rescue him.

1854         George senior died in August 1854, aged 45, and his cause of death is recorded as effusion of the brain, most likely caused by a fall or injury to the head. The wooden beams of the mill loft are very low set, as can be seen by the photo below.

Interestingly, the Mill is said by some to be haunted! The present mill owner records the legend:
“The ghost of a dead miller has been seen by people passing the building outside, reporting him looking through the window. One would expect in a place such as this that the ghost occupying the building would be that of a former employee, from ages past and this is confirmed when further reports have been lodged by people who have witnessed the ghostly miller working in the sack loft. No -one seems to know who the miller is or even when he worked at the mill” (Paranormal Hampshire)

George is buried in the Eling Cemetery, just up the hill from the Mill.

1861        From then, it appears Phillip Stride operated the mill through from George’s death until sometime after 1861 when he appeared on the census at Eling, until 1871 when he was miller at Nursling, 5 miles away.Phillip’s wife Ann was the sister of George Adams wife Elizabeth, nee Burgess.

1871         By 1871 the miller was George H Mackrell. His mother was Jane, nee Adams, daughter of William and Philadelphia. Jane had married his father but was widowed a month after George was born. She remarried ( a miller named Robert Arnold) two years later and they spent the rest of their lives at Fox’s Mill, about 7 miles further north on the River Test.

1881           In 1881 George was a corn miller in Romsey village.One of George Mackrells’ 6 children was Sydney, born in 1863.At age 10, he was employed to collect the tolls from the mill bridge and in 1881 when he was 17 he was working as a flour miller in Eling. In 1911 he was still at the mill with his wife and family, including son Tom who was 10 at the time.

1931            Tom took over the mill in 1931,and worked until 1946 when the mill closed. He continued collecting tolls from the bridge until the late 1970’s.

1980          The mill reopened in 1980, and is now one of only two working tidal mills in the United Kingdom. The Mill was working on the day I visited, and the thrum of the mill working as the water ran through  was like a heartbeat.

a part of the workings of the mill at Eling.

1841-1911 census documents
England births, deaths and marriages
Family trees online
UK city and country directories
Eling Tidal Mill Wikipedia
National Probate Calendar
Hampshire Mills
The history of a working mill: Diana Smith
Tide Mill,Totton & Eling Historic England
Eling Tidal Mill Experience

Daniel John Roydhouse

John Roydhouse was born in 1725 to unknown parents.
However, a Court record indicates that John Roydhouse, a blacksmith of Hornsea, was indicted for assaulting Ralph Barchard in 1737.
It appears another son, Thomas, was born in 1727 and he married Alice Ombler on the 29th May,1751 in Kingston Upon Hull.

John married Ann Danby on the 16th April 1751.
The couple had 8 children, but at least 2 sons died young.
: Daniel John 26.2.1752 Hornsea
: Ann 7 November 1753 Hornsea
: Elizabeth 7 January 1755 Hornsea
: John 11 December 1757 Hornsea died before February 1759
: John 4th February 1759 Hornsea died before June 1763
: Nancy 2nd June 1760 Hornsea
: Thomas 5th August 1761 Hornsea- 7th November 1842 Hedon
: John 21 June 1763 Hornsea

Daniel was apprenticed to a plumber and glazier in 1764 aged 12 , and in his turn became the master to at least two apprentices in Hedon.

Daniel married Ann Duffield in Bramham on the 4th January 1773.
Daniel John and Ann had at least 5 children:
John 1774-1817
Thomas 1776 -1777

Thomas 1778-1858
Joseph 1780-1782
Betty 1782

All children were born at Thorngumbald.

Daniel died on 11th December 1785 at Hedon aged 33.
Ann died in 1790, leaving 3 children aged between 16 and 8 years of age.

His grandson,Thomas, son of Thomas born 1778, was born 1812, married Mary and they had at least 6 children:
Henry 1848
Roma 1851
Jane 1853
Ellen 1855
Edward 1858
Margaret 1860.

Grandson James born 1822, another son of Thomas born 1778, married Ann Johnson in Sculcoates in 1849, and at least 9 children were baptised and lived in Paull:
William Clark 1854-1900
Thomas 1857
Ann Eliza 1858
George Henry 1863
Elinor Mary 1865
Mary Jane
Louisa 1869
Lavinia 1871
Betsey Emma 1873

Great-grandson George Henry (born 1863)married Kate Ellen Turner in 1888, and recorded the births of 7 children in several different places.
Annie L 1890 Albrough married Arthur Atkinson
George H 1891 Sunk Island
Thomas Wilfred 1893 Preston
John T 1895 Marfleet
Alice M 1897 Marfleet married Harold Atkinson
Kate E 1900 Sandholme
Clifford S 1907 Sandholme

The 7 generations discovered here barely moved 100 miles between 1725 and 1900.
(John in Hornsea-John-Daniel-Thomas-James-George Henry-Clifford in Sandholme)

Link to William Clark Roydhouse :


East Riding, West Riding, Yorkshire :: New Jersey, USA…

St Lawrences Church Sigglesthorne

Sigglesthorne is a small village and civil parish in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is situated approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Hornsea.
According to the 2011 UK census, Sigglesthorne parish had a population of 404. The village has around 175 houses.
There is also an ancient church dedicated to St. Lawrence that was designated a Grade II* listed building in 1966 and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England.
It is rumoured throughout the village that the settlement was given its name as a result of a Viking who lived there. This Viking leader was supposedly called Siggul, and since hawthorne is the predominant type of hedge around the village, it was given the name “Siggul’s thorne” → Sigglesthorne.

Matthew Roydhouse married Margaret Smith on the 4th August 1755 in Sigglesthorne, Yorkshire.
They appear to have had at least six daughters and one son Matthew. All children were baptised in Sigglesthorne.
Rachel was baptised on the 10th May 1756.
She married Luke Robinson at Atwick, 5 miles north aged 24 on the 8th May 1780.
Luke and Rachel had at least one son, Matthew.
In the census of 1841 there is an 85 year old Rachel Robinson in Riccall, Yorkshire, less than 50 miles from her birthplace.
Margaret was baptised on the 16th June 1758.
Katherine was baptised on the 13th March, 1760.
Ann was baptised the 21st March 1763.
Elizabeth was baptised 1st April 1766 and appears to have a twin sister Mary.
Matthew was possibly baptised prior to his parents marriage in 1751.
He married Rebecca Richardson in 1780 in Hornsea.
Elisabeth was baptised in October 1782 and the family lived on Bank and their son John was baptised in Leeds in 1785.
Mathew seems to have died in 1791 in Leeds, and Rebecca in 1796
His son John married Frances Parkinson in Beverly Yorkshire in 1814.
We can now assume these are the Roydhouse family who migrated to Burlington, New Jersey.

Dorothy Roydhouse of Carleton

In 1701 the 1st July Quarter Sessions were held at Wakefield in Yorkshire.
On the list of hearings for the sessions was the “Indictment of Dorothea Roydhouse”.

Th writing is difficult to read and mostly in Latin, but some facts can be made out.
Dorothea Roydhouse , spinster of Carleton.
Carleton is about 9 miles from Wakefield, and also close to Pontefract and Hemsworth.

It appears that Dorothy was being indicted for the theft of silk petticoats, silk linings and a hood.
A Katherine Talbut is mentioned in the indictment so she either helped steal or owned the items.

The records of that time indicate that Dorothy most likely was a part of the Hemsworth
Roydhouse clan. Hemwsorth is 6 miles from Carleton, and the type of articles stolen would indicate Dorothy
worked either as a dressmaker or in a position of trust in a wealthy household.

This particular family branch has been variously listed as Roidas, Roydous, Rhoidas, Rhoydas and
Roydhouse in the space of a few years.
William Roydhouse married Elizabeth Hunnington on the 11th November, 1679
Dorothy was baptised 5th Sept 1680

Elizabeth was baptised 5th February 1685 and was buried on 14th March 1685.
Prizile was baptised 14th Feb 1687, and was buried on the 5 April 1700
Margaret was baptised 1688.

Wakefield Prison was built in 1595, so it is more than likely Dorothy spent her prison time there,
although the records are not available to know the length of sentence and/or punishment handed
down to her. Any marriage after 1701 and/or her death have not been located.

Elizabeth Pickup

Thomas married Elizabeth Pickup in 1716 and his son Thomas was baptised January 1718, and buried in 1719 in Pontefract.
Last name: Pickup
This unusual surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is a locational name from a place in Lancashire called Pickup (Bank), now styled Yate and Pickup Bank. The name has branched out strongly,and can be easily traced back to the neighbourhood of Blackburn as its original home.
Approximately 6,288 people bear this surname today around the world.
Recorded as “Pycoppe” in “Records of the Manors of Henry de Lacy”, dated 1296, and as “Pickope Bank” in “Place Names of Lancashire”, dated 1595, the name derives from the Olde English pre 7th Century “pic”, peak, point, with “copp”, top, summit; hence, “hill with a peak or sharp point”.
Locational surnames were originally given to the lord of the manor, or as a means of identification to those who left their place of origin to settle elsewhere.
Regional and dialectal influences subsequently produced many variations in the spelling of the name, which, in the modern idiom, range from Piccop, Picopp and Peacop to Pickhup, Pickupp, Pickopp, Picup and others.
There are several records of the name Pickup in Pontefract records, but I have found no trace of an Elizabeth there in the right timeframe.

name born died married spouse father mother
Joseph 1692 Robert
Robert 1694 Robert
William 1696 1696 Robert
Richard 1698 Robert
John 1699 Robert
Esther 1700 1730 George Burrough Robert
Francis 1702 Robert
William 1704 Robert

Thomas 1709 1709 illegitimate Dorothy
Dorothy 1714
Anne 1717
Robert 1726
Martha 1735

It is unlikely that Elizabeth was a daughter of Robert Pickup, but I can’t find a marriage for him in this area either. It appears he was born in Ackworth, about 3 miles from Pontefract in 1660, and had a brother John and sister Hester. Dorothy who baptised and buried her son Thomas appears to have been born there in 1686.
There is an Elizabeth baptised in Lower Darwen, Lancashire,(some 55 miles away) daughter of Thomas in 1703, making her 15 at marriage, and another born to Jacob Pickup of Elland (25 miles away) in 1690.
The presence of the large castle as a place of employment and the other businesses this would attract to the large marketplace in Pontefract would account for young people or even whole families relocating.


Pontefract is about 6 miles from Hemsworth in the West Riding.

The Pomfret Castle was constructed in 1070, and is the place of the death of

King Richard II in 1400.

The  two churches in Pontefract were St Giles and All Saints ( c 1300’s)

There seems to have been only a few Roydhouse records in the history of Pontefract.

The close dates of events would suggest siblings:

  • Thomas Roydhouse baptised a son Thomas in 1669, and buried him in 1670.
  • William Roydhouse married Sara Haley in 1669
  • Ann Roydhouse married John English in 1670

A Rachel Roydhouse married Richard Brook in 1690.

Another generation of Roydhouses in Pontefract included Mary who

married Thomas Cross in 1721 and John who married an Ann Walker in 1723.

Thomas Roydhouse married Elizabeth Pickup on the 2nd April 1716 and his

son Thomas was baptised in January 1718, and buried in 1719 at St Giles Pontefract.

This could be my great ,great ,great ,great, great, great grandparents

Thomas and Elizabeth who baptised Henry Roydhouse in London in 1730.

I can find no other baptisms or burials for this couple in Pontefract between

1719 and  1730, some 11 years later.



Wragby is a parish with a village and three townships, located about 5 miles, (8 kilometres) from Pontefract in the West Riding of Yorkshire. Originally here was an Augustine priory founded in 1105 by Robert de Laci.

The church of St. Michael and Our Lady, Wragby is dated to 1533 and less than seven years later the Roydhouse name appears in the records that have been transcribed and digitised.

St Michael and Our Lady Church, ( Flickr image, woodytyke)

Wragby can be seen just under the I in the word West Riding.

JOHN, also recorded as Johannis

1550 :: John, baptised and buried

1604 :: John baptised

1619 :: John, son of John, baptised

1620 :: Elizabeth, daughter of John, baptised

1621 :: Henry, son of John, baptised

1622 :: Elizabeth, daughter of John, baptised

Between 1646 and 1658 a John Roydhouse (likely born 1619) had the following seven records.

1646 :: John, son of John, baptised and buried

1649 :: Mary, daughter of John, baptised ( possibly married John Pell in 1668)

1651 :: John, son of John, baptised and buried

1652 :: Jane, daughter of John, baptised

1654 :: William, son of John, baptised and buried

1658 :: William, son of John, baptised and buried

1658 :: Allis, wife of John, buried

  • Elizabeth also recorded as Elizabethae
  • Henry also recorded as Henricus and Henrici
  • Mary, also recorded as Maria, Marye and Marae

WILLIAM, also record as Guilamme

William the wheelwright baptised at least five children.

1641 :: William, son of William,  baptised

1646 :: Jane, daughter of William, baptised

1648 :: Susann, daughter of William,  baptised

1651 :: Joshua, son of William, baptised

1652 :: Elizabeth, daughter of William, baptised

In 1670 William (likely born 1641) buried Richard and in 1671 John was baptised and buried.

The will of William Roydhouse in 1656 illustrates the incompleteness of the records.

It mentions his wife, Rosamond, first son William(?1641) first daughter Mary,second daughter Sarah, third daughter Rosamond,fourth daughter Jane(? 1646) fifth daughter Susanna(?1648) and sixth daughter Elizabeth(?1652).

Perhaps the marriage of William and Rosamond, baptisms of daughters Mary and Sarah and the burials of Joshua and William senior are  yet to be transcribed.

RICHARD also recorded as Ricardi

Records of Richard Roydhouse with St. Michaels began in 1661.

1661 :: William , son of Richard, baptised

1664 :: John, son of Richard, baptised

1665 :: Richard, son of Richard, baptised

1666 :: Elizabeth, daughter of Richard, baptised

1669 :: Jennit, daughter of Richard, baptised

1671 :: Ginetta, daughter of Richard, baptised and buried

Richard ( baptised 1665) appears to have married Mary Broadhead in 1695. Her death as a widow was recorded in 1734.


SAMUEL also recorded as Samueli and Samuell

Samuel baptised at least two children.

1638 :: Margryt baptised

1641 :: Thomas baptised

As a Samuel Roydhouse appears about 30 years later baptising children, I believe he would also have been a son of Samuel senior.

In 1671 Samuel (junior) married Francisca Pease.

1672 :: Samuel, son of Samuel, baptised

1673 :: Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel, baptised



The name Thomas Roydhouse appears in the church records continuously over the time frame between 1540 and 1661.

1540 :: Thomas baptised

1574 :: John, son of Thomas ( likely born 1540) baptised

1578 :: William, son of Thomas, baptised

Given the naming patterns used at this time, a son Thomas would have been highly probable.

1593 :: Joan, daughter of Thomas, baptised

1604 :: Thomas baptised

1613 :: Thomas baptised

1628 :: Ellen, daughter of Thomas ,buried

1634 :: Alicia, wife of Thomas, buried

1646 :: Thomas buried

1651 :: Jane, daughter of Thomas,baptised

1651 :: Anne, wife of Thomas buried

1651 :: Thomas, yeoman, buried

1657 :: Thomas married Mary Benson

1658 :: Mary, daughter of Thomas, baptised and buried

1661 :: Thomas buried

ROBERT also recorded as Roberti

The name of Robert also appears between 1540 and 1661.

1540 :: Lawrans, son of Robert, baptised

1604 :: Robert, son of Robert and Mary, baptised

1619 :: Robert baptised

1621 :: Anna, daughter of Robert and Elizabeth, baptised.  (possibly married Richard Max in 1646)

1622 :: Elizabeth, daughter of Robert and Mary, baptised and buried

1623 :: John, son of Robert, baptised

1626 :: Elizabeth, daughter of Robert baptised and buried

1631 :: Dorothy, daughter of Robert, baptised (possibly married George Perkin 1648)

1632 :: Anna, daughter Robert and Anna, buried

1634 :: John, son of Robert, buried

1646 :: Robert, buried

1654 :: Robert baptised

1657 :: Robert, son of Robert and Mary, buried

1658 :: Frances, wife of Robert, buried

1658 :: Jennit , daughter of Robert and Mary, buried

1659 :: Allis, daughter of Robert and Mary, buried

1659 :: Mary, wife of Robert, buried

1661 :: Robert, buried

  • Dorothy also recorded as Dorothie and Dorothea
  • Jennit also recorded as Gennetha

HENRY also recorded as Henricus, Hennerie and Henrici

Henry as a name appears from 1604 through to 1743.

1604 :: Henry baptised

1620 :: Henry, son of John, baptised and buried

1622 :: Henry married Anna Foster

1623 :: Henry, son of Henry, baptised

1626 :: John, son of Henry and Anna, baptised

1626 :: Martina, daughter of Henry, buried

1631 :: Jane, daughter of Henry baptised

1632 :: Anna, daughter  of Henry, buried ( possibly Jane)

1635 :: Anna, baptised and buried

1646 :: Henry buried

1646 :: Mary buried

1648 :: Anna, widow of Henry married Richard More

1648 :: Anna More, wife of Richard, buried

1648 :: Henry ( likely born 1623) married Katherine Symson

1649 :: Mary, daughter of Henry, baptised

1651 :: Thomas, son of Henry, baptised

1653 :: Henry buried

1654 :: Henry, son of Henry, baptised

1655 :: Thomas, son of Henry, baptised and buried

1656 :: Henry, son of Henry, baptised

1657 ::John, son of Henry, baptised

1659 :: Elizabeth, daughter of Henry, baptised

1664 :: Jane, daughter of Henry and Katherine, baptised

1700 :: Henry, baptised and buried

1734 :: John, son of Henry, buried

1736 :: John, son of Henry, buried

1738 :: Joseph, son of Henry, baptised

1743 :: William, son of Henry, baptised







Hemsworth, Yorkshire


These next blog posts in early Yorkshire are only my understandings and interpretations of the available remaining records for the time frame and exact place.

The records are in the main extremely hard to read, in bad handwriting, alternative spellings and/or mostly in Latin.


The record of interest as an example is one for “Jane fillia Henricus Roydhoufe et Catherine .. baptiz..”

The basic intent of this record is that Henry and Catherine Roydhouse had a daughter, Jane in April 1664.(Wragby)

I have not tried to trace the people beyond what I can glean from the records found in Hemsworth.

I believe that the locality with this surname is important to justify my theories- the surname not ever being very commonplace. I cannot extend the same beliefs to another locality due to the very common first names of the time.

Having said all that, I am enjoying trying to crack this extremely difficult puzzle, although I may not post every week while chasing these early families!!

Let’s start!!

The records for Hemsworth suggest that a Roydhouse family with at least three brothers Oursley, Francis and Thomas were living in the area in the early 1600’s. However, the men could have been cousins or one the father of the other two continuing his family, or even a father, uncle and son baptising children at the same time.

Oursley baptised a daughter, Faith in 1626.This document is only available “transcribed” and I have to accept not being able to read the original for myself- there are no other records for an Oursley anywhere. I can’t find any records of Faith in Hemsworth after her baptism.

Francis baptised Richard in 1627.

Thomas buried a son Roger in 1628.As Roger is listed as a son, he will most likely have been quite younger than 15.

Francis or Thomas also appear to have Edward and Thomas in their families. I would imagine they were born around 1635.

Edward baptised Rachell in 1662, Mary 1667 married Edward Huntingdon 1687 and possibly Eliza 1668(married Edward Milnor 1689)

Edward or Thomas has William circa 1665. His children included Dorothy 1680, Eliza 1685-1685; Margaret 1686; ,Prizile 1687-1700; William 1688,Mary 1694.Edward died 1705, a brother of the hospital.

Thomas and Ann baptised John 1663, Ann 1668 and Mary.

Ann the daughter married Robert Mitchell in 1685.

Mary the daughter married William Shepherd in 1695. John  1696; Edward  1699; Mary 1702; Margaret 1704

Ann the wife of Thomas died in 1693.

John the son of Thomas and Ann, married Ann Bayes in 1688.

Their children included:

William 1688; Marye 1689; James and John 1692; Ann 1695 (possibly married Joshua Clayton 1723); Thomas born and died 1697; Thomas 1698 m Elizabeth Bates 1720 ;Sarah 1699 and William 1700-1713.

Ann the wife of John died in 1704 and John appears to have died in 1709, recorded as a “brother of the hospital”

This form of classifying a person rose in the Middle Ages, when there were four types of hospital; for lepers, for poor pilgrims; for the poor and infirm and almshouses or bedehouses. The long term inmates were known as the brothers and sisters of the “house” and instructed to pray daily for the souls of the benefactors- “bede” being prayer.

Many old churchyards had yew trees growing, the surrounds encouraged growth and the tree made strong bows. The construction of St Helen’s in Hemsworth was recorded in 1022.

Hemsworth’s  Yew tree is said to be between 700 and 1,000 years old, the ancient tree no longer grows but stands, weighing several tonnes and a girth of over 4.5 metres. It would have been already been between 300  and 600 years old at the time these Roydhouse families were flourishing.

Yorkshire at last!

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.


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.

Going further  back in time I discovered the accepted meaning of the name, Roydhouse.

ROYD (Scandinavian.) Dweller at a forest-clearing

ROYDHOUSE (Scandinavian.) 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 Conqueror’s Britain and designed to gather taxes and 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 25% Scandinavian heritage.

I knew I identified with Hagar and Helga!!