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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

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The first novel of my trilogy, The Talismans, is available as e-books from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. Book two of the trilogy, The Cloak of Challiver, will be available again shortly. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

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The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

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Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Sunday, 3 July 2011

Yeomen of Yorkshire

Because a lot of my friends are more interested in family history (and history generally) than in writing, editing and reviewing, I thought I might start to add the odd snippet of family history to this blog. I’ve been very lucky – I’ve been able to discover my ancestors on several lines for many generations back.

My maternal grandmother, Frances HINCHCLIFFE, was born in Liversedge, in Yorkshire’s Calder Valley, where her ancestors had lived for hundreds of years. Frances’s maternal grandmother was called Edna HEMINGWAY. There have been Hemingways around Halifax for at least 600 years, ever since the time surnames as such were coming into common use. The name originated near Halifax: one possible derivation is that it means “Heming’s Way” and was, perhaps, a place name in Viking times – Heming was the name of several Viking heroes, including a king of the ancient kingdom of East Anglia.

We can identify a Henry HEMINGWAY, born about 1410, probably the father of a Richard and a Robert: it seems likely that we are descended from Henry through Robert. The family quickly proliferated in the area, many members becoming prominent landowners. Two of the Hemingway properties were called Shibden Mill and the Walterclough.

Hemingways intermarried with other notable yeoman families including the Sutherlands, Crowthers, Drakes, Reyners and Listers – all still common names in the area.. Through such marriages, the Hemingways improved their status and wealth, and were instrumental in the founding of local charities.

Although it is not possible to be absolutely certain of the relationships amongst the various Hemingway lineages in those early days, I can positively identify one Thomas HEMINGWAY, my 11xgreat-grandfather, who died at the Walterclough on the 23 October 1579. His son John, my 10xgreat-grandfather, left a will, which, unusually for the time, directed that all the children were to have a share in his property. John describes himself as a “yoeman”, and gives directions for the payment of his debts and funeral expenses. “I will and devise” (he continues) “to the said John Hemingway” (his eldest son) “Arthure, Michael, Abraham, Richard, Marie and Anne, my children, all that messuage and tenement, houses, lands etc in Southowram which I, the said testor, occupied in the lifetime of Thomas Hemingway, my late father, deceased, and also one close of land and pasture called Jony Ridinge in Southowram - - - for the term of 21 years at the yearly rent of 8s”. He decreed that his wife (the former Agnes Mawde, whom he had married on 26 October 1557) and all the children except Grace, his oldest daughter, who was already married, should be joint executors of the will. To Grace he left 6s.8d., provided her husband, John Wilkinson, release to the executors “all manner of demands to my goods”. John must have been on his deathbed when the will was made, as it is dated 1 October 1587, and John was buried on the 5th. The will was proved on 15 December in the same year.

I am descended from Richard, John’s youngest child, who was only ten years old at the death of his father. He grew up to marry Frances ARCHER in 1604, having moved to Dewsbury along with an eponymous younger cousin once removed. It is possible that, together with quite a few other citizens of Halifax, the two Richards moved to Dewsbury to escape the plague, which was apparently rampant in the Halifax area during the closing years of the sixteenth century.

 But after the cousins left, the Hemingway name continued to flourish around Halifax. Some of their doings make interesting reading! For example, Richard’s cousin Edward, who owned the Shibden Mill property at that time, shows up in the Wakefield Manor Court Rolls as follows:

Wakefield-- At the great Court held there 29th April 1614: We payne Edwarde Hemyngwaye, of Sibden Milne, that he shall att or before the feast of St. Michaell next, take awaye, pull, and caste downe one greate dame of water, newlie erected in August last, demmed over all the whole broke and hyeway att Damhead, to the great daunger of drowninge both men abd cattell, and to the annoyance of all passengers, and especially of the Inhabitants of Northowran, in payne, xxxxix.s.xd.

A funny corollary to this tale: when my second husband and I were farming in Tantanoola, South Australia, one of the local farmers did exactly the same thing as Edward – he dammed a roadside ditch, which flooded the nearby road. His neighbours were up in arms, of course, and he was fined heavily, just as Edward was all those centuries ago!

Another distant cousin, Mathew Hemingway, is found in the West Riding Session Rolls (1602 to 1611) in this wise:

 fforsomuch as ther hath bene divers orders made in the Court for the educating of a base Child begotten by Mathew Hemyngwey on the body of Dionis Savile, all which orders are now determined & for that Henry Savile father of the said Dionise, in respecte of his povertie craveth further allowance until the next Sessions for the relief therof: Yt is therefore ordered that the Towneshipp of Southowram wher the said Child was borne shall pay iiijd. & Richard hemyngwey ffather of the said Mathew ijd. weekely until the next Sessions towards the education of the said Child, And that in the meane tyme the said Dionise shalbe whipped for her offence.

Poor old Denise! It would be nice to think that Richard gave Mathew a thrashing as well, but I don't suppose he did! The sixpence a week, however, (four pence from the township and tuppence from Richard, father of young Mathew) would have at least given Denise and her “base child” a decent living in those days.

 Meantime, the two Richards had settled down in Dewsbury and founded lineages which contributed much to the development of that town over the ensuing centuries. Another time, I’ll tell you what became of them, and give you some insights into the lifestyle of our “yoeman” ancestors.

I am indebted to many other researchers for much of the above material. They are too numerous to mention, but all of us owe a debt to researchers of earlier generations, notably Henry Hemingway, surgeon and antiquarian of Dewsbury (1790-1875) and John Leonard Noades Hemingway of Southport, Lancashire (1884-1955).

2 comments:

Jo said...

Matt is descended from Hereward the Wake and also has bloodlines leading back to Richard III although we understand on the wrong side of the blanket - another 'base child'. Also his 'relatives' were on the Bounty when the mutiny occurred. Wake island is supposed to have been named by them.

Satima Flavell said...

We are all (Brits, Americans, Canadians, Aussies etc)descended from the same small group of people (abt 2 million) that were left in the UK after the Black Death, so we're all cousins! My closest kingly ancestor is Edward III, who is probably a common ancestor of just about all English folk!

You should start doing family history, Jo. It's a fascinating hobby. The further back I go, the more I love it!

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