WHAT DO WE HOPE TO DISCOVER?
As part of my own research into the surname Adamthwaite, I have recently undertaken a study of the incidence of all surnames which appear in parish and manorial records for RAVENSTONEDALE in Westmorland, England during the period 1379 to 1777.
Surnames in this part of Westmorland appear to still have been in the process of being adopted at the time of the earliest available written records, so it is possible that there is shared genetic ancestry between direct line male descendants of these early families, even when they hold different surnames.
Ravenstonedale is an isolated village on the fells in the Eden Valley of Westmorland, and a high level of intermarriage between local families over time (and recorded illegitimacies) may also result in discoverable connections between male or female descendants of these early families who have taken autosomal Family Finder tests. However, it should be noted that this test is only designed to discover matches within the past five or six generations, so this section of the project is somewhat experimental in nature.
So the main goals of the project are to discover
Whether there is any shared genetic ancestry between the surnames known to have been present in Ravenstonedale in the 16th and 17th centuries
Whether testers in the Family Finder part of the project exhibit matches with others with similar geographical origins
More about the distant genetic origins of descendants with Ravenstonedale ancestry
When members of Ravenstonedale families started to migrate away from the dale and where they went