I HAVE been asked to put last week's Memories about 18th and 19th Century emigration from North Yorkshire onto the internet.

All articles should be uploaded onto the Echo Memories website but, due to a variety of technological glitches, they don't all appear. It could be that the only way to get your full complement of Memories is to pay 45p every Thursday, but we aren't clever enough, or mean enough, to come up with such a ruse. It is down to technology not performing as it should.

Here's the article:


Life was hard in the Yorkshire Dales in the 19th Century. The lead mines were closing, throwing men out of work. Agriculture was mechanising, throwing more men out of work, and the pastures were being enclosed, throwing yetmoremen offthe land.The population of Wensleydale and Swaledale plummeted from 15,000 in 1821 to 8,500 in 1911.

Where did they all go?

To celebrate its tenth anniversary, the Upper Dales Family History Group has published a book written by its members who have researched the stories of more than 100 families who emigrated.

Some went overseas, some just went over the county borders. Here are a few snippets of Those Who Left The Dales:


IN 1764, George Kearton died "in his 125th year" at Oxnop, near Muker.

The following year, his 43year-old son, also George, spent his inheritance on a half-share of a sugar plantation on the island of St Vincent, in the West Indies.

George sailed to inspect his purchase. The buildings cost him £3,319. The 31 male slaves cost £2,357, whereas the 25 female slaves cost £1,240. He got two female children for £5 the pair, but the boys were more expensive at £12 each.

Only one woman, Mareyan, was given a name and an occupation in the sale documents - she was a washer.

But some of the men were itemised: Cato, a driver (£130); Mingo, a boiler (£130); Jeremy, a doctor (£80); Hector, a distiller (£70); Jingo, a cooper (£120).

George died in 1783 and was buried at St George's Cathedral in Kingstown, St Vincent.

His 123-acre plantation passed to his nephew, John, who was living in Muker with his partner, Ann Doyle, and their two sons.

They emigrated to the Caribbean and had threemore children. John became amember of the St Vincent Assembly, and a captain in the local militia, which means he was probably involved in fierce fighting with the native Caribs.

The plantation passed to his second son, George, who had been born in Swaledale in 1775. Between 1800 and 1804, George had four "coloured" girls baptised at St George's Cathedral, the last three of them being recorded as "freed at birth".

However, in 1810, the naughty chap married an 18year-old, Mary Gerald Colcroft, in the cathedral. She seems to have been from a colonial family.

George died in 1827 when visiting London. He was buried in Bath, which seems to have been the home town of his wife's family because, without him, she returned with their daughter and settled in the area.


IN 1834, John Croft, "a mercer of Reeth", emigrated to Quebec, Canada, with his wife, Hannah, and their two children, Charles and Ann.

On April 6, 1834, Hannah's sister, Mary, of Marrick, near Richmond, wrote her first letter to Canada filling Hannah in on all the gossip from home: "I received your letter safe and was glad to hear that you had arrived as there was so many ships lost at that time it gave me great uneasiness. . .

"Poor Fanny is dead and was buried Easter Sunday and young Sally Coates is dead and Nelly Joplin and Ester Orton, and Nanny has got married and Francis Lonsdale is also dead and left £3,000 to his manservant.

"Mary Atkinson has got married to John Clore, the butter carrier, and that wretch Bess has come home to carry on her old business. . ."


IT wasn't only families who left. In 1850, Henry Boast, a travelling Wesleyan preacher from Thirsk, arranged a syndicate of more than 200 people from the Bedale area to sail to South Africa.

The Wesleyan syndicate included James Tutin, from Brompton-on-Swale, and Bedale grocerWilliam Smith, 60, his wife, Isabella, and seven of their eight children. Together they chartered a ship and bought land at the other end for them to farm when they arrived.

But their departure was a comedy of errors. They arrived at Hull in April 1850 only to find their boat, The Pallais, was too small and was then condemned by port inspectors as unseaworthy. They took the captain to court. Some gave up the emigration and slunk home; many went into lodgings, paid for by whip-rounds in Hull's Wesleyan chapels.

At the end of June, they sailed on The Haidee - only it sprung a leak before losing sight of land, and had to return.It was patched up, and those brave souls who still believed God wanted them to emigrate - an outbreak of smallpox had reduced their number further - set sail on July 10.

After four months, they approached Durban, only to find that The Haidee was too large to get into port. It anchored three miles out and they had to disembark on surfboards.

Being winter, it was the wrong time to plant the seeds they had brought with them, sothey huddled together in tents until the season changed. That year, Isabella Smith baked a Christmas cake in a clay oven dug into a Durban hillside.


FOR the first 25 years of his life, Thomas Carter was content on his family farm near Bainbridge.

But in 1860, he sought a new life inMiddlesbrough, the new town that was exploding into life.

There, he had a wide array of potential careers in front of him and he chose to set up a picture framing business. It worked. Ten years later, he was able to sell the business and reinvent himself as a speculative builder.

Soon he became the largest individual ratepayer in Middlesbrough. He was elected to the town council, became chairman of the corporation in 1887, and then an alderman.

When he died in 1904, the flags on Middlesbrough Town Hall were flown at half-staff.


Those Who Left the Dales, by the Upper Dales Family History Group, costs £12.50 plus £2.75 postage. Cheques should bemade payable to the group and sent to Croft House, Newbiggin in Bishopdale, Leyburn, North Yorkshire DL8 3TD. Alternatively, call 01969-663738 or 01904431213 or go to ypdbooks.com