The Doncaster Kirkleatham Skelton Line







The sixteenth century Farndale family to whom most Farndales can trace their ancestry






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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB




This page traces the earliest recorded Farndales back from George Farndaleís family (1606 to 1693)(FAR00067), which history is shared by all modern Farndales. Georgeís descendants William Farndale (1599 to 1677)(FAR00071), Richard Farndale (1604 to 1685)(FAR00075), and Nicholas Farndale (1634 to 1693)(FAR00082) branched off into lines which would then diverge to the wider family.

We can use genealogical sources to trace back with reasonable certainty to Nicholas Farndale (FAR00059) and Agnes Farndale (FAR00060) who were probably the paternal and maternal ancestors of all members of the modern family. As these are the earliest days of parish records, we cannot be completely certain about the precise history and interrelationships, but it is very likely that these are the early ancestors.

The uniqueness of the name then allows us to identify a very large number of family members back to the thirteenth century. We know that our family originated in those who lived in Farndale when it was first settled and later left the dale, but used its name to identify themselves. We also know that the lands of Farndale were part of the large medieval estate of Chirchebi (Kirkbymoorside). These lands were places of political significance through early Anglo Saxon Scandinavian history, so we are able to tell the story of our very distant ancestors. The genealogical tree below therefore follows our origin further backwards to known facts about the lands where our most distant ancestors once lived.


The Story of the Doncaster Kirkleatham Skelton Line

The Doncaster-Kirkleatham-Skelton Line is where the recorded history of the Farndales in Cleveland began. Most Farndale lines can trace their ancestry directly back to Nicholas, born in about 1512. These were the folk who emerged in Cleveland as the only people using the Farndale name, having descended from those who had left the valley of Farndale in medieval times.

Looking carefully at the records we have regarding Nicholas, his potential children and grandchildren, we can build a timeline. We know that from the second half of the sixteenth century, the Farndale ancestors were predominantly living in the Cleveland area. So this timeline gives an explanation as to how Farndales left the dale and moved south, with a group living around Doncaster, and how and when the Doncaster Farndales moved to Skelton/Kirkleatham to establish the lines of Farndales across Cleveland.

I have explained on the page of Nicholas, the analysis which leads to the conclusion of our geographical ancestry, even though the records at this era are slim.

Campsall, Doncaster, 1512 to 1564 (perhaps 1335 to 1564)

Nicholas Farndale might have lived in or around Doncaster, perhaps at Campsall, where he may have been born in about 1512.

He met Agnes, who might also have come from around Doncaster too (or did she come from Kirkleatham, which explains the long move north later on?). They married in about 1537. If so, they probably married around Doncaster, perhaps in the same church in Campsall, where their son William later married.

Their son, William was born in about 1539. Jean was born in about 1540. Letís assume they were still living around Campsall, Doncaster then.

We then know that William married at the church at Campsall (the same church where Robin Hood is reputed in stories to have married Maid Marion!) in 1564.

Moving north, between 1564 and 1567

Between 1564 and 1567, the family moved to the Skelton/Kirkleatham area. One possibility is that Agnes came from there. Another is that Jean shortly afterwards married Richard Fairly, a family from Kirkleatham. Had they met in Campsall or around Doncaster? For whatever reason, they moved to Kirkleatham.

Kirkleatham, 1567 to 1586

In 1567, Jean married Richard Fairly at Kirkleatham (where we know Nicholas and Agnes both died). Richard Fairley had a bit of a pedigree. So perhaps another reason for the move north is that Jean moved to the neighbourhood of her new husband, and the whole family moved north at about the same time.

They then lived in Kirkleatham, which was perhaps more the Fairly home than the Farndale home before then.

Williamís three children were born in Kirkleatham between 1568 and 1573.

We then know that Nicholas died in Kirkleatham in 1572, and Agnes died there in 1586.


William died in Skelton and was buried there.

The focus of the family thereafter turns more to Skelton, Liverton, Loftus and Moorsholm.


Our more distant ancestors

We can then trace the likely path of our ancestry back through Norman, Scandinavian, Anglo Saxon and Roman times, and into the archaeological history of our ancestral lands, frequently finding significant sites in the immediate vicinity of our ancestral home.








The First Family Genealogy




The Farndale Story














Nicholas farndaile

1512 to 1572

The common ancestor of all or most Farndales

Doncaster?, Campsall?, Kirkleatham




†††††† =

Agnes farndaile

Born 1516

Probably the wife of Nicholas

Doncaster?, Campsall?, Kirkleatham
















William Farndale

About 1539 to 1606

Married Margaret Atkinson at Campsall

William will be a direct ancestor of most, probably all, living Farndales who married in the church where legend suggests Robin Hood and Maid Marion were married before them

Doncaster, Campsall, Skelton



Jean Farndaile

Born 1540?

Who married Richard Fairley in Kirkleatham






The Fairley Family


Robin Hood Stories

Campsall, once in Barnsdale Forest, was at the centre of the emergence of the Robin Hood stories and their written recording of those stories. They were certainly inspired by tales of medieval poachers, such as Farndale ancestors in Pickering Forest, and those stories seem to have originated in Yorkshire. Note the similarity between Barnsdale and Bransdale, the valley beside Farndale





















Jane farndell

Born 1568?

Married Valentine Wraye in Skelton




George Farndale

1570? To 9 March 1606

George is the person to whom modern Farndales will be able to trace lineage on definite record. We can then trace two further generations back from George, to Nicholas, using educated guesses




Eln (Eleanor) Farndale


Eln moved across the North Yorks Moors to Pickering

Kirkleatham, Pickering, Wilton



Isabell farnedaile


Died at birth?









The Wraye Farndale

















William Farndaile

22 January 1599 to 24 January 1677

Married Jane

With William, for the first time, we get to some more detailed record of him and his family, including a full date of birth. William is not in my own direct line of ancestry. It is at this point that we start to get to different lines to modern families named Farndale.

Skelton, Moorsholm, Liverton



Susan Farndaile

1601? to 1660?




George Farndaile

16 March 1602 to 17 August 1693

Married Jaine or Jane

Skelton, Liverton, Moorsholm, Loftus



Infanta Farndayle

4 January 1603 to 4 January 1603

Probably died at birth




Rychards ffarnedayle

3 February 1604 to 1685?

Married Emmie Nellice in 1632

Skelton, Liverton






















The Skelton 1 Line



William Farndal

20 November 1625 to 19 January 1677

Liverton, Great Ayton


Nicholas Farndale

6 July 1634 to 28 February 1693/4

Married Elizabeth ? and Elizabeth Bennison

A Liverton Family, Nicholas had four children from his first marriage and two from his second



Jane Farndale

17 November 1636



Isabal Farndale

18 March 1637




The Liverton 1 Line

























Ane Farndale

Born 1660



The Liverton 2 Line










The Ancestry of the Kirkleatham Skelton Line

Although we reach the end of the direct ancestry of the Farndales with Nicholas Farndaile (FAR00059), 1512-1572, this was certainly the family whose ancestors were those folk who lived in Farndale in the medieval period and more details can be found about them in Volume 1 of the Farndale directory.


At this stage of history, we have to do some guessing. If our logic is correct, then this places the direct known relatives of certainly most, and probably all Farndales today to the Doncaster/Campsall area between about 1512 and 1564.


We know that almost (and probably all) all modern Farndales are certainly related to each other. The only quandary I have is that Iíve not been able to link the Ampleforth Line (and the Lines that trace from it) back from 1733 when Elias was born, so I canít be sure that the Ampleforth line is related to the other Farndale lines. I have a strong suspicion that the Ampleforth Line will link in to everyone else, I just canít evidence that yet. So I donít have a direct link from the Ampleforth line back to Nicholas, but I have a strong suspicion that they link in to the other families somewhere between 1512 and 1733, I just canít find the evidence.


See the Farndale Lines interface chart to understand how modern Farndale lines relate back to the Doncaster-Kirkleatham-Skelton Line.


That is exciting because we then know that Sir William Farndale (FAR00038)(about 1335 to about 1420), was the Vicar of Doncaster cathedral between 1396 and 1402. ĎSirí is simply the title used by vicars at the time. We have guessed he might have lived between about 1335-1420. He owned land for a period at Lovershall just south of Doncaster. Of course the span between 1402 and 1512 means that there must have been some generations between, but could this have been the same family. Could the family from which all living Farndales have descended have been this group living in or around Doncaster from about 1396 to 1564?


If so, then we might be able to follow up some more links:


         Could the Doncaster Farndales have been related to the Sheriff Hutton Line (1332 to 1388) or to the York 1 Line (1275 to 1448) or the York Southcliffe Line (from 1507)?

         Could the ecclesiastical link with Sir William Farndale of Doncaster have some link to Walter de Farndale (FAR0000041A)(about 1300 to about 1370) who links to Turvey Church in Bedfordshire and St Margaretís Church in Chelmsford, London? Could Walter have been Williamís father, and they were travelling about in their ecclesiastical roles?

         There is also a William Farndale of Caleys who was pardoned in 1370. It is possible this is the same person as Sir William Farndale, but probably not as we know he was already a chaplain at Doncaster by 1355, and it doesnít seem likely he would have needed a pardon and then gone on to become the vicar! It is possible though that this is William Farndale (FAR00036)(1332 to 1397) of the Sheriff Hutton Line. Caleys might mean Calais, which widens our imagination to campaigns in France, but it might have been a misspelling of a more local place.


Regardless, these must be the descendants of the group of folk who lived in Farndale and then moved out and about as explored in detail in Volume 1 of the Farndale Directory.


So maybe our ancestry is:


1.       Villeins moved into Farndale the place in about 1230

2.       Individual people started to move out of Farndale and use the name Farndale;

3.       Families started to emerge using the name of Farndale (increasingly without the Ďdeí) more permanently including the Sheriff Hutton Line and the York 1 Line Ė these might well have included our direct ancestors (the probability increases as the information improves);

4.       The direct line to modern Farndales focuses around Doncaster from at least 1335 to about 1564;

5.       Between 1564 and 1567, the family moves to the Skelton area in Cleveland, either because Agnes came from there or because Jeanís husband Richard Fairly came from there;

6.       From 1512, and certainly from 1570, we know beyond doubt who are ancestors were;

7.       Cleveland, and particularly the areas of Skelton, Kirkleatham, Moorsholm, Loftus, Brotton and eventually Kilton become the home of the Farndales from 1564 to the Victorian age.


If that is right, then we trace our ancestry directly back to 1512, perhaps to 1332, have some pretty good guesses about links to folk coming out of Farndale from about 1330, and then know that they in turn descended from the villeins put into Farndale to assart and clear the land to farm from about 1230. Before that our ancestors were plucked from the cauldron and primeval mass of Bronze Age Beaker Folk, Iron Age Settlers, Brigantes, Romans, Vikings, Angles and Saxons that had roamed the moors and Dales of Yorkshire since about 9,000 years BCE. You can then explore Yorkshire prehistory to give you a further perspective of the very distant ancestry of the people of Farndale.



Outlaws and Robin Hood


Volume 1 of the Farndale Directory includes a large number of examples of Farndales who were caught poaching deer and fish around the forests of Pickering and being fined, excommunicated and outlawed in consequence.


The Farndale ancestors found themselves amongst the poachers who inspired the Robin Hood legends, and later in the places where the Robion Hood stories were told.


Campsall is a village sevenmiles north-west of Doncaster. Before the industrial revolution, the area was dominated by the inaccessible and waterlogged marshes of the Humberhead Levels. To the west was the Barnsdale Forest, the area associated with the legend of Robin Hood.

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Skyís series The British tells the story of People Power in Episode 2.  It narrates the rampages and rebellions of medieval Britain, the Black Death and Peasants' Revolt and it depicts poachers in Pickering forest where our Farndale ancestors were also poachers and suggests that such exploits were the inspiration for the British spirit that developed and the legend of Robin Hood. If you are interested in exploring the Robin Hood parallels, you will enjoy the second episode of this series. See also a website which explores the world of Robin Hood.


Chronology of the Kirkleatham Skelton Line


About 1335


William Farndale, later Vicar of Doncaster, was born.


11 April 1355


William de Farndall was chaplain at Doncaster.


1360 to 1420



Sir William Farndale was Vicar of Doncaster (ĎSirí being the title given to a vicar at the time).


He might though have been Vicar of Doncaster from 8 January 1396 to 31 August 1403 and perhaps the wider dates reflect his association with St Georgeís Church Doncaster in more senior roles.


7 December 1368



ĎKnow men present and to come that I Robert Ripers of Loversall have given, granted, and by this my present charter confirmed to Sir William Farndale, chaplain, 5 acres of land with appurtenances lying in the fields of Loversall, extending from the meadows of the Wyke to the Kardyke, of which 1 acre 1 rood lie in Wykefield between the land of Robert son of John son of William, son of Robert on both sides. And 2 1/2 acres lying in the Midelfild between my own land on the west and the land of Richard son of Robert on the east. And 1 rood lying in Wodfild between my own land on the west and the land of John of Wakefield on the east. To have and to hold the said 5 acres of land with appurtenances to the said William and his heirs and assigns, freely, quietly, well and in peace, from the chief lords of the free by the services then owed and customary by right. And I, said Robert, and my heirs, will warrant the said 5 acres with appurtenances to the said Sir William, his heirs and assigns against all men for ever. In witness whereof I have affixed my seal to this present charter. These being in witness; Sir John of Loversall, Chaplain; William Vely, Robert Clerk, Richard Rilis, John son of William son of Roger and others. Given at Loversall on Thursday after the Feast of St Nicholas, 42 Edward III. (7 Dec 1368).


Loversall is just south of modern Doncaster.


In or about 1420



William Farndale died, presumably in or around Doncaster.

About 1512

Nicholas farndaile was born.


Was Nicholas Farndale originally associated with Campsall and Doncaster (which is where his first son was born (if we are right that William was his son)?


If he was, then maybe he was descended from Sir William Farndale, the Vicar of Doncaster 1360 to 1420, who was probably born in about 1335.


So perhaps between 1420 and 1512, Williamís descendants had lived around Doncaster (William had lands south of Doncaster at Loversall), but towards 1512, they were perhaps living north of Doncaster at Campsall.


Perhaps somehow Nicholas met Agnes who had been born in Kirkleatham and at some point the family then settled in Kirkleatham. Could this be how the Farndales for hundreds of years after that, became associated with Cleveland?


About 1516


Agnes Null was born.


About 1537

Nicholas farndaile probably married Agnes Null.



About 1539


William Farndale, probably the son of Nicholas and Agnes Farndale, was born, possibly in Campsall, near Doncaster.

So if William was their son, had Nicholas somehow met and married Agnes from Kirkleatham, but perhaps they were still living at Campsall at this stage?


About 1540


Jean Farndale, probably the daughter of Nicholas and Agnes Farndale, was born possibly in Campsall. Jean married Richard Fairley at Kirkleatham on 16 October 1567.



29 October 1564

William Farndale married Margaret Atkinson (or Kiddall) in St Mary Magdalene Church, Campsall, near Doncaster. Reputedly this was the same church where Robin Hood married Maid Marion.



1564 to 1567


The family leave the Doncaster area and move north to Kirkleatham




Jean Farndale married Richard Fairly at Kirkleatham




Jane Farndale, daughter of William and Margaret Farndale, was born at Kirkleatham. She married Valentine Wraye on 11 February 1588 in Skelton.

By 1568, they were certainly at Kirkleatham.



George Farndale, son of William and Margaret Farndale, was born at Kirkleatham.


6 August 1572


Nicholas farndaile was buried at Kirkleatham.




Eln or Eleanor Farndale, daughter of William and Margaret Farndale, was born at Kirkleatham. Eln Farndale married Pet or Peter Atkinson at Wilton (just south of Kirkleatham) in 1598.


23 January 1586

Agnes Farndaile was buried at St Cuthbert Church, Kirkleatham.





Isabell Farndale, probably another daughter of William and Margaret Farndale, was buried at Skelton Ė she may have been born and died on the same day.

By 1592, the family had moved its geographical focus to Skelton.


George Farndale of Moorsome is referred to as having property at Skelton.





George Farndale married Margery Nelson in Skelton.


22 January 1599


William Farndale the Younger, son of George and Margery Farndale, was baptised at Skelton. William was Founder of the Skelton 1 Line.




Susan Farndale, daughter of George and Margery Farndale, was born at Skelton.


28 March 1602


George Farndale the Younger, son of George and Margery Farndale, was baptised at Skelton. He may have been born on 16 March 1602.



George Farndale of Moorshome is mentioned in the Inpseximus in the Skelton Church Records. An inspeximus is an English charter or letters patent beginning with the Latin word inspeximus in which the grantor confirms and recites a former charter. It normally relates to a royal grant.


By 1602, there was an association with Moosholm.

4 January 1603

Infanta Farndale, child of George and Margery Farndale, was buried at Skelton. She probably died at birth.



3 February 1604

Richard Farndale, son of George and Margery Farndale, was baptised at Skelton. He married Emmie Nellice at Liverton on 29 July 1632. They had three children and he is Founder of the Liverton 1 Line.


By 1604, Richard was associated with Liverton.


William Farndale the Elder died at Skelton.



9 March 1607


George Farndale the Elder, aged only 37, was buried at Skelton.




The Dean of Cleveland granted guardianship of William Farndaile, Susan, George and Richard Farndaile, children of George Farndale, deceased, together with administration of their affairs, goods, rights and portions to Margery Farndale by choice of the said children.



About 1622

William Farndale the Younger married Jane. She was probably born about 1602.



About 1623


George Farndale the Younger married perhaps Jane at Liverton.


3 October 1624


George Farndale, son of William farndale the Younger.


20 November 1625


William Farndale of the fifth generation, son of George Farndale the Younger, was baptised at Liverton. He married Ellin at Liverton in about 1655 and they had a daughter, Ane Farndale, baptised on 2 August 1662. He had one hearth in 1660, two hearths in 1663, one hearth in 1673, and a clear certificate in 1674. He was buried at Easington on 1 July 1680.



31 May 1628


Isabell Farndale, daughter of William farndale the Younger was christened.




James Farndale, son of William farndale the Younger was born.




Ann Farndale, daughter of William farndale the Younger was born and died. And buried at Skelton.


6 July 1634


Nicholas Farndale of the fifth generation, son of George Farndale the Younger, was baptised at Liverton. Nicholas married Elizabeth in about 1660. They had four children. His first wife died and he married Elizabeth Bennison on 23 November 1676. They had two children. He is Founder of the Liverton 2 Line. He was buried on 29 February 1694 at St Michael Anglican Church, Liverton.



17 November 1636


Jane Farndale of the fifth generation, daughter of George Farndale the Younger, was baptised at Liverton.


18 March 1638

Isabell Farndale of the fifth generation, daughter of George Farndale the Younger, was baptised at Liverton.




George Farndale the Younger had one hearth at Moorshome.




William Farndale the Younger of Mooshome had two hearths.


George Farndale the Younger had two hearths at Moorshome.



26 August 1678


Jaine Farndale, probably wife of George Farndale the Younger, was buried at Loftus.


22 October 1682

Jane Farndale of Moorshome, wife of William Farndale the Younger, was buried at Liverton.





William Farndale of Liverton was exempt from paying hearth tax.



23 August 1685


William Farndale of Hilton brought charges against James Hodgeson and William Kempley of Seamer. Hilton is a village west of Stokesley and Seamer is between Hilton and Stokesley.


17 August 1693


George Farndale the Younger died at the impressive age of 91 at Loftus.


22 January 1697


William Farndale the Youngerís will was proved.