The Farndales of Tidkinhow 












This webpage tells the story of Martin and Catherine Farndale, who moved to Tidkinhow in 1886 and their twelve children


From this family Farndales established themselves in Canada and USA as well as across the UK.





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General Sir Martin Farndale KCB



It is possible to stay at Tidkinhow farm today – click here.

Medieval records of Tidkinhow – see FAR00055.


The Tidkinhow Line are the descendants of Martin Farndale (FAR00354)


See Tidkinhow


For photographs of Tidkinhow today, click here.


 This webpage tells the story of Martin and Catherine Farndale, who moved to Tidkinhow in 1886 and their twelve children.

Tidkinhow Farm is located 4 miles southeast of Guisborough in the County of Cleveland. It is a moor farm on the Wharton Estate. It consists of a few acres of grassland and large tracts of Guisborough moor. The name Tidkinhow is very ancient and is probably an old Saxon word describing ownership of the hill upon which the house now stands. How meant hill or mound and it probably belonged to a man called Tydi and his kin. So it meant, literally, "Tydi's How".

There is still further work to do on the history of the house itself, but it came into the Farndale family in about 1882 when Martin Farndale moved there with his wife and young family.



Click here to read Grace Farndale’s diary which touches on Tidkinhow, before her emigration to Alberta


 Martin Farndale was born, second son of Martin and Elizabeth Farndale of Fogga Farm near Skelton on 19 September 1845. He was only 9 when his eldest brother, William, died aged 11. He was 17 when his father died aged 43 and was buried in Skelton old churchyard. He had two brothers, John born in 1848 and Matthew in 1950. After his father's death he continued to work for his father-in-law William Taylor at Fogga. He was shown as living there in the census returns of 1851. He had been at school in Skelton. Fogga Farm no longer exists; it was pulled down when the railways were built. The census returns of 1861 showed him as a servant to John Rigg of Brough House, Brotton.

He was 32 when he married Catherine Jane Lindsay at St Cuthbert's church, Darlington on 7 July 1877. On his marriage certificate, he is described as a miner of Brotton, son of Martin Farndale, a farmer deceased. She is described as a spinster of Darlington, daughter of Andrew Lindsay, a shoemaker.




Martin, aged about 32, about the time of his marriage                                           Catherine on 29 October 1875, shortly before her marriage

After their marriage, Martin and his new wife moved to Kilton Thorpe, but he was still a miner. It was here that their first three children were born. It is hard to know exactly when they moved to their next home, a small moorland farm at Tranmire, near Ugthorpe on Whitby Road. It was probably in 1882, because their fourth child was born there in that year. But they were only there for a year or two before they moved to Tidkinhowe farm near Guisborough where they were to spend the rest of their lives. It was at Tidkinhow that eight further children were born. In 1889 their seventh child, William, died aged two. He was buried at Skelton on 21 July 1889. Tidkinhow was a small farm, but it had large tracts of moorland for sheep grazing. It produced most of what the family needed while money was made from the sheep, their wool and lambs, together with a small milk round. The house was small; a kitchen, a dining room, a sitting room and four bedrooms. The children all went to school at Charltons, a small hamlet about a mile away towards Guisborough. As the eldest grew up, they went away to work on neighbouring farms or in the mines. Later, seven of the twelve were to go to western Canada and USA to make their lives there.

Martin's two brothers lived nearby; John the next lived at Loftus and worked on the LNER and Matthew farmed at Craggs Hall near Brotton. There is a story that, while living at Tranmire, Martin asked Matthew to go and take Craggs Hall for him. On his return Matthew said that he had taken it, but for himself! Martin however always spoke highly of his brother who helped him to get to Tidkinhow, a farm on Wharton estate.



Martin's brother, John, who was born in 1848                                              Martin's brother, Matthew, who was born in 1850

 Having left Charltons School, whose headmaster Mr Mat Ranson is remembered as fair and strict, most of the family moved to Boosbeck school as they reached 11. This was about two miles away and of course they walked taking their lunch. Jim and Kate however went to Guisborough School.

Alfred was the youngest, born in 1897. All twelve children were born between 1877 and 1897; twelve years:

1. John born Kilton Thorpe 24 December 1877

2. Elizabeth Lindsay (Lynn) born Kilton Thorpe 11 December 1879

3. Martin born Kilton Thorpe 8 June 1881

4. George born Tranmire 9 January 1882

5. Catherine Jane born Tidkinhow 16 June 1884

6. James born Tidkinhow 22 December 1885

7. William born Tidkinhow 22 June 1887 (died 19 July 1889)

8. Mary Frances born Tidkinhow 22 January 1889

9. William born Tidkinhow 29 January 1892

10. Grace Alice born Tidkinhow 21 April 1893

11. Dorothy Anne born Tidkinhow 24 May 1895

12. Alfred born Tidkinhow 5 July 1897

 Anne Weatherill's diary: Guisborough 1863

This is the diary of Anne Weatherill of Guisborough, written when she was 22 years old.

It was written in a small notebook, measuring six inches by four inches and records her activities between January and September 1863.

In other words it was written a few years before the Farndales moved to Tidkinhow.

She began the little diary soon after returning from a visit to London.

Back at home in Guisborough, she records attending impromptu dances and invitation balls, she visits Redcar and stays with friends in Stockton and Carlton-in-Cleveland. She takes part in a choir festival and lends a hand in local festivities. A constant feature through the months is her response to the changing seasons and the beauty of the countryside.

Anne lived in Northgate in Guisborough with her family: her father Thomas, a prosperous brewer, landowner and businessman, her mother Margaret, her 20 year old sister Kate, and her brothers William and Herbert, aged 18 and 14.

Friday August 14th

Mr Morgan's picnic. Mr Atkinson opened a tumulus in the moor near Tidkinhoe [Tidkinhow] and found two urns, the date at least one thousand five hundred years before Christ

[Canon Atkinson of Danby, natural scientist and archaeologist, was much engaged on the Skelton and Guisborough moors that summer]


Go to the website which records Anne's diary


 Catherine Jane wrote the names, births, marriages and deaths of her children in an old family Bible which has long since disappeared, but the remains of the first two pages have survived.

Lynn was the first to marry. She was working at Tancred Grange and on 22 August 1903 she married the owner, George Barker. She was 24. She was to have six children and her descendents were still living at Tancred in 1982. Two days after, she was married, her mother wrote to her. This letter survives:

"Tidkinhowe, Aug 24 1903

My Dear Daughter

I received your letter and was glad to hear you arrived all right. I hope you and your husband are enjoying yourselves and that you are having fine weather. It is raining here today. John will take your luggage and leave it at Darlington tomorrow as he is going back to Newcastle. I posted all the boxes on Saturday night that were addressed and I will send the others to you with the cake. I gave the postman 2/6 this morning and he was very pleased. We have to wish you much joy & happiness for him. You must write after you get home and let me know if you get the luggage all right. I now conclude with kind regards to you both.

I remain your affect mother

C J Farndale"

(Lynn and her husband were clearly spending their honeymoon at the Cockburn Hotel, Edinburgh as is shown by the address on the envelope)

Meanwhile life at Tidkinhowe continued. Weekly shopping expeditions by pony and trap to Guisborough to buy groceries were followed by elder members of the family going out on Saturdays in Guisborough. They went for lots of walks and met neighbours. There were horse drawn and later motor buses and from time to time a 'break' would take them on an outing to a sow somewhere. John was working down the mines, Lynn was married, Martin was a bit delicate as a boy and spent much time at home helping his father. George was working on a local farm. Kate was at home and James was a butcher. His younger brother, William, was an apprentice butcher at Saltburn and Mary soon went away to learn confectionary. Grace, Dorothy and Alfred were at home.

Catherine Jane frequently wrote to her children when they were away. She often visited members of her family at Bishop Auckland. There are two postcards written to Grace, one from Bishop Auckland (25 Sep 1906) simply saying "Will be at Bishop Auckland Wednesday by train" and the other from Etherley Schools where Catherine Jane had been (6 Mar 1905), saying "This is where I went to school a long time since. I hope you are keeping well."

But life was not easy and it was becoming more difficult to make a living, let alone realise ambitions. Martin was the first to want to spread his wings. Many young men in the district were going abroad and there was great pressure to colonise the western provinces of Canada. He was, however, concerned at the effect on his mother on leaving and this concern is clearly reflected in two letters written from SS Tunisian after he had left without saying goodbye. Clearly this was done to avoid the worry and concern of his departure. He left Liverpool on Thursday 16 June 1905.


"June 16th 1905, Friday morning

Dear Sister

Just a few more lines. I left Liverpool on Thursday night for Canada on SS Tunisian. I have had a good night's sleep. I have booked second class on board and is very comfortable. We are passing by the north of Ireland this [ ]. The ship makes a call here to take on more passengers. This letter will be sent on from here. I shall not be able to post any more letters till I land at yond side. I am enjoying the trip well so far. I hope mother will not fret is she get to know before I write. I will send a letter to her as soon as we land. I am going to do best . I am going a long way up the country. I am to Calgary in Alberta. It is chiefly cattle farming there. There is several more young men on ship that are going out from there can catch. But I have not meet any lady that is my way yet. You must try and cheer mother up. There is nothing for her to trouble about. I am as safe here as riding on the railways in England. I shall be about other 7 days on the water. I will send a few letters off before I start my land journey. I have not time write more. I want to up on deck. We are just about to land at Londonderry I believe.

I must leave hoping you are all well.

M Farndale."

And five days later:

"Letter cannot be posted for England till we land so you will know if you get this that I landed all right.

Wednesday June 21st 1905

Dear Sister

I shall soon get my sea trip over now. Land was sighted today Newfoundland I believe. Every body is beginning to lighten up now. But it will be Saturday morning before we land at Montreal.

I have enjoyed voyage up to now. I had one day sea sick. It was awful. I don't want that any more. We have had few very cold days. It is always cold n this part of the Ocean. We saw a great iceberg this morning. It was a great sight. This is a great rock of ice. So you must know we were passing through a cold front. This is a big vessel about two hundred yards long I should think. Every body seem quite happy. There is a smoke room and a music room. And the best of everything to eat. Third class seems to be rough quarters. But they are in another part of the ship. There will be about eight hundred passengers on board all together. Some men pulling long faces when the vessel left Liverpool. I never thought anything about it. But I was like the rest. I watched England till it disappeared out of sight. I hope mother will not trouble about me. I will be all right. I thought it was my best thing to do. I had nothing to start in business with in England. I shall be able to get about £50 per year and board with the farmers out here. If I can stand the climate. And I can settle. I shall be able to start farming for my self in about two years.


All letters are to be posted tonight on board so that they will get away as soon as we land. They don't [ ] to a few hours when they land. So all has to be ready.

First and Second class are having a Grand On Board tonight. We shall be quite lively.

I now finish. Hoping you are all well. And remain your affectionate Bro.

M Farndale."

Martin was 24 years old. These are interesting letters, for they start a whole branch of the Farndale family, still living north of Calgary.

George followed his elder brother to Canada fairly soon afterwards and already Kate wanted to go to look after them, but they all knew that their mother was ailing. Jim also wanted to go, but did not want to leave. Gradually Catherine Jane weakened until on 14 July 1911 she died at Tidkinhowe. Her death certificate shows that her husband, Martin, was with her and that she actually died of fibroid pathesis, cardiac failure, but she almost certainly had TB. Alfred later remembered his distress at her funeral in Boosbeck and being comforted by his nearest brother William on the way back. There is no doubt that her untimely death at the age of 56 was a great blow to the family. She is remembered by them all with the greatest affection. Her life had been hard but she had clearly cared for them all. She is remembered also as kind, intelligent, firm and determined. There was now a great gap at Tidkinhowe and the family had to do their best to fill her place.

Soon after their mother's death William and Kate followed their two elder brothers to Canada. James had already sailed on 31 March 1911. There is a long diary of his voyage [once this is transcribed this will be a link to the diary]. Their stories are told elsewhere. Kate and George were never to return to England, but Martin did twice and William as a soldier. Jim returned as a soldier and visited again in the 1950s.

The war came in 1914 and three members of the family joined three armies! William joined the Canadian army and was wounded in France. Alfred joined the British army and James the American army. Tragically William died of his wounds in 1919 and Alfred did not get home from India until 1920.

By the end of the war, the family were well scattered. John was still working locally; Lynn was still at Tancred Grange near Scorton; Martin was still a bachelor in Canada, as was George, both in Alberta. Kate had married William Kinsay and was living near her brother in Alberta. James had married Edna Adams and was living in San Antonio, Texas; William was dead and Mary was working in Leeds. Grace, Dorothy and Alfred were at home, but Alfred spent much time at Scorton with his eldest sister Lynn since her husband had died in 1919. Martin, in 1920, was 75 and still living at Tidkinhowe.

Grace went away to a job as matron at Monmouth High School for girls and there met Miss 'Peggy' Baker. Together they left the school in 1924 and went poultry farming first at Scorton and then at Leeming Bar. Peggy was later to marry Alfred and had many trips to Tidkinhowe and met Martin. There is a letter from Martin to his daughter Grace, mentioning Peggy, undated, but must have been about 1927 just before he died:

"Dear Grace

I am doing well. Not much time to write. Father wishes you a very happy new year & Peggy write her. Quite well myself. Wanting to get up and abscond from here. ... from your ? father"

Martin died on 17 January 1928 at Tidkinhow and his youngest son Alfred was with him. He died of pneumonia. He was buried on Friday21 January at 1.30 pm at Boosbeck alongside his wife, Catherine Jane where their memorial still stands. He made his will the day before he died naming his eldest daughter Lynn as his Executrix and he left what he had to his sons John and Alfred and his daughters Grace and Dorothy.

Martin is universally remembered by everyone as a straight, honest and intelligent man who was always totally involved and interested in world events. He was a quite, rather silent man, of high principles and high standards. It was about him that people said "His word is his Bond" and this was chosen, because of him, by his grandson Martin as the motto for the first Farndale coat of arms, some 54 years after his death.

On Martin's death, Dorothy married Alfred Ross and went to live at Skelton. Alfred married Peggy Baker and went to join his brothers and sister in Canada in 1928. Two weeks later Grace followed leaving only John, now married to Elsie at Tidkinhow. John had no family and gave up Tidkinhow after his wife's death in 19??.

There is no doubt that, in their own ways, all members of the family followed closely the example set by their parents. The austere correctness and honesty of their father and the warmth and intelligence of their mother are characteristics commented on by many people in many places who have known the children of this remarkable family.

From this particular family of twelve, only a few boys bearing the Farndale name remain. Two sons were born in America, of James. One of these sons, Gordon, had a son, Mark. Two sons were born of Alfred in Canada, Martin and Geoff. Martin had a son Richard, who in turn had a son, James. Geoff had a son, Nigel, who in turn had two sons, Alfred and Samuel.

Now there are no more Farndales at Tidkinhow, but it remains a revered name in family conversations; a small, remote farm, on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors, ancient by its name, mentioned in 1575 and interpreted as the pet name for Tydi's mound, the word how being old Saxon English.



A group of people posing for a photo

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The boys of Tidkinhow in about 1910.


John, James, Alfred, William, George and inset Martin


A vintage photo of a group of people posing for the camera

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The girls of Tidkinhow with the Barker children in about 1910


                                                                    Mary Farndale

Willie Barker         Dorothy Farndale

                                                                        Mary Barker                Kate Farndale      Margaret Barker                Grace Farndale

                                                                                                  John Barker

 Martin's eldest son, John (FAR00553), took over Tidkinhow from about 1883 and farmed there until he died in the 1960s







Historic photographs of Tidkinhow






About 1900



In 1915



In 1935



Reunion with James Farndale at Tidkinhow in 1954



Tidkinhow in 1987



Tidkinhow today (a family reunion in 2016)


Margot, Ann and Geoff (children of Alfred)

Ann Shepherd (nee Farndale) and her son Stephen.

Geoff Farndale talking to Sarah Farndale watched on by Jamie Farndale

Nick Carlisle and William Atkinson

Judith Carlisle, Ian Carlisle, John Richardson, Brian Fawcett, Margot Atkinson

Barbara Farndale, Susan Fawcett, Catherine Wylie, Christine Richardson







From left to right:

Christine Richardson (nee Farndale); John Richardson; Ian Carlisle; Judith Carlisle (nee Atkinson); Margot Atkinson (nee Farndale); Nick Carlisle; Ann Shepherd (nee Farndale); Stephen Shepherd; Sarah Farndale; Jamie Farndale; Barbara Farndale; Tory Richardson; Nigel Farndale; Joe Farndale; Sam Farndale; William Atkinson; Brian Fawcett; Rosie Atkinson (back); Catherine Wylie (nee Atkinson)(front); Geoff Farndale; Susan Fawcett; Richard Farndale.

(descendants of Martin and the Farndales of Tidkinhow)