Friday, 4 July 2014

4th July 2014

Since the last blog entry the vegetation has grown rapidly, obscuring the walls and making it difficult to survey the field boundaries in detail.

Consequently our landscape history is taking a temporary back seat over the last few months, while we have been spending our time on documentary research. The relevant data from Embsay and Skipton parish registers, as well as census returns has now been entered into our genealogical database which now contains records for over 12,700 individuals. But that is just the start of it, of course. There’s a lot more data to compile from a vast range of other resources.

Embsay-with-Eastby War Memorial  (c) Jane Lunnon

Research into the men from Embsay-with-Eastby who served during the First World War is well under way, with Jane and Kirsten collecting information from their service records, and other sources. So new data is being entered into the database every week.

Jane is trawling the archives of the local newspaper, Craven Herald and Pioneer, for information on the history of the parish with a particular focus at the moment on the First World War period. This is a long, slow, often tedious job – microfilm is justly notorious for being a strain on the eyes, especially when the text is so small ! She is also researching various aspects of the home front as it affected the parish and hopes to eventually produce some articles, papers and perhaps even a booklet.

Chris is working on his report on our boundary stones project and will be delivering another talk on the subject this autumn at Embsay Village Hall.

John is steadfastly working on the difficult task of transcribing some of the older documents – dating from the 16th to the 18th centuries. He can certainly dispel the myth that handwriting in “the olden days” was much neater than most people’s handwriting today…

David, having completed the huge task of going through the parish registers and census returns, is now turning his attention to research for a series of talks on a range of topics relating to the history of the parish, and has started to look through the archives of national newspapers for articles relevant to the parish history.

Meanwhile, Sue, Tony and Jennifer are still working on the translation of Embsay and Eastby related entries in the Latin Compotus of Bolton Priory. They are also actively involved in the St Mary’s Church project. If the congregation’s bid for Heritage Lottery funding is successful, we anticipate that the Embsay Research Group will be able to be a useful partner in updating the history of the church.
St Mary's Church, Embsay-wth-Eastby

Research into the history of this mid-Victorian church and research into other aspects of the parish's history has taken us to the North Yorkshire County Record Office in Northallerton a few times over the last few months - although a few hours have also been spent in the Northallerton branch of Betty's Tea Rooms as well!
We are working on the development of a guided walk around the parish for the UWHG summer programme of 2015, and have recently been in talks with the local primary school about how various aspects of local history can be incorporated into their curriculum. This is an exciting development, and we hope it will greatly benefit the children, their parents and Embsay Research Group, raising awareness of local heritage. 

Jane Lunnon