Embsay and Eastby
The history of the two townships includes several significant transitions in the fundamental nature of its community and economy; from the first mention in the Domesday, to the founding of Embsay Priory before it was relocated to Bolton Abbey; the Crisis of the 14th Century when Embsay-with-Eastby suffered from famine, pestilence and Scottish raids; from a typical rural pastoral farming economy to industrial, offering employment at no less than 7 textile mills; the decline of industry and the survival of a farming economy, to the development of the sprawling commuter village it is today. The community here is still vibrant and close-knit.
Using a wide range of sources – primary and secondary, printed and manuscript – the Embsay-with-Eastby Historical Research Team is slowly and steadily compiling a huge database of information on nearly 14,000 individuals who are known to have been born, resident, married or died in the parish.
From William the Carpenter in 1296, to brother and sister, John & Ellen, baptised in November 1921, we are researching individual life histories in order to show how these people shaped, and were shaped by, the community of Embsay-with-Eastby.
Our cut-off date is for those born in 1921, the year the village erected a war memorial to those who fell in the First World War.
The records on each person are being entered into family history software, which not only creates family tree charts, but also allows us to create additional data fields which will eventually enable us to analyse patterns of social and economic history.
Our work tracing the life histories of individuals who have lived in Embsay and Eastby has value in several ways. The most obvious is, of course, in providing information for family historians, but it also takes us into local, regional and national history.
We are using a broad range of sources – property documents, probate, church records, parish registers, census returns, electoral registers, and newspapers, to name but a few.
We will be using the data to trace not only migratory patterns but also demographic trends, changing economic structures, and social change.
Jane Lunnon (project co-ordinator)