Our Family History Interests

Below is a brief synopsis of our main family history interests, with links to other pages for details of records held for some of the major studies. We are always pleased to hear from anyone researching the same families in these areas and will gladly help or swap information where we can.



1 Anytime, Anyplace

Croasdell/Croasdale and Variants

Diane's initial Family History interest and her maiden name. The family origins are on the Lancashire/Yorkshire borders, centring on Waddington. Nearby can be found Croasdale Fell, Croasdale Brook and the sites of two Croasdale farmsteads. Rumour has it that the origin of the name is connected with an old ruined cross on the fell side - apparently accessible to sturdy walkers- if anyone wants to investigate further!


My main interest stems from Henry Croasdell, son of Richard, bap 1694 at Waddington. He migrated to Furness and married Eleanor Stockdale at Cartmel in 1722. My limited one-name study covers their descendants in CUMBRIA and worldwide. I also collect all references to the name and its variants and have information on other branches linked or potentially linked with Waddington families, and on a so-far unconnected London branch.

For more information on Diane's Croasdell collection click here.



Diane's maternal grandmother was a McKell and her earliest known ancestor was Robert McKell born c 1780 - with a choice of Scottish birthplaces! He married Margaret Frazer in Perth in1803 and joined the 42nd Foot Regiment (The Black Watch) being stationed in Essex and Ireland, where he became an Armourer Sergeant. The family moved to North YORKSHIRE in the 19th century and then settled in the Bradford area of the West Riding.


With the help of several correspondents with McKell interests, including Jenni McKell in Australia, I have information on Robert's descendants worldwide and collect any references to the name. But we are all trying to find the next step back!

For more information on McKell records click here.


2 Cumbria


These two families belong to Diane's paternal grandfather and are based in the Whitehaven/Workington areas on the west coast of Cumbria. They met and married in Parton/Moresby but their origins are proving elusive. James Carlyle was bap in 1787 at Workington but his marriage to Eleanor, sometime before 1820, has yet to be found. William Morton b in Whitehaven c 1822 was the son of Timothy who died young, as did William's (unknown) mother. The family probably came from Whitehaven but have not yet been traced. Several descendants emigrated to America and Canada.


In 1823 Thomas Ellwood married Hannah Haile at Muncaster but neither his birth nor death have yet been discovered. Children were born in Waberthwaite and Muncaster and the family then settled in Whitehaven/Hensingham where they linked up with the IRELANDs, on Diane's paternal grandmother's side. Hannah Haile's family have been traced back in the village of Haile, to Aaron Haile bap 1739 (son of Moses)


Hannah Woods was Diane's 2xG grandmother born in Bootle, Cumberland. Her father Thomas b c 1775 was a descendant of Joseph Wood(s) and Rebecca Satterthwaite, Quakers from the Hawkshead and Arlecdon areas, whose descendants also produced John Bright of Corn Law Repeal fame and substantiated a family link with this well known 19th century politician and reformer. Most details of the Quaker connection have been provided by correspondents but I am still searching for the origins of Thomas Woods' wife Hannah (presumed to be a Nixon) somewhere in Northumberland.


3 Lancashire


Diane has extensive records on the Irelands of Arkholme, Lancaster and surrounding countryside, back to John Ireland who married a Miss Butterfield at Melling in 1668; and has links with several present day descendants of various branches. So far there has been no proof of any Irish origins!


Connected names include HOLME and WILSON from across the borders in Bentham, North Yorkshire.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Lancashire Irelands please click here.



John's family has been traced (originally by his mother) back from Manchester to Salford - where they were cotton brokers/merchants; Little Lever (Bolton) in the mid 19th century - where all the brothers worked in a bleach works (one of them, Robert, was the manager); and Horwich where they lived in the 1800's to the 1820's and were cotton finishers. The trail goes back one more generation to the 1750-60s with a family that lived in the Westhoughton area.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Waters Line please click here.



This was John's mother's maiden name and unfortunately she spent most of her FH research efforts on the WATERS family. So we have lost some the stories for this family. The earliest we have found on the line are John's great great great grandparents, George and Sarah Goulding, who lived in Manchester during the 1810's and 20's. His great grandfather and great great grandfather were called Thomas and were cab drivers (and heavy drinkers) in Manchester and Salford. John's grandparents, Frank Goulding & Margaret McKeen, were Manchester based, with a spell in Germany after WW1.


4 Yorkshire


Diane's maternal line is Pearson and the family roots are in Bradford, Liversedge, Cleckheaton and Rastrick. John Pearson b c 1782 married Rhoda Rushforth at Elland in 1801 but I am still trying to build a more complete picture of this family. Their son James and his wife Emma BRIGGS celebrated their diamond wedding and a family photo of the event shows the couple with their ten surviving children, their spouses and their children in 1909! I'd love to be able to identify them all - so am looking to make contact with any of James and Emma's descendants.



Thomas Briggs b c 1800 at Great Horton, father of Emma (above), was the miller at Balm Mill, Hunsworth, Cleckheaton and the family had been millers there for at least 3 generations, Thomas inheriting from his uncle, also Thomas. We have traced some of his property dealings in the area through Wakefield Deeds Registry and are researching the history of the mill. Unfortunately it was knocked down about 5 years ago to make room for a housing development. We were just to late to see it. Diane has Briggs records for Cleckheaton, which cover Wike & Scholes where there are family links.



Diane's descendancy through five generations of women leads back to Esther Jackson of Grewelthorpe near Ripon. Her father, William Jackson, born in 1758 in the Masham area, left an interesting will and codicils when he died in 1838 and this has led to our researching his property transactions in Grewelthorpe and to attempts to reconstitute the Jackson families from their base in nearby Masham and its environs. Esther married Robert Watson in 1826 but his birth and death are so far undiscovered. This family seem to have gone from riches to rags in a short time and their daughter Esther WATSON, my granny's granny has provided some interesting challenges with her tendency to be economical with the truth where her age was concerned!


I am currently working on new information on this family and would love to correspond with anyone with related interests.

For an outline of the material I have collected on Jacksons please click here.



Joseph Gott married Esther Watson in 1865 and they spent their married lives in Eccleshill, Bradford. The Gotts originated in Bingley and Diane has records of the family back to John Gott bp 1755. Further help has been provided by Jeremy Gott who runs a one name study registered with the GOONS.