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Signposts to Addingham

Welcome to

Records, Articles & Publications


Welcome to the local history of Addingham, in Cumberland (now Cumbria). It has four townships: Hunsonby with Winskill, Gamblesby, Glassonby and Little Salkeld.

I have been researching this for several years, initially with an interest in local Methodism, but more recently investigating illegitimacy in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The biographical accounts on this website are the results of trawling through many different public records to reveal the individual stories of the mothers, children and fathers. The period covered extends from about 1800 to about 1939.


I have included some of my material, such as transcripts of the census and of the baptisms, marriages and burials registers. I hope that others may find these helpful in their own researches. I have also included a number of my published articles.


In making these biographies available, I hope to help those exploring their own family history. I have investigated almost 175 women who gave birth to an illegitimate child. I have also included a small number of cases where, after investigation, it turned out that no illegitimacy was involved, despite the evidence indicating it. If your family is here I hope you find the information helpful.


It is clear that very few Addingham women resorted to the workhouse. The picture we get from Victorian novelists does not apply here. Most families worked together to bring up the child within the community.


If any descendants of the women choose to get in touch with me and fill out or correct the histories with personal knowledge, then that would be a wonderful bonus. I am also happy to check my database for particular individuals who lived in Addingham. I can be reached via the ‘Contacts’ page.

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