Changes to the website
Visitors to the website may be aware that the Search facility has been out of action since last March due to Adobe retiring Atomz. Since then we have been looking for a viable replacement and recently came across software provided by Wrensoft called 'Zoom' which appears to be performing very well.
Another issue which has been resolved, is the Forum. Again the software formerly used to produce the forum is no longer supported and members have been unable to post topics for some time. We have installed some open source forum software provided by 'simple machines' which is under our complete control and provides a much more sophisticated message board which we hope visitors will find valuable and easy to use.
Furthermore, for some time the Millennium project slideshow within the Local History Group section has been plagued with huge numbers of spam comments. When trying to delete these a server error was generated and since the software is now unsupported we were unable to resolve the problem. It has been decided therefore to rehash the project and display the material on standard web pages. Calton and Otterburn townships have so far been published but it will take some time before the entire project is completed and again available to view.

Malham Mines
The Northern Mine Research Society is pleased to announce the publication of the Malham Mines, in May 2014, as part of its British Mining series.
Although Malham will spring to most minds as being a tourist honeypot in a farming area, in the midst of some of Yorkshire’s most spectacular landscape, for around 200 years it also hosted a small mining community.
Since George Kelsall published Arthur Raistrick’s ‘Mines and Miners on Malham Moor’, thirty years ago, detailed histories of mining in surrounding parishes have been published in the British Mining series, but Malham remained untouched. In recent years, however, more material has become available and this has enabled the authors (Mike Gill and Mike Squirrell) to re-examine our understanding of Malham and find that many interpretations could be revised and others greatly enhanced.
As well as showing that land and mineral ownership was more complex than originally thought, they discuss the geological context of the mines, and have established a more reliable chronology for significant developments such as the smelt mills and calamine houses. They also show that most miners were recruited from established lead mining areas in Wharfedale and Littondale, with some colliers coming from Ingleton. Biographical details of over 50 men and boys who worked at the mines over a period of sixty years are given and areas for future research are identified.
This 104 page book is copiously illustrated with photographs, maps, plans and tables. Issued free to NMRS members, the cover price will be £12.00, but for orders placed using this form, the Society is pleased to make a pre-publication offer of £11.00 per copy (p&p free).

Search Engine problem
Unfortunately the search facility is no longer working as Adobe are no longer providing the service. We are looking for a solution, but in the meantime please accept our apologies for this inconvenience. Below is the response received from Adobe.
"Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Atomz Search offering. Unfortunately this service has been retired, and will no longer be available beginning on 3/31/14.
The deadline for this offering was originally set for 12/21/13, and was extended twice, once until 2/1/14, and again until 3/31/14, but we will be unable to extend the service any further. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you and your site.

Kindest regards,
Adobe Digital Marketing
Product Migration Team"


Archive Exhibition - Newfield Hall (Thursday 27th February 2014 - 2pm to 9pm)
The Malhamdale Local History Group are putting on a display from their archives on Thursday 27th February between 2pm and 9pm. This is a rare opportunity to see some of the local documents and photographs gathered over the years in the magnificent surroundings of Newfield Hall owned by the Holiday Fellowship. Entry is Free and there is ample free parking. Refreshments will be available for purchase from the bar.
Newfield Hall lies approximately 1 mile south of Airton and was built in 1855 by William Alcock. In 1901 it became the home of John Morkill, author of 'The Parish of Kirkby Malhamdale' the definitive history of the dale, copies of which will be on sale at the exhibition.

Local and Family History Day (Saturday March 10th 2012)
The Pavilions at Harrogate is the venue for this event, organised by the North Yorkshire County Record Office, when many of the county's family and local history societies will be on display, including the Malhamdale Local History Group. There will be a screening of rare films from the Yorkshire Film Archive as well as talks on family and local history given throughout the day. For more information and to reserve a place at a talk, go to the North Yorkshire County Record Office website.

Malhamdale Local History Group Talks Online
Selected talks given to the Malhamdale Local History Group which might be of interest to a wider audience, have been recorded and published on the website Talks Online page. Talks so far published are 'The Early History of Kirkby Malham Church and the West Dereham Connection' by Mike Spence; 'John de Launde and Malham's Role in the Bolton Estate' by John Dixon; 'Old Inns of the Yorkshire Dales' by Dr. David Johnson.

Millennium Building Survey Project Completed!
The photographic survey of all the houses in Malhamdale which the MLHG carried out in 2000 has now been completely digitised and added to the website in the form of a village by village interactive slide show. It also allows visitors to add more information, comments or anecdotes to the pictures. Links are provided in the 'Building and Places' section of each township page and from the list of projects on the MLHG home page.

Bogus Virus Threat
Unfortunately a recent update to the popular virus checker Kaspersky has branded all our Parish Record databases as a threat, with the following message - "object is infected by Trojan-Downloader.JS.Iframe.bzn" The files have been inspected and it is actually a case of Kaspersky being rather over cautious, because it can't read the address for our Iframe, which has been encoded to help protect the full database from being downloaded. A work around is currently being looked for, but be assured that there is not a threat from entering these pages, they have been carefully checked and only 2 out of 44 up-to-date virus checkers think there may be a problem. Check our pages on the Virus Total website and see for yourself.

Millennium Building Survey Project
Now a long forgotten event, the Millennium saw MLHG carry out a photographic survey of all the houses in Malhamdale. The project is currently being digitised and added to the website in the form of a village by village interactive slide show. This allows visitors to add more information, comments or anecdotes to the pictures. The first villages to become available are Airton, Scosthrop, Kirkby Malham and Hanlith, with others to follow shortly.

Parish Record Transcripts
We have now transcribed and made available in searchable database form, the Marriage Registers 1754-1910 and the Baptism & Burial Registers 1773-1910. This means we now have as comprehensive coverage as possible of all the registers of St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malhamdale from 1597-1910. Combined with our complete census coverage and wide range of other material, this should be a very useful resource, especially for the family historians.

Parish Record Index 1597-1813
With over 15,500 entries, this comprehensive searchable index to the Kirkby Malham parish records has been created from the Cookson Index, IGI and the 18th century Bishop's Transcripts. In particular it provides the most comprehensive set of data available for the difficult 18th century records, whose registers were stolen before any copies could be made of the originals, as well as a very useful finding aid for all pre-19th century Baptisms, Marriages and Burials at St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malham.

Census Completed!
A small band of volunteers have been steadily transcribing the census entries for our townships and we are very happy to announce that the entire census from 1841-1911 has now been transcribed for all the area we cover and is now available to search on the website.

Malhamdale - History in Focus Exhibition
The exhibition was an unqualified success and although we lost count, around 300 people visited over two days we opened to the public.

The exhibition was opened for members and invited guests on the Friday evening and ex-chairman Mike Spence gave a short talk on the history of the Group. Saturday morning saw the first arrivals just as the signs were being put out, and over the weekend many researchers availed themselves of the Parish Records, Census and Tax Survey records that were available. There was plenty of material of more general interest too, and the slide show of 100 images selected from the archive proved particularly popular. New photographs and documents were brought in and scanned for inclusion in our digital archive with offers of more to come and we have already been busy recording the last of the records from Airton Wesleyan Chapel before it is stripped and sold for development.

Malhamdale - History in Focus Exhibition
A free exhibition celebrating Malhamdale Local History Group's 20th anniversary, showcasing their research and archives is going to be held 12-13 June at Kirkby Malham Parish Hall. Explore the history of your house or Malhamdale ancestors in the 1841-1911 census; 1910 Tax Assessmnets; 1942 Farm Surveys; old photographs; family histories and many other sources. See updates to projects such as Education in Malhamdale and view material from our archives including Prints by Bill Wild and material about the Airton Chapels. Share your own Photographs, Documents and Anecdotes. Bring them along and we will copy them while you wait for inclusion in our digital archive.

1911 Census
We have started to transcribe the 1911 census and entries are now available for Kirkby Malham, Hanlith and Winterburn, with more to follow. We are still short of some earlier census year transcripts for some townships, notably Bell Busk, Coniston Cold and Eshton, volunteer transcribers would be most welcome.

Free web tools
We have created the KirkbyMalham.info Web Browser Toolbar especially for all family and local historians. It is packed full with useful weblinks to all our main pages and to a host of useful sites on the web. It works with most computers and web browsers, is completeley Free and Safe. Try it today and discover some very useful websites that you didn't know about.

Pennine Testimonies
The Wills & Probate Study Day that MLHG jointly hosted in Skipton was a great success. Chaired by Gordon Forster of Leeds University and editor of Northern History, over 50 delegates enjoyed four very interesting main lectures - In the Name of God Amen’: The Process of Probate in Yorkshire by Alan Petford; Craven Wills during the Tudor Reformations by Victoria Spence; Probate Documents and Vernacular Buildings by David Cant and Wills and Gossips by Dr George Redmonds. In addition they could attend one of a range of workshops including Family History and Wills by David Tippey of MLHG; Household & Husbandry Gear in North Craven Inventories by Sheila Gordon of North Craven Historical Research Group; Trade and Industry in Probate Documents of the Early Modern Period by Alan Petford of Saddleworth Historical Society or Researching Probate Documents in the Archives by Victoria Hoyle, Borthwick Institute, University of York. We currently have the notes for David Tippey's workshop on Wills for Family History available on this site.

Much New Data Available
April and early May have seen around 14 new sets of data become available on KirkbyMalham.info and our thanks go to the volunteer transcribers whose hard work has provided all the new material. The final checking of the Kirkby Malham Parish Record Index 1659-1811 is currently being undertaken and it is hoped to add this to the website soon. This will be followed by the 19th century parish records, which have also been transcribed, but still require checking.

Study Days for 2009
The new MLHG exhibition stand attracted a steady stream of visitors at the well attended, Historic Environment Day at Northallerton, on 21st Feb. The website attracted a lot of attention and application forms for the study days quietly disappeared from the table.

Study Days for 2009
The MLHG are involved in two study days with a local theme. If you want to come along, check out the relevant pages and book your place soon, as these are limited on both study days.
Quaker Study Day :-
The Airton Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends have organised a day in which MLHG are participating on Saturday 21st March. Quakers in Malhamdale : Historic & Personal Perspectives will present a series of talks exploring the roll of the Quakers in the area. A full programme and booking details are available on the Quakers in Malhamdale page.
Wills & Probate Study Day :-
In conjunction with the Hebden Bridge and Saddleworth Local History Societies, we are hosting a study day in Skipton on Saturday 4th July. Pennine Testimonies : Probate Documents from the Early Modern Period will consist of a series of talks and workshops exploring the use, interpretation and location of probate documents and their value as local and family history resources. Visit the Pennine Testimonies page for more details of the day and to download an application form.

Parish Records
The parish record transcription project is progressing well and the 19th century parish records have now been transcribed and are currently being checked. The Cookson Index has also been transcribed and it is hoped to make this available on the website sometime during the first half of 2009, depending on how fast the webmasters MYSQL database and programming skills improve. We still have a large quantity of other records which we want to digitise, so any additional volunteers would be welcome.

Domesday Book
The earliest written record to mention Malhamdale is the Great Domesday Book, completed in 1086, which is an impressive survey of the whole country south of the river Tees. For this area it provides an indication of how much land was in use and the names of those who held it.

Early Surname Resources
With the recent addition of more manorial documents to the website, those researching families in Malhamdale now have a number of resources that can provide information about their families before the first parish records appeared in 1597. Although they may not allow you to accurately construct your family tree during this earlier period, they do provide an indication of what some families were doing in the period from the 14th-17th centuries. They include: The Subsidy Roll (1379); Manorial court rolls (mid 16th C) and a rental (late 14th C); Index of York Wills (1389-1688); Feet of Fines (1486-1603); Kirkby Malham church Compotus (1455); Muster Roll (1539) and indexes with abstract of early deeds in the Serjeantson and Raistrick collections held at Skipton Library.

Quaker Records
To coincide with the refurbishment of the Airton Quaker Meeting House which is nearing completion, we have extended our Quaker pages to include: Where to find Airton Quaker Records; a List of Burials at Airton; the Monumental Inscriptions in Airton Burial Ground, including a plan and photographs; and a Brief History of the Airton Quaker Meeting.

Email & Bookmark pages
You can now find a link on every page which allows you to email the URL or bookmark the page on your own social bookmark list. button image

Search Tips
Analysis of our search records show that visitors don't always manage to get the best results when searching our site. This is usually due to overlong search requests or not allowing for the many spelling variations found in written records. To assist visitors in obtaining the best posssible results, we have compiled a few search tips:

Too Much Information :
Searches usually fail because too much information has been entered into the query. If the search doesn't find an entry that EXACTLY matches your search term it will not find the information you want, although it may still be on the website.

If you want to find Thomas Proctor born 1760 at Newhouses then putting all that into the search box is unlikely to find any likely candidates, so start with the minimum and just run a search for Proctor. If that provides too many matches for you to browse then add his first name and run a search for Thomas Procter to reduce the number of results.

Spelling Variations :
The second most common reason for a search to fail is because of spelling variations. These are very common and a surname my appear in a single document spelt in 2 or 3 different ways, the older the document, the more common this becomes. In the example above, Proctor is also very commonly spelt as Procter, and in some old documents as Prockter or other variants too.

The Sound-alike Matching feature in our search box doesn't find ProctOR entries if you enter a search for ProctER.
You can however use the wildcard character * to replace any single letter, so searching with the term Proct*r will find all the entries for both the common variations.
The * wildcard character replaces 1 or no letters, so a search for Smith* would find both Smith and Smithe and if you modified it to Sm*th* it would also find Smythe etc. too.

Remember that once you have found a page you are interested in, you can use your browser's search Find facility (usually obtained by selecting the Edit menu, then the Find or Find on this page option).

Quaker Records
The Quaker records held by The National Archives are now available online on the pay-to-view service BMDregisters, making it possible to find Birth, Marriage and Burial records for the Airton Meeting House. There is a free simple search, with Advanced searches costing 50p, you can then view a transcript or download the original document image, which costs £2.50. We have also updated the information on our Airton Quaker page and extended our Airton Burial Ground register.

Donation link repaired
For those who would like to encourage the work we are doing and help to support this website, you can once again do this using the donation buttons on our web pages. It is not necessary to have a PayPal account, you can use most credit or debit cards. You can of course also help provide us with funds at no additional cost to yourself, by purchasing goods through our Amazon shop.

Morrison pit
Morrison Pit, Annfield Plain, Co. Durham. Does anyone know if this is named after the Morrison family? It was opened in 1869 and owned by the South Moor Coal Co by the 1890s.

Walter Morrison
The beta version of the new Walter Morrison pages are now available. Larger versions of the photographs have still to be added and more links too, but in the meantime enjoy reading about this interesting local character. We are still interested to learn more, so if you can add to this resource please contact us.

Airton & Scosthrop Census
The transcriptions have now been completed for all the years from 1841-1901 thanks to the efforts of Pat Berry and Mike Gomersall.

The Times archive
If you missed out on the recent free access to the Manchester Guardian online archive, you may like to check out The Times archive which covers the period 1785-1985. In it you will find some references to Malhamdale and to some of its more famous residents such as Walter Morrison MP. It is available at some public libraries, but you can get free access by becoming an online member of the Bedfordshire Libraries and then access it at home. There isn't a charge, just sign up and you will be instantly issued with a Library Card Number and a PIN which you can use to access the archive.

Walter Morrison
The recent research project about this interesting local character is currently being prepared for the website, look out for it from mid January.

Guardian Archive
The Manchester Guardian has covered many stories featuring Malhamdale and includes other interesting items such as details of sales and various advertisements for staff, services etc. The newly launched Guardian and Observer Archive is offering a free 24hr subscription to the service during November, and it is well worth trying. The Guardian section of the archive covers from 1821 to 1975 and has a very good Advanced Search facility to help locate the articles you want. You can also perform a "loose" search say for Malham and then search within those results. A simple search for Malham throws up nearly 300 items or you could search for a prominent local person such Walter Morrison or JW Morkill, there are many possibilities for spending a few hours browsing. Searching the archive is normally free, but viewing the extracts requires a subscription which costs just under £8 for 24hrs, with a 50% deduction for November if your free pass just isn't long enough. (The offer period is over but the 24 hour subscription still represents good value for money if you have a couple of hours to spare.)

New Parish Record Transcription Project
We now have permission to transcribe and publish the 19th century records of Baptism, Marriage and Burial for the parish church of St Michael the Archangel, Kirkby Malham. Copies of all the registers have been made, and now all we need are some volunteers! It is intended to run this as an online project, so anyone can participate from any part of the world. The webmaster is currently trying to sort out the technical bits and an information page for potential transcibers will be posted shortly. In the meantime would anyone interested in doing some transcription, even the odd page, please contact the Webmaster to register their interest and receive further details.

Cookson Index CD
Unfortunately most of the Kirkby Malham Parish Records covering the 16th-18th centuries were stolen in the 1970s, leaving us with only the YPRS transcript covering 1597-1690. There is a good collection of Bishop's Transcripts covering this period available at the Borthwick Institute and these have been partially transcribed and made available in the IGI at FamilySearch.org. Unfortunately a significant percentage of our entries are missing from the IGI, so the little known index created by the Rev Cookson is an invaluable aid to people working on the family history of Malhamdale families. This index was created when all the records were still available and covers from 1597-1813. Created manually, it isn't perfect, but it contains similar information to that shown in the IGI, but with many more entries. This may be because the IGI contains transcriptions of the Bishop's Transcripts, not the more complete original registers. The church has a typed transcript of the index and this is being made available in PDF format on CD, costing £15 incl. UK P&P. It will be available from mid November and a new purchase page will be set up.