The Fothergill families of  Westmorland, Yorkshire and USA


Click for a map of the English location for ancestors of men in the project.

Lineage I

There are 3, as yet unconnected, families in this lineage, two from Yorkshire and one from USA.
The Y-DNA match leaves no doubt that these three lines share a recent common ancestor.
They are:

  1.  Michael Fothergill, b.1763 (Reeth, Yorkshire), d.1837 (Stannington, England), m.1784 - Hannah Law
  2. George Featheringill b c 1715 England/VA ? m. Elizabeth, lived in Virginia, USA
  3. John Fothergill b. abt 1819 Morley, Yorkshire, England m Susannah Harling

Lineage II

This Fothergill Lineage has the surname Featheringill and is a 2009 surprise to the Featheringill family researchers in the USA. The Y-DNA was expected to match that of Lineage I. But instead it matches a well researched branch of the Daniel family of Virginia. But in yet another twist of surprises this Daniel branch does not match up with the rest of the Daniel men of that line. The match is with a Davis family of Kentucky of a later date. The Davis family has not been able to make any connection back to the era and place of the Daniel man.
Research is continuing so as to establish when and where the Featheringill/Davis-Daniel connection came about. One possibility is that John David Featheringill was brought into the marriage as an infant and raised as a son of George. Since the year was 1750 such informal adoptions happened and they are now being uncovered by genetic genealogy.

Lineage III

This Fothergill Lineage is the one that is geographicly closest to Ravenstonedale, the alleged ancient home of the Fothergill family. The oldest connected man is James, born circa 1710, and lived in the town of Mallerstang. Based on location and family first names this James could well be the descendant of John who's son James was born 1653 and died 1723. Hopefully some day we will have a Fothergill man from that line join the DNA project and we can test that theory. The James, born 1710, descendants lived in the area into the 1800s. Joseph and Nancy (Wilson) Fothergil , married in the area and moved Edenhall circa 1885. In May 1913 two sons of Joseph and Nancy (Wilson) Fothergill emigrated to Davidson and Sanborn Counties in South Dakota, USA. Son Joseph arrived four days before son George. They emigrated via two ships through Quebec, Canada.

Ravenstonedale: Ancient English Home of the Fothergill Family


Peggy Skelton - January, 2003

The Fothergills

The Fothergills came to England with William the Conqueror. The head of the family at that time was one of William's generals, who took and sacked York. For his services he received the dale of Ravenstonedale near Kirkby Stephen.

Tarn House is reported to be the ancient home of the family and all the Fothergills probably originate from there. In 1541 there were 12 Fothergills who owned land in the parish and besides Tarn House the other locations of the family anciently were at Brownber Hall and Lockholme Hall. The Tarn House branch died out in the late 17th or the 18th century but the property was repurchased in 1884 by a Mr Fothergill of Brownber.

The family spread down the dales and into Yorkshire. Recorded locations include Nately, Lowbridge, Dubbs, Barugh, Dufton and Morland (near Appleby).

The idea that all English Fothergill families originate from Tarn house and a single common male ancestor has now been refuted by Y-DNA science. As of March 2010 we know there are at least two Fothergill lines. There may be more, and we shall discover that answer as time goes by and more Fothergill men are Y-DNA tested.