Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Mill Closures

My family comes from a community surrounding the Giggleswick parish in Yorkshire. Following numerous Water Mill closures in 1855, many of the town’s residents were left destitute and therefore needed to migrate. During this time period, most of the Hudson family left Giggleswick. In fact, only the elderly mother and the eldest spinster daughter remained in Langcliffe. One son stayed in Settle. The others all traveled and lived elsewhere.

Generally, these people moved in Lancashire into the market towns and urban areas in order to seek work in the cotton mill industry. Many of them huddled together in small communities.

I created a database for those people born in Giggleswick and neighboring communities. I compiled them by county and then tallied results. These do not include the children of anyone born in the communities, however.

The towns used in the database include: Selside, Langcliffe, Giggleswick, Settle, Horton in Ribblesdale, Rathmell and Stackhouse. Some of these communities were small. Stackhouse, for example, only had about five of six homes. Anyone leaving this village would have truly been noticed.

Langcliffe was said to have been nearly emptied. Homes were abandoned as the displaced families moved into other communities.

A sign in Giggleswick points to Clitheroe, about fourteen miles to the south. Within these ten years, Lancashire grew from 732 to 1202 residents who were born in the northern abandoned communities. That is a large increase.

Some families from Giggleswick (and neighboring areas) settled in Accrington, Lancashire. A part of the community became known as "Little Settle" because of the many incomers from this area in Yorkshire. Settle being the name of the market town of Giggleswick.

County 1851 1861
Bedfordshire 3 1
Buckinghamshire 1 0
Cambridgeshire 1 2
Cheshire 31 26
Cumberland 10 15
Derbyshire 8 5
Devon 4 2
Dorset 1 0
Durham 15 25
Essex 1 3
Gloucestershire 1 2
Hampshire 2 0
Herefordshire 1 0
Hertfordshire 2 0
Huntingdonshire 4 0
Kent 12 6
Lancashire 734 1202
Leicestershire 6 1
Lincolnshire 28 27
Middlesex 34 17
Norfolk 1 13
Northamptonshire 5 4
Northumberland 3 7
Nottinghamshire 21 15
Shropshire 2 2
Somerset 1 8
Staffordshire 4 3
Suffolk 1 2
Surrey 12 2
Sussex 2 1
Vessels 0 8
(Some included in other Counties)
Warwickshire 2 4
Westmorland 44 53
Wiltshire 1 2
Worcestershire 1 2
Yorkshire 3876 3050

Eight hundred men, women and children left Yorkshire between 1851 and 1861. Likely more joined their relatives by 1871. Extended family relationships caused many, except for the elderly and financially stable, to move to neighboring counties.

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