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Home: Surnames: Exelby Family Genealogy Forum

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Ancestry of Exelbys of Cumbria
Posted by: John (Exelby) Moore Date: October 20, 2001 at 11:35:22
  of 21

I am a descendant of a branch of the Exelby name located in South Furness district Cumbria (formerly Lancashire) UK. The earliest known ancestor of this branch was Edward Exelby (c.1802– 1873), who family tradition says moved from Yorkshire to Urswick (between Ulverston and Barrow-in-Furness). I have details of the descendants of one of his sons, but I would very much like to trace any of his ancestors, if they really came from Yorkshire.
       In the 1851 Census Returns for Naburn and surrounding areas in East Riding of Yorkshire one particular family of Exelbys is mentioned, which I suspect might be my ancestors.
NAME         RELATIONSHIP        STATUS       AGE       
Edward Exelby        Head               Married       49* M. Agricultural Labourer West Cottingwith
Hannah Exelby        Wife        Married       39
F.               Wheldrake
William Exelby       Son         Unmarried 13
M.        Scholar        West Cottingwith
George Exelby       Son         Unmarried 10       
M.        Scholar        West Cottingwith
Thomas Exelby        Son         Unmarried 4**       
M.        Scholar        West Cottingwith
Joseph Exelby       Son         Unmarried 2 months       
M.               West Cottingwith

The family’s address was the Township of West Cottingwith, the Village of Thorganby (Yorkshire - East Riding). The Edward Exelby mentioned in these records and Hannah (née Foster) were married June 11, 1835, in Thorganby, Yorkshire.
       The death of my Great-Great-Grandfather, Edward Exelby is recorded as 1873 at the age of 71 on a tombstone in the churchyard of Urswick . (This is consistent with the Edward Exelby who was 49* in 1851). The death of his son, Thomas, is recorded on the same tombstone as 1895 at the age of 48. (This is consistent with the Thomas Exelby who was 4** in 1851). Many of the Exelby family are buried in the same churchyard, but all are descendants of Thomas Exelby. There is no sign of the other members of Edward Exelby’s family as mentioned in the 1851 Census records. However the names Hannah, William, George and Thomas (but not Joseph) all recur in the next generation of our branch of the family. Is it possible that only Edward and his third son Thomas migrated to Urswick at some time between 1851 and 1870 (when Thomas married in Urswick)? If so, what happened to his wife and his other three sons?
       The Exelby name is rare except in Yorkshire, Cumbria and Cornwall. (I have not even begun to investigate
the Cornwall Exelbys yet). I have details of the descent of Exelbys and de Eskelbys from the Norman Conquest until the early 17th Century but no way of connecting them with the West Cottingwith family in the mid nineteenth. If you can give me any information about what I hope is a missing part of the family ‘jig-saw puzzle’, I would be most grateful to hear from you. If you are at all interested in genealogy, I would be delighted to pass on details of the family tree from Thomas Exelby to the present day. Unfortunately the name of this branch seems destined to become extinct fairly soon, but I would very much like to get a little further back into its history, if I can. Can you help, please?

                            (John F. Exelby Moore)


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