Hebden & Variants Family Website


   Introduction 900 AD - 1500 1501 - 1700 1701 - 1836 1837 - 1913 1914 - 1938 1939 - 2000



1501 To 1700

Though I have defined specific time periods for each of these sections, for most Hebden families life continued to be centred around agriculture, the homestead and prayer. Most Hebden families still lived in the Yorkshire Dales, where the monasteries and abbeys, such as Fountains and Rivaulaux, owned huge tracts of land gifted to them over the years. Most of the peasant farmers rented land from the abbeys and raised sheep, selling the wool back to the monasteries. In 1535, Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of 376 Abbeys and Monasteries, and their lands were sold off cheaply to nobles and merchants. In turn, they sold land to former tenant farmers, who at last became landowners.

In this period, many Hebden families bought land and moved further afield. While Burnsall, Conistone and Oughtershaw remained as established locations, Hebden families settled* in Knaresborough (1525), Grimwith (1538), Hampsthwaite (1550), Sawley (1553), Hubberholme (1582) and Otley (1592). These early settlements were clustered along the main roads in the sheltered valleys, and not surprisingly became more sparse in the remote upland areas to the northwest as shown in the map below.

* Earliest reference to land ownership in Graham Pratten's listing of Hebden family events       Next Page

  Above, Early Hebden settlements along the roads surrounding Hebden Moor, Coniston Moor and Whernside. The roads follow Wharfedale to the west, Nidderdale to the east, and the cross road (B6265) from Settle to Ripon in the south.

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