Ramsdale is the maiden name of our paternal grandmother, Ethel Ramsdale (1895-1974) who married Andrew James Dwyer in 1920. The sequence of surnames in the two generations between us goes Ramsdale-Dwyer-Dwyer.

The surname Ramsdale and its variants has its origins in Yorkshire, possibly from the Ramsdale Valley, now part of Scarborough, or the hamlet of Ramsdale, around 2½ kilometers southwest of Fylingthorp in the present North York Moors National Park. The name is Anglo-Saxon in origin – hramsa dael, meaning wild garlic valley.

Our known Ramsdale ancestors were primarily associated with the town of Leigh and the village of Culcheth in Lancashire (See a map of the area in 1843). Presumably some Ramsdales had come to that area from Yorkshire at some point, perhaps in the 16th century or earlier.

Unfortunately church records for the Ramsdales in Lancashire prior to the 1740s are scarce, but there are nevertheless a few records of interest:

There are numerous records for Ramsdales in Westhoughton (about 7 kilometers north of Leigh) in the 1730s and 1740s. In the 1740s  and 1750s Ramsdales were also recorded in Westleigh, Hindley, Astley, Bedford and Culcheth.


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