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the Appleby one-name study and DNA project

the Appleby one-name study and DNA project

Surnames covered in our DNA project:



plus any other variants


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The current banner shows Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland - a county in the far north east of England, bordering Scotland.  This region is home to a number of Appleby lines - and our DNA project has confirmed genetic connections between several of these, which also match lines in Canada, USA and Ireland.

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Appleby blacksmiths of Ellingstring, Yorkshire

We have traced this line back to Joseph Appleby (born about 1781 and died in1849) who was a farmer in Ellingstring, a beautiful part of the North Yorkshire Dales.  Several generations of his descendants remained in Ellingstring, where a number became blacksmiths.  


Two of Joseph's great grandsons, Samuel Hedger Appleby and his brother Frederick Appleby emigrated to New Zealand in the 1920s, where they settled.  We have contacted two living descendants of this line living New Zealand, and would love tohear from any more, particularly any living in the UK - please do use the Contact form to get in touch!


We have also now received a set of yDNA results from one male descendant of this line, but they are NOT a match to any of the Yorkshire lines as expected, nor to any other line.

1771 map of ellingstring thumb

Click on the image to view Ellingstring on the 1771 Jeffery's Map of Yorkshire - reproduced by permission of Digital Archives Association


Ellingstring is to the north west of Masham, and just to the south of the historic Jervaulx Abbey

If there is a second male descendant, perhaps from one of the branches that remained in the UK, who would agree to take a yDNA test, that may help to resolve the puzzle. Please contact me using the form to the left of this page.


Joseph was buried in nearby Masham in 1849 at the age of 78 years, and there are four other Appleby burials in Masham which could be linked to Joseph's family.  Unfortunately the baptism and marriage records for this parish do not appear to be available online.  If anyone has access to the Masham Parish Records held at North Yorkshire County Record Office, I would be most grateful for your assistance in searching for Appleby baptisms, marriages and burials.


Joseph's son (also Joseph) married Mary Ann Hedger - and it seems likely that her father was the Samuel Hedger, blacksmith) who appears in the clip from White's Directory of 1840:

AndersonNita Ann Stella 1921-2000

ApplebyAmy 1916-1933

ApplebyBeatrice A 1890-1901

ApplebyBeatrice Margaret 1913-1995

ApplebyEditha 1886-

ApplebyElizabeth Alice 1895-

ApplebyErnest 1884-

ApplebyFrederick 1885-1948

ApplebyGeorge Hedger 1921-2001

ApplebyHerman R 1912-

ApplebyHilda Margaret 1891-

ApplebyJane 1823-

ApplebyJoseph 1855-1911

ApplebyJoseph 1774-1849

ApplebyJoseph 1817-1897

ApplebyJoseph Thomas 1911-1994

ApplebyMargaret 1859-1859

ApplebyMargaret E 1914-

ApplebyMary Ann 1865-

ApplebyMary Jane 1860-1864

ApplebySamuel 1857-1911

ApplebySamuel Hedger1883-1964

BlitheMinnie Mary 1890-1972


HallMargaret 1855-1911


HedgerMary Ann 1824-1890

LoweZelma Doreen -1979

NorthMargaret 1861-1911

RodwellThomas 1830-

ScoullerClifford Ewen

TateIsabella 1895-1971


1840 Directory clipping

So it looks as if Samuel Hedger the blacksmith, was responsible not only for setting up a whole line of Appleby blacksmiths, but also for all those Applebys who carry 'Hedger' as their middle name!

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