The Cundall family that I am researching originated from Kirkby Malzeard, which is a village in the lower Yorkshire Dales, in the Nidderdale area of outstanding natural beauty, and is about 5 miles North-West of Ripon in North Yorkshire. It has a population of about 800 people, with a further 200 or so living in the nearby farming areas of Laverton and Dallowgill. The origins of Kirkby Malzeard go back a very long way. Stone Age farmers were certainly there 5000 years ago. Bronze Age relics have been found in the area and there is ample evidence of Roman presence and influence nearby.
The name Kirkby Malzeard derives from the arrival of the Danes and the Normans. In the Domesday Book it appears as 'Chirchebi' - a Danish word indicating that the village lay near a church. 'Malassart' - a Norman French word - was added to indicate that the area was a poor clearing in a forest.
When William the Conqueror laid waste to the north of England in 1069 the village survived better than most, being one of several moorland edge settlements which were bypassed.
A wooden church dating from 1050 stood on or close to the site of St Andrew's which was started in 1150. This church stood strategically within the vast Honour of Kirkby Malzeard which stretched from Great Whernside to Ripon. The Preaching Cross in the churchyard probably dates from the 7th century, though it shows no clear evidence of being Saxon.
Kirkby Malzeard's importance was not only ecclesiastical. In 1307 Edward I granted a market charter to the community, making it a township of trading importance. Sheep were driven over moor roads from Pateley Bridge to the Market Cross. Drove roads brought cattle from Scotland until the last market was held in 1816. The cross was repaired in 1816 after damage. The township's agricultural heritage is thus traceable for five millennia right up until the present day.
Kirkby Malzeard: Laverton: Dallowgill:
These photographs have been kindly provided by the Kirkby Malzeard Community Website. Further photographs of the picturesque village of Kirkby Malzeard and the surrounding villages of Laverton and Dallowgill can be found at www.kirkbymalzeard.com which contains interesting old and current photographs and historical information about the area.
Most of the older gererations of the Cundall family that I have traced were Farmers.
The earliest known ancestor, Robert Cundall, married Margaret Hardcastle in 1763 in Kirkby Malzeard and their children, Robert (born 1768), Ellen (born 1770), Thomas (born 1772), John (born 1776) and Margaret (born 1778), were born and raised in the nearby villages of Laverton, Swetton and Dallowgill.
All of Robert's children and their subsequent families seemed to remain in the Kirkby Malzeard area, apart from Thomas Cundall (born 1772). By 1839, Thomas and his family moved to Holden, near to Bolton by Bowland, near Clitheroe. Thomas's eldest child, Robert Cundall, raised his large family of 10 children at Holden between 1852 and 1867. His youngest child, Thomas Cundall (born 1811), moved by the 1840's to Hareden, near to Slaidburn, where he also had a large family of 10 children. Most of these children also became farmers in their adulthood. Thomas later moved to Clitheroe in the mid 1850's.
One of Thomas's children, Richard Cundall (born in 1853) had moved to Blackburn, Lancashire by 1874, and later he emigrated with his family to Manitoba, Canada in 1895. Here the families grew, and some of which later moved to the U.S.A.
The living members of the family in the U.K. with the surname Cundall are spread out in York, Cheshire and London.
The name Cundall means "Valley Valley" from Combe and Dale, both meaning Valley. The name Cundall may well have originated from the village of Cundall in North Yorkshire, as this is quite close to Ripon. However, as yet no connection to the village has been made.
In 1972 the County Line was changed from just North of Clitheroe to well to the West. This means that Clitheroe and places such as Bolton by Bowland are sometimes recorded as Yorkshire and other times as Lancashire. Be aware of this when looking up records that are held by County!
History of the Cundall Family Bible (Canada)
The Cundall Family Bible originated with Richard Cundall (born 1853) and Sarah Ann Cundall (Nee Gill).
Richard and Sarah Ann were living in the same house as their daughter Alice and son-in-law Durham Palmer when they died. Alice then acquired their personal documents.
Rayman Oswald Palmer in turn acquired these documents from his mother, Alice, when she died in 1961, and the Cundall family bible was returned to Oswald Cundall (born 1885) at about the time that his sister Alice died.
When Oswald Cundall died in 1969, his son, Oswald (Ozzie) Richard Cundall, took the family bible back with him to Aneheim, California. As Ozzie was not that interested in his family's genealogy, he gave the family bible to Donald Cundall (born 1938) knowing that it would eventually be passed on to the next generation, Donald's son Bob.