KINSHIP in Fylingdales

In 1984 a mathematical study known as isonymy was made from the census data on relationships in Fylingdales seeking to determine the degree to which occupations might be linked to family genetic make up. . The handling and presentation of data was complex but the outcome was clear and confirmed what was already general knowledge.

The title of the paper was Changing isonymic relationships in Fylingdales parish, North Yorkshire, 1841-1881. by Smith MT, Smith BL, Williams WR.and a summary follows:

Lasker's coefficient of relationship by isonymy was used to analyse surname data taken from the 1841-1881 Census returns from Fylingdales parish, North Yorkshire. At this time the population had a thriving maritime economy based on the coastal town of Robin Hood's Bay, as well as agricultural and some industrial activity inland at Thorpe , Raw and Stoupe Brow. Relationships were measured between each of the occupational groups: mariner, fisherman, shipowner, farmer, agricultural labourer, alum works labourer and 'other'--with and between census years in each decade.

The broad conclusion was that there was a clear differentiation of the population genetic structure in the parish over this whole period, and distinct clusters of 'maritime', 'agricultural' and 'other' jobs could be identified. Within-group kinship was high among the mariners , fishermen and shipowners of Robin Hood's Bay and Thorpe , and the relationship between these different maritime groups was also very high. Kinship was generally far lower both within and between the land-based occupational groups, and between these and the seafarers. An example of the closeness of a group was that out of a study of 44 marriages of Storm females 37 were married to mariners or fishermen. .

In finer detail, the gradual breakdown of this pattern of genetic differentiation could be observed, as the fishing industry declined, the alum works closed, and as new farming families moved in to the parish.