Hebden & Variants Genealogy Website

Hebden Hebdon Hebdin Hepden Hepton Ebden Ebdon and Epton

Hebden Clan surnames are registered with the Guild of One-Name Studies (click the logo to go to the Guild website). - email us at hebden@one-name.org !

1501 - 1700, The Spread of Hebden Families

Though I have defined specific time periods for each of these sections, for most Hebden families life continued to be centered 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 "The Timeline"  listing of Hebden family events  

1501 -3

Early Settlers in the New World

Migration was not confined to different areas of the Yorkshire Dales. Hebden families and individuals were early settlers in the New World. Some of the first settlers of this name or its variants were:

John Ebden who settled in Barbados in 1670. In 1663, he is recorded as being a servant, and crossed the Atlantic in the tobacco ship "Reformation". Barbados still has a thoroughfare called Ebden Street.

Thomas Ebdon settled in Boston Massachussetts, arriving from Newfoundland on September 20th 1716 aboard the sloop "Elizabeth" captained by Samuel Roberts. On the ship's manifest he is shown as "Mariner", though whether he was a member of the crew, or a passenger is not entirely certain.

Thomas Hebden settled in Virginia in 1634;

John Hebden settled in Virginia in 1651. They were followed by many others. In the last 150 years, members of the Hebden Clan have looked for a new life and new opportunities in other parts of the world. Popular destinations were America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. It is probably no coincidence that with the exception of the USA, these countries were former colonies or dominions of the British Empire.