The earliest Alderson I've been able to trace is Miles Alderson(1584-1610) who lived in Keld (in the upper left corner of the map above). But, we'll begin our story with Miles' great-grandson John Alderson (1661-1721) who lived in Park Hall near Healaugh (just down the river from Keld)
We have visited the area and the home was right around where "Healy Park" is in the center of this 1610 map. It's easy to imagine what the area looked like in the early 1700's---it can't have changed much. If you ever read or saw James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small, then you are familiar with the area of Yorkshire, England. Although he changed everyone's names in his books, his wife in the book was Helen Alderson (not in real life). For more about James Herriot, click here.Helen Boswell, an Alderson descendant also visited Park Hall and wrote that although an Alderson family lives there presently, it was not known if they were related since they hadn't lived there very long:
We, too, found evidence of Aldersons still living in Healaugh---Dave, below is photographing a notice which includes someone named "Alderson" in the village of Healaugh.If I recall, the Park Hill home is up that hill from the village.
We don't know much about John Alderson (sometimes known as Rev. John Alderson). Some sources think he was a minister in the Church of England but others believe he was an Elder in the Baptist Church in England. We do know that he didn't approve of his son John's choice of wife. As Col. George Alderson wrote in 1860 of his ancestors:
"He (John the immigrant) was of warm and social feelings, and about to contract an alliance with a young lady whom his father (John Alderson, a Baptist minister of good standing and property) thought beneath the standing of his own family, and to divert him from consummating the alliance, furnished him with two hundred pounds, a good horse well-equipped, and sent him out to travel."Later Col. George Alderson writes that John the immigrant became a Baptist minister himself and "kept up a correspondence with his father, John Alderson, in Yorkshire, England, who sent him three large Theological books,which this writer has frequently seen. They were printed in Old English form." Those books were last seen in Atchison, Kansas in posessesion of Lewis Allen Alderson.
The book above gives a slightly different view beginning on page 11.
"It seems that he [John Alderson the immigrant] was the son of an Episcopal minister in England and had been studying for the ministry himself, when he fell in love with a girl of whom his father did not approve. The older Alderson, in order to prevent an undesired marriage, gave his son the not inconsiderable sum of 200 pounds, as well as a fine horse and saddle, and told to travel and forget the girl. . . The father in England had, meanwhile, been delighted to hear from his son in the New World, and to know of his reformation."
John Alderson was born in 1661 in Park Laine which is in the Grinton Parish (pictured above), married either Margaret Burton and/or Alice Milner and died in 1721 also in Grinton Parish. We visited the Grinton church above, but didn't see any tombstones of family members and my most vivid memory was of flies everywhere in knee-deep grass.
It is an area of England that is awesome in its stark beauty. Our other memory of this area is being on a one lane road, in the middle of nowhere and seeing a bright red gypsy wagon off in the distance. We felt like we had been transported back in time.