logo: mole

The Dumvilles of Hunton
and other Dumville, Dunville and Domville families

You can use Google to search this website
by including in the search terms:
Joseph Dumville (1862-1959) and family
Joseph Dumville (1862-1959)
(centre) and family


Welcome to our website! Are you a Dumville yourself? Or do you have some other connection or special interest? If so, we'd love to hear from you. Please do e-mail, and/or write in our Guest Book.

It's been great fun researching the Tree, and planning the website. We've already found out a lot, but there's masses more to add and discover. Not least, of course, the origins of the Grand Old Molecatcher himself, Robert Dumville. We know he spent most of his life in Hunton, north Yorkshire, where he died in 1857 aged anything from 90 to 105, depending on your source! He married twice, and had at least 12 children, whose births span some 41 years, from 1789 to 1830.

Many of Robert's sons and grandsons were molecatchers too. Finding so many molecatchers on the Family Tree was a welcome change from the usual 'ag lab' (agricultural labourer). Hence, as you'll have guessed, our choice of website logo and our interest in the little velvet gentlemen.

Now for the mystery. Try as we (and very many others) may, we can't discover who Robert's parents were or where he came from. In the 1851 census he said he was born in Masham, north Yorkshire, but there's no trace of him in the records there or in adjoining parishes. All we know for sure about his father is what appears in an 1891 biography of his son Joseph: he 'was a farmer and lifelong resident of England. He married, and reared a family of industrious sons and daughters, who settled in different parts of their native land'.

The www.familysearch.org website gives Robert's place of birth as Lurgan, Ireland, and his father as Robert Dumvill (c1735-1819). Other sources give his father as William Dumvill (c1740-1793), brother of Robert Dumvill (c1735-1819). This is all unverified speculation. (See note.) However the chances are high that he is linked to the well-documented Cheshire line of Dumvilles/Domvilles, which descends from Hugh of Avranches (near Donville, Normandy) and Oxton, who came over to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.

But when did he come to north Yorkshire, and why? And what is his connection with other similarly-named people we have found in villages near Masham and Hunton? Especially, for instance, John Dumell (c1696-1790), who lived at Morton Flatts, just across the fields from Bramper Farm. The farm was tenanted by Thomas Smothwaite, whose daughter Margery married Robert. Can you help solve the mystery of Robert's origins?

Thank you to everyone who has helped with the research. Special thankyous to Roma (Dumville) Cresswell, to Clifford Dumville of Ottawa, Canada, to his sister Elaine, and to the late Harry Dumville of Stowe, Vermont, USA. Thank you too to the Grand Old Molecatcher himself, Robert Dumville, without whom none of us would be here!

We hope you enjoy the website.

Jill Holroyd (research and text) and Miles (website)

Note: We apologise for any errors or inaccuracies. Please let us know so that we can correct them. You may be interested to know that publishing the personal data of living family members on the internet is exempt from the provisions of the 1998 Data Protection Act, section 36, 'domestic purposes' exemption. However, we realise that some people may prefer some or full anonymity. We have therefore included only limited information on living people (birth and marriage dates and places, and spouse's names), and included more information only if we have permission. If we have inadvertently included something you would prefer excluded, please tell us at once so that we can put matters right.


Visitors returning to the website might notice that the design of the header and the footer of the pages has been updated. One benefit is that if any of the pages are printed, they will be printer-friendly versions with the text printed in black instead of the dark blue used on the screen, and without the paraphernalia of the header and the footer. If you want to have a look at this without using up paper and ink, you can select 'Print Preview' on your Internet browser.

If any of the pages appear in the original design, you should be able to see the updated design by clicking the 'Refresh' button on your Internet browser (usually marked with one or two curved arrows), or by pressing the F5 key on your keyboard.

Please let us know if any of the pages remain in the original design after you have tried to refresh them, if any of the navigation buttons or links do not work properly, or if there are any other problems with the website.

Can you solve the puzzle? Is Robert Dumville (c1767-1857) related to John Dumell (c1696-1790)? The pages are normally reached by clicking 'The People', 'Generation 23' and 'The People', 'Generation 21'.

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