Mole Logo The Dumvilles of Hunton and other Dumville, Dunville, Domville and Domvile families
Home The People The Stories The Places Maps
Family Trees Photographs Moles Guest Book Contact Us


You can use Google to search this website
by including in the search terms:
to read the News
at the foot of this page
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 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.


A recent edition of the Dalesman magazine featured an article written by Helen Johnson about the work of John Knopp, a retired soldier and a member of the Snape Local History Group. He has been researching the people named on the war memorials in Snape and in Well, in Yorkshire. The war memorials in the photographs illustrating the article include the names of F. Dumville, J. Dumville and G. Dumville. These were three brothers, Fred Dumville (1898-1919), James Henry Dumville (1885-1942), and George Ernest Dumville (1888-1949), who all served in World War I. They were sons of James Dumville (1856-1920) and grandsons of Mary Ann Dumville (1833-1911). Fred Dumville died on 1st February 1919 at the Temporary Military Hospital in Newport, Monmouthshire from wounds he received during the war.

John Knopp

The magazine of the Italian Association of Liqueur Collectors (Il Collezionista di Mignon) recently published a two page article, shown below, about Irish whiskey. Dunville's Whisky featured prominently in the article. The magnificent graphic design was by Valerio Bigano. We look forward to a deluge of orders for Dunville's Whisky from Italian liqueur collectors. (See The Dunville Family of Northern Ireland and Dunville's Whisky and photographs of Dunville's Whisky Collectables.)

From the magazine of the Italian Association of Liqueur Collectors (Il Collezionista di Mignon)

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'.

The Privacy Policy of the Website

We respect your right to privacy.

Website Visitors

Visitors to the website are not asked to register or log in, and they are not asked for any personal details such as their name and e-mail address, unless they wish to contact us by e-mail or submit a message for the Guest Book.

Website Correspondents

House names, house or flat numbers, street names and e-mail addresses of correspondents will not be published on the website. Each Guest Book message may display the name of the correspondent and his or her city, town or village, county, state or province, and country, if this information has been supplied by the correspondent.

E-mail addresses and any other contact information will not be disclosed to any third party, other than another website correspondent who has requested this information, and only if permission has been received from the other party, or if it is considered that the request is genuine and would probably be acceptable to the other party.


The fees earned by the advertisements on this website contribute to its running costs, such as the renewal of the domain registration and the website hosting service. The advertisements use a cookie to store anonymous information about the visitor's browsing activity. We do not have access to this information, but it is used to display advertisements based on the visitor's previous visits to this and other websites. Visitors can control the use of this cookie by visiting Google's Policy and Principles for Advertising at Cookies can also be controlled in the visitor's web browser.

Home Top of Page