In many ways, Whitsome village served as a service
centre for the farms that made up most of the parish. Each farm was, in a
sense, a mini-settlement with a farm house plus houses for thegrieve or
steward, and the other farm workers. The farms in the parish of Whitsome
and Hilton operated the bondager system, where every male farm worker was
required to supply a (normally female) worker to work on the farm at busy
times and whose labour was considered as part of the rent for the house and
garden that the family occupied. For this reason, the number of people
working on a given farm was greater than than might at first be thought.
Note that at the moment, the pages for the post census farms
only list the people mentioned as working there. Information on the
families will follow when I get all the farms sorted out.
All of the farm names have had different spellings over the
years. Many of
them were merged as farming methods changed.