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Todwick Historical Society

The Wasteney Family

Hi my name is Robin Wasteney, I live in Oxford, England. I have lived here all my life and I am married with 2 children, Barry & Louise.

I have been researching the family name and its derivatives for the past fifteen years. I have established its origin as far back as 800 A.D. when it was Le Gastonoir.

The name is French and comes from an area south of Paris called Old Orleans.

The first sight of the name in Britain was of two brothers who came here in 1066 A.D. Willem (William) and Gayfried (Geoffrey) who were present at the Battle of Hastings. They were both Armigers to the conqueror. In other words they carried the coat of arms, flags and banners etc.

They were held in high regard and were given titles and land in Yorkshire. They first settled in 1080 A.D. at a castle in Paull near Withernsea on the north east Yorkshire coast.

The origin of the coat of arms still exists on the walls of the castle. From there Sir William and Sir Geoffrey (both Baronets) appeared in the East Sheffield area having being given land here and a charter of free warren which included the rights to Roche Abbey.

The name had changed by this time to Wasteney because of the inability of the heathen Briton to pronounce Le Gastonoir, it became Le Wastenes, then Wastenes. The name continued to be held in high regard throughout the ages, one being the high sheriff of Nottingham in the 16th Century.

King James the first bestowed a hereditary Baronetcy on a Wasteney in 1622 and this title is still active today.

The document is in the possession of a Wasteney living in Canada although the title is not in active use by them.

The areas of Todwick and Headon are steeped in the history of Wasteneys. The 12th century church in Headon has many references to past wasteneys and holds a chalice donated by the Lady Catherine Wasteney, strangely though no Wasteney has been buried in the outer graveyard. Just down the hill at the entrance to the village can be seen an avenue of trees which used to lead to Headon Hall, sadly nothing remains of this except a small cottage.

The church at Todwick can be found opposite the end of Wasteneys Road, it is much larger than the one at Headon and in very good condition. There is charity founded to pray for the soul of Sir Edmund Le Wasteney dated around the mid 14th Century, furthermore Robert Le Wasteney was buried inside the church in 1477.

The outer graveyard also has a member of the Wasteney family dating back to the 1700’s

There is a church at Stainton about 8 miles north of Todwick where I am told contains a stain glass window depicting the Wasteneys, in the outer graveyard there is a Wasteney family vault which relates to the family residing in Canada who keep and maintain this. This information was passed onto me but have yet to visit the church.