The origins of the Close’s is a bit uncertain. Recent DNA analysis shows elements from Scandinavia, France and Eastern Europe.

In the UK, there seems to be (at least) 4 main population centres:

  • Swaledale, Yorkshire
  • Lincolnshire
  • Minchinhampton, Gloucestershire
  • Somerset

All of these show Close’s (or some derivative of the name) dating back into the 1500s, and earlier. So, it’s not entirely clear where they originally came from, if indeed there is a single point of origin.


Those, who apparently originated in Grinton in Swaledale, proceeded to move out into various areas of the country. This seems to be primarily as a result of:

  • the declining profitability of the lead mines in the area
  • increasing populations and limited land for farming
  • new railways and canals making travel easier

They still generally seemed to retain their professions of farmer and miner, sometimes combining the two. But as the new industries sprang up as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution, we also find ship builders and mill workers starting to appear.

From the records, we see movement:

  • north into Northumberland (coal mines, farming and ship building)
  • west into Lancashire (coal mines, farming and cotton mills)
  • emigration from the West Coast towards America and Australia

And now for a bit of housekeeping

See the wood and the trees

We publish everything we have in our fabulous trees, so basically if you can’t find it, we don’t have it. With over 20,000 people, 5,000 families, 12,000 sources, and 69,000 image references currently sat in our database, you’ll appreciate the amount of work that has gone into this over the years.

You can see more in the Close Ancestry Trees.


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