The information on Whintingstown is tantalizing. Thanks to Mike Jackson's work on the inscribed stones of Bewcastle, we know that there is a lintel over the front south door. Jackson writes that the original carving showed the date 1701 with the initials of William and Isabell Routledge, who married on July 22, 1676. He goes on to explain that the number 8 was added after the letter I, giving the appearance of the date 1801. Jackson surmizes that some rebuilding or alteration occurred in 1801, which John Routledge, then owner, wished to record.
The Bewcastle parish register shows that a William Routledge married an Isabell Story on that July day in 1676. And it seems that they built Whintingstown in 1701 as their home. [I was able to purchase the church records of both Bewcastle and Knowe because of Mike Jackson's amazing transcriptions. (The clerk at the records office in Carlisle told me that I had just missed meeting him there on my visit four years ago.)] Jackson wrote that over the years, Whintingstown has also been called High Oakshaw, Upper Oakshaw, Quintinsoakshaw, Quintinston and Whintons Town.
Further study of the earliest parish records show that there were Quintons and Whintons in the vicinity:
December 22, 1667 William son of Quintin Foster christened.
February 21, 1670 Quinton Routledge of Balihead buried.
March 7, 1670 (missing) daughter of Quintin Routledge (missing) christened.
March 29, 1677 Margaret daughter of Whinton Nixon of Kinkeryhill christened.
November 1, 1686 Elisabeth daughter of Whintyne Nixon of Akeshaw christened.
June 23, 1695 Anne daughter of Quinton Nixon of Akeshaw christened.
September 19, 1695 William son of Quinton Routledge christened.
January 28, 1702 William son of Will. Routledge of Oakshaw christened.
And so forth.
While we don't know which of these are related directly to the William whose initials are inscribed on the lintel at Whintingstown, I find it satisfying that there is a probable connection between the naming of the home and family names in the nearby vicinity.
At the end of the eighteenth century Forsters were at Whintingstown.
November 6, 1775 George son of Joseph and Elizabeth Forster (Forester), farmer at High Oakshaw, christened.
February 21, 1779 Joseph son of Joseph and Elizabeth Forrester, farmer at Quintonstown christened.
February 21, 1781 William son of Joseph and Elizabeth Forrester, farmer at Quintin's Oakshaw, christened.However, the Knowe records show that Margaret was born in 1816 to George and Margaret Routledge of Whintinstown.
Jumping forward now. The 1841 census shows that at Whintinstown there were Robert Forster Farmer (35), Mary Forster (35), and Robert (14), Elizabeth (12), Ann (10), Mary (8), Margaret (6), Arthur (4), Jane (2), and two agricultural labourers. This census data puts Elizabeth at the right age to be our great, great grandmother. I assume, therefore, that Elizabeth grew up at Whintingstown, and took over the farm with her husband later.
I want to fill in the missing generations at Whintingstown and continue to search for Robert Forster's ancestors. I have some ideas. I also want to find out more about Elizabeth's mother, Mary. Some earlier research found that she might have been Mary Ewart of Crookburn. But I need to go back to this. (Mary is, of course, a forebear of my mtDNA line.)
To be continued.