logo: mole

The Dumvilles of Hunton
and other Dumville, Dunville and Domville families

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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 www.familysearch.org 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.


On the 31st July 2018, the link between Dunville's and Lisburn Distillery Football Club was strengthened when the club announced that the "Dunville's" name would be on the back of the playing shirts thanks to the continued sponsorship by the Echlinville Distillery. The spirit still flows on and off the pitch.

Lisburn Distillery Football Club shirts, Dunville's logo, Clare Quinn, Terry Thompson, Suzanne McCullough, photograph by David Hunter

Pictured with the 2018-2019 shirts at Echlinville Distillery are Clare Quinn (Sales, The Echlinville Distillery), Terry Thompson (Director, Lisburn Distillery FC) and Suzanne McCullough (Marketing, The Echlinville Distillery). Photographs above and below by David Hunter.

Dunville's logo on Lisburn Distillery Football Club shirts

The Distillery Football Club was formed in 1880. The directors of Dunville & Co., especially James Barr, gave the football club their support and filled in a waste pond at the back of the distillery to create the club's first football ground. The Distillery Football Club changed its name in 1999 to Lisburn Distillery Football Club, after the location of its present home ground. Since the 2016–2017 season its shirt sponsor has been the Echlinville Distillery, who have resumed the production of Dunville's Whiskey.

(From The Dunville Family of Northern Ireland and Dunville's Whisky on this website.)