Faith Wolfenden Finegan, a much loved teacher in Britain and Ireland, family historian and true Craven character, has died in Settle at the age of 100.

Faith was born at Paradise Farm, Horton-in-Craven on March 23, 1917 to John and Alice Heaton, whose maiden name was Wolfenden, and christened at Horton Independent Chapel. Leaving the farm in 1923, the family moved to Hellifield and later to Long Preston. Faith won a scholarship to Settle Girls' High School, where she was Head Girl, and then a County Major Scholarship to Manchester University in 1937 to read History and English. She had a very sharp mind and excellent memory and made friendships which endured throughout her life. She taught History in Cumberland, Yorkshire and in Birmingham, where she became a Roman Catholic in 1947.

After her mother's death in 1950, Faith joined the staff at St Monica's Convent in Skipton, and taught alongside Peggy Coulter, who in 1955 married an Irishman, Joe Benson from Limerick. Faith was her bridesmaid and Paddy Finegan was Joe's best man. Faith and Paddy fell in love, married at St Stephen's Church, Skipton in 1956 and settled in Limerick. With their son David, they moved in 1965 to Paddy's native Dublin where Faith taught English at Maryfield College until retirement in 1982.

After Paddy's death and David's ordination as a Catholic priest in 1985, Faith moved to Settle. She soon immersed herself again in Yorkshire life, as a member of the North Craven Heritage Group and volunteer at the Museum and as a supporter, with David, of the Settle Carlisle Railway. She was very active in the Catholic Church at Settle into her nineties and a faithful and greatly cherished member until her death.

For over twenty years, Faith researched the history of her mother's Wolfenden family and related families and published the results in her book A Bit Akin, in 1994. She illustrated it with her own photographs, hand drawn maps and family trees. Before the internet age and with only a manual typewriter, Faith wrote and travelled widely to consult record offices and registers in Yorkshire and Lancashire, discovering relatives and making new friends on several continents. She later visited many of them in Canada, the United States and in New Zealand, where she celebrated her 70th Birthday. Faith also worked on the Heaton family tree and her successful endeavours encouraged many others as they researched their own families.

With wonderful care from her carers and friends, Faith was able to stay in her own home for the rest of her life. She was well enough to enjoy her 100th Birthday, receiving greetings from the Queen and so many others and a special Blessing from Pope Francis. David was by her side when she died peacefully at home on May 30. Following Requiem Mass at Settle, celebrated by David and six priests from East Anglia with a large congregation, Faith was laid to rest among her ancestors at St Mary's Church, Long Preston.