"The town Whitehaven is a large and important seaport, market town, and municipal and Parliamentary borough on the Irish sea, about three miles to the north of the lofty promontory of St. Bees Head. The town is built around a small creek or inlet, which forms the harbour and is overlooked on the other sides by green hills which rise abruptly from the outskirts of the town. . . In 1633 Whitehaven was still an obscure village of some nine thatched cottages, whose name was scarcely known beyond the precincts of the parish. It was about this period the manor became the property of the Lowthers of Westmorland, and they were not slow to detect the value of the immense beds of coal in the locality."
[Description from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901]
- Whitehaven has its own Record Office and Local Studies Library. For more information, and for County Record Offices and Libraries generally see our Cumberland Archives and Libraries web page. Additional records are at the University of Durham - Library Archives and Special Collections.
- History, Topography and Directory of East Cumberland, T.F. Bulmer, T.Bulmer & Co., Manchester, 1884.
- History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901, T.F. Bulmer, T.Bulmer & Co., Penrith, 1901.
The Transactions of the Cumberland & Westmorland Antiquarian & Archaeological Society:
- Whitehaven: Its Streets, Its Principal Houses and Their Inhabitants, William Jackson, Vol. iii, O.S., 348-380.
- Christ Church, Vol. xi, O.S.,343.
- Independent New Chapel. Vol: iii, O.S., 373.
- The History of the Churches of the Rural Deanery of Whitehaven, Caesar Caine, Whitehaven, 1916. [Includes extensive extracts from the Parochial registers].
- A Directory of Whitehaven and Vicinity, 1864, Peile and Nicholson, Whitehaven. See below, Directories.
- Postal Directory for 1882 of Whitehaven, Workington, Maryport and Neighbourhood, Frank Porter, 1882, map.
- Whitehaven and District Directory, 1956, Kent Services Ltd.
- An account of the Church History of Whitehaven transcribed from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901 by Don Noble.
- Church records are available at the Whitehaven and Carlisle offices of the
Cumbria Archive Service. There were, and are, many chapels and places of worship whose records have not been deposited with the Archive Service, have been deposited elsewhere, or have not survived Church of England
For Anglican church records, see the parishes listed individually. In addition, Anglican records are available for: Christ Church (CRO Reference: PR104)
Baptisms Marriages 1845-1959 1847-1958
Nonconformist / Methodist
Baptisms Marriage Burial Hogarth Mission (Wes) 1899-1952 Howgill Street (Prim) 1901-1940 Kells (United) 1904-1934 1940-1982 Kirk Mission (Wes) 1905-1964 Lowther Street (Wes) 1966-1979 Michael Street (Wes) 1804-1816 Baptisms Marriage Burial 1851-1968 1840-1876 1855-1876 Baptisms Burials 1750-1893 1763-1768 Births Burials 1837-1875 1823-1908
- Beginning 1 July 1837, births, deaths and marriages, regardless of religious affiliation, were recorded with Civil Registration Offices in Cumbria, as in the rest of England. Copies of certificates recording these events may be purchased.
- Peile & Nicholson Directory of Whitehaven & Vicinity 1864. transcribed by Ann Selchick. Added 3 Apr 2007.
- A Description of Whitehaven transcribed from T. Bulmer & Co's History, Topography and Directory of Cumberland, 1901 by Don Noble.
- The transcription of the section for Whitehaven from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
- Whitehaven fell under the authority of the ancient diocese of Chester and wills prior to 1858 were proved in the consistory court there. Records are deposited at the Lancashire Record Office.
- The Province of York covered most of northern England, including Whitehaven, and anyone who died leaving property in more than one diocese within the province would have their will proved in the Prerogative Court of the Archbishop of York (PCY) or sometimes in the Chancery Court of the Archbishop of York. These records are now deposited with York University, Borthwick Institute of Historical Research.
- For probate from 1858 on, and general information, see our England - Probate page. However please note registered copy probate records for Cumberland are also available 1858-1941 at the Record Office in Carlisle.