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Help and advice for Yorkshire

If you have found a problem on this page then please report it on the following form. We will then do our best to fix it. If you are wanting advice then the best place to ask is on the area's specific email lists. All the information that we have is in the web pages, so please do not ask us to supply something that is not there. We are not able to offer a research service.

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Yorkshire

In order to assist in your navigation of the 130,000+ pages and photographs within
the Yorkshire GENUKI site, please read the "Important Information" page.
The page includes some tips, term definitions etc. etc.

 


Genuki Yorkshire
Search Engine
   Where is it
in Yorkshire?

 

Yorkshire, maritime county of England; bounded N. by Durham and the Tees, NE. and E. by the North Sea, S. by the Humber and Lincolnshire, Notts, and Derbyshire, SW. by Cheshire, W. by Lancashire, and N.W. by Westmorland; length, E. and W., 96 miles; breadth, 80 miles; area, 3,882,851 acres, population 2,886,564. Yorkshire is the first county of England in point of size, and the third in point of population. From the mouth of the Tees to Flamborough Head the coast is bold and rocky; from Flamborough Head to Spurn Head it lies low. The interior presents the appearance of a great central valley stretching SE. to the Humber, and flanked on either side by heights - on the E. by the Cleveland Hills and the Wolds, and on the W. by the Pennine chain. . . Yorkshire takes high rank as an agricultural, manufacturing, and mining county. It is well supplied with every means of communication. It has from an early period been divided into 3 Ridings - viz., East, North, and West, besides the Ainsty or Liberty of the city of York. Each Riding has a lord-lieutenant and a separate court of quarter sessions and a commission of the peace, and statistically is treated as a distinct county. It contains 26 wapentakes; 3 liberties; 1636 pars. with parts of 2 others; the parliamentary and municipal boroughs of Bradford (3 members), Dewsbury (1 member), Halifax (2 members), Huddersfield (1 member), Kingston upon Hull (3 members), Leeds (5 members), Middlesbrough (1 member), Pontefract (1 member), Scarborough (1 member), Sheffield (5 members), Wakefield (1 member), and York (2 members); and the municipal boroughs of Barnsley, Batley, Beverley, Doncaster, Hedon, Morley, Richmond, Ripon, and Rotherham. It is in the dioceses of York, Ripon, and Manchester."
(Transcribed from Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, 1887. -C.H.)

 

For information which is not specific to the county of Yorkshire,
please see the England pages and the U.K. and Ireland pages or try the Genuki search engine.

 

If you don't know (or need a re-cap of) terms such as:
Dale, Wapentake, Parish, Deanery etc. please see the page of definitions of terms.

INFORMATION RELATED TO ALL OF YORKSHIRE

Archives and Libraries

Elsewhere in England for most of the counties you will find a County Record Office, sometimes with "sub-offices". In Yorkshire however the situation is anything but simple, not helped by the change in 1974. Prior to 1974 there were simply the 3 Ridings and York (and these Genuki Yorkshire pages are laid out in that system). After 1974 the overall administrative boundaries of Yorkshire changed, as did the internal boundaries and Yorkshire became North Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, North Humberside, and part of Cleveland with bits of Yorkshire being "given" to County Durham and Lancashire. Since 1974, things have changed yet again but not so drastically. If you are unfortunate enough to be looking for records in the parts that have changed you may have difficulty!

There are county record offices for North Yorkshire (not the same as the old North Riding) and the modern East Riding (was North Humberside and not the same as the old East Riding). West Yorkshire (not the same as the West Riding) has all of its records united. Both Kingston upon Hull and York (which is now in North Yorkshire) have City Archives. For South Yorkshire (the southern part of the old West Riding) has its archive services provided by the four district councils independently.

Additionally there are two institutions which hold archives for the whole of the old Yorkshire: The Borthwick Institute of Historical Research of the University of York, and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society (YAS). All of the above services are listed below, along with a few others:

 

  • The East Riding of Yorkshire Archives Service exists to collect, preserve and make available to the public the historic records of the East Riding. The Archives Service holds over 10,000 linear feet of documents dating from the 12th century to the present day. These records contain information about every community in the East Riding and cover a wide range of subjects.
  • The North Yorkshire County Record Office collects, preserves, and makes available a wealth of archive material relating to the history of the county of North Yorkshire. They hold millions of documents all shapes, sizes and ages which can be used to obtain information for many personal, legal, administrative and historical purposes including tracing ancestors and family history and genealogy. They maintain an online catalogue of descriptions of most of their documents.
  • The West Yorkshire Archive Service (West Yorkshire County Record Office) exists to preserve the county's heritage of historical documents and to help members of the public make use of them. They have an on-line catalogue covering all five of their offices.
  • The York City Archives are open 9.00 am till 5.00pm Monday to Friday closed for lunch 1.00pm till 2.00pm.
    They hold the corporation records covering approximately 800 years, and there are no charges for researchers visiting the archives, and no appointment is necessary.
  • Hull City Archives hold a wealth of information, covering the rich and varied fortunes of the city. The collections include non-conformist churches, local families, municipal cemeteries and records of the courts. In addition they hold unique photographs many of which are now accessible online via their historical photographs database.
  • South Yorkshire
  • The Borthwick Institute of Historical Research is at the University of York.
  • The Yorkshire Archaeological Society exists to promote the study of Yorkshire's historical past - agriculture, archaeology, architecture, history, industry, religion and the people of the historic county.
  • Brynmor Jones Library Archives and Manuscripts (Hull University): (includes Family and estate papers, and Solicitors' archives)
  • The Friends of Teesside Archives exists to promote and assist Teesside Archives and to promote conservation of documents etc in the Cleveland county area.  Its volunteers, among other things, help with the indexing of parish records, rate books, electoral rolls and other records of interest to family and local historians.
  • The Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts (now National Archives) has a most useful Web-site which has searchable databases containing information on where collections of archives can be found. The search can be by people, places or Companies.It also has on-line a Manorial Documents Register for England which, although not complete, does cover the whole of Yorkshire.
  • The Yorkshire Film Archive Online has lots of old films on-line, such as the Climmers at Bempton, Queen Victoria in Sheffield, Country Potters, etc. etc.

Bibliography

  • A list of books relating to Yorkshire has been produced by the members of the Yorksgen mailing list.
  • The following books can be read or downloaded from the Genuki site:
    • A transcription of the book "Yorkshire Folk talk" dealing with the Eastern half of Yorkshire, written by the Rev. M. Morris in 1892. Transcribed by Colin Hinson.
    • A transcription of the book "The British Workman" dealing with a farm worker from the Wolds area, again written by the Rev. M. Morris. Transcribed by Graham Metcalf.
    • A "Guide to Richmond", produced in 1833 by W.R. Robinson, and describing Richmond and the surrounding area with various histories, but very few ordinary people mentioned. Transcribed by Colin Hinson.
    • See also under Church Records and History.
    • An unpublished book "Scarborough's war years, 1939-1945" by Richard James Percy. This book describes the blackout, evacuees, fortifications, bombing, etc. Whilst it deals with the Scarborough area, it will be of interest to others as an example of what went on during the war years. Associated with this, you might also like to read the documents on "Evacuation from Newcastle and Gateshead in 1939".
  • The Dalesman publishing company not only publishes books and magazines about the Yorkshire Dales, but also about the rest of Yorkshire too. They also have a "Family Quest" section on their web-site.
  • Baines's History, Directory and Gazetteer of the County of York, 1822 and 1823. These two volumes cover the whole of the county between them, giving descriptions and/or history of all the places, and a list of people in Trades and Professions for the larger places.
  • Bulmer's History and Directory for East and North Yorkshire 1892 and 1890, giving descriptions and/or history of all the places, and a list of people in Trades and Professions for the larger places.
  • Dr. Whitaker's History of Craven gives a history of each parish in the Deanery of Craven, complete with pedigrees for the major families. The book was originally published in 1812, and the final updated version in 1878.

Cemeteries

  • During our visits to Yorkshire, I have taken over 60,000 photographs of graves in the East Riding. You can access them here
  • In her travels round the county, Mel Towler has built up a large number of "Stray" inscriptions. These have been posted to Yorksgen and other lists one at a time and can be seen here, listed complete up to December 2001.

Census

Churches

Church Records

  • The information from Colin Blanshard Wither's book "Yorkshire Parish Registers" which gives the dates of and the whereabouts of church registers is to be found on each of the Genuki Yorkshire parish pages under "Church Records".
  • The Yorkshire Archaeological Society holds copies of a lot of the parish registers in printed form as books, micro-fiche and CD rom. Please see their Yorkshire Parish Register web-site for more information.
  • The Society of Genealogists hold a considerable number of copies of Parish Registers for Yorkshire and the rest of the counties in the UK.
  • Paver's marriage licenses is a series of extracts from Marriage Licenses, formerly preserved in the Registry of York, is taken from a MS. of Mr. W. Paver. Transcribed by Colin Hinson.
  • The Northowram Register is a register of nonconformists produced by the Revs Oliver Heywood and T.Dickenson between 1644 and 1752. Transcribed by Colin & Pauline Hinson.
  • Patricia Blackburn has transcribed 'Hearts of Oak' - "A study of the Recusancy in the Moorlands of North East Yorkshire 1569 to 1840" - by J.L. O'Connor
  • Ted Wildy's UK Marriage witness index entries for:
  • Paul Joiner's Marriage Index for Durham and the North Riding of Yorkshire.
  • The Quaker FHS have a series of pages on locating Quaker Records in various parts of the UK. There are separate pages for most of the pre-1974 English counties, including Yorkshire.
  • The Yorkshire Quaker Heritage Project have on line databases which enable the user to trace references to specific individuals and families within Monthly Meeting minute books, eventually for the years 1652 to 1948. These do not cover the whole of Yorkshire. For the available records for Brighouse; Knaresborough; Leeds; and Settle, see the Leeds University Quaker records site, and for the records that are available for the rest of Yorkshire (the East Riding and part of the North Riding, centred on Malton, Scarborough, Whitby, Pickering, Bridlington, Owstwick, Cave, and Hull) see the Hull University site, following the "Online databases" link.
  • Sheila Wilson Smith has transcribed the Yorkshire "Strays" from the published indexes of The Combined Methodist Baptisms for the Isle of Axholme in the Counties of Lincolnshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.

Civil Registration

  • In general, in order to find a Birth, Death or Marriage registration (or Certificate), you need to deal with the appropriate Registration Office. To find the Registration Office where this information is now (they changed over the years), you need to go to the appropriate Riding list of Registration districts (In "1" below) to find which Office currently holds the data, and then go to "2" below to find the address of that Office. If you do not know which Riding the place you are looking for is in, then use the "Where is it in Yorkshire" files to find out. You should also look under Towns and Parishes for more information on places in Yorkshire.

 

  1. There is a list of Registration Districts for the East Riding and York, the North Riding and the West Riding, and those places within them maintained by Brett Langston. To compliment this list, there's also an alphabetical index of place-names, showing the counties and districts in which they were situated for the period 1837-1930.
  2. There is a list of Register Office addresses for England and Wales, maintained by Peter Abbott. This includes some instructions for obtaining Certificates.

 

  • The Yorkshire BMD is an on-going project to put on-line the indexes to births, marriages and deaths, based on the original civil registrations from 1837 to 1950, held at the local register offices of Yorkshire.
  • The Register Offices of the former county of Cleveland (Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar & Cleveland, and Hartlepool) have the indexes of their Registers online.

Description and Travel

Gazetteers

  • A Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire (a list of place names, with descriptions) in 1822, by Thomas Langdale.
  • Where is it in Yorkshire? - A hyperlinked index to information on nearly all the places in Yorkshire: cities, towns, villages, most of the hamlets and some single houses. The list also includes links to information on some places which no longer exist.
  • There are pages containing the definitions of territorial terms such as Riding, Wapentake, parish etc.
  • Can you help? The ancient parish pages for the Yorkshire section of Genuki were generated from the above mentioned book by Thomas Langdale. I am unable to locate some of these places in the modern world. If you can tell me where any of these are, it would be much appreciated:

Genealogy

  • Surnames interest lists:
    • The Yorkshire Surnames list and is maintained by Magdalena Gorrell Guimaraens. Please try to make it easy for Magdalena by obeying the rules when submitting your names!
    • For other surnames interest lists, please see the Genuki list of surnames lists.
  • Mailing lists
    • All the links below will take you to John Fuller's list and put you at the appropriate place within that list. If you are looking for other mailing lists for the UK, simply take any one of the links and then search the rest of the page. You will find information on how to subscribe there - if you want to unsubscribe, then use "unsubscribe" instead of "subscribe".
    • If you subscribe to a mailing list, remember to keep the "Welcome" message as it tells you how to unsubscribe. Remember also that it is no use sending a request to unsubscribe to a mailing list itself, as this simply shows people that you didn't read the "Welcome" message!!
    • The YORKSGEN Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by Lin Duke, dedicated to the genealogy, and history of the whole of the County of Yorkshire. The scope of this list covers the pre-1974 county boundaries.
      • Associated with Yorksgen is another list: "Mainly For Family Historians, but for anyone with an interest in Yorkshire - past and present - Yorkshire humour, Yorkshire traditions, Yorkshire food and drink - or if you just want to chat to other Yorkshire folk". To subscribe to this list, please go to: groups.yahoo.com/group/Yorksgen. There is also a web site associated with this list, containing various Yorkshire links and information.
    • The WEST-RIDING Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by Dave Jassie, dedicated to the genealogy, and history of the (old) West Riding of Yorkshire. The scope of this list covers the pre-1974 county boundaries which is the area relevant to genealogy.
    • The SHEFFIELD Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by Vic Brocklehurst, dedicated to the genealogy and history of the Sheffield and Rotherham areas. The scope of this list covers the same areas as those covered by the Sheffield FHS and the Rotherham FHS.
    • The EAST-YORKS Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by Marion Maychell, dedicated to the genealogy, and history of the (old) East Riding of Yorkshire. The scope of this list covers the pre-1974 county boundaries which is the area relevant to genealogy.
    • The NORTH-YORKS Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by Lin Duke, dedicated to the genealogy, and history of the (old) North Riding of Yorkshire. The scope of this list covers the pre-1974 county boundaries which is the area relevant to genealogy, and also the present North Yorkshire (please note that North Yorkshire covers a large part of the old West Riding, parts of the old East Riding, but not all of the old North Riding)
    • The DEWSBURY Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by David Ford. The purpose of the list is to assist researchers who want to narrow the focus of their research in this part of the county. It is not meant to replace the many fine County and Surname lists in existence, but to complement them. It is designed to cover an area within a five-mile radius of Dewsbury, and therefore includes (but is not exclusive to!) such neighbouring parishes as Birstall, Batley, Earlsheaton, Heckmondwike, Liversedge, Mirfield, Thornhill, etc. Posts on local history and folklore are encouraged as well as genealogy.
    • The ENG-YORKSHIRE Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by Dave Jassie. The list is dedicated to the genealogy, as well as the rich history of the people and places from the whole of the County of Yorkshire. The scope of this list covers the pre-1974 county boundaries.
    • The UPPER DALES GROUP mailing list. This list covers Swaledale and Wensleydale, the most northerly of the Yorkshire dales and is administered by Peter Underwood and Ann Wilson.
    • The DONCASTER Mailing list is an unmoderated list administrated by John Rouse, dedicated to the genealogy and history of the Doncaster areas. The scope of this list covers the same ancient parishes as those covered by the Doncaster and District FHS.
    • The ENG-TODMORDEN Mailing List is an unmoderated list administrated by Carol (of Tree Tops), dedicated to the
      genealogy and history of Todmorden which borders both Lancashire and Yorkshire.
    • The BRADFORD List is an unmoderated mailing list administered by Jan Perkins. We focus on the area that is covered by the present day Bradford Postal Codes. BD 1-23. Skipton to the North, Tong to the east, Cleckheaton to the south and Keighley area to the west.
    • The LEEDS mailing list is an unmoderated list administrated by Tim Pickard, dedicated to the genealogy and history of the Leeds area.
    • The HALIFAX. mailing list is an unmoderated list administered by Tana Willis Johnson, for anyone with a genealogical interest in the ancient Parish of Halifax, West Riding, Yorkshire, including the townships of Halifax, Northowram, Warley, Ovenden, Midgley, Sowerby, Norland, Skircoat, Southowram, Hipperholme, Brighouse, Shelf, Rastrick, Fixby, Elland, Greetland, Stainland, Barkisland, Rishworth, Soyland, Langfield, Erringden, Stansfield, Heptonstall, and Wadsworth.
    • The HARROGATE mailing list is an unmoderated list administered by Elaine Pickard, for anyone with a genealogical interest in the present day Borough of Harrogate, Yorkshire, England, which includes the towns of Harrogate, Knaresborough, Pateley Bridge, Nidderdale, Ripon, Masham and Boroughbridge.
    • The YORK mailing list is an unmoderated list administered by Lin Duke, for anyone with a genealogical interest in The Ainsty & City Of York, Yorkshire, England.
    • ENG-YKS-HULL. A mailing list for anyone with a genealogical interest in Hull City, including Sculoates and Drypool parishes.
    • There are also some other mailing lists that cover areas covered by the above, such as the border areas of Yorkshire/Lancashire (ENG-LANCS-YORKS). A list of all the mailing lists covering parts of England and or English subjects can be found in the Genuki list of Mailing Lists.
  • For those new to Genealogy and Family History, Roy Stockdill has written a "Newbies Guide". It is specifically written for the West Riding of Yorkshire, but most of the information will be of interest to a far wider audience. This file should be read in conjunction with the Genuki "Getting started" pages.
  • There are some additional Genealogical links (and some non-genealogical links such as recipes) for Yorkshire on the Blunham home page.
  • The YORKSGEN lectures and presentations have taken place in 2000, 2002, 2004, and 2006 with occasional meets for a meal. These presentations are primarily for subscribers to YORKSGEN, but anyone interested in Yorkshire genealogy is welcome to attend. There are programmes of talks and visits, and opportunities to listen to experts on Yorkshire genealogy. The 2000 event was organised by Conrad Plowman or Anne Harley to whom lots of thanks must go. Resulting from these events are quite a few photographs (along with some sound files).
  • Genweb has a section for Yorkshire.

History

Land and Property

  • Pat Johnson is providing a FREE lookup service of the names contained in her large collection of original Family Deeds. Most of them relate to property and financial transactions and may provide details which aren't available in the more usual sources of parish registers and Wills. Transcriptions of the full documents are available for a modest fee, and the original deeds may also be available for purchase if required. A list of Yorkshire places which are mentioned is provided onsite.
  • Deanna Fowler has kindly made available scans and transcriptions of 4 different land deeds from the 11th, 12th, and 13th centuries, 3 from Yorkshire and the other of unknown origin. The scans can be downloaded in two different sizes and the translations are given.
  • There are pages containing the definitions of territorial terms such as Riding, Wapentake, parish etc.
  • Originally posted to the Yorksgen mailing list, here are alphabetic lists of the Owners of Land in the North Riding of Yorkshire in 1871.
  • David Simpson has transcribed an indenture for the use of a Windmill at Pudsey. This is an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file.

Language and Languages

Maps

Military Records

Names, Geographical

  • "A key to English place names" provides an up-to-date guide to the interpretation of the names of England's cities, towns and villages. This site uses the same pre 1974 county boundaries as this GENUKI.site.

Newspapers

Nobility

Occupations

Officials and Employees

  • Caroline Gaden has transcribed the entries for Public Officers of the North Riding and of the East Riding from Whites Directory and Gazetteer of 1840.

Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

Probate Records

  • Colin Blanshard Withers has produced a list of all known Indexes and Calendars relating to Yorkshire Probate. This is available in both MS Word format (.doc) and plain text format (.txt) from his site.
  • The British Origins Network has indexes to a large number of Yorkshire wills in their National Wills Index. Please note that this site requires a subscription to do searches.

Schools

  • The Northern Police Orphanage at St George's House, Otley Road, Harrogate looked after children of police families, mostly from North-East England. It was founded by Catherine Gurney in 1898 and closed in 1956.

Statistics

Taxation

  • Links to transcriptions of the Subsidy Rolls (Poll Tax) for 1379 for the West Riding, the Ainsty, and the Howdenshire wapentake are to be found on the relevant parish pages.
  • A transcription of the Subsidy Rolls for the Ainsty wapentake from the 16th century.

Towns and Parishes

 


Where is it in Yorkshire? - A hyperlinked index to information on nearly all the places in Yorkshire: cities, towns, villages, most of the hamlets and some single houses are included. The list also includes links to information on some places which no longer exist.

There is also a large and detailed electronic map of the County. Please see also Maps above.