"Westmorland, county in N. of England; bounded NW. and N. by Cumberland, NE. by Durham, E. by Yorkshire, and S. and SW. by Lancashire and Morecambe Bay; greatest length, N. and S., 32 miles;. greatest breadth, E. and W., 40 miles; area, 500,906 acres, population 64,191. Westmorland presents continuous succession of mountain, moor, and fell, intersected by deep winding vales, traversed by numerous streams. The principal of these are the Eden, Lowther, Lune, and Kent, the last forming the broad estuary which terminates in Morecambe Bay. The mountains consist of various ridges belonging to the Pennine and Cumbrian chains. Helvellyn, on the Cumberland border, rises to a height of 3115 ft. The western part of the county is within the Lake District, and contains Hawes Water, Grasmere, Rydal Water, and Ullswater on the Cumberland border, and Windermere on the Lancashire border. The climate is moist. The arable land is mostly confined to the valleys, where the soil usually consists of a dry gravelly loam, well adapted for turnips, but the greater part of the county is natural pasture. A few tracts of woodland remain of the forests which formerly clothed all the hills. The mineral productions include graphite, marble, roofing slate, and some coal, lead, and copper. The only manufactures of any consequence are the coarse woollens of Kendal. The county has good communications by railway." Barclay's Complete and Universal English Dictionary 1842.


Between 1974 and 2023, Westmorland was incorporated into the county of Cumbria together with Cumberland, the Furness part of Lancashire and a small part of the former West Riding of Yorkshire around Sedbergh. From 2023, Cumbria is split into 2 unitary authorities, Westmorland and Furness being the one which includes the historic county of Westmorland the Furness (Lancs), Penrith (Cumberland) and Sedbergh (Yorks) districts. The name Westmorland also lives on in Appleby-in-Westmorland its former county town. An alternative spelling of Westmoreland was sometimes used in C18-19th.

Genuki continues to organise information for the ceremonial or historic county of Westmorland, and local information is organised by parishes as they existed in the C19th (according to the Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers 2nd ed., Chichester, Phillimore (1995). In addition a separate page exists for Appleby the county town.


Archives & Libraries

Westmorland is still served by the Cumbria Archive Service and the principal office relevant for the county is:

Kendal Record Office, County Offices, Strickland Gate, KENDAL, Cumbria LA9 4RQ
Telephone: +44 (0) 1539 773540 E-mail: kendal.archives[at]cumbria.gov[dot]uk.

However there will also be some useful material at other record offices, especially Carlisle e.g. for Probate Records and manorial collections,
Preston, York (Borthwick Institute) and London (National Archives). Other relevant material might be found at Barrow.

The Cumbria Archives catalogue is available online with guides for different record types.
This includes Westmorland Quarter Session records at Kendal. Individual names are indexed.
The Lancashire Archives catalogue is also online, and for instance has over 27,000 catalogue references indexed as "Westmorland"

The Nationa Archives Discovery catalogue indexes the holdings of the National Archives and 2500 other archives across the UK. There are over 51,000 catalogue references for "Westmorland" of which over 2800 are downloadable.

Genealogical material on Westmorland held in Kendal Library (and also Penrith Library) is described on the Cumbria Libraries Local Studies website.

The Society of Genealogists Library in London also has much useful material for members.



The essential book for family historians is Cumbrian Ancestors 4th edition (2014) published by and available from Cumbria Archive Service.

Also Cumberland and Westmorland: a genealogical bibliography. Stuart Raymond. 1993. Published Federation of Family History Societies - ISBN 1 872094 56 2.

Westmorland books can be searched in the LDS FamilySearch Catalog to find those available on-line, in FamilySearch centres, or in the Library in Salt Lake City.

Much useful information can be found in Cumbria FHS Publications including many transcriptions for the 1851 census. There is an index to Newsletters.

The Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological and Antiquarian Society (CWAAS) has listing of its publications and its invaluable Transactions. These latter can be downladed by CWAAS members (those older than 5 years for non-members). Printed Transactions are held by several public libraries within Cumbria and elsewhere.

The following books (record transcriptions) have been digitised on British History Online:

  • The Later Records relating to North Westmorland or the Barony of Appleby by J Curwin 1932
    and has a wealth of information for North Westmorland parishes.
  • Records relating to the Barony of Kendale:
    • Volume 1 William Farrer & John F. Curwen (editors) (1923) CWAAS. Record Series, 4.
      (20 townships of the parish of Kendal)
    • Volume 2 William Farrer & John F. Curwen (editors) (1924). CWAAS Record Series, 5.
      (33 townships in the parishes of Grasmere, Windermere, Heversham, Beetham, Burton and Kirby Lonsdale.)
    • Volume 3 John F. Curwen (editor) (1926) CWAAS Record Series, 6.
      (the barony of Kendale, plus records for individual townships supplementary to volumes 1 and 2).

Google Books and Internet Archive (Open library) have thousands of digitised books with "Westmorland" in the title or text.



Dictionary of Cumbrian Lives on Cumbrian Lives

The worthies of Westmorland or, Notable persons born in that county since the reformation.
by George Atkinson. Published in 1849, J. Robinson (London), it is available as full-text on Internet Archive.

Worthies of Cumberland and Westmorland on Steve Bulman's site.

Biographies of Notable people on Wikipedia

Other listings and biographies on Wikipedia

Cumberland and Westmorland M.P.'s from the Restoration to the Reform Bill of 1867, 1660-1867.
by Richard Saul Ferguson Published in 1871, Bell 2nd Daldy (London) available full-text on OpenLibrary.

Lords & Earls of Westmorland; Gentlemen of Note from Magna Britannica et Hibernia.Volume 6: Westmorland by Thomas Cox printed in 1731.

The ejected of 1662 in Cumberland and Westmorland their predecessors and successors.
by Nightingale, B. Published in 1911, Univ. Press (Manchester) is available on Open Library.



MIs for certain churchyards have been published in:
Monumental Inscriptions of Westmorland by E. Bellasis 1888-89.
It is a 2 volume set and a copy is available, for example in Kendal Library, and available on Google Books
More usefully,  some parishes are transcribed and searchable on Westmorland Papers.
The transcripts for the other parishes are available on GENUKI Westmorland from the respective parish pages.

Booklets and downloads of Monumental Inscriptions transcribed by Cumbria FHS are available from their online shop

According to Cumbria Archive Service, 

Records are available for the following civil cemeteries but please note, many can only be seen on microfilm:

  • Appleby: microfilm available at Carlisle Archives and Kendal Library
  • Applethwaite, St Mary (Windermere): microfilm available at Kendal Library
  • Bowness, Westmorland: microfilm available at Kendal Library
  • Grasmere: microfilm available at Kendal Library
  • Kendal (Castle St): microfilm available at Kendal Library
  • Kendal (Parkside): microfilm available at Kendal Library
  • Kirkby Stephen: available at Kendal Library
  • Warcop: available at Kendal Library

An index of Monumental Brasses in the county is available.



Returns for the national censuses of 1841 to 1921 are available online/on microfilm from the usual libraries, including Kendal Library.
They are searchable online by subscribers e.g. through Ancestry and FindmyPast, or for a fee. and can be accessed for a fee.
A useful summary of access is provided on the National Archives website for all available censuses and also for the 1939 Register

The England & Wales 1881 census  is freely available, including images (and also free indexes for 1841-1911) on the LDS familysearch site,
and is also available on computer and microfiche at Mormon Family History Centres and other libraries, and also available for purchase on CD-ROM.

Much of the 1851 census has been transcribed by Cumbria FHS and booklets can be purchased from the CFHS website shop .
Names appearing in these transcripts are available in a name index (incomplete) provided by Roland Grigg (web archive)
There is also 'North Westmorland - An Index to the 1851 Census' compiled by David Lowis and Barbara Slack. This indexes heads of households.
For places on the 1851 census see the place index by Roland Grigg.

The free database FreeCen allows searching of over 180,000 transcripts for Westmorland for 1841-71

There was also a 'census' of 1787 (also known as the Constables' Census) the surviving returns of which are held at the Kendal Record Office of Cumbria Archives Service.
The Record Office reference is WQ/SP/C. They are transcribed in Vital Statistics published by Curwen Archives Trust 1992 - ISBN 1897590008.
They contain names of all householders, their families and tenants, and their occupations. There is an index to the 1787 census on Edenlinks (archived by Cumbria FHS).

There are also lists of inhabitants of Westmorland parishes 1695. These survive only for part of the Borough of Kendal and for Lonsdale Ward. They contain the names of householders, their families and servants and their occupations. They are held at Kendal RO and their reference is WD/Ry Box 32. A card index is available.

Though not actually a census, there are also Protestation Oath records for 1641 which record the males over 18 who swore an oath of allegiance (and those who didn't). These returns have survived for the East and West wards and a transcript may be available.

The earliest "census" was the Domesday Book, though just for major land-owners, which covered southern parts only of Westmorland (24 places only).


Church History

Ecclesiastical History etc from Magna Britannica et Hibernia.Volume 6: Westmorland by Thomas Cox printed in 1731.

County Churches: Cumberland and Westmorland by J. Charles Cox
Published in 1913, G. Allen & company, ltd. (London) is available on archive.org

Cumbrian Parishes 1714 - 1725 from Bishop Gastrell's Notitia. Dr Lawrence A.S. Butler

An overview of North Westmorland church surveys is available on British History Onlone.

For Kendal Barony there is a transcript of Records of Kendale: Valores ecclesiastici also available on British History Online.

For brief descriptions see under the parish concerned, but for detailed descriptions see:

  • Salter M. The Old Parish Churches of Cumbria. Folly Publications. 1998. ISBN 1871371356
  • Pevsner N. The Buildings of Cumberland and Westmorland. 1967.

A comprehensive coverage of Westmorland churches and chapels is available on the GENUKI church database.

Many church photographs are available via the parish pages on this site.
There is also the discontinued Steve Bulman's Images of Cumbria and churches sites (not just Westmorland)
and selected ones included in Visit Cumbria's Churches of Cumbria

ICBS Church plans (mostly C19th) from Lambeth Palace Library Collections (Incorporated Church Building Society) are available online.


Church Records

There is an online Guide to Church Records for Cumbria made available by the Archive Service.

Parish Registers will usually be in the Kendal Record Office, as will the Bishop's Transcripts. There should also be copies at the Carlisle Office.
Listings have been published by Cumbria Archives (which will confirm which office will hold the originals)

Microfilm versions should also be available through LDS Family History Centres. Use the normal sources for indexes and obtaining microfilms. In particular the International Genealogical Index (IGI) is available on the Mormon LDS Church FamilySearch site.

Westmorland parishes are searchable via:

FamilySearch also have Cumbria Parish Registers, 1538-1990  available online. The coverage January 2023 was

County Baptism Marriage Burial
Westmorland 196,364 88,988 250,037

There is a more detailed coverage table.

The registers for 4 Westmorland parishes are included in a parish register index by Roland Grigg (Internet Archive).  Some are available on Edenlinks now on Cumbria FHS site.

In Westmorland the Joiner Marriage Index currently has 23,873 marriage records to search (for a fee) in 49 parishes between 1538 and 1837.

All known transcriptions are indicated from the respective parish page here on GENUKI Westmorland.

Diocese of Carlisle Marriage License/Bonds are at Carlisle RO and have been published by Cumbria FHS/Cumbria Archive service in 6 volumes:
1 (1668-1739), 2: 1740-1752, 3: 1753-1762, 4: 1763-1774, 5: 1775-1788, 6: 1789-1800.
available for purchase from CumbriaFHS shop

Older church records include Westmorland Protestation Returns 1641-2 which record the males over 18 who swore an oath of allegiance (and those who didn't). These returns have survived for the East and West wards and a transcript has been published by M A Faraday.

There are not many Roman Catholic records for Westmorland. The county was in Hexham Diocese in 1860 and had only 2 chapels: Kendal and Dodding Green (records in Kendal record Office for 1762-1941). The best source of details of 'early' RC records is Michael Gandy, "Catholic Missions and Registers 1700-1880" vol. 5 North West England 2nd Ed. 1998 (ISBN 0 9528879 2 4).

A list of Papists of Kendale 1650 is transcribed on EdenLinks.

Non-conformist registers are usually deposited at the PRO in London. Microfilm copies for many are available in the Kendal Record Office.

Details of Society of Friends records are given on the Cumbria Archive site


Civil Registration

General details on registration of births, marriages and deaths and their indexes are provided on the GENUKI England site.

The indexes can be searched free of charge on FreeBMD (limiting if wished to Westmorland or specific registration district)
Brett Langston has provided details of Westmorland Registration Districts 1837-1930.
For known Births and Deaths, more information can be found on the GRO Online Indexes website.

Certificates of birth, death and marriage can be obtained from the Cumbria Certificate Service..


Correctional Institutions


Court Records

There are Guides and Catalogue links from Cumbria Archive Service for


Description & Travel

This county was divided into two grand divisions called the Barony of Westmorland and the Barony of Kendal.
The former was divided into two wards called East Ward and West Ward, and the latter comprised the Kendal and Lonsdale Wards, forming the south-west part of the county.
Transcriptions of descriptions from Parsons & White 1829 are given on Edenlinks.

Magna Britannica et Hibernia.Volume 6: Westmorland by Thomas Cox printed in 1731 includes topography and natural history.

Description of the county of Westmoreland by Fleming, Daniel Sir Read Online D. Quaritch; [etc., etc.], 1882 available on OpenLibrary.

Westmorland. by Marr, John Edward (1909), University Press (Cambridge county geography series) is available in full-text from Open Library.

The place-names of Cumberland and Westmorland by Sedgefield, Walter John, published in 1915, University Press (Manchester) is available as full-text from Open Library.

Historical Guides to the Lakes and a collection of historical prints are available on a LakesGuides (site formerly by the Geography Department, Portsmouth University)

Black's Guide to the English Lakes of Cumberland and Westmorland by Blacks, Edinburgh is available in Open Library.

Legends of Westmorland and the Lake district. Published in 1874, Hamilton, Adams, and Co.; [etc., etc.] (London) is available in Open Library.

Old photos of Westmorland are available on the Cumbrian page of the Francis Frith site.

Westmorland is now part of Cumbria and is best-known for including part of the beautiful Lake District National Park. It contains the largest lake - Windermere - and second highest mountain - Helvelleyn - in England. Many present day photographs are available on Visit Cumbria.

Further Links to Westmorland, Lake District and Cumbria sites are provided on this site.



A number of printed directories exist covering or including the county. There is a collection in Kendal Public Library covering 1829-1938.

The Leicester University project Historical directories has facsimiles of a number of directories for the county.
These include:

  • Pigot & Co.'s Directory, 1828-29. [includes Westmorland]
  • White's History, Directory & Gazetteer of Cumberland & Westmorland, 1829
  • Post Office Directory of Westmorland, 1858
  • Post Office Directory of Cumberland & Westmorland, 1873
  • History, Topography & Directory of Westmorland, 1885
  • Kelly's Directory of Westmorland 1894, 1897, 1906, 1910
  • Kelly's Directory of Cumberland & Westmorland, 1914

Parson & White's Directory for 1829 is indexed as Principal Inhabitants of Cumberland and Westmorland with Furness 1829, R. Grigg, Ed., Beewood Coldell, 1988 - ISBN: 1871418003
and still available on web archive: A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T to V | W to Z
The details for all parishes from this directory are transcribed on Edenlinks site.

Harriet Martineau's Directory of the Lake District 1855 is transcribed by Roland Grigg (available through the Wayback Machine Internet Archive):
A to C | D to H | I to R | S to Z

These and several other Cumbrian directories have been combined on Roland Grigg's website (Internet Archive).

Westmorland is included in Pigot's Trade Directory 1830 searchable database hosted on Rootsweb..


Emigration & Immigration

Country of birth of foreigners enumerated in the ancient county, 1891 and 1901, according to Online Historical Population Reports



Use the national church database to identify a particular place in Westmorland (or to identify other places within a certain distance.

For places on the 1851 census see the place index by Roland Grigg.

Old Cumbria Gazetteer Lakes Guides (formerly Portsmouth Univ, Geography Dept.)

History of Westmorland - Placenames for the County is included on the Vision of Britain site.

History and Gazetteer from Magna Britannica et Hibernia.Volume 6: Westmorland by Thomas Cox printed in 1731.

Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 compiled at the Centre for Metropolitan History

The Ordnance Survey site is useful for identifying and locating places.

Streetmap [for the whole of the UK] has a placename search facility for locating places



Pedigrees recorded at the heralds' visitations of the counties of Cumberland and Westmorland
made by Richard St. George, Norry, king of arms in 1615, and by William Dugdale, Norry, king of arms in 1666
by Saint-George, Richard Sir Published in 1891, C. Thurman and sons (Carlisle) available in OpenLibrary.

Papers and pedigrees mainly relating to Cumberland and Westmorland, by William Jackson, published in 1892, Bemrose & sons, etc. (London), is available on Google Books.

There is a Westmorland genealogy mail-list hosted by CumbriaFHS
There is an archive for former mail-list for Westmorland genealogy is hosted and archived by Rootsweb 


Historical Geography

Barony of Kendal on Wikipedia

Barony of Westmorland on Wikipedia



Magna Britannica et Hibernia. Volume 6: Westmorland by Thomas Cox, 45 pages, printed in 1731.
Transcription by S Reveley, J Fisher and L Schoenwald. (Rootsweb Westmorland Listmembers) (c) 2003"

"Westmorland is an inland County, no where touching on the Sea, but bordering on the East on Part of Yorkshire and the Bishoprick of Durham, on the South on Lancashire, and on the West and North on Cumberland: It extendeth thirty Miles in Length, but is not much above twenty-four Miles in Breadth, which making it 120 Miles in Compass, it contains in it thirty-two large Parishes, in which are a great Number of Chapels of Ease, eight Marker-Towns, Six thousand five hundred and one Houses, Five hundred and ten thousand Acres of Land, which is divided into two large Baronies, viz. the Barony of Westmorland, which is a large Champian Country, and the Barony of Kendale, which is full of Mountains, or as they are called by the Inhabitants, Fells. These two Parts belong to two Dioceses, viz. the former Carlisle, and the latter to Chester.

This County was Part of the large Country of the Brigantes, of whom we having given a large Account in Cumberland, we shall supersede any Description of them here, as we shall also of the Northumbrian Kingdom established by the Saxons, of which this Shire was a Part, because we have also set down the Succession of the Kings thereof in Northumberland, to which we thought it most properly to belong, because from that County it took its Name, and thither also we refer our Reader.

How the Conqueror, after England became perfectly subject to him, dealt with this little County, our Historians are altogether silent. 'Tis probable, it was so remote from his Eye, that he little regarded it; and though his great Commanders were greedy to heap to themselves great Inheritances from the Saxons Spoils; yet this being an hilly barren Country, we do not find it disposed of to any, till the Reign of King John, who rewarded the great Services of Robert de Vipont, who had been with him at the memorable Battle of Mirabel, in which the French and Poictovins received so terrible an Overthrow; with a Grant of the Castles of Appleby and Burgh, and the whole Bailiwick of Westmorland, to hold during the King's Pleasure. This Robert still continuing in the King's Wars, had the next ensuing Year another Grant for his better Support of the Premisses, together with the Services of all those that held not by military Services, to hold to him and his Heirs, by the Wife that he then had, by the Service of four Knights Fees for all Service; provided, that he should not commit Waste in the Woods of Winesell, nor hunt in them during the King's Life, except he were there himself in Person, and saving to the King and his Heirs, all Pleas of the Crown.

In the two Baronies of Westmorland and Kendal before-mentioned, we find no Hundreds, but only Wards, Deaneries, Parishes, and Constablewicks; all which but the Deaneries, not being distinctly known to us, we are obliged to treat of the Towns in an Alphabetical Order, putting the Market-Towns in capital Letters for the more easy finding them. The Reason given by our Antiquaries, why this County was not divided into Hundreds, Rapes or Wapentakes, as all the other Counties of England are, is, because in antient Times these Parts paid no Subsidies, being sufficiently charged in Border Service against the Scots."

History and Antiquities of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland, by Joseph Nicolson and Richard Burn, 1777 is available from Google Books.

A history of Westmorland by Richard Saul Ferguson Published in 1894, E. Stock (London) is available from Internet Archive.

Bygone Cumberland and Westmorland. by Daniel Scott Published in 1899, W. Andrews & co. (London) available on Internet Archive.

Legends of Westmorland and the Lake district. Published in 1874, Hamilton, Adams, and Co.; [etc., etc.] (London) is available in Open Library.

Victoria County History draft township histories are available on the Cumbria County History Trust website

The Historic County of Westmorland A Case Study on the range, availability and usefulness of publications relating to the Historic County on cumbriacountyhistory.org.uk


Inventories, Registers, Catalogues

A small part of the South of the county was included in the Domesday Survey of 1086.

Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Westmorland is available on British History Online.


Land & Property

Feet of Fines - abstracts on medieval.org.uk giving details of conveyance of freehold property in Westmorland 1360-1485.

Farming - Landowners by Alan Postlethwaite on Industrial History of Cumbria

Listed Buildings on britishlistedbuildings.co.uk


Language & Languages

Westmorland Dialect by AW (Google Books)

Cumbrian Dialect on Wikipedia

Cumbric Language on Wikipedia



Information on manors is available on Lancaster University's Cumbrian Manorial Records website.

The Manorial Documents Register can be searched by selecting Westmorland as the county. As of November 2020, there were  catalogued 3546 items, distributed between the following archives:

  • Cumbria Archive Centre
    • Carlisle (2,367)
    • Kendal (743)
    • Whitehaven (24)
    • Barrow (3)
    • Private collections (possibly accessible through Cumbria Archive Service) (198)
  •  Lancashire Archives (64)
  • TNA (The National Archives)  (129)
  •  Durham County Record Office (8)
  •  Essex Record Office (5)
  •  Arundel Castle (2)
  •  Duchy of Cornwall Office (2)
  •  Manchester University: University of Manchester Library (1)

As can be seen, most of the manorial records for the county will be found at Carlisle and Kendal record offices, and hence catalogue references will be on the CASCAT database.

There is a table of Westmorland Manors (PDF 244KB) produced by Cumbria Archive Service

The Old Manorial Halls of Westmorland & Cumberland by Michael Waistell Taylor Published in 1892, T. Wilson is available on Open Library.



Links to web versions of maps of Westmorland and surrounding area from several centuries are provided on Lakes Guides (formerly Portsmouth Univ, Geography Dept.??)

Facsimiles of C19th Ordnance Survey maps of Westmorland are available on National Library of Scotland Maps site

There is also a C19th undated map by Mackenzie .

A Boundary Commisioners' map of 1885 (Eyre & Spottiswoode) is available on the londonancestor.com site.

Current OS maps are available on the Ordnance Survey site (needs registration)


Medical Records

Hospitals - catalogue and guides on Cumbria Archive Service website


Military History

Links to Westmorland military history sites are provided on a separate Genuki page.


Names, Geographical

Westmorland Place-names on English Place-Name Society site

Place-names of Cumberland and Westmorland 1915 Internet Archive (Open Library) 

Cumbrian Toponymy on Wikipedia


Names, Personal

Top surnames from the 1881 census in Westmorland are found on britishsurnames.co.uk

Surname frequency data is available in Cumbrian Surnames Part 1 and Part 2.



Newspaper Name Place of publication BL Holdings
The Appleby Chronicle, Kirkby Stephen Reporter and North Westmorland Journal. Appleby 1886-1886
Cumberland & Westmorland Herald.- archive website Penrith 1925 to date
Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser and Penrith Weekly Chronicle Penrith 1855-1898
Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser, and Penrith Literary Chronicle. Penrith 1854-1855
The Kendal Mercury and Westmorland Advertiser. Kendal 1834-1840
The Kendal Mercury and Northern Advertiser Kendal 1840-1880
The Lake District Herald, etc. Penrith 1920 to date
The Lancaster Gazetteer, and General Advertiser for Lancashire, Westmorland, etc. Lancaster 1801-1803
Mid Cumberland and North Westmorland Herald Penrith 1891-1925
Penrith Herald, and East Cumberland and Westmorland News Penrith 1869-1891
Penrith and District Times. Penrith 1898-1898
Penrith Times and Cumberland and Westmorland Advertiser. Penrith 1898-1901
Westmorland Advertiser and Kendal Chronicle. Kendal 1811-1834
The Westmorland Gazette, etc.. - website Kendal 1818 to date
The Westmorland Gazette, etc. Kendal 1818-1826
The Westmorland Journal. Kendal 1875-1875
Westmorland Journal and Kendal Guardian. Kendal 1878-1880
Westmorland Mercury and Times. Kendal 1913-1917


An extensive list of Cumbria Libraries Newspaper Collections and their holdings is available from Cumbria County Council's site

The British Newspaper Archive (articles downloadable for a fee) includes Westmorland newspapers in the British Library collection.

A list is published by CWAAS: A Hand-list of newspapers published in Cumberland, Westmorland & North Lancashire. By F. Barnes & J.L. Hobbs (1951, PB, ISBN 1 873124 07 0).

Transcribed items are being added to Cumberland and Westmorland Newspaper Transcriptions.



Tables for occupations recorded in censuses e.g. for 1841 and 1901 are given on the Online Historical Population Reports site.

Most employment within the county were connected with agriculture, and is discussed in Westmorland agriculture, 1800-1900 by Frank W. Garnett Published in 1912, T. Wilson (Kendal) and is available on Internet Archive.

A select bibliography of other occupations is available on another Genuki page.


Poor Houses, Poor Law

Poor Law Unions existed for East Ward, Kendal and West Ward documented on Peter Higginbotham's site.

Details are also given on Ross Brett's website for East Ward and Kendal (internet archive).



Westmorland with only 65,010 inhabitants had the third lowest population in England in 1871.

Population tables and statistics are provided on another Genuki page.

There is statistical summary of Westmorland census results for 1901 (38 pages) is available on the Online Historical Population Reports site.

There are also other statistics on the VisionOfBritain site.


Probate Records

There are guides:

Most wills for the North of the County will be in the Carlisle Record Office as this is the Diocesan office for the Carlisle Diocese.

Wills for the Southern half of Westmorland will be

A limited number of Westmorland Will Abstracts are available on Nancy McLaughlin's site

Being situated in the Province of York, some probate material which included property in Westmorland will be in the Borthwick Institute in York.

The booklet Index and Extracts of Cumbrians in Wills proved at the P.C.C. is published by Cumbria FHS and includes wills for Westmerians
available in the National Archives in London, searchable in the online catalogue (and perhaps can be purchased for download).

There are printed abstracts by the Surtees Society of North country wills 1383-1558 Province of Canterbury. Prerogative Court. Andrews & Co., 1908- (available on Internet Archive).



The history of elementary and secondary education in Westmorland 1870-1914 Marker, W. B. Durham E-Theses

A guide (with catalogue links) to Holdings of School Records is provided by Cumbria Archive Service



Name lists have been transcribed on EdenLinks for:

Documents relating to Westmorland Hearth Tax have been brought together in  Westmorland about 1670  by Colin Phillips, Roehampton University

A transcription is available for Land Tax Commissioners, 1836


Voting Registers

Kendal Archive Centre holds electoral registers covering Westmorland from 1889 to 1974, which are in the Clerk's Department of the Westmorland County Council collection [reference WC/C/2]. Kendal also holds electoral registers for the South Lakeland District Council area from 1975 to 2001 [reference WSDCSL/3].