Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Ancestry places West Yorkshire nonconformist records online

Ancestry ( has placed online a new collection, West Yorkshire Non-Conformist Records 1646-1985, as digitised in partnership with the West Yorkshire Archive Service.

From the site:

This database contains registers from Nonconformist churches in the West Yorkshire area, including Baptist, Congregationalist and Independent, Moravian, Methodist, Inghamite, Quaker, and Presbyterian records, among others. Most are registers documenting baptisms, marriages, or deaths, though some miscellaneous records, such as church rolls and notices of members joining or leaving a congregation, are included as well.

The breakout of year ranges per event type are
  • Births and Baptisms: 1646-1906
  • Marriages and Banns: 1659-1921
  • Deaths and Burials: 1656-1985
  • Residence: 1772-1973

Along with names, dates, and places for events such as baptism or marriage, these records may include details such as:
  • birth date
  • age
  • parents’ names
  • maiden names
  • address
  • occupation
  • marital status

These registers may be particularly useful for researchers who can’t find their relatives among Church of England records. Also, note that these records do not necessarily represent a comprehensive collection of Nonconformist registers for West Yorkshire. For example, some registers were sent to The National Archives in accordance with an 1837 request, while others may remain with the church or congregation.

The collection is searchable at

NB: Ancestry also notes that archive reference information with details of chapels and denominations can be viewed at This is particularly welcome, as in the past Ancestry's source descriptions on what is actually available in its collections has at times been vague. If this is the shape of things to come, that's a seriously big thumbs up from this genie!


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