Friday, 22 February 2013

FindmyPast to publish Yorkshire parish records

From FindmyPast (


· Project announced to increase access to millions of Yorkshire’s baptism, marriage and burial records dating back to 1538
· First time that images of the original parish records from six Yorkshire Archives will appear online

Leading UK family history website has today announced at the Who Do You Think You Are Live Show at London’s Olympia that it has been awarded a contract by Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium. This significant new project will lead to the publication online for the very first time of millions of historic records from archives across the whole of Yorkshire.

The Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium comprises the East Riding Archives and Local Studies Service, the Borthwick Institute for Archives (University of York), the North Yorkshire County Record Office, Teesside Archives, Sheffield Archives and Local Studies, and Doncaster Archives and Local Studies.
Together these services hold the parish registers for a large proportion of Yorkshire, England’s largest historic county.

Spanning the years from 1538 into the twentieth century, the records cover parish church registers and bishops’ transcripts from most of Yorkshire, including entries relating to:

Notable people:

· Captain Cook the explorer baptised at St. Cuthbert's Church, Marton on 3 November 1728

· William Wordsworth the poet who married Mary Hutchinson at All Saints, Brompton by Sawdon on 4 October 1802

· William Wilberforce, campaigner for abolition of the slave trade, baptised at Hull Holy Trinity Church in September 1759

Strange deaths:

· Burial in 1689 of two Danish soldiers in Beverley St Mary, one died as a result of a fight, the other was beheaded by sword, which was the punishment under Danish law - the last beheading in the country.

· Burial at Yarm Parish Church on 18 January 1746 of Thomas Brown, Dragoon (known as the man with the silver nose from injuries received at Battle of Dettingen) the register contains an illustration of him.

· Burial at Thirsk in 1789 Thos, son of Thos Lee, died with drinking gin, aged 13.

· Burial at Kirby Wiske on 7 July 1791, Richard Sturdy, John Cartman & Richard Sturdy all poisoned by neglect of a servant girl in making a pudding.

· Burial at St. Mark's, Marske 23rd October 1918 Major Leslie Peach Aizlewood of Rotherham, age 23 (commander No 2 Flying School, Marske - killed making a training film).

Details of social history

· Baptism at Topcliffe in 1579 of Ellen, no other name known, ‘born of some foolish girl of Baldersby’

· Burial at Thirsk on 18 August 1587 of an illegitimate child of bouncing Elizabeth

· Baptism at Kilburn in 1702 of Thos Hill, son of Edward Hill ‘who was infected by the dogma of those commonly called Quakers’

· Baptism in Sheffield of Thomas Pompey of Guinea, Africa, 1725

Paul Nixon, Content Licensing Manager at, said: “The addition of these historic records from Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium to will be keenly anticipated by family and local historians alike, and will undoubtedly reinforce the website’s position as the place to go for UK parish records.”

Keith Sweetmore, Archives Development Manager at North Yorkshire County Record Office, added: "This is a tremendously exciting new development which will transform the way that parish registers are consulted in the future, and will open up Yorkshire’s Archives to a new and growing worldwide audience.”

The joint announcement by and Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium was one of a number made by the rapidly expanding family history website at the 3 day Who Do You Think You Are Live Show, where it has a major presence. There they will be showcasing the many record collections on the site, including parish records from Manchester Archives, Cheshire Archives and over 40 million parish records from family history societies throughout the UK, in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies.

Anyone wishing to be notified when the Yorkshire Collection becomes available can register online at to receive a newsletter.


Pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, through Pen and Sword (30 April 2013), or purchase early at Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013 in London. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.


  1. In theory this is fantastic news to all of us who have ancestors in Yorkshire but after buying prepaid vouchers to view the British Newspaper archives on Find My Past I have a lot of concerns about it. I found that the search function is inadequate and it 't retrieve articles which I knew existed no matter what details I entered.

    I would be much more excited if Ancestry had been given the contract. At least then the user would have the function to search the registers rather than simply typing in a name and hoping for the best!

  2. It will be a boon to researchers everywhere if Find My Past implement a simple means of viewing the digitised records in sequence as one does on a fiche or film.

    Not everyone wishes to only view these records through a search engine - transcriptions will always contain errors.

    Furthermore on a recent visit to Glamorgan Archives it was implied that access to primary sources would be restricted in favour of the commercial provision. A serious retrograde step.

    Action please FMP

  3. Think this is fantastic news as 90% of my ancestors are from Yorkshire and it is a 30 mile trip each time to NYCRO, Borthwick Institute & Teesside Arrives. Agree that newspapers on Findmypast are not up to usual standard but organization of other records is far superior to other providers.