Find your Yorkshire ancestors, local history and details of their lives with these links to online family history and genealogy resources.
Leeds Diocesan Archives
As well as assisting in the present-day administration of the Diocese, the archives have long been a rich source of material for historians. A significant part of the collection pre-dates the creation of the Diocese of Leeds in 1878 and derives from the Diocese of Beverley (1850-78) and the earlier Northern and Yorkshire Districts (1688-1850). Anyone with an interest in the history of the Diocese or the development of the Catholic Church in the north of England over the past two hundred years will find much to interest them in the records held by the Leeds Docesan Archives.
Sheffield Archives & Local Studies
West Yorkshire Archives
The West Yorkshire Archive Service exists to preserve the local heritage of historical documents and to help members of the public make use of them. The Service has offices in Wakefield, Bradford, Calderdale (Halifax), Kirklees (Huddersfield), and Leeds. Anyone interested in the history of West Yorkshire, who would like to discover what records have survived, is welcome to visit or contact any of their offices.
Births, Marriages, Deaths and Parish Records
Halifax BMD 1832-1921
You can view Halifax birth, marriage and death records 1832-1921 for free. The records are taken from the Halifax Guardian newspaper and are available in PDF files.
Yorkshire Births, Marriages & Deaths aims to give free access to all the BMDs registered in Yorkshire’s registration offices since records began in 1837. The site is updated with new records very often.
Yorkshire Parish Records
Burials & Cemeteries
Doncaster Cemetery Burials 1856-1937
Leeds Burials 1895-1921
Leeds Cremations 1938-1969
Leeds General Cemetery Burials
The Leeds General Cemetery Burial Index is a searchable database of all burials from 1835-1992.
There are also a few different ways of viewing and sorting the data; you can browse by surname, cause of death or occupation. In addition, you can also browse by father’s surname or mother’s surname.
An entry in the database will show:
- Date of death
- Age at death
- Cause of death
- Date of burial
- Parental details
Sheffield Burial Records
Wakefield Burial Records
You can search and view Wakefield burial records for free. There are many cemeteries from the Wakefield area included. You can search by cemetery or name.
- Altofts 2000-present
- Alverthorpe 1955-present
- Castleford (All Cemeteries) 1979-present
- Castleford (New Extension) 1929-present
- Castleford (New) 1884-present
- Castleford (Old) 1857-present
- Crigglestone 1882-present
- Featherstone 1905-present
- Ferrybridge 1924-present
- Hemsworth 1896-present
- Horbury 1897-present
- Knottingley 1883-present
- Normanton 1876-present
- Outwood 1873-present
- Pontefract 1859-present
- Stanley 1886-present
- Wakefield 1859-present
Criminals and Convicts
Criminal Ancestor Records
Sheffield Police Ticket of Leave book (1864 – 1874) – PDF
Provides details of almost 400 convicted criminals.
Sheffield Quarter Sessions 1880-1912
Sheffield did not have a separate court of Quarter Sessions until September 1880. Below are the calendars of prisoners from the Sheffield Quarter Sessions between 1880-1912. All files are in PDF format.
- Quarter Sessions (A-J Defendant) (PDF, 1732 KB) Index to Calendars of Prisoners, Sheffield Quarter Sessions (Defendant surname A-J), 1880 – 1912
- Quarter Sessions (K-Z Defendant) (PDF, 1839 KB) Index to Calendars of Prisoners, Sheffield Quarter Sessions (Defendant surname K-Z), 1880 – 1912
- Quarter Sessions (A-J Victim) (PDF, 1769 KB) Index to Calendars of Prisoners, Sheffield Quarter Sessions (Victim surname A-J), 1880 – 1912
- Quarter Sessions (K-Z Victim) (PDF, 2013 KB) Index to Calendars of Prisoners, Sheffield Quarter Sessions (Victim surname K-Z), 1880 – 1912
York Assizes 1785 – 1851
York Assizes 1785 – 1851 is an index of over 8,000 names divided into alphabetical sections. A great source for early criminal ancestors.
Domesday Book East Riding
Domesday Book North Riding
Domesday Book West Riding
GENUKI Yorkshire is a free family history & genealogy resource which lists links and resources for the English county of Yorkshire.
If you lived in Hunslet before most of those “blackened terraces” were demolished in the 1960s, you’ll remember the often cold, draughty houses with outside toilets, the long hours spent at physically demanding work in the home or in paid jobs, poor health, soot and smog…. but also a richness and variety that Keith Waterhouse describes so vividly.
Hunslet Remembered celebrates the Hunslet we knew up to the 1970s. Using maps, photos and words, it reminds us what life was like. However, it’s just a start, a way of stirring your memories.
Sheffield History is an active site with a popular forum related to the local history of Sheffield, South Yorkshire.
Sheffield Records Online
Sheffield Records Online aims to provide online material free of charge to help those researching their Sheffield ancestry.
To that effect they have now completed and put online the full 1841 census index for Sheffield, Bradfield and Ecclesfield and a large part of Rotherham.
The full 1851 census index for Sheffield is also available and work is in progress on the index to the 1861 census.
Wakefield Family History Sharing
The Wakefield Family History Sharing has a great deal of information and resources for researching your ancestors and local history in Wakefield. Some of the resources available are: strays, old photos, some census records, some parish records and more.
Medical and Hospital Records
South Yorkshire Lunatic Asylum Patients
The history of mental health provision in South Yorkshire from the late 19th century is largely told by the history of Middlewood Hospital (formerly South Yorkshire Lunatic Asylum) which was established in Sheffield in 1872.
The records of Middlewood Hospital (1872 – 1996) are at Sheffield Archives. These include patient admission registers dating back to 1872 which list the names of the many thousands of people who passed through the asylum, detailing ages, occupations and ‘causes of insanity’.
The names of all patients admitted to Middlewood Hospital between 1872 and 1910 have been transcribed and can be viewed online.
British Military Records
Doncaster 1914-1918 is the place to read and/or add stories from WWI. You can view WWI people, places, subjects and timelines.
The project encourages Doncaster people and those with connections to the area to research and share their own First World War stories.
Leeds Absent War Voters
There was a General Election in 1918 and all those away from their place of residence, including all men in the army, were listed on Leeds Absent Voters Lists. These usually recorded the man’s regiment, number and rank at the time.
Men had to be over 21 years of age to vote. Please note that men were not given a unique regimental number until 1920, it is therefore possible to find two men with the same number but in different regiments. This database only lists those with a home address in the Leeds area.
Leeds Roll of Honour 1914-1918
The Leeds Roll of Honour 1914-1918 contains 9,640 names of those killed during the First World War. The names are listed in alphabetical order with information about the regiment, rank, number, honours and how they died.
West Yorkshire Regiment
West Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War
The Yorkshire Regiment – First World War Remembrance
Yorkshire Roll of Honour
Hull Lost Trawlermen
This list (in PDF format) lists Hull-born fishermen and those serving on Hull-registered vessels who were lost at sea from the 1860s up to 2000.
Lost Pubs of Yorkshire
Miners of Silverwood
Dedicated to the miners of Silverwood in South Yorkshire, the site contains an A-Z list of miners who worked at the mine between 1900-1994.
You’ll also find a lot of extra information related to the history of the mine and the people who worked there.
Photos and Postcards
Leeds and Bradford Photographic Studios
The history of the studios and the photographers with some examples of their work.
A photographic archive of Leeds and the surrounding area with almost 60,000 old and new images.
Kirklees Image Archive
The Kirklees Image Archive comprses of old and historical photographs and images of the three large towns of Huddersfield, Dewsbury and Batley, as well as several smaller towns such as Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike, Mirfield, Meltham and Holmfirth.
Poor Law Records
Ecclesall Bierlow Workhouse Register of Inmates
The Ecclesall Bierlow Union was formed in 1837 under an order of the Poor Law Commissioners. It comprised the townships of Ecclesall Bierlow, Upper and Nether Hallam, Dore, Totley, the parish of Norton, and Beauchief Liberty. The workhouse was built 1842 -1843 at Cherrytree Hill to replace an old workhouse in Psalter Lane.
- Index to Register of Inmates (Surnames A – C) (PDF, 633 KB) Index to Register of Inmates, Ecclesall Bierlow Workhouse 1883-1907 (Surnames A – C)
- Index to Register of Inmates (Surnames D – J) (PDF, 716 KB) Index to Register of Inmates, Ecclesall Bierlow Workhouse 1883-1907 (Surnames D – J)
- Index to Register of Inmates (Surnames K – R) (PDF, 636 KB) Index to Register of Inmates, Ecclesall Bierlow Workhouse 1883-1907 (Surnames K – R)
- Index to Register of Inmates (Surnames S – Z) (PDF, 708 KB) Index to Register of Inmates, Ecclesall Bierlow Workhouse 1883-1907 (Surnames S- Z)
Societies and Groups
Bradford Family History Society
Doncaster & District FHS
Great website if you are researching relatives in and around Doncaster (South Yorkshire, England), although the Society’s records are not limited to Doncaster.
East Yorkshire Family History Society
Sheffield & District Family History Society
The Sheffield & District Family History Society aims to promote the study of genealogy and local history in the Sheffield area. There are many online searchable indexes.
Wakefield & District FHS
The objective of the Wakefield & District Family History Society is to advance public education in Family History and Genealogy for the benefit of anyone living in the area of the Wakefield Metropolitan District Council or with interests or family in that area. There are some publications and tithe maps of the local area on the website.
York Family History Society
Wills and Probate
Barnsley Will & Probate Index
Rotherham Wills & Probate
York Peculiars Probate Index, 1383-1883
Inquisitions Post Mortem
An Inquisition post mortem is an English medieval record of the death, estate and heir of one of the king’s tenants-in-chief, made for royal fiscal purposes. The process of making such inquisition was effected by the royal escheators in each county where the deceased held land.
Until 1974, Yorkshire was separated into three “Ridings”. The East Riding, the West Riding and the North Riding. Today, Yorkshire is divided into four regions: East Yorkshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire.
This page includes resources and information for Yorkshire as a whole.
- 1831 – 1,371,359
- 1841 – 1,725,132
- 1861 – 1,993,177
- 1871 – 2,456,705
- 1881 – 2,837,034
- 1901 – 3,512,838
- 2011 – 5,288,200
Largest Towns & Cities
- Yorkshire Family History Fair
- Great Yorkshire Show
Most Common Surnames 1881
Places of Interest
- Royal Armouries
- National Coal Mining Museum
- West Yorkshire History Centre
- Ripon Workhouse Museum
- National Railway Museum