The popular family history website findmypast.com has added some four million new baptism, marriage and burial records from Yorkshire to its resources – covering some 400 years.
The addition of the records has been done in partnership with the Yorkshire Digitisation Consortium, and this collection is made up of scanned images of the original handwritten records stretching as far back as 1538 and going all the way through to 1989.
Our work to trace the rightful beneficiaries to an estate is unlikely to necessitate tracing families back to the 16th Century (although you never know), but, heir hunting aside, wouldn’t it be fascinating to be able to trace your own family tree back to those times?
Research for Free
And if you live in Yorkshire or you are visiting the area, you can research these records for free – the East Yorkshire Treasure House and libraries allow the research and download of information at no cost.
The parish records that are available were established during the reign of King Henry VIII and they were compiled by the vicars of every parish in the country. They record the details of births, marriages and deaths as well as other information.
The recording of records in the past can throw up some interesting information – and some rather horrible ways to die. They include the marriage of the poet William Wordsworth in 1802 and the baptism of the slavery abolitionist William Wilberforce in 1759.
But then there are the deaths of some of the people in the registers – Richard Sturdy proved not to be so sturdy after all, when he and two others died in 1791 as the result of the neglect of a servant girl making a pudding.
Then there was Eleanor Hill who died at the age of 20, cause of death “a profligate life”, and poor Thos, son of Thos Lee who died drinking gin in 1789 at the age of 13, proving that gin could be a son as well as a mother’s ruin.
Just as we often uncover jobs that no longer exist when we embark on family history research to find the heirs to an estate, the new records also reveal some weird and wonderful jobs. Recorded in the archives include professions listed such as a butter searcher and an umbrella repairer.
Thos Taylor of Rome who was buried in Yorkshire in 1661 is recorded as occupation murderer, which begs the question – how did he introduce himself at social gatherings?!
The records cover material from North Yorkshire County Record Office, Doncaster Archives and Local Studies, East Riding Archives and Local Studies Service, Teesside Archives and Sheffield Archives and Local Studies, as well as more than 3 million parish records and Bishop’s Transcripts from the Borthwick Institute for Archives (University of York), which covers the whole of Yorkshire, including West Yorkshire.
We are sure the records will prove very useful for those wishing to trace their family tree – and if you are able to research your ancestors back to the 16th Century, be sure to let us know!