04/04/2017
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How to find your ancestors at North Yorkshire County Record Office

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Find your North Yorkshire ancestors using the wide range of resources held at North Yorkshire County Record Office.

North Yorkshire County Record Office collects, preserves and makes accessible historic records of significance for the study of North Yorkshire: we hold over 2,000 collections dating from the 12th to the 21st century that contain a wealth of documents from local authorities, churches and chapels, solicitors, landed estates, schools, businesses, private individuals, societies and more.

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Many of our collections can assist with family history research. We hold registers for 300 North Yorkshire parishes, with some dating to the mid-sixteenth century. The registers contain entries of baptism, marriage and burial and can be viewed on microfilm in our searchroom or via the Findmypast website. Nonconformist registers can be viewed on microfilm in the searchroom.

Tithe maps and their accompanying apportionments list landowners and occupiers and usually date to the 1840s. We hold over 350 tithe maps for parishes in North Yorkshire. We also hold estate maps, enclosure maps, and Ordnance Survey maps.

The North Riding Register of Deeds (NRRD) began in 1736 and closed in 1970. Deeds of freehold property were registered voluntarily to provide more secure title. The Registry volumes include complete copies or shortened versions known as ‘memorials.’ It was also possible to register probate and some copy wills are included.  Property can be traced through several changes of ownership, and the NRRD provides a rich resource of material relating to places and individuals that is ideal for family and local history research.

Copyhold property transactions can frequently be found in manorial records which can hold information on tenants over several hundred years. The Record Office holds many such collections, with substantial sets of records such as those relating to the manor of Northallerton (ZBD). Reflecting North Yorkshire’s rural nature, manorial records are often to be found amongst more general estate collections which can include estate rentals, leases, and wage books all of which name individuals.  

Other collections that can help you trace your family history include:

  • School records such as admission registers
  • Registers of electors from 1832 onwards
  • Township records such as settlement papers, removal orders, bastardy bonds and apprenticeship indentures
  • Board of Guardians records such as workhouse admission and discharge registers

One of the richest collections for names is the records of the court of the North Riding Quarter Sessions. Whilst the Minutes and Orders (QSM) record the formal proceedings of the court, the working papers of the quarterly sessions include numerous summons to court, the charges that were brought, witness statements, supporting evidence and the verdicts that were reached. Work continues to make the contents of these records more widely available and you can find out about these and other collections by searching our online catalogue.

We welcome personal visits to the searchroom. Please book an appointment with us before your visit as the searchroom can get busy. The Record Office is open at the following times:

8.50am to 4.45pm   Monday, Tuesday and Thursday

9.30am to 8.45pm   Wednesday

8.50am to 4.15pm   Friday

The first Saturday of each month, from 9.30am to 4.15pm

First time visitors will need to apply for a CARN reader’s ticket, so bring a form of ID that includes your current address and signature.

Feel free to drop us a line if you have an enquiry regarding your North Yorkshire family tree and we’ll do our best to help. You can e-mail  or tel 01609 777585.

North Yorkshire County Record Office, Malpas Road, Northallerton, North Yorkshire DL7 8TB; website.

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