In a previous blog I looked at the counties of Wales and where the archives for these counties were found. I did this as when researching family history we sometimes need to visit an archive to find out some information that cannot be found online. So I thought I’d put together a list of the counties of the UK with the location of their main archives for the county. This blogs is the first of 5 parts based on the counties of England. I’m starting at the top and working my way down.
Northumbria or Northumberland (Light Blue)
Situated in the extreme north east of England Northumbria. It partly encompasses Tyne and Wear so you need to remember this when document locating. The population of Northumbria is around 330,000. The county town is Alnwick. The archive for the county is located in Ashington and also there is a record office in Berwick upon Tweed. The website for the county can be found at: https://www.northumberlandarchives.com
You may also need the Tyne and Wear archives in Newcastle upon Tyne which can be found at: https://twarchives.org.uk/
Cumbria boarders Scotland to the north and is in the extreme north west of England. The population of the county is approximately 500,000 with the county town being Carlise. The main county archives are housed in Carlise and there are also branches in Whitehave, Kendal and Barrow. The website can be found at: https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/archives/
County Durham (Dark Green)
County Durham is in the north east of England and has a population of approximately 863,000. The county town is Durham and the archives for the county are held here as well. The website address is: http://www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk/article/8338/Home
Again this is a county that has several regions. It is located in the north west of England. Lancashire encompasses Greater Manchester and Merseyside. Lancashire it’s self has a population of around 1.5 million. The county town is Lancaster and the archives are in Preston. The website can be found at: https://www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries-and-archives/archives-and-record-office/ You may also need the Manchester archive at: https://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/448/archives_and_local_history and the Liverpool archives at: https://liverpool.gov.uk/libraries/archives-family-history/
The largest of the counties of England. It is split into 4 counties these days, but it used to be 3 ridings. York is the major town of Yorkshire as a whole. The entire population of the county is around 5.4 million.
North Yorkshire (Purple)
The most northerly of the counties of the best county in the country, Yorkshire. North Yorkshire has a population of around 1.2 million. The county town is Northallerton. The archives for the county can be found in Northallerton and the website is: https://www.northyorks.gov.uk/county-record-office You will also need to consider the archives in York who’s website is: https://www.exploreyork.org.uk/archives/ and don’t forget the Bothwick Institue a part of York University at: https://www.york.ac.uk/borthwick/
West Yorkshire (Dark Blue)
As the name suggests the westerly region of Yorkshire, which in the past included South Yorkshire. The population of West Yorkshire is around 2.3 million and the county town is Wakefield. The archives for the county are spread over 5 locations in Wakefield, Leeds, Calderdale, Bradford and Kirklees. The website for the archives is: https://www.wyjs.org.uk/archive-service/ Also don’t forget you may need the archives in York as well (see North Yorkshire).
East Yorkshire (Light Green)
The easterly county of Yorkshire and at one point part of the county fell under Humberside. East Yorkshire has a population of around 600,000 and the county town is in Beverley. The archives for the county can be found in Beverley and the website is: https://www.eastridingarchives.co.uk/ again you may need the archives in York (see North Yorkshire).
South Yorkshire (Red)
The south region of Yorkshire which used to fall under West Yorkshire. The population of the region is around 1.4 million. The county town is Barnsley (I thought it was Doncaster and I lived in the county for 27 years). There is no central archive for the county rather you have to go to the major towns and cities archives. Sheffield archives: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/libraries-archives/access-archives-local-studies-library , Doncaster: https://library.doncaster.gov.uk/web/arena/archives ,Rotherham: https://www.rotherham.gov.uk/info/200062/libraries/718/archives_and_local_history , Barnsley: http://www.experience-barnsley.com/archives-and-discovery-centre . Also you may need the archives in York (see North Yorkshire) and Derbyshire as part of Sheffield used to be in Derbyshire.
The most southerly county in the section. Derbyshire boarders South Yorkshire. The population is around 1, 050,000 and the county town in Derby. The main archive for the county is in Matlock and the website is: https://www.derbyshire.gov.uk/leisure/record-office/derbyshire-record-office.aspx
In all of these counties don’t forget the local family history societies as well as the local libraries. These are also excellent sources of information.
So hopefully this will help you in locating where the information you need may be stored.
Hello and thank you for taking the time to read my Family History Ramblings on genealogy and history in general. I hope you find it informative and hopefully funny!