This site is intended as a guide to sources for genealogical research in the area of the Wapentake of Langbaurgh in the North Riding of Yorkshire.

The area wide pages review sources applicable to multiple parishes, while the parish specific pages review the avaiability of specific sources parish by parish.


While the principal focus of this guide is on the 41 ancient parishes of the Wapentake of Langbaurgh, reference is also made to the post-1830 parishes established in the area, the other parishes incorporated into the modern day County of Cleveland (1974-2000 RIP), and some adjacent areas of the North Yorkshire Moors. The editor's aim is to make the site as exhaustive and accurate as possible, and all contributions, comments and suggestions are welcome.

Principal repositories

Parish records for the area which was covered by the County of Cleveland are held at Teesside Archives [TA] in Middlesbrough, whose website includes basic details and a high-level summary of holdings. The Historical Manuscripts Commission [HMC] site also contains a list of National Register of Archives [NRA] index references to some of the TA holdings, including the submissions of local companies and organisations, and lists of recent accessions. Parish records for other North Yorkshire parishes, and registers of deeds for the North Riding are held at the North Yorkshire County Record Office [NYCRO] in Northallerton, whose website includes a high-level overview of holdings and a basic guide to records. The HMC site also summarises NRA references to NYCRO holdings and accessions, which are more substantive than for TA. Records of the Cleveland Archdeaconry and the Province of York (including Bishop's Transcripts and probate records before 1858) are held at the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research [BIHR] in York, whose website includes a high-level summary of holdings and a fuller guide to archival holdings, including probate records.  Some records relating to County Durham parishes which were incorporated into the County of Cleveland are held at the Durham Record Office which has a decent website.

In addition, central copies of the Civil Registers of births, marriages and deaths since 1837 (formerly at St. Catherine's House), non-parochial parish registers 1567-1858, census returns and indices 1841-1901, the LDS Family Search facility (including the IGI), death duty registers 1796-1858, copies of PCC wills and administrations before 1858, and PCC will indices to 1800 are available at the Family Records Centre [FRC], 1 Myddleton Street, London EC1R 1UW. Central government tax records (including pipe rolls, lay subsidy), legal records (close rolls, feet of fines), PCC wills, administrations and indices, and many records related to the forces, other public servants and the merchant navy can be found at the Public Record Office [PRO], Ruskin Avenue, Kew, Richmond TW9 4DU [London]. Many national and local archives catalogues are now being incorporated into the PRO's new Access to Archives [A2A] database, which is searchable online for locality and family names.

A number of reference libraries in the area also have good holdings of source material including published transcripts, indices and other works, directories, electoral lists, newspapers, census records and IGI copies. One of the best local studies departments is at York Reference Library, and there is an unofficial site with a high-level summary of its holdings. Other good libraries include Middlesbrough Central Library and Whitby Library. The Familia website has a good guide to holdings of genealogical material in libraries in North Yorkshire, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton and Durham. In addition, there are some specialist organisations with their own libraries such as Whitby Museum, the Yorkshire Archaeological Society [YAS] which has a wide variety of archives, and York City Archives, which has a good website.

Not to be overlooked, the library of the Society of Genealogists in London has an extensive Yorkshire collection including parish register copies, copies of monumental inscriptions, the publications of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society [YAS], visitations, directories, and many other publications. 

Family history societies, mailing lists, registers of research interests

The principal local family history society covering this area is the Cleveland FHS, which also has an active Hartlepool branch and Upper Dales branch. Its website includes a list of publications and a summary of forthcoming meetings. The Cleveland & Teesside Local History Society is also active, and its site includes a list of its own publications. Also of relevance to the parishes north of the Tees is the Northumberland and Durham FHS. In addition, the Yorkshire Archaeological Society has a family history section, which is a member of the FFHS and covers all of Yorkshire. Its website includes a parish locator, links, and a list of publications. Other local societies active in the area are the Fylingdales Local History Group and the Goathland Local History Society.

The UK genealogy website GENUKI has an extensive Yorkshire Page, including a hierarchy diagram for the organisation of its Yorkshire material and specific details for the North Riding parishes. It also has a good guide to British libraries and archives and general genealogical information on the UK and England. There is a well organised UK - North East section on Rootsweb which incorporates discussions on many locally relevant issues.

Published material

Many original records for Yorkshire have been transcribed and published by the Yorkshire Archaeological Society, whose website includes a list of publications available for purchase. There is also a descriptive summary on the West Yorkshire Joint Services site. Apart from the Journal (1869-date), the principal publications fall into the Extra Series (1888-1926, 4 volumes), the Record Series [YASRS] (1885-date, 151 volumes), the Record Series Extra Series (1935-1955, 8 volumes, dedicated to early Yorkshire charters before the C13), and Parish Register publications (around 162 volumes).

The Harleian Society was responsible for the publication of a large number of visitations and pedigrees, including several related to Yorkshire. The Surtees Society focuses principally on County Durham and Northumberland, but has produced many publications relevant to the parishes north of the Tees.

There are a number of antiquarian histories of the Cleveland area which are useful for background material, notably those of Graves (1808), Ord (1846) and Atkinson (1874). There is also substantial historical information in the Victoria County History of the North Riding of Yorkshire (1923). Also, available online is Yorkshire Past and Present by Thomas Baines (1877), downloadable (slowly) in pdf format.

Colin Blanshard Withers has produced a copy of indices to Yorkshire Queries, an early publication on researchers' interests, 1888-1909. A detailed study of Catholic recusancy in the North Yorkshire Moors, with substantial genealogical information, is to be found on the Hearts of Oak website. The English Place-Name Society has published The place-names of the North Riding of Yorkshire by A.H.Smith (1928), which is useful for background.

This page was last updated on 16 May, 2007