Birstall, Yorkshire Genealogy

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Guide to Birstall, Yorkshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Birstall, Yorkshire
Type England Jurisdictions
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Morley
County Yorkshire, England Genealogy
Poor Law Union Dewsbury
Registration District Bradford; Dewsbury
Records begin
Parish registers: 1558
Bishop's Transcripts: 1598
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Pontefract
Diocese Pre-1836 - York; Post-1835 - Ripon
Province York
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York
Location of Archive
Yorkshire Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

BIRSTAL (St. Peter), a parish, partly in the union of Bradford, and partly in that of Dewsbury, wapentake of Morley, W. riding of York, 7 miles (S. W.) from Leeds, on the road to Huddersfield; containing 29,723 inhabitants. This parish comprises...about 13,000 acres, and includes the chapelries of Cleckheaton, Drighlington, Liversedge, and Tong, and the townships of Gomersal, Heckmondwike, Hunsworth, and Wyke.There are places of worship for Wesleyans, Independents, Moravians, and Methodists of the New Connexion.[1]

This was a large boundaried parish with several chapelries, each with their own parish (chapel) registers of christenings, burials and occasional marriages. Check the to find digitized copies of these registers. For convenience,see the links to online indexes and to images of the original church registers listed below under "Church Records".

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

AC = (£)
FMP = findmypast (£)
FREG = FreeREG - free[2]
FS =
JOIN = - (£) (£)
BIRSTALL PARISH (1558) Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
AC 1558-1910 1558-1910 1558-1935 1558-1935 1558-1945 1558-1945
FMP 1738-1817 None None None None None
FREG 1687-1696 1689-1709, 1754-1812, 1826-1837
FS 1724-1847 None 1724-1837 None Add None
JOIN None None 1558-1724,
None None None
List of Chapelry's in this Parish[edit | edit source]

To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Birstall is an ancient parish (created before 1813).  The Church of England records for Birstall St. Peter's survive from 1558.  The following is a list of other pre-1837 Church of England churches within the parish of Birstall, with the dates of their earliest records:

  • St. James Tong (1550)
  • Whitechapel Cleckheaton (1761)
  • St. Paul's Drighlington (1816)
  • Christ Church Liversedge (1816)
  • St. James Heckmondwike (1831)
  • St. Paul's Birkenshaw (1832)
  • St. John's Cleckheaton (1832)

The original registers are deposited at the West Yorkshire Archives in Wakefield.  Microfilm/fiche copies are available at archive branches such as Leeds at Sheepscar and Kirklees in Huddersfield.

The copies made by the minister (ordered by an Act of 1598) and sent each year to the Bishop of the diocese (known as parish register transcripts or Bishop's transcripts) survive from 1600 and are deposited at the West Yorkshire Archives branch in Sheepscar, Leeds. 

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has both parish registers and bishop's transcripts on microfilm for Birstall and its chapelries, which are listed in the FamilySearch Catalog.  Many of these records are indexed in the International Genealogical Index available online through the 'Advanced Search' at

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Yorkshire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 263-267. Date accessed: 03 January 2014.
  2. 'Yorkshire West Riding,' FreeREG, accessed 27 October 2014.