Great Yarmouth, Norfolk Genealogy

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Guide to Great Yarmouth, Norfolk ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
St Nicholas Church Great Yarmouth.jpg
Great Yarmouth St Nicholas
Type England Jurisdictions
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Great Yarmouth Borough
County Norfolk, England Genealogy
Poor Law Union Yarmouth
Registration District Yarmouth
Records begin
Parish registers: 1558
Bishop's Transcripts: 1696
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Flegg
Diocese Norwich
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Norwich
Location of Archive
Norfolk Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

YARMOUTH, GREAT (St. Nicholas) a sea-port, borough, market-town, and parish, and a union of itself, having separate jurisdiction, locally in the E. division of the hundred of Flegg, E. vision of Norfolk, 19 miles (E. by S.) from Norwich, and 123 (K. E.) from London. [1]
Great Yarmouth St Nicholas is an ancient parish in the Diocese of Norwich.
St Nicholas' Church and Priory was founded by Herbert de Losinga (Bishop of Norwich) in 1101 as a penance for an act of simony. It is the largest parish church England and arguably the oldest building in Great Yarmouth. The church now houses a free heritage exhibition showing its role in the history of Yarmouth.
During the Medieval period the church was at its most magnificent with stained glass, tapestries, painted and gilded walls, frescos,19 guild chapels, various relics of the saints and ornate furnishings. At this time Great Yarmouth was the fourth richest town in England. The interior was destroyed at the Reformation and the Priory dissolved.
In 1649 the church was divided into three parts as the Puritans, who were now in the ascendancy, demanded use of the building as their church. The arches were bricked up (two feet thickness) on the north side of the nave, the eastern side of the transepts and the eastern side of the tower. The three portions of the church were used by the Anglican Church (south aisle), the Puritans led by Rev. Bridge (the chancel, which they fitted up as a church house) and the Presbyterians (the north aisle). A new door to the chancel destroyed the altar tomb of Thomas Crowmer (Bailiff of Yarmouth 1470-97). The mutilation of this tomb was contrary to the Act of Parliament of 1644, which allowed the demolition of monuments of idolatry and superstition, but not monuments to dead people, unless they were deemed to be saints. The windows in the east end were filled up with bricks. The north aisle was used by the local militia as a drill hall when the weather was wet. All the three denominations held their services simultaneously. The alterations to the church were paid out of a rate levied on the townspeople. At the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 the Puritans were ejected from the church. The bricked up arches put up by the Independents and the Presbyterians were not taken down until the restoration of 1859-64 when the church became undivided for the first time in about 200 years.
The church gradually declined, the fabric deteriorated and the chancel collapsed. It was the Victorians who mounted several large and expensive restoration schemes and by 1905 the church had been completely renovated.
In 1942 the church was completely gutted during a German air raid leaving only the Norman tower and the walls standing.
With the aid of a War Damage Commission grant and fund raising by local people and businesses the church was rebuilt (architect - Stephen Dykes Bower).
The Church was reconsecrated in 1961 by the Bishop of Norwich. Additional information and pictures are available at Norfolk Churches.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Find Neighboring Parishes[edit | edit source]

Use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map

  • Type the name of the parish in the search bar
  • Click on the location pin on the map
  • Choose Options from the pop up box
  • Click "List Contiguous Parishes" to find the neighboring parishes

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 Free BMD.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

The Church of England (Anglican) became the official state religion in 1534, with the reigning monarch as its Supreme Governor.
Non-Conformist refers to all other religious denominations that are not the official state religion.

Church of England[edit | edit source]

Due to the increasing access of online records:

  • Individual parish coverage for databases in this table are inconsistent and should be verified
  • Dates in the following table are approximate

Hover over the collection's title for more information

Great Yarmouth Online Parish Records
Collections
Baptisms
Marriages
Burials
Indexes and images
Indexes only
Indexes and images
Indexes only
Indexes and images
Indexes only
FamilySearch Collections-Norfolk
1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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FamilySearch Parish Registers-Norfolk
1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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FamilySearch Bishop's Transcripts-Norfolk
1600s-1900s
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1600s-1900s
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1600s-1900s
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FamilySearch Archdeacon's Transcripts-Norfolk
1600s-1800s
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1600s-1800s
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1600s-1800s
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Bishop's Transcripts - FamilySearch Catalog
1700s-1800s
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1700s-1800s
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1700s-1800s
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FreeREG
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
Find My Past-Norfolk ($)
1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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1500s-1900s
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Find My Past Bishop's Transcript-Norfolk ($)
1700s-1800s
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1700s-1800s
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1700s-1900s
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Ancestry Church of England-Norfolk (Early) ($)
1500s-1800s
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1500s-1800s
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1500s-1800s
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Ancestry Church of England-Norfolk (Late) ($)
1800s-1900s
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1700s-1900s
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1800s-1900s
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Ancestry Church of England-Norfolk (Transcriptions) ($)
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1600s-1900s
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1600s-1900s
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1600s-1900s
Ancestry-England & Wales, Birth, Christening, Marriage and Death Indexes ($)
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1800s-1900s
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1800s-1900s
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1800s-1900s
Databases with Known Incomplete Parish Coverage
Boyd's Marriage Indexes-FMP (Free)
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1500s-1800s
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National Burial Index-FMP (Free)
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1600s-1900s

Other Websites
These databases have incomplete parish coverage.

Non-Conformists (All other Religions)[edit | edit source]

Cemetery Records[edit | edit source]

  • Mounumental Inscriptions for St. Nicholas churchyard is held by the Great Yarmouth Library and this includes many headstones that have since been cleared away. There is one microfilm of this cemetery done in 1845 by Dawson Turner available through the Family History Library, it is film # 1441046 Item # 4.
  • The Market Gates Cemetery was used mainly by NonConformaists. The copy of the burial register covering 1828-1864 is on microfilm at the Norfolk Record Office.
  • Cemeteries were established after 1856 and the burial registers for those cemeteries in Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Caister-On-Sea are on fiche at the Norfolk Record Office down to 1987 with the original registers located in the Great Yarmouth Town Hall.

Census records[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.


Poor Law Unions[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.

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. 707-716. Date accessed: 19 March 2013.