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]

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]

Yarmouth St Nicholas parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

BIVRI = British Isles Vital Records Index (Ancestry) - (£)[2]
BOYD = Boyd's Marriage Index (findmypast) - (£)[3]
FMP = Norfolk Parish Registers Browse (findmypast) - (£)[4]
FREG = FreeREG - free[5]
FS ATs = England, Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts, 1600-1812 (FamilySearch) - free[6]
FS BTs = England, Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941 (FamilySearch) - free[7]
FS PRs = England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, 1538-1900 (FamilySearch) - free[8]
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[9]
JOIN = The Joiner Marriage Index - (£)[10]
NTA = Norfolk Transcription Archive - free[11]
TIN = Tinstaafl Transcripts - free[12]
Yarmouth St Nicholas Parish Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
BIVRI 1769-1833, 1890-1901
1754-1801, 1806-1851, 1857-1862, 1864-1875, 1877-1899


FMP 1558-1913 1558-1902 1558-1903
FREG 1721-1825, 1833-1839, 1872-1883, 1890-1893, 1895-1901
1721-1801, 1806-1851, 1857-1875, 1877-1901
1721-1812, 1819-1891, 1895-1901
FS ATs 1696-1766, 1775-1812 1696-1766, 1775-1812 1696-1766, 1775-1812
FS BTs Undefined Undefined Undefined Undefined Undefined Undefined
FS PRs Undefined 1558-1839, 1857-1858, 1872-1883, 1890-1901 Undefined 1558-1901 Undefined 1558-1812, 1819-1891, 1895-1901
IGI 1559-1689 1794-1847, 1869-1899

NTA 1757-1800
TIN 1813-1880

Browse Bishop's Transcript Images on FamilySearch

Yarmouth St Andrew parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

Yarmouth St Andrew Parish Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
BIVRI 1895-1901

FREG 1889-1901

FS PRs Undefined 1889-1901

Yarmouth St George parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

Yarmouth St George Parish Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FREG 1894-1900

FS PRs Undefined 1894-1901

Yarmouth St Peter parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

Yarmouth St Peter Parish Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
BIVRI 1889-1901

FREG 1895-1901

FS PRs Undefined 1895-1901

Norfolk Record Office reference PD 28/1-44, 55, 59, 63-110, 136-156

Baptisms 1769-1833 Burials 1769-1806

Known Issues

England Vital Records Index - FamilySearch Historical Records known issue The data in Indexing Project Batch number C01755-8 System Origin England EASy Source film number 1526328 has an incorrect place data entry field For Eardon Northumberland in respect of Baptisms for St Nicholas Great Yarmouth.

This known issue awaits correction when the parish is re-indexed by the FamilySearch Indexing partner project for Norfolk Parishes.

Non-Conformist Records[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.

Genealogy From Periodicals
[edit | edit source]

Jarvis, Robin. John Jarvis IV. History of the family of John Jarvis and Martha Lewis with the following surnames, Mack, Ellis, Wiffen, Russley, Porter: with branches moving to Ely, Wigton, Bury St. Edmunds, Gt. Yarmouth, London, Barking, Essex, and Ewell Surrey. Article dated 1700-1877, and is found in The Norfolk Ancestor, vol.9,part 4, pages 235-237. Family History Library Ref. 942.61 B2j new series v,9. pt. 4 (Dec. 2012)

Piggott, Sophie. The Townshend Family: Part 1, The Great Yarmouth Branch (including Robert the Forger). Family history of Robert Townshend and Sarah Cocks (Cox) with the following surnames, Bulley, Elgate, Jay, Waller, Harbord, Loveridge, Crisp, with dates starting 1768-1851. Article in The Norfolk Ancestor, vol.2, pt 1. page 22-26, Family History Library Ref. 942.61 B2j new series v.2, pt1,

Piggott, Sophie. The Townshend Family: Part 2, Carvers and Gilders of Norwich. Family history of Samuel Townshend Townsend) and Elizabeth nee Loveridge, with the following surnames, Watts, Dosher, Holmes, Engall, Gilbert, Minns, Burton, Fisher, dates 1822-1955. Article in The Norfolk Ancestor, vol.2 pt.2, June 1999, pages 94-97, Family History Library 942.61 B2j new series v2, pt.2

Siede, Betty. Starting a New Life and a Sad Ending. History of Elijah Eastick, son of John Eastick and Ann Marie Graves: Elijah and Frances nee Sewells, emigrate to Victoria, Australia in 1852. Other surnames are: Coulson, Reynolds, Leyshon, Dister, Jacobsen, and Bryce. Article dates 1825-1888 and is in The Norfolk Ancestor, vol. 2, pt. 5. new series, page 290-292, Family History Library Ref. 942.61 B2j v2. pt5.

Contributed by Fysh, J.P.G. A.V.G.A. A Brief History of the Julius Family. Article starts with possible connection to Rev Archibald James Julius, of St. Kitts, then to John Julius of North Yarmouth, and Norwich. Article has following surnames, Edwards, Gilder, Mayor and Kerr with family tree dated from 1697-1985. Article found in The Norfolk Ancestor, old series, vol. 4, pt4, pages 52-55, Family History Library Ref. 942.61 B2j old series, vol. 4, pt 4.

Dr. Gott, Ian. At Sea - A Story of Two Hemsby Families. Gotts and Bessey 1850-1900. Family tree shows Stephen Bessey b 1785 marrying Elizabeth Daniel 1807 and descendants, and William Gotts marrying Charlotte Stimpson 12 October 1814 and their descendants spreading out to Caister, Upton, Manchester, Ormesby, Holton - Suffolk. Yarmouth, Rollesby Union. Surnames mentioned George, Stephen, Stimpson, Hunt, Smith and Long. Article is dated 1781-1961, and is found in The Norfolk Ancestor, old series, vol.5.pt3, pages 52-54. Family History Library Ref. 942.61 B2j old series vol.5, pt.3.

Woodger, Janet. and Feather, Mark. Kipper John Woodger (1813-1876) History of family of Nathan Woodger, and Mary nee Lambell, married 1812, their son John born 1813 who moved to Newcastle, to start a successful Kipper business, with descendants moving around Monkwearmouth, London Lowestoft, Newbiggin by the Sea, and Gt Yarmouth. Article dated 1812-1929, and is found in the Journal of the Northumberland & Durham Family History Society. vol26,no4,pages 121-124, Family History Library Ref. 942.8 B2jo Winter 2001

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Yarmouth Workhouse

Norfolk Poor Law Union, Norfolk Genealogys

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Norfolk Probate Jurisdictions Parishes G through H

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

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

England Jurisdictions 1851

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.
  2. 'British Isles Vital Records Index - 2nd Ed. Breakdown of Records', Genoot, accessed 21 February 2014.
  3. Percival Boyd, A List of Parishes in Boyd's Marriage Index (London: Society of Genealogists, 1987).
  4. 'Norfolk Parish Registers Browse', findmypast, accessed 31 July 2015.
  5. 'Norfolk Coverage', FreeREG, accessed 25 February 2014.
  6. 'England, Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts, 1600-1812,' FamilySearch, accessed 22 March 2014.
  7. 'England, Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941', FamilySearch, accessed 22 March 2014.
  8. 'England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1538-1900', FamilySearch, accessed 17 March 2014.
  9. Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Norfolk, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 20 March 2014.
  10. 'Norfolk Coverage,' The Joiner Marriage Index, accessed 8 February 2014.
  11. Norfolk Transcription Archive, accessed 14 April 2014.
  12. 'Norfolk Baptism Project 1813 to 1880,' Tinstaafl Transcripts, accessed 10 April 2014.
  13. 'England, Norfolk, Church of England Bishops' Transcripts Parish Search/Great Yarmouth', FamilySearch Wiki, accessed 11 April 2016.