King’s Lynn St Nicholas, Norfolk Genealogy

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Guide toKing's Lynn St Nicholas, Norfolk ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Parish History[edit | edit source]

King's Lynn St Nicholas was formed in 1146-1150 as a chapel in the parish of  King’s Lynn St Margaret, Norfolk Genealogy.

The name "Lynn" has an ancient derivation, perhaps from a Celtic term meaning "pool" or from an Anglo-Saxon word for "torrent" both references to the estuary lake which emptied into the Wash. By the 14th century, the town ranked as the third port of England and is considered as important to England in Medieval times as Liverpool was during the Industrial Revolution. It retains two buildings that were warehouses of the Hanseatic League that were in use between the 15th and 17th centuries. They are the only remaining building structures of the Hanseatic League in England.

The town now known as King's Lynn was, in medieval times, rather Bishop's Lynn. This is because it was taken under the wing of the Bishop of Norwich in the late eleventh century, one of the earliest of numerous deliberate seigneurial foundations of "new towns" that took place between that time and the mid-thirteenth century. When Henry VIII took over the lordship of the town it was renamed King's Lynn However it is still referred to as Lynn locally and records often refer to it as Lynn Bishop's Lynn, Lynn Regis and later as King's Lynn.

The present building dates almost entirely from the 15th century, though the tower is earlier, and the spire was added by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1869.  It is described by the Churches Conservation Trust as the largest chapel in England and is in their care.

Jurisdictional History

Here is an important 19th century jurisdictional and historical perspective for this ancient parish for those researching in the pre-1900 period:

"LYNN, KINGS-LYNN, or LYNN-REGIS [St Nicholas; registers begin in 1558], is an ecclesiastical church in Lynn, three sub-districts, and a district, in Norfolk. The town stands on the right bank of the river Ouse, at the junction of the Nar navigation, and a junction from Norwich, Ely, Hunstanton, Wisbeach, and Sutton, a few miles south and southeast extremity of the Wash, and 40 west by north of Norwich. In the time of Richard I., it was much frequented by Jews, and had a good trade. 

St. Nicholas' Church was founded [by the year 1559], as a chapel of ease to St. Margaret's [registers begin in 1559], stands in St. Ann's Street. A chapelry called St. John's church, in Blackfriars Road, was built in 1846.  In South Lynn is All Saints, Church Lane, [church registers begin in 1558], which was thoroughly repaired in 1860; and had formerly a west tower, which fell in 1763.

An Independent Chapel in New Conduit Street was built [by 1822]; a Union Baptist chapel in Paradise Lane was built in 1859; two Baptist chapels are in Blackfriars Road; and one of them is a neat edifice of 1841; a Wesleyan Chapel in Tower Street was built [by 1797];  a Primitive Methodist Chapel in London-road was built in 1857;  a New Connexion Methodist Chapel in Railway Road was built in 1853; a Roman Catholic Chapel in London-road was built in 1844; and chapels also for Quakers [records begin from 1775], United Free Methodists, and Unitarians. A curious cruciform Lady's Chapel stands at Red Mount; was built about 1482. An octagonal tower, Lady Chapel also called the Red Mount, was used formerly for both military and ecclesiastical purposes. The borough comprise the parishes of Lynn or St. Margaret (and its chapelry, St Nicholas) and South Lynn or All Saints. A portion of the parish which had a pop. of 3,867 in 1861, was constituted a separate charge, under the name of St. John, in 1846. The head living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of St. Nicholas, and with the rectory of North Lynn, and the living of St. John is a vicarage, in the diocese of Norwich.[1]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Lynn St Nicholas registers have been indexed for the following years and located the following websites:

FS ATs = England, Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts, 1600-1812 (FamilySearch) - free[2]
FS BTs = England, Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941 (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS PRs = England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, 1538-1900 (FamilySearch) - free[4]
TGEN = TheGenealogist - (£)[5]
TIN = Tinstaafl Transcripts - free[6]
KING'S LYNN ST NICHOLAS Chapelry (1562) Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FREG 1628-1812;1843-1907
1562-1903 1562-1840
FS ATs 1600-1812 (gaps) 1600-1812 (gaps) 1600-1812 (gaps)
FS BTs Undefined Undefined Undefined Undefined Undefined Undefined
FS PRs Undefined 1562-1812, 1843-1907 Undefined 1562-1908 Undefined 1562-1840
IGI 1681-1791, 1812-1907
1562-1812 1562-1787
TGEN 1628-1907 1628-1907 1559-1901 1559-1901 1562-1841 1562-1841
TIN 1813-1880

The early records refer to Lynn or Lynn Regis but are catalogued at the Norfolk Record Office as King's Lynn St Nicholas.

The FamilySearch images are under the waypoint Lynn St Nicholas.

The exact boundary of the parish formed later from within Lynn St Margaret is not known. 

The records of chapelries within ancient parishes can be complex and the Record Search images contain a volume of Baptisms which are waypointed at present Lynn St Nicholas for the years 1883-1907 and comprise 154 images. We have found that these registers are headed "the parish of St Margaret King's Lynn in the County of Norfolk and the chapel of St Nicholas".

The images are found as item one of the following film 

Content Film
Items 1-2 Baptisms 1853-1907 Item 3 Marriages and banns 1754-1771 Items 4-12 Marriages 1771-1903 Item 13 Burials 1678-1757 FHL BRITISH Film
1471538 Items 1-13

Known Issues

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The film loading awaits future reloading by engineers and is a known issue.

Non-Conformist Church Records[edit | edit source]

Census[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.

Registration Districts[edit | edit source]

  • King’s Lynn

Probate Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Norfolk Probate Jurisdictions Parishes I through N

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Norfolk Poor Law Union, Norfolk Genealogys

Maps[edit | edit source]

England Jurisdictions 1851

References[edit | edit source]

  1. John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870). Adapted. Date accessed: 08 May 2013.
  2. 'England, Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts, 1600-1812,' FamilySearch, accessed 31 March 2014.
  3. 'England, Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941', FamilySearch, accessed 31 March 2014.
  4. 'England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1538-1900', FamilySearch, accessed 17 March 2014.
  5. 'Subscription Coverage Catalogue', TheGenealogist, accessed 11 January 2016.
  6. 'Norfolk Baptism Project 1813 to 1880,' Tinstaafl Transcripts, accessed 10 April 2014.