Leicester, Leicestershire Genealogy
Guide to Leicester history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
History[edit | edit source]
Leicester is one of the oldest cities in England, with a history going back at least two millennia. The native Iron Age settlement encountered by the Romans at the site seems to have developed in the 2nd or 1st centuries BC. Little is known about this settlement or the condition of the River Soar at this time, although roundhouses from this era have been excavated and seem to have clustered along roughly 8 hectares (20 acres) of the east bank of the Soar above its confluence with the Trent. This area of the Soar was split into two channels: a main stream to the east and a narrower channel on the west, with a presumably marshy island between. The settlement seems to have controlled a ford across the larger channel. The later Roman name was a latinate form of the Brittonic word for "ramparts" (cf. Gaelic rath & the nearby villages of Ratby and Ratcliffe, suggesting the site was an oppidum. The plural form of the name suggests it was initially composed of several villages. The Celtic tribe holding the area was later recorded as the "Coritanians" but an inscription recovered in 1983 showed this to have been a corruption of the original "Corieltauvians". The Corieltauvians are believed to have ruled over roughly the area of the East Midlands.
It is believed that the Romans arrived in the Leicester area around AD 47, during their conquest of southern Britain. To verify this, in 2013, the discovery of a Roman cemetery found just outside the old city walls and dating back to AD 300.
Following the Norman conquest, Leicester was recorded by William's Domesday Book as Ledecestre. It was noted as a city (civitas) but lost this status in the 11th century owing to power struggles between the Church and the aristocracy and did not become a legal city again until 1919.
Leicester's entry into the Industrial era began with the construction of the Grand Union Canal in the 1790s which linked Leicester to London and Birmingham. In 1832, the railway arrived in Leicester in the form of The Leicester and Swannington Railway which provided a supply of coal to the town from nearby collieries.
Leicester was finally recognized as a legal city once more in 1919 and, in 1927, again became a cathedral city on the consecration of St Martin's. A second major extension to the boundaries following the changes in 1892 took place in 1935, with the annexation of the remainder of Evington, Humberstone, Beaumont Leys, and part of Braunstone. A third major revision of the boundaries took place in 1966, with the net addition to the city of just over 450 acres (182 ha). The boundary has remained unchanged since that time.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]
Below are websites that may contain cemetery records for non-parish churches in Bath.
Church Records[edit | edit source]
Parishes[edit | edit source]
Leicester and the surrounding locales have many civic parishes. To access these, enter the site below:
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Use an interactive map to find jurisdictions for each parish in Leicestershire.
Leicester Anglican Churches are part of the Leicester Diocese:
St Martins House
7 Peacock Ln
Leicester LE1 5PZ
Phone: +44 116 261 5200
St Martins House
7 Peacock Lane
Leicester LE1 5PZ
Church of the Holy Trinity
Corner Upper King Street and Regent Road
Leicester LE1 6WY
Parish of the Resurrection
Leicester LE4 6FN
Leicester LE7 9PN
Leicester Forest East
Leicester LE3 3LX
Leicester LE9 2AL
Church of the Martyrs
19 Westcotes Dr
Leicester LE3 0QT
St Mary de Castro
15 Castle View
Leicester LE1 5WN
Non Conformists[edit | edit source]
Leicester is one of the most culturally diverse cities in the UK. Populations include: White (45.1% White British, 0.8% White Irish, 0.1% Gypsy or Irish Traveller, 4.6% Other White), 37.1% Asian (28.3% Indian, 2.4% Pakistani, 1.1% Bangladeshi, 1.3% Chinese, 4.0% Other Asian), 3.5% of mixed race (1.4% White and Black Caribbean, 0.4% White and Black African, 1.0% White and Asian, 0.7% Other Mixed), 6.3% Black (3.8% African, 1.5% Caribbean, 1.0% Other Black), 1.0% Arab and 1.6% of other ethnic heritage. Because of this racial mix, there are many religious groups to be found in the city.
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Greek Orthodox
- Jehovah's Witness
- Plymouth Brethren
- Seventh Day Adventist
Non Christian groups include:
- Hare Krishtna
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
Civil registration is the recording of births, marriages and deaths in England and began in 1837. Civil registration records were recorded at the local registration office and the National registration offices. If you cannot find the civil registration in one index, search the other index as they are different indexes.
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- Map of Leicester
- oldmapsonline: Leicester
- Ancestry.com; Old maps of Leicestershire
- visionofbritain; Leicester Gazetteer
- genuki.com Leicester Gazetteer
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Newspapers for Leicester:
Occupations[edit | edit source]
Leicester has the largest economy in the East Midlands. A recent study by emda/Experian estimated the GVA to be £15.3 billion. Companies that have their principal offices or significant sites in Leicester and the surrounding area include; Brantano Footwear, Dunelm Mill, Next, Shoe Zone, Everards brewing and associated, KPMG, Mazars, Cambridge & Counties Bank, HSBC & Santander banking, Hastings Insurance, British Gas, British Telecom, Caterpillar (Inc.), Topps Tiles and DHL.
Engineering is an important part of the economy of Leicester. Companies include Jones & Shipman (machine tools and control systems), Richards Engineering (foundry equipment), Transmon Engineering (materials handling equipment) and Trelleborg (suspension components for rail, marine, and industrial applications). Local commitment to nurturing British engineers includes apprenticeship schemes with local companies, and academic-industrial connections with the engineering departments at Leicester University, De Montfort University, and nearby Loughborough University. Leicester was also home to the famous Gents' of Leicester clock manufacturers.
Foodstuffs manufacturing and the food industry are also important segments of the Leicester occupations scene. Henry Walker was a successful pork butcher who moved from Mansfield to Leicester in the 1880s to take over an established business in High Street. His first Walker's crisp production line was in the empty upper story of Walker's Oxford Street factory in Leicester. In the early days the potatoes were sliced up by hand and cooked in an ordinary fish and chip fryer. In 1971 the Walker's crisps business was sold to Standard Brands, an American firm, who sold on the company to Frito-Lay. Walker's crisps currently makes 10 million bags of crisps per day at two factories in Beaumont Leys, and is the UK's largest grocery brand. The Beaumont Leys manufacturing plant is the largest crisp factory in the world.
In the area of meat products production, the sausage and pie business was bought out by Samworth Brothers in 1986. Production outgrew the Cobden Street site and pork pies are now manufactured at a meat processing factory and bakery in Beaumont Leys, coincidentally situated near the separately owned crisp factories. Sold under the Walker's name and under UK retailers own brands such as Tesco, over three million hot and cold pies are made each week.
Societies[edit | edit source]
- Leicester City Family History Society
- Leicestershire and Rutland Family History Society
- Leicestershire History SOciety
Archives[edit | edit source]
- British Newspaper Archives: Leicester Chronicle
- University of Leicester Archives
- The National Archives; Leicestershire and Rutland