Trace your East Rid­ing an­ces­tors

vis­its the city of Hull and the his­toric East Rid­ing of York­shire

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - CONTENTS - Jonathan Scott

The Ar­chives' Petty Ses­sion records in­clude no­to­ri­ous names such as Dick Turpin

One day, if the au­thor of this ar­ti­cle gets his way, some­one will in­stall a gi­ant ‘An­gel of the North’-style statue of cricket leg­end Ge­of­frey Boy­cott, stand­ing in the for­ward de­fen­sive po­si­tion, some­where along the bound­ary of the great county of York­shire.

Un­til that time we have ge­nealog­i­cal re­search to carry out, and this month we visit the main repos­i­to­ries for fam­ily his­to­ri­ans in­ter­ested in ex­plor­ing their East York­shire roots, namely the East Rid­ing and Hull city col­lec­tions.

We be­gin with East Rid­ing Ar­chives and Lo­cal Stud­ies Ser­vice, based at the Trea­sure House in Bev­er­ley, where it looks af­ter the kind of ge­nealog­i­cal bread-and-but­ter sources that you will need to con­sult in or­der to go fur­ther back in time.

To be­gin with th­ese in­clude parish reg­is­ters for the East Rid­ing Archdea­conry. As ec­cle­si­as­ti­cal bound­aries are dif­fer­ent to lo­cal au­thor­ity bound­aries, it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that the Archdea­conry does not cover the whole of the East Rid­ing.

Ar­chiv­ist Lizzy Baker says: “The most ex­cit­ing pro­ject we have worked on re­cently is the ap­pear­ance of our his­toric parish reg­is­ters on Find­my­past. We hope this will help lots of peo­ple to find their East Rid­ing an­ces­tors and in­spire them to find out more about their lives and the his­tory of the area.”

The Ar­chives also looks af­ter records of non­con­formist churches, school records, ceme­tery records, elec­toral reg­is­ters and poll books, records of the po­lice and coro­ner, records cre­ated by lo­cal govern­ment, plus trade di­rec­to­ries and ma­te­rial re­lat­ing to clubs, so­ci­eties and groups. And, of course, there are Quar­ter and Petty Ses­sions records.

Lizzy says: “I think fam­ily his­to­ri­ans of­ten un­der­es­ti­mate just how much de­tail can be found in Petty and Quar­ter Ses­sions records, which can help you to re­ally put some leaves on the fam­ily tree and learn more about the lives of your an­ces­tors.

“I was as­ton­ished to see eight dif­fer­ent ac­cu­sa­tions of peo­ple steal­ing feather beds in our records. They also in­clude some no­to­ri­ous names – Dick Turpin was caught in the East Rid­ing and makes an ap­pear­ance in the Quar­ter Ses­sions records un­der the alias John Palmer.”

One of the most im­por­tant re­sources held here is the East Rid­ing Reg­is­ter of Deeds. This was es­tab­lished in 1708 and con­tains copies of deeds for the East Rid­ing and Hull up to April 1974. Lizzy says: “The Reg­is­ter is a valu­able source for le­gal searches, house his­tory and fam­ily his­tory. Al­though it was never com­pul­sory to reg­is­ter deeds it was com­mon and there are more than one mil­lion deeds in­cluded.”

As the East Rid­ing is a very ru­ral area much of the pop­u­la­tion re­lied on agri­cul­ture and fish­ing for their liveli­hoods, which tra­di­tion­ally do not leave be­hind much of a pa­per trail. But there were sig­nif­i­cant pock­ets of in­dus­try and many im­por­tant

col­lec­tions re­lat­ing to lo­cal busi­nesses do sur­vive. Bev­er­ley it­self, for ex­am­ple, was known for both ship­build­ing and tan­ning.

Lizzy says: “We hold the records of busi­nesses such as Hodg­son’s Tan­nery [1812-1975] and the Cook, Wel­ton and Gem­mell Ship­build­ing Com­pany [1885-1971].” The Ar­chives also has lots of ma­te­rial re­lat­ing to smaller busi­nesses in­clud­ing EW and G Os­gerby, coach builders es­tab­lished in Bev­er­ley in 1863, and John Cherry Lim­ited, mill­wrights and en­gi­neers of Bev­er­ley.

“In the 20th cen­tury, Hornsea in the East Rid­ing was home of the fa­mous Hornsea Pot­tery Com­pany, which at its height was a ma­jor em­ployer in the town. We hold records of the com­pany dat­ing from 1953 to 2000.”

The Trin­ity House muster rolls of­fer a re­mark­able in­sight into the per­son­nel of Hull's seago­ing trade

East Rid­ing Ar­chives also pre­serves film and sound ar­chives and re­cently be­gan up­load­ing films to YouTube. Th­ese can be viewed at youtube.com/user/ eastrid­ingy­ork­shire by se­lect­ing the Ar­chives’ playlist.

High­lights in­clude a drive through Bev­er­ley in 1964 and a road safety film from 1946. Last year they also launched a First World War Lives pro­ject, which in­volved a team of re­search vol­un­teers find­ing out more about the lo­cal sol­diers and writ­ing pen por­traits of the men. Th­ese fea­ture in a dis­play that is up­dated ev­ery week.

The Borth­wick In­sti­tute for ArchivesA at the Univer­sity of York al­soa has sev­eral im­por­tant lo­cal anda York­shire-wide col­lec­tions.c Th­ese in nclude orig­i­nal parishp reg­is­ters, Bish­ops’B Tran­scripts, mar­riagem bonds and al­le­ga­tions, ti ithe maps, fam­ily and es­tate re ecords, plus pro­bate records for mostm of York­shire from be­tween 12191 and 1858.

Mean­while, the Hull His­tory Cen­treC brings to­gether ma­te­rial heldh by the City Ar­chives and Lo­calL Stud­ies Li­brary with those heldh by the Univer­sity of Hull. Th­e­seT in­clude the City’s bor­ough archivesa (dat­ing back to 1299), re ecords of lo­cal busi­nesses, non­con­formistn churches, or­gan­i­sa­tionso and in­di­vid­u­als, and im­por­tant records re­lat­ing to the port and docks of Hull.

City Ar­chiv­ist Martin Tay­lor says: “The Trin­ity House muster rolls – ef­fec­tively records of an 18th-cen­tury con­trib­u­tory pen­sion scheme for mer­chant sea­men – of­fer a re­mark­able in­sight into the per­son­nel of Hull’s seago­ing trade.”

Th­ese Trin­ity House muster rolls (1747-1851) are just part of the wider mar­itime col­lec­tions pre­served here, which also in­clude fish­ing ves­sel crew lists (18841914) and the records of Hull’s big­gest ship­ping line, Eller­man’s Wil­son. Along­side there are records re­lat­ing to other city in­dus­tries, most of which re­lied on the docks in some way, pro­cess­ing the raw ma­te­ri­als that were im­ported. Th­ese in­cluded seed crush­ing, paint man­u­fac­ture, tim­ber mer­chants, en­gi­neer­ing and ship­build­ing.

Hull was the most heav­ily bombed city for its size in the UK dur­ing the Se­cond World War and the pi­o­neer­ing prepa­ra­tions for, and ad­min­is­tra­tion of, the cri­sis are well re­flected in the City Coun­cil records.

“We are near­ing com­ple­tion of a huge vol­un­teer pro­ject that has seen more than 70,000 civil de­fence per­son­nel in­dex cards cat­a­logued on­line,” adds Martin. “We’re very ex­cited by a new de­vel­op­ment build­ing on the re­cently cat­a­logued ar­chives of the lo­cal ar­chi­tec­tural prac­tice of Fran­cis John­son – us­ing Minecraft to cre­ate vir­tual build­ings in­spired by John­son’s de­signs. We call it Hul­lCraft ( hul­lcraft.com). We see it as a great op­por­tu­nity to in­spire young peo­ple to take an in­ter­est in the archival her­itage and are hop­ing to de­velop it fur­ther.”

De­tail from a Bri­tish Rail­ways

( East­ern Re­gion) poster of North Land­ing, Flam­bor­ough

The Old Dock in Hull was re­named Queen's Dock in 1855 in hon­our of Queen Vic­to­ria and Prince Al­bert's visit to the city the pre­vi­ous year

Kingston-upon- Hull is on the north shore of the

River Hum­ber

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