The following information should help if you are trying to trace your family's history in the parish of Fewston, England. Please let me know if you find it useful.
The ancient Parish of Fewston included the Townships of Fewston, Great Timble, Blubberhouses and West End or Thruscross, with the Hamlets of Clifton-Elsworth, Wydrah, Spinksburn and Hardisty Hill.
Census records are currently available for 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891. Copies are available at the Family Records Centre in London and Leeds City Reference Library, Yorkshire in addition to numerous LDS Family History Libraries.
Indexes available :
1851 - Published by Wharfedale Family History Group, see 'Links' section for purchasing details.
1871 - Published by Wharfedale Family History Group, see 'Links' section for purchasing details.
1881 - Published by LDS, available at Leeds City Reference Library, Yorkshire and LDS Family History Libraries.
Cemeteries Monumental Inscriptions
Parish Church Graveyard (St. Michael / St. Lawrence), Fewston
Transcript recorded in 1978, stones covered range from 1613 to 1936 (excluding War Memorial), graveyard closed for interments 1896, copies available at
West End, Thruscross (Holy Trinity)
Churchyard flooded by Thruscross reservoir in 1965. Many bodies were exhumed and moved along with all headstones to a new cemetery approximately 3/4 of a mile away on the Greenhow Hill Road. No transcripts of inscriptions are known to exist at this time.
Meagill Lane Cemetery, Fewston
Cemetery opened following the compulsory closure of the Parish Church graveyard following concerns about its proximately to Fewston Reservoir, which had been completed in 1876. Transcript recorded in 1997, stones covered range from 1897 to 1997. Published by Wharfedale Family History Group, see 'Links' section for purchasing details.
On-line maps will appear here.
Royal Forest of Knaresborough
The majority of the Parish came under the jurisdiction of Manorial court of 'The Forest of Knaresborough'. The Forest was a large royal estate to the south and west of Knaresborough, with its castle being the administrative centre. Originally a hunting forest of William the Conquerer it was let out by the crown to a succession of nobles who acted as keepers of the castle and receivers of revenue from the tenants' rents. The most famous of the Lords of the Manor was Hugh de Morville who was one of the knights who murdered Thomas Becket in 1170.
The Forest passed through numerous hands until in 1372 it was granted to John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. In 1399 Gaunt's son became Henry IV and since then the Forest, as part of the Duchy of Lancaster, has belonged to the Crown. The earliest surviving court rolls are dated 1332, the earlier ones having been destroyed by John de Lilburne whilst the castle was under siege during the reign of Edward II.
All record of the Forest are kept in the Public Record Office, London.(CLICK HERE FOR LISTING)
Other Manors did exist in the Parish, records of Blubberhouses are known to exist. (CLICK HERE FOR LISTING)
Land Tax Records
Land tax record survive amongst the Quarter Session Court records of the West Riding of Yorkshire. These records are located at Wakefield Archives, Registry of Deeds, Newstead Road, Wakefield, WF1 2DE. They have also been filmed by the 'Genealogical Society of Utah' and should therefore be available through LDS Libraries. Details of years covered and the archive references are listed below:
Clifton-with-Norwood Township 1781 - 1832 Reference QE 13/5/11
Fewston Township 1781 - 1832 Reference QE 13/5/17
Thruscross Township 1781 - 1832 Reference QE 13/5/46
Timble Great Township 1781 - 1832 Reference QE 13/5/47
St. Michael / St. Lawrence, Fewston(CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOGRAPH)
Original Registers covering the following period are available at North Yorkshire Record Office, Malpas Road, Northallerton, DL7 8TB:
Baptisms 1594 - 1983
Marriages 1594 - 1984
Burials 1594 - 1921
Banns 1754 - 1794
The registers pre 1750 are badly damaged and include a number of unreadable entries. Transcripts of the registers 1593 - 1812 were privately printed in two volumes in 1899, copies are available in Leeds City Reference Library, Yorkshire and elsewhere.
Bishop Transcripts of the original registers are located in the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, St. Anthony's Hall, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 2PW, covering the following years:
Baptisms, Marrages, Burials 1600 - 01, 1632, 1636 - 39, 1661 - 65, 1667 - 69, 1671 - 73, 1675 - 76, 1678 - 79, 1682 - 83, 1688 -89, 1691 - 94, 1696, 1698, 1700 - 21, 1723 - 45, 1747 -1837
Baptism, Burials 1838 - 45
Bishop Transcripts of the original registers are located in the Leeds Archives, Chapeltown Road, Sheepscar, Leeds, LS7 3AP covering the following years:
Baptism, Burials 1848 - 71
Holy Trinity, West End (Thruscross)(CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOGRAPH)
Church Built 1873. Demolished 1965 to allow valley to be flooded to create Thruscross Reservoir
Original Registers covering the following period are now held by the Incumbent of Darley Church, Darley, North Yorkshire:
Baptisms 1846 - 1986
Marriages 1873 - 1961, 1973 - 1981
Burials 1874 - 1991
Within the archive collection of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Claremont, 23 Clarendon Road, Leeds, LS2 9NZ is a small notebook reference MS547 entitled 'An Almanack compiled by John Goldsmith' containing a transcript of entries from Thruscross Chapel covering the following period:
Marriages 1715 - 1732
Burials 1716 - 1739
All Saints, West End (Thruscross)(CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOGRAPH)
Church built early 1960s on high ground as replacement for Holy Trinity, West End. Now closed (1980s?) and converted into outdoor activities centre. All original parish records included in information for Holy Trinity, West End.
St. Andrews, Blubberhouses(CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOGRAPH)
Built 1851, all records with St. Michael / St. Lawrence, Fewston
The Parish came under the jurisdiction of the Peculiar Probate Court of the Honor of Knaresborough until Civil Courts took over in 1858. Original probate files covering the period 1640 - 1858 are held at Leeds Archives, Chapeltown Road, Sheepscar, Leeds, LS7 3AP. Enrolled copies of pre 1640 and some post 1640 probate documents are held in the Duchy of Lancaster records in the Public Records Office, Kew, London.
Indexes and transcripts of the records are available as follows:
Some probate documents may also be found in the records of the Prerogative and Exchequer Courts of the Archbishop of York, the records are held at the Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, St. Anthony's Hall, Peasholme Green, York, YO1 2PW.
Most of the following books should be available through major UK libraries or from out-of-print book dealers.
Version 1.7 : Last Updated 11th July 1999 by David M. Teal
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