Genealogy

Dewsbury Parish Records

GenealogyFor those who are trying to trace their family history and whose relatives have lived in Dewsbury, the Minster may well be a vital source of information. As the Parish Church for Dewsbury, its Parish Registers were the only record for many centuries of local baptisms, marriages and deaths. The Registers are exceptional in going back continuously to 1536.

The original Registers and microfiche copies are held by the West Yorkshire Archives in Wakefield as are the Registers for St. James’, St. Philip’s and St. Mark’s plus other documents concerning all these churches. Microfiche copies of the Registers are also available in the Local History section of Dewsbury Library. This library also holds a copy of a 1931 survey of gravestones in the Minster graveyard, a full Roll of Honour of the Dewsbury dead from the 2 World Wars and a selection of old photographs from the Dewsbury area – including some of the Minster. They can be viewed on-line at www.kirkleesImages.org.uk. Prints are £10 each.

The memorial tablets and brasses in the Minster are recorded in Richard A. Middleton’s book, “The Church at Dewsbury” (2006 edition) priced at £3.50 from the Minster.

An on-line map of the current Ecclesiastical Parish of Dewsbury is available by turning to the welcome page. The Parish is much smaller than it was in the past. The major changes down the centuries are recorded in Richard Middleton’s book above.

Huddersfield & District Family History Society

This local society is a very active group whose interests and research include the Dewsbury area. For instance, they have produced an alphabetical index of baptisms in Dewsbury. The index fills 8 books which cost £2.50 each to buy. Such books and much more can be viewed in the society’s Research Room ( the Root Cellar) at Huddersfield Road, Meltham. The room is open free of charge all day every Wednesday and during afternoons of Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. In addition there are weekly ‘surgeries’ every Saturday at Batley Library 10am-12.30pm. A contact name is listed below if you need any further information.

Dewsbury Library Local (Local History Section) – Other Relevant Documents

Parish Registers – Baptisms, Marriages & Burials (on microfiche)

  • Dewsbury St. James
  • Dewsbury St. Philip
  • Dewsbury Westtown
  • Earlsheaton
  • Gawthorpe & Chickenley Heath
  • Hanging Heaton St. Paul
  • Thornhill
  • Thornhill Lees: Holy Innocents
  • Thornhill Lees: St. Mary Savile Town

Baptism and Marriage Records at non-Anglican Churches (on microfiche)

The Baptismal records for Dewsbury Centenary Congregational Church start in 1798 and for Salem Church in 1809. The Records for the other 20 churches start in 1835 or later. Marriage records beginning in 1872 onwards are held for 12 churches.

Cemetery Registers

  • Dewsbury Consecrated & General Cemeteries (1860-1997)
  • Earlsheaton Consecrated & General Cemeteries (1862-1999)
  • Dewsbury Centenary Congregational (1824–1876, 1896–1918)
  • Dewsbury Springfield Congregational (1896-1961)
  • Dewsbury Trinity Congregational (1873 only)
  • Spinkwell Plague Burial Area (1644) (no records)

A selective index to the following local newspapers

  • Dewsbury Chronicle (1869-74, 1887-95)
  • Dewsbury District News (1891-1959)
  • Dewsbury Reporter (1861-63, 1869 to present)

Contact Details

Dewsbury Library (Local History Section)
Railway Street, Dewsbury, WF12 8EQ
Tel: 01924 325080
Email: dewsbury.library@kirklees.gov.uk

West Yorkshire Archives, Wakefield
Registry of Deeds, Newstead Road, Wakefield, WF1 2DE
Tel: 01924 305980
Email: wakefield@wyjs.org.uk
(Appointments recommended)

West Yorkshire Archives, Kirklees
Huddersfield Library & Art Gallery
Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield, HD1 2SU
Tel: 01484 221966
Email: kirklees@wyjs.org.uk
(Appointments recommended)

Kirklees Image Archive
Tolson Memorial Museum, Ravensknowle Park,
Wakefield Road , Huddersfield. HD5 8DJ.
www.KirkleesImages.org.uk

Huddersfield & District Family History Society
C/o Mr. Alan Stewart-Kaye,
63, Dunbottle Lane, Mirfield, WF14 9JJ
Email: alanskaye@ntlworld.com or
www.HDFHS.org.uk.