Census records 1841-1901

Microfilm copies of all the original enumerators' notebooks are held at the Family Record Centre, as are copies of all extant street indices, transcripts and indices.


Most of the census for North Yorkshire and South Durham has been transcribed and indexed in separate sections by the Cleveland FHS, and can be purchased from them. A project is underway to produce a consolidated index for the whole of Yorkshire, and its progress is summarised on Colin Blanshard Withers' site.


Alan Longbottom has prepared an index to the registration districts in the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire.


As with the rest of the country, the 1881 census has been transcribed and indexed and is available on CD ROM.

For early tax records, the PRO guide to taxation records before 1660 is a useful introductory guide.

Poll tax records

This was a personal tax on everyone over 16 not in receipt of poor relief, and lasted from 1663 to 1698.

Leicester University have prepared a useful online searchable database of the Yorkshire poll tax , from the Yorkshire Archaeological Journal edition.

Lay subsidy returns

Although the name 'subsidy' properly relates to a tax on land and goods levied in the reign of Richard II (1377-1399), it is used as a general term for a range of aids and subsidies to the Crown levied between the C13 and 1689. The returns list all taxpayers by parish, and those for 1295, 1327, 1334, 1377-1381 and 1524-1525 are regarded as the most useful. The list for 1291 has apparently been published by the Record Commissioners.

The original returns are available for consultation (generally on microfilm) at the PRO. Several Latin transcripts of mediaeval returns for Yorkshire have been published by the YAS, including the 1/9 of 25 Edward I (1297, YASRS 16), the 1/15 of 30 Edward I (1301, YASRS 21) and the subsidy of 1 Edward III (1328, for the North Riding and York, as part of YASRS 74).


Land tax

This was collected from 1692 to 1831.

Hearth tax

This tax was levied from 1662 until 1689, although those in receipt of poor relief ir in houses worth less than 20 shillings per annum (and not paying parish rates) were exempt. The tax was collected twice a year at Michaelmas and Lady Day, and surviving records contain the names of householders and the number of hearths.

The 1673 Hearth Tax lists for the North Riding have been transcribed and copies can be purchased from the Cleveland FHS. Copies are also available for consultation in the Yorkshire section of the Society of Genealogists library.

Window tax

This was introduced as a replacement for the Hearth Tax in 1696 and lasted until 1851.

Marriage registration tax

Recusant rolls

Those who declined to attend their parish church (normally, after 1570, Roman Catholics) were identified as recusants, and lists were prepared for the Quarter Sessions.

Protestation Oath returns

In 1641, Parliament organised a protest against potential 'arbitrary and tyrannical government'. The returns are in the House of Lords Record Office, and a list of those parishes whose returns survive are listed in Vol 5 of the Calendar of the Manuscripts of the House of Lords. Some have been printed.

Association Oath returns

In 1696, all holders of public office in England and Wales were required to sign a pledge of loyalty to the Crown. The directive also extended to the gentry and clergy.

Militia lists

After 1769, annual returns of commissioned officers were made annually by the Lord Lieutenant to the Quarter Sessions. These are held at the PRO.

Muster rolls

After 1708, these are periodic lists of the names of all officers and men in a regiment. After 1795, they may include the place of birth and age on enlistment.

Poll books

These list those who voted in the Parliamentary elections in the county, and therefore constitute a fairly complete picture of property owners in the late C18 and C19.

Electoral lists

Burgess rolls

Local directories

From the middle of the C18 until the 1930's, local directories provide information on residents, tradesmen, clergy, gentry and other aspects of local history. There is a Guide to the National and Provincial Directories of England and Wales before 1856 by Jane Norton.

The GENUKI website contains a useful summary of trade directory holdings in Northern libraries.

Tithe and enclosure maps and schedules


This page was last updated on 24 May, 2002