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West Yorkshire Archive Service
West Yorkshire Archive Service

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Leeds Office Temporary Closure until August 2016

The Leeds office will be closed to the public for a short time starting from 13th June while we consolidate our collection storage. This closure will allow us to improve accessibility, and therefore the service we provide, by ensuring more of our collections are held on site. We will re-open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 9.30am and 4pm the week commencing 1st August. For up to date information please see

WYAS Wakefield is due to relocate to the new West Yorkshire History Centre in early 2017, in order to facilitate this move the current Wakefield office will close to the public on the 13th of May 2016.  From this date staff will be working hard to move archival collections held at Wakefield to move to their new purpose built home.  If you have any questions about this please do not hesitate to contact the office on 01924 305980 or via email on

Bradford Office Opening Hours Change

From 23 Nov 2015 our Bradford Office opening hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9.30am-5pm

Two exciting @heritageopenday events happening!

Monks, Mallorys and Mysteries. Explore history of Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal 11 Sep at Leeds Archives 10-1pm

Say a fond adieu to Registry of Deeds, Wakefield 12 Sep 10-1pm. Tours, archives and news about our new home at the West Yorkshire History Centre!

Both free and no need to book. We look forward to seeing you!

New records on Ancestry!

Over 75,000 historic alehouse records. 1771-1962 detailing landlords and their respective establishments. Also 46,000 selected occupation records 1793-1930 relating to John Crossley and Sons of Halifax, carpet manufacturers, 1869-1930, John Fielden and Sons of Todmorden, cotton manufacturers, 1800-1930 and canal boatmen. Finally over 6,700 miscellaneous apprenticeship records covering the years 1627-1894.

To find out more click More details here

Family History Workshops

We are very excited to be hosting a series of Family History workshop study days over the coming months led by professional genealogy tutor, Jackie Depelle. Each study day at West Yorkshire Joint Services, Morley is available for just £15.00 per person and includes familiarisation visits to the Leeds search room as well as the opportunity to view wonderful original documents.

The study days will be on:

Over 4 million more records online!

4,096,794 new records have been added to for West Yorkshire collections in December as part of West Yorkshire’s on-going programme of digitisation of popular sources, with over 37 million records now on-line. The latest launch added West Riding Coroners’ notebooks 1852-1909, and selections of land tax records 1704-1932, bastardy and offence records 1690-1914, West Yorkshire rate books and pre-1841 census 1705-1893.

For further details see

Research Service

A review is currently in progress of all aspects of our enquiry and research service. During this period, we are suspending the standard and express ‘Ask the Experts’ research service from 8 Sep 2014, together with the translations and transcription service. Further information on the new services will be available at a later date on our website at Please check the website for any further updates.

We are still able to offer the 30 minute short research service for specific enquiries about our collections. Details on how to order this can be found on our eshop pages on our website

If you require further assistance with an enquiry you can also visit our offices, details of our opening hours and locations are available on our website.

Major Changes to Opening Times

From the 6th October the Leeds and Bradford opening days will be changing.

Bradford will be open to the public on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays (closed Thursdays and Fridays)

Leeds will be open to the public on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays (closed Mondays and Tuesdays

Hours of opening will stay the same(9.30am to 5pm) at each office

WW1 Street Festival of Remembrance, Morley town centre 2nd August 2014

Leeds archives are supporting Morley’s remembrance weekend by providing free WW1 family history workshops on 2nd August. Find out who your WW1 ancestors were at Cucina Café, 106a Queen Street, 11am – 12pm and 1pm – 2pm.

To reserve a place contact the Leeds office on 0113 393 9788 or via email at

23 July at the Registry from 2-3pm , talk by John Goodchild on "Aspects of Medieval Wakefield: A medieval knight from Wakefield: Sir John Pilkington of Snapethorpe" . Booking essential on or 01924 305980

Prestigious UNESCO Award for West Yorkshire Archive Service

The records of the West Riding Pauper Asylum, Stanley Royd 1814-1991, held by West Yorkshire Archive Service (WYAS), Wakefield, have received a prestigious award from UNESCO, being accepted for Inscription on the UK National Register of Documentary Heritage by the UNESCO Memory of the World Programme.

To find out more, click here

Tattoos, pigeon theft and fraud!

Did your ancestor dabble on the wrong side of the law? Thousands of new Yorkshire criminal record entries now online.

Thousands of our 19th century criminal records have been published online for the first time – shedding light on the criminal habits of Victorian Yorkshire.

To find out more, click here

What was your house worth? Over ½ million new records launched on in partnership with West Yorkshire Archive Service has published 600,000 new records online from the 1910 Finance Valuation Act records held at our Wakefield office.

Available online for the very first time, the collection gives information about the names and addresses of West Yorkshire residents in 1910.

To find out more, click here

Plans to for proposed Wakefield Archives to go on display

Plans for the redevelopment of the Kirkgate area of Wakefield are to go on display to give people the opportunity to share their views and comments.

To find out more, click here

22.5 Million West Yorkshire Electoral Registers online in partnership with West Yorkshire Archive Service has published over 22.5 million electoral records relating to residents of Surrey and West Yorkshire.

The registers are searchable by name, residence, constituency and year, and are a vital resource for those researching their West Yorkshire heritage. Unlike census records, published once every ten years, electoral records are updated yearly meaning you can track your ancestors’ movements on a year-by-year basis.

To find out more, click here

Explore Your Archive!

The Archives and Records Association (UK and Ireland) and The National Archives have come together to create a new campaign to raise awareness of archives, their value to society and the impact they have, every day, on individual lives.

We are running a series of events to celebrate the heritage we care for, our amazing stories and to show how you how much fun you can have can exploring your local archive.

To find out more, click here

Death, Disaster and Dubious Dumplings: Life and Death in Victorian Yorkshire

There are many hidden gems in the collections held by the West Yorkshire Archive Service. Amongst these are a series of handwritten notebooks complied by Thomas Taylor, County Coroner from 1852–1900.

From mining disasters to natural causes, these notebooks record details of the inquests into sudden deaths, accidental demises and mysterious ends. Eye witness accounts and details of people’s lives are recorded, providing a fascinating insight into life and death in 19th century Yorkshire.

To find out how we can help you to find out more about these amazing records, click here

From Bread and Butter to Prison and Porridge

Skeletons in cupboards are part and parcel of doing a family history. Dark criminal secrets, missing ancestors and tales of past misdeeds litter the trail of most budding family historians. Often, these tales seem impossible to verify as the details are lost in the murky midsts of time.

But now, WYAS’s research service might just be able to help

Click here for more information: click here

Nostell Priory – Country House, Chippendale and Coal

West Yorkshire Archive Service is delighted to announce that it has been awarded a grant of £37,000 from the National Cataloguing Grants Fund to complete and improve the catalogue of the archives of the Winn family, Barons St Oswald of Nostell Priory.

Find out more,Click here

Heritage Lottery Fund Success

West Yorkshire Archive Service is pleased to announce that we have received initial support for a £3.6million bid from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a new permanent home for Wakefield's archives

Find out more click on the image below

Unlocking the archives!

We're giving researchers an extra 10 ½ hours a week to consult the millions of documents in our care!

Our Wakefield office is opening on Fridays for the first time in 10 years and is also now able to provide a full service over lunchtime.

To find out more, click here

To us, everyone is a Celebrity

Let us give you the Star treatment!

Follow in the footsteps of Sir Patrick Stewart and see what our records can reveal about your family - we may have some surprises for you!

Find out more here

Searching for names? We’ve got over 20 million of them

Your ancestors may be found in The West Riding Registry of Deeds - a nationally unique resource for family historians.

To find out more about how our experienced staff can help you, click here

Luddite Bicentenary

2012 is the bicentenary year of the Luddites in West Yorkshire. In 1812 certain areas of the West Riding of Yorkshire saw major outbreaks of violence by people who have come to be known as 'Luddites'. The Luddites were mainly croppers, a small and highly skilled group of cloth finishers, who, at a time of the worst trade depression since the 1760s, facing deepening poverty, rising wheat prices and food scarcity, turned their anger on the new cropping machine, which they feared would put them out of work.


Find out more about our events and publications to commemorate the bicentenary here



Treasures of the West Yorkshire Archive Service


The top five treasures of the archives from a total of 25 nominations across WYAS have been chosen! Find out more information here.



Parish Registers on Ancestry

Parish Registers now available on Ancestry! See here

Quick links: Copy order form Now Then Tracks in time
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West Riding Registry of Deeds Twitter Twitter Research service Order online

For the contact details
of our offices click here.

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