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Source Information

Ancestry.com. West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: West Yorkshire Nonconformist Records. Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds, and Wakefield, England: West Yorkshire Archive Service.


Archive reference information can be viewed here.

About West Yorkshire, Non-Conformist Records, 1646-1985

This database contains a compilation of records from Nonconformist congregations in the West Yorkshire area of England.

Historical Background

Henry VIII established himself as head of the Church of England through the Act of Supremacy in 1534. While the Church of England became the state church, the law did not require all citizens of England to be adherents, and in time, members of churches that did not conform with the doctrine of the Church of England were labeled “Nonconformists.” Included among Nonconformists were members of Methodist, Baptist, Society of Friends (Quaker), Presbyterian, Congregationalist, and other congregations.

What’s in This Database

This database contains registers from Nonconformist churches in the West Yorkshire area, including Baptist, Congregationalist and Independent, Moravian, Methodist, Inghamite, Quaker, and Presbyterian records, among others. Most are registers documenting baptisms, marriages, or deaths, though some miscellaneous records, such as church rolls and notices of members joining or leaving a congregation, are included as well.

The breakout of year ranges per event type are

  • Births and Baptisms: 1646-1910
  • Marriages and Banns: 1659-1935
  • Deaths and Burials: 1656-1985
  • Residence: 1772-1973

Along with names, dates, and places for events such as baptism or marriage, these records may include details such as

  • birth date
  • age
  • parents’ names
  • maiden names
  • address
  • occupation
  • marital status

These registers may be particularly useful for researchers who can’t find their relatives among Church of England records. Also, note that these records do not necessarily represent a comprehensive collection of Nonconformist registers for West Yorkshire. For example, some registers were sent to The National Archives in accordance with an 1837 request, while others may remain with the church or congregation.

Archive reference information with details of chapels and denominations can be viewed here. Reel descriptions in the browse are based of the archive service’s finding aide.

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