Our Area

Our society covers a large part of Yorkshire including the historic East Riding and parts of the North Riding. Until 1974, Yorkshire was the largest county in England and was divided into 3 administrative districts - the East, North and West Ridings. The word "Riding" comes from the Old Norse word meaning a third.

If you are unfamiliar with the geography of this area, you should be aware that modern maps can be misleading when trying to locate places where your ancestors lived. This is due to the creation of new districts and boundary changes in both 1974 and 1996.

Boundary Changes

These changes led to the creation and then abolition of a new county of Humberside which replaced most of the East Riding and included parts of northern Lincolnshire. The area currently known as the East Riding of Yorkshire was created in 1995 and covers most but not all of the old East Riding with the addition of small parts of the old West Riding. A fuller explanation can be found in Wikipedia.

There are several other family history societies and groups in Yorkshire and you may wish to consult thisĀ full list of all Yorkshire Societies. In a few cases, our area overlaps with neighbouring societies. A printed A3 map showing all parishes within our area is available through our shop. Alternatively, this alphabetical list shows all places within the area covered by the East Yorkshire Family History Society.

Parish and other Church Records

Parishes were grouped together in Archdeaconries but these did not necessarily correspond to the civil areas of the same name. The Archdeaconry of the East Riding, whose records can be found in the East Riding Archives, located in Beverley's Treasure House, covers most of the eastern part of our area, including Scarborough in the north. Records for the rest of the northern part of our area are at the North Yorkshire County Record Office at Northallerton. Those for the western part of our area (which lay in the Archdeaconry of York) can be found at the Borthwick Institute for Archives, part of the University of York.