West Yorkshire: Local History Resources

Page Contents:

Introduction To West Yorkshire

Yorkshire is the biggest historic county in England, and to make it more manageable following the English Civil War, it was split into three ridings. The boundaries have shifted between the North, East and West Ridings over the years, most significantly in 1974. 

Today Yorkshire is divided into West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire. But some areas previously in Yorkshire are now in county Durham or Teesside, and the ridings do not match the three current Yorkshire territories. It can make tracking down documents and information about these areas more difficult than experienced in other parts of England.

West Yorkshire is a fairly large county ‎(2,029 km2 or 783 square miles containing over 2.3 million people) so is divided into five metropolitan boroughs:

  • Calderdale
  • City of Bradford
  • City of Leeds 
  • City of Wakefield
  • Kirklees

Cities In West Yorkshire

How many cities are in West Yorkshire? Three:

The city of York is in North Yorkshire and not West Yorkshire.

Towns in West Yorkshire

  • Baildon
  • Batley
  • Bingley
  • Bradford
  • Brighouse
  • Castleford
  • Cleckheaton
  • Denholme
  • Dewsbury
  • Elland
  • Farsley
  • Featherstone
  • Guiseley
  • Halifax
  • Hebden Bridge
  • Heckmondwike
  • Hemsworth
  • Holmfirth
  • Horsforth
  • Huddersfield
  • Ilkley
  • Keighley
  • Knottingley
  • Leeds
  • Mirfield
  • Morley
  • Normanton
  • Ossett
  • Otley
  • Pontefract
  • Pudsey
  • Rothwell
  • Shipley
  • Silsden
  • South Elmsall
  • South Kirkby
  • Sowerby Bridge
  • Todmorden
  • Wetherby
  • Yeadon

Villages in West Yorkshire

  • Aberford Ackworth Addingham Adwalton Agbrigg Akroydon Allerton Bywater Allerton Altofts Alverthorpe Apperley Bridge Armitage Bridge Arrunden Arthington Arthursdale Austonley
  • Badsworth Bagley Bailiff Bridge Bardsey Barkisland Barwick-in-Elmet Battyeford Ben Rhydding Berry Brow Birdsedge Birkenshaw Birstall Blackshaw Bogthorn Boothroyd, West Yorkshire Boothtown Boston Spa Boulderclough Brackenhill Bradshaw, Calderdale Bramham Bramhope Brandy Carr Briestfield Brookfoot Brown Moor Burley in Wharfedale Burley Woodhead Burnlee
  • Carlton, Rothwell Chiserley Clayton West Clayton Clifton Colden Collingham Copley Cornholme Cottingley Cragg Vale Crigglestone Crofton Cross Roads Crossflatts Cullingworth
  • Damems Darrington Denby Dale Durkar
  • East Ardsley East Hardwick East Keswick East Morton Eastburn Eastwood Eccup Eldwick Elland Upper Edge Emley Esholt
  • Farnley Tyas Ferrybridge Fitzwilliam Flockton Flockton Moor Foulby Fulneck Moravian Settlement
  • Garforth Gawthorpe Gilstead Gomersal Grange Moor Greetland
  • Hade Edge Haigh Hainworth Hall Bower Hanging Heaton Harden Harewood Hartshead Hartshead Moor Top Havercroft Haworth Healey, Kirklees Healey, Ossett Heath Helme Heptonstall Hepworth Highburton Hightown Hipperholme Holmbridge Holme Holywell Green Honley Horbury
  • Illingworth
  • Kettlethorpe Kinsley Kirkburton Kirkhamgate Kirkheaton Kirkthorpe
  • Lane Laycock Ledsham Ledston Lightcliffe Linthwaite Linton Little London Liversedge Lockwood Lofthouse Lower Cumberworth Lower Mickletown Luddenden Luddendenfoot Lumbfoot
  • Mankinholes Marsden Meltham Menston Methley Middlestown Middleton Midgley Mixenden Monkhill Moorthorpe Mytholmroyd
  • Netherthong Netherton, Kirklees Netherton, Wakefield New Fryston New Mill Newmillerdam Newsome Norland Norristhorpe North Elmsall Northowram Norwood Green Nostell Notton
  • Oakenshaw Oakworth Odsal Ogden Old Town Oulton Outwood Ovenden Overton Oxenhope
  • Pool-in-Wharfedale Portsmouth
  • Queensbury
  • Rastrick Rawdon Riddlesden Ripley Ville Ripponden Rishworth Roberttown Rodley Ryhill
  • Sandy Lane Scammonden Scarcroft Scholes, Bradford Scholes, Cleckheaton Scholes, Holme Valley Scholes, Leeds Scissett Sharlston Shelf Shelley Shepley Shibden Skelmanthorpe Slaithwaite Soothill South Crosland South Hiendley Southowram Sowerby Sowood Soyland Stainland Stanbury Stanley Steeton with Eastburn Steeton Storthes Hall Streethouse
  • Taylor Hill Thongsbridge Thornhill Thornton Thorp Arch Thurstonland Tingley Tong Triangle
  • Upper Batley Upper Cumberworth Upper Denby Upperthong Upton, West Yorkshire Utley
  • Walsden Walton, Leeds Walton, Wakefield Warley Town Warmfield Weardley Wentbridge West Bretton West Hardwick West Vale Whitley Lower Wilsden Wintersett Woodkirk Woodlesford Wooldale Woolley Wothersome Wrenthorpe Wrose Wyke

West Yorkshire History Facebook Groups

  • Belle Isle Local History Group
  • Family History F/B Group (Ponte’ Cas’ Fev’ Knottla areas) help, hints, tips
  • Garforth Historical Society
  • Hebden Bridge Local History Society
  • HEY Local History Calendar
  • Mytholmroyd and Cragg Vale Local History Page
  • Mytholmroyd 
  • North Bierley Family And Local History Group 
  • Old Photos Of Bradford
  • RASTRICK LOCAL HISTORY GROUP
  • Spen Valley Family And Local History Group
  • The Birstall & Howden Clough Area (Community Group)
  • Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society

West Yorkshire History Groups & Resources

The extensive national UK local history resources are listed on a separate page because there are so many. The majority will include information about West Yorkshire.

The following list includes groups and resources that focus on West Yorkshire or nearby areas which may overlap in a number of ways with the people and places of West Yorkshire:

  • Airedale and Wharfedale Family History Society 
  • Association of British Counties – map of Yorkshire
  • Barnsley Family History Society
  • Boot and Shoemakers of Yorkshire
  • Borthwick Institute of Historical Research (University of York)
  • Bradford Family History Society
  • Brynmor Jones Library Archives and Manuscripts (Hull University)
  • Combined Methodist Baptisms for the Isle of Axholme in the Counties of Lincolnshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire
  • Calderdale Family History Society
  • City of York & District Family History Society
  • Cleveland Family History Society
  • Dales Walks
  • Death Notices in Yorkshire Newspapers
  • Doncaster Archives and Local Studies 
  • Doncaster Family History Society
  • East Yorkshire Family History Society
  • England’s North East
  • Harrogate & District Family History Group
  • Huddersfield & District Family History Society
  • Hull City Archives – Kingston upon Hull (now East Riding)
  • Leeds University Quaker records
  • London Group of Yorkshire Family History Societies
  • Morley & District Family History Group
  • Northern Police Orphanage
  • Peak District Mines Historical Society
  • Pontefract & District Family History Society
  • Records Office – North Yorkshire (not the same as old North Riding) – North Yorkshire County Record Office
  • Records Office – East Riding (not the same as old East Riding; previously North Humberside) – East Riding of Yorkshire Archives Service
  • Records Office – West Yorkshire (not the same as old West Riding) – West Yorkshire Archive Service (West Yorkshire County Record Office)
  • Rotherham Archives and Local Studies Service 
  • Rotherham Family History Society
  • Records Offices – South Yorkshire – across 4 district councils
  • Register Offices of the former county of Cleveland(Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar & Cleveland, and Hartlepool)
  • Rydale Family History Group
  • Saddleworth Historical Society
  • Selby and District Family History Group
  • Sheffield & District Family History Society
  • Sir John Reresby’s Militia Troop of 1623
  • Subsidy Rolls (Poll Tax) for 1379 for the West Riding, the Ainsty, and the Howdenshire wapentake – parish records
  • This is York  – Evening Press/Gazette & Herald, York/Selby Star & York Advertiser
  • Topographical Dictionary of Yorkshire, 1822, by Thomas Langdale
  • Upper Dales Family History Group
  • Visitation of the County of Yorke, 1665/6 – Making of America
  • Wakefield & District Family History Society
  • West Riding Muster Rolls for 1680
  • Where is it in Yorkshire?
  • York City Archives(now North Yorkshire)
  • Yorksgen
  • Yorkshire Archaeological Society (YAS)
  • Yorkshire Bankers of 1845
  • Yorkshire Dialect Society
  • Yorkshire Film Archive Online
  • Yorkshire Information Centre
  • Yorkshire Quaker Heritage Project
  • Yorkshire Regiment
  • Yorkshire Ridings Society
  • Yorkshire Surnames list
  • Yorksview
  • 1851 and 1881 Census Yorkshire “strays”

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Thanks to David Mark for use of the West Yorkshire image shown at the top of this page.