Nottinghamshire family history information
See below for a list of records relating to Nottinghamshire ancestry.
Nottinghamshire is a county located in the centre of England in a region known as the East Midlands. It is bordered by the counties of Yorkshire to the north, Lincolnshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south and Derbyshire to the west. The major river is the River Trent, which passes through the length of the county, at one point forming a border with Derbyshire in the south west and at another forming a border with Lincolnshire in the north east of the county. The county is fairly small, ranking 27th in area out of 39 English counties.
The county town was Nottingham, an ancient settlement and has been a self-governing borough since 1449. Nottinghamshire is famous as the county containing Sherwood Forest, the location of the Robin Hood stories. The town of Nottingham was famous as a centre of lace making during the nineteenth century. In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century it was known as a centre for bicycle manufacture and as the starting place for Boots the Chemist. During this period, the county also had extensive coalfields in the north of the county and an active coal industry which has now declined. The other main industries in the county during the 18th and 19th centuries were hosiery manufacture and agriculture.
The county was divided into six administrative areas or hundreds - Bassetlaw, Bingham, Broxtowe, Newark, Rushcliffe, and Thurgaton. As well as Nottingham, there were two other towns with borough status in the county - Newark and Retford. The county sent ten members to Parliament - two representing Nottingham, two representing Newark, two for Retford and four representing the rest of the county. Quarter sessions courts were held quarterly at Nottingham, and twice a year at Newark and Retford, alternating between the two towns.
Ecclesiastical administration - Probate
Nottinghamshire was part of the Diocese of York. Most wills were proved in the Archdeaconry of Nottingham. The archdeaconry was divided into four deaneries based at Nottingham, Bingham, Newark and Retford. There were a few peculiar courts that were independent of the Archdeaconry Court, the largest of the peculiars being Southwell. From 1842 the parishes formerly under peculiar jurisdiction were incorporated into the Archdeaconry of Nottingham. The wealthier inhabitants may have proved their wills at the Perogative Court of York.
Nottingham was the largest town in Nottinghamshire. Though the town itself was quite small in area, it expanded into the neighbouring parishes of Sneiton and Radford, which became suburbs of the town. The population of Nottingham and suburbs was: 1801 31,638
The principal market towns in Nottinghamshire were Bingham, Blyth, Mansfield, Newark, Ollerton, Retford, Southwell, Tuxford and Worksop.
Locating family history records
A list of the Nottinghamshire records available on Genhound can be found below. The majority of original records can be found at the Nottinghamshire Archives in Nottingham including parish registers and records, probate records, sessions records and local authority records. Records of Newark Corporation, once held at Newark Museum are now also at the Nottinghamshire Archives, as are the records for the Diocese of Southwell. Another repository of records is the Manuscripts and Special Collections Department of the University of Nottingham. Researchers are advised to make an appointment before visiting the Reading Room. Records held include marriage bonds from the Archdeaconry of Nottingham and family and estate collections of landed families including manorial records and rentals. Nottingham Central Library has Local Studies Library. Links to the websites of these repositories and other useful Nottinghamshire family history links can be found on the left hand side of this page.
Why not set up an email alert to be notified when new Nottinghamshire records are added to Genhound? Note: This will set up an email alert for Nottinghamshire records for all dates. If you wish to limit the date range, click on the "Local records" link under "Browse" in the right hand menu and select the required date range.
If you are registered with Genhound and sign in you will be able to set up an email alert so you are notified whenever new records matching these criteria are added to Genhound. Registering with Genhound is fast, easy and free.