Middlesbrough (city), Yorkshire Genealogy

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Guide to Middlesbrough history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Old Middlesborough.jpg


History[edit | edit source]

Coat of arms of Middlesbrough
Middlesbrough location in the England
Yorkshire flag

With the UK Government redefining of counties and jurisdictions in 1972, Middlesbrough is now part of the County of North Yorkshire. As this will not be of any help for Family History researchers, it is identified above as part of the historic county of Yorkshire. It is a large town and unitary authority area on the banks of the River Tees. and slightly downriver from Stockton on Tees in County Durham, and on the south bank of the river.

In 686 a monastic cell was consecrated by St. Cuthbert at the request of St. Hilda, Abbess of Whitby and in 1119 Robert Bruce, Lord of Cleveland and Annandale, granted and confirmed the church of St. Hilda of Middleburg to Whitby. Up until its closure on the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII in 1537, the church was maintained by 12 Benedictine monks, many of whom became vicars, or rectors, of various places in Cleveland. The importance of the early church at "Middleburg", later known as Middlesbrough Priory, is indicated by the fact that, in 1452, it possessed four altars.

After settlement by the Angles, the area became home to Viking raiders who chose to settle there. Names of Viking origin (with the suffix by) are abundant in the area – for example, Ormesby, Stainsby, Maltby and Tollesby were once separate villages that belonged to Vikings called Orm, Steinn, Malti and Toll, but now form suburbs of Middlesbrough. The name Mydilsburgh is the earliest recorded form of Middlesbrough's name and dates from the Anglo-Saxon era (AD 410–1066), while many of the aforementioned villages are recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086.

In 1801, Middlesbrough was a small farm with a population of just 25. However during the latter half of the 19th century, it experienced rapid growth.

The Stockton and Darlington Railway (S&DR) had been developed to transport coal from Witton Park Colliery and Shildon in County Durham, to the River Tees in the east. It had always been assumed by the investors that Stockton, as the then lowest bridging point on the River Tees, would be suitable to take the largest ships at the required volume. However, as the trade developed, and with competition from the Clarence Railway which had established a new port on the north side of the river at Port Clarence, a better solution was required on the south side of the river.

In 1828 the influential Quaker banker, coal mine owner and S&DR shareholder Joseph Pease sailed up the River Tees to find a suitable new site down river of Stockton on which to place new coal wharves. As a result, in 1829 he and a group of Quaker businessmen bought the Middlesbrough farmstead and associated estate, some 527 acres (213 ha) of land, and established the Middlesbrough Estate Company. Through the company, the investors set about the development of a new coal port on the banks of the Tees nearby, and a suitable town on the site of the farm (the new town of Middlesbrough) to supply the port with labor. By 1830 the S&DR had been extended to Middlesbrough and expansion of the town was assured. The town of Middlesbrough was now born. New businesses quickly bought up premises and plots of land in the new town and soon shippers, merchants, butchers, innkeepers, joiners, blacksmiths, tailors, builders and painters were moving in. By 1851 Middlesbrough's population had grown from 40 people in 1829 to 7,600.

The first coal shipping wharves at the port (known as "Port Darlington") were constructed just to the west of the site earmarked for the location of Middlesbrough. The port was linked to the S&DR on 27 December 1830 via a branch that extended to an area just north of the current Middlesbrough railway station. The success of the port meant it soon became overwhelmed by the volume of imports and exports, and in 1839 work started on Middlesbrough Docks. Laid out by Sir William Cubitt, the whole infrastructure was built by resident civil engineer George Turnbull. After three years and an expenditure of £122,000 (equivalent to £9.65 million at 2011 prices), first water was let in on 19 March 1842, and the formal opening took place on 12 May 1842. On completion, the docks were bought by the S&DR.

Ironstone was discovered in the Eston Hills in 1850. In 1841, Henry Bolckow, who had come to England in 1827, formed a partnership with John Vaughan, originally of Worcester, and started an iron foundry and rolling mill at Vulcan Street in the town. It was Vaughan who realized the economic potential of local ironstone deposits. Pig iron production rose tenfold between 1851 and 1856. The importance of the area to the developing iron and steel trade gave it the nickname "Ironopolis".

For many years in the 19th century, Tees-side set the world price for iron and steel. The steel components of the Sydney Harbor Bridge (1932) were engineered and fabricated by Dorman Long of Middlesbrough. The company was also responsible for the New Tyne Bridge in Newcastle.

Middlesbrough's rapid expansion continued throughout the second half of the 19th century (fueled by the iron and steel industry), the population reaching 90,000 by the turn of the century. The population of Middlesbrough as a county borough peaked at almost 165,000 in the late 1960s, but has declined since the early 1980s.

The 1871 census of England & Wales showed that Middlesbrough had the second highest percentage of Irish born people in England after Liverpool. This equated to 9.2% of the overall population of the district at the time. Due to the rapid development of the town and its industrialization there was much need for people to work in the many blast furnaces and steel works along the banks of the Tees. This attracted many people from Ireland, especially after the Irish potato blight, who were in much need of work. As well as people from Ireland, the Scottish, Welsh and overseas inhabitants made up 16% of Middlesbrough's population in 1871.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Linthorpe Cemetery
13 Albany Street
Middlesbrough TS1 4DB

Teesside Crematorium
Acklam Rd
Middlesbrough TS5 7HD
Phone: +44 1642 817725

Acklam Cemetery
Middlesbrough TS5 7YR

Thorntree Cemetery
21 Creekwood
Middlesbrough TS3 9RL

Thorntree Roman Catholic Cemetery
Cargo Fleet Ln
Middlesbrough TS3 8PE
Phone: +44 1642 817725

North Ormsby Cemetery
51 Cranmore Rd
Middlesbrough TS3 8HW

The following websites can provide additional information on Middlesbrough Cemeteries:

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

All Saints
Church address:
Linthorpe Rd
Middlesbrough TS1 3PR

Church of St. Columbia
Church address:
Wilson St
Middlesbrough TS1 1SH
Phone: +44 1642 824779

St Barnabas'
Church address:
1 St Barnabas' Rd
Middlesbrough TS5 6JR
Phone: +44 1642 812622

St Mary's
Church address:
Church Ln
Middlesbrough TS5 7DY
Phone: +44 1642 819980

St George's
Church address:
25 Spencer Rd
Middlesbrough TS6 9BD
Phone: +44 1642 281182

Christ Church
Church address:
75B High St
Eston, Middlesbrough TS6 9EH
Phone: +44 1642 281182

St Timothy's
Church address:
Crosscliff
Middlesbrough TS8 9JJ
Phone: +44 1642 592649

St Peter and St Paul's
Church address:
1 High St
Stokesley, Middlesbrough TS9 5
Phone: +44 1642 710405

For other local parishes, consider accessing the following 3 Yorkshire Parish websites:

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

Other Christian and non Christian religious groups follow:

  • Baptists
  • Evangelical
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Congregational Church
  • Elite Christian Spiritualist
  • Jehovah's Witness
  • Jubilee Church
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist
  • New Life Church
  • Pentecostal
  • Roman Catholic

Non Christian populations include:

  • Buddhists
  • Hindu
  • Jews
  • Muslims
  • Sikhs
  • Taoists

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the UK government, from July 1837 to the present day.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Middlesbrough lost a large part of its heavy industry base in the second half of the twentieth century. However it is still a vibrant manufacturing economy with many opportunities for employment in the manufacturing sectors.

Business in Middlesbrough is still dominated by the nearby chemical industry which until 1995 in this locality was largely owned by Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI). The fragmentation of that company led to many smaller manufacturing units being owned and operated by a number of multinational organizations. The last part of ICI itself completely left the area in 2006 and the remaining companies are now members of the Northeast of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC).

The port of Teesport, owned by PD Ports, is also vital to the economy of Middlesbrough and the port owners have their offices in the town. Teesport is 5.5 miles (9 km) from the North Sea and 3 miles (5 km) east of Middlesbrough, on the River Tees. Teesport is currently the third largest port in the United Kingdom, and among the tenth biggest in Western Europe, handling about 50 million tons of domestic and international cargo per year. The vast majority of these products are still related to the steel and chemical industries made by companies that are members of NEPIC.

Middlesbrough also remains a stronghold for engineering based manufacturing and engineering contract service businesses. It also has a growing reputation for developing digital businesses particularly in the field of digital animation as a result of spin-out activity in this new industry from the Middlesbrough-based Teesside University. [2]

The following data provides information on the changes in types of employment available in Middlesbrough and the larger Tees Valley.

The structure of the Tees Valley economy has changed markedly over the past 40 years. In 1973 almost 43% or 122,000 of the 284,000 employee jobs in Tees Valley was accounted for by the Manufacturing sector. Construction accounted for 9.4% of jobs and around 46% of employees worked in the Service sector (132,000).

By 2003, manufacturing had declined considerably, with service sector employment generating significant numbers of new jobs (45,000 since 1993, offsetting the fall in manufacturing). By 2014 and following the 2008/09 recession, Tees Valley employee numbers stood at 261,000, combined with a further 31,500 self-employed to take the number of jobs to 292,500. Manufacturing employment had fallen to under 25,000 by 2014 with Construction below 14,000. Jobs in Utilities were broadly unchanged at 4,000 and Services was up to 218,000. [3]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Middlesbrough," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesbrough, accessed 17 January, 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Middlesbrough," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middlesbrough, accessed 22 January, 2018.
  3. Tees Valley Economic Assessment, https://teesvalley-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/tees_valley_economic_assessment_2015_full.pdf, accessed 21 January 2018