Northampton, Northamptonshire Genealogy

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

Northampton center

History[edit | edit source]

Coat of arms of Northampton
Northampton location
Northamptonshire flag

Northampton is the county town of Northamptonshire in the East Midlands of England. It lies on the River Nene, about 67 miles (108 km) north-west of London and 50 miles (80 km) south-east of Birmingham. It is one of the largest towns in the UK that has not been designated as a city.

Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, and to Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. Remains found in the Briar Hill district show evidence of a Neolithic encampment within a large circular earthwork where local farmers assembled for tribal ceremonies and seasonal events from approximately 3500 BC to 2000 BC.

During the British Iron Age, people typically lived in protected hill forts. Present-day Hunsbury Hill is an example of this settlement; a circular ditch and a bank faced with a wall of timber and enclosing an area of 160 acres (65 ha) which dates to around 400 BC. In the Roman period, a small rural settlement is thought to have existed in the present-day district of Duston; remains of Roman pottery were found there.

During the Middle Ages, the town rose to national significance with the establishment of Northampton Castle, which was an occasional royal residence and regularly hosted the Parliament of England. Medieval Northampton had many churches, monasteries and the University of Northampton, which were all enclosed by the town walls. It was granted its first town charter by King Richard I in 1189 and its first mayor was appointed by King John in 1215.

Markets and fairs were a key element in the town's economy in medieval times. The Market Square came to prominence in 1235 when Henry III ordered that the selling of goods in the churchyard of All Saint's should be relocated to the Market Square. Street names in the town give an indication of trades and market centers; Corn Hill, Malt Hill, Mercer Row, Gold Street, Sheep Street and Horse Market. Cloth and wool were very important but these industries later declined. In the 13th century, Northampton had a large Jewish population centered on Gold Street. In 1277—two years after Edward I passed the Statute of the Jewry—some Jewish residents were executed while the remainder were driven out of town.

The town center was, to a great extent, destroyed by the Great Fire of Northampton in 1675, caused by sparks from an open fire in a thatched cottage by the castle. The fire spread eastwards by strong westerly winds and consumed three-quarters of the town center in 24 hours. Matters were worsened because most buildings were chiefly made of wood and covered with thatch. An estimated 600 buildings were destroyed at that time.

By the end of the 18th century, Northampton had become a major center of footwear and leather manufacture. In 1801, the population was 7,020; it more than doubled to 15,351 in 1831, attributed to the fact that there was great demand for footwear caused by the Napoleonic Wars of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. A third of the adult males alone were shoemakers at the time. Northampton grew beyond the old town walls and industry grew rapidly with the mechanization of factories by the middle of the 19th century.

After World War II, Northampton vastly changed. In 1959, the M1 motorway was opened to the south-west of the town. In 1968, Northampton was designated a New Town. Both these events and the rail link helped Northampton's growth as a commuter town for London. Although growth was slower than planned, the population grew from 105,421 in 1961 to 157,217 by 1981, with 15,655 new homes added to the town between 1970 and 1985.

In 2006, Northampton became a government expansion zone with new growth promoted by West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC), an un-elected research group, which has provoked a series of regeneration schemes across the town.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Towcester Road Cemetery
302 Towcester Rd
Northampton NN4 8LP

Billing Road Cemetery
36 South Terrace
Northampton NN1 5JY

Dallington Cemetery
Harlestone Rd
Northampton NN5 6AB

Kingsthorpe Cemetery
Northampton, UK

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

St Andrew's Church, Harlestone
Church Ln
Lower Harlestone
Northampton NN7 4EN
Phone: +44 1604 770402

St Giles Church
St Giles' Terrace
Northampton NN1 2BN
Phone: +44 1604 628623

All Saints Church
Church Ln
Northampton NN3 9AE

St Botolph's Church
Harlestone Rd
Church Brampton
Northampton NN6 8AT
Phone: +44 1604 770402

St Mary the Virgin, East Haddon
Main St
East Haddon
Northampton NN6 8BU
Phone: +44 1604 770402

St Mary with St John Church
Main St
Great Brington
Northampton NN7 4JB
Phone: +44 1604 770402

St Denys' Church
Church Hill
Northampton NN6 8EP

St Mary and All Saints' Church
Main St
Northampton NN6 9SP

St John's Church
48 Elm St
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: +1 413-584-1757

St Margaret of Antioch
Church St
Northampton NN6 7TP
Phone: +44 1788 822147

All Saints Church
Church St
Northampton NN6 6DA

St Helen's Church
Church Ln
Northampton NN6 8SN
Phone: +44 1604 743444

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre
Sheep St
Northampton NN1 3NL
Phone: +44 1604 230316

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

Other Christian groups follow:

  • Baptists<br
  • Central Vinyard
  • Church of Christ
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Kingdom Life
  • Methodist
  • Presbyterian
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army Church
  • Seventh Day Adventists

Non Christian faiths include the following:

  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths records have been kept by government since July 1837 to the present day. Prior to that, local parishes of the Church of England, and local branches of other faiths were the only repositories of this information.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Much of Northampton's major employment occupations are either now closed, or function as small specialty groups, for example in bespoke shoe manufacturing.

Today, Northampton's main private-sector employers are in the distribution and finance sectors, rather than manufacturing, and include Avon Products, Barclaycard, Blacks Leisure Group, Nationwide Building Society (Anglia Building Society was formed by amalgamation of Northampton Town and County Building Society with Leicestershire Building Society in 1966 and subsequently merged with the Nationwide in 1987), Panasonic, Travis Perkins, Coca-Cola, Schweppes, Simply Business, National Grid, Texas Instruments and Carlsberg.

In 1974, Princess Benedikte of Denmark opened Northampton's Carlsberg brewery, the first outside Denmark.

In the public sector, The University of Northampton is also a major employer, as is St Andrew's Healthcare, a national mental health charity. St Andrew's Hospital, its flagship hospital and the United Kingdom's largest psychiatric hospital, is based in Northampton. In 2014, Experian named Northampton as "the best place in the UK to start and run a business."[2]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Northampton," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 1 November, 2017.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Northampton," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 4 November, 2017.