Nottingham, Nottinghamshire Genealogy

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Guide to Nottingham (city) history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Nottingham city council house.jpg
Nottingham coat of arms
Nottingham location in England
Flag of the city of Nottingham

History[edit | edit source]

In Anglo-Saxon times the area was part of the Kingdom of Mercia, and was known in the Brythonic language as Tigguo Cobauc, meaning Place of Caves. When it fell under the rule of a Saxon chieftain named Snot it became known as "Snotingaham"; the homestead of Snot's people.

Nottingham Castle was constructed in the 11th century on a sandstone outcrop by the River Leen. The Anglo-Saxon settlement developed into the English Borough of Nottingham and housed a Town Hall and Law Courts.

On the return of Richard the Lionheart from the Crusades, the Castle was occupied by supporters of Prince John, including the Sheriff of Nottingham. It was besieged by Richard and, after a sharp conflict, was captured. In the legends of Robin Hood, Nottingham Castle is the scene of the final showdown between the Sheriff and the hero outlaw. The following image is from one of the ancient trees in Sherwood Forest.

Sherwood Forest.jpg

By the 15th century Nottingham had established itself as a center of a thriving export trade in religious sculpture made from Nottingham Alabaster.

During the Industrial Revolution, much of Nottingham's prosperity was founded on the textile industry; in particular, the city became an internationally important center of lace manufacture. Even today there is a thriving cottage industry in the suburbs,and Nottingham Lace is still a prized possession of those who know lace.

Electric trams (trolleys) were introduced to the city in 1901; they served the city for 35 years until the trolleybus network was expanded in 1936. As part of the urban renewal, and also due to their 'green quality', trams were reintroduced after 68 years when a new network opened in 2004.

Nottingham was granted city status during the diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. The city boundaries were further extended in 1933 by adding Bilborough and Wollaton, parts of the parishes of Bestwood Park and Colwick, and a recently developed part of the Beeston Urban District. A further boundary extension was granted in 1951 when Clifton and Wilford (south of the River Trent) were incorporated into the city.

Nottingham is located in the center of England, almost due north.

Geologically the area around Nottingham, like areas in the adjacent counties of Derbyshire and South Yorkshire, sits on extensive coal measures, up to 900 meters (3,000 feet) thick and occurring largely in the north of the county. There is an oilfield near Eakring. However the coalfields are now not worked extensively. The coalfields are overlaid by sandstone and limestone in the west and clay in the east.

To area to the south and south east of the city, around Sherwood Forest, features undulating hills with ancient oak woodland. Principal rivers are the Trent, Idle, Erewash and Soar.

Nottingham is sheltered by the Pennines to the west, so receives relatively low rainfall.

Religion was at the heart of life in medieval times, so much so that many churches were enlarged or rebuilt to hold larger congregations; one of the great town churches being St. Mary's in Nottingham. Other than the great houses of the nobility, English stonemasons and woodcarvers practiced their trade on churches, and Nottingham was no exception.

In the late 1500's a religious movement began in North Nottinghamshire that was to shake the world. In the villages of Babworth and Scrooby a group of religious thinkers began to formulate new religious (nonconformist) ideas. They became known as the Pilgrim Fathers and eventually sailed to New England in 1620 on the Mayflower.

Nottingham itself was the birthplace of William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army. He was born in Notintone Place, Sneinton, a suburb of the city. The Salvation Army now works throughout the world.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

The links to information on cemeteries for Nottingham follow:

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census records for Nottingham can be found using the following links:

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. There are several locations for BMD records for Nottingham. These follow:

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by several locations for Nottingham. Please follow the links below:

Societies[edit | edit source]