Doncaster (city), Yorkshire Genealogy

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

Doncaster.jpg


History

Coat of arms of Doncaster
Doncaster location in England
South Yorkshire flag

With the UK Government redefining of counties and jurisdictions in 1972, Doncaster, while historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, is now considered a location in South 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.

Doncaster is a large market town and is part of a greater metropolitan area with a population of about 300,000.

Possibly inhabited by earlier people, Doncaster grew up at the site of a Roman fort constructed in the 1st century at a crossing of the River Don. The 2nd century Antonine Itinerary and the early 5th century Notitia Dignitatum (Register of Dignitaries) called this fort Danum. The first section of the road to the Doncaster fort had probably been constructed in the early 50s, while a route through the north Derbyshire hills was opened in the latter half of the 1st century. The main route between Lincoln and York was Ermine Street, which required parties to break into smaller units to cross the Humber in boats. As this was not always practical, the Romans considered Doncaster to be an important staging post. Several areas of known intense archaeological interest have been identified in the town, although many, in particular St Sepulchre Gate, remain hidden under buildings. The Roman fort is believed to have been located on the site that is now covered by St George's Minster, next to the River Don.

Doncaster is generally believed to be the Cair Daun listed as one of the 28 cities of Britain in the 9th century History of the Britons traditionally attributed to Nennius. It was certainly an Anglo-Saxon burh, during which period it received its present name: "Don-" (Old English: Donne) from the Roman settlement and river and "-caster" (-ceaster) from an Old English adaptation of the Latin castra ("military camp; fort").

By the time of the Domesday Book, Hexthorpe in the wapentake of Strafforth was described as having a church and two mills. The historian David Hey says that these facilities represent the initial settlement at Doncaster.

As the 13th century approached, Doncaster matured into a busy town; in 1194 King Richard I granted it national recognition with a town charter. In 1248, a charter was granted for Doncaster's market to be held around the Church of St Mary Magdalene, built in Norman times. In the 16th century, the church was adapted for use as the town hall. It was finally demolished in 1846. Some 750 years on, the market continues to operate, with its busy traders located both under cover, at the 19th-century 'Corn Exchange' building, and in outside stalls.

By 1334, Doncaster was the wealthiest town in southern Yorkshire and the sixth most important town in Yorkshire as a whole, even boasting its own banker. By 1379, it was recovering from the Black Death, which had reduced its population to 1,500. In October 1536, the Pilgrimage of Grace ended in Doncaster. This was a rebellion led by the lawyer Robert Aske, who commanded 40,000 people of Yorkshire against Henry VIII in protest about the monarch's Dissolution of the Monasteries.

The Medieval township of Doncaster is known to have been protected by earthen ramparts and ditches, with four substantial gates as entrances to the town. These gates were located at Hall Gate, St Mary's Bridge (old), St Sepulchre Gate and Sunny Bar Today the gates at Sunny Bar are commemorated by huge 'Boar Gates'; similarly, the entrance to St Sepulchre Gate is commemorated with white marble 'Roman Gates'. The boundary of the town principally extended from the River Don, along a route formed by what is now Market Road, Silver Street, Cleveland Street and Printing Office Street.

Because access into town was restricted, some officeholders secured charters to collect tolls. In 1605, King James I granted to William Levett of Doncaster, brother of York merchant Percival Levett, the right to levy tolls at Friar's and St Mary's bridges. Having served as mayors and aldermen of Doncaster, the Levetts probably believed they could control a monopoly. In 1618 the family began enforcing it but, by 1628, the populace revolted.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the town of Doncaster continued to expand, although it suffered several outbreaks of plague between 1562 and 1606. Each time the plague struck down significant numbers of the town's population.

Doncaster has traditionally been a prosperous area within the wapentake of Stafford and Tickhill. The borough was known for its rich landowners with vast estates and huge stately homes such as Brodsworth Hall, Cantley Hall, Cusworth Hall, Hickleton Hall, Nether Hall and Wheatley Hall (demolished 1934). This wealth is evidenced in the luxurious and historic gilded 18th-century Mansion House on High Street. This land ownership developed over what is an ancient market place and large buildings were erected in the 19th century, including the Market Hall and the Corn Exchange. Perhaps the most striking building is St George's Minster, constructed in the 19th century and promoted from a parish church in 2004.[1]

Resources

Cemeteries (Civil)

Hyde Park Cemetery:
Carr House Rd
Doncaster DN4 5AA
Phone: +44 7777 688438

Edlington Cemetery:
Warmsworth
Doncaster DN4 9NA

Warmsworth Cemetery:
Guest La<vr> Doncaster DN4 9NX
Phone: +44 1302 535191

Rose Hill Crematorium:
Ascot Ave
Cantley, Doncaster DN4 6HE
Phone: +44 1302 736900

The following websites can provide additional information on Doncaster Cemeteries:

Church Records

Parishes

St George's Minster
Church address:
9 Church St
Doncaster DN1 1RD
Phone: +44 1302 323748

St Wilfrid's
Church address:
200 Cantley Ln
Doncaster DN4 6PA
Phone: +44 1302 535133

St Wilfrid's, Scrooby
Church address:
6AR, Church Ln
Scrooby, Doncaster DN10
Phone: +44 1909 591857

St Wilfrid's, Hickleton
Church address:
Barnsley Rd
Doncaster DN5 7BA

St Oswald's
Church address:
Kirk Sandall
Doncaster DN3 1DW

St Mary's
Church address:
23 St Mary's Gate
Tickhill, Doncaster DN11 9LY

St Mary's, Wheatley
Church address:
St Mary's Rd
Doncaster DN1 2NT

Holy Trinity and St Oswald's
Church address:
Rectory Ln
Finningley, Doncaster DN9 3DA
Phone: +44 1302 770240

St Lawrence
Church address:
3 Vicarage Cl
Hatfield, Doncaster DN7 6HN
Phone: +44 1302 350591

St Mary Magdalene
Church address:
19 Campsall Hall Rd
Campsall, Doncaster DN6 9LH
Phone: +44 1302 723224

St Aidans
Church address:
18 Central Blvd
Doncaster DN2 5PE
Phone: +44 1302 342047

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

Non Conformists

Other Christian and non Christian religious groups follow:

  • Baptists
  • Evangelical
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Christian Fellowship
  • Congregational Church
  • Evangelical
  • Jehovah's Witness
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist
  • Pentecostal
  • Reach out Christian Fellowship
  • RCCJ Maranatha
  • Roman Catholic
  • Unitarian

Non Christian populations include:

  • Buddhists
  • Hindu
  • Jews
  • Muslims
  • Sikhs

Civil Registration

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

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers

Newspapers

Occupations

Doncaster emerged as an industrial center in the late 18th century to the late 20th century. Its communication links, particularly its waterways, meant that Doncaster became extremely busy and experienced vast migration to its centrer. Underneath Doncaster lies a huge natural resource by way of deep seam coal. However most of this industrial base and its communication links have become largely redundant as manufacturing moved to Asia. [2]

Doncaster City Council has established a series of initiatives to take advantage of the pool of trained citizens. This includes areas such as benefiting from a competitive manufacturing and engineering sector, a growing logistics sector and a highly rated retail and tourism area. It has also initiated the growth of horse racing as an attraction to the area.

The town is served by the UK’s newest international airport, is at the heart of the UK’s motorway network and the East Coast Mainline runs through the town’s high quality urban centre, with London only 88 minutes away. Doncaster is the largest borough in England by geographic area (220sq miles), which also sees it benefit from a significant natural environment.

This includes a major project which will help integrate road, rail, water (the Humber ports) and air to provide a major UK multi-modal logistics offer known as the ‘Port of Doncaster’ and act as a catalyst for business development, inward investment and job creation particularly in the logistics, engineering and associated aviation sectors.[3]

Societies

Archives

Websites

References

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Doncaster," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doncaster, accessed 11 March, 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Doncaster," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doncaster, accessed 14 March, 2018.
  3. Key Cities Potential, https://www.keycities.co.uk/Doncaster, accessed 14 March, 2018.