Kingston Upon Hull, Yorkshire Genealogy

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Guide to Kingston upon Hull history, family history, and genealogy parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Kingston Upon Hull.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Flag of Yorkshire East Riding
Coat of arms of Kingston Upon Hull
Location of Kingston Upon Hull in Yorkshire and England


Kingston Upon Hull, usually abbreviated to just Hull, is a city and unitary authority in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England It lies upon the River Hull at its junction with the River Humber estuary, 25 miles (40 km) inland from the North Sea.

The valley of the River Hull has been inhabited since the early Neolithic period but there is little evidence of a substantial settlement in the area of the present city. The area was attractive to people because it gave access to a prosperous hinterland and navigable rivers but the site was poor, being remote, low-lying and with no fresh water. It was originally an outlying part of the hamlet of Myton, named Wyke. The name is thought to originate either from a Scandinavian word Vik meaning creek or from the Saxon Wic meaning dwelling place or refuge.

The River Hull was a good haven for shipping, whose trade included the export of wool from Meaux abbey. In 1293 the town was acquired from the abbey by King Edward I, who on 1 April 1299 granted it a royal charter that renamed the settlement King's town upon Hull or Kingston upon Hull. The charter is preserved in the archives of the Guildhall.

In 1440, a further charter incorporated the town and instituted local government consisting of a mayor, a sheriff and twelve aldermen.

In his Guide to Hull (1817), J. C. Craggs provides a colorful background to Edward's acquisition and naming of the town. He writes that the King and a hunting party started after a hare which "led them along the delightful banks of the River Hull to the hamlet of Wyke … [Edward], charmed with the scene before him, viewed with delight the advantageous situation of this hitherto neglected and obscure corner. He foresaw it might become a secure town, both to render the kingdom more secure against foreign invasion, and at the same time greatly to enforce its commerce". Pursuant to these thoughts, Craggs continues, Edward purchased the land from the Abbot of Meaux, had a manor hall built for himself, issued proclamations encouraging development within the town, and bestowed upon it the royal appellation, King's Town.

The port served as a base for Edward I during the First War of Scottish Independence and later developed into the foremost port on the east coast of England. It prospered by exporting wool and woolen cloth, and importing wine and timber. Hull also established a flourishing commerce with the Baltic ports as part of the Hanseatic League.

From its medieval beginnings, Hull's main trading links were with Scotland and northern Europe. Scandinavia, the Baltic and the Low Countries were all key trading areas for Hull's merchants. In addition, there was trade with France, Spain and Portugal. As sail power gave way to steam, Hull's trading links extended throughout the world. Docks were opened to serve the frozen meat trade of Australia, New Zealand and South America. Hull was also the center of a thriving inland and coastal trading network, serving the whole of the United Kingdom.

Sir William de la Pole was the town's first mayor. A prosperous merchant, de la Pole founded a family that became prominent in government. Another successful son of a Hull trading family was bishop John Alcock, who founded Jesus College, Cambridge and was a patron of the grammar school in Hull.

The town prospered during the 16th and early 17th centuries, and Hull's affluence at this time is preserved in the form of several well-maintained buildings from the period, including Wilberforce House, now a museum documenting the life of William Wilberforce, the major parliamentary instigator of bills to end the slave trade.

Throughout the second half of the 19th century and leading up to the First World War, the Port of Hull played a major role in the transmigration of Northern European settlers to the New World, with thousands of emigrants sailing to the city and stopping for administrative purposes before traveling on to Liverpool and then North America.

Whaling played a major role in the town's fortunes until the mid-19th century. Hull's prosperity peaked in the decades just before the First World War; it was during this time, in 1897, that city status was granted. After the decline of the whaling industry, emphasis shifted to deep-sea trawling until the Anglo-Icelandic Cod War of 1975–1976. The conditions set at the end of this dispute initiated Hull's economic decline.

The city's port and industrial facilities, coupled with its proximity to mainland Europe and ease of location being on a major estuary, led to extremely widespread damage by bombing raids during the Second World War; much of the city center was destroyed. Hull had 95% of its houses damaged or destroyed, making it the most severely bombed British city or town, apart from London, during the Second World War. More than 1,200 people died in air raids on the city and some 3,000 others were injured.

The worst of the bombing occurred in 1941. However little was known about this destruction by the rest of the country during the war, since most of the radio and newspaper reports did not reveal Hull by name but referred to it as "a North-East town" or "a northern coastal town". [1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

There are four major cemeteries within the boundaries of the city of Kingston Upon Hull. They follow:

  • Eastern Cemetery
  • Address:
  • 8"N 6th Ave
  • Hull HU6, UK
  • Hedon Road Cemetery
  • Address:
  • Hedon Road
  • Hull HU9 5LT, UK
  • Northern Cemetery
  • Address:
  • Hull HU5 4AZ, UK
  • Western Cemetery
  • Address:
  • Western Cemetery Lodge
  • Chanterlands Ave
  • Hull HU5 3SS, UK

Non Christian cemeteries include the following:

  • Delhi Street cemetery (Jewish), Kingston upon Hull
  • Marfleet cemetery (Jewish), Kingston upon Hull

Closed in 1972, the oldest cemetery in the district is Hull General Cemetery, and was for the burial of Anglican communicants only. The area has since been cleared, but records of those buried there can be found at:

Further information on Kingston Upon Hull Cemeteries can be found at:

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

A complete list of parishes for Kingston Upon Hull can be found at:

  • [1] List of Kingston Upon Hull parishes]

Hull parish records on line can be found at:

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

The following other Christian denominations and religions are also represented well in Hull:

  • Baptists
  • Calvinists
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Church of Scotland
  • Eastern Orthodox Church
  • Greek Orthodox Church
  • Lutherans
  • Methodists
  • Roman Catholics
  • Asian Orthodox Christian

Non Christian populations include:

  • Buddhists
  • Jews
  • Muslims
  • Sikhs
  • Taoists
  • Zoroastrians

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

  • FreeBMD - National registration office index]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

The economy of Hull was built on trading and seafaring, firstly whaling and later deep sea fishing. Although the fishing industry declined somewhat in the 1970s, the city remains a busy port, handling 13 million tonnes of cargo per year. The port operations run by Associated British Ports and other companies in the port employ 5,000 people.

Industry in the city is focused on the chemical and health care sectors. Several well-known British companies, including BP, Smith & Nephew, Seven Seas, and Reckitt Benckiser, have facilities in Hull. The health care sector is further enhanced by the research facilities provided by the University of Hull through the Institute of Woundcare and the Hull York Medical School partnerships.

As the biggest settlement in the East Riding of Yorkshire and the local transport hub, Hull is a natural focus for retail shoppers. Major department stores in Hull include Debenhams and the House of Fraser. There are also a number of "retail parks", and suburban shopping centers.

In January 2011 Siemens Wind Power and Associated British Ports signed a memorandum of understanding concerning the construction of wind turbine manufacturing plant at Alexander Dock. The plan would require some modification of the dock to allow the ships, used for transporting the wind turbines, to dock and be loaded. Planning applications for the plant were submitted in December 2011, and affirmed in 2014, concerning 75 meter blades for the 6 MW offshore model. The creation of an enterprise zone, Humber Enterprise Zone, was announced in 2011 to encourage further industrial development in the Humber estuary region.

The other major area providing occupations in the city is education. Kingston upon Hull is home to the University of Hull, which was founded in 1927 and received its Royal Charter in 1954. It now has a total student population of around 20,000 across its main campuses in Hull and Scarborough. The main University campus is in North Hull, on Cottingham Road.

A 12.5-acre site waste-to-energy centre costing in the region of £150 million is also planned to be built by the Spencer Group. Announced in mid-2011, and named 'Energy Works',the proposed plant would process up to 200,000 tonnes of organic material per year, with energy produced via a waste gasification process.[2]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Hull History Center

  • Address:
  • Worship St
  • Hull HU2 8BG, UK
  • Phone: +44 1482 317500

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors,"Kingston Upon Hull" in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingston Upon Hull, accessed 3 August 2016.
  2. Wikipedia contributors,"Kingston Upon Hull" in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingston Upon Hull, accessed 1 March 2017.