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King’s Lynn St Nicholas, Norfolk Genealogy

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Guide toKing's Lynn St Nicholas, Norfolk ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Parish History[edit | edit source]

King's Lynn St Nicholas was formed in 1146-1150 as a chapel in the parish of  King’s Lynn St Margaret, Norfolk.

The name "Lynn" has an ancient derivation, perhaps from a Celtic term meaning "pool" or from an Anglo-Saxon word for "torrent" both references to the estuary lake which emptied into the Wash. By the 14th century, the town ranked as the third port of England and is considered as important to England in Medieval times as Liverpool was during the Industrial Revolution. It retains two buildings that were warehouses of the Hanseatic League that were in use between the 15th and 17th centuries. They are the only remaining building structures of the Hanseatic League in England.

The town now known as King's Lynn was, in medieval times, rather Bishop's Lynn. This is because it was taken under the wing of the Bishop of Norwich in the late eleventh century, one of the earliest of numerous deliberate seigneurial foundations of "new towns" that took place between that time and the mid-thirteenth century. When Henry VIII took over the lordship of the town it was renamed King's Lynn However it is still referred to as Lynn locally and records often refer to it as Lynn Bishop's Lynn, Lynn Regis and later as King's Lynn.

The present building dates almost entirely from the 15th century, though the tower is earlier, and the spire was added by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1869.  It is described by the Churches Conservation Trust as the largest chapel in England and is in their care.

Jurisdictional History

Here is an important 19th century jurisdictional and historical perspective for this ancient parish for those researching in the pre-1900 period:

"LYNN, KINGS-LYNN, or LYNN-REGIS [St Nicholas; registers begin in 1558], is an ecclesiastical church in Lynn, three sub-districts, and a district, in Norfolk. The town stands on the right bank of the river Ouse, at the junction of the Nar navigation, and a junction from Norwich, Ely, Hunstanton, Wisbeach, and Sutton, a few miles south and southeast extremity of the Wash, and 40 west by north of Norwich. In the time of Richard I., it was much frequented by Jews, and had a good trade. 

St. Nicholas' Church was founded [by the year 1559], as a chapel of ease to St. Margaret's [registers begin in 1559], stands in St. Ann's Street. A chapelry called St. John's church, in Blackfriars Road, was built in 1846.  In South Lynn is All Saints, Church Lane, [church registers begin in 1558], which was thoroughly repaired in 1860; and had formerly a west tower, which fell in 1763.

An Independent Chapel in New Conduit Street was built [by 1822]; a Union Baptist chapel in Paradise Lane was built in 1859; two Baptist chapels are in Blackfriars Road; and one of them is a neat edifice of 1841; a Wesleyan Chapel in Tower Street was built [by 1797];  a Primitive Methodist Chapel in London-road was built in 1857;  a New Connexion Methodist Chapel in Railway Road was built in 1853; a Roman Catholic Chapel in London-road was built in 1844; and chapels also for Quakers [records begin from 1775], United Free Methodists, and Unitarians. A curious cruciform Lady's Chapel stands at Red Mount; was built about 1482. An octagonal tower, Lady Chapel also called the Red Mount, was used formerly for both military and ecclesiastical purposes. The borough comprise the parishes of Lynn or St. Margaret (and its chapelry, St Nicholas) and South Lynn or All Saints. A portion of the parish which had a pop. of 3,867 in 1861, was constituted a separate charge, under the name of St. John, in 1846. The head living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of St. Nicholas, and with the rectory of North Lynn, and the living of St. John is a vicarage, in the diocese of Norwich.[1]

Church Records[edit | edit source]

King’s Lynn St Nicholas parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FS BTs = England, Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941 (FamilySearch) - free
FS PRs = England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1510-1997 (FamilySearch) - free
FS ATs = England, Norfolk Archdeacon's Transcripts, 1600-1812 (FamilySearch) - free
FS = FamilySearch - free
FREG = FreeREG - free
ANC Transcripts = Norfolk, England, Transcripts of Church of England Baptism, Marriage and Burial Registers, 1600-1935 (Ancestry) - ($)
ANC 1 = Norfolk, England, Church of England Baptism, Marriages, and Burials, 1535-1812 (Ancestry) - ($)
ANC 2 = Norfolk, England, Church of England Records (Ancestry) - ($)
FMP = Norfolk Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)
FMP BTs = Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)
TGEN = Norfolk Parish Records (TheGenealogist) - ($)[2]
JOIN = The Joiner Marriage Index - ($)
BOYD = England, Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850 (FindMyPast) - free
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
King’s Lynn St Nicholas Online Parish Records
Baptisms
Marriages
Burials
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS BTs 1685-1941
1685-1941
1685-1941
FS PRs 1510-1997
1510-1997
1510-1997
FS ATs
1600-1812
1600-1812
1600-1812
FS 1538-1975
1538-1973
1538-1991
FREG 1538-1900s
1538-1900s
1538-1900s
ANC Transcripts 1600-1935
1600-1935
1600-1935
ANC 1 1535-1812
1535-1812
1535-1812
ANC 2 1813-1915
1754-1940
1813-1990
FMP 1538-1917
1538-1933
1534-1992
FMP BTs 1579-1913
1583-1925
1583-1935
TGEN 1538-1900s
1538-1900s
1538-1900s
JOIN

1538-1837


BOYD

1538-1850


IGI



FS Catalog PRs


FS Catalog BTs


To find the names of the neighboring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Records are also available at the Norfolk Record Office.

Census[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.


Registration Districts[edit | edit source]

  • King’s Lynn

Probate Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Norfolk Probate Jurisdictions Parishes I through N

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Norfolk Poor Law Unions

Maps[edit | edit source]

England Jurisdictions 1851

References[edit | edit source]

  1. John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870). Adapted. Date accessed: 08 May 2013.
  2. Searching Parish Records online (Norfolk) - The Following Parishes are Available at TheGenealogist, ParishRegister.co.uk, accessed 23 April 2019.
  3. ArcherSoftware.co.uk