Sowerby (near Thirsk), Yorkshire Genealogy

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Guide to Sowerby (near Thirsk), Yorkshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Sowerby (near Thirsk), Yorkshire
St Oswald Sowerby near Thirsk Yorkshire.jpg
Type Ecclesiastical Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Birdforth
County Yorkshire, England Genealogy
Poor Law Union Thirsk
Registration District Thirsk
Records begin
Parish registers: 1569
Bishop's Transcripts: 1601
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Bulmer
Diocese York
Province York
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Exchequer and Prerogative Courts of the Archbishop of York
Location of Archive
Yorkshire Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

Sowerby St Oswald (Thirsk) is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Yorkshire, created in 1763 from Thirsk, Yorkshire Genealogy Ancient Parish.

The church of ST. OSWALD at Sowerby consists of a chancel 18 ft. 3 in. by 17 ft. 9 in., a crossing with skew passages at the angles and a wooden lantern over, 18 ft. by 17 ft. 8 in., north and south transepts 26 ft. 11 in. and 27 ft. 3 in. deep respectively, nave 46 ft. 6 in. by 17 ft. 9 in., north aisle 20 ft. 3 in. wide, and a west tower 9 ft. 3 in. square. These measurements are all internal.

The church is almost entirely modern, most of it having been rebuilt between 1840 and 1883, while the north aisle and vestry were added in 1902. That there was a building here in the 12th century is shown by the south doorway, which is a good example of the work of that period. The semicircular arch is of three orders, the inner one being molded with rounds and hollows, the middle one enriched with beak heads, and the outer order with the chevron. The label is chamfered above and below, and has a carved geometric pattern on its vertical face. The thickness of the south wall of the nave and the splayed jambs of the two windows by which it is pierced suggest that it is of the 12th century. The only other old work is the lower part of the tower, which is probably of 15th-century date. Over the tower arch at the west end of the nave is a small 12th-century corbel.

There are four bells in the tower, the treble, by Samuel Smith the younger of York, bearing the inscription 'Soli Deo Gloria 1729.' The second and third are by Warner & Sons and were cast in 1883 and 1898 respectively. The fourth is inscribed 'R. Lockwood, Gent., R. Bell, E. Hodgson, Minister, 1678' with foliated ornament.

The plate, which is silver, consists of two cups, a paten and flagon, and a modern set of vessels. One cup, bearing the York mark for 1684, is inscribed, 'This plate exchanged in ye yeare 1686 Jo Dynmore and Ralph Nelson Chappelwardens of Sowerby.' It bears the maker's mark M.G., for Mark Gill of York. The paten was presented by the principal inhabitants of Sowerby in 1830. The second cup and flagon are also modern.

The registers begin in 1569.


SOWERBY, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Thirsk, wapentake of Birdforth, N. riding of York, 1 mile (S.) from Thirsk.[2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Online data content from chapelry registers of Thirsk exists at some of the following websites and for the specified ranges of years:

IARC = Internet Archive - free
FS =
ANC = (£)
HATH = - free
JOIN = - (£)


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS 1835-1864, 1896






AC None



For a full list of all those chapels surrounding Sowerby near Thirsk and comprising the whole ancient parish of Thirsk to which it was attached, be certain to see "Church Records" on the Thirsk page.

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

Non-Conformists (All other Religions)[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Thirsk Poor Law Union, Yorkshire Genealogy

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Yorkshire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Contributor: add any relevant sites that aren’t mentioned above.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2 (1923), pp. 58-70. Date accessed: 16 October 2013.
  2. Lewis, Samuel A.,A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 152-156. Date accessed: 16 October 2013.