Gorleston, Suffolk Genealogy
Gorleston St Andrew is an Ancient parish in the diocese of Norwich and the county of Suffolk. Southtown was a chapelry within the parish.
Gorleston's history predates that of Great Yarmouth, and being on the west bank of the river, it is historically in the county of Suffolk. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book as being held by Earl Guert and having salt-pans for the production of salt. In the Middle Ages it had two manors, Gorleston manor and a small manor called Bacons. In 1511 it was united with the hamlet of Southtown, whose parish church of St Mary was demolished in 1548, the stone being used to build a pier. Administratively, Southtown became part of Great Yarmouth in 1681, but it remained in the ecclesiastical parish of Gorleston.
As part of the Parliamentary Reform Act of 1832, the parish of Gorleston was included in Great Yarmouth for electoral purposes, and in 1835 became part of the municipal borough of Great Yarmouth, although remaining associated with the county of Suffolk until 1891. Since April 1, 1974, it has formed part of the urban area of Great Yarmouth, which is itself a portion of the larger current Borough of Great Yarmouth.
Gorleston's main claim to fame is as the historic centre of the herring fishing industry with sailing drifters. It was a major seaside resort in Edwardian times.
It once had three railway stations on a line running from Great Yarmouth to Lowestoft: Gorleston North which closed in 1942, and Gorleston and Gorleston Links, both of which closed on 2 May 1970 when the line itself ceased operating.
If you live in Suffolk you will have access to a variety of resources at local archives and libraries; however , for those who live further afield, one can access microfilm and online records at Family History Centers. Refer to Gorleston and Suffolk in the Family History Library Catalog for available records.
Gorleston was Mutford District till 1889 at wich time it was moved into Yarmouth District of Norfolk County. To search an index of Mutford or Yarmouth district records go to FreeBMD. The Suffolk Civil Registration article tells more about these records.
The Parish Registers begin in 1674. They can be viewed at the Suffolk Record Office. A copy of the registers from 1556 to 1900 can be purchased from the Suffolk Record Office. For pre 1813 Bishop Transcript entries you will need to look in Lothingland Deanry, Archdeaconry of Suffolk. See Suffolk Church Record for further details.
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.
Prior to 1858 the primary court that had jurisdiction over Gorleston was the Archdeaconry of Suffolk; however, a person’s will or administration may have been probated in nearby courts or even in London. After 1858 it was in Ipswich District. Refer to the Suffolk Probate Records article for further details.