HISTORICAL DATA Relating to the Parish

This page lists some useful data sources. Abstracts for our parish have been transcribed from  the censuses and from some trade directories and are available on this site (indicated by the blue links)
We hope to make more available on this site as they are transcribed.
Tom Robson's notes from the Sept 28th tutorial also lists data sources, particularly those available in Carlisle archives.

Censuses -
Census data from 1841 to 1911 is available in libraries or, for a fee, on CD's or on-line.
  1841 census     1851 census     1861 census     1871 census
  1881 census  (the 1881 census  for all of England is freely available at  www.familysearch.org )
  1891 census     1901 census     1911 census  

BMD
The GRO Index of Birth Marriage and Death registers for England may be searched for free at www.freebmd.org.uk The index covers the period from the start of civil registration in July 1837 until about 1942. Volunteers are currently transcribing the Index for the 1950's and 1960's. Having found the person you are looking for in the index you can then order a copy of the certificate (fee) or go the registry office in person e,g, at Cockermouth.

Church Registers
To find people before civil registration started in 1837 the main sources are the church registers which are kept at Carlisle. These cover the period from about 1560* to the present. Most of these registers have been transcribed by the Chuch of Latter Day Saints and are available on-line in what is called the International Genealogical  Index (also known as IGI or The Mormon Database). The IGI may be accessed on the same website as the 1881 census - www.familysearch.org. The IGI is less complete than  the freebmd database (and ignores the Burials register completely). Both websites contain quite a number of transcription errors. As an example, the 1881 census has Nether Place as Heather Place, Quey Fold as Ivy Fold and Bannion (Setmabanning) as Barmian.
* Since church registers are the earliest sources of information for most dwellings and since church register prior to 1560 are lost, the illusion is given that most dwellings date from about 1560. In  reality most farms were probably already many centuries old by 1560, many of them, like the Manor of Castlerigg and Derwentwater to which they were subordinate, probably existed for centuries before the Norman Conquest.

1840 Tithe Map and Schedule
The schedule to the tithe map lists the name of every field in the parish together with its area, owner and occupier. Note - the field numbers in the schedule are specific to the 1840 tithe map and do not correspond to the field numbers on any other map.

Trade Directories
Jollies Directory of Cumberland 1811 (only lists businesses in Keswick and gentry)
Parson and Whites Directory 1829
Pigot & Co.'s Directory 1829  (only lists businesses in Keswick and gentry)
Mannix & Whellan's History, Gazetteer & Directory of Cumberland, 1847
Harriet Martineaus's Directory of the Lake District 1855
Post Office Directory of Cumberland & Westmorland, 1858
Morris  Harrison's Directory, 1861
Post Office Directory of Cumberland & Westmorland, 1873
Kelly's Directory of Cumberland, 1894
Kelly's Directory of Cumberland, 1897
Bulmers History, Topography & Directory of Cumberland, 1901
Kelly's Directory of Cumberland, 1906
Kelly's Directory of Cumberland, 1910
  A list of Trade Directories held in libraries in the north of England (1762 to 1864)

Old Books
There is a rather rare book, published in 1932 in four volumes, which gives some of the contents of the "Registers of Crosthwaite" (1562 to 1710) (Our parish was a part of Crosthwaite parish then)
Another rare book is "History and Description of the Thirlmere Water Scheme" by Sir James Harwood, Knight, 1895, which gives the history of the damming of Thirlmere.

Mining has been an important part of the economy of the parish since the 16th century
This history is extensively covered in Postlethwaite's 'Mines and Mining in the Lake District' (first published in 1877)

Poor Rate Books
These were ledgers in which all owners of real property were assessed according to the rental value of their property and their Poor Rate liability calculated as a proprotion of that rental value.
The Poor Rate Book therefore lists all the land and buildings in the parish together with the owners. As a bonus it also gives the area of land and the occupiers. Common land, i.e. the fells, are excluded but the ownership of 'stints' on common land is included.
It is not clear whether new Rate Books were completed every year or if they were only updated infrequently. In any event, only the 1883 Poor Rate Book for our parish survives from the 19th century. There are a couple of books from the early twentieth century in the National Archive
 
Manorial Documents

The Manorial records of  the Manor of Castlerigg and Derwentwater are of considerable interest not only because they mention many familiar places and familar surnames but also for the insights they give into the old way of life. The National Archives lists 86 documents relating to the Manor. Most of the (later) documents are in the Whitehaven archives but one important early document is in Keswick Museum and two early documents are in Carlisle archives.. See the list of 86 Manorial Documents.
Lancaster University has extensive information on locating, reading and interpreting Cumbrian Manorial Records.