National Archives help with family history searching

The latest National Archives newsletter is packed with information about sources for family history (and for more general research about individuals). This includes Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills and probate documents, 1384-1858, now available to download.

(I think, though, that for most northern probate records you’d need to contact the Borthwick Institute – northerners registered at the Canterbury court only if property-owners in the south.)

Read it here.

Norse influences on northern English vocabulary

A real treat this coming Saturday: YAHS Medieval Section joins the Yorkshire Dialect Society in presenting a lecture by Richard Dance and Brittany Schorn from the University of Cambridge. Its title is ‘Tykes and Vikings: Looking for the Old Norse Influence on Northern English Vocabulary’ – much more on the section blog here.

At the Swarthmore Centre, 2pm, 14 October.

Yorkshire Society: Yorkshire History Prize 2017

Details just received about the Yorkshire History Prize 2017 (NB check the submission requirements if you’re thinking of entering – I can’t find them online.)

The competition for essays on the history of Yorkshire is held annually. The Beresford Award for longer essays of up to 10,000 words is worth £300, and the judges may make a second award of £150. For shorter essays, with a limit of 5,000 words, there is one prize, the Bramley Award, of £150.

Entries should be original and based on research, and should not have been published already nor offered for publication. Any subject drawn from the history of places and people in traditional Yorkshire is usually acceptable. Successful essays have often been adapted subsequently for publication in learned journals.

Those wanting to discuss academic matters, the wording of their title or the eligibility of their subject may, if they wish, consult Professor Edward Royle, Chairman of the Judges. (Tel. 01904 423009; email:

The closing date is 31 October 2017 and essays should be sent to the following address by that date:
K Baron, Secretary for the Yorkshire History Prize, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH, Email:

Prof. Bernard Jennings memorial

The memorial service at All Saints, Kilham, on Saturday 28 October at 3 pm will be ‘a celebration of Bernard’s long, happy and eventful life’. No flowers, but a collection for Cancer Research.

If you are planning to attend, please RSVP (for catering purposes) to Mrs Jennings, at Riverhead Hall, Beechwood Road, Driffield YO25 6NU.


Usage of YAHS collections in Brotherton Special Collections

Another post in today’s tsunami… But many members will be very interested in this. Special Collections is keeping detailed note of who is consulting YAHS archives in the reading room.

Almost half the readers coming to SC are looking at YAHS items. Unsurprisingly, Wakefield court rolls are the single most viewed. The largest group of readers (33%) are private individuals, and 16% are YAHS members.

The 940 consulting our archives in the six months to August 2017 include 307 private individuals, 155 YAHS members, 149 university staff and postgraduates, with 125 visiting postgrads and 55 visiting academics.

Towton battlefield trail

Jane Ellis reported back on a very successful walk around the Towton  battlefield in mid-September.

Eighteen members enjoyed a lovely summer’s day on 12th September 2017, exploring the Towton Battlefield Trail, near Tadcaster. This circular walk takes in the ten information boards provided by the Battlefield Society, which tell the full story in graphic detail of this Wars of the Roses encounter which took place in a snowstorm on Palm Sunday 1461, described as ‘probably the largest and bloodiest battle ever fought on English soil’. From this elevated position in the clear air we had views of a wide area, extending from York Minster to Howden Minster and even the spire of the distant Patrington Church.


Harrogate Archaeological Soc events

Harrogate Archaeological Society events that weren’t available in time for YAHS printed Programme:

HAS talks are at Harlow Hill Methodist Church, Otley Road, Harrogate.  Free on-street parking. Frequent bus service. Talks start at 2.30pm followed by refreshments. £1 members. £3 for non-members.

October 6th The Charnel House at Ripon Cathedral – Joe Priestley

November 4th   In search of Raikeswood  [WW1 German POW] Camp, Skipton – John Mitton and Anne Buckley.

December 2nd     Short talks on local interests:

Sue Kitching [Chair of Friends of Aspin Pond Group] – Aspin Pond Project, Knaresborough.

Liz Dent:  ‘Greenhow Mining Group’.

Tricia Cowell ‘Harlow Hill and Beckwithshaw’ followed by a ‘bun fight’ [sausage rolls, buns, cake etc and tea/coffee] to round off the year.


Written On Our Bones: Yorkshire Skeletons and Human Stories

Leeds City Museum, 12 Oct 2017 from

10.30 am

‘The Bare Bones of Burials in Commercial Archaeology: Challenges and Rewards?’ Dave Hunter (West Yorkshire Archaeology Advisory Services WYAAS) and David Williams (Archaeological Services ASWYAS)

‘Past London Lives: revealed through skeletal time travel’ Jelena Bekvalac (Museum of London)

‘Human remains: the museum perspective’ Katherine Baxter (Leeds Museums & Galleries) and Natalie Buy (York Museums Trust)

‘One thousand years of life and death in Northern England: the story revealed by the University of Sheffield’s skeletal collections’ Dr Elizabeth Craig-Atkins (University of Sheffield)

‘Towton and beyond: the skeletal collections at the University of Bradford’ Dr Jo Buckberry (University of Bradford)

£20 including refreshments and lunch.

£15 concessions – 16-18 year olds, students, unemployed people, disabled people (carers free). Proof of identity required.

Booking required, visit

Early modern women – free access to articles

Message arrived about The Seventeenth Century’s latest Virtual Special Issue, with free access, but ONLY until late October 2017.
The title is ‘Early Modern Women in Public and in Private’, and it is available via this link:
There are 16 articles in this VSI, and an additional 10 important articles for ‘Further Reading’. The latter group have also been given free access, but only through the VSI page on the link above.