Place:Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

NameSheffield
Alt namesEscafeldsource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) II, 855
Sadfeldsource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 415
Scafeldsource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 415
TypeParish (ancient), Borough (municipal), Borough (county)
Coordinates53.383°N 1.467°W
Located inWest Riding of Yorkshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inYorkshire, England    
South Yorkshire, England     (1974 - )
See alsoSheffield (metropolitan borough), South Yorkshire, Englandunitary authority of which the borough of Sheffied is the major part
Contained Places
Cemetery
Sheffield Cathedral
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

NOTE: This article deals with the ancient parish and the 19th and 20th century Municipal and County Borough of Sheffield. There is a second article on the post-1974 Metropolitian Borough of Sheffield and its modern ward structure.


the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Until 1974 Sheffield was a city in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England. Its name derives from the River Sheaf, which runs through it. The city grew from its largely industrial roots to encompass a wider economic base with a population of over 500,000 today.

During the 19th century, Sheffield gained an international reputation for steel production. Many innovations were developed locally, including crucible and stainless steel, fuelling an almost tenfold increase in the population during the Industrial Revolution. Sheffield received its municipal charter in 1843, becoming the "City of Sheffield" in 1893. The requirements of socio-economic improvements plus those of two world wars maintained the demand for the quality steel produced by Sheffield for the first three-quarters of the 20th century. However, during the 1970s and 1980s international competition grew, causing a decline in traditional local industries. This coincided with the collapse of coal mining in the area.

The city is located within the valleys of the River Don and its four tributaries, the Loxley, the Porter Brook, the Rivelin, and the Sheaf. 61% of Sheffield's entire area is green space, and a third of the city lies within the Peak District National Park.

Contents

Economic History

the text in this section is a condensation of an article in Wikipedia

The settlements that grew and merged to form Sheffield, however, date from the second half of the 1st millennium, and are of Anglo-Saxon and Danish origin. In Anglo-Saxon times, the Sheffield area straddled the border between the kingdoms of Mercia and Northumbria. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that King Eanred of Northumbria submitted to King Egbert of Wessex at the hamlet of Dore (now a suburb of Sheffield) in 829, a key event in the unification of the kingdom of England under the House of Wessex. After the Norman conquest, Sheffield Castle was built to protect the local settlements, and a small town developed that is the nucleus of the modern city.

By 1296, a market had been established at what is now known as Castle Square, and Sheffield subsequently grew into a small market town. In the 14th century, Sheffield was already noted for the production of knives, as mentioned in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, and by the early 1600s it had become the main centre of cutlery manufacture in England outside of London.

During the 1740s, a form of the crucible steel process was discovered that allowed the manufacture of a better quality of steel than previously possible. In about the same period, a technique was developed for fusing a thin sheet of silver onto a copper ingot to produce silver plating, which became widely known as Sheffield plate. The population of the town grew rapidly throughout the 19th century; increasing from 60,095 in 1801 to 451,195 by 1901. The town was incorporated as a borough in 1842 and was granted a city charter in 1893. The influx of people also led to demand for better water supplies, and a number of new reservoirs were constructed on the outskirts of the town. The collapse of the dam wall of one of these reservoirs in 1864 resulted in the Great Sheffield Flood, which killed 270 people and devastated large parts of the town. The growing population led to the construction of many back-to-back dwellings that, along with severe pollution from the factories, inspired George Orwell to write in 1937: "Sheffield, I suppose, could justly claim to be called the ugliest town in the Old World".

Wikipedia lists some of the men responsible for inventions related to the progress of the steel-making process during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

A recession in the 1930s was halted by increasing international tensions as the Second World War loomed; Sheffield's steel factories were set to work manufacturing weapons and ammunition for the war effort. As a result, the city became a target for bombing raids, the heaviest of which occurred on the nights of 12 and 15 December 1940, now known as the Sheffield Blitz. More than 660 lives were lost and many buildings destroyed.

In the 1950s and 1960s, increased automation and competition from abroad resulted in the closure of many steel mills. The 1980s saw the worst of this run-down of Sheffield's industries, along with those of many other areas of the UK.

Areas of Sheffield

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The areas of Sheffield, a city and metropolitan borough in the north of England, vary widely in size and history. Some of the areas developed from villages or hamlets, that were absorbed into Sheffield as the city grew, and thus their centres are well defined, but the boundaries of many areas are ambiguous. The areas of Sheffield do not play a significant administrative role, but the city is divided into 28 electoral wards for local elections and 6 parliamentary constituencies for national elections.

History and Growth

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Prior to 1848 the parish of Sheffield was divided into six townships:

In 1832 the new borough constituency of Sheffield was formed from these townships with the exception of most of Upper Hallam and parts of Ecclesall Bierlow. In 1843 the Municipal Borough of Sheffield was created from the whole of the six townships, becoming the County Borough or City of Sheffield in 1893.

The following townships, all to the south and east of central Sheffield, were absorbed slightly later. Dates are taken from the second map of Sheffield referenced below.

The following suburbs and estates are within Sheffield and may be found as places of birth, marriage and death of former residents. Some are also census registration districts.

Research Tips

Address: 52 Shoreham Street, Sheffield S1 4SP
Telephone: +44(0)1142 039395
Email: archives@sheffield.gov.uk
  • British History Online (Victoria County Histories) do not cover the West Riding of Yorkshire
  • GENUKI has a page on all three ridings of Yorkshire and pages for each of the ecclesiastical parishes in the county. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. The list is based on a gazetteer dated 1835 and there may have been a number of alterations to the parish setup since then. However, it is worthwhile information for the pre civil registration era. GENUKI provides references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. There is no guarantee that the website has been kept up to date and the submitter is very firm about his copyright. This should not stop anyone from reading the material.
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851 which gives the registration district and wapentake for each parish, together with statistics from the 1851 census for the area.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Yorkshire West Riding, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72.
  • Map of the West Riding divisions in 1888 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time
  • Map of West Riding divisions in 1917 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time. In other counties, the map for 1900 has been used, but it is not coming up in Vision of Britain's list.
  • Map of West Riding divisions in 1944 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time
  • The above three maps indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.
  • Yorkshire has a large number of family history and genealogical societies. A list of the societies will be found on the Yorkshire, England page.

Finding maps of the Sheffield area has been difficult. The town of Sheffield covered a very large area very early. Whereas in other places settlements became individual parishes, around Sheffield the settlements were all merged into a single urban area. A website produced by the Rootsweb part of Ancestry has a couple of maps that may help.

  • A map of the Sheffield area circa 1990 without boundaries, but indicating many of the smaller places surrounding Sheffield itself.
  • Another indicating parish boundaries as far north as Ecclesfield and as far west as Upper Hallam may also be helpful.

Wikipedia has produced a "book" which is a compilation of all its articles about Sheffield.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Sheffield. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Areas of Sheffield. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.