Place:Ainsty Wapentake, Yorkshire, England

NameAinsty Wapentake
Coordinates53.917°N 1.157°W
Located inYorkshire, England     ( - 1974)
See alsoHarrogate District, North Yorkshire, Englandarea into which some parishes were transferred in 1974
Selby District, North Yorkshire, Englandarea into which some parishes were transferred in 1974
City of York District, Yorkshire, Englandunitary authority into which some parishes were transferred in 1974
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

The Ainsty or the Ainsty of York (#9 on the map) was a historic district of Yorkshire, England adjacent to the City of York. Originally a wapentake or subdivision of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it later had a unique status as a rural area controlled by the corporation of the city and was not formally included in any Ridings from 1449 until 1836.

The Ainsty covered a few square miles situated to the west of York. It was bounded by three rivers: the Nidd to the north; the Ouse to the east and the Wharfe to the south.

Image:Wapentakes of the West Riding of Yorkshire.png

Early history

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

The Ainsty is first recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 (in the form Ainestig), when it was a wapentake of the West Riding of Yorkshire. It was named from Ainsty Cliff at Bilbrough, presumably the original meeting place of the wapentake. Ainsty Cliff was itself named from a small narrow path which led from Steeton Farm over Ainsty Cliff to Bilbrough. The word Ainsty is from Old English ān stiga, meaning "one-man path" or "narrow path", which became einstigi in Old Norse.

The city of York later claimed jurisdiction over the area under a royal charter of King John granted in the early 13th century. The validity of this charter was a matter of dispute between the city and the Crown, eventually leading to the imprisonment of the mayor in 1280 when it was proved that a clause in the document had been altered.[1] The bailiffs of the city were subsequently able to resume jurisdiction of the wapentake, although it was not formally included in the city when it was created a county of itself in 1396.[1]

In 1449 the Ainsty was annexed to York, with the sheriffs of the city assuming authority. The city, which was said to be "in decay", was granted the "privileges and franchises" of the Ainsty to improve its financial position. In 1463 the mayor and aldermen were made justices of the peace with the commission of oyer and terminer.

Ancient parishes

In Ainsty and the West Riding many ancient parishes included numerous townships and it was decided to omit this information from this table unless these parishes became civil parishes after 1866. Further tables for these large parishes will be found under the parishes concerned.

Ancient parishParish statusNotes
Acaster Malbis township, parish (ancient), civil parish
Acomb parish (ancient), civil parish
Askham Bryan parish (ancient), civil parish
Askham Richard parish (ancient), civil parish
Bilbrough parish (ancient), civil parish
Bilton in Ainsty parish (ancient), civil parish
Bishopthorpe parish (ancient), civil parish
Bolton Percy parish (ancient), civil parish
Healaugh (near Tadcaster) parish (ancient), civil parish
Kirk Hammerton township, parish (ancient), civil parish
Long Marston parish (ancient), civil parish
Moor Monkton parish (ancient), civil parish
Nether Poppleton parish (ancient), civil parish
Newton Kyme and Toulston parish (ancient), civil parish also considered to have been in the West Riding of Yorkshire
Rufforth parish (ancient), civil parish considered to have been in the Claro Wapentake of the West Riding
Stillingfleet parish (ancient), civil parish considered to have been in the East Riding of Yorkshire
Tadcaster parish (ancient), civil parish
Thorp Arch parish (ancient), civil parish
Walton (near Wetherby) parish (ancient), civil parish
Wighill parish (ancient), civil parish
York Holy Trinity Micklegate parish (ancient), civil parish absorbed into York County Borough 1900
York St. George parish (ancient), civil parish absorbed into York County Borough 1900
York St. Mary Bishophill Junior parish (ancient), civil parish absorbed into York County Borough 1900
York St. Mary Bishophill Senior parish (ancient), civil parish absorbed into York County Borough 1900

The description "York and Ainsty" also includes 23 churches and parishes within the City of York and Yorkminster. These are discussed within the City of York.

Research Tips

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In March 2018 Ancestry announced that its file entitled "Yorkshire, England: Church of England Parish Records, 1538-1873" has been expanded to include another 94 parishes (across the three ridings) and expected it to be expanded further during the year. The entries are taken from previously printed parish registers.

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Ainsty. 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.