Place:Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England

Alt namesLeedssource: from redirect
Leddessource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 293
Ledessource: Domesday Book (1985) p 317; Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 293
Leedessource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 293
Liedessource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 293
Loidissource: Oxford: English Place Names (1960) p 293
TypeBorough (county)
Coordinates53.8°N 1.542°W
Located inWest Riding of Yorkshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inYorkshire, England    
See alsoLeeds (metropolitan borough), West Yorkshire, Englandmetropolitan borough which absorbed the county borough of Leeds in 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

NOTE: This article deals with Leeds in the time before 1974 when it was part of the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1974 the administrative county of West Yorkshire replaced the West Riding and the governing of Leeds was taken over by the City of Leeds which was defined as a "metropolitan borough", taking many smaller settlements in its general geographical area under its wing. A list of these places will be found below in the section "Modern Local Area".

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

Since 1974 Leeds has been a city in West Yorkshire, England. It has a population of 774,100 (mid-2015 est.), making it the third largest city in the United Kingdom.

Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, the history of Leeds can be traced to the 5th century when the Kingdom of Elmet was covered by the forest of "Loidis", the origin of the name Leeds. The name has been applied to many administrative entities over the centuries. It changed from being the appellation of a small manorial borough, in the 13th century, through several incarnations, to being the name attached to the present metropolitan borough. In the 17th and 18th centuries Leeds became a major centre for the production and trading of wool.

During the Industrial Revolution, Leeds developed into a major mill town; wool remained the dominant industry but flax, engineering, iron foundries, printing, and other industries were important. From being a compact market town in the valley of the River Aire in the 16th century Leeds expanded and absorbed the surrounding villages to become a populous urban centre by the mid-20th century.


Modern Local Area

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

The City of Leeds is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Leeds City Council, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. The current city boundaries were set on 1 April 1974 by the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, as part a reform of local government in England.

The Districts of Leeds Metropolitan Borough established 1974

  1. Morley Municipal Borough
  2. Pudsey Municipal Borough
  3. Aireborough Urban District
  4. Horsforth Urban District
  5. Otley Urban District
  6. Garforth Urban District
  7. Rothwell Urban District
  8. Tadcaster Rural District (parts)
  9. Wetherby Rural District (part)
  10. Wharfedale Rural District (part)

For its first 12 years the city had a two-tier system of local government; Leeds City Council shared power with the West Yorkshire County Council. Since the Local Government Act 1985 Leeds City Council has effectively been a unitary authority, serving as the sole executive, deliberative and legislative body responsible for local policy, setting council tax, and allocating budget in the city, and is a member of the Leeds City Region Partnership. Thc City of Leeds is divided into 31 civil parishes and a single unparished area.


Leeds was a manor and township in the large ancient parish of Leeds St. Peter, in the Skyrack Wapentake of the West Riding of Yorkshire. The Borough of Leeds was created in 1207, when Maurice Paynel, lord of the manor, granted a charter covering a small area adjacent to a crossing of the River Aire, between the old settlement centred on Leeds Parish Church to the east and the manor house and mills to the west. In 1626 a charter was granted by Charles I, incorporating the entire parish as the Borough of Leeds; it was reformed by the Municipal Corporations Act 1835. The parish and borough included the chapelries of

The borough was located in the West Riding of Yorkshire and gained city status in 1893. When a county council was formed for the West Riding in 1889, Leeds was excluded from the county council's area of responsibility and formed a county borough. The borough made a significant number of territorial expansions, expanding from 21,593 acres (87.384 km2) in 1911 to 40,612 acres (164.351 km2) in 1961; adding in stages the former area of the parishes of Roundhay, Seacroft, Shadwell and Middleton (near Rothwell) and gaining other parts of adjacent districts.


For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article City of Leeds.

Research Tips

Leeds office of the West Yorkshire Archives Service (WYAS) includes archives for the whole of the area now in Leeds Metropolitan Borough
Address: West Yorkshire Joint Services, Nepshaw Lane South, Morley, Leeds LS27 7JQ
Telephone: +44 (0)113 393 9788
  • 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.

The following information comes from a blog named Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections. It was published 16 Feb 2017:

  • A list of 24 area cemeteries under the care of Leeds City Council. Sixteen of these cemeteries date from the 19th century.
  • Ancestry has a database for Beckett Street Cemetery, 1845-1987 with 187,851 entries. International subscription necessary.
  • Records for the Leeds General Cemetery, at St George's Fields near Woodhouse Moor, which operated from 1835 to 1969 with 97,146 burials. The cemetery is now converted to a park.
  • Findmypast carries a database for 10,270 burials at Holbeck Cemetery, 1895-1921.
  • Deceased Online has a small database for Bagley Lane Burial Ground taken from the records of removal of graves and tombstones from disused and closed burial grounds and cemeteries. This list is from The National Archives (TNA) where it forms file RG37.
  • Lawnswood Cemetery 4,727 burials provided by FindAGrave.
  • The Yorkshire Indexers have some Leeds and District monumental inscription transcriptions amongst many others.
  • Don't overlook the 151,579 entries for Leeds in the National Burial Index, available through Findmypast.
  • Find information on Jewish burials at Farnley Cemetery in Leeds.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Leeds. 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 City of Leeds. 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.