Place:Sessay, North Riding of Yorkshire, England

TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates54.174°N 1.305°W
Located inNorth Riding of Yorkshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inYorkshire, England    
North Yorkshire, England     (1974 - )
See alsoAllerton Wapentake, North Riding of Yorkshire, Englandwapentake in which it was located
Thirsk Rural, North Riding of Yorkshire, Englandrural district in which it was situated 1894-1974
Hambleton District, North Yorkshire, Englandadministrative district covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Sessay is a small, linear village and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. It is situated approximately 4 miles (6 km) southeast from Thirsk, and 2 miles (3 km) west from the A19 road close to the East Coast Main Line.

The civil parish also includes the village of Little Sessay, where the parish church and school are located. In 2013 the population of the civil parish was estimated at 320. The 2001 UK census recorded the population as 311.

At the time of the Norman invasion, the manor was the possession of the Bishop of Durham and St Cuthbert's Church, Durham. The manor became a Mesne lordship and was held after the Norman invasion first by the Percy family and then by the Darrell family from the end of the 12th century to the late 15th century. When the family line of succession ended, it passed by marriage to the Dawnay family in 1525. One descendant, John Dawnay was made Viscount Downe in 1680. The family still hold the manor.

Sessay was an ancient parish in a detached part of Allerton Wapentake in the East Riding of Yorkshire. In 1866 the status of civil parish was introduced and this was taken on by most ancient parishes and also by their subsidiary townships if they were of any size at all. In 1866 both Sessay and its township of Hutton Sessay became civil parishes. In 1894 they each became part of the Thirsk Rural District of the North Riding. Since 1974 Sessay has been in North Yorkshire, specifically within the Hambleton District.

A nineteenth century description

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Sessay from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"SESSAY, a township and a parish in Thirsk [registration] district, [North Riding of] Yorkshire. The township lies on the Northeastern railway, 5 miles S S E of Thirsk; and has a station on the railway, and a post office under Thirsk. Population: 320. Houses: 56.
"The parish contains also the township of Hutton-Sessay, and comprises 3,666 acres. Rated property: £4,078. Population: 456. Houses: 83. [Sessay] Hall is the seat of Viscount Downe. The living is a rectory in the diocese of York. Value: £600. Patron: Viscount Downe. The church is good; and there are charities £21."
This is by far the most complete history of the parishes of the county to be found online. The chapters are ordered by the divisions of the county called wapentakes, but each chapter is linked to the volume's content page.
  • 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.
These are 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. 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 North 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 North Riding divisions in 1888 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time
  • Map of North Riding divisions in 1944 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time
  • The above two 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Sessay. 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.