Family History and the Churchyard

St Mary’s Leake has been a parish church for centuries and incredibly we have an almost complete record of baptisms, weddings and burials dating from 1571!

If you are at all interested in history, then you will enjoy walking around our churchyard. We often hear from people who are researching their family history, who would like to visit the grave of a relative, or trace them in our records.

Most of our records are now held at North Yorkshire County Records Office in Northallerton. This includes the records of baptisms 1571-1980, marriages 1571-1970, marriage banns 1901-1956, burials 1571-1980 and service registers 1897-1979. There is a full list of the records that they hold for us here. There is much to see there – such as the record from 1690 of parishioners being fined for skipping church! They also hold the records for the neighbouring churches.

We do know the location of a number of burials at Leake. If you are looking for a particular headstone, a good place to start is this comprehensive photographic catalogue. If you are not able to find an entry, the likelihood is that there is no headstone, but quite a number of burials at Leake did not have them.

The first step would be to check the burial record at the Records Office. If a person is recorded as being buried at Leake after about 1800, we may be able to find the location of the burial. This would mean a volunteer doing a manual search of our paper records, so please try these other methods first. A donation to church funds in return for the volunteer’s time is always appreciated. If you are having problems finding a particular grave, get in touch and we will try to help.