At its heart Wakefield Cathedral is a parish church. It was known as All Hallows Church until the 16th century when it was renamed All Saints. It gained Cathedral status in 1888 when the Diocese of Wakefield was formed.
Baptisms, marriages and burials of local inhabitants have been taking place here for hundreds of years. These rites of passage have become a valuable source of information for family historians researching their ancestors and creating their family trees.
Baptisms, marriages and funerals still take place in the cathedral to this day, but burials in the accompanying graveyard ended in 1866. The graveyard was larger than it appears today due to the widening of Kirkgate in 1905.
Many of Wakefield Cathedral’s early registers have been digitised. These are available on Ancestry.com, making them accessible to genealogists all over the world. By far these are the most utilised records within the collection and show the life cycle of Christian families in the Wakefield parish, from the 17th century to the modern day.