In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Birkby like this:
BIRKBY, a township and a parish in Northallerton district, N. R. Yorkshire. The township lies on the Great Northern railway, 1½ mile SSE of Cowton station, and 6 NNW of Northallerton. Real property, £1,263. Pop., 87. Houses, 15. The parish includes also the townships of Hutton-Bowville and Little Smeaton; and its Post Town is East Cowton, under Northallerton. Acres, 3,619. Real property, £4,166. Pop., 298. Houses, 51. The living is a rectory in the diocese of York. Value, £233.* Patron, Rev. W. R. Holmes. The church is very good.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Birkby has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Hambleton. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Birkby and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Birkby, in Hambleton and North Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th May 2013
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Birkby".