In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Birkin like this:
BIRKIN, a township in Pontefract district, and a parish in Pontefract and Selby districts, W. R. Yorkshire. The township lies on the river Aire and on the Selby canal, 3¾ miles NE of Knottingley r. station, and 7½ SW of Selby. Acres, 2,064. Real property, £3,515. Pop., 168. Houses, 35. The parish contains also the townships of Hurst-Courtney, Temple-Hurst, Chapel-Haddlesey, and West Haddlesey; the last of which has a post office under Selby. Acres, 5,509. Real property, £9,438. Pop., 821. Houses, 184. The living is a rectory, with Chapel-Haddlesey chapelry, in the diocese of York. Value, £1,008.* Patron, the Rev. T. Hill. The church is ancient. There are three Wesleyan chapels.
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 Birkin has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Selby. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Birkin and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Birkin, in Selby and West Riding | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd December 2014
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Birkin".