Holdenhurst, Hampshire Genealogy

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Guide to Holdenhurst, Hampshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish register transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Holdenhurst, Hampshire
Holdenhurst St John the Evangelist, Hampshire.jpg
Type Ancient parish
Ecclesiastical parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Christchurch
County Hampshire
Poor Law Union Bournemouth and Christchurch
Registration District Christchurch
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Fordingbridge
Diocese Winchester
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Peculiar of Holdenhurst
Bishops Court Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Winchester

Holdenhurst is a small village and Ancient parish of Saxon origin, famed as the Mother parish of Bournemouth, whose north-eastern suburbs it now adjoins.

Holdenhurst is recorded in the Domesday Book as Holeest suggesting an etymology of Old English holegn meaning "holly "and hyrst meaning "grove, wood", giving a meaning of "wood where holly grows. In succeeding centuries it was spelt Holeherst (12th century), Holhurst (13th century), Hollehurst (14th century), Holnehurst (15th century), Holnest (16th century) and Holnirst (17th century).[1]

Parish History[edit | edit source]

Holdenhurst. Originally the parish included the hamlets of Iver (Iford), Muccleshell, Muscliff, Strouden, Throop and Townsend. The four last-mentioned communities are still part of the parish today. Holdenhurst lost over half its 7,390 acres in 1894 to create the parishes of Bournemouth which by that year comprised the following ones: 

  • Bournemouth St Peter - 1845
  • Bournemouth St Clement - 1871
  • Bournemouth Holy Trinity - 1867
  • Bournemouth St Michael -  1874
  • Bournemouth St Paul - 1878
  • Bournemouth St Andrew - 1887
  • Bournemouth St Augustin - 1893
  • Bournemouth St John - 1888

In subsequent years Bournemouth took further chunks out of Holdenhurst. Then in 1931 the reverse takeover was complete when Holdenhurst was incorporated into the Borough of Bournemouth. As a result of the 1972 Local Government Act, Holdenhurst, as part of Bournemouth, was transferred from Hampshire to Dorset.

Holdenhurst was a chapelry of Christchurch until 1808, and even afterwards it continued to be a perpetual curacy annexed to Christchurch vicarage until 1875, when it was finally constituted a vicarage in its own right in the gift of the Bishop of Winchester. The church registers commence in 1679; Bishop's transcripts begin in 1780. The current building was built in 1834, the medieval-style church of St. John the Evangelist with it’s distinctive bell-cote replaced a much-lamented chapel of Saxon origin, which had fallen into a dilapidated state and could only seat 200 of the 620 parishioners. Attempts were made to site a new church in the centre of the parish, but when no land could be acquired, the Tapps family, who had benefited enormously from the 1802 enclosure of commons, donated a piece of land near the original chapel. Unfortunately for contemporary historians, the cheapest option was to build a new church from scratch and demolish the old one. Even so, the Saxon font was to be retained. Somehow, in transporting it the few metres from the old chapel, it got lost and was only recovered years later in a garden some miles distant. It now has pride of place in the church.[2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Holdenhurst parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FMP = findmypast - (£)[3]
FREG = FreeREG - free[4]
FS = FamilySearch - free[5]
JOIN = Joiner's Marriage Index - (£)[6]
NBI = National Burial Index (findmypast) - (£)[7]
TGEN = The Genealogist - (£)[8]


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FMP 1700s-1800s
FREG 1679-1753

FS 1846-1876



TGEN 1672-1874

Non-Conformists (All other Religions)[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Hampshire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 'The liberty of Westover: with Holdenhurst and Bournemouth', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5 (1912), pp. 133-37. Date accessed: 22 October 2011.
  2. Holdenhurst with Throop, Dorset Online Parish Clerks Date accessed: 22 October 2011.
  3. 'Over 1.4 million new Hampshire parish records published', Find My Past, accessed 3 October 2013. Date ranges are not clearly identified.
  4. 'Dorset Coverage', FreeREG, accessed 10 January 2014.
  5. 'IGI Batch Numbers for Hampshire, England', IGI Batch Numbers - British Isles and North America, accessed 8 October 2013.
  6. 'Search Marriage Records in Dorset,' The Joiner Marriage Index, accessed 24 June 2012.
  7. 'Parish Records - National Burial Index Records 1538 - 2005 Coverage', Find My Past, accessed 24 September 2013.
  8. 'Parish Records - Coverage', The Genealogist, accessed 18 January 2021.