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St Margaret at Cliffe, Kent Genealogy

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St Margaret at Cliffe

Guide to St Margaret at Cliffe, Kent ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

St Margaret at Cliffe, Kent
St Margaret at Cliffe St Margaret of Antioch Kent.jpg
St Margaret at Cliffe St Margaret of Antioch Kent
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Bewsborough
County Kent
Poor Law Union Dover
Registration District Dover
Records begin
Parish registers: 1558
Bishop's Transcripts: 1564
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Dover
Diocese Canterbury
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Canterbury
Location of Archive
Kent Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

St Margaret at Cliffe is a civil parish in the Dover district of Kent. See St Margaret-at-Cliffe Wikipedia which includes Nelson Bay and St Margaret's Bay.

The Ancient Parish of St Margaret of Antioch at Cliffe includes St Margaret's Bay; a map of the parish boundary is available at A church near you

The parish church is dedicated to St Margaret of Antioch. Established on a Saxon foundation by the Priors of Dover, who controlled the parish until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536, and completed in 1150, it is of similar design to that in Creully in Calvados, Normandy, and built with Caen stone from that region with the integration of local split flint. As it is unusual for a small village to have such a large church it could be that the Benedictine monks used the church and surrounding village as a summer retreat.

"In the parish records there is an interesting account dated 1696 of a shepherd who, being lost one night, fell over the cliff and was mortally injured, but he lived long enough to bequeath to the parish five roods of land to pay for the tolling of a curfew bell at 8 p.m. from Michaelmas to Lady Day in order to warn travellers if they walked too near the edge of the cliff........Throughout the following centuries the villagers were concerned in smuggling. It is said that the church tower was used by a parish clerk to store the gear which was required to haul the contraband up the cliffs......" Extract from "St Margaret's Bay The Piccadilly of the Sea." This was originally written by J Harris Stone and published in 1910.

The Parish Church of St Margaret of Antioch, Hight Street, St Margaret-at-Cliffe has been designated as a grade I listed building British listed building 

The benefice of St Margaret has further information benefice website and includes East Langdon , Kent West Langdon, Kent West Cliffe, Kent in the benefice.

See Edward Hasted St Margaret at Cliffe, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 9 (1800), pp. 412-418. Date accessed: 7 November 2013..

at British History Online and Kent Churches website

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

See Dover Registration District

Kent County Council (KCC) has a certificate centre at the Mansion House in Tunbridge Wells which holds all the completed registers for Kent since 1 July 1837 and can supply a certified copy of any Kent birth, death or marriage entry from any register within its custody or a Kent civil partnership registration from the government online database.

The Mansion House
(Certificate Centre)
Grove Hill Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 1EP

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]

St Margaret at Cliffe parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FS PRs = England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 (FamilySearch) - free
FS Canterbury PRs = England, Kent, Canterbury Parish Registers, 1538-1986 (FamilySearch) - free
FS BTs = England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts, 1560-1911 (FamilySearch) - free
FS = FamilySearch - free
FREG = FreeREG - free
FMP Kent = Kent Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)
FMP Canterbury = Kent Canterbury Archdeaconry Baptisms, Marriages, Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)
FMP East Kent = East Kent Marriage and Burial Indexes (FindMyPast) - ($)
BOYD = England, Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850 (FindMyPast) - free
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[1]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
St Margaret at Cliffe Online Parish Records
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS PRs 1538-1911
FS Canterbury PRs 1538-1986
FS 1538-1975
FREG 1538-1900s
FMP Kent 1538-1988
FMP Canterbury 1538-1918
FMP East Kent




FS Catalog PRs

FS Catalog BTs

To find the names of the neighboring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Kent Online Parish Clerks has indexes available for select parishes. Records are also available at the Kent Archives.

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.


Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Dover Poor Law Union, Kent

Probate records[edit | edit source]

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

See England, Kent, Wills and Probate - FamilySearch Historical Records

Local Family History Centre[edit | edit source]

Canterbury Family History Centre, Kent

Maidstone Family History Centre, Kent

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

MARGARET, ST., at Cliffe, a parish, in the union of Dovor, hundred of Bewsborough, lathe of St. Augustine, E. division of Kent, 3½ miles (N. E.) from Dovor. [2]

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]

  2. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England(1848), pp. 253-257. Date accessed: 20 May 2013.