Westwood, Wiltshire Genealogy

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England
Wiltshire
Wiltshire Parishes
Westwood

Guide to Westwood, Wiltshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Westwood, Wiltshire
Westwood Manor.JPG
Type Chapelry
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Elstub and Everley
County Wiltshire
Poor Law Union Bradford
Registration District Bradford-on-Avon
Records begin
Parish registers: 1666; For more records see Bradford-on-Avon
Bishop's Transcripts: 1608
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Potterne
Diocese Salisbury
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Salisbury
Location of Archive
Wiltshire Record Office

Parish History

WESTWOOD, a parish, in the union of Bradford, forming a detached portion of the hundred of Elstub and Everley, locally in the hundred of Bradford, Westbury and N. divisions, and Trowbridge and Bradford sub-divisions, of Wiltshire, 2 miles (S. W.) from Bradford.[1] Westwood parish is a lovely place with a beautiful Church and Manor House. The Church still has an active congregation and the Manor House is now a part of the National Trust and can be visited.

"The earliest known references to Westwood are contained in two charters dated 983 and 987 A.D. first mention of this parish."[2] At Domesday in 1086, about sixty to seventy people resided at Westwood.[3] There are four hamlets in Westwood Parish, Upper Westwood, Lower Westwood, Avoncliffe and Staples Hill. The Church and Manor House are located next to each other in Lower Westwood.

Most people in the parish made their living from farming, the quarries, or domestic work. "Westwood remained predominantly an agricultural village. Weaving and other cloth-making processes came and went. During the 1770s at Avoncliffe a group of weavers' cottages [later known as the Old Court], was built...After 1834 Poor Law Amendment Act and the decline of the woolen weaving industry this building was converted into the Bradford Union Workhouse to house the paupers of Bradford and eight adjacent villages."[4]

For general information about the parish you may visit the Westwood Parish Council website.

Resources

Civil Registration

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

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

FMP = FindMyPast - (£)[5]
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[6]
NBI = National Burial Index (findmypast) - (£)[7]
NIM = Nimrod Research - (£). Results delivered by email.[8]
Westwood, Wiltshire Genealogy Online Parish Records

Baptisms
Marriages
Burials

Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FMP 1500s-1800s
IGI 1666-1876 1670-1753, 1813-1837
NBI

1609-1837
NIM 1609-1837
1608-1837
1609-1837

Census records

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

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

Cemeteries

The parish churchyard served as the burial ground for the parish until 1883 when a civil cemetery was opened because the churchyard was full. The burials in the churchyard were recorded in the Parish Registers. Most of the tombstones have disappeared or are unreadable. There are a few left in the church yard which are readable. 

The list of burials in the civil cemetery is held by the current parish clerk, Westwood Parish Clerk to the Council. For current contact information for this individual you should visit the Westwood Parish Council website's Parish Councilor List.

Churches

The Old Baptist Chapel located on Orchard Close was completed in 1865.

Manor

Westwood Manor House is now under the National Trust. It is a lovely house and can be visited and toured. It is open to be toured from 23 March through 30 September on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2-5 pm.

Some records for the manor are held at the Wiltshire & Swindon Archives. The records held there include:

  • 597/1 1760, 1783 Court rolls
  • DD\RG/57 1777, 1801 Skurray Family Estate, court rolls

Poor Law

After 1834, the Bradford Union Workhouse was located at Avoncliffe in this Parish. This increased the population of Westwood. "As churchwardens also served as Overseers of the Poor until late in the nineteenth century, Westwood churchwardens must have been deeply involved at the time. Bradford Union had a reputation for forcing the destitute to accept indoor relief."[9]

Maps and Gazetteers

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

References

  1. Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 527-529. Date accessed: 2 April 2013.
  2. Walker, Muriel and Simon Guy. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and the Parish of Westwood, Wiltshire. (Westwood, Wiltshire, England: n.p.,n.d.), 6. Copy of this book can be obtained from The Rectory, Westwood, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 2AF.
  3. Walker, Muriel and Simon Guy. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and the Parish of Westwood, Wiltshire. (Westwood, Wiltshire, England: n.p.,n.d.), 4. Copy of this book can be obtained from The Rectory, Westwood, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 2AF.
  4. Walker, Muriel and Simon Guy. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and the Parish of Westwood, Wiltshire. (Westwood, Wiltshire, England: n.p.,n.d.), 4. Copy of this book can be obtained from The Rectory, Westwood, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 2AF.
  5. 'Search more than 99,000 new Wiltshire parish baptism records,' findmypast, accessed 5 June 2014. Coverage year range is not clearly identified.
  6. Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Wiltshire, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 14 January 2014.
  7. 'Parish Records - National Burial Index Records 1538 - 2005 Coverage', Find My Past, accessed 3 November 2013.
  8. 'Wiltshire Parish Explorer,' Nimrod Research, accessed 8 January 2014.
  9. Walker, Muriel and Simon Guy. The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin and the Parish of Westwood, Wiltshire. (Westwood, Wiltshire, England: n.p.,n.d.), 5. Copy of this book can be obtained from The Rectory, Westwood, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, BA15 2AF.