Brighton St Nicholas, Sussex Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Sussex   Gotoarrow.png  Sussex Parishes Gotoarrow.png  Brighton St Nicholas

St Nicholas Church, Brighton Sussex.jpg

Parish History

Brighton St Nicholas is the Ancient parish for the market town and later seaside resort of Brighton in Sussex.

Church history Brighton St Nicholas (old)

and Brighton St Nicholas Saltdean

See also:

An introduction to Brighton's church history Brighton churches and Brighton and Hove Wikipedia

For researchers, here is an important 19th century jurisdictional perspective:

BRIGHTON (St Nicholas), a sea-port, borough, market-town, and parish, in the hundred of Whalesbone, rape of Lewes, E. division of Sussex, 30 miles (E.) from Chichester, and 52 (S.) from London. This place, in the Saxon Brighthelmstun, in Domesday book Bristlemeston, and now, by contraction, generally Brighton, is supposed to have taken its name from the Saxon bishop, Brighthelme, who resided in the vicinity.

The town is pleasantly situated on elevated ground rising gently on the east and west from a level called the Steyne, supposed to have been the line of the ancient Stayne-street, or Roman road from Arundel to Dorking. Brighton extends to Kemp Town, in the extreme east, with a square, in the extreme west, towards Hove.

The Pavilion, begun in 1784, and completed in 1827, by George IV., is connected with the palace on the west.

The following chapels of ease (each with registers of baptisms and burials, and some marriages) according Lewis subdivided the ancient parish boundary of St Nicholas Parish:

  • Pavilion Royal Chapel - 1823
  • St Nicholas - 1538 with West Blatchington consolidated
  • St Peter's - 1827
  • Chapel Royal, in Prince's Place - 1793
  • St James, in St James's Street - by 1848
  • St Mary, St James Street - by 1848
  • St George, Kemp Town - by 1848
  • Holy Trinity, Ship Street - by 1848
  • St Margaret's, Cannon Place - 1827
  • All Souls, Upper Edward Street - 1833
  • Christ-Church Montpelier-Road - 1838
  • St John the Evangelist, Carlton-Hill -1846
  • All Saints' Church, West Street - 1846
  • Kemp Town - 1846
  • St Andrew's, Waterloo-Street - 1831; chapelry mostly in Brighton, but partly in Hove parish.
  • The County Hospital Chapel
  • St Stephen's - 1857

There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, the Society of Friends, the Connexion of the Countess of Huntingdon, Huntingtonians, Scottish Seceders, Wesleyans, and others; also Bethel chapel, belonging to the Mariners' Friend Society; a Roman Catholic chapel, and a synagogue.[1]

Sussex Online Parish Clerks (OPC)and Saltdean Sussex Online Parish Clerks (OPC)


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.

From 1837 this parish was in the Brighton registration distict
Certificates can be ordered from
Brighton & Hove The Register Office
Brighton Town Hall
Bartholomew Square

Phone01273 292016

Fax 01273 292019

Church records

Online Brighton St Nicholas Parish Register Images and Indexes
Indexes 1558-1701 TheGenealogist[2] 1559-1701 TheGenealogist[2] 1587-1689 TheGenealogist[2]

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records.

Link to the Family History Library Catalogue showing the film numbers in their collection Brighton St Nicholas

Suggars, Leslie, and Leeson, Francis.  Military Marriages in Brighton in Napoleonic Times.  List of Military marriages arranged by Unit (grooms only).  Entries are in the Brighton Marriage Register at the County Record Office or Society of Genealogists, London.  The article covers the years 1754-1837.  Article to be found in magazine Sussex Family Historian, vol.1, #4, March 1974, pages 88-92, and page 96.  Family History Library Ref. 942.52 Bsu

Poor Law Unions

Brighton Poor Law Union, Sussex

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.

FamilySearch Centres offer free access to images of the England and Wales Census through FHC Portal: Computers here have access to the Family History Centre Portal page which gives free access to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.

[1] to locate local Family History Centres in UK

[2] to locate outside UK. Many archives and local history collections in public libraries in England and Wales offer online census searches and also hold microfilm or fiche census returns.

The 1851 census of England and Wales attempted to identify religious places of worship in addition to the household survey census returns.

Prior to the 1911 census the household schedule was destroyed and only the enumerator's schedule survives.

The 1911 census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911 and in addition to households and institutions such as prisons and workhouses, canal boats merchant ships and naval vessels it attempted to include homeless persons. The schedule was completed by an individual and for the first time both this record and the enumerator's schedule were preserved. Two forms of boycott of the census by women are possible due to frustration at government failure to grant women the universal right to vote in parliamentary and local elections. The schedule either records a protest by failure to complete the form in respect of the women in the household or women are absent due to organisation of groups of women staying away from home for the whole night. Research estimates that several thousand women are not found by census search.[3]

Probate records

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


Brighton Residents - the 1662 Hearth Tax.  A list of householders along with the number of hearths in their houses.  More detail is available in the original record.  Article to be found in Sussex Family Historian, vol.7, Sept. 1974 pages 213-216, Family History Library Ref. 942.25 B2su

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 369-375. Adapted. Accessed: 28 Jan 2013
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 'Sussex Parish Record Transcripts,' The Genealogist, accessed 10 March 2012.