Colsterworth, Lincolnshire Genealogy

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Parish History

Colsterworth includes other places Twyford and Woolsthorpe in the Ancient Parish; the church is that of St John the Baptist, the origins of which go back to Saxon times, as indicated by the herring-bone stonework in the chancel. The fine Norman arches were preserved during the Victorian period of renovation, of which this church is an outstanding example. The surrounding churchyard has been closed for almost a century but is kept in good order by the Parish Council. Inside the church, tucked away behind the organ and difficult to photograph, is a stone sundial plate cut with a penknife at the age of nine by Sir Isaac Newton, born in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth. The stone, which has no gnomon, is mounted (upside down) below a carved wooden effigy of the scientist. Sir Isaac Newton's mother, Hannah Ayscough, and father, also called Isaac, are both buried in the church.

Due to a lack of clergy, there is one Church of England priest for Colsterworth and another four parishes; the Colsterworth Group of Churches consists of The Holy Cross at Great Ponton, Lincolnshire, Saint Guthlac at Little Ponton, Lincolnshire, St James at Skillington, Lincolnshire and St Andrew and St Mary at  Stoke Rochford with North Stoke and South with Easton, Lincolnshire. There is also a Methodist Church in the village.

RAF North Witham

The airfield is located in Twyford Wood within the ecclesiastcal parish of Colsterworth.

Opened in 1943, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force. During the war it was used primarily as a transport airfield. After the war it was closed in late 1945.

Today the remains of the airfield are located on private property being used as agricultural fields and as an industrial estate.

North Witham was known as USAAF Station AAF-479 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's USAAF Station Code was "NW".

The first American personnel arrived on 31 December 1943, having been accommodated at the nearby RAF Cottesmore. Domestic accommodations had Nissen huts for 2,324 persons but in addition to this several hundred Gls had to be accommodated in tents.

"COLSTERWORTH (St. John the Baptist), a parish, partly in the wapentake of Beltisloe, and partly in that of Winnibriggs and Threo, union of Grantham, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 8 miles (S.) from Grantham; containing, with the hamlets of Twyford and Woolsthorpe, 1017 inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The Roman road called High Dyke, passes through the parish."[1]


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

Material deposited at Lincolnshire Archives, St Rumbold Street,Lincoln,Lincolnshire,LN2 5AB,England Enquiries: The website enables you to view a PDF file for all records held for each parish as part of continuing efforts to provide an online catalogue

The digitisation of parish records for the county now offers images  via the Lincs to the past website (July 2011). Use advanced search terms at Search Lincs to the past to search for available images for parish registers and other records for this parish with images. Advance search terms Colsterworth Par 1 will identify available images.

Search Family History Library CatalogueColsterworth

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.

See Lincolnshire Census

Poor Law Unions

Grantham Poor Law Union, Lincolnshire

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Lincolnshire 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

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



  1. Lewis, Samuel A. Topographical Dictionary of England. Published London (1848); URL: