Gloucestershire, England Genealogy

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Gloucestershire or Gloucester County is an inland but partly a maritime county located in the western England.  It borders on Monmouthshire, Wales.

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“GLOUCESTERSHIRE, or Gloucester, an inland, but partly maritime, county of England; bounded, on t he NW, by Herefordshire and Worcestershire; on the N, by Worcestershire and Warwickshire; on the E, by Oxfordshire; on the SE, by Berks and Wilts; on the S, by Wilts and Somerset; on the W, by the Severn's estuary and by Monmouthshire... and its area is 805,102 acres... The hill section extends from end to end of the county; is, in some parts, 8 miles broad; bears the name of Cotswolds...

“The county contains 356 parishes or quasi-parishes, parts of 5 others, and 10 extra-parochial tracts; and is cut, for parliamentary representation, into two divisions, E and W. The E division contains the hundreds of Bisley, Bradley, Brightwells - Barrow, Cheltenham, Cleeve, Crowthorne, Deerhurst, Dudstone, Kiftsgate, Longtree, Rapsgate, Slaughter, Tewkesbury, Tibald-stone, Westminster, and Whitstone; and the W division contains the hundreds of Barton-Regis, Berkeley, Bledisloe, Botloe, St. Briavels, Grumbalds-Ash, Henbury, Lancaster-Duchy, Langley, Pucklechurch, Thornbury, and Westbury... and is divided into the districts of Bristol, Clifton, Chipping-Sodbury, Thornbury, Dursley, Westbury-on-Severn, Newent, Gloucester, Wheatenhurst, Stroud, Tetbury, Cirencester, Northleach, Stow-on-the-Wold, Winchcomb, Cheltenham, and Tewkesbury.

“The boroughs are Gloucester, Bristol, Cheltenham, Cirencester, Stroud, and Tewkesbury; the other towns, with more than 2, 000 inhabitants and not included in any borough, are Dursley, Tetbury, and Wotton-under-Edge; the other market-towns are Newent, Northleach, Chipping-Sodbury, Chipping-Campden, Coleford, Fairford, Marshfield, Minchinhampton, Mitcheldean, Painswick, Stow-on-the-Wold, Thornbury, Winchcomb, Newnham, Berkeley, and Wickwar; and there are about 1, 230 villages and hamlets.

“Gloucestershire is governed by a lord lieutenant, about 60 deputy lieutenants, and about 390 magistrates. It is in the Oxford judicial circuit, and in the Home military district. The assizes and the quarter sessions are held at Gloucester... The entire county is in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol... Marriages in 1862 were 3,988, -of which 791 were not according to the rite of the Established Church; births, 14,669, - of which 744 were illegitimate; deaths, 8,691, -of which 3, 081 were at ages under 5 years, and 275 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60 were 38,783; births, 133,926; deaths, 90,921. The places of worship in the political county, in 1851, were 433 of the Church of England, 96 of Independents, 102 of Baptists, 12 of Quakers, 7 of Unitarians, 3 of Moravians, 144 of Wesleyan Methodists, 30 of Primitive Methodists, 7 of Bible Christians, 3 of the Wesleyan Association, 30 of Wesleyan Reformers, 11 of Calvinistic Methodists, 1 of the New Church, 8 of Brethren, 16 of isolated congregations, 9 of Latter Day Saints, 14 of Roman Catholics, and 2 of Jews.

“Population in 1801 was 250,723; in 1821, 336,190; in 1841, 431,495; in 1861, 485,770.”

The above extract comes from: John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72). To see the full version, go to Vision of Britain.


Research Tools


Civil Districts

When civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837, Gloucestershire was divided into civil districts, each containing several parishes.  To see a list of civil districts and the parishes they contain, click here.


Here is an alphabetical list of the historic Gloucestershire parishes, with links to their own pages.

Probate Jurisdictions

Before 1858, every town and parish in Gloucestershire was under the probate jurisdiction of a primary court and one or more secondary courts.  To see a list of Gloucestershire parishes and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, go to the Gloucestershire Probate Records page.  

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