Somerset, England Genealogy

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Somerset, or Somersetshire, is a maritime county located in the south western part of England.

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“SOMERSET, or Somersetshire, a maritime county; bounded on the NW, by the Bristol channel; on the N, by Gloucestershire; on the E, by Wiltshire(Wilts); on the SE, by Dorset; on the S, by Dorset and Devon; on the W, by Devon.

Somerset is a rural county with rolling hills such as Blackdowns,Mendips and Quantocks [1]. It is also has a national park (Exmoor National park). Somersets greatest length is 71 miles; its greatest breadth is 40 miles... and its area is 1,047,220 acres. From the list of counties of England, Somerset is ranked 22nd for population and 7th for total area.

There have been many People who have settled in Somerset, these include Romans and Anglo-Saxons[2]. The county remained part of the Roman empire until around AD 409. The Roman baths gave there name to the city of Bath.

Somerset County Map 1646.jpg

In the English civil war Somerset largely Parliamentarian [3]. The Parliamentarians were also called the Round Heads. They fought against King Charles 1 and his supporters the Cavaliers (Royalists). The Cavaliers claimed absolute power for the King and the roundheads wanted to give the Parliament supreme control over executive administration. Some of the key battles in somerset at this time was the " siege of Taunton " [4] and the "battle of langport" [5].

One of the titles from the Peerage of the United Kingdom is the Duke of Wellington. This title was made from the Town of wellington in Somerset for Hon Arthur Wellesley(Born Wesley )(1769-1852) on may 11th, 1814. He was later to command the decisive battle with Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher over Napoleon Bonaparte's forces at Waterloo in Brabant (now Walloon Brabant, Belgium). With this success he was also given the title "Prince of Waterloo".

Somerset Population
1801 273,577
1821 355,789
1841 435,599
1861 444,873
1901 434,945
2011 910,200

“The county contains 466 parishes, parts of 2 others, and 6 extra-parochial tracts; is divided into 42 hundreds or liberties, and 6 boroughs; has 27 market-towns, 13 towns with each upwards of 2,000 inhabitants, and about 1,385 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets... and, with exclusion of Bedminster parish, constitutes the diocese of Bath and Wells. The assizes and the quarter sessions are held at Taunton, Bridgewater, and Wells...

“The places of worship, in 1851, were 553 of the Church of England, 110 of Independents, 89 of Baptists, 15 of Quakers, 8 of Unitarians, 1 of Moravians, 202 of Wesleyans, 33 of Primitive Methodists, 44 of Bible Christians, 4 of the Wesleyan Association, 26 of Wesleyan Reformers, 4 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, 2 of the New Church, 12 of Brethren, 9 of isolated congregations, 2 of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, 6 of Latter Day Saints, 8 of Roman Catholics, and 1 of Jews...[6]

Civil Districts

When civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837, Somerset was divided into a number of registration districts, each containing several parishes. The index to the civil records gives the name of the district where an event took place. GENUKI has a tabulated list of civil districts in Somerset and the parishes covered by each. Read more about England Civil Registration.


See a list of the parishes of Somersetshire with links to articles.

Jurisdictions 1851

England Jurisdictions 1851 is a powerful Internet based Geographic Information System (GIS) showing parish maps of the 40 counties in England. This mapping system simplifies research by consolidating data from many finding aids into a single searchable repository that can be accessed through the mere click of a mouse in a parish boundary. The program can be accessed at: Maps Familysearch. This is a research tool provided by FamilySearch using Google Maps to visually display maps and information. For tips on using the website, look beneath the two blue buttons on the left side of the home page and click the "Find out here" link.

Probate Jurisdictions

Before 1858, every town and parish in Somerset was under the probate jurisdiction of several ecclesiastical courts. For more about probate records and see a list of Somerset towns and parishes and the probate courts that had jurisdiction over them, see Somerset Probate Records.


To view a further list of web sites and/or web pages for Somershire and many of its parishes, visit


Links to articles, subcategories and images under the Category Somerset, England Genealogy