Somerset, England Genealogy
“SOMERSET, or Somersetshire, a maritime county; bounded on the NW, by the Bristol channel; on the N, by Gloucestershire; on the E, by Wilts; on the SE, by Dorset; on the S, by Dorset and Devon; on the W, by Devon... Its greatest length is 71 miles; its greatest breadth is 40 miles... and its area is 1,047,220 acres.
“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...
“Population in 1801 was 273,577; in 1821, 355,789; in 1841, 435,599; in 1861, 444,873...”
The above extract is taken from: John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72). For the full version, go online to Vision of Britain.
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. Click here to see a list of the 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.
Before 1858, every town and parish in Somerset was under the probate jurisdiction of several ecclesiastical courts. To read more about probate records and see a list of Somerset towns and parishes and the probate courts that had jurisdiction over them, go to Somerset Probate Records.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/somersetfamilyhistory/ -- This site is for the discussion and research of family history in the County of Somerset, England. Full transcripts of parish registers, and poor laws are available on its 40 affiliated sites. Free membership. Registration required.
myweb.tiscali.co.uk/ian.sage/PR/pr_index.html -- A list of all Somerset parishes that have online transcripts of parish registers
wsom-opc.org.uk/ -- The main website for the Somerset Online Parish Clerk project
www.somerset.gov.uk/archives/ -- The Somerset Country Record Office
freereg.rootsweb.com/ -- A free service offering transcripts of parish registers in Somerset (incomplete but useful)
www.CrewkerneOPC.com -- Website for online parish clerk of the market town of Crewkerne -- online parish clerk is LDS<