Swanton Morley, Norfolk Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Norfolk Gotoarrow.png  Norfolk Parishes


Parish History

SWANTON-MORLEY (All Saints), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Launditch, W. division of Norfolk, 3½ miles (N. E.) from East Dereham. There is a place of worship for Primitive Methodists.[1]

 Swanton Morley All Saints is an Ancient Parish in the Brisley deanery of the Diocese of Norwich.

Swanton Morley was the home of Richard Lincoln (1550–1620), local churchwarden who built the mansion known today as The Angel Free House pub. Lincoln was the wealthy grandfather of Samuel Lincoln and Richard's coat-of-arms can be seen today in the east window of All Saints Church in Swanton Morley. Richard Lincoln disinherited Samuel's father Edward from his will in favour of his fourth wife, thus throwing the Lincoln family into penury and forcing young Samuel to flee to Hingham, Massachusetts[His great-great-great-great-grandson was Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States]. Richard Lincoln was interred under the center aisle of St Andrew's Church in Hingham, Norfolk, a privilege reserved for gentry.

Swanton Morley has strong links with the armed forces. The village was home for many years to RAF Swanton Morley, but this was formally handed over to the army in 1996. The RAF base was renamed Robertson Barracks and is home to the Light Dragoons.

During World War II the station was home to the Bomber Support Development Unit (BSDU) of No. 100 Group RAF. On July 4, 1942, American and British airmen took off from this station as part of the first combined bombing raid of World War Two. Both Winston Churchill and General Eisenhower were at RAF Swanton Morley for this mission, which saw six crews from 15th Bombardment Squadron fly a raid with six crews from the RAF, using Boston aircraft belonging to the RAF's No. 226 Squadron.

After World War II the station was home to No 1 Air Signaller's School and later to the Central Servicing Development Establishment (CSDE) and the Maintenance Analysis and Computing Establishment (MACE).

From June 1953 to 1995 the station was also used by 611 Volunteer Gliding School, when the station was listed for closure under Options For Change'. The station held popular airshows during the 1980's.


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.

  • Mitford 1837-1938
  • East Dereham 1939-1974

Church records

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. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Images of the parish registers may be viewed online in Historic Records (formerly Record Search) Norfolk Record Office reference PD 539 Swanton Morley and the united befices of Swanton Morleywith Worthing

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.

Poor Law Unions

Mitford &Launditch      http://www.institutions.org.uk/workhouses/england/norf/mitford_and_launditch_workhouse.htm

Records of the Mitford and Launditch Poor Law Union1776-1948
Norfolk Record Office C/GP 14
Extent 137 pieces
The following parishes comprised the 1836 union: Bawdeswell, Beeston, Beetley, Billingford, East Bilney, Bintry, Brisley, Bylaugh, Colkirk, Cranworth, East Dereham, Great Dunham, Little Dunham, North Elmham, Elsing, Foxley, Great Fransham, Little Fransham, Garvestone, Gately, Gressenhall, Guist, Hardingham, Hockering, Hoe, Horningtoft, Kempstone, Letton, East Lexham, West Lexham, Litcham, Longham, Lyng, Mattishall, Mattishall Burgh, Mileham, Oxwick with Pattesley, Reymerstone, Rougham, Scarning, Shipdham, Southburgh, Sparham, Stanfield, Swanton Morley, Thuxton, Tittleshall, East Tuddenham, North Tuddenham, Twyford, Weasenham All Saints, Weasenham St Peter, Wellingham, Wendling, Westfield, Whinburgh, Whissonsett, Wood Rising, Worthing, Yaxham.
All fifty parishes of Mitford and Launditch Hundreds were incorporated in 1775 under the terms of An act for the better relief and employment of the poor within the hundreds of Mitford and Launditch, 15 Geo. III, cap. 59. In 1801 the parish of East Dereham separated from the Incorporation, but in 1836 all fifty original parishes plus ten from Eynesford Hundred joined together in a new union. The House of Industry belonging to the old incorporation, built at Gressenhall in 1776-1777, was repaired and altered in 1836 to become the new Union Workhouse. Mitford and Launditch Union Board of Guardians was replaced by Guardians Committee No. 10 in 1930.

Norfolk Poor Law Unions

Probate records

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

Web sites

http://www.derehambenefice.co.uk/Swanton%20Morley.html Dereham benefice website

http://www.achurchnearyou.com/swanton-morley-all-saints/ for information about the parish

http://www.swantonmorley.info/AllSaints/AllSaints.asp for information about the church and village

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~tinstaafl for link to Norfolk Baptisms Project

http://www.airfields.fotopic.net/c1672759.html for RAF Swanton Morley

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/swantonmorley/swantonmorley.htm Norfolk churches website

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=78624 British history online

http://norfolkcoast.co.uk/pasttimes/pt_abrahamlincoln.htm for Abraham Lincoln family history

http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln81.html Abraham Lincoln Research website


  1. Lewis, Samuel A.,A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 283-286. Date accessed: 11 June 2013.