Glastonbury, Somerset Genealogy
Guide to Glastonbury, Somerset ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
|County||Somerset, England Genealogy|
|Poor Law Union||Wells|
|Parish registers: 1603|
|Bishop's Transcripts: 1597|
|Diocese||Bath and Wells|
|Probate Court||Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Wells|
|Location of Archive|
|Somerset Archives and Local Studies|
Parish History[edit | edit source]
GLASTONBURY, a market-town, in the union of Wells, hundred of Glaston-Twelve-Hides, E. division of Somerset, 124 miles (W. by S.) from London. Glastonbury consists of the parishes of St. Benedict and St. John the Baptist, for uniting which an act was obtained in 1834. The livings are distinct, and are perpetual curacies in the patronage of the Bishop of Bath and Wells, the appropriator. There are places of worship for Baptists, Wesleyans, and Independents.
Glastonbury is a very ancient town. It is located in the western regions of the British Isles, and was never conquered by the Romans. William the Conqueror also never really entered this region, and it was left to later kings to finally assimilate it into the kingdom later known as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Evidence from timber trackways such as the Sweet Track show that the town has been inhabited since Neolithic times. Glastonbury Lake Village was an Iron Age village, close to the old course of the River Brue and Sharpham Park approximately 2 miles (3 km) west of Glastonbury, that dates back to the Bronze Age
In Pre-Roman times, it was part of a loosely federated group of Celtic or Germanic peoples, spreading from Ireland, through Wales, Scotland, Devon and Cornwall, and continuing through Brittany, Normandy, and modern day Belgium, Holland, and Northern Germany. They were not barbaric in nature, but settled in small villages and towns. It is believed that there were schools and even institutes of higher learning we might call Universities in southwest England, Brittany and Normandy.
Centwine was the first Saxon patron of Glastonbury Abbey, which dominated the town for the next 700 years. One of the most important abbeys in England, it was the site of Edmund Ironside's coronation as King of England in 1016. Many of the oldest surviving buildings in the town, including the Tribunal, George Hotel and Pilgrims' Inn and the Somerset Rural Life Museum, which is based in an old tithe barn, are associated with the abbey. The Church of St John the Baptist dates from the 15th century.
Glastonbury is linked through tradition, legend, and balladry, with 2 major figures in antiquity. While there is no specific evidence for the following, a number of eminent writers have attested to the veracity of this information.
It has been identified as the location of the graves of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. It was alleged that in 1191 the discovery of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere's tomb was made by monks associated with the Abbey. In 1184, a great fire at Glastonbury had destroyed the monastic buildings and all the records, and so this discovery by the monks could not be confirmed, but had been a tradition for hundreds of years previously.
The second legend associated with Glastonbury is attested to by Dr. Vaughn E. Hansen in his book, "Whence Came They", as well as by other major authors.
Joseph of Arimathaea was the Biblical figure who took Jesus' body after the crucifixion. He is reputed to be the uncle of Jesus. This would provide support for the fact that he was able to claim the body, as close living male relatives would have been given that right by Jewish custom.
Legend has it that when Jesus died, Joseph thought it prudent to flee Palestine, and after many travails he came to Britain with a company of followers. When Joseph came to Britain he was granted land at Glastonbury by the local king. The story has prevailed for thousands of years, and among the tin workers in Cornwall, up until the last century, there was a ballad sung that included the words, "Joseph was a tin man..."
Resources[edit | edit source]
Find Neighboring Parishes[edit | edit source]
- Type the name of the parish in the search bar
- Click on the location pin on the map
- Choose Options from the pop up box
- Click "List Contiguous Parishes" to find the neighboring parishes
Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
The Church of England (Anglican) became the official state religion in 1534, with the reigning monarch as its Supreme Governor.
Non-Conformist refers to all other religious denominations that are not the official state religion.
Church of England[edit | edit source]
Due to the increasing access of online records:
- Individual parish coverage for databases in this table are inconsistent and should be verified
- Dates in the following table are approximate
Hover over the collection's title for more information
|Glastonbury Online Parish Records|
|Parish Registers - FamilySearch Catalog|
|Bishop's Transcripts - FamilySearch Catalog|
|Find My Past-Somerset ($)|
|Find My Past Banns-Somerset ($)|
|Ancestry-Somerset (Early) ($)|
|Ancestry-Somerset (Late) ($)|
|Ancestry-England & Wales, Birth, Christening, Marriage and Death Indexes ($)|
|Databases with Known Incomplete Parish Coverage|
|Boyd's Marriage Indexes-FMP (Free)|
|National Burial Index-FMP (Free)|
Other Online Records
These databases have incomplete parish coverage.
- Joiner Marriage Index - Somerset ($)
- The Genealogist Parish Registers - Somerset ($)
- West Somerset Parish Register Transcriptions - Somerset
- UK Websites for Parish Records - Links to online genealogical records
- Online Genealogical Index - Links to online genealogical records
Non-Conformists (All other Religions)[edit | edit source]
- 1717 England & Wales, Roman Catholics, 1717 at FindMyPast ($), index and images (coverage may vary)
Glastonbury is not a large town. However it is known for its pagan and Celtish following and these are particularly active during the solstices and the summer months. The following non Conformist groups are active:
- First Christian Church
- Grace Community Church
There are communities of non Christian religions including the following:
Census records[edit | edit source]
Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
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.
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- Glastonbury History and Guide by Robert Dunning
- Traditions of Glastonbury by Raymond Kapt
- Local Histories; Glastonbury
- History and Archaeology of Glastonbury Abbey
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Somerset 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[edit | edit source]
Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.
- England Jurisdictions 1851
- Vision of Britain
- Glastonbury street map
- Genuki Glastonbury Gazetteer
- Vision of Britain Glastonbury Gazetteer
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Glastonbury itself does not have its own newspaper. Instead locals read the following:
Occupations[edit | edit source]
Glastonbury has no indigenous industry. It survives primarily on tourism and as a local market town.
It is a center for religious tourism and pilgrimage. As with many towns of similar size, the center is not as thriving as it once was but Glastonbury supports a large number of alternative shops. As part of the redevelopment of the old industrial site, a project has been established by the Glastonbury Community Development Trust to provide support for local unemployed people applying for employment, starting in self-employment and accessing work-related training.
Societies[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
Websites[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England, (1848). Adapted. Date accessed: 20 September 2013.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Glastonbury," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glastonbury, accessed 15 April, 2017.
- Vaughn E Hansen, Ph.D., Whence Came They, Israel Britain, and the Restoration (Springville, Ut, CFI Publishing, 1993).
- Wikipedia contributors,"Glastonbury" in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glastonbury, accessed 15 April 2017.