Leigh, Kent Genealogy

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Guide to Leigh, Kent ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish register transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Leigh, Kent
Leigh St Mary Kent.jpg
Leigh St Mary Kent
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Codsheath
County Kent
Poor Law Union Sevenoaks
Registration District Sevenoaks
Records begin
Parish registers: 1593
Bishop's Transcripts: 1716
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Malling
Diocese Pre-1845 - Rochester; Post-1844 - Canterbury
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Courts of the Bishop (Episcopal Consistory) and Archdeaconry of Rochester
Location of Archive
Kent Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

LEIGH (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Seven Oaks, partly in the hundred of Somerden, but chiefly in that of Codsheath, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W division of Kent, 3¾ miles W from Tonbridge. This parish, from various ancient records, appears to have been formerly of considerable importance, and to have included a portion of that of Penshurst.[1]

Leigh, historically spelled Lyghe, is a village and civil parish in the Sevenoaks district of Kent.

Leigh (pronounced Lye) St Mary is an Ancient Parish which includes Hollanden in the Diocese of Rochester; a map pf the parish boundary is available at A church near you.

The church was originally built in the 13th century, a fire during the reign of Henry VII destroyed part of it and restoration has taken place in subsequent centuries.

In 1860-61 the church underwent considerable reconstruction. At the time, the chancel was the responsibility of the Lay Rector, who in this case was Lord de Lisle, while the parish was responsible for the rest of the building. The two parties employed different architects; Lord de Lisle using George Devey, and the parish Charles Bailey, a cousin of Thomas Farmer Bailey, the owner of Hall Place. The two architects used different types of stone, as is obvious when viewing the outside of the building.

Further rebuilding between 1889 and 1892 was undertaken.

See Edward Hasted, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 3 (1797), pp. 258-275 at British History Online and Kent Churches website

The church of St Mary Leigh has been designated as a grade II* listed building British listed building

Penshurst Airfield later RAF Penshurst is within the parish and was used in both World Wars and closed in 1946, it included a period as an alternate civil aviation landing for Croydon Airport in bad weather. In the Second World War it served as an emergency landing ground.RAF Penshurst Wikipedia

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

See Sevenoaks Registration District 1837-1941 Tonbridge Registration District

Kent County Council (KCC) has a certificate centre at the Mansion House in Tunbridge Wells which holds all the completed registers for Kent since 1 July 1837 and can supply a certified copy of any Kent birth, death or marriage entry from any register within its custody or a Kent civil partnership registration from the government online database.

The Mansion House (Certificate Centre)
Grove Hill Road
Tunbridge Wells
Kent TN1 1EP

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]

Leigh parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

BIVRI = British Isles Vital Records Index (Ancestry) - (£)[2]
FS BTs = England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS PRs = England, Kent, Parish Registers (FamilySearch) - free[4]
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[5]
Leigh Online Parish Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
BIVRI 1876-1885

FS BTs 1716-1903 1716-1903 1716-1903
FS PRs 1592-1884 1592-1900; 1754-1823 (banns) 1592-1853
IGI 1562-1598, 1638-1885 1560-1597, 1638-1885

Kent Online Parish Clerks (OPC)

  • International Genealogical Index 1562-1598; 1638-1885 (Extracts) Batches (C131551-C131553)
  • Marriages 1560-1597; 1638-1885 (Extracts) Batches (M131551-M131553)

Land Tax[edit | edit source]

Non-Conformists (All other Religions)[edit | edit source]

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census Returns for Leigh 1841-1891

FamilySearch Records includes collections of census indexes which can be searched online for free. In addition FamilySearch Centres offer free access to images of the England and Wales Census through FHC Portal Computers here have access to the Family History Centre Portal page which gives free access to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.

Images of the census for 1841-1891 can be viewed in census collections at Ancestry (fee payable) or Find My Past (fee payable)

The 1851 census of England and Wales attempted to identify religious places of worship in addition to the household survey census returns.

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Kent Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Local Family History Centre[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England(1848), pp. 62-65. Date accessed: 19 August 2013.
  2. 'British Isles Vital Records Index - 2nd Ed. Breakdown of Records', Genoot, accessed 7 November 2013.
  3. 'England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts, 1560-1911,' FamilySearch, accessed 11 November 2013.
  4. 'England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911,' FamilySearch, accessed 13 November 2013.
  5. Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Kent, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 18 November 2013.