Lenham, Kent Genealogy

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

Lenham, Kent
Lenham St Mary Kent.jpg
Lenham St Mary Kent
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Eyhorne
County Kent
Poor Law Union Hollingbourne
Registration District Hollingbourn
Records begin
Parish registers: 1558
Bishop's Transcripts: 1564
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Sutton
Diocese Canterbury
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Canterbury
Location of Archive
Kent Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

LENHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Hollingbourne, hundred of Eyhorne, lathe of Aylesford, W division of Kent, 10 miles E by S from Maidstone.[1]

Lenham is a market village and civil parish in the Maidstone district of Kent, see Lenham Wikipedia

Lenham St Mary is an Ancient Parish in the Diocese of Canterbury which included Lenham Heath and Sandway. A Map of the Parish boundary may be found at A church near you

The church of St Mary has been designated as a grade I listed building British listed building

The 14th century church is the rebuilt version of the former church destroyed by fire, described in 1942 by SPB Mais as 'a spacious Decorated medieval church with fine oak door, superbly carved Jacobean oak pulpit, stone armchair, ancient communion cup, and specially attractive pews.' It is the burial place of Mary Honeywood, who dying aged 93 left 367 descendants. Her courage in visiting martyrs during the reign of Mary Tudor features in 'The Book of Martyrs' by John Foxe (1516-1587).

See Edward Hasted, The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5 (1798), pp. 415-445 at British History Online and Kent Churches website

Mentioned in the Domesday Survey, Lenham market dates back to 1088, when the village was an important crossroad settlement. Technically the fact that Lenham is allowed a market, makes it a town but the community have always desired to maintain its village status.

The Pilgrims' Way/North Downs Way passes just to the north of Lenham, higher up on the 'downs' and it features a war memorial of a 200-foot chalk cross carved into the scarp slope of the downs. First constructed in 1922, to remember those who fell in the Great War, and fully restored in 1994, the cross now commemorates the dead of both World Wars. To avoid its use as a navigation aid by the Luftwaffe, the cross was filled in between 1939 and May 1945.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

This parish was in the Hollingbourne registration district See Maidstone 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]

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

FMP = findmypast - (£)[2][3][4][5]
FREG = FreeREG - free[6]
MIDK = Mid-Kent Marriage Index 1754-1911 - free[7]
Lenham Online Parish Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FMP 1558-1911
1558-1837; 1653-1837 (Banns)

MIDK 1754-1911

International Genealogical Index

  • Lenham Ebenezer Independent Christenings 1779-1837 Batch (C068411)

Family History Library film numbers
See also England, Kent, Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Land Tax[edit | edit source]

  • The 1987 microfilming at Kent Archives reference: Q/RPL/71
  • Land tax assessments for the parishes of Otterden and Lenham, 1780- 1832 Kent Archives reference Q/RPL/284-285 were filmed in 1987; there is no apparent way point to match this filming
  • Images for Lenham available at FamilySearch Records see England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments - FamilySearch Historical Records 1780-1832 appear to be 1987 microfilming at Kent Archives reference Q/RPL/217-218 which the Family History Library describes as "Land tax assessments for upper and lower Lenham, 1780-1832" Examination of this bundle at Centre for Kentish Studies shows that Upper Lenham is the western part of the parish associated in tax returns with a part of Aylesford, Lower Lenham is less clearly defined. Edward Hasted helpfully describes the extensive parish in terms of division between the western part in "lath of Aylesford, hundred of Eyhorne" and eastern or East Lenham in "lath of Shipway in the hundred of Calehill"

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 5 (1798), pp. 415-445 at British History Online

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

Census Records[edit | edit source]

Census returns for Lenham 1841-1891

FamilySearch Records includes collections of census indexes which can be searched online for free. In addition 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. 68-74. Date accessed: 19 August 2013.fckLR
  2. 'Coverage of Kent parish baptism records', Find My Past, accessed 5 November 2013.
  3. 'Coverage of Kent parish marriage records', Find My Past, accessed 6 November 2013.
  4. 'Coverage of Kent parish banns', Find My Past, accessed 5 November 2013.
  5. 'Coverage of Kent parish burial records', Find My Past, accessed 6 November 2013.
  6. 'Kent Coverage', FreeREG, accessed 6 November 2013.
  7. 'Mid-Kent Marriage Index 1754-1911,' Woodchurch Ancestry Group, accessed 16 January 2014.