Overstrand, Norfolk Genealogy

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Guide to Overstrand, Norfolk ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Overstrand, Norfolk
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred North Erpingham
County Norfolk
Poor Law Union Erpingham
Registration District Erpingham
Records begin
Parish registers: 1558
Bishop's Transcripts: 1691
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Repps
Diocese Norwich
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Norfolk
Location of Archive
Norfolk Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

OVERSTRAND (St. Martin), a parish, in the union of Erpingham, hundred of North Erpingham, E. division of Norfolk, 1¾ mile (S. E. by E.) from Cromer. [1]

Overstrand St Martin is a rebuilt church on the site of a former Ancient parish in the Repps deanery of the Diocese of Norwich. Other places in the parish include Beck Hythe.

It is unclear exactly when the first church in Overstrand was built. There was no church recorded in 1086 and the first records  in Edward I reign,  have Roger de Eccleburgh was patron of the church dedicated to St.Martin  providing a date of 1272 to 1307. As such it could be assumed that the church was built during that period.

We also know that it was one of the first recorded victims of local coastal erosion. Early accounts of Overstrand describe the topography as a parish extending for nearly two miles along the coast, comprising 400 acres of light and sandy soil which rises gradually from the shore and bounded on the south-west by a range of lofty hills.

Its position must have been very close to the shore as it was washed away and "swallowed up by the sea" in the late 14th century. There isno precise date for this but do know that it would have been after 1382 (as we have records of the rector Robert Madesone, for that date) and prior to or by 1399. John Reymes provided half an acre of land for a new churchyard before the end of September of 1399 and a licence was granted for the building of a new church probably between October and December of 1399.

The new churchyard was positioned where it is today. We know it was in use by 1432 and William Dolle was rector.

The church building originally consisted of an embattled perpendicular west tower, nave, and chancel with a porch and door on the north side. A small oven for baking wafers was added to the south wall of the tower. The windows bore the arms of the de Reymes, Calthorp, Felbrigg Le Gross and Pelham.

By the latter 18th century, St.Martin's was by all accounts in a state of disrepair and by 1845 was virtually a ruin, having only part of the nave used for service.

A new church was built and consecrated in 1867, and named Christ Church. This was built in the Early English style, of cut flint and stone, and consisted of a chancel, nave and north aisle.This then fell into disuse and disrepair.

By the beginning of the 20th century the little Church was proving inadequate for the summer congregations, so in 1911 it was decided to restore and enlarge the ancient Church of St. Martin. In spite of considerable opposition from the Society of Antiquaries (The English Heritage of the day) who wanted to preserve the old ruin. The old Church was restored with the addition of a North Aisle and transept and was re-dedicated on May 30th 1914 by the Lord Bishop of Norwich and once again became the Parish Church.

Lady Battersea gave the pair of antique Italian brass gondola lamps that hang in the Santuary and the lamp over the rector's stall. A forth lantern now hanging over the lay reader's desk together with the wrought iron brackets supporting all these lights were commissioned by her ladyship from the Cromer Guild of Handicrafts, a local society formed in 1912 of which she headed the honorary advisory committee.

A Medieval Bust of our Lord in a niche near the Font, is of the School of Luini, thought to date from the early 16th Century, this also was presented by Lady Battersea in 1919.

Resources[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.

Erpingham 1837-1938

North Walsham 1939-1974

The Register Office, 18 Kings Arms Street, North Walsham, NR28 9JX.
Tel/Fax: 01692 406220. E-mail: registration.nwalsham@norfolk.gov.uk

Church Records[edit | edit source]

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

FMP = Norfolk Parish Registers Browse (findmypast) - (£)[2]
FREG = FreeREG - free[3]
FS PRs = England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, 1538-1900 (FamilySearch) - free[4]
JOIN = The Joiner Marriage Index - (£)[5]
TGEN = TheGenealogist - (£)[6]
Overstrand, Norfolk Genealogy Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FMP 1558-1907 1558-1914 1558-1934
FREG 1558-1907
FS PRs Undefined 1558-1907 Undefined 1558-1914 Undefined 1558-1901
TGEN 1813-1903 1813-1903 1813-1902 1813-1902

Images of the parish registers may be viewed online in FamilySearch Historical Records Norfolk Record Office reference PD 600

Non-Conformist Records[edit | edit source]

Non Conformist Records[edit | edit source]

http://www.eamethodist.org.uk/churches.php?Overstrand for information and photograph of Overstrand Methodist Church

http://www.norfolkchurches.co.uk/overstrandmeth/overstrandmeth.htm for Simon Knott's images and description of the architecture of the church

Part of the North Norfolk Circuit.

Norfolk Record Office reference FC 59
Records of Cromer and Sheringham Methodist Circuit 1813-1971

Census Records[edit | edit source]

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[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 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[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. 495-498. Date accessed: 06 May 2013.
  2. 'Norfolk Parish Registers Browse', findmypast, accessed 31 July 2015.
  3. 'Norfolk Coverage', FreeREG, accessed 27 February 2014.
  4. 'England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1538-1900', FamilySearch, accessed 17 March 2014.
  5. 'Norfolk Coverage,' The Joiner Marriage Index, accessed 11 February 2014.
  6. 'Subscription Coverage Catalogue', TheGenealogist, accessed 11 January 2016.