Somerset, England Genealogy

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Somerset, or Somersetshire, is a maritime county located in the south western part of England.

Featured Content[edit | edit source]

Somerset County Map 1646.jpg

“SOMERSET, or Somersetshire, a maritime county; bounded on the NW, by the Bristol channel; on the N, by Gloucestershire; on the E, by Wilts; on the SE, by Dorset; on the S, by Dorset and Devon; on the W, by Devon... Its greatest length is 71 miles; its greatest breadth is 40 miles... and its area is 1,047,220 acres.

“The county contains 466 parishes, parts of 2 others, and 6 extra-parochial tracts; is divided into 42 hundreds or liberties, and 6 boroughs; has 27 market-towns, 13 towns with each upwards of 2,000 inhabitants, and about 1,385 smaller towns, villages, and hamlets... and, with exclusion of Bedminster parish, constitutes the diocese of Bath and Wells. The assizes and the quarter sessions are held at Taunton, Bridgewater, and Wells...

“The places of worship, in 1851, were 553 of the Church of England, 110 of Independents, 89 of Baptists, 15 of Quakers, 8 of Unitarians, 1 of Moravians, 202 of Wesleyans, 33 of Primitive Methodists, 44 of Bible Christians, 4 of the Wesleyan Association, 26 of Wesleyan Reformers, 4 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, 2 of the New Church, 12 of Brethren, 9 of isolated congregations, 2 of the Catholic and Apostolic Church, 6 of Latter Day Saints, 8 of Roman Catholics, and 1 of Jews...

“Population in 1801 was 273,577; in 1821, 355,789; in 1841, 435,599; in 1861, 444,873...”

The above extract is taken from: John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72). For the full version, go online to Vision of Britain.

Research Tools[edit | edit source]

Jurisdictions 1851[edit | edit source]

England Jurisdictions 1851 is a powerful Internet based Geographic Information System (GIS) showing parish maps of the 40 counties in England. This mapping system simplifies research by consolidating data from many finding aids into a single searchable repository that can be accessed through the mere click of a mouse in a parish boundary. The program can be accessed at: This is a research tool provided by FamilySearch using Google Maps to visually display maps and information. For tips on using the website, look beneath the two blue buttons on the left side of the home page and click the "Find out here" link.

Civil Districts[edit | edit source]

When civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837, Somerset was divided into a number of registration districts, each containing several parishes. The index to the civil records gives the name of the district where an event took place. GENUKI has a tabulated list of civil districts in Somerset and the parishes covered by each. Read more about England Civil Registration.

Parishes[edit | edit source]

See a list of the parishes of Somersetshire with links to articles.

Probate Jurisdictions[edit | edit source]

Before 1858, every town and parish in Somerset was under the probate jurisdiction of several ecclesiastical courts. For more about probate records and see a list of Somerset towns and parishes and the probate courts that had jurisdiction over them, see Somerset Probate Records.

Websites[edit | edit source]

To view a further list of web sites and/or web pages for Somershire and many of its parishes, visit

Links to articles, subcategories and images under the Category Somerset, England Genealogy[edit | edit source]