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Devon Resources

Updated 24th November 2014

Parish registers online

1.87 million Devon baptisms and marriages are included in the IGI at FamilySearch but not all parishes are included (you can see the coverage here).

Findmypast has over 5 million transcribed and indexed parish records 1538 onwards, and in most cases you can also view digitized images of the registers (you'll find details of the coverage here).

The National Burial Index doesn't cover Devon. Ancestry has a small collection of transcribed parish records.

The volunteers of FreeREG have transcribed some of the registers for about 50 Devon parishes, but this is a small fraction of the total - however it's worth trying if you can't find what you're looking for elsewhere - early parish registers are notoriously difficult to transcribe.

The Devon OPC project can be found here. Over 180 parishes have Online Parish Clerks or One-Place Studies in place, but the information available online is very limited.

Births, marriages and deaths

Registration districts in Devon

There are no local BMD indexes for Devon.

Pre-1841 censuses

Axminster 1821, Barnstaple 1803, Bickleigh 1801, 1821, Buckfastleigh 1698, Clyst St George 1821, Combe Martin 1831, Dean Prior 1821, Doddiscombsleigh 1801, Exeter Holy Trinity 1821, Exeter St Mary Steps 1803, Exeter St Paul 1803, Fremington 1821, Mortehoe 1801, North Tawton 1803, Ottery St Mary c1700, Rewe 1821, Ringmore 1698, Sandford 1775, 1783, 1790, 1793, 1800, Sidbury 1829, Sowton 1696, Tavistock c1750, Tedburn St Mary 1821, Uplyme 1826-7, Wembworthy 1779

Also consider....

Photo of Beer, the Village 1892, ref. 31318T
Reproduced courtesy of Francis Frith.

Key Devon resources

Microfilmed copies of parish registers (including pre-1837 Non-Conformist registers) for the whole of Devon are held at all three of the major repositories: Devon Heritage Centre in Exeter, Plymouth & West Devon Record Office in Plymouth, and North Devon Record Office in Barnstaple. For other records check the list of holdings before visiting. The paid research service previously offered at Exeter has now been discontinued

Collections of particular interest at Exeter include cemetery records for several Exter cemeteries, and also for Torquay Cemetery; gaol calendars for 1854-1919, and Quarter Sessions records for the county of Devon for 1592-1971, and the city of Exeter from 1557-1971. Most pre-1858 Devon wills were destroyed during World War 2, but copies of some wills have survived, some of them in private collections.

Devon Family History Society meets regularly in Exeter, Plymouth, Bideford, and Kingkerswell (between Newton Abbot and Torquay. Transcriptions of many parish registers are available as booklets or on CD ROM, and it is also possible to purchase customised printouts from indexes compiled by the society (see also the Surname search). There is an online index to articles from the Devon Family Historian and members can download PDF copies of the journal.

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