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Kent Resources

updated 5th February 2018

Parish registers online

Over 1.65 million Kent baptisms and marriages are included in the IGI at FamilySearch but not all parishes are included (you can see the coverage here).

Findmypast has scanned and indexed most of the parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts for the Archdeaconry of Canterbury. Over 900,000 baptisms, 467,000 marriages, 110,000 banns, and 680,000 burials are included in this collection - for a list of parishes and dates click here.

Findmypast also has transcriptions of 156,000 burial entries from the National Burial Index, and whilst there is some overlap with the Canterbury records, most are for parishes in other parts of the county.

Images of parish registers for the Medway area of Kent (approximately 80 parishes) are online at the website of Medway Archives Centre (the CityArk website which formerly hosted the registers seems to have closed). Although the new site is not as easy to use, once you have found a register of interest you can download it as a PDF. The registers have not been transcribed there is a marriage index here for the period 1837-1911 (though unfortunately as of February 2018 the Rootsweb website on which the index is hosted was unavailable).

Ancestry has the Tyler Index to Parish Registers, which has over 300,000 entries for East Kent.

The volunteers of FreeREG have transcribed some of the registers for about 240 Kent parishes.

Births, marriages and deaths

Registration districts in Kent

Local BMD indexes

Pre-1841 censuses

Alkham 1565, Beckenham 1821, Bewsborough 1705, Boughton Malherbe 1676, Borden 1801, 1811, Brasted 1695, Bromley 1801, Burmarsh 1565, Canterbury Cathedral 1811, Canterbury St Martin 1565, Canterbury St Paul 1565, Charlton (Dover) 1565, Cornilo 1705, Deal St Leonard 1801, 1811, 1821, Downhamford 1705, Dymchurch 1565, 1830, East Malling 1776, Eastry 1705, 1801, Eyethorne and Waldershare 1565, Folkestone 1801, 1803, 1811, Goodnestone 1676, Goudhurst 1811, Hackington 1676, Hayes, 1790, 1821, Horsmonden 1831, Hunton 1805-07, Kinghamford 1705, Lower Hardres 1811, Luddesdown 1810, Lympne 1565, Maidstone All Saints 1811, Margate St John the Baptist 1747-8, 1750, New Romney 1565, 1695-1700, Penshurst 1821, Preston 1705, Ringslow 1705, Ringwould 1831, Rochester St Nicholas 1821, Sellindge 1831, Shadoxhurst 1831, Smarden 1801, 1811, Stansted 1676, Tenterden 1831, Thanington 1821, Tunstall 1757, West Malling 1801, Westwell 1830, Wingham 1705, Wootton 1815 also Communicants Lists for many parishes for various dates between 1565-1590.

Also consider....

Photo of Herne Bay, from the Pier 1897, ref. 40152
Reproduced courtesy of Francis Frith.

Key Kent resources

There are three major archives which hold the records of parishes in Kent:

Kent History and Library Centre opened in Maidstone in 2012 and holds the archive collections previously at the Centre for Kentish Studies and the East Kent Achives Centre, together with a few previously held at Canterbury Cathedral Archives. Geographically the archive collections cover the whole of Kent with the exception of the Medway area, the Canterbury City Council area and the boroughs that now fall within Greater London (Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham). However, the Local Studies collection covers the whole of Kent, and the collections of pre-1858 wills and probate records conver both Canterbury and Rochester diocese.

Medway Archives Centre is based in Strood. Whilst all of the parish registers for the Medway area are online there are many other records in the collection including Poor Law Union and school registers.

Canterbury Cathedral Archives holds records dating back to the 8th century. Whilst the parish registers for the Archdeaconry of Canterbury are online, the archives also holds the central records of the Diocese of Canterbury including tithe records and church court records.

Kent Family History Society is the oldest and largest FHS in Kent with over 3200 members worldwide, with branches in Ashford, Canterbury, Deal, Maidstone, Medway (Frindsbury), and Thanet (Birchington). Transcriptions of many parish records are available on CD ROM (copies of the CD ROMs are held in the Society of Genealogist's library in London).

North West Kent Family History Society has branches in Bromley, Dartford, and Sevenoaks. There is an online index of members' surname interests here, and there is an online gazetteer of West Kent parishes which links to 250 photographs of churches in the area.

Folkestone & District Family History Society meets in Folkestone and covers 43 parishes in the south-east corner of Kent.

Tunbridge Wells Family History Society meets in Groombridge, and in addition to the town of Tunbridge Wells, covers the parishes of Speldhurst, Penshurst, Ashurst, Southborough, Bidborough, Pembury and Lamberhurst as well as a number of Sussex parishes that are just over the county border.

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